The return of the sunshine vitamin...latest news

Sunday 07 Oct 2012

Back in August I urged you to treat news about taking daily supplements of Vitamin D as a cure-all with a sceptical eye.

Now I am about to implore you to think again!

Since I wrote that letter I have been getting regular emails from readers and have also been keeping a watching brief on the latest research in this area.

I advocated a daily dose of sunshine as the ideal tonic, and the best source of this important vitamin – since our skin produces it on exposure to sunlight.

Nothing has changed in that respect other than the weather isn’t particularly conducive to such an approach!

I fundamentally believe that naturally derived vitamin D from 10 minutes of daily exposure to sunshine is still the best and safest way to obtain all that we need.

Beyond that we should look towards our diet, especially fish oils and egg yolk as good sources, and this is where my mailbox has overflowed.

Many people are rightly concerned that overfishing for whitefish like cod (whose livers are a source of the oil), pollution by heavy metals in oily fish and the barbaric farming methods to produce eggs make this an unappetising way to get an important nutrient.

Do you want a 100% natural Vitamin D from non-animal sources? – CLICK HERE

Supplementary pills often use the same sources to provide the vitamin D they contain, so they are no better.

But there may be an alternative, let me explain.

Vitamin D – The French Way

France has always been a bit of a pioneer when it comes to nutrition, whether in terms of gastronomy or, as in this case, when it comes to essential nutrients.

I love their down to earth and honest approach to all things alimentary and the fact that they often just tell it like it is.

For instance, in an article about vitamin D deficiency and the use of supplements to overcome it, a journalist wrote:

“A lot of consumers cannot bear any more synthetic vitamins because of side effects and they are not satisfied with cod liver oil/fish liver oils as a source of natural vitamin D because it is manufactured from big fishes and these big fishes concentrate in their livers more and more contaminants, heavy metals, despite high filtration processes.

“Alternative forms of vitamin D are sometimes processed from sheep fat derived from wool lanolin but chemical processes using solvents are required to extract this kind of vitamin in this animal origin material that can contain significant levels of dioxins and PCB’s.”

If you read it with an Inspector Clouseau type accent it makes more sense!

I do however think it makes the case for why we should seek out non-animal origin supplements when we need them.

And now that the sun has gone to bed for the winter it seems the ideal time to consider using a vitamin D supplement – but now the dilemma is where to get a safe source.

Once again it is our Gallic cousins who seem to have the answer.

They have launched a real innovation, the first 100% vegan vitamin D supplement derived from yeast that has received ultraviolet exposure – yes truly.

Why yeast with a sun tan is good for us

Vitamin D has two origins aside from that we can make ourselves.

Either we consume it in its D3 form from animal sources as Cholecalciferol, or in D2 form from plants as Ergocalciferol.

Recently it has been found that the D2 form is an essential precursor of the bioavailable form of vitamin D that our cells use – in fact even more so in the presence of sufficient magnesium.

The real benefit to taking plant derived D2 is that you get none of the side effects that often accompany the animal derived D3.

A naturally occurring strain of yeast delighting in the name Saccharomyces cerevisia is a good source of vitamin D2, after all this is the strain which is used to make Marmite (or Vegemite for our Antipodean friends!)

I prefer to call this little plant by its more affectionate name of brewer's yeast, or more boringly baker's yeast.

Well the French have hit upon the notion of exposing vats of the growing yeast to ultraviolet light, kind of like a big sun bed I suppose, which enhances the quantity of vitamin D2 produced.

They then mix it with a marine magnesium co-factor which boosts the bioavailability of the nutrient, and means that one single capsule gives you 100% of your recommended daily intake – even on a dreary day in Bristol.

Discover Ultra D-sium – the French answer to vitamin D supplementation

A quick review of the latest research

I said I had also being keeping an eye on the latest research in this field, so here’s a summary:

1) Asthma

A 2012 study from Weill Cornell Medical College in Doha revealed that vitamin D deficiency was the major predictor of asthma in Qatari children, even though the country experiences high sun exposure levels. They also showed that along with vitamin D deficiency, asthmatics also had reduced magnesium levels in their blood.

2) Rheumatoid arthritis

The Rheumatology Unit at Verona University in Italy discovered a link between low levels of vitamin D and those with rheumatoid arthritis. Of interest here was the fact that even at levels of 400% of their recommended daily intake, single nutrient supplementation with vitamin D didn’t affect their blood levels of the nutrient, showing that these displayed very low bioavailability.

3) Breast cancer

A 2012 French cohort study’s results showed that postmenopausal women with high dietary or supplemental vitamin D intake had a significantly lower breast cancer risk compared with women with the lowest vitamin D intake. These results showed that a threshold of vitamin D exposure from sunshine and diet is required to prevent breast cancer, a threshold which is more difficult to reach in postmenopausal women.

4) Hypertension

A big study group of 27,000 participants yielded results that identified low serum vitamin D levels are associated with increased heart rate and higher systolic blood pressure. The study published in 2010 in The American Journal of Cardiology concluded that vitamin D protected against cardiovascular risk.

So, let me be clear about this.

My opinion hasn’t changed, vitamin D is not a magic cure-all for a pill popping nation to reach for, but it is a vitally important nutrient that we can all get through sun exposure and diet.

Sometimes though we need a little help to hit the right levels to keep us in tip top health, and if that is the case we need a supplement which has a high bioavailability, a low environmental impact and one that isn’t going to store up trouble for us later down the line.

If that is something that strikes a chord with you then go French!

Holistica Ultra D-sium the 100% natural vitamin D from non-animal origin

Yours, as always






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