With the end of daylight savings, once again we are reminded that we are beginning the dark days of winter when we no longer can rely on the sun to get our Vitamin D.
Vitamin D is essential for human health. Best known for its role in calcium metabolism and bone health, Vitamin D deficiency has been implicated in over 100 different disorders ranging from heart disease, hypertension, both Type I and Type II diabetes, depression, cancer, auto-immune disease, and multiple sclerosis. Vitamin D receptors are found in almost every type of human tissue.
During the summer, we are able to synthesize Vitamin D through the stimulus of mid-day sunlight on our skin. Specifically, the UVB rays in sunlight catalyze the conversion of 7-dehydrocholesterol into cholecalciferol - Vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 travels through the blood, via Vitamin D binding protein to the liver where it is converted to 25(OH) D which then circulates to the kidney and other tissues to be converted into the active form of Vitamin: 1,25(OH) D.
At our northern latitude, UVB strength is not sufficient from October to March for us to generate Vitamin D, so we need to get our "D" from our diet. Unfortunately, very few foods contain significant amounts of vitamin D (fish, shiitake mushrooms being exceptions). To address this, most dairy products have been fortified with Vitamin D. Despite this, most Canadians get insufficient Vitamin D levels for optimal health.
At Wellness Garage - we recommend that everyone supplement with Vitamin D from October to March. Until recently, our recommendation was to take 2000 IU of high quality Vitamin D daily.
We now have a better way for our members to get their Vitamin D: the Solius light booth.
Solius was designed to deliver the specific frequency of UVB light that stimulates Vitamin D production in the skin without the risk of sunburn. By targeting and isolating specific UVB frequencies, only 0.15% of the sun's spectrum, Solius maximizes the efficacy of Vitamin D synthesis with extremely low ultraviolet exposure. Put in perspective, one 3 to 4 minute Solius treatment, on average, provides the same amount of UV radiation as 9 seconds of midday summer sunlight, yet synthesizes enough Vitamin D for a week!
The greatest risk from UV radiation comes from UVA exposure - in fact tanning beds deliver greater than 95% UVA and greatly increase the risks of developing skin cancers. UVB light sources minimize UVA and have not been associated with increased cancer risk. Compared to other UVB sources, Solius further reduces exposure to overall UV radiation through its patented delivery system.
Solius is the safest way to produce Vitamin D naturally.
One Solius treatment weekly is all that is needed to optimize your Vitamin D. There is no risk of over or under treatment with Solius, since light is the natural input for Vitamin D production. Just as there is no danger of excess Vitamin D from a day in the sun, Solius, by leveraging the body's natural feedback mechanisms avoids the risk of super physiological doses. Vitamin D3 produced in the skin delivers a slow and steady dose of pro-hormone to the liver that is distinctly different from the absorption of supplements from the intestine.
While Solius prevents "over-dosing" of Vitamin D, under-dosing is the more prevalent issue for most people supplementing. At the recommended daily dose of 600 IU (800 IU for age > 70) many people do not reach adequate Vitamin D levels. Since Solius triggers the body's natural response and feedback system - optimal physiologic levels are achieved.
(for more on the variation of Vitamin D levels - see our previous post on Vitamin D).
Wellness Garage is fortunate to have one of only two Solius booth's deployed (there will be many more to come). To experience Solius - download the Solius app from the Apple or Google Stores), register and book through the app.
For those of you that do not have a Solius near by and still need to supplement, here are our recommendations:
For more information on Solius visit: https://www.solius.com/
At Wellness Garage - we can help you understand and take control of your health. Our comprehensive medical, fitness, nutritional and behavioral assessments give you baseline from which to measure your progress. Our coaching helps you improve your behaviors, one habit at a time.
For more information - please book a free consultation.
Dr. Brendan Byrne