Today’s post contains some very good news about a well-known vitamin. Research has shown that there are some extraordinary benefits of Vitamin D that go far beyond what we already know about this crucial nutrient.
Vitamin D: a Multitasking Foundation Supplement
“Savers” are familiar with the bone-building benefits of Vitamin D; the Save Our Bones™ Program includes a comprehensive list of Foundation Supplements, nutrients that are absolutely crucial for building healthy bone. Included among them is Vitamin D, which is a truly amazing nutrient that plays many roles.
For example, Vitamin D acts as both a vitamin and a hormone in the body. Your liver manufacturers a precursor to Vitamin D, which is released into the bloodstream. When your skin is exposed to sunlight, this precursor reacts to the UVB and gets changed to Vitamin D3. The D3 is then changed again in the liver and kidneys into a hormone-like substance.
What Vitamin D Does for Your Bones
Vitamin D regulates calcium and phosphorous, and aids in the absorption of calcium as well. Its role in bone remodeling and fracture prevention is well-documented, and its many effects on other body systems is still being discovered.
One such discovery comes to us from a remarkable new meta-analysis that explores various studies on Vitamin D. This time, researchers focused not on the prevention of fractures, but on the prevention of falls.
The Amazing Effect of Vitamin D on Fall Prevention
Preventing falls is fundamental to reducing the incidence of fracture. That is why the Save Our Bones™ lifestyle includes exercises that improve balance. And as it turns out, Vitamin D plays a more active role in this process than we have ever realized.
Researchers at Harvard Medical School reviewed a number of studies that explored Vitamin D’s contribution to fall prevention which revealed amazing findings. “Vitamin D supplementation appears to reduce the risk of falls among ambulatory or institutionalized older individuals with stable health by more than 20%1,” the study concludes.
How Does Vitamin D Reduce Falls?
The mechanism by which Vitamin D does this has to do with how it’s metabolized in the body. One of the byproducts of Vitamin D’s breakdown, called 1,25-hydroxyvitamin D, actually enters muscle cells and affects the nucleus. Once there, 1,25-hydroxyvitamin D enhances the cell’s contraction ability.
Muscles work by contraction and relaxation. A muscle’s ability to contract is essential to its strength and response to outside forces. Vitamin D, then, makes muscles stronger in a very direct way.
What Kind of Vitamin D and How Much
When it comes to Vitamin D supplements, the Recommended Daily Allowance is 600 IUs for adults. But remember that this is the minimum and you can build up on that, depending on your serum levels. Also, it’s important that you use supplements that are in the form of Vitamin D3, which is more bioavailable.
My recommendation is to get as much Vitamin D as you can from sunlight. It’s impossible to overdose on Vitamin D obtained from the sun. If you live in an area with little sunshine, you need to use supplements to make sure you have adequate levels of this crucial
Already Taking Vitamin D? Here Are Other Easy Ways to Prevent Falls
What this meta-analysis also shows is the importance of strong muscles in decreasing your chance of falling. Vitamin D clearly helps with muscle strengthening, but so does exercise.
Core-strengthening exercises are particularly helpful in fall prevention, because the abdominal muscles help hold you steady and upright. In fact, core muscles affect nearly every movement. No matter what activity you’re doing, your motions originate from and/or move through your core. Even sitting up straight engages these central muscles, as do standing, turning, and twisting. Weakened core muscles can result in back pain and poor balance that can lead to falls.
Given the importance of core muscle groups, I want to share a simple, effective exercise to firm and tone your core.
Be sure to warm up before beginning.
Repeat this exercise as many times per side as you feel comfortable. A good place to begin is with 5 to 10 reps on each side.
First, you’ll need an exercise mat. Next:
- Sit down and bend your knees with your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart.
- Lean back at about a 45-degree angle. You will feel your abdominal muscles tighten as you hold this position. Keep them engaged for the duration of the exercise.
