How Vitamin D Rich Foods May Help Remedy Insomnia

vitamin d foods for sleepHere’s a short vitamin D primer that also includes how it can affect insomnia.  Shared by Nutrition Breakthroughs, maker of Sleep Minerals II
***********************
Do you struggle with falling asleep or staying asleep at night? If so, you are not alone. Every night, millions of people lie in bed hoping for a restful night’s sleep that does not come.

It is estimated that one in three people will develop acute insomnia every year, and about 10% of these individuals will struggle with insomnia for several months at a time.

Insomnia can wreak havoc on one’s ability to live a normal, productive life. In fact, lack of sleep can lead to mood changes, memory loss, and impaired judgement. In addition, unresolved or unmanaged sleep disorders can increase the risk of chronic pain, depression, and a compromised immune system.

There are a variety of sleep medications on the market to help manage insomnia. However, the side effects often lead to a new set of health complications. As a result, many people have begun searching for a safer, natural alternative to promote a healthier sleep cycle. Of the options on the market, vitamin D is proving to be a serious contender.

Vitamin D at a glance

Vitamin D has been making media headlines for over two decades. Originally believed to be important solely for bone health, research continues to uncover a wide range of additional health benefits of maintaining optimal levels.

Unfortunately, despite the thousands of studies that have showcased the body’s need for vitamin D, deficiency remains highly prevalent. This is due to a variety of factors, including but not limited to:

  • Indoor lifestyle
  • Sunblock use
  • Avoidance of mid-day sun exposure
  • Lack of supplement use
  • Imbalanced diet
  • Obesity

Often, people who are vitamin D deficient experience symptoms like fatigue, joint and muscle pain, frequent infections and insomnia.

How vitamin D status may impact sleep quality

Vitamin D is not just a vitamin, it’s a hormone. That means, after undergoing a couple of activation processes in the body, it binds to cells throughout the body to regulate a wide range of bodily functions.

Hormones are fat-soluble substances derived from cholesterol. They are produced by glands such as the thyroid, adrenals and pancreas, and then released into the bloodstream to reach target cells. These include cortisol made by the adrenals, testosterone, estrogen and yes, vitamin D.

So, how may vitamin D impact sleep? Vitamin D receiving points are located throughout regions of the brain that regulate our mood and sleep patterns. This has led researchers to theorize that vitamin D helps regulate the circadian rhythm, which is our body’s internal clock that instructs us when to sleep, eat, and rest.

  • Several studies have supported this theory by reporting a relationship between healthy vitamin D levels and improved sleep quality. In addition, a recent study found that vitamin D deficiency is associated with an 11-fold increased odds of resistance to sleep medication. This means that the people who didn’t respond to sleeping drugs had a lower level of vitamin D in their body.

Best sources of vitamin D

Thankfully, there are a variety of ways one can ensure they are receiving enough vitamin D to promote healthy sleep cycles.  This includes safe sun exposure (avoiding getting burned), supplementation, and eating a balanced diet.

Now more than ever, foods are being fortified with vitamin D in an effort to better support the body’s needs. However, people frequently ask, which form is better, vitamin D2 or D3?

Vitamin D2 is obtained through the diet and is produced by plants; whereas D3 is naturally produced when the skin is exposed to the sun and it can be consumed via animal sources in the diet.

Vitamin D3 is more bioavailable than D2, meaning this form is more efficiently utilized by our bodies. For this reason, experts recommend people ensure they are receiving ample amounts of vitamin D3 per day.

