Vitamin Junkeys

The Importance of Vitamin D Ep 53


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The Importance of Vitamin D - Don't be SAD!
Vitamin Junkeys Episode #53 (running time 6:58)
Date: January 12, 2010
Podsafe Music: Ice Cream by Christopher Dale Courtesy of MeVIO Music Alley
Show hosts: Jennifer Lyall & Dr. Jean Jacques (Dr. JJ) Dugoua, ND HBSc PhD (Cand.)


This episode examines:

What is Vitamin D?

Why do our bodies need Vitamin D?

What dose of Vitamin D is recommended?

What happens if you don’t get enough vitamin D?

What are some sources of Vitamin D?

Can you get Vitamin D from a tanning bed?

Does sunscreen affect then the absorption of vitamin D?

How do you know if you are deficient in Vitamin D?



 Today, we’re going to be looking at vitamin D, some good food sources, some other good sources, and why we need this in our body.  And that’s what JJ’s taking today.

This is a little tiny tablet of vitamin D.  It’s about 1000 International Units of vitamin D.  You could also get vitamin D in droppers, which is kind of neat.  They’ve got these new droppers now that each drop is the equivalent of one of these little capsules.  It’s this big and that will last you -- god I don’t know -- about 9 months.  

It's recommended that breastfed babies supplement with vitamin D too.


What is vitamin D?

Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin.  So, basically it usually comes from a fat source.  And it’s a great vitamin.  It’s almost one of the super vitamins.  It seems like every month or so we hear one new application for vitamin D.  Dr. JJ's favorite therapeutic indication for vitamin D is that it prevents all forms of mortality.  So when people take vitamin D they’re less likely to die.  So never mind disease, the fact that you’re less likely to die is a good incentive.

Also it’s been shown to decrease the incidence of a whole bunch of cancers, it is useful for depression, seasonal affective disorder, osteoporosis.  I think most women know now the importance of vitamin D and calcium for osteoporosis.  Vitamin D can help with heart disease, a number of mental conditions, arthritis the list goes on.


How does Vitamin D do this?  What does Vitamin D do in our bodies exactly?

Well, in some way for bones it has a hormonal effect.  It’s involved in a number of physiological processes in the body and about every chemical process in the body where it’s just the key to that environment.

It helps everything else?

Everybody should almost be on vitamin D.

So how much vitamin D should we take each day?

If you’re generally a healthy person, if you get a lot of sunlight exposure then I would say about 1000  International Units (IUs) a day.  I think just to be on the preventive side.  In the winter time where you get less sun exposure and particularly if you find your mood dips, get the winter blues, I would go up to about 2000 IUs a day.

What happens if you don’t get enough vitamin D?

Well, in the case of seasonal affective disorder, you may end up with winter blues.  You may have difficulties absorbing calcium.  Also you’d be losing a lot of the preventive benefits of vitamin D.


How do get it Vitamin D? 

Sunshine, great source definitely one of the top sources.  Food sources include Dairy and Fish

You’ve got dairy, so some cheese, some milk. Also a lot of foods are fortified with vitamin D.  Also multivitamins will contain some vitamin D.  But really in the doses we’re talking about, you’re looking at about, you know, taking vitamin D on its own.

Fatty fish is another good source. For example, cod liver oil tends to be high in vitamin D.  Halibut and other cold water fish tend to be higher in vitamin D.  Swordfish is another example, but you have to be careful with swordfish because it’s high in mercury so I’d avoid that one.  But really cod liver and Halibut are very good sources of dietary vitamin D.

And there’s also lights too aren’t there that you could get Vitamin D?

Yes there are S.A.D. lamps. to treat seasonal affective disorder.   You could get  a light box that you just pretty much put on your desk or you put on your table and you just stand in front of it and you get a dose of full spectrum light.  So, it’s back to the whole sunlight issue.  And also you could get them in light bulbs.  So, you just screw them into any light fixture and then away you go.


And what about tanning beds then?  If you go to a tanning bed would you be getting Vitamin D?  I guess it depends on the machine?

Yeah.  It would depend on the machine.  If you could get a little bit of a therapeutic effect but I think it will definitely be a lot stronger with the S.A.D.   lamp. Really when you have seasonal affective disorder and you’re focusing on getting vitamin D into your body, you want this to be done daily.


Does sunscreen affect then the absorption of vitamin D?

It does interfere with the absorption of vitamin D, but if you don’t wear sunscreen and you’re not careful in the sun then you’ll end up with a burn.  And when you get the burn you predispose yourself to skin cancer.  You have to kind of use your common sense and be careful when you’re dealing with the sun.  

Dr. JJ's told us what vitamin D is.  Why it’s good for us, lots of reasons why it’s good for us and how we can get it through our diet.  That’s fantastic.

So if somebody needed though to be diagnosed as to whether or not they might be a little bit low in vitamin D, they should check in with their doctor or healthcare practitioner?

Yes, there’s also a blood test you could do too now which is great.  And you get it almost as a routine test.  You could do it here in Ontario.  


If you would like to find an alternative healthcare practitioner to help you address a health issue, you can find a naturopath, holistic nutritionist and other practitioners in your community through the Find a Practitioner link on our website


Camera: Jerome Marrin,  Jerome Marrin Media Production 
Editor: Jerome Marrin,  Jerome Marrin Media Production
Sound Recordist: Jeffery Magat, Eqtion 


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Join Jennifer Lyall and Naturopath, Dr. JJ Dugoua as they have fun exploring alternative therapies and healthy living. Weekly episodes are released every Tuesday.

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