5 Reasons Why We Should Make Every Day a Vitamin D Day

In the old days, people do most of their activities outdoors -- washing and hanging clothes, farming, playing out in the sun, etc. With the advancement of technology, individuals have started staying indoors more often. Most jobs now usually require staying inside air-conditioned offices and kids prefer to play with gadgets while adults find TV viewing a favorite pastime. Sunscreens and skin care products with SPFs likewise became popular.

beneficial outdoor activity
photo credit: thisoldhouse.com
The bottom-line is that we don't get as much sun exposure as needed and that is what's probably causing a lot of health problems these days! Did you know that Vitamin D deficiency is associated with a lot of chronic diseases such as Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Azheimer's Disease and Cognitive Impairment, Diabetes Mellitus Type I and Type II, and Cancer?

Vitamin D is very important to the body because it affects the functions of many organs: it reduces skin cancer by increasing melanin, it enhances nerve conduction (signals) and affects serotonin production; it inhibits parathyroid hormone secretion; it supports bone growth; it enhances calcium reabsorption by the kidney; it strengthens the heart muscle and reduces inflammation; it stimulates insulin production of the pancreas; it modulates immune function because it is anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory; it enhances calcium and phosphate absorption in the intestines; and it inhibits cancer growth.

do you get as much sun exposure as you need?
The Philippines is located very near the equator and yet, it's ironic that 7 out of 10 Filipinos, according to local research, are Vitamin D deficient. I took a diagnostic test and came out positive. So did everyone who attended a press briefing on Vitamin D deficiency a week ago. Dr. Stan Chua, a Functional Medicine and Health Optimization Medicine Consultant, told us that a very large percentage of his patients always turn out to be Vitamin D deficient, too.

Here, he shares 5 reasons why people should consciously make every day a Vitamin D day:

low energy may be a symptom of Vitamin D deficiency photo credit: celebbabylaundry.com
1. Stop feeling tired. Vitamin D deficiency may cause low energy, including depression and chronic fatigue. Other familiar symptoms may be brittle bones and the tendency to put on excess weight. "Vitamin D has many physiological effects and affects the function of many organs," simplifies Dr. Michael P. Hollick, PhD, MD, professor of medicine at the Boston University and a Vitamin D expert. "As such, we may be suffering from symptoms caused by our levels of 'D'." 

2. Lack of D spells Deficiency, Disease, and Deadly. As mentioned in the second paragraph above, Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to life-threatening diseases and has been discovered to affect the brain through our nerves, the heart muscles, and even our bodies' absorption of pertinent nutrients. Thus, we need sufficient levels of Vitamin D not just to function well, but also to lower our risks for certain medical conditions.

make sure to get your dose of D!
photo credit: lifehack.org
3. Get your dose of "D" for free! Simply take a 15-minute walk outdoors, every other day. Do not put on sunscreen except on your face and neck. Wear minimal clothes so you'd expose more skin to the sun. Dr. Chua said to take note that there are different factors affecting how much Vitamin D we can get from the sun such as the time of day (midday is best), how far we are from the equator (the nearer, the better), the color of our skin (darker skin needs more exposure), and the amount of skin exposed. Each person's capacity to absorb Vitamin D also varies so it's best to complement sun exposure with D-rich foods or a Vitamin D supplement.

4. Don't guess, get a test. There are local hospitals and laboratories that offer Vitamin D testing but those can be costly. A more affordable and convenient option is a point-of-care testing kit called Test4D that only requires a simple finger prick test and would already help tell if you have low or enough levels of Vitamin D in just 10 minutes. SRP is P1,100 and test accuracy is at 97%.

my Test4D result -- this is NOT a pregnancy test! :p
5. Resolve to become healthier. Knowing you are Vitamin D deficient is only half the battle. Take steps in knowing what you need to change in your daily habits or your overall lifestyle. Make an effort to get more sun exposure, eat D-rich foods such as mushrooms and oily fish, and/or take  supplements to reach your body's optimal D levels. 

Test4D is available in the following clinics/wellness centers:

the Test4D determines if you are Vitamin D deficient or not in 10 minutes
BioBalance Wellness Institute, www.biobalanceinstitute.com, 3rd Level Soho Central, 748 Shaw Boulevard Greenfield District, Mandaluyong City. Tel. +632 650 4858 and +63 917 521 4860. 

Health First - Eastwood, Level 3, Cyber and Fashion Mall, Eastwood Ave., Quezon City. Tel. +632 718 0829

Health First - Shaw Blvd., 2nd Level Soho Central, 748 Shaw Boulevard Greenfield District, Mandaluyong City. Tel. +632 634 5714

Health First Wellness Station, Bonifacio Technology Center, 31st St. corner 2nd Ave. Bonifacio Global City, Fort Bonifacio, Taguig. Tel. +632 856 7939

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