Walking on Sunshine: Natural Health!

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Walking on Sunshine: Natural Health!

Walking on Sunshine: Natural Health!
Lynna “A Preppers Path ” Audio player below!

Hey all you preppers out there the sun is shining at least up here in the wilds of the north. Temperatures are climbing and the golden rays of sunshine are flooding the landscape. A perfect time to get outside and enjoy. It’s easy enough to fill a page with all the positives of sunshine. However, are you aware how important the sun is for our bodies.

Continue reading Walking on Sunshine: Natural Health! at Prepper Broadcasting Network.

Why the Flu Likes Winter and How Vitamin D Can Help

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It’s Flu Season Again

Ever wonder why people tend to get sick in winter? There are a lot of theories, including that we spend more time indoors and close to others. Another reason is that the flu virus can live longer outside of a “host” in the colder, dryer winter air.

But there’s another reason I believe also completes this puzzle of why the flu only seems to come out in winter: Vitamin D deficiency makes us more susceptible to viral attack (along with zinc deficiency, too).

Why Vitamin D Matters

Vitamin D is a steroid hormone (not really a vitamin) that our body creates when it is exposed to direct sunlight. It also comes from foods like pastured meats and eggs, liver, wild fish, sardines, and oysters. Most of us are already low or deficient in vitamin D because unlike our ancestors who lived outdoors, we live inside offices and Starbucks, and because few of us are eating the foods listed above. About 80% of my clients come into my office with vitamin D levels in the “deficient” range.

Those of us in the Northern Hemisphere above the 35th parallel likely produce little vitamin D in our bodies between October and March. I have not yet found a way to invent a computer screen that emits vitamin D-creating light (but if you steal my idea, I expect half the profits – honor system here, folks). The vitamin D theory of the winter illnesses holds some water as evidenced by research from the National Institutes of Health, and perhaps most forcefully in a 2009 study published in JAMA.

Of course the naysayers have some studies suggesting vitamin D has no effect on your ability to fight the flu. After reviewing such research, it appears these studies only looked at the dosing, not the participants’ actual levels. You could give someone all the vitamin D in the world, but if it’s not raising their blood levels within an optimal range, the study results are not reliable.

So What Is an Optimal Level of Vitamin D?

No one knows, and researchers are in a hot debate on this. There are basically two camps: the 35-50ers and the 50-70ers.

I’m in the camp of the 50-70ers, with some exceptions.  That level should be achieved at least in part through sunlight and food rather than by supplementation. I know people who take mega-doses of refined vitamin D supplements for long periods of time to get that level, which I don’t recommend.

And there is some evidence that those dealing with very serious illnesses can benefit from extra high, therapeutic levels.

Learning From Traditional Lifestyles

I base this opinion in part on studies that look at the levels of those modern hunter-gatherers and societies that live outdoors most of the time — like we did more than 10,000 years ago. Studying people in traditional cultures that are relatively free from “Western” diseases is often a good way to know what may be optimal for the rest of us.

A recent study of the Masai people showed their average levels at 48ng/ml (range: 23-67). And the Hadzabe averaged 44ng/ml (range: 24-68). My recommendations are based in part on this study.

How I Manage My Vitamin D

In winter (October-March), I personally take 4,000-6,000 IUs of D3 (cholecalciferol) from a supplement and a teaspoon of Green Pasture Fermented Cod Liver Oil / Butter Oil Blend or a tablespoon of Carlson Cod Liver Oil (containing about 1200 IUs of D3) for a total of 5,200-7,200 IUs per day. In summer, I cut back my supplement to 2,000-4,000 IUs per day and stay on the Cod Liver Oil or Green Pasture Fermented Cod Liver Oil.

Listen to your body and your chosen team of health clinicians to guide you on the levels that may be right for you. I have had patients who just felt terrible with levels above 50ng/ml before seeing me (possibly because of other deficiencies — see the end of this post) and others who did not get better until they surpassed that. I think the best evidence today suggests that anywhere from 35-70ng/ml would be a widely safe range for most adults.

These are just what I need to keep my levels around 55-60 ng/ml. You may need drastically different amounts. It’s always best to get tested — which is usually covered by insurance, or you can order your own test kits online.

The Best Ways to Increase Your Vitamin D

  • SUMMER: Exposing your skin to direct sunlight (not through windows). The rule of thumb is 15-20 minutes of sunlight on 70% of your body between about noon-4 p.m. or when your shadow is shorter than you are.
  • WINTER: If you live above about the 35th Parallel (Washington, DC, near where I live is at the 38th), you are probably not making any Vitamin D between October and March no matter how much sun you get.
  • Cod liver oil (I only recommend Carlson and Green Pasture — avoid most others).
  • Wild seafood, especially fatty fish, caviar, and oysters. I prefer VitalChoice.
  • Eat mushrooms that have been grown or dried in sunlight.
  • Vitamin D supplements (my favorites are Carlson A&D from Cod Liver Oil and Enzymatic Therapy Chocolate Chewables).

