Tag Archives: vitamin D deficiency

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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Filed under B 12 injection, fatigue, Inflammation, Vitamin D, vitamin injection

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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Filed under Antiaging, Inflammation, Skin Conditions, Vitamin D

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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