Top dietary sources of vitamin D

  1. Cod liver Oil is the most potent dietary source for vitamin D3. In just one tablespoon, you can receive 1,360 international units (IU) vitamin D3. In addition to vitamin D, cod liver oil is rich in vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids.
  2. Fatty fish, such as salmon, sardines and mackerel are the best dietary sources of vitamin D, with about 500 IU vitamin D3 content in just three ounces of cooked fish. Also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, these sources offer a heart-healthy option for those looking for a balanced dietary approach to maintaining healthy vitamin D levels.
  3. Plain greek yogurt is another healthy option to provide some of your daily vitamin D needs. Known for its probiotics, greek yogurt helps support a healthy intestinal tract. In addition, it is a great snack for people who struggle with hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) due to its high protein, low carbohydrate ratio. It also contains calcium, magnesium and about 80 IU vitamin D per 6 oz serving.
  4. Eggs offer another beneficial source of vitamin D3. They generally contain about 40 IU per yoke.
  5. Perhaps one of the most popular dietary sources of vitamin D is milk. It offers about 120 IU vitamin D3 per serving. Milk also provides a great source of calcium. For this reason, milk is an important dietary component to protecting bone health.

Final thoughts

If you struggle with insomnia and hope vitamin D may help improve your sleep quality, there are a couple important factors to keep in mind. First, consistency is key. Although time of day isn’t important when eating foods rich in vitamin D or taking an oral supplement, it is important that this is done on a regular basis.

Research suggests that taking a couple thousand international units (IU’s) of vitamin D per day between foods and supplements is ideal when addressing sleeplessness and insomnia.

One supplement that contains a good amount of vitamin D is Sleep Minerals II from Nutrition Breakthroughs. It also contains highly absorbable forms of calcium, magnesium, and zinc, which are all blended together with healthy oils to form an absorbable soft gel. Together, these vitamins and minerals work to help facilitate quality sleep.  Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can cause one to wake up in the middle of the night and be unable to fall back asleep.

One Sleep Minerals II user in Massachusetts says: “I had become dependent on sleeping drugs and couldn’t sleep without them. Now I take the Sleep Minerals before bed and can sleep through the whole night without drugs. I’m also able to easily fall back to sleep if I do have to get up.  Another benefit is this helps alleviate my chronic fatigue and aches and pains.”

Vitamin D is one of the master players in the game we all hope to win: Vibrant health, well-being and good sleep. Use it well in foods and supplements, as well as together with those minerals that are best-known for being relaxing insomnia remedies.

For more information, visit the Sleep Minerals II page.

Vitamin D for Beginners: A Guide to Benefits and Sources

By Kris Gunnars, CEO and Founder of Authority Nutrition, BSc (Bachelor’s Degree in Medicine)

**************************************
Shared by Nutrition Breakthroughs,
maker of Sleep Minerals II, the effective natural sleep aid with
calcium, magnesium and vitamin D
**************************************

You may be surprised to learn that vitamin D is completely different from most other vitamins.

It is actually a hormone, a steroid hormone that is produced out of cholesterol when your skin is exposed to the sun.

For this reason, vitamin D is often referred to as the “sunshine” vitamin.

However, sun exposure is often inadequate these days, making it necessary for people to get more of it from the diet (or supplements).

This is important, because vitamin D is absolutely essential for optimal health (1).

Unfortunately, only a handful of foods contain significant amounts of this vitamin, and deficiency is extremely common (2).

In fact, according to data from 2005-2006, a whopping 41.6% of the US population is deficient in this critical vitamin/hormone (4).

This article explains everything you need to know about vitamin D.

What is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is one of the fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K), meaning that it dissolves in fat/oil and can be stored in the body for a long time.

There are actually two main forms found in the diet:

  • Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol): Found in some animal foods, like fatty fish and egg yolks.
  • Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol): Found in some mushrooms.

Of the two, D3 (cholecalciferol) is the one we’re interested in, because it is almost twice as effective at increasing blood levels of vitamin D as the D2 form (6).

Bottom Line: Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that can be stored in the body for long periods of time. There are two main forms, D2 and D3, of which D3 is much more effective.

What Does Vitamin D Do in The Body?

Oil Capsules

Vitamin D is actually pretty useless at first.

It needs to go through two conversion steps to become “active” (8).

