Tip of the week.
Vitamin D deficiency may triple a person’s risk of high blood pressure, according to a study conducted by researchers from the University of Michigan School of Public Health and presented at a meeting of the American Heart Association in Chicago. Results indicate that early vitamin D deficiency may increase the long-term risk of high blood pressure in women at mid-life.
Vitamin D is known to play a crucial role in producing strong bones and teeth. New research increasingly suggests that it also helps regulate the immune system and protect against cancer, autoimmune disorders and heart disease. The body naturally produces vitamin D upon exposure to sunlight. A number of factors have led to widespread deficiency, however, especially at latitudes far from the equator. These factors include less time spent outside and overuse of sunscreen. Dark-skinned people living at extreme latitudes are also especially vulnerable, as their bodies produce less vitamin D from the same amount of sun than those of lighter-skinned people.
Good news for those of us in Florida. We have more natural sunlight throughout the year than most of the country. But, we have had an unsually long winter this year, and most of us have spent a lot of time indoors. Perhaps that is why we are seeing many patients with colds even though the weather is warming up. Our summer reserves have been depleted, and our immune systems have been weakened. So make sure you are getting enough Vit D3 (not the D2 that is used to fortify processed foods). Recommended doses are 2000-5000 units per day but more may be needed if you are battling a cold or the flu. We have several different Vit D3 products from gel caps to liquid, and will make sure you are taking the correct amount for you.
Your partners in health,
Drs. Dennis, Fern and Terri