The vitamin story of the next decade will be vitamin D. As we learn more about this fascinating prohormone, we realize how important it is to maintaining health and preventing disease.
Research from the Mayo Clinic has linked vitamin D levels to improved cancer survival in patients with lymphoma. They found that their B-cell lymphoma patients who were vitamin D deficient were more likely to have progression of their cancer than patients with normal vitamin D levels. Death was twice as likely in the vitamin deficient patients compared to the lymphoma patients with normal vitamin D.
Getting sun is an efficient way to increase your vitamin D levels; however, your skin only makes vitamin D when UVB radiation is plentiful. For most of the United States during winter, the sun is too low in the sky to provide adequate UVB to produce any vitamin D — even if you were to like naked out in the snow (note, DermDoc does not recommend lying naked in the snow).
During winter months vitamin D is best gotten from diet and supplements. Eat lots of fish like salmon, mackerel or sardines (note, DermDoc does not recommend eating lots of sardines). Better yet, take vitamin D3 supplements in doses of 2,000 IU a day to help build your depleted vitamin stores during winter.
Photo: Grant MacDonald, Flickr.com