First, it is converted to calcidiol, or 25(OH)D, in the liver. This is the storage form of the vitamin in the body.

Second, it is converted to calcitriol, or 1,25(OH)2D, mostly in the kidneys. This is the active, steroid hormone form of vitamin D.

Calcitriol travels around the body, going into the nuclei of cells. There it interacts with a receptor called the vitamin D receptor, which is found in almost every single cell of the body (10).

When the active form of vitamin D binds to this receptor, it turns genes on or off, leading to changes in the cells (12). This is similar to how most other steroid hormones work.

It is well known that vitamin D affects various cells related to bone health, for example telling the cells in the gut to absorb calcium and phosphorus (14).

But scientists have now found it to be involved in all sorts of other processes, including immune function and protection against cancer (15).

So people who are deficient in vitamin D will be deficient in calcitriol (the steroid hormone form), so in effect they are deficient in one of the body’s critical hormones.

Bottom Line: Vitamin D is turned into calcidiol, the storage form of the vitamin, which is then converted into calcitriol, the active steroid form. Calcitriol binds to the vitamin D receptor inside cells, turning genes on or off.

Sunshine is The Best Way to Get Vitamin D

Vitamin D can be produced out of cholesterol in the skin, when it is exposed to the sun. The ultraviolet B (UVB) rays from the sun provide the energy needed for the reaction to occur (16).

If you live where there is abundant sun year round, then you can probably get all the vitamin D you need by just going outside and sunbathing a few times per week.

Young Woman Laying on Grass in The Sun

Keep in mind that you need to expose a large part of your body. If you’re only exposing your face and hands then you will produce much less vitamin D.

Also, if you stay behind glass or use sunscreen, then you will produce less vitamin D, or none at all.

This makes the advice to use sunscreen to protect against skin cancer highly questionable. It raises your risk of vitamin D deficiency, which may lead to other diseases instead (17).

If you decide to get your vitamin D from the sun, just make sure to never, ever burn.

Sunshine is healthy, but sunburns can cause premature aging of the skin and raise your risk of skin cancer (18).

If you’re staying in the sun for a long time, consider going without sunscreen for the first 10-30 minutes or so (depending on your sensitivity to sun), then apply it before you start burning.

Vitamin D gets stored in the body for a long time, weeks or months, so you may only need occasional sun to keep your blood levels adequate.

All that being said, not everyone (including myself) lives where there is sun year round. In these cases, getting vitamin D from foods or supplements becomes absolutely essential, especially during the winter months.

Bottom Line: Sunshine is the best way to get vitamin D, but sunscreen blocks its production. Many people don’t have access to sunshine for most of the year.

Very Few Foods Contain This Vitamin in Significant Amounts

Here is the vitamin D3 content of a few select foods:

Vitamin D in Foods

Although fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, swordfish, trout, tuna and sardines are decent sources, you would have to eat them almost every single day to get enough.

The only really good dietary source of vitamin D is fish liver oils, such as cod fish liver oil, containing up two to times the daily value in a single tablespoon.

Keep in mind that dairy products and cereals are often fortified with vitamin D (21).

Some rare mushrooms also contain vitamin D, and egg yolks contain small amounts.

Bottom Line: Cod fish liver oil is the single best source of vitamin D3. Fatty fish is also a good source, but you have to eat it very often to get enough.

Vitamin D Deficiency is Serious Business

Unhappy and Frustrated Doctor

Vitamin D deficiency is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies.

Some people are at greater risk than others. Although the average is around 41.6%, this percentage goes up to 82.1% in black people and 69.2% in Hispanics (4).

Elderly people are also at a much greater risk of being deficient (22).

People who have certain diseases are also very likely to be deficient. One study showed that 96% of heart attack patients were low on vitamin D (23)

Unfortunately, vitamin D deficiency is a silent epidemic. The symptoms are usually subtle, and may take years or decades to surface.

The most well known symptom of vitamin D deficiency is a disease of the bones called rickets, which is common in children in developing countries.

