New Findings About Vitamin D, An Often Overlooked Cause of Fatigue, Depression and Chronic Disease

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Vitamin D is being researched more and more and deficiencies have been found to be rampant in our Western World. Vitamin D is called the Sunshine Vitamin because your body can make it when exposed to sufficient sunshine.

Vitamin D3 is actually a steroid hormone formed when your skin is exposed to ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation. UVB converts a cholesterol derivative in your skin into vitamin D3.

Controversy abounds about just the right amount of sunshine needed to produce adequate Vitamin D, and most experts are now recommending testing and supplementation for those that are low.

If you live in the tropics and spend most of your time outdoors, chances are good you have plenty of vitamin D. If you live in Alaska, or Seattle, chances are that you don't. For those of us in between, how do we know?

A simple blood test can test for vitamin D levels. I've been recommending that you can rely on mother nature if you are exposed to sun over 25% or more of your body 20 minutes or more each day. On the days when this is not true, take a supplement. Liquid D3 seems to be the most effective.

Today I ran across an article by Dr. Joe Mercola and I was shocked at the title, which said that exposure to sunshine could decrease your vitamin D levels.

Turns out that window glass  filters out the majority of UVB radiation, but it minimally filters out UVAs. Vitamin D3 is formed from exposure to UVB rays.   UVA radiation destroys vitamin D.

Whoa, hold on. Being indoors not only keeps you from making the Vitamin D you need but destroys the Vitamin D you already have! Wow.   This is actually a clever method that nature has to prevent Vitamin D overload. It helps destroy excess vitamin D when you're outside a lot.

When you are outside, you get BOTH UVA and UVB, so there is a balance. When you’re exposed to sunlight through windows you get the UVA but almost no UVB. To make matters worse, UVA increases oxidative stress. So working indoors and driving in a car can lead to health challenges. All the more reason to retire to the beach.

UVA is a primary player in skin cancer. It also what causes you to tan and leads to photo aging of your skin.

Dr. Leonard Smith discovered that increasing his vitamin D levels resulted in the resolution of skin conditions such as moles and basal cell carcinoma.

Vitamin D and Showering

Another interesting tidbit about Vitamin D that Dr. Mercola wrote about was the association between Vitamin D levels and showering with soap.

It turns out that the Vitamin D3 formed on the surface of your skin does not immediately get absorbed into your bloodstream. It actually takes up to 48 hours to absorb the majority of the vitamin D you made as a result of sun exposure.

So, if you shower with soap, you'll wash away a lot of the vitamin D3 your skin generated. Since you are not likely to want to go so long without a shower, Dr. Mercola recommends that you reserve the soap for your armpits and groin, and wash the rest of your body with plain water. I usually do that anyway, so I'm happy to hear that there's a benefit beyond saving money on soap!

In summary, here's how to ensure that you get adequate Vitamin D levels:

  • Get safe outdoor sun exposure or use a tanning bed, 20 minutes a day. Just be careful to avoid getting sunburned.
  • If you can't or won't get adequate sunlight, take a liquid Vitamin D3 supplement. Just be sure to get your vitamin D levels checked regularly, to be sure you are dosing porperly. You can get the testing done without a doctor's prescription at
  • If you shower after sun exposure, avoid soaping exposed areas for for at least two days, to maximize the absorption of vitamin D in your skin.

Vitamin D needs to be taken seriously. Deficiencies can lead to many health challenges including heart disease, chronic pain, fibromyalgia, hypertension, arthritis, depression, inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, PMS, Crohns Disease, cancer, MS and other autoimmune diseases.

So go have some fun and get your vitamin D levels optimized.

Love, Health and Joy,

Dr. Ritamarie

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  1. Tracey Tarrant

    So it’s actually safe to tan as long as it’s not overdone? I’ve been avoiding sun for years for fear of skin cancer but miss the sun.

    This is really quite interesting.

    I just had my Vitamin D levels checked. Now I really can’t wait for the results.


  2. Lou

    What are your thoughts on high doses of vitamin D to help prevent the common cold, regular flu and importantly swine flu? Would be interested to hear you thoughts.



  1. Raw Genesis - [...] are promoting the supplemental use of Vitamin D: Frederic Patenaude, Kevin Gianni, Dr. Ben Kim, Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo, Dr.…

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