It has long been known that vitamin D protects against osteoporosis, and new, large studies have shown that it reduces the risk of heart disease. Now, several studies show that good levels of vitamin D also can reduce the risk to the trivial diseases such as colds and flu, and serious health threats like cancer, diabetes, depression, rheumatoid arthritis and MS.
The fact is that many people have low levels of vitamin D. The vitamin require intense sunlight to form in the skin – which is why so many people deficit of the vitamin during the winter months. Although it is possible to ingest vitamin D even through diet – but nowhere near the amounts of an hour or half an hour of sun exposure in the summer can provide.
There are a variety of diseases that we suffer more from during the winter months. The relationship is crystal clear: it is due to the lack of sunlight, which in turn provides us with a deficit of vitamin D supplementation.
– In the USA there was a study which looked at U.S. women’s vitamin D levels and breast cancer incidence. The women came partly from the northern United States, and from the south. In the south, they had higher vitamin D levels, and half as much breast cancer. Levels of vitamin D and the incidence of breast cancer were in very good agreement.
What is interesting is that at higher vitamin D levels, you are less prone to infections. When vitamin D intake increases the formation of a protein that makes it difficult for bacteria and viruses.
There are several ongoing studies on vitamin D effects on major diseases, including cancer and hypertension. The fact that vitamin D protects against osteoporosis, we know. Then there have been a number of smaller studies in other areas that led to the research questions and hypotheses. These studies are not enough for us to draw reliable conclusions to. Now it requires substantial studies.
There is currently very intense research on vitamin D in the world. There has been a forgotten vitamin, but now it is time again. The next few years we will get more and more accurate.
It however could be recommended that you should think about eating more fat fish. Then you get vitamin D, omega 3, selenium – all at the same time. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin, which means that it accumulated in the body instead of being lost in the urine. There is a risk of overdosing.
Some groups are at extra risk of developing a distinct lack of vitamin D. These are people who rarely go out, such as the elderly, and those who use highly opaque clothing, and therefore not exposed to sunlight.
A problem here is of course that the sun’s rays not only helps to form vitamin D – they can also cause skin cancer. To protect ourselves, we use increasingly using sunscreen – that not only protect against cancer, but also makes it impossible for the skin to produce vitamin D supplements.
To manage the production of Vitamin D, you should sunbathe without sunscreen for 15-30 minutes. Then you go in, or cover yourself with clothes.
So far, the message has been that at all costs to avoid the sun to prevent skin cancer. But now we see that we must also look at the production of vitamin D supplementation. We have to balance between melanoma and other diseases.