However, due to public health measures back in the day, they started fortifying some foods with vitamin D, which mostly eliminated rickets from Western societies (24).

Deficiency has also been linked to osteoporosis, reduced mineral density and increased risk of falls and fractures in the elderly (25).

Studies have also shown that people with low vitamin D levels have a much greater risk of heart disease, diabetes (both type 1 and type 2), cancer, dementia and autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis, to name a few (26).

Vitamin D deficiency has also been linked to a significantly increased risk of death from all causes (27).

Whether being vitamin D deficient actually contributes to these diseases, or whether people who have low vitamin D levels are just more likely to get them, is not as clear.

Bottom Line: Vitamin D deficiency is a well known cause of a bone disease called rickets in children. However, deficiency has also been linked to many other health problems, as well as reduced life expectancy.

Health Benefits of Getting Plenty of Vitamin D

Fish Oil Capsules

Vitamin D has received considerable mainstream attention in recent years and decades.

Research on it has gotten lots of funding, and hundreds of studies have been done.

Here are some potential benefits of getting plenty of vitamin D:

  • Osteoporosis, falls and fractures: Higher doses of vitamin D can help prevent osteoporosis, falls and fractures in the elderly (30).
  • Strength: Vitamin D supplementation can increase physical strength, in both upper and lower limbs (31).
  • Cancer: Vitamin D may help prevent cancer. One study showed that 1100 IU per day, along with calcium, reduced cancer risk by 60% (32).
  • Depression: Studies have shown vitamin D supplementation to cause mild reduction in symptoms in people with clinical depression (34).
  • Type 1 diabetes: One study in infants found that 2000 IU of vitamin D per day reduced the risk of type 1 diabetes by 78% (35).
  • Mortality: Some studies have shown that vitamin D supplementation reduces people’s risk of dying during the study periods, indicating that it may help you live longer (36).
  • Insomnia: (A note from Nutrition Breakthroughs): Vitamin D is a proven insomnia remedy.  The results of a clinical trial of vitamin D supplementation was published in a recent issue of the journal “Medical Hypothesis”.  The researchers followed 1500 patients over a 2 year period and a consistent level of vitamin D3 was maintained in their blood over many months. This produced normal sleep in most of the participants, regardless of the type of sleep disorder they were experiencing. (end of the note from Nutrition Breakthroughs).

This is actually just the tip of the iceberg.

Low vitamin D levels have been linked to all sorts of diseases, and supplementation has been shown to have numerous other benefits.

However, keep in mind that much of this is not definitely proven. According to a recent 2014 review, more evidence is needed to confirm many of these benefits (38).

Bottom Line: Taking vitamin D supplements has been shown to have numerous benefits related to cancer, bone health, mental health and autoimmune diseases, to name a few.

How Much Should You Take?

The only way to know if you are deficient, and whether you need to take a supplement, is by having your blood levels measured.

Woman Holding Bottle of Oil-Filled Capsules

Your doctor will measure the storage form, calcidiol or 25(OH)D. Anything under 12 ng/mL is considered deficient, and anything above 20 ng/mL is considered adequate. (Note: Some medical tests report results in nanograms (ng) per millilitre (mL). A nanogram is one-billionth of a gram. A gram is about 1/30 of an ounce. A millilitre measures fluid volume equal to 1/1000 litre).

The RDA for vitamin D in the US is as follows (39):

  • 400 IU (10 mcg): Infants, 0-12 months.
  • 600 IU (15 mcg): Children and adults, 1-70 years of age.
  • 800 IU (20 mcg): Elderly and pregnant or lactating women.

Although the official cutoff point for vitamin D deficiency is 12 ng/mL, many health experts believe that people should aim for blood levels higher than 30 ng/mL for optimal health and disease prevention (40).

Additionally, many believe that the recommended intake is way too low, and that people need much more to reach optimal blood levels of the vitamin (41).

