A press release by the publisher Penguin declares the release of Dr. Michael F. Holick's latest book about the remarkable health benefits of vitamin D.
"What do obesity, heart disease, depression, diabetes, and fibromyalgia have in common?
The answer is vitamin D deficiency," the press release states.
"More than 200 million Americans lack this essential vitamin. In the landmark book The Vitamin D Solution, Dr. Michael F. Holick identifies the causes of vitamin D deficiency, outlines why it is essential to your health, and provides a 3-step program to attain optimal levels of Vitamin D.
Increasing levels of vitamin D can treat, prevent, and even reverse a remarkable number of daily ailments, from high blood pressure to back pain. It can lessen the symptoms of chronic conditions such as diabetes and arthritis, and actually prevent infectious diseases, including H1N1 and cancer. Dr. Holick also credits vitamin D with improving infertility, weight control, memory and mood."
Released on April 1, Dr. Michael Holick's book, The Vitamin D Solution: A 3-Step Strategy to Cure Our Most Common Health Problem, may be one of the most important books out there right now.
His first book, The UV Advantage, was published in 2004, and the amount of research that has been conducted since then is nothing short of remarkable.
We now know more about vitamin D than ever before in history, and health professionals everywhere are quickly waking up to realize nearly all long-held recommendations on sun exposure and vitamin D intake are inaccurate and misguided, and have contributed to declining health world-wide.
How Many Health Benefits Can Optimal Vitamin D Levels Impart?
There seems to be no end in sight when searching for the answer to that question. There's constantly new research being published, demonstrating the health benefits of vitamin D and the health risks associated with vitamin D deficiency.
Perhaps the most telling piece of information is the fact that higher vitamin D levels significantly reduce mortality rates from ALL causes!
And it's no wonder, really, when you consider what vitamin D really is, because it's far more than "just a vitamin." Rather it's the only known substrate for a potent, pleiotropic (meaning it produces multiple effects), repair and maintenance seco-steroid hormone that serves multiple gene-regulatory functions in your body.
In fact, there's compelling evidence that vitamin D is in fact KEY for proper gene expression.
How does it work?
Well, each cell in your body has its own 'DNA library' that contains information needed to deal with virtually every kind of stimulus it may encounter, and the master key to enter this library is activated vitamin D.
For example, memory ductile cells in a woman's breast need vitamin D to access DNA that enables the response to estrogen.
So it stands to reason that without sufficient amounts of vitamin D, your cells cannot access their DNA libraries. As a result, their functions are impaired and all sorts of problems can ensue, depending on how well your cells are able to compensate for the lack of vitamin D.
This is why vitamin D functions in so many different tissues, and affects such a large number of different diseases and health conditions.
So far, scientists have found about 3,000 genes that are upregulated by vitamin D, which is remarkable when you consider the human body only has about 30,000 genes total.
Receptors that respond to the vitamin have been found in almost every type of human cell, from your brain to your bones, which explains why researchers keep finding health benefits from vitamin D in virtually every area they look, including:
Researchers have calculated that simply increasing levels of vitamin D3 could prevent diseases that claim nearly 1 million lives throughout the world each year!
For example, one recent study showed that the annual death rate in Canada could fall by 37,000 deaths -- more than 16 percent of total deaths in that country! -- if serum vitamin D levels were raised to adequate amounts. In addition, the economic burden of Canada would be reduced by $14.4 billion -- less the relatively minor cost of introducing a program to get the vitamin D levels of Canadians up into the healthy range.
Another fascinating area of vitamin D research is in the area of detoxification, which could have a significant impact on a number of disorders caused by mercury toxicity.
For example, one recent study found that vitamin D helps to safely remove mercury from your body by radically increasing the amount of intracellular glutathione.
Health Benefits are Dose Dependent
It's important to note, however, that reaping the health benefits of vitamin D is dose dependent, meaning you need to make sure your levels are within therapeutic range.
And this range is far higher than previously thought.
For all the latest information on therapeutic vitamin D levels, and vital updates on testing, please review my article: Test Values and Treatment for Vitamin D Deficiency.
It contains everything from recently updated vitamin D ranges and the latest dosing recommendations, to recommendations for safe sun exposure and important guidelines if you opt for oral vitamin D supplementation.
One thing is clear. If you maintain optimal vitamin D levels, your cells will function optimally, which in turn will help prevent all sorts of health ailments and chronic diseases.
For a great overview of the nearly unbelievable health benefits of this nutrient, I strongly recommend you watch my free one-hour vitamin D lecture.
Pregnant, or Planning a Pregnancy? Be Certain to Read This!
Pregnant women, in particular, should pay attention to their vitamin D levels.
Not only can it prevent a variety of birth defects, but it's now also known that you can help prevent a number of chronic diseases in your child, such as asthma, type 1 diabetes, and perhaps even autism, simply by maintaining optimal vitamin D levels while pregnant!
To further prove the links between vitamin D levels and healthy babies, GrassrootsHealth is looking for pregnant women, lactating women, and infants to participate in their Grassrootshealth D*action study.
For more information about this study and how you can save 15 percent off your vitamin D testing simply by being a Mercola subscriber, please see this link.
VitaminD.Mercola.com: New Resource for all the Latest Vitamin D News
I am so passionate about the health benefits of vitamin D, I've recently added a special section to my website dedicated exclusively to keeping my readers updated on all the late-breaking vitamin D news.
VitaminD.Mercola.com provides you with important vitamin D resources you can't easily find on the web, such as articles, tips and an online forum that will help you avoid vitamin D deficiency and lead a healthier life.
I encourage you to bookmark this link and visit it often to stay on top of all the latest research and guidance on optimizing and maintaining your vitamin D levels.