Thursday, April 29, 2010

Vitamin D

As many of my friends know, I am fairly outspoken against the use of workout supplements. I just believe that there is no need for 90% of the products out there. There are however a couple of supplements that I think are indispensable and should be a part of everybody's solid nutrition plan.
These are Vitamin D and Omega 3 fish oil.

Today I'd like to talk a little bit about Vitamin D and it's MANY benefits.

It turns out that 80 - 90% of us are moderately to severely  deficient in Vitamin D. The best source of vitamin D is from direct contact with ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Unfortunately, most of us work inside out of the sun and when we do go outside we are either clothed or wearing sunblock so our ability to absorb sunlight is severely restricted.

This leaves our food as the only other option. Mainly this consists of seafood or vitamin D enriched dairy (not generally caveman friendly) and the amount within these sources is fairly negligible compared to the amount we should be taking in on a daily basis. Therefore I recommend  daily supplementation  with Vitamin D3 as it's the most readily absorbed form.

How Much?

Today, in North America, the recommended amount of supplementation 400 iu daily and this is nowhere near enough. Many other countries, Russia for example, are well aware of the need for Vitamin D supplementation and take much better measures to make sure their people get enough, Recommending as much as 10 000 iu daily.

In America there is much talk about raising the upper limit of the recommended dosage to 10 000iu daily as Vitamin D is finally starting to get the recognition it deserves.

Depending on your size I would recommend supplementing with 4000 to 6000 iu daily with 5000 being a safe average for most of us which would provide us with a whole host of benefits.

Lets talk about the benefits of Vitamin D

Vitamin D and osteoporosis.

Vitamin D plays a key Role in bone formation, increasing the rate at which bone tissue is grown. This speeds up the rate of bone healing after fracturing. Vitamin D prevents the softening of bones (rickets)  and greatly reduces the risk of osteoporosis.

Cancer

Studies have shown Vitamin D to be beneficial in reducing the risk of some cancers especially colorectal, colon and bowel cancers.

Athletic Performance

There is an abundance of evidence that Vitamin D supplementation has a profound effect on athletic performance. These include:
  • Increased Fast twitch muscle cells
  • Increased Explosiveness
  • Improved reaction time
  • Improved coordination
  • Improved balance
  • More stamina
  • Quicker recovery
  • Improved body composition.
Depression

Supplementation with vitamin can have positive effects on seasonal depression. Vitamin D improves your mood and sense of well being and gives you more energy to deal with issues which may come up.

Other benefits include:
  • Improved quality of sleep
  • Decreased imflammation
  • Better Gut health
  • Drastically improved immune function
The benefits are too great to ignore. I highly recommend you consider making regular supplementation with Vitamin D a part of your lifestyle and reap the many benefits.

I am including links to some more in depth explorations here. I strongly feel you should take some time out to review these articles and they get more into the science and chemistry of how Vitamin D benefits our health.

This is a great article from eatmoveimprove

Here is another very important article

Finally this one from Weston Price
Caveman2.0