Can the research get any more positive on the many roles of vitamin D in protecting health?
Immune system, heart, bone, muscular, and cellular health have all been found to improve with higher vitamin D levels, which seem to protect against everything from allergies and cancer to autoimmune diseases (MS, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.).
This year, an English study showed that men with high vitamin D levels performed better on memory and information processing tests. Vitamin D, it seems, is also good for the brain. Of 3,000 men, aged 40-79, those with highest levels of vitamin D performed the best and those with the lowest levels (35 nmol/litre or under) had the worst scores on mental agility.
Researchers are not sure about the mechanism, with theories ranging from vitamin D triggering protective hormonal activity in the brain to boosting antioxidants that detoxify the brain.
What's not up for debate is that seniors are often deficient in vitamin D. If you don't want wrinkles associated with sun exposure, then you'll want to look for vitamin D3, the more bioavailable form, in any supplements you may choose.
We offer an inexpensive Vitamin D3 (only $2.98 for 120 veg capsules/1000IU) that was most recently tested by an independent laboratory in February 2009 to ensure potency.
Wherever you get your vitamin D, you probably need a lot more than you realize though and the minimum of 400 IU is far too low to be optimally protective.
Personally, I try to take between 2,000-10,000 IU daily of vitamin D3 (little capsules, so easy to swallow), as I had much sun damage as a kid and prefer to stay out of the sun with my fair (Irish stock) skin.
Gonna be getting my bloodwork updated this summer and I will look forward to seeing how my vitamin D levels have changed since last year.
Meanwhile, with the sheer volume of positive information on vitamin D, I can just hear my father, now deceased, repeating one of his favorite sayings: "What next? Bringing dead people back to life?!" If only it could be so!