Category Archives: Vitamin D

How does low vitamin D worsen eczema?

Eczema is a skin condition that is most commonly found among infants. However, many people will continue to have this condition into their adult life. Eczema can be caused by exposure to various environmental factors or it can simply be genetic. Eczema is a general term for any sort of dermatitis or itchy rash. This rash can flare up all over the body. However, the most common areas of eczema are the inside of the elbows, back of the knees, and all over the face and neck. Depending on exposure to irritants, allergies, foods, and stress levels the severity of eczema varies. 

Eczema is shown to be linked to allergic diseases such as asthma and thus, may increase with increased allergies. In more recent studies, people with eczema have shown to have very low levels of vitamin D. Vitamin D is a crucial vitamin that aids in boosting your immune system. It reduces levels of inflammatory proteins and increases the production of good antimicrobial proteins. Therefore, if one is experiencing severe eczema, their immune system is not functioning properly. Recent studies have shown that because of the lack of vitamin D present in the body, the immune system is not able to fight off any bacteria or virus that might cause irritation to the skin.  Lower vitamin D levels have been linked to more severe cases of eczema. Having a sufficient amount of vitamin D in your body, helps decrease inflammation and increase the strength of the skin’s barrier preventing the cause of eczema.

A study published in 2013 in Poland gave vitamin D supplements to adults with eczema who had low levels of vitamin D. The people all got 2000 IU of vitamin D daily for 3 months in the wintertime. The researchers looked at eczema severity and symptoms before and after supplementation and found that:

  • People with the lowest vitamin D levels had more skin infections.
  • After supplementing with vitamin D, the eczema symptoms and severity score was much lower.
  • People who took vitamin D supplements had significant improvements in skin lesions.

The researchers conclude that supplementing with vitamin D may help to manage and treat the skin symptoms associated with eczema. Vitamin D causes skin cells to make more antimicrobial proteins, which is why people with low levels of vitamin D tend to have more skin infections.

For more information on vitamin D testing or natural relief for eczema, please visit Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture Center or call 206-319-5322.

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Filed under Allergies, Eczema, Food allergy, seattle naturopath, Skin Conditions, Vitamin D

Importances of Vitamin B12 and D deficiency in the Pacific Northwest

Vitamin deficiency can result in numerous health problems including disease, pain, inflammation and even increased risk of cancer. Two of the most common deficiencies are vitamin D and B12. The primary way to retrieve vitamin D is through the sun. Studies have shown that even if you live in a sunny environment, it is still very possible to be deficient in vitamin D. Vitamin B12 on the other hand is most commonly retrieved through diet. Deficiency is vitamin B12 is most common in those who don’t consume a sufficient amount of animal products.


Vitamin D deficiency

If you are experiencing bone pain or muscle weakness, you are probably suffering from vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is synthesized in your body in response to sunlight. Therefore, a lack of direct sunlight may result in being vitamin D deficient. Even if you live in a generally sunny environment, depending on your lifestyle, you can easily be deficient. For example, if your job requires you to be indoors all day, you may very well be lacking vitamin D. Studies have also shown that people who live 37 degrees above or below the equator receive much less direct sunlight than places closer to the equator. That is why vitamin D deficiency is so prevalent in places like the Pacific Northwest.

There are a very small number of foods that actually contain vitamin D, therefore increased sun exposure and/or supplements is usually required to obtain healthy levels.

B12 deficiency

The most common symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include weakness, irritability, mood changes, overall tiredness, lack of energy and overall depression. As mentioned before, vitamin B12 is consumed primarily through diet. B12 is only found in animal products, therefore vegans and vegetarians are at high risk. Another factor that can contribute to being deficient in vitamin B12 is alcohol consumption. Alcohol irritates the lining of the intestines and the stomach. Because of this, alcohol blocks B12 from being sufficiently absorbed into the blood stream. If you are vegan, vegetarian, or over the age of 60, you should highly consider taking supplements or receiving B12 injections.

If you are interested in having your vitamin levels assessed, please contact Dr. Lee at Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture Center or call 206-319-5322.

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Importance of vitamin D in the Pacific Northwest

Vitamin D is important for good overall health with its wide range of benefits. Its primary role is to increase the movement of calcium into the bloodstream by promoting the absorption of calcium from food. This is why it is essential in bone growt

h. Some other health benefits of having a healthy level of vitamin D are: decreased inflammation, decreased risk of cancer, decreased dental cavities, prevention and treatment of depression, and reduced risk of diseases like multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis and heart disease.


What happens when vitamin D levels are low?

Seattle is at a latitude of 47° north of the equator, which sets up the population for widespread vitamin D insufficiency. Without vitamin D, bones become thin and brittle. Being vitamin D deficient also increases risk of cancer, diabetes, and osteoporosis. Low blood levels of vitamin D also relate to cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure. Multiple Sclerosis, which causes progressive nerve damage, has been linked to low vitamin D levels. Washington State has one of the highest multiple sclerosis rates in the nation, and it has been theorized that the low levels of sunlight in the winter contribute to this statistic.

