Vitamin D a Hormone?
Vitamin D? Nah, it’s a vitamin. What’s with the hormone thing? Yep, it’s a hormone. Discovered in 1920, Vitamin D is the single most understood hormone in our body, critically important from birth to death. The results of a clinical review printed in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association estimates that up to 85 percent of people have insufficient levels of Vitamin D and are unaware of their deficient state.
- “I can’t be low in Vitamin D because I drink milk.”
- “I can’t be low in Vitamin D because I take D3 every day.”
- “I can’t be low in Vitamin D because I take a multivitamin as well as a calcium tablet that also contains vitamin D.”
- “I can’t be low in Vitamin D because I live in Southern California and bake at the beach.”
With hundreds of vitamin D studies being published on a weekly basis, it has become more difficult than ever state up to date with the latest evidence-based information on Vitamin D. But are you deficient? Probably.
(Let’s drop the Vitamin D moniker here, and starts calling it like it is-a hormone.)
The Sun Conundrum
Hormone D is often referred to as the sunshine vitamin. Really the sunshine hormone. Human skin can make large amounts of Hormone D when lots of skin is exposed and the sun is high in the sky. Your body is designed to get the Hormone D it needs by producing it when your bare skin is exposed to sunlight. But your exposure to sunlight is limited. If you’re like most working Americans, you more or less drag yourself out of bed in the dark, trudge your way to work, then sit in a fluorescent-lit office space for 10 hours, after which you make the same grudging trek back home… in the dark. So when the sun shines, you glow. And we’re not just talking tan here. Among other things, sun is good for your mood. So how much sun is enough? It is believed that short daily periods of sun exposure without sunscreen (about 10-15 minutes for lighter-skinned people) during the summer months is enough for most people to make enough Hormone D. Without sunscreen. Yes, without. Even SPF 15 blocks 93% of UVB rays, the type our bodies use to make D. (And you’re slathering on SPF 50?) Evidence suggests that the most effective time of day for Hormone D production is between 11am and 3pm. The larger the area of skin that is exposed to sunlight, the more chance there is of making enough Hormones D before you start to burn. Burning is bad. Tanning beds won’t do the trick. You want enough D to be beneficial? You have to be smart about it.
The Good, the Bad, and Who Knew?
Being deficient in Hormone D (keep thinking hormone, not vitamin) can be a real downer when it comes to our health. Maybe a list will put it perspective for you. A hormone D deficiency can lead to:
- Poor sleep
- Getting sick repeatedly
- Getting infections more easily
- Muscle pain
- Bone and back pain
- Bone loss
- Hair loss (Both men and women)
- Impaired wound healing
- Cognitive impairment in older adults
- Erectile dysfunction (What guy wants to hear that?)
Hormone D can play a role in the prevention and treatment of the above chronic conditions. Research suggests that it could also have a positive effect on other more serious conditions including diabetes, hypertension glucose intolerance, multiple sclerosis and even breast cancer in women. Nope, Hormone D isn’t just about building strong bones.
It’s All in the Balance
Because Hormone D plays such a crucial role in your life and overall health, a deficiency needs to be treated as a hormone imbalance. Can your primary doctor address it? The question is, what do they know about hormones? Most likely, not much. Not in their treatment realm. What you need, is someone with serious hormone replacement experience. Someone who understands how delicate trying to balance the hormones in your body is. An expert who knows hormones inside and out, able to make you feel better inside and out. That would be the hormone specialists at Denver Hormone Health. With simple tests, all the doctors at Denver Hormone Health can determine whether you have a D deficiency, and how serious it is. Then they can develop a unique and integrated treatment plan that would include bioidentical hormone replacement therapy plus diet and lifestyle changes. Call Denver Hormone Health now and feel the best you can be. No bones about it.