Did you know that even if you live in a warm, tropical, sunny region, you could be vitamin D deficient? This is becoming more and more common as various cancer associations have scared people into thinking that the least bit of sun exposure will cause skin cancer. What they do not tell you is that sunscreens are full of chemicals and toxins, and many now believe that the rise in skin cancer has to do with the rise in sunscreen use versus actual sun exposure.
Granted, there are people who generally put themselves at risk for skin cancer regardless. I am talking about the people who feel the need to bake themselves on the beach for hours like doomed lobsters. This article is for those who have a bit more awareness than that.
So we know why we care about cancer, it is a disease that elicits a lot of fear and visions of looming death. But, why should we care about Vitamin D deficiency? It is linked to:
- Depression and neurological disorders
- Muscle and chronic pain
- Weakened bones
- Thyroid disease as well as autoimmune disorders
- Insulin resistance
Think you will just go get a vitamin? Think again.
Before you jump on the supplement bandwagon, keep these things in mind.
1. One needs to have a healthy gut in order to properly absorb vitamins. Therefore, if you already have some kind of condition such as thyroid problems, depression and/or anxiety, fatigue, Diabetes, PCOS, or whatever your diagnosis is, you are just spending your money and effort trying to choke down the horse pill.
2. Cholesterol is needed to properly convert Vitamin D from sunlight exposure for body use. If you have high levels of stress, your stress hormones are sucking up all of your cholesterol. If you are obsessed with low cholesterol, and are taking drugs to keep your levels low, you are preventing the availability of cholesterol to do its many jobs. (By the way, cholesterol does not cause heart disease, in case you are worried.)
3. Vitamin D is fat soluble, so if you are still on the low fat, no fat craze, and / or take this with something like water or juice, you are again, wasting your money and efforts.
4. Many popular antacids, steroid, statin, and hormone replacement drugs prevent vitamin D absorption.
5. Most vitamins are full of filler junk anyway, and synthetic forms of vitamin D are just not a substitute for the real thing. If you are eating gummy vitamins, just eat gummy worms instead. They probably taste better.
So what should you do?
Get some sun! Just 10 minutes a day, somewhere between 10:30 am and 2 pm. On un-sunscreened skin.
If you are heading to the beach or going to be exposed for a long time, cover up with protective clothing. I love long sleeve surfing rash guards, as when they are wet, they keep you cool.
Or, if you must wear sunscreen, at least check out the least toxic brands recommended by the Environmental Working Group. Http://www.ewg.org
If you live in a dark, cold region, do your best to fill up on sun during the summer months, eat vitamin D rich foods such as oysters, wild salmon, herring and sardines, wild tuna, organic milk, and egg yolks, and If you have to supplement, do your research well and find a reputable brand with the least amount of additives possible.
Finally, start healing your gut if you are having health problems. Healing begins from the inside out! And you need a healthy gut to reap all the vitamin and mineral benefits not just from the sun, but also from the food you eat.