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Dr. Mercola will tell you that medical science has learned, only in the last 10 years, that Vitamin D3 may be the single most important nutrient. (This does not discount the value of all the other nutrients we require every day.) Vitamin D3, medical research has recently learned, is a hormone that regulates over 2,000 genes (about 10% of the human genome). There are only two sources of Vitamin D3: sunshine and fish oils. Vitamin D2, based on studies done 70 years ago on Rickets, is added to milk and other food. D2 does not provide benefits equivalent to D3.
Everyone who lives in the northern latitudes is challenged and most of us, it is now understood, are Vitamin D3 deficient because we do not get enough sunshine. Most of us live and work indoors even in the summer. Eskimos, who live in the high Arctic, formerly got their Vitamin D3 from fish oils and they got their "fruits and vegetables" from eating the partially digested contents of Caribou stomachs. Humans cannot digest lichens and grasses, Caribou can. Yum. Eskimos once lived in igloos and got lots of exercise, mostly walking. Today they live in suffocatingly over-heated houses, eat Pizza Pops, drive around on Skidoos and watch TV. They drink whisky and gets lots of sugar too. In other words, Eskimos (now called "Inuit") are just like the rest of us. Eskimos have lived in the high Arctic for hundreds of thousands of years, but today they are in trouble. Eskimos need better nutrition and more exercise.
SO DO WE!
A modern gymnasium is a critical component of modern living because we have cleverly developed ways to almost totally eliminate physical exertion from our lives! Only astronauts have been able to outdo everyone else by eliminating gravity too. Gold's Gym® provides me with two of the important things that everyone needs: exercise and sunshine in the Hex II sun booths. http://www.goldsgymregina.com/south/index
Here is Dr. Mercola on Vitamin D3: http://products.mercola.com/vitamin-d-spray/?source=nl
Dr. Mercola recommends accurate testing because how much Vitamin D individuals have in their blood varies widely even when they are (orally) consuming exactly the same amount. (The body automatically stops making Vitamin D when it has enough when sunlight on the skin is the source.) Dr. Mercola recommends a world-wide epidemiological study http://www.grassrootshealth.net. I am enrolled. My Vitamin D3 level is 65 ng/ml. I take 2,000 IU a day plus HEX II sunshine every other day. I exercise for two hours thee times a week.
I can personally testify how important Vitamin D3 has been to me. I had severe chronic asthma from age 4 to age 25 when Dr. Carl Reich, an Internist in Calgary, prescribed Vitamin D3 and other nutrients. My asthma disappeared after the first dose! Asthma only returned when other doctors persuaded me to stop taking Vitamin D3 because they thought it was dangerous. When my asthma returned, I would stop taking the nostrums they had prescribed and I would resume taking Vitamin D3. My asthma always disappeared immediately. I smoked a pack a day for a total of 36 years and I have no ill effects from that today. Zero.
Vitamin D3 is important. Important too are the thousands of other essential nutrients found in whole foods, as well as good water, fresh air, sleep, exercise, and, yes, true religion. My plan is to live another sixty years and then die in perfect health. So far, so good!
Dr. Mercola One Hour Lecture: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/12/16/my-one-hour-vitamin-d-lecture-to-clear-up-all-your-confusion-on-this-vital-nutrient.aspx