Supplementation during winter
Clinic SPECIAL offer for July & August 2017: 10% off Metagenics Vitamin C & D supplements
Being winter time, we don’t get much sunshine and tend to fall sick more often. Thankfully, there are natural ways of boosting our immune system which keeps our body fighting off those unwanted nasty colds, flu’s and infections.
Two important vitamins can help optimize our immune system and reduce our chances of getting sick this winter.
Firstly we have Vitamin C. Research published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews in 2013 found that regular supplementation with Vitamin C had a modest but consistent effect in reducing the duration of the common cold.
Effects of Vitamin C:
- First and fore mostly Vitamin C is a powerful immune booster
- Significantly speeds up the rate of wound healing
- Maintenance of teeth, bones and skin
- Helps your body absorb iron
- Helps with reducing blood pressure (Block, Mangels et al. 2001, Svetkey and Loria 2002)
Natural sources of Vitamin C:
- Kiwi fruits – these are exceptionally high in Vitamin C and research published in the British Journal of Nutrition stated that a diet which included Kiwi fruit reduced the symptoms of Upper Respiratory Tract infections in older people.
- Citrus fruits
- Red bell peppers
- Brussel sprouts
- Sweet potatoes
In times where dietary intake is not sufficient or there is an increased demand (illness or stress), supplementation may be needed. Chiropractic Solutions offers a terrific Vitamin C supplement formulated by Metagenics, which has been pH balanced to reduce any gut irritation. Its advantages include its easy consumption as it comes in powder form, which allows better absorption and dosage quantities and is pleasantly flavoured.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble steroid also known as the “Sunshine vitamin”. Vitamin D deficiency is a worldwide epidemic, with well known impacts on calcium metabolism and bone health, but increasingly recognized associations with chronic health problems such as bowel and colonic cancer, arthritis, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.(Hamilton 2011) An estimated 30-50% (Lee, O’Keefe et al. 2008) of the population has low vitamin D3 levels, and these levels decline over the colder months with less exposure to sunlight. Vitamin D is tested via blood test and normal levels are defined as 20 to 31 ng/mL (75 nmol/L) (Angeline, Gee et al. 2013).
A growing body of evidence shows that vitamin D plays a crucial role in disease prevention and maintaining optimal health.
Sources of Vitamin D: Where can I get Vitamin D?
1) Sunlight: Ample sunlight exposure is your main source of vitamin D. Obviously during the winter months, our exposure to sunlight is significantly reduced.
2) Diet: Vitamin D is only naturally present in a few foods (Beef liver, cheese, egg yolks, cod liver oil and Fatty fish like tuna, mackerel, and salmon), and added to other foods (like some dairy products, orange juice, soy milk, and cereals).
What are some of the effects of low Vitamin D levels?
- Vitamin D plays an important role in bone formation, and low Vitamin D can play a role in the development of rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. Together with calcium, vitamin D also helps protect older adults from osteoporosis.
- Delayed tissue healing in animal studies (Angeline, Ma et al. 2014)
- Increased risk of bowel and colonic cancer (Holick 2004, Giovannucci, Liu et al. 2006)
- Increased risk of diabetes (Holick 2004, Giovannucci, Liu et al. 2006)
- Increased risk of arthritis (Holick 2004, Giovannucci, Liu et al. 2006)
- Increased risk of cardiovascular disease (Holick 2004, Giovannucci, Liu et al. 2006)
- Increased risk of upper respiratory tract infections (Sabetta, DePetrillo et al. 2010)
- Increased risk of depression (Holick 2004, Giovannucci, Liu et al. 2006)
What about Vitamin D in athletes and active individuals?
The high prevalence seen in the general population of vitamin D deficiency also extends to the elite athlete population. Numerous studies have identified vitamin D deficiency in the adolescent and adult athlete populations. This is especially a problem for athletes who have limited sun exposure because of geography and limited seasonal UVB exposure. It can also be a problem for athletes who use excessive sunscreen and patients with dark skin pigmentation.
