Do I Need To Take Vitamins And Supplements...

...Even Though I Eat A Healthy Plant-Focused Diet?

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Now, that's not that big of a deal in the summer, if people are going outside and getting sun exposure between 10 am and 2pm. Now for most of us that live in the Northern half of the US, that's only applicable during the months of May, June, July, August and September.

So half the year, our bodies are incapable of producing our own vitamin D because the angle of the sun is critical in terms of our skin being able to help make our own vitamin D. So half the year, that's a critical nutrient that really requires supplementation.

Then if you only are able to create vitamin D during the peak sunlight hours of the day, you also have to ask yourself, when was the last time I was outside at noon basking in the sun?

Typically you don't need that much time in the sun to create a good level of vitamin D, but most people in today's hectic lifestyle, they're working, they tend to get out of the office at 5, 6PM when the angle of the sun is not appropriate for vitamin D.

Vitamin D is also a good vitamin to really focus on the nutrient daily values that we have established by the FDA and USDA. A lot of people when they're looking at a cereal box or they're looking at a supplement or a multivitamin, they see that daily value and they think wow, 100%, that must mean exactly what I need to be in optimal health every day.

Well it turns out, that 100% daily value, that is the level established to avoid deficiency. So when they say vitamin C, 100% of vitamin C is exactly what you need to avoid scurvy, and not necessarily the level of vitamin C that you need for optimal immune health, or certainly optimal anti-oxidative or antioxidant status, because vitamin C is a very potent antioxidant.

Vitamin D is similar. Vitamin D's level was originally set at the level needed to offset rickets because vitamin D has a very strong role in bone metabolism and bone health, but many researchers have discovered that vitamin D plays a role in all major organs.

There are actually 37 different vitamin D receptor sites in the body and so a higher level of vitamin D is beneficial for multiple organ systems and not just for your bone health. So you sort of see the limitation - if you just eat to 100%, you may be just avoiding deficiency and not programming for optimal health.

Jackie: And I've even come across, when I was speaking to somebody else about a study of surfers in Hawaii that were actually out in the sun all day, and even that particular group showed that everyone produces vitamin D even in different capacities. Even if you're actually out in the direct sunlight. That there was a complete confirmation that you needed that vitamin D supplementation.

Graham: Yeah, that's a very interesting study. I'm familiar with that one. And again, Hawaii sits in a place above the equator where you for the most part through the year, especially surfers that are out there during the middle of the day, they should be able to increase or half the efficient vitamin D levels, but in that study half the population looked at were deficient in vitamin D, which not only has bone health implications but has broad, total body health implications.

And so that study suggests, and there's certainly some hypothesis out there, that some bodies are getting less sufficient at making vitamin D and there may even be some chemical interference with regards to all the plasticizers and all the environmental toxins that are just in the normal everyday diet and their everyday environment that may be impeding vitamin D metabolism through the sun so there's no question that vitamin D is one you don't want to take a risk on and one of the easiest ways to increase your vitamin D level is to take the daily supplement.

Stay Tuned For Part 2 and please send us your questions. We do read every post on our Facebook Wall.


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