- Clasp your hands together and hold them straight out in front of you at shoulder height.
- Draw an “8” in the air with your arms, directly in front of your chest.
- Do 5 to 10 repetitions, and then switch directions.
If You Liked This Exercise, You’ll Love…
Densercise™, which includes many other exercises that strengthen core muscles to improve balance. It also gives you, along with step-by-step illustrations, all the bone-strengthening and balance-enhancing exercises you need to increase your bone density and prevent falls. And all it takes is just 15 minutes a day three times a week.
When you get the Densercise™ e-Book System you’ll also receive the Densercise™ Manual as well as access to the exclusive Densercise™ Online Video Collection that shows you exactly how to do each exercise.
Plus, you’ll also get the Densercise™ Eating Guide, packed with healthy eating tips for before and after you practice the Densercise™ moves, to help you build your bones and your muscles even faster.
And Densercise™ is backed by a 60-day, no-questions-asked money-back guarantee, so there’s no risk.
Please click here to find out more about the Densercise™ e-Book System →
Till next time,
1 Bischoff-Ferrari, H.A., et al. “Effect of Vitamin D on falls: a meta-analysis.” The Journal of the American Medical Association. 2004 April 28;291(16):1999-2006. Web. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15113819
Comments on this article are closed.
I do have your save your bones book and follow your program.Regarding Vit D
my doctor has me on 1000ui, I also do your exercises.
Hi vivan i just want to know tht if i take any protein powder is it gud fr bones or no .
I am 88 (but am more like someone in the early 80’s. Most of my friends are younger but I keep up and most are surprised at my real age. What comments do you ave about me getting started. Can’t get too excited about the exercises in a program like this. Biggest drawback is right knee pain from an old, old injury. Just started using a cane a few months ago.
It has been suggested that I have a cortizone shot in each thumb (unable to bend thumbs for a year now and there is pain involved) How safe is that?
I Tried The Figure 8 Exercise, And You Were Right; When You Get In Position To Do The Figure 8 Exercise You Definitely Feel Your Abdominal Muscles Tighten, When You Hold That Position. Thank You Very Much For Sharing This Article With Us.
Until Next Time, Take Care, And Stay Well.
LOVE, LESLIE (MS. L. CARMEL)
Thanks for the great exercise at my desk, I can do that while waiting for my computer to update. I could be wrong but I though that you had to be careful about to much supplement D because of kidney stones? Like I said, I could be wrong. Anyway, thanks for the update Vivian, it’s always nice to have more information!!!
I was told I was low in vitamin D, and now take 2000 IU a day, and an Algae calcium with Vitamin D3 and K2 with magnesium. I am a 71 year-old ice skater, and still skating, with strong muscles. I was also told that when you are older, you lose the ability to absorb vitamin D from the sun, and started the supplements when going out in the sun to walk the dogs did not seem to bring my vitamin D levels to normal, and was below normal. The supplements did, however, keep my vitamin D levels in the normal range.
Also found that turmeric and Omega 3 together got rid of asthma symptoms and a heavy chest. An old article my 94 year-old mother sent me. Have not had symptoms for many months.
Thanks for the exercise. I felt it so I know it will be helpful.
Are there any ill effects to taking 400IUs when labs show you have already a good level of vitamin D?
Thank you, very much
The RDA is way too low. I recently decreased my intake from 2000 IU to 1000 IU and my last blood test showed a drop from 61.5 ng/mL to 40.8 ng/ML. This is still within the “sufficient” range of of 30-100 ng/mL but less than what my doctor prefers. He recommended that I go back to 2000 IU per day. Please note that I walk outdoors for at least one hour most days.
Also your body can store up vitamin D. So store it up now every day while it is still summer. God knew we wouldn’t get outdoors every day so he gave our bodies the ability to store it up. If you are worried about vit. K just eat lots of Swiss chard and kale and natto. Make kale chips. They are delicious!!
