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The media has given a lot of attention recently to the multiple health benefits of Vitamin D. Produced in the body by exposure to UVB rays, Vitamin D is necessary for optimal bone health. Recent studies have also shown that it protects against certain cancers and contributes to cardiovascular health. It is difficult to obtain sufficient levels of Vitamin D through diet alone. For this reason we must rely upon fortified foods, nutritional supplements or sun exposure.

Because vitamin D is synthesized by sun exposure (which is also associated with an increase in skin cancer and skin aging), a controversy has arisen amongst different professionals about the right strategy to adopt regarding Vitamin D. Some dermatologists maintain that the fear of Vitamin D deficiency has led individuals to seek out unprotected UV exposure as a way of producing it. This has led to an increase in skin cancers, including melanoma. Others, such as Dr Michael Holick, a School of Medicine professor of medicine, physiology, and biophysics, argue that many of us could use a few more rays; an overblown fear of sun exposure has exacerbated a common deficiency of vitamin D.

Because of the bickering amongst different health professionals many of us are left confused about the Vitamin D situation. A recent debate between Dr Holick and Barbara Gilchrest, a MED professor and former chair of dermatology focuses on the risks and benefits of the sun. While it doesn't clarify exactly what to do, it does shed light on why it is difficult for everyone to come to an agreement regarding recommendations on achieving optimal Vitamin D levels. Read the transcript of the debate [Link Removed] 

Sharmani Pillay is a Registered Pharmacist who specializes in anti aging skin care and women's wellness. She owns and operates an online skin care store at [Link Removed].
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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mztracy wrote Sep 25, 2009
    • I take vit D daily due to the fact I cannot go out in the direct sun. It has helped my teeth issues, I believe.  

      I miss the sun! estatic



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Frannie1964 wrote Sep 25, 2009
    • I just started taking vitamin D about a month ago, but only take It once a week. I hardly go out In the sun, I’m always Inside a building or home.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Deb Link wrote Sep 25, 2009
    • I take a vitamin D3 supplement every day and I know that I “feel” better if I get a little sun every day....even if that just means sitting on my  patio.  I try to get at least 15 minutes a day.  As with most everything in life...moderation and that includes the sun!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Pharmagirl wrote Sep 30, 2009
    • As most of you state, moderation is key. 10 - 15 minutes a day (in the summer) is sufficient to produce Vitamin D, but most professionals recommend supplementing (1000-200 iu) daily during winter months. Depending where you live, that can be anywhere from October to May.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Eringirlfriday wrote Sep 30, 2009
    • I am a vitamin d LOVER!  I can not tolerate supplements so I use a vitamin d lamp and I love what it does for my overall health and appearance. I believe it truly is the youth vitamin.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mz. Queen wrote Sep 30, 2009
    • I would like to think that I have been health conscious because I have always liked outdoors so I get plenty of sun and have never laid out in it to tan (haha) as I am African-American.

        Everything in moderation, I agree.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mz. Queen wrote Sep 30, 2009
    • I’m trusting whatever the “doc” says, but if you‘re still in doubt get a second opinion.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Deb Link wrote Sep 30, 2009
    • Termagsea...2,000 IU is 500% of your daily requirement according to the FDA.  Now just a note...all RDA’s are amounts that keep a person just above the malnutrition level and are not the amounts for optimum health.  Did your doc recommend vitamin D3 or just vitamin D?  I’ve read that vitamin D3 is preferable.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mzd3 wrote Sep 30, 2009
    • Term, My doc told me the same thing , low on vit D, he told me to take some ungodly amount too! Which gave me stomach aches , then I quit, I would start low and work up....



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Eringirlfriday wrote Sep 30, 2009
    • Go to  www.sperti.com . They are the only manufacturer of Vitamin D lamps. Use the lamp every other day for 5 minutes. Place yourself 1 foot away from the lamp with exposed skin, chest or legs , back whatever you choose. It has a built in timer so you can’t overexpose. There is no real danger in over exposure because once the skin has absorbed enough vitamin D, the body “turns off production“.  This also helps with things like seasonal affective disorder, psoriasis and excema, auto ammune disorders, and anxiety issues.I can attest for all of the above issues that it did work for me. Pills are not how we are supposed to get vitamin d and so it is not as effective as skin production.  Studies are also showing that people who have high D levels are much more resistant to flu viruses and cancers. I am increasing exposure for the Swine flu season and I bought my daughter one because she is at college and I am concerned about H1N1 swine. Unfortunatly they are not cheap but they last forever and the bulb in the unit will last for aproximatly 7-10 years.  PS It’s very relaxing and a great pain reliever as well. Vitamin D has exceptional pain relieving properties. If I have a boo boo or a headache, the lamp takes it away.  It’s my best friend.  I know it sounds like a miracle but I was the lowest Vitamin D count my doctor had ever seen and I used my lamp and got to perfect very fast.  And no, I am not a dealer or a rep, I JUST COULD NOT LIVE WITHOUT THIS WONDERFUL THING. I wish you luck and if you have any other questions, please email me.  BYE!!  Erin



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Mzd3 wrote Sep 30, 2009
    • Term, My doc had told me to take 5000 per day. I was hurting by day 2 and quit. I should start a low dose though.Or, that lamp sounds great!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Janet Wooley wrote Sep 30, 2009
    • Diane, I have trouble w/stomach whenever I take vitamins too. Are you drinking lots of water? If I drink a full glass of water when I take vitamins I don’t have that problem.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Rubinarubina wrote Oct 1, 2009
    • We are not getting enough sun. Am. Academy of family phys. recommends three 15 outings in the sun per week between 10am-3pm. If not, caltrate,os-cal-d (brnds not generic). You lose 30% bone mass in first year of menopause. Some resistance exercise. The prescription strnegth vitamin d is in a form that gets converted to actual vit D in kidney when you are exposed to sunlight and by hormones in kidney. use caution in lamps claiming they are for vit D. in theory they make sense, but need more information. For example are they full spectrum...if so some medical conditions may not be suitable for this lamp. some drugs may interact with it etc. Check with your pharmacist or doctor always.



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