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What Is All The Hype With Vitamin D?

Aren’t our bodies amazing? Without conscious thought our bodies are working constantly to organise, regenerate and heal. It is quite remarkable really! And when you think about it, thank goodness, as we may not always look after ourselves as we know we should.

There are certain building blocks upon which our health relies on, which give rise to these incredible self-organising and healing capabilities. These come in the form of nutrition, movement, mindset, purpose, and most importantly maintaining an optimally functioning nervous system. As winter approaches I would like to take this opportunity to discuss Vitamin D and why everyone is talking about it.

One very important building block to our optimal health is the incredible way our bodies convert sunlight and produce vitamin D to optimise our health and wellbeing.

Vitamin D is an essential nutrient which is vital to the proper functioning of the human body. It is crucial in maintaining strong bones, teeth and skeletal system, along with playing an essential role in cardiovascular, endocrine, brain and immune health. Worryingly many of us are deficient and this is impacting our health dramatically.

It is produced by the skin in response to sunlight. How incredible is that? Once it is absorbed by our skin it is converted to a usable form of cholesterol via the liver. However, before it can be used by the body to carry out all those vital functions it must be changed multiple times before it can be used.

Vitamin D can also be utilised from certain foods, once ingested it travels to the gut, then into the bloodstream to the kidneys and liver before it is converted to usable Vitamin D.

How remarkable the body is, this is all occurring without a conscious thought!

There is a saying in chiropractic that says “nature needs no help, just no interference!”

family sitting on couchIn order for this to occur we must have a nervous system which is free of interference. The job of a properly functioning nervous system is to perceive its environment and produce an appropriate response. As chiropractors our job is to remove interference to the nervous system. This allows our bodies to work more efficiently and able to carry out all these amazing functions all which contribute to our overall health.

Due to the harsh nature of our sun here in the Southern Hemisphere sunscreens have become necessary, unfortunately this shield and interferes with our ability to make vitamin D. So we have to ensure we remove the interference by allowing enough safe sunshine exposure to allow for adequate vitamin D production.

During the summer months (September to April) in the Southern Hemisphere direct sun exposure in the morning or late afternoon for up to 8 minutes will allow your body to produce adequate daily amounts of vitamin D. In the winter months (April through to September) sun exposure during the middle of the day for up to 30 minutes is required to produce the recommended daily amount of 1000 IU of vitamin D.

Unfortunately it is challenging to get enough vitamin D through diet alone, so a combination of a diet rich in the following foods along with daily sunshine exposure is best.

Food that contain vitamin D are: fatty fish like salmon, sardines tuna, trout and mackerel, cod liver oil, egg yolks and mushrooms and fortified foods.

Low levels of vitamin D have been linked to a vast array of chronic conditions, everything from many types of cancers (breast, prostrate, lung, thyroid), autoimmune diseases (lupus, thyroid, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis), brain health (depression, Alzheimer’s) and inflammatory diseases. Research also has found low levels of Vitamin D to be linked to asthma and exzema.

When vitamin D levels are restored to optimal levels we can enjoy strong immunity, and boost our immunity against winter colds and flus. It helps to restore good gut bacteria and therefore bolster immunity. Optimal vitamin D levels have shown to improve fertility and support healthy preganancies.

At Advanced Health Chiropractic keeping tuned up with your regular wellness checks helps optimise your spine and nervous system, which directly influences your immune system. Get outdoors and enjoy the sunshine, keep well everyone.

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