2007-03-02 / Columnists

Health & Harmony

Sunshine And Vitamin D
Commentary By Dr. Nancy Gahles

DR. Nancy gahlesDR. Nancy gahles As the gray days of February draw to a close I am heartened by the fact that we will see increased daylight in two weeks. Daylight savings time will begin on March 11.

Extra sunlight is an important ingredient for our overall health recipe. Not only does it elevate moods but more and more evidence is accumulating to affirm that the Vitamin D that is generated from sun exposure may lower the risk of ovarian, breast, kidney and colon cancers. (Garland CF et al Am J Prev Med 2006; Mohr SB et al 2006.) Dr. Garland, lead author of the study said, "The data were very clear, showing that individuals in the group with the lowest blood levels had the highest rate of breast cancer, and the breast cancer rates dropped as the blood levels of vitamin D increased." (UCAL San Diego, 2/7/07)

Appropriate sun exposure, the amount of time that could achieve a protective level of vitamin D, is about 12 minutes a day in the noontime sun (longer on cloudy days), with 50% of skin exposed to the sun, according to Dr. Garland's research team.

To achieve the protective amounts of this vitamin in your blood levels, it is necessary to consume 2000 IU of vitamin D per day. Vitamin D3 is the biologically active form that most studies associate with the health benefits that are preventive in nature.

Vitamin D3 is also a necessary ingredient for the absorption of calcium to prevent osteoporosis. Dr. Molly Punzo, internist, homeopath and pioneer in the field of Integrative Medicine recommends, in addition to vitamin D3, taking a supplement that contains the elements boron and horsetail as well as the minerals magnesium and calcium for best absorption to build stronger bones. She recommends a supplement called Osteonutrients II from Vital Nutrients in Middleton, Connecticut.

You can Google this name and read their catalogue online.

A wonderful source of Vitamin D is the Wild Salmon. In a recent study from Boston University Medical Center (Lu Z et al 2007), wild salmon had 147% more than the US RDA of 400 IU's for vitamin D. Read the labels!

Farmed salmon does not contain the higher amounts of vitamin D and may have other contaminants.

Vital Choice is a company that sells delicious, organic products in addition to their excellent fish selection.

For home delivery of wild salmon and a variety of other products go to www.vitalchoice.com or call 1-800-608-4825.

In a culture that craves immediate gratification and control over our lives, it is encouraging to affirm that one can utilize the health giving benefits of nature by walking in the sun and eating fresh fish as just some of the ways to prevent chronic degenerative disease.

Keep it simple, folks.

It's all a matter of awareness and being pro-active.

Health care is self-care.

May The Blessings Be!

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