Current evidence suggests that the treatment of athletes who are vitamin D deficient may help to improve their athletic performance and prevent injuries.(Angeline, Gee et al. 2013, Wyon, Koutedakis et al. 2014)
Vitamin D supplementation
Due to the reduced amount of sunlight and “outside” time in Victoria many people are Vitamin D deficient and may need to supplement. It is very, very important to have your blood levels of vitamin D tested before and during supplementation.
What you need to know about Vitamin D supplements
- Common types of vitamin D supplementation are vitamin D2 and D3. Compared to D2, vitamin D3 is 87 percent more effective, and is the preferred form for addressing insufficient levels of vitamin D.(Heaney, Recker et al. 2011)
- The quality of the vitamin D supplement you take is vital. Things you need to consider are;
- What conditions has it been stored in? Being exposed to high temperatures, humidity, air or light are factors that may affect the quality of vitamin D.
- Is the vitamin D in a specialised antioxidant oil base to enhance its stability and absorption?
- Has it been tested using real time stability testing, to ensure it stays fresh right up until the expiry date?
- Has it been tested to ensure it’s free from the presence of contaminants to guarantee you are getting the purest quality supplement?
- What your body requires is vitamin D3 and not vitamin D2, the synthetic form commonly prescribed by physicians. One microgram of vitamin D3 or 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 is about five times more potent in raising serum 25(OH)D than an equivalent amount of vitamin D2. Aside from being less effective, vitamin D2 can also pose potential harm to your body.
Metagenics Liquid Vitamin D3 1000IU is stocked at Chiropractic Solutions and is an excellent product of the highest quality. The advantages of supplementing in liquid form include: better absorption, easier to administer high doses and cheaper than tablet form (vs Osteolan or caltrate).
Angeline, M. E., A. O. Gee, M. Shindle, R. F. Warren and S. A. Rodeo (2013). “The Effects of Vitamin D Deficiency in Athletes.” Am J Sports Med 41(2): 461-464.
Angeline, M. E., R. Ma, C. Pascual-Garrido, C. Voigt, X. H. Deng, R. F. Warren and S. A. Rodeo (2014). “Effect of Diet-Induced Vitamin D Deficiency on Rotator Cuff Healing in a Rat Model.” The American Journal of Sports Medicine 42(1): 27-34.
Block, G., A. R. Mangels, E. P. Norkus, B. H. Patterson, O. A. Levander and P. R. Taylor (2001). “Ascorbic acid status and subsequent diastolic and systolic blood pressure.” Hypertension 37(2): 261-267.
Giovannucci, E., Y. Liu, E. B. Rimm, B. W. Hollis, C. S. Fuchs, M. J. Stampfer and W. C. Willett (2006). “Prospective study of predictors of vitamin D status and cancer incidence and mortality in men.” J Natl Cancer Inst 98(7): 451-459.
Hamilton, B. (2011). “Vitamin D and Athletic Performance: The Potential Role of Muscle.” Asian Journal of Sports Medicine 2(4): 211-219.
Heaney, R. P., R. R. Recker, J. Grote, R. L. Horst and L. A. Armas (2011). “Vitamin D(3) is more potent than vitamin D(2) in humans.” J Clin Endocrinol Metab 96(3): E447-452.
Holick, M. F. (2004). “Vitamin D: importance in the prevention of cancers, type 1 diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis.” Am J Clin Nutr 79(3): 362-371.
Lee, J. H., J. H. O’Keefe, D. Bell, D. D. Hensrud and M. F. Holick (2008). “Vitamin D Deficiency: An Important, Common, and Easily Treatable Cardiovascular Risk Factor?” Journal of the American College of Cardiology 52(24): 1949-1956.
Sabetta, J. R., P. DePetrillo, R. J. Cipriani, J. Smardin, L. A. Burns and M. L. Landry (2010). “Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin d and the incidence of acute viral respiratory tract infections in healthy adults.” PLoS One 5(6): e11088.
Svetkey, L. P. and C. M. Loria (2002). “Blood Pressure Effects of Vitamin C.” What’s the Key Question? 40(6): 789-791.
Wyon, M. A., Y. Koutedakis, R. Wolman, A. M. Nevill and N. Allen (2014). “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 / Sports Medicine Australia 17(1): 8-12.