Check here for on going articles and points of interest that will help you maximize your well being.
This article in the link below states what I see in my practice every week - most people are deficient in vitamin D. Since we have a lab in the clinic, I check the blood vitamin D levels of most of my patients, and the vast majority of them initially come back low. I'm not talking about low by naturopathic standards. I am talking sometimes half or one third of the lab range, which is 75-250 nm/L. I ideally like to see it around 130 nm/L, which is about the middle of this range.
This is serious stuff. More and more research is showing the importance of vitamin D in keeping inflammation down (this is a factor in most chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, joint pain, and many others), helping to maintain bone density, regulating mood, among many other areas. In my experience, taking 1000 IU of vitamin D, as is typically recommended, is not enough to keep blood levels up. Depending on how low the value is, I may suggest taking as much as 7000 IU/day for three months, at which point the blood level is retested. Some of my patients tried stopping their vitamin D for the summer, thinking they would be able to get enough from the sun, but their levels often came back lower in the fall than they had been in the spring when they were taking their vitamin D. It is really important for the blood levels to be rechecked when prescribed higher doses, as vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin, so it can build up in the liver and cause problems if it gets too high. In my practice, I haven't seen anyone get too high because of supplementing, but it is possible.
Why do we have such low vitamin D levels? Most of our vitamin D comes from exposure to the sun, and only a small amount from food. As anyone living in Grey-Bruce County knows, we don't get a whole lot of sun exposure for a good chunk of the year. Even when it is sunny in the winter, the sun exposure is not very direct, and most of our skin is bundled up. In the summer time, many people wear sunscreen (which is important), and stay out of the sun during the hottest times of the day. Plus, I think the summer is just too short to make up for all of the vitamin D lost during the winter.
So what is the take home lesson? Be sure to get your vitamin D levels checked, and supplement appropriately. It costs $38 in my office (and often isn't covered by OHIP through your medical doctor either), but it is money well spent when you look at all of the advantages vitamin D has for your short and long term health.
Do you know of someone who would be interested in participating in a food box of fresh vegetables, fruit and herbs this growing season, but is experiencing financial difficulty? Persephone Market Garden is offering subsidized shares (50%) thanks to the generosity of a couple of members who would like to help others access good food. All they have to do is let PMG know why they would like a share and why they need help accessing one. No need for financial details. Here is a link to their latest newsletter, which also includes details of the fresh fruits they are hoping to add this year.
Most people know how important it is to stay hydrated, but I know how difficult it can be to drink enough, both personally, and from talking to patients. I read these suggestions in the honest.com blog. They came from Dzung Lewis of Honeysuckle, a lifestyle channel that presents healthy recipes in a fresh and fun way. She discussed 8 delicious ways to infuse fruit into her water, which also have extra health benefits as well.
Water infused with fruits and herbs helps to detoxify your body, boost your energy, and increase your hydration. All you have to do is place as much fruit as you’d like into water, let it sit for 30 minutes and enjoy!
Here are her suggested combinations:
I'm planning on trying the Strawberry, Lemon and Basil combo - it sounds delicious! I am sure many of these would taste great as hot teas, if the idea of drinking something warm is more appealing to you in this cold weather. Please let me know your thoughts. Enjoy!
It was my son's 6th birthday this weekend, and he decided that he wanted a Lego party. I turned to Pinterest to come up with an easy cake to make, and found Lego block brownies, which were definitely at my level of baking expertise. I'm pleased to say they were a hit! I thought I would share the delicious recipe, which can definitely be enjoyed at other times than just birthdays. Click here to enjoy!
Julie Gottschalk is the new Rehab (Osteopathic) Assistant at Maple Shores Health Centre, who started working with Tony Kaake this month. She graduated from Cambrian College with a diploma in Physical Fitness and Leisure Management. Her previous work experience includes working in the Physiotherapy field for 18 years as an Exercise Therapist, as well as a Physiotherapy Assistant. Her expertise and smiling face are a wonderful addition to the Maple Shores team! Click here for more information about Julie.