Sunday, November 08, 2009

A Great Way to Shake the Winter Blues

It's Vitamin D. Until very recently, doctors warned against taking more than 400 IU per day, and now the new recommendation is that everyone can tolerate 10,000 IU of the sunshine vitamin. It used to be the quandary that no more than 400 IU was what the skin could tolerate without the fear of risking skin cancer, because that is primarily how Vitamin D is created -- by sunlight on the skin.

Some doctors have gone as far as to say that one should get no sunlight exposure on one's skin to reduce the risk of skin cancer. Obviously, that wouldn't be right -- if millions of years of evolution had created that response. But thisdeficiency of Vitamin D, seems now to be recognized as a primary cause of osteoporosis in the elderly -- who don't get out in the sun enough, and was warned to limit their intake to 400IU a day.

The new higher levels, actually seem to be the missing ingredient in the human well-being and functioning equation. I've always noticed being particularly prone to that "seasonal affective disorder," but since I have been encountering many independent sources recommending the new higher doses, I thought maybe that was what I needed to boost my mood and energy -- and darn if I haven't noticed a dramatic difference immediately.

It is like the difference between living in a world of sunshine, and living in a world of continual darkness. Life evolved because of sunlight -- and it is impossible without it. So if you can take a capsule that can give you the equivalent of constant sunshine without any of the hazards from that exposure, it doesn't make sense not to take it, and not to make it the cornerstone of all one's nutritional supplements.

I was pretty sleepy and required a long nap everyday but since taking 2,000 IU 2x daily, I haven't felt that drowsiness anymore -- and my vision has greatly improved. That has bothered me for at least the last 15 years. I always suspected that time in the sun seemed to have a good effect on my vision.

But only several months ago, when I attended the new expansion of the medical facilities in Salem and attended most of the seminars on current topics of interest, I was stunned to hear of the new advice on Vitamin D -- particularly on osteoporosis, but then I started hearing it used on depression, and a whole lot of nontraditional remedies for virtually all the ailments. Vitamin D has usually been dismissed as not being being too important, and if it is, one should limit the intake rather than ensure a healthy dose of it.

It's probably the biggest difference I've ever felt virtually immediately. It's fairly cheap, although there will undoubtedly be expensive versions of it. I got 200 caps of 2,000IU at WalMart for $9. I've seen it on the Internet for $5 for the same quantities. I think I even saw it at Costco for a premium price.

In the past, I'd have to buy some tanning sessions to recharge myself during the sunless winter months in the Pacific NW. Many others, just get used to feeling depressed -- and have accepted that as the normal pattern of life without thinking there was anything they could do about it. Apparently there is -- once you realize that the dietary restrictions that have been observed for many years have been lifted in favor of a whole new prognosis.

It won't have been the first time that the medical profession has reversed itself completely in a new, improved and better understanding -- replacing the arbitrary traditions everyone had adopted without challenge and question -- that might have been the very source/cause of many problems, even in sunny climates where people have to avoid the sun because of its obviously damaging effects. In fact, in such places, one often takes extreme precautions to avoid sunlight at all costs -- like in the Middle East. One doesn't get a lot of sunlight being completely covered from head to toe.

In some less harsh sunlight, people have taken the precaution of using modern sunscreens, hats, dark glasses and other protective clothing -- which effectively does the same thing, more immodestly.

This is not unlike many cases in which the conventional wisdom and old wives tales have reversed themselves -- after many years of acceptance as the inviolable truths, that are finally questioned and held to the light of real inquiry. The most famous example is Christopher Columbus's assertion that the world was not flat and he was bound to prove it so by physically getting on a ship and sailing as far as they could -- discovering whole new worlds as they did. This frequently happens when it is conventional wisdom to hear that everything that could be discovered and known, is already discovered and known.

That is the familiar landmark that whole new worlds of discovery and invention, are on the cusp of human experience.


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