I agree that real sunshine is sooooo much better than supplements. And 20 min per day isn’t that hard. I’ m going out for my 20 min right now!
News Flash! Do not supplement with vitamin D AND Calcium unless you are also taking sufficient vitamin K2. Without K2, the calcium tends to deposit in the arteries of the heart, causing plaque and atherosclerosis and increasing the risk of heart failure, whereas K2 ‘directs’ the calcium to the bones where it is needed.
Yes, consult your doctor first (I am only an interested lay-person).
I can’t believe that this web site has not assured that this caution will be in all references to taking vitamin D and/or calcium. Vitamin D3 IS very important, so don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.
I absolutely agree about the importance of Vitamin K! As I wrote in a blog post on this topic:
“In Chapter 3 of the Osteoporosis Reversal Program I write that bones are made up of 65% mineralized collagen and 35% collagen matrix made of minerals and other nutrients. The most prevalent mineral in bones is calcium. The calcium-binding capacity of osteocalcin is activated when it is chemically altered through a vitamin K-dependent process known as carboxylation.”
You can read the entire post here:
And you might also enjoy this post on calcium supplements and heart attack: 🙂
I take vitamin D3 in a gel cap at 3,000mg. Too low a dosage recommended.
I’ll bet they haven’t researched the benefits of taking D3 at higher levels. I’ve read a study that taking D3 at 400 IU’s didn’t do a thing to prevent diseases, and thus came the recommendation that D wasn’t helpful. Well, then study it a higher levels and see what happens. The study did prove one thing. D taken at 400 IU’s are a waste of time. That they proved.
That’s another good reason to get your Vitamin D from the sun. 🙂 According to a study published in the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, just one 20-minute exposure to summer sun in Hawaii wearing a bathing suit produced between 15,000 and 20,000 IU of vitamin D3!
I was diagnosed with Spinal Stenosis 10-12 years ago and as a result,my right leg atrophied first then my left one did as well. I have been taking Vitamin D3 at 4000 IUs per day and other supplements but they have not helped my right leg aches at night (in bed) nor my balance problem during the day. Will your figure 8 excercises help? Do you have any other suggestions ? Thank You ! Lee
For achy muscles, I take 200+ mgs of magnesium before I go to bed. I’ve been known to get up and take some if my leg muscles start up in the middle of the night. It works wonders for me.
Re:core strength and balance. Test yourself by carrying a cup filled with water across the room without spilling any. Then try one cup in each hand, then the same thing going down the stairs. Surprising the strength needed to do this. Gerri
In the article on the benefits of Vitamin D3, only the RDA is cited. Integrative physicians like Dr. Mercola, Dr. Jonathan Wright, Dr. Julian Whitaker, etc. as well as conventional doctors recommend anywhere from 2,000iu to 5,000iu daily with periodic blood tests. The recommended dosage, cited by Ms Schmidt is woefully inadequate. I am surprised that Ms. Schmidt is not up-to-date on findings that are not at all recent.
The bare minimum of Vitamin D is 400 IU per day – in other words, it’s a good starting point. 🙂 You can then increase the amount as you feel necessary depending on your sun exposure, which may vary according to the seasons.
Do you think blood tests for Vit D3 are relevant? I am wondering if the level of blood D3 really reflects one’s health status. I doubt that Vitamin D3’s solubility in the blood (mostly water) is great enough to be a good marker. Maybe another marker would be more appropriate, such as D3’s concentration INSIDE cells of various tissues (for example, within the skin where it is synthesized under the influence of direct sunlight). I wonder if it is reasonable to assume that D3 from the latter source is so efficiently processed (and assimilated by bone tissues) by enzymatic processes that it would not even have a chance to be detected by the usual blood tests.
Yes, I agree Shirley. I was surprised at how low the recommended dosage is. It is well known now that such a low amount does nothing to help bones especially if one has osteoporosis
I need to see pictures about the exercises i don’t understand and Google translate is not accurate, ?