How can you get vitamin D?

Vitamin D is often called “the sunshine vitamin” because our bodies synthesize it naturally through direct exposure to sunlight. This is the most natural way to get vitamin D and can happen very quickly, especially in the summer. How much vitamin D is produced from sunlight depends on time of day and where you live. You can also get vitamin D by taking supplements. This is a good way to get vitamin D if you can’t get enough sunlight or don’t want to expose your skin.

There are very few foods that naturally contain vitamin D. Some of these foods include fish with high fat content such as salmon, catfish and tuna. Milk and some cereals are usually fortified with vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency is extremely common especially in northern populations like the Pacific Northwest, where solar radiation in the autumn and winter is much too small to maintain healthy levels.

Your vitamin D level can be easily assessed with a simple blood test. Feel free to contact Seattle Naturopathic Center if you are interested in finding out your vitamin D level.

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What supplements do you REALLY need? Find out with Micronutrient testing!

Are you taking too many supplements? Not enough? Nutritional status is a vital foundation of health and performance.

You may be deficient in some vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and/or other essential micronutrients and not even not even know it.

University research has shown that 50% of people taking multivitamins are still nutritionally deficient.

It is important to know your nutrient status, because it has been shown that vitamin, mineral and antioxidant deficiencies can contribute to degenerative processes such as arthritis, cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

 

Dr. Lee offers the MicroNutrient Test tests for 32 vitamins and minerals:

VITAMINS Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Biotin, Folate, Pantothenate
MINERALS Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc, Copper AMINO ACIDS Asparagine, Glutamine, Serine.
ANTIOXIDANTS Alpha Lipoic Acid, Coenzyme Q10, Cysteine, Glutathione, Selenium, Vitamin E, SPECTOX™ for total antioxidant function.
CARBOHYDRATE METABOLISM Chromium, Fructose Sensitivity, Glucose-Insulin, Metabolism.
FATTY ACIDS Oleic Acid
METABOLITES Choline, Inositol, Carnitine.

 

The MicroNutrient Test measures your body’s ability to absorb 32 vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other essential nutrients within your white blood cells. This non-fasting blood test tells you if you have a vitamin deficiency and gives you a plan for how to correct it.

More importantly, the results information can help you reduce the risk of illness and disease related to such deficiencies.

Did you know that about 50% of people taking multivitamins are STILL deficient?

The MicroNutrient Test can tell you which supplement to focus on – thereby eliminating your deficiency and any unnecessary spending on costly supplements.

You also need it because scientific evidence confirms that vitamin deficiencies are associated with disease processes and the overall conditions of your health. The MicroNutrient Test is the only test that takes a nutritional assessment and creates a plan to correct any deficiency negatively influencing customer’s health. Vitamin, mineral and antioxidant deficiencies have been shown to suppress immune function and contribute to chronic degenerative processes such as arthritis, cancer, Alzheimer’s, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

 

Micronutrient Test is More Advanced Than other Laboratory Tests

Before the introduction of the Micronutrient Test, many diagnosis and risk assessments were based on clinical observation and measurements of static levels of certain nutrients in serum. Static serum levels are not always representative indicators for assessing cell metabolism and utilization.

MicroNutrient Test offers a unique means to scientifically assess the intracellular requirements of micronutrients that play an important role in overall health and wellness. Micronutrient test measure the biochemical function of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants, providing a powerful clinical assessment tool. Our panels are designed to provide you with the most comprehensive nutritional analysis available.

 

What if I am deficient?

As the only lab that can offer a truly functional intracellular testing (Micronutrient Test), we also provide you with targeted nutrient repletion recommendations for those vitamins and minerals found to be deficient.

 

Why Nutritional Testing is Important?

1. Nutrient deficiencies are common, in fact 90% of people are deficient and 50% of those are already taking supplements

2. Vitamin deficiencies contribute to common degenerative disease like heart disease, stroke, cancer and Alzheimer’s.

3. Many prescription medications can cause nutrient depletions.

4. Having a strong antioxidant defense system protects you against heart disease, cancer and other chronic conditions.

5. There can be too much of a “good thing” — too many antioxidants can be harmful. The only way to know what you need is to be tested.

6. Simply taking a multivitamin may not be enough to meet your nutritional needs.

7. You might be over supplementing with unnecessary vitamins, minerals or antioxidants. Too much can be harmful.

8. Aging can be caused by a lack of nutrients.

9. Heaving healthy cells promotes strong immune function and optimal health for a lifetime

If you have any questions regarding to micronutrient testing, please contact Dr. Lee at 206-319-5322 or visit Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture Center

 

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Dr. Oz talks about the importance of Vitamin D

Why do Naturopaths concern about vitamin D levels? Because depending on where you live you might be not getting the adequate amount of sunshine to produce the powerful vitamin D.

