•Aids in the absorption of calcium
•Strengthens bones and may prevent fractures
•Promotes cardiovascular health
•May decrease the risk of multiple sclerosis
The “sunshine vitamin” aids in the absorption of calcium, helps strengthen bones and promotes cardiovascular health.
The preferred D3 form of vitamin D. Supports bone development, helps the absorption of calcium and supports nervous system health.
Since 2007, major research studies have shown that vitamin D does much more than prevent bone disease.
From strengthening immunity and reducing the risk for heart disease, to helping prevent multiple sclerosis and even certain cancers, most people can benefit from vitamin D supplementation.
The newest research suggests that low levels of the “sunshine vitamin” may be part of the reason we get more colds and flu in winter. Increasing year-round vitamin D intake could be another natural way to ward off viral and bacterial infections.
Positive research results continue to drive interest in vitamin D, and Natural Factors is responding by increasing our range of vitamin D products. A softgel format is now available, with 1,000 IU of vitamin D per softgel in a base of organic flaxseed oil, which increases the bioavailability.
This fall we will also be coming out with a liquid format, also delivering 1,000 IU per drop. The convenient liquid form is in a base of organic olive oil, and each 10 mL bottle yields 500 drops.
Vitamin D through the ages
By Dr. Kate Rhéaume
Vitamin D is one of the most fundamentally important nutrients to obtain and maintain health from conception to old age. Research is pouring in confirming that deficiency is common and it’s causing problems in all stages of life. One study has linked low vitamin D levels in mothers to a five-fold increase risk of preeclampsia, a serious complication in pregnancy that can lead to fetal death. Several others have indicated that between 55 and 70 percent of seemingly healthy adolescents may be vitamin D deficient, putting them at an increased risk of osteoporosis and other health problems later in life. In adults, low blood levels of vitamin D are associated with several types of cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes and increased risk of fractures in the elderly.
Why is this essential nutrient so elusive? After all, vitamin D can simply be synthesized in the skin by sunlight, can’t it? Unfortunately in Canada there are substantial portions of the year during which UVB rays are not strong enough to make vitamin D, even at midday. Dark-skinned individuals living in northern latitudes have an especially high risk of D deficiency as melanin slows the production of D in the skin. A trend towards low fat foods, sun avoidance and low consumption of wild-caught, oily fish (our best dietary source of vitamin D) all add up to a widespread vitamin D deficit.
A recent meta-analysis of vitamin D research, published last month in Archives of Internal Medicine, concluded that vitamin D supplementation decreases mortality rates from all causes. Scientists the world over are calling for an increase in the recommended daily intake of vitamin D to at least 800 IU daily for most people. That being said, many consumers are still concerned about vitamin D toxicity. The simplest response to this fairly complicated question is that supplementation with vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) has never produced toxicity at intentional or therapeutic doses. Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol), on the other hand, has produced toxic symptoms at standard doses. Conclusion: make vitamin D3 part of your daily supplement routine.
Postscript: It is important to note that vitamin D forms a “trinity” with vitamins A and K. Although scientific research often examines single nutrients, the actions, benefits and limitations of vitamin D can’t truly be appreciated without considering the roles of its counterparts. Vitamin K will soon be available in Canada, so stay tuned for future columns on that important nutrient.
1. Autier, P., Gardini, S., “Vitamin D Supplementation and Total Mortality: A Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials,” Arch Intern Med., 2007;167:1730-1737.
2. Bodnar, L., et al., “Maternal vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of preeclampsia,” J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab., doi:10.1210/jc.2007-0594 Garland, C., et al., “What is the dose-response relationship between vitamin D and cancer risk?” Nutrition Reviews 65;8 (Suppl):91-95
3. Masterjohn, Chris, “From Seafood to Sunshine: A New Understanding of Vitamin D Safety,” www.westonaprice.org/basicnutrition/vitamin-dsafety.