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The Importance of Vitamin D Dr. Elizabeth Cantrell

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A study published in The Journal of Science and Medicine demonstrated that supplementing with Vitamin D can help to increase muscular strength, reduce injuries, and increase vertical jumping height. Researchers supplemented elite classical ballet dancers with 2,000 IU of vitamin D3 for 4 months. At the end of the study the dancers given the vitamin increased their vertical jump and leg strength by 7 and 19 percent, respectively. Dancers not given vitamin D showed no change in muscular strength, a decrease in vertical jump height, and they had a higher chance of getting injured during the four month study. This study has prompted other sports teams to consider daily vitamin D supplementation for their athletes.
Vitamin D has been shown to reduce the risk of fractures in the elderly and is part of many osteoporosis treatment protocols. In addition, vitamin D activates our innate immune system, which is our first line of defense against infectious agents. Low levels of this vitamin have been associated with the onset and poorer outcomes in certain types of cancer and auto immune diseases. Newer studies are demonstrating a correlation between low vitamin D levels and mood disorders, such as depression and anxiety, and infertility.
About 90 percent of the vitamin D we get is made by our skin after exposure to UV light (sunlight). However, with the increased use of sun protection (i.e. sunscreen, clothing, hats, etc.) our UV light exposure is decreased and consequently so is our vitamin D level. Logically, winter months can be problematic for getting adequate vitamin D since UV light is at a minimum and a large part of the winter months are spent indoors. It is not coincidental that this is a time when many individuals get colds or the flu.
As a naturopathic doctor I recognize the importance of maintaining optimal levels of vitamins and minerals to promote health and prevent illness or injury. With the known myriad of consequences arising from low vitamin D levels and the astounding data suggesting rampant deficiency nationwide, most people could benefit from vitamin D supplementation, especially during the winter months.
Wyon MA, Koutedakis Y, Wolman R, Nevill AM, Allen N. “The influence of winter vitamin D supplementation on muscle function and injury occurrence in elite ballet dancers: A controlled study.” Journal of science and medicine in sport 16.5 (2013):338-391. Pubmed. Web. 9 Dec 2013


2 Responses to The Importance of Vitamin D Dr. Elizabeth Cantrell

  1. Kimberly Munday

    Would you work in conjunction with an ND we already see, in Toronto. It is hard to get things done in GA with the doc being so far away and in a different country.
    Thank you,
    Kimberly

    • Elements Team

      Certainly! Being in a military town many of our patients have providers in other locations. We are happy to work with you and your other provider to continue your care. Call our office @ 706.507.0407 and we discuss how to get started.

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