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Monday, October 11, 2010

The Importance of Vitamin D

Yesterday, I listened to Dr. Michael Holick's talk on Vitamin D,. He is the author of the book "The Vitamin D Solution". Many people suffer from vitamin D deficiency these days, which causes hypertension, problems with bones and muscles, depression, lack of energy, mental problem, etc. Dr. Holick stresses that we can't get enough of vitamin D from food, because it is very rare in food and is generated in the skin when it is exposed to sun.
He is convinced that the benefits of exposure to sun are yet to be rediscovered by the public. Also, if you are obese you need up to 10 times more units of vitamin D per day.

To summarize Dr. Holick's recommendations: a combination of healthy diet with lots of leafy greens, moderate exposure to sun light, and taking 2000 IU of vitamin D per day will do the trick. After listening to him, I decided to buy a vitamin D supplement. It appears that a typical multivitamins contains only about 400 IU of vitamin D, which is not enough according to Dr. Holick. Especially if you leave in Northern states, where there is not much sunlight during winter and fall months, you need to take vitamin D supplement.

I didn't know before that there are two types of vitamin D - D2 and D3. Both of them are equally effcetive in terms of their effects of health. Vitamin D2 is made in the skin, while vitamin D3 can be obtained from yeast. 

Any national brand of vitamin D supplement that is sold in CVS or other pharmacy is good. He recommended specifically liquid vitamin D by Wellessee. They also have liquid calcium and vitamin D3 and calcium is the mineral that Dr. Holick mentioned was very important too. He recommended taking 1200 mg of calcium per day for an adult.

Overall, it was very helpful to learn that some vitamins and minerals can't be obtained from diet only. So I will definitely do more research on this and buy vitamins for myself .

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