Many people live in areas where they can get vitamin D from the sun. I live in Scotland and we certainly don’t get enough of it here. Even when you do live in a sunny place, you may be stuck in a building or in a car most of the day. You will no doubt have to cover up with clothes, and may use additional creams to protect you from the sun.
Almost every week a new study comes out confirming the benefits of vitamin D. What I want to discuss with you is, why is this vitamin so important for diabetics? If you do decide to use it, and can’t rely on sun exposure, what can you do to raise your levels?
In our typical modern diets, many substances are inflammatory to the body. Refined dietary carbohydrate, high blood sugars, too much omega six vegetable oil, too much insulin. This is not an exhaustive list.
In a nutshell vitamin D is a hormone that improves cell function in almost every part of the body. It has an anti inflammatory effect on almost all body tissues. This means that some of the damage that happens to diabetics due to excessive inflammation can be reduced if vitamin d levels can be optimised. Excessive inflammation is responsible for more arteriosclerosis, cancers and immune system problems in people with diabetes.
Optimal levels of blood vitamin d is 160 in the UK and 60 in the USA.
In my town in Scotland I have found 9 patients who had undetectable levels of vitamin D. Most people had levels around 20(UK) Below 50 (UK) and you are at risk of secondary hyperparathyroidism. I have found one severe case of this. When you have very low vitamin d levels you are not able to absorb calcium from the food in your gut. Your blood levels fall and your parathyroid tells your bone to give up it’s calcium. Your bones get thinner and yet your blood levels are still low. You may get cramps in your muscles and it can effect all muscle function including your heart.
Only those people I tested who took cod liver oil regularly had non deficient levels. But a level of 50, while sparing your bones, is not optimal. If you get above 160, your mental functioning, coordination, bone strength, immune system all improve. You can eliminate psoriasis, gingivitis, the common cold, flu, improve insulin sensitivity, reverse arteriosclerosis, greatly reduce your chances of getting multiple sclerosis, cancers and improve your survival rate if you do get cancer. Some cancers are particularly associated with high blood sugars and high insulin. Breast and prostate cancer incidence is reduced at optimal levels of vitamin D. Prostate cancer survival time is doubled at optimal vitamin d levels. Bowel cancer rates are four times more frequent at low compared to optimal vitamin D levels.
Let me go now into more specifics about benefits to diabetics. Pregnancy first. Vitamin supplementation improved the outcome of pregnancy. There were fewer low birth weight children, and the survival rate improved. Schizophrenia and Multiple Sclerosis is related to lack of sunshine in the first timester of pregnancy.
In Norway, mothers who gave their children any form of vitamin D supplementation in the first year of life had fourteen times less type one diabetes develop in those children over the first 14 years of life.
Diabetics are prone to gingivitis and gingivitis causes heart disease. You can reduce this with vitamin D supplementation.
Even a cold or flu can result in ketoacidosis for a type one diabetic. You can greatly cut down the chances. Vitamin D supplementation is more effective than the flu jag.
Vitamin D helps reduce and even reverse arteriosclerosis. This is something that diabetics are prone to. Dr William Davis in the USA advises a low carb diet, vitamin D, resistance exercise and omega three fatty acids. He scans people’s hearts before and after and can demonstrate resolution of calcified arterial plaques.
We can’t all flit to the Canary Islands or Florida, so how do you get vitamin D? What dose is right?
The cheapest source I have found is from an internet site called iherb. It is a US site and they ship at reasonable cost to the UK. I recommend the Vitamin D3 5,000 iu a day for adults. This costs $15 for a year’s supply at this level of supplementation.
For those who live in the UK, If you are not on the internet you can phone or write to The Vitamin Service, Leigh on Sea, England. They charge about £36 for a years supply of Bio D Mulsion Forte. The dose is based on your weight. For every 30 pounds body weight you need 1,000iu of vitamin d 3 a day.
Vitamin D 2 can be prescribed on the NHS but it is not as well absorbed as vitamin D3. The vitamin D 3 that is prescribable has calcium in it. This may be fine for bone disease prevention but it is too low for optimizing blood levels. If you tried you would end up with a gross overdosage of calcium. Blood levels should be monitored after three months of use so you can adjust your intake accordingly.
For a very good overview of the amazing benefits of vitamin D supplementation please visit you tube and type in vitamin D3. There are a series of lectures from Davis University California explaining its use in diabetes, heart disease, cancer and chronic illnesses of many kinds.
Quiz: Which of these options is NOT correct?
- Optimising your vitamin D level can improve:
- Your gum health.
- Your insulin sensitivity.
- Your hair growth.
- Your risk of developing certain cancers.
- Your dose of vitamin D should:
a. Usually be around 1,000 iu for every 30 pounds body weight.
b. Be discontinued during the summer.
c. Be checked with a blood test after 3 months.
d. Be adjusted so that you are in the optimal range.
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