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Thursday, December 17, 2009

the role of vitamin D3.

I have been hearing a lot about vitamin D3 for immunity. Since the Flu and Swine Flu scares have been the "talk of the town" we as parents want the best to build up our children, as well as our own, immune systems.
Vitamin D3, is one of them.
Here is some info  I gathered on it.

Vitamin D is found in many dietary sources such as fish, eggs, fortified milk, and cod liver oil. The sun also contributes significantly to the daily production of vitamin D, and as little as 10 minutes of exposure is thought to be enough to prevent deficiencies. The term "vitamin D" refers to several different forms of this vitamin. Two forms are important in humans: ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) and cholecalciferol (vitamin D3). Vitamin D2 is synthesized by plants. Vitamin D3 is synthesized by humans in the skin when it is exposed to ultraviolet-B (UVB) rays from sunlight. Foods may be fortified with vitamin D2 or D3.

The major biologic function of vitamin D is to maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium, helping to form and maintain strong bones. Recently, research also suggests vitamin D may provide protection from osteoporosis, hypertension (high blood pressure), cancer, and several autoimmune diseases.

Maintains Your Calcium Balance

Maintenance of blood calcium levels within a narrow range is vital for normal functioning of the nervous system, as well as for bone growth, and maintenance of bone density. Vitamin D is essential for the efficient utilization of calcium by the body.1

Aids Your Cell Differentiation

Cellular differentiation results in the specialization of cells for specific functions in your body. In general, differentiation of cells leads to a decrease in proliferation. While cellular proliferation is essential for growth and wound healing, uncontrolled proliferation of cells with certain mutations may lead to diseases like cancer. The active form of vitamin D, inhibits proliferation and stimulates the differentiation of cells.1

Boosts Your Immunity

Active vitamin D is a potent immune system modulator. There is plenty of scientific evidence that vitamin D has several different effects on immune system function that may enhance your immunity and inhibit the development of autoimmunity.8

Has a Role in Insulin Secretion

The active form of vitamin D plays a role in insulin secretion under conditions of increased insulin demand.9 Limited data in humans suggests that insufficient vitamin D levels may have an adverse effect on insulin secretion and glucose tolerance in type 2 diabetes.10-12 More studies are needed on the role of vitamin D and diabetes.

Blood Pressure Regulation

Adequate vitamin D levels may be important for decreasing the risk of high blood pressure.13-15 Again, more studies on vitamin D and hypertension are necessary.

Vitamin D and Diseases

According to the National Institutes of Health, vitamin D may play a role in the following diseases.

I recently bought a vitamin D spray that you spray under your tongue, hold for 20 seconds, then swallow. As a spray or drop, it is easily and quickly absorbed into your blood stream.
A capsule or pill form is also available
You can get a tincture(liquid drop) form at Down To Earth and drop some into applesauce or juice for your kids.
FYI: always try it first before giving it to your kids!!
**do not overdose on vitamin D, if you are unsure of the daily allowances, do more research on that. We in Hawaii get more sun than a lot of other people who live elsewhere esp in the winter, but it is still a great supplement to have on hand when the cold and flu season hits!

Happy Holidays and Happy Sun!!

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