Ahhh….Summer is finally here! To help you enjoy all of your favorite summertime activities, I have the perfect recipe. The ingredients in this recipe work synergistically to build a healthy body and healthy bones. The bonus in following this recipe is that you may be able to spend more time in the sun with less chance of burning.
This recipe works best when tweaked to each individual, but I’ll give you the basics. In addition to sunshine, the other ingredients are vitamin D, calcium, phosphorus, and free fatty acids.
This recipe starts with sunshine because it is one of the best and least expensive ways to get vitamin D. That’s why it’s called the sunshine vitamin. However, to obtain enough vitamin D from the sun, you must be properly fortified with the right nutrients or risk sunburn. Most essential is having the proper free fatty acids. These free fatty acids also help prevent heat stroke and sun stroke. To learn about the best forms of free fatty acids, come to our workshop on July 30.
However, even with the addition of free fatty acids, you might still burn when you swim or bathe in chlorinated water. Normally, when you are in the sun, precursor vitamin D comes to your skin’s surface as an oily, wet substance. Part of this substance evaporates and cools you while the other part is transformed by ultraviolet B rays from the sun into vitamin D3. Chlorine deactivates and removes the perspiration containing the precursor chemical that should have been reabsorbed and turned into vitamin D. This cholesterol-based chemical (oil) is essential to the manufacture of vitamin D and is what protects you from the burning rays of the sun.
Being in the sun also protects your skin by bringing the melanin to the surface in what’s commonly known as a suntan. However, the darker your skin becomes, the longer it takes for vitamin D precursors to convert to vitamin D.
Vitamin D is quite interesting as it acts as both a vitamin and a hormone. This incredible vitamin protects us from several types of cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, multiple sclerosis, hypertension, and many other health conditions. As a hormone, it helps regulate other hormones in your body. The old adage of getting fresh air and sunshine to feel better makes sense when you realize that the vitamin D from the sun is actually helping balance your hormones.
Getting adequate levels of vitamin D from the sun isn’t always possible. I suggest supplementing with a high quality vitamin D3 especially if you spend most of your time indoors and definitely during the winter months in Michigan. It’s a good idea to start with a blood test and monitor your progress until you achieve and maintain a healthy level.
Taking high amounts of vitamin D and loading the bloodstream with calcium without a way to get it into the tissues can be dangerous. Physicians become concerned about high calcium and high vitamin D levels in the blood because that is what can lead to hypercalcemia.
However, when calcium is delivered to the appropriate places and utilized by the body, hypercalcemia can be avoided. This is where free fatty acids are utilized. Free fatty acids ionize the calcium out of the bloodstream and deliver it to the tissues in the body that use it. In my office, we can recommend which free fatty acids will be most helpful for maintaining safe levels of calcium in your bloodstream.
Calcium helps to build strong bones and teeth while helping muscles, ligaments, tendons, and nerves to function normally. The immune system uses it as a tool in destroying bacteria and other invaders. Even the skin utilizes calcium to help form a protective barrier from the burning effects of the sun.
Bones function like a bank account when extra calcium is available. When the body needs calcium, calcium ions are dissolved out of the bones into the bloodstream. However, in order to absorb this calcium, a proper acid-base balance is needed. The body must be acidic enough for calcium to stay in solution in the joint spaces and lubricate them. When there’s too little acid, the calcium precipitates from the bones and turns into small grainy particles. These particles lead to stiff, sore joints, and muscle cramps.
Another essential component in my recipe for a healthy body and healthy bones is phosphorus. Phosphorus in the correct form is needed to maintain proper calcium levels. According to Dr. Royal Lee, founder of Standard Process, the proper ratio of calcium to phosphorus is five calcium units for each two phosphorus units. Without the correct amount of phosphorus, calcium will fall out of solution. When this happens, calcium particles may form calcium stones in the kidneys, gallbladder, and the joint spaces. Oftentimes, problems arise before the stones may be seen on a scan. If you’ve experienced one of these types of stones, you know how painful they can be. The good news is that you don’t have to wait for a scan to verify the existence of this problem to get relief if you know what to do.
Phosphorus is also used to prevent and resolve problems with gout. However, gout is actually a digestive disorder so those with gout must continue to pay strict attention to their diet.
The X-rays we take to show structure can also tell us whether or not you have proper levels of calcium in your bones. X-rays also help us to see whether you have symptoms associated with low levels of phosphorus in the bone, such as osteopenia, osteoporosis, or abnormal calcium deposits in your carotid arteries or your aortic arch. These are all serious conditions but they can be helped with good nutrition.
The benefits of improving nutrition work exponentially. Improving nutrition improves health. The healthier you are, the more active you can be, the stronger your bones, and the more satisfaction you can derive from both work and play. The more you do and the more you enjoy, the healthier and happier you become! Sounds like a recipe for success, don’t you think?
Dr. William H. Karl, D.C.