Tom Ballard, ND's blog

January 18, 2009, 8:27 am
Filed under: Commentary

For thousands of years natural doctors have been prescribing fresh air and sunshine. We didn’t know exactly why, but we knew from scientific observation that they were good for people. We were ridiculed by the medical establishment for this simple, yet logical, recommendation.

When vitamin D was discovered and it was found that sunshine triggers our skin to manufacture it, naturopathic doctors had research verification to support our scientific observation. When vitamin D came along as a supplement, we prescribed it. When blood testing became available, we had our patients tested. (I’ve been testing patients since the late ‘90s.) However, this respect for vitamin D stayed below the radar – who pays attention to naturopathic medicine?

Now more and more MDs are discovering, a few thousand years late, the merits of vitamin D. Their new-found knowledge was not from reading popular medical journals or from attending seminars; these are controlled by the drug companies. Most MDs heard about vitamin D from patients who had read natural medicine publications, or seen newspaper articles. Popular demand has made vitamin D so mainstream that you can now hear celebrity MDs tout it on TV as if it were a new discovery.

Hopefully you’re aware that vitamin D, besides helping bones, also reduces depression, increases immune activity, and reduces the risk of several types of cancer, including breast and prostate. What many people are not aware of is that there is a simple blood test that can be paid for by your health insurance company that will tell you your level and how much you need to take. Most vitamins are difficult to measure accurately, but since vitamin D can be tested, why guess on the amount you need?

During your next medical checkup ask your provider to include vitamin D along with your other blood tests. If you’re low, discuss an appropriate natural form to take and have yourself retested in 3 to 4 months to make sure your levels are up to normal.

As natural medicine has been saying for thousands of years, we all need the sunshine vitamin.


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