Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Vitamin D3 what does it all mean?

I really love having health resources at my fingertips. The good thing about that is ready information, quickly, no waiting for my queries. The hard part about that is, there is just too much information out there. I don't trust all sites because frankly not every one is aware of everything!

Vitamin D3, also known as cholecalciferol has become such a buzz in many conditions, not just MS. I also remember standing in a drugstore somewhere in the middle of Pennsylvania on a trip to visit David's family. My old GP had contacted me by phone quite a few years ago about this D3 vitamin. Naturally, we stopped in a drugstore along way after receiving her phone call to look for this vitamin. Would you believe about ten years ago, I couldn't find it? It was not as well known as it is now a days. Actually I remember the pharmacist looking rather blank when I asked him if they carried vitamin D3. 

Now, there seems to be no end to D3! I also knew nothing about this and looked for it half heartedly and ignored it for years. It is hard to read anything about MS now and not see the importance of this vitamin. The "sunshine" vitamin, surely I don't need that since I was born in the southern hemisphere, am darker skinned and must not need it, right? Then I started reading up on what it actually does. African American men are low in this for some reason and understandably so is most of the population since you need at least an hour of sunshine a week -- most people work indoors. Certain conditions just result in lower levels of vitamin D3 and MS is one of them.

Now why did I need this? For one thing, it helps regulate the immune system, it is a moderator. There are other complex workings related to allergies, thyroid and such. Now my attention shifted to reading more medical articles that support it's use. Along with more research needed, everyone supports taking the supplement if you have MS. How much does one safely take? We still are all over the map on that one. Dr. Jelinek says in that 5,000 i.u a day is a safe bet. I have been reading blogs of others taking as much as 50,000 i.u and more a day. Vitamin D3 is a fat soluble hormone but safe at high doses. One can also get tested for the amount in one's own body.

Then today, I read an article in Science Daily that talked about a study where high versus low doses did not make a difference. This really is information overload! The Science Daily article talked about an evidenced based study, not some hunch. Then I read a blog about someone who miraculously got out of her wheelchair and can walk almost two miles without a cane after taking 50,000 i.u. for a few years. This is the bog where one can even talk to her doctor online:

So now the common consensus seems to be that D3 does indeed help persons with MS and a host of other conditions.

The great thing is that I can now walk into any drugstore and easily find the vitamin on the shelf. So we read  conservative articles, miraculous happenings and just daily stories of D3 being a good addition to one's daily regimen. 

How do I feel? I am not sure but I think better but I cannot explain it. You know how that goes!

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