As the temperatures begin to cool across most parts of the country, I hope you find some time to get outside to enjoy all the beauty Nature has to offer.
But remember, after Wednesday (which marks the fall equinox in the northern hemisphere), if you live north of Atlanta or Los Angeles, the sun will no longer get strong enough, even at midday, to trigger your skin’s natural production of vitamin D.
That means it’s more critical than ever to stick with your daily vitamin D supplementation. After all, optimal vitamin D levels help protect you against a long list of common chronic diseases.
And now, a recent study found that supplementing with even just a modest amount may ADD YEARS to your life…by slowing the aging of your cells!
I’ll tell you all about that groundbreaking research in just a moment. But first, let’s back up to talk about what deepened my interest in the benefits of vitamin D years ago…
Vitamin D protects against just about every disease in the book
In June 2006, I gave the keynote address at the annual Johns Hopkins University Continuing Medical Education (CME) course on complementary/alternative and natural medicine. And I clearly recall Dr. Michael Holick of Boston University, who spoke right after me, report on the critical importance of vitamin D to human health.
According to Dr. Holick, vitamin D acts as a hormone in the body. And its role is so important that it’s vital to understand how to get ample amounts into our bodies…
- We can take in some limited amounts of vitamin D from eating the right foods (like fish, red meat, dairy, and eggs).
- We can expose our bare skin—without sunscreen—to strong sunlight (between April through October), to trigger natural vitamin D production.
- We can supplement daily with (optimal levels of) vitamin D. Then, your liver can store it to ensure a constant, adequate supply.
As Dr. Holick noted, by supplying our bodies with vitamin D in these ways, we help to protect ourselves against common chronic diseases (as a wealth of science shows). For example, women with adequate blood levels of this amazing nutrient slash their breast cancer risk by an astounding 83 percent. And supplementing with optimal levels of vitamin D even lowers overall death rates!
Unfortunately, 15 years after Dr. Holick’s important research presentation, many medical “experts” still remain focused only on vitamin D’s role in building and maintaining healthy bones. And even if they do acknowledge its larger role in the body, they still get it wrong when it comes to optimal blood levels…and doses required to get these benefits.
Now, let’s take a closer look at the research into cellular aging that I mentioned above…
Vitamin D slows aging at the cellular level
This new research involves vitamin D’s impact on telomeres, which are the “tags” or “caps” at the end of chromosomes that help keep them stable.
Of course, telomeres also tell us a lot about an individual’s “cellular age.” Because each time a healthy human cell divides and replaces itself, the chromosomes inside it also replicate…to provide a copy of genetic information for the new cell.
However, the telomere at the end of each chromosome does not replicate. Therefore, every time a chromosome copies itself, the telomere becomes shorter.
Eventually, the telomere becomes so short, cell division comes to a halt—indicating there are no more new, young, healthy cells to replace the old. And, eventually, the old cells lose their functions and simply begin to die out.
Well, it turns out, supplementing with vitamin D can help slow this part of the aging process…
Vitamin D increases telomere activity
For this recent study, researchers recruited men and women with Type II diabetes from two clinics in Miami-Dade county. At the outset, they measured the participants’ vitamin D blood levels as well as their telomere activities.
Then, all the participants took 100 mcg (4,000 IU) daily vitamin D for the next six months.
It turns out, the men and women all exhibited “significant” increases in telomere activity after six months of supplementing with vitamin D. This finding led the researchers to conclude that supplementing with vitamin D seems to help prevent or delay the progress of Type II diabetes by reactivating telomere activity and protecting DNA.
And if supplementing with vitamin D protects against Type II diabetes by reactivating your telomeres…it’s not a far stretch to assume that it could protect against other diseases in the exact same way. And even, ultimately, improve your lifespan!
Simply put, supplementing with vitamin D protects against disease…and also seems to slow the aging process at the cellular level!
Take advantage of the many benefits of D—TODAY
It’s clear that vitamin D is critical for supporting healthy cell division well into your 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and beyond! So, make sure to reach and maintain optimal blood levels by following these simple steps:
1.) Ask your doctor to check your vitamin D levels twice a year. Just ask for a simple blood test called the 25(OH)D (25-hydroxy vitamin D) test. Optimal blood levels are between 50 and 75 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL). I recommend checking your levels once toward the end of winter and again toward the end of summer.
2.) Supplement daily with 250 mcg (10,000 IU) of vitamin D3. This dose will help you maintain optimal blood levels of vitamin D. And in combination with regular screening, it’s perfectly safe! You can now find this dose in a convenient, highly absorbable liquid form—together with the potent marine carotenoid astaxanthin for added benefits. (For more information, simply type “astaxanthin” into the top-right search bar of my website, www.DrMicozzi.com.)
3.) Spend 15 minutes a day in the sun without sunscreen, between April and October. Granted, as I mentioned earlier, we’re about to enter the time of year when the sun isn’t high enough in the sky to trigger vitamin D production in your skin. But hopefully, you soaked up lots of rays over the summer…because your skin (and liver) can store it for use during the dark days of winter! (Plus, getting outside in Nature is always beneficial to your health, even as we enter the cooler months.)
Finally, you can learn much more about the importance of vitamin D supplementation in the June 2021 issue of my Insiders’ Cures monthly newsletter (“Everything you need to know about proper—and safe—vitamin D supplementation”). Not yet a subscriber? Click here now to become one!
“Effect of Vitamin D3 Supplementation on Telomerase Activity in Hispanics with Type 2 Diabetes.” Experimental Biology 2016 Meeting Abstracts, April 201; 30(1): 1156.1-1156.11.