The Power of D” is a consumer education campaign launched by the Organic and Natural Health Association. Its purpose is to promote and encourage testing of vitamin D levels to identify supplementation needs, while simultaneously advancing research on the importance of the nutrient in a variety of health conditions.
The Power of D campaign will explain to the public the vital role vitamin D plays in the body, the frequency and dangers of deficiency and insufficiency, and how supplementation could help maintain health and prevent acute and chronic disease.
A key component of the campaign is to encourage vitamin D testing from kits through GrassrootsHealth, a public health organization that seeks to move vitamin D research into practice.
There’s a growing number of research that proves that vitamin D plays a very significant role in disease prevention and maintaining optimal health. Although commonly referred to as a “vitamin” by scientists, it is actually a steroid hormone that influences 3,000 of the 30,000 genes present in the human body. In fact, there are numerous vitamin D receptors located all throughout your body.
Maintaining optimal vitamin D levels can help slash your risk of cancer by as much as 60 percent, according to a large-scale study. By ensuring that your levels are in the optimal range, you can keep 16 different types of cancer – pancreatic, ovarian, prostate, lung, and skin, to name a few – at bay.
But how does vitamin D work against cancer? This important nutrient has been shown to:
- Slow down the spread and production of cancer cells
- Promote the self-destruction of mutated cells that can replicate and cause cancer
- Help in the differentiation of cells (cancer cells are not differentiated)
- Keep new blood vessels from forming from pre-existing ones (a mechanism that can actually hinder the benign tumors from progressing into cancerous ones)
Vitamin D’s benefits do not stop there. In fact, it can help reduce your risk of other conditions, such a chronic inflammation (a risk factor of many chronic diseases), type 2 diabetes, age-related macular degeneration (the leading cause of blindness), and even Alzheimer’s disease.
What’s more, vitamin D has infection-fighting abilities that may be beneficial in the treatment of the common cold and flus, tuberculosis, and pneumonia. Epileptics may also experience better seizure control when they maintain optimal levels of vitamin D.
Vitamin D can be obtained mainly from sun exposure, food sources, and supplementation. There are two common types: D2 and D3. Of these two, vitamin D3 is actually 87 percent more effective, and is the preferred form that can address the deficiency of this vital nutrient.
People who live in tropical regions do not have any problems acquiring vitamin D, as they get an abundance of sunshine. However, in most of the continental U.S., people do not have sufficient exposure to the sun. It also doesn’t make any sense to expose your skin to the sun when in temperatures lower than 50 degrees Fahrenheit, as you’re getting very scarce amounts of beneficial UVB rays. People who live in most regions in the U.S. (especially those who experience four seasons) are prone to this problem.
These charts display the likelihood of vitamin D synthesis across the U.S. per month:
Take note of the times of the year when UVB rays are very minimal – during these times, taking a high-quality vitamin D3 supplement is highly recommended.