Here are some reasons why?

Hypertension and Heart Disease
High blood pressure and heart attacks are more common in winter months and in locations farther away from the equator (conditions where sunlight is less ample). People with higher blood levels of vitamin D had naturally lower blood pressures. Vitamin D is known to lower a blood pressure raising substance in the body called angiotensin II. If your blood 25-OH-vitamin D levels is lower than 34 ng/ml your risk of heart attack is doubled, compared to people whose levels are above 34.
Cancer
Low sunlight exposure and low vitamin D status is associated with increase risk of dying of numerous cancers including breast, ovarian, uterine, prostate, stomach, bladder, and lung cancers and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The researcher who made this connection suggested that 23,000 American lives could be saved yearly by adequate sunlight exposure and/or vitamin D supplementation.
Osteoarthritis
Studies showed knee and hip arthritis worsened faster in patients with 25-OH-vitamin D levels below 30 ng/ml.
Depression
Studies showed vitamin D supplementation is equally or more successful in treating Seasonal Affective Disorder compared with use of light box therapy.
Pain: Migraines and Musculoskeletal pain
Women with migraines who test as deficient in vitamin D often have improvement in their migraines if they begin taking vitamin D and calcium daily. Several studies showed that patients with persistent musculoskeletal pain and low back pain had vitamin D deficiency and their pain improved when they took vitamin D supplements.
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and Infertility
Calcium and Vitamin D supplementation helped all the patients with PCOS and infertility after vitamin D deficiency in one small study.
Multiple Sclerosis
It has long been noted that this autoimmune condition occurs more often at temperate zones, where there is less sunlight exposure. One study showed that calcium, magnesium and vitamin D supplementation helped reduce exacerbations in MS patients.
Other conditions
Diabetes, insulin resistance, epilepsy, Graves disease, ankylosing spondylitis, systemic lupus erythematosis, obesity, and rheumatoid arthritis are some other conditions that have been associated with deficiency of vitamin D and/or improvement with vitamin D supplements.
Your vitamin D level can be easily assessed with a simple blood test. Feel free to contact Seattle Naturopathic Center if you are interested in finding out your vitamin D level.

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Get You Daily Dose of Sunshine

Sunlight provides us with good levels of vitamin D, a vitamin and also a hormone with several functions. It is thought to help protect us from cancer, TB, osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis, hypertension, and possible some as-yet unknown disease. Vitamin D is manufactured from cholesterol when skin is exposed to ultraviolet rays from the sun and it is difficult to get enough from diet alone.

The most well known result of severe vitamin D deficiency is rickets, a disease causing crippling bowlegs. That is because vitamin D is necessary for the proper absorption of calcium and magnesium, needed for good bone density. In adult, vitamin D deficiency can lead to osteomalacia and is caused by an inability to absorb both calcium and phosphorus, for which vitamin D is necessary.

Vitamin D has recently become known as an effective anticancer agent, and it has been known for decades that there is an inverse correlation between sun exposure and cancer mortality. Vitamin D is associated with lower colon, prostate, skin, and breast cancer. Women with breast cancer have been found to be twice as likely to have a fault in the gene that enables that body to use vitamin D. The anticancer activity of vitamin D may be due to its ability inactivate certain oncogenes, genes that instruct ordinary cells to become cancer cells.

Vitamin D can be obtained from the diet, but not very easily. Milk and some breakfast cereals are fortified with vitamin D. Eggs contain vitamin D but you would need to eat 10 eggs to get 200IU. The best source of vitamin D are fish oil and cod liver oil. Vitamin D is no use with a completely fat-free diet, since it is a fat soluble substance needing fat for transport.

Spending ten to twenty minutes outside two to three times a week in summer is thought to give us adequate vitamin D to help prevent and manage many health conditions. Those with dark skins may need more, and you may need to take supplements in if you live in a cloudy region. It is best to have your vitamin D level tested to determine if there is a vitamin D deficiency. To ensure proper assessment of vitamin D level, 25-hydroxyvitamin D should be tested. A level below 32ng/ml is considered deficient and requires therapies including diet and lifestyle changes and supplementation. Published cases of vitamin D toxicity all involve intakes of at least 40,000 IU/day.

Examples of conditions that benefit from vitamin D:

  • · Prevention and treatment of osteoporosis, osteomalacia, rickets
  • · Vitamin-D deficiency myopathy
  • · Psoriasis
  • · Polycystic Ovaries
  • · Seasonal mood disorder
  • · Scleraderma
  • · Prostate cancer
  • · Migraines

For more information about vitamin D testing or supplementation, please contact Dr. Lee via email info@seattlenaturopathiccenter.com or 206-319-5322.

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