A Word About Vitamin D Supplements

It’s important to know that vitamin D is a family of similar hormones. When you take a pill form of vitamin D, you are often getting just one isolated form. No supplement will ever fully replace the value of getting your vitamin D from direct exposure to the sun and from vitamin D-rich foods.

The Vitamin A-D-K2 Connection

The fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K2) are fascinating, and they work synergistically together. It’s another reason I recommend getting your vitamin D from food because vitamin D greatly increases your need for vitamin A (retinol) and K2, as Chris Masterjohn, PhD, has clearly outlined.

The bottom line is that we now know that getting vitamin D along with pre-formed vitamin A and vitamin K2 in balance is important. Thankfully, if you take a high quality fermented cod liver oil (with a high vitamin butter oil blend) from Green Pasture, you get these in a natural balance. Yet another reason to not rely solely on a refined supplement.

They say you can’t fight the Fed, but you can fight the flu by optimizing your vitamin D. If you got something from this, spread the word or leave a comment/question below.

(This article was originally published December 11, 2015.)

 

Sources:

  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20219962
  2. http://www.virologyj.com/content/5/1/29
  3. http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=414815#qundefined
  4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22264449
  5. http://www.greenpasture.org/public/Products/ButterCodLiverBlend/index.cfm
  6. http://www.fungi.com/blog/items/place-mushrooms-in-sunlight-to-get-your-vitamin-d.html
  7. http://www.westonaprice.org/blogs/cmasterjohn/2012/01/22/new-evidence-of-synergy-between-vitamins-a-and-d-protection-against-autoimmune-diseases/

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5 Common Nutrient Deficiencies That Are Ruining Your Health

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I often find myself looking up the nutrient profiles of the foods I eat. I try to do it on a regular basis, just to see where my diet is lacking. What I usually discover, is that I’m deficient in one nutrient or another. You really need to eat a lot of really high quality foods to take in the vitamins and minerals that are recommended by the FDA. And even when you pull that off, it’s still isn’t necessarily enough. The daily recommended values that you see printed on the sides of most food packages, often reflect the minimum nutrients you need, rather than the most optimum nutrient intake.

And I know that I’m not alone. Despite the fact that people living in the United States have access to more food than anyone else in the world, or throughout human history for that matter, millions of Americans are still deficient in many different kinds of nutrients. The most common of which include:

Vitamin D

Studies have shown that vitamin D deficiencies are skyrocketing in the US. Because we receive most of our vitamin D from sun exposure, the most likely reasons for this trend include our sedentary lifestyles, and increasing sunscreen usage. Symptoms of a deficiency include fatigue, reduced mental faculties, and bone fractures. Though sea foods and dairy provide the most vitamin D in our diets, exposing your skin to the sun is the most efficient way to receive enough of this nutrient.

Magnesium

Because magnesium is present in every cell in your body, it would be impossible to list every symptom of a deficiency. Magnesium effects every bodily function, which makes it one of the most important nutrients. Though estimates vary between different studies, they all suggest that a majority of the population isn’t consuming enough magnesium. The best sources of magnesium include leafy greens, fish, beans, and nuts.

Omega-3

This is one of the most important nutrients for reducing inflammation, and when you don’t eat enough of it, you may suffer from severe cognitive decline, skin problems, and high blood pressure. Plus, the amount of omega-3 fatty acids that you consume needs to be in balance with the amount omega-6 in your diet, if you want to reap the benefits of this nutrient.

Though estimates vary, you should probably be consuming 1 mg of omega-3 for every 4 mg of omega-6. Unfortunately, for most people that ratio is closer to 1/12 or worse, due to the highly processed nature of our diets. So skip junk foods that are loaded with vegetable fats, and eat more fish products like salmon, sardines, and cod liver oil.

Iron

You wouldn’t think that this deficiency would be a problem in America when you consider how meat-rich our diets are. However, it’s fairly common among infants, children, and women who are pregnant or menstruating. The symptoms include fatigue, headaches, chest pains, pale skin, and shortness of breath. To receive enough iron in your diet, you need to eat plenty of meat (especially liver), seafood, seeds and nuts.

Potassium

Potassium is a crucial nutrient for hydration, so when you don’t consume enough, it can cause a wide variety of problems including nausea, heart palpitations, delirium, cramps, and muscle weakness. Unfortunately, it’s fairly difficult to consume enough potassium every day. There isn’t just one food you can eat to alleviate a deficiency (contrary to popular opinion, bananas only have a moderate amount of potassium).

You need to incorporate a wide variety of plant foods into every meal to receive enough potassium. That can include beans, squash, potatoes, leafy greens, tomato sauce, and avocados.

Joshua Krause was born and raised in the Bay Area. He is a writer and researcher focused on principles of self-sufficiency and liberty at Ready Nutrition. You can follow Joshua’s work at our Facebook page or on his personal Twitter.

Joshua’s website is Strange Danger

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition