Rickets — the bone disease caused by Vitamin D deficiency — is on the rise in England. Even children getting “plenty” of sun exposure are at risk. Doctors are befuddled. Even the children whom doctors considered well-nourished (those from the relatively affluent middle class) are getting the disease. What does this tell you?
The standard, conventional medical wisdom on this subject is simply lacking. We’ve been told that 15 minutes of exposure to the sun, twice per week would be enough for us to produce enough Vitamin D to prevent Rickets. We’ve been told that fortifying our milk and other dairy with synthetic Vitamin D would prevent Rickets. We’ve been told a bunch of malarkey.
1) The traditional diets of robust, healthy peoples from around the globe contain an average of TEN TIMES more fat soluble vitamins (including Vitamin D) than ours do. (source)
2) The inner layers of our skin synthesize Vitamin D when exposed to the sun’s UVB rays, so long as there is enough cholesterol in the system to do so. (source)
3) Showering daily with soap can actually strip the skin of the synthesized Vitamin D before it has a chance to be absorbed into our bloodstream. (source)
4) UVA rays from the sun also destroy Vitamin D. “This helps keep your body in balance; it’s one of the protective mechanisms your body has to avoid overdosing on vitamin D when you’re outside. However, when you’re exposed to sunlight through windows — in your office, your home or your car — you get the UVA but virtually none of the beneficial UVB. UVA is one of the primary culprits behind skin cancer, and it increases photo aging of your skin. ” (source)
5) The vast majority of us have low Vitamin D levels. (source)
Keeping all this in mind, what can you do to ensure you’re getting enough Vitamin D? Particularly in these chilly, cloudy winter months?
Supplementing with vitamin D
The best whole food supplement for increasing vitamin D is, of course, fermented cod liver oil. Why fermented cod liver oil? Well, it really concentrates the vitamin D in the cod liver oil, particularly in proportion to the vitamin A. So you can get the same amount of vitamin D from just 1 ml of fermented cod liver oil as from 2 tablespoons of straight cod liver oil. This makes the fermented cod liver oil much more cost-effective. To find online sources of fermented cod liver oil, check out the listings on my resources page.
Of course, there are also other ways to up your vitamin D:
- Drink only raw milk from grass-fed cows.
- Eat healthy eggs from hens raised out on pasture.
- Spend some quality time out in the sun, exposing as much of your skin as possible for at least 20 minutes per day if you’re fair and up to an hour a day if you’re very dark. Worried about that much sun exposure? Read up on the debate in this post from my archives called Should You Use Sunscreen?
But most of us find that even doing all these things, we still lack sufficient vitamin D in the winter because of the limited and indirect sunshine. Plus we naturally spend a lot more time indoors when it’s cold out! So, why not give yourself a little present of fermented cod liver oil, just to be on the safe side? (I do!)