Need More Vitamin D? This Is the Best Way to Get It!

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Interviewer: Dr. James Dowd. author of the vitamin D cure. What's the best way to get vitamin D, is it in fact the sun or can diet or how much can diet help?

Dr. Dowd:  Our bodies were designed to get majority of their vitamin D from sun exposure. We don't know the exact ratios, there is, we are guesstimating, but most of the data will suggest that somewhere between seventy and ninety percent of our vitamin D should be manufactured from sunlight and that only a small percent should come from diet. Now that probably varies with latitude.  Inuit Indians who sort of evolved at least for tens and thousand of years evolved in an arctic environment where this the amount of sun available for vitamin D is very low, they get a lot of it from food, they get most of it from food because they are eating seal blubber and whale blubber and fish livers and sea food that's loaded with vitamin D!  And so at that latitude may be mother nature intended you to get it more from food than as you move towards the equator where her intention were to get most of it form the sun exposure. So its some mixture of the two.

Suffice it to say though, most of us because of our lifestyle changes, our culture changes in here United States.  We're much more sedentary than we ever used to be. We have desk jobs instead of factory jobs now. We are not subsistence farmers like many of us used to be. There is industrial farms and they sit in their John, air conditioned John Deere tractor behind plate glass, UV blocking plate glass to plough the fields. So, we are not out in the sun like we used to be even fifty years ago. And so we are becoming more reliant in getting our vitamin D from other sources. Unfortunately, food is, particular with the diet we eat is a lousy source of vitamin D. Our diet is 60 percent or more are carbohydrates and most of those carbohydrates come from bread pasta and cereals. There is no vitamin D in bread pasta and cereal, ok?  The kinds of fats in our diet is more saturated than we need and a lot of omega 6 and lot of these things are like vegetable oils, there is not vitamin D in vegetable oils. In the meat we eat, there is a livestock raised on corn and soybeans and a feed lot, with very little grass feeding in less pasteur time out in the sun and so the meats even are probably have less vitamin D than a wild meat like game meat. There are may be people who... I have lots of patience in our practice that are hunters and they eat venison and caribou and this stuff is wonderful meat because it, these are animals which are eating their native diet of grass and vegetation. They are outside all the time, they are very physically active and all of those things as we know in humans also raise vitamin D like animals which means their meat and everything is going to be richer in these nutrients. So food is not a very good source of vitamin D unless you are eating these foods like the arctic Indians did which are lots of fatty fish not farmed fish but wild caught fish because again the farming process we start feeding them no matter what Purina fish chow which is probably more corn and soybeans and again you are creating a subpar fish or quality fish when you feed them those things. So, wild caught fish and sea food that are high in vitamin D, you get some but its very difficult to get all of your needs from those food sources without eating just tremendous amount of these fatty fish. So diet is usually not a reliable source of D, you can get a lot of complementary nutrients there vitamin A, magnesium and other things that will complement the function of vitamin D but the D itself is not likely to come from there. Mushrooms is an example, you get D2 from mushrooms and you can get, you can actually get a fair amount from sun dried mushrooms. But again D2 has a shorter half life, this wasn't the way we were meant to get most of our D. So sunlight still remains the primary source that our body relies on and in the absence of that sun because of the cultural or social changes we really need to supplement to make up for that difference. And that's what I emphasize in the book is that most of us probably need to take a supplement to cover that gap.

Dr. James Dowd discusses some of the best ways to get vitamin d. There are many sources, like from the sun, food or supplements. Dr. Dowd explains why sources have changed over the last few decades. He also explains how it may depend on where you live.

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