According to the Institute of Medicine, the safe upper limit is 4.000 IU (42).

For people who are at risk of deficiency, this may be a good amount to aim for. Sometimes doctors recommend taking much more than that.

Just make sure to take vitamin D3, not D2. Vitamin D3 capsules are available in most supermarkets and health food stores.

Vitamins A, K2 and Magnesium Are Important as Well

It’s important to keep in mind that nutrients usually don’t work in isolation.

Many of them depend on one another, and increased intake of one nutrient may increase your need for another.

Some researchers claim that fat-soluble vitamins work together, and that it is crucial to optimize vitamin A and vitamin K2 intake at the same time as supplementing with vitamin D3 (43).

This is especially important for vitamin K2, another fat-soluble vitamin that most people don’t get enough of (45).

Magnesium intake may also be important for the function of vitamin D. Magnesium is an important mineral that is often lacking in the modern diet (46)

What Happens if You Take Too Much?

It is actually a myth that it is easy to overdose on vitamin D.

Vitamin D toxicity is very rare, and only happens if you take insane doses for long periods of time (48).

I (Kris Gunnars) personally live where there is very little sun year-round, so I take 4000-5000 IU per day of a vitamin D3 supplement.

I’ve been doing this for many years now, and consider it to be an essential component of my personal health strategy.

*****************************************************

This health news is shared by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a publisher of nutrition articles and supplier of effective natural remedies since 2002. Nutrition Breakthroughs makes the original mineral-based sleep remedy Sleep Minerals II, containing calcium, magnesium, vitamin D and zinc.  It has been shown to be effective for sleeplessness and insomnia, as well as for heart health, restless leg syndrome, bone strength, menopause insomnia and teenage insomnia.

Doctor P. of Houston, Texas says: “I had developed sleeping problems and took two different sleep medications over the course of several weeks. When I discontinued them, the insomnia came back even worse. I literally got about 20 hours of sleep in 6 weeks time. Sleep Minerals II was just what I needed. I*ve been taking it for a couple weeks and getting many hours of sleep a night. As a doctor I would definitely avoid prescribing sleeping drugs.  I would recommend Sleep Minerals II.”

For more information visit the Sleep Minerals II page.

Article source: https://authoritynutrition.com/vitamin-d-101/

Chart: 7 Signs of a Vitamin D Deficiency and Natural Remedies

Greetings to you,

I’ve included a health-enhancing chart below that gives the seven most common signs of vitamin D deficiency and also the top natural sources of vitamin D.  Here are some of the most recent studies done on vitamin D and its role in supporting good health:

1. Vitamin D and Insomnia: One study on vitamin D supplements for people with insomnia was published in the journal “Medical Hypothesis”. The researchers followed 1500 patients over a 2 year period. A consistent level of vitamin D3 was maintained in their blood over many months. This produced normal sleep in most of the participants, regardless of their type of sleep disorder.

2. Vitamin D and Muscle Strength: Researchers in Brazil conducted a research trial and at the conclusion, the women who received the placebo ended up having reduced muscle mass and muscle degeneration of 6.8%.  They also had twice as many falls as the vitamin D group.  On the other hand, the women who took the vitamin D supplement had a major increase in their muscle strength of over 25%.

3. Vitamin D and Autoimmune Disease: A study from the Journal of Investigative Medicine found that vitamin D has important functions beyond those of supporting calcium and bones in the body.  It concluded that vitamin D is a boost to immunity and a deficiency of the vitamin is common in autoimmune disease – a disease where the body’s immune system attacks healthy cells by mistake. These include multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and inflammatory bowel disease.

4.Vitamin D Inhibits Inflammation: ScienceDaily reports that researchers have discovered specific molecular and cellular events by which vitamin D inhibits inflammation in the body. Conditions with chronic inflammation include asthma, ulcers, arthritis, gum disease and liver disease.

