Have you been a bit vitamin D trigger happy? Does a patient’s low blood 25(OH)D test result have you reaching for a vitamin D supplement like the rest of us? Yes…you might need to listen up then. Sunshine doesn’t come in a bottle. That’s right, if your patient’s problem stems from inadequate sun exposure, have a guess what the best remedy is. I’m not meaning to sound flippant but I think in all my ‘complex highbrow nutritional understanding’, occasionally (ahem), I have lost sight of the simple truths.
You see there is so much more to sunshine than vitamin D. Just close your eyes and think about that for a moment…when I do, I am suddenly supine on the grass or sand and there is the instant inner knowing that dang! the researchers are right…sun exposure impacts your mood, your appetite, your immunity your sleep cycles of course and much of this has nothing to do with it’s ability to stimulate production of vitamin D! There is a current resurgence in scientific interest in the healing powers of regular safe sun exposure.
Surely it’s not safe to say that in Australia in 2017?
It’s downright un-Australian!
However many research groups are challenging the notion that better health comes from ‘sun-shunning’ over sunning . (Van Der Rhee et al 2016)
What’s more, sometimes a low blood level of vitamin D doesn’t equal a deficiency at all but flags dysregulation of this vitamin that can occur in autoimmunity and some other forms of chronic inflammation. Geesh….what are we to do?! Start by listening to the latest Update in Under 30 recording, Should We Rethink HIgh Dose Vitamin D, so you can better pick those patients that need a different type of testing and also learn about the therapeutic effects of sunshine…but make sure you’re lying on a patch of grass, or a piece of sand when you do…and give yourself some of this traditional medicine…just no when the UV index is high!
The latest UU30 installment, Should We Rethink High Dose Vitamin D, reports that Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with a long list of major health conditions: from autoimmunity to mental health and almost everything in between. This has lead to many of us recommending high dose vitamin D supplementation for a large proportion of our patients but do we understand everything we need to to be certain of the merits and safety of this? In this provocative podcast Rachel outlines the key unresolved vitamin D dilemmas that should encourage us to exercise caution and outlines how adequate sun exposure is associated with improved health outcomes independent of the production and action of vitamin D.