Things that you don't want to miss to have a healthy good life.

The new miracle nutrient: What’s all the fuss about?

Imagine being able to:

  • help build strong bones
  • boost immune function
  • promote heart health

And even help to maintain healthy blood pressure and blood glucose.

All with 1 nutrient.

Could it be possible?

Some emerging research is pointing to a yes.

And yet, according to the most recent National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, almost 42% of adult Americans were clinically DEFICIENT in this nutrient—despite its importance!

What is this miracle nutrient?

It’s vitamin D.

Yup. It’s been around forever, but researchers are just now discovering the versatility of this old standby.

Why all the hoopla? Let’s take a look …

#1. It helps build and maintain strong, healthy bones.

Vitamin D helps promote calcium absorption from the small intestine. This is critical for the development of strong, healthy bones.

#2. It helps activate immune cells and bolster immunity.

Numerous population studies reveal that maintaining an adequate level of vitamin D in the body is associated with better immune health.

#3. It promotes normal, healthy cell growth and division.

Vitamin D works at the genetic level to promote normal, healthy cell growth and division. In fact, most cells and tissues in the body have membrane receptors that are activated by vitamin D to stimulate cell function.

#4. It promotes skeletal muscle health and performance.

Vitamin D exerts several effects in skeletal muscle, including stimulating muscle strength, function and performance. In 1 systematic review, researchers found optimal vitamin D status to be linked with greater muscle strength and muscle function in healthy adults.

#5. It may promote heart health and longevity, based on emerging research.

Results of 1 meta-analysis of 8 population studies in Europe and the U.S. with over 26,000 men and women indicate that an adequate level of 25(OH)D (the major circulating form of vitamin D in the blood) is associated with longevity and heart health.1

Another study of more than 5,400 adults followed for an average of 9 years reports similar benefits.2 While these preliminary findings are encouraging, more research is needed to confirm vitamin D’s role in heart health and longevity.

#6. It may help promote breast, colon and prostate health, based on emerging research.

Like many other tissues, tissues in these areas of the body have biochemical pathways activated by vitamin D that help control cellular growth, suggesting a role of vitamin D in promoting healthy cell function. Preliminary findings are intriguing, and I’m eager to see more research to confirm a precise role of vitamin D in breast, colon and prostate health.

Are you getting enough?

The body produces vitamin D when skin is exposed to sunlight. That’s a bummer for most of us, with our indoor jobs and sun-wary lifestyles.

Between days spent in the office and cautious use of protective clothing and sunscreens, we’re not getting sufficient sunlight exposure to produce enough vitamin D.

That means a large number of us are not maintaining body stores in the healthy range.

Having a blood test – called a 25(OH)D blood test – is the only way to know if you’re getting enough.

The results are shown as a number in units of ng/ml.

For example, 50 ng/ml. While experts have yet to agree on the optimal blood level of 25(OH)D, there is compelling evidence that it should be at least 30–40 ng/ml.

Certain groups may be more susceptible to deficiencies.

  • Mature adults. The body is less efficient at producing vitamin D as it ages.
  • People with limited sun exposure. People who are indoors most days or who limit their exposure to the sun are unlikely to receive enough exposure to the sun to produce an optimal amount of vitamin D.
  • People with dark skin. They have a greater amount of melanin, a skin pigment that decreases the skin’s ability to produce vitamin D from sunlight.
  • People who are overweight. Excess body fat is associated with lower serum levels of vitamin D. The extra amount of subcutaneous fat may trap the vitamin and alter its release into the circulation system.
  • People who use sunscreen. Using a sunscreen helps protect against the harmful effects of sun exposure. However, some research suggests that sunscreens with a sun protection factor (SPF) as low as 8 significantly decrease the body’s ability to make vitamin D.
  • People taking over-the-counter or prescription drugs over an extended period of time. Many common drugs can deplete the body’s level of vitamin D, including the following:
  • Questran®, LoCholest® and similar cholesterol-lowering drugs
  • Xenical® and Alli® (weight-loss drugs)
  • Prednisone and similar corticosteroids

Should you supplement?

One more super important fact: It’s really difficult to get an optimal intake of vitamin D from food alone. It’s found in foods like cod liver oil, certain fish and foods fortified with the vitamin. Not a whole lot can be found naturally.

For this reason, I recommend a vitamin D supplement as part of a sensible program for just about everyone.

As always, before you supplement, talk to your doctor, especially if you have a medical condition, if you are taking prescription drugs, or if you are pregnant or nursing. Together, you can decide the best supplement program to meet your individual health needs.

Steve Sisskind, M.D.

Hi, I'm Dr. Steve Sisskind, Chief Medical Officer & Founder at RealDose Nutrition.

As a young physician, I struggled because my patients came to me with serious health issues, but I didn't have the right tools to help them. Medical school taught me how to put "band aids" on their symptoms with drugs and surgery, but not how to address the root causes of their problems.

Years later I discovered a better approach... based on the fundamental idea that the power of nutrition can transform your health and vitality. But there's a lot of confusion... What foods should I eat? Which supplements should I take? What does the science say?

I have dedicated my life to answering these questions... And I share this knowledge with you every day here at RealDose Nutrition.

I invite you to connect with me by joining my free private community. I've helped thousands of people and I know I can help you too!

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References:

1. Schöttker B, Jorde R, Peasey A, et al., Consortium on Health and Ageing: Network of Cohorts in Europe and the United States (CHANCES). Vitamin D and mortality: meta-analysis of individual participant data from a large consortium of cohort studies from Europe and the United States. BMJ. 2014;348:g3656. PMID: 24938302.

2. Schöttker B, Haug U, Schomburg L, et al. Strong associations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations with all-cause, cardiovascular, cancer, and respiratory disease mortality in a large cohort study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2013;97(4):782-793. PMID: 23446902.

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4 comments

  1. Dr. Steve, I have a question on another topic. I have read that beans are a good source of protein and fiber, and i enjoy eating them in a variety of ways (peas, too). But i also have people telling me that one should put them in the same category and rice and pasta and limit the intake of the whole category to three times per week. What do you suggest?

    • Dr. Steve Sisskind

      Hi Alice,

      Thank you for writing in and for sharing your concerns with us! Beans, are a great source of protein and fiber. However, they should also be consumed healthy proportions in order to avoid upsetting the balance of your healthy diet. I recommend 3 half cup servings a day and preferably paired with other non-starchy vegetables such as Broccoli, lentils and the like. I do agree that you limit your consumption of bread, white rice and pasta in order to move forward steadily in your weight loss efforts. Bean consumption, on the other hand, may also be limited in order to avoid discomforts such as bloating, gas or indigestion. Having beans 2 to 3 times per week is perfectly alright and you can get your protein needs from raw nuts and seeds. Hope this helps! Have a healthy day!

  2. D 3 and not Vit. D

    • Dr. Steve Sisskind

      Hi Karl,

      Thank you for writing in and for sharing your thoughts with us! Yes, Vitamin D, specifically D3, is a great addition to any diet especially during this time of year. Have a healthy day!

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