5. How to Increase Vitamin D Levels: The vitamin D council recommends exposing as much of the skin surfaces as possible to sunlight for around half the time it takes for the skin to turn pink and begin to burn.  For a fair, light skinned person, this could be fifteen minutes.  For a dark skinned person, this may take a couple hours. During this time, the body may produce 10,000 to 25,000 vitamin D units. If a person is unable to get adequate sun exposure, then taking a vitamin D3 supplement is encouraged.

Enjoy the vitamin D chart below.

Jobee Knight
Nutrition Breakthroughs
Maker of Sleep Minerals II with calcium, magnesium and vitamin D

vitamin d deficiency signs - infographicThis natural health news is provided by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a publisher of nutrition articles and supplier of effective natural remedies since 2001. Nutrition breakthroughs makes Sleep Minerals II, the effective natural sleep aid with calcium, magnesium, zinc and vitamin D, and also Joints and More, the natural solution for joint relief, aches and pains, stronger hair and nails and more energy.

Health benefits of Vitamin D – The Top 10 Vitamin D Foods

Vitamin d foodsGreetings to you,

Included below is a great chart showing the top 10 Vitamin D rich foods. Vitamin D is known as the “Sunshine Vitamin” as spending time outdoors in the sun is known to increase vitamin D in the body via the skin. Our ancestors spent a considerable amount of their time outdoors, but for the first time in history, large amounts of the world population spend most of their time inside their offices and homes.

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition recommends some regular sun exposure (usually 5–10 min of exposure of the arms and legs or the hands, arms, and face, 2 or 3 times per week) and increased dietary and supplemental vitamin D to guarantee getting enough and preventing a vitamin D deficiency. The foods highest in vitamin D are featured in the chart below.

Vitamin D supports healthy bones, reduces diabetes risk, strengthens the immune system, remedies insomnia and soothes skin conditions. One study on vitamin D supplements for people with insomnia was published in the journal “Medical Hypothesis”. The researchers followed 1500 patients over a 2 year period. A consistent level of vitamin D3 was maintained in their blood over many months.

This produced normal sleep in most of the participants, regardless of their type of sleep disorder. During the research, the authors discovered the presence of high concentrations of vitamin D “receiving sites” or “receptors” in those areas of the brain that are related to the onset and maintenance of sleep.

Vitamin D supports healthy bones. Vitamin D deficiency is a known cause of rickets (soft bones) in children and osteoporosis in adults.The pioneering nutritionist Adelle Davis writes about vitamin D in her book “Let’s Get Well”. She says: “Vitamin D increases calcium absorption…and controls the enzymes necessary to deposit minerals in bones and teeth. This vitamin can be produced on the skin by sunshine provided the oils have not been washed off (the skin).”

A study from the Journal of Investigative Medicine found that vitamin D has important functions beyond those of supporting calcium and bones in the body.  It concluded that vitamin D is a boost to immunity and a deficiency of the vitamin is common in autoimmune disease – a disease where the body’s immune system attacks healthy cells by mistake. These include multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and inflammatory bowel disease.

In the “Top 10 vitamin D Foods” chart below, the foods are shown with their amounts of vitamin D and what percentage of the recommended daily value (DV) they have. For example, 3 ounces of sardines provides 164 IU (international units) of vitamin D and this is 41% of the recommended daily intake of 400 IU. Daily values are developed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to help provide a general guideline, however doses of 1,000 to 2,000 IU or more daily are not uncommon.

Good vitamin D foods include cod liver oil, sardines, salmon, mackerel, eggs, herring, raw maitake mushrooms, and vitamin D fortified milk and yogurt.

This health news is shared by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a provider of natural health articles and effective natural remedies since 2001. Nutrition Breakthroughs makes the original calcium and magnesium based sleep aid Sleep Minerals II, as well as Joints and More, the natural solution for joint relief, aches and pains and stronger hair and nails.

Enjoy the chart….

Vitamin D foodsProvided by www,NutritionBreakthroughs