New research is showing the benefits of vitamin d goes way beyond our bones. We met a Mitchell woman who was literally sick and tired of being sick and tired. The run-down working mom found relief in an unlikely, but easily accessible place: the vitamin aisle.
Shawn Miles and her OB/GYN Dr. Elizabeth Campbell at the Avera Women's Clinic on the campus of Avera Queen of Peace in Mitchell made a remarkable discovery early in 2009 when Shawn came in for her yearly exam.
Shawn says, "The prior year I was sick a lot with sinus infections. I had missed roughly 5 to 6 weeks of work, my energy level was down, I had body aches. I just wasn't feeling like I should be feeling."
Dr. Campbell had blood drawn to check Shawn's Vitamin D levels. They came back extremely low. Dr. Campbell prefers those levels be higher than 50. Most of ours aren't.
Dr. Campbell says, "We've known for a number of years that Vitamin D is good for our bones and teeth. We've also learned once you've met the required amount for your bones and teeth then Vitamin D gets to all kinds of other things like cancer prevention, diabetes prevention, heart disease prevention. Everything we want."
In order for our body to convert the suns energy into Vitamin D, we need to be in the sun for 30 minutes over the lunch hour with as much skin exposed as possible. No one in the upper Midwest can do that in the wintertime so that's why supplementing is so important.
Dr. Campbell says, "D3 is the one. The recommendations 2 years ago doubled what the government was recommending. But I really think we should be taking 10 times that amount."
Before the recommendations changed, if you took a multi-vitamin (which typically has 400 units of D) you were on par with the recommendations. That no longer holds true. Dr. Campbell suggests you also take a Vitamin D3 supplement daily with 2000 units.
Shawn says, "Because my levels were so low, she has me taking 5000 units a day. Since then I feel so much better. I have no aches or pains in my legs like I had, no body aches, no major bouts with sinus infections. It's been very beneficial for me and my family. I have everyone in my family taking it."
A little pill packed with a vast array of long lasting benefits.
Before you start taking a Vitamin D supplement, you might want to get your levels tested at your doctor's office. It's done through a simple blood test.