Tag Archive: Vitamin D

There's just sooooo many to chose from????

What supplements should you take? It can be darned confusing, and there are no shortage of opinions, advertisements and hype about supplementation. So, I’m here to shed a little light from the perspective of a Wellness doctor on this common question that we in the office get all the time… here goes.

Keep in mind – We wellness doctors understand that the best leadership is by example, so we try our absolute best to “walk the walk,” if you will, and so I will let you know exactly what I do and take when it comes to supplements. When it comes to being healthy and living the wellness lifestyle, what is good for one is good for all. We are all human, with same genetic requirements for nutrients to be healthy, and as long as we are sufficient in those nutrients and not toxic in others, we will express our natural right to be healthy. I do NOT take the following supplements to treat anything, I take them because based on what I have read, all human beings living in the western/modernized world are deficient in these nutrients, and I, fitting into this category, wish to be sufficient in all areas of my nutritional life… I take the following every single day,and these are my serving sizes:

Fish Oil (Innate Choice) – rougly 3.5 grams (3500 mg). The serving size on the bottle is 1 teaspoon and equals roughly 1,700 mg of Omega 3 Fatty Acids, but I’m a reasonably big guy, weighing 200lbs, and I’m very active, so based on what I’ve read, that puts my requirements for omega 3 fatty acids in the 3-6 gram category. So, after the fish oil, I get the other 1-3 grams a day of Omega 3 via grass-fed meats, fish or in the vegan-friendly form, which is ground flax seeds (another great brand of fish oil is Nordic Naturals, same guidelines on dosage).

A 120 lb. female should shoot for between 1.5-3 grams of Omega 3, with at least 1.5 grams of it from fish oil.

Children should be taking roughly 1/2 teaspoon for every 40 lbs. of body weight (800mg Omega 3/40 lbs.).

Probiotics (Innate Choice) – 2 capsules (15 billion organisms/capsule): one in the morning and one in the evening, taken with food (fruits, veggies) because that is the way we would have ingested them in our hunter-gatherer past. These are designed to supply healthy bacteria to your digestive system. It is important that your source of probiotics is chilled and contains certain strains of bacteria.

Children 2 and up 1 capsule / day.  Under 2 years old the infant should be breast feeding and mom should supplement.

Vitamin D – 5,000 IU’s (international units): This one is trickey because I recommend sunshine 1st.  2nd is supplementation and only in the winter if you live above (or below) the 35th paralell.  I started supplementing this last winter because I now live in the 41st paralell and because the information out there on how vital D is, was just too much to ignore. When I was living in Southern California or now during the summer here in New England, I rely on my skin to produce my vitamin D via sunlight. The winters in New England make it impossible to get enough D, so as soon as October hits, it will be back to 6 months of Vitamin D supplementation. I believe the RDA is 400 IU’s, which I just do not think to be adequate at all. Your skin can produce 10,000-20,000 IU’s of vitamin D in 10-45 minutes in the sun, and toxicity (impossible via sunshine on your skin) doesn’t begin to show signs until supplementing with 30,000+ IU’s daily for an extended period of time (weeks and weeks).

120 lb. females and teens should be supplementing with 3-4000 IU’s.

Children 1 year old and up should be supplementing with 2,000 IU’s, and infants (less than 1 year) should be taking 400-800 IU’s. Keep in mind the more sun you get, the less D you have to take. And the natural way is always the best! To find out exactly WHY I take vitamin D, see my blog posts dated July 9 & 16, 2009.

Multivitamin – (Standard Process Catalyn, although I will probably switch to Innate Choice soon) – 1 serving: I eat very clean and congruent, and so I am still only taking it sporadically. When trying to find a good multi, focus on whole food-based, meaning that it IS NOT SYNTHETIC!

I feel that if you are eating a truly sufficient and pure diet that this is the least necessary on the list. You should be able to get everything you need from your foods. However, this is very difficult to do in today’s world, so I feel that a whole food-based supplement could only help address any deficiencies that I may have missed. Basically I may be wasting money, but money is not as important to me as health, and a multi will only help my health, not hurt it. The absolute best way to supplement vitamins into your diet is to blend real fruits and veggies, then drink or add them to a smoothie (that is essentially what a multivitamin’s purpose is), but it is just a lot of work to do that every day, so now I sporadically juice and/or take the multi. Hope that helps.

Supplement 4 Health!

Your Health Coach & Buddy,

Dr. Nicholas Araza DC CCWP


Should we run, should we hide or should we grab a few sombreros and hit the beach?

SPF # Sombrero

I know what your thinking, “get that man some shorts and some sunscreen STAT!”  I won’t debate the shorts, but if it was a choice between the other two, I’d opt to keep the sombreros and ditch the sunscreen.  That’s right, I said it!  The latest literature (and there is a lot of it) is saying sunscreen does more harm than good when it comes to cancer as well as a host of other chronic diseases, autoimmune and emotional disorders such as osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, the flu, depression and much more.

But how can this be?? The sun burns, and burns cannot be good, right?

As always the wellness answer is multifactorial, but here is the gist:

1.  Sunshine is GREAT

Sun directly responsible for all life on our planet (big shoes eh?).

Sun Improves our mood (ask anyone in New England)

Sunshine on our skin (UV-B rays) makes the precursor to Vit D.

2.  Vitamin D is GREAT

Vit D is used by our bodies to absorb calcium and, along with exercise, make

strong bones (major treatment of rickets = sunshine (less side effects than drugs).

Vit D also has cell normalizing (anti proliferation) properties, and because

cancer is cell proliferation gone mad, it protects against many cancers.

Vit D plays a vital role in our immune system and its ability to fight off pathogens

(in early 1900 the only treatment of merit for tuberculosis was sunshine).

3.  Sunscreen is ok?!

Sunscreens block UVB rays which keeps us from making hardly any Vit D.

This one is a biggie, it turns out that although sunscreen can limit sunburns, which are linked to skin damage and some cancers; the trade off is no Vit D, which is just not worth it because Vit D has such a vital role in our physiology.  (between 200-1000 genes in our body are turned on or off by the big D)

Many Sunscreens do not block UVA rays which causes much of the skin damage.

Many Sunscreens have harsh chemicals that your skin absorbs readily into your bloodstream.

4.  My Recommendations

If you are light skinned and don’t have a tan, (which is a very difficult thing to have in the north east) then build one up gradually by spending a few minutes in the sun when possible.  If you know you are going to be out for a long time in the sun, soak it up for long enough not to burn, and then apply sunscreen. To determine which sunscreens are best, check www.ewg.org, they have done a ton of research on 1000’s of types and narrowed it down to their top 10 healthiest and most effective.

Spending 2-3 x a week for 15-30 min in the mid day sun should ensure you enough Vit D if you are light skinned.  You want to get out of the sun or apply sunscreen after you turn slightly pink, that will ensure enough Vit D, and past that stage results in skin damage.  Those with a darker complexion need to spend a considerable amount more in the sun to obtain enough Vit D (I’m unsure on time but I have read that very dark skin is similar to an SPF of 30, so they will need to spend roughly 3x longer 1-3hrs, 2-3xWk).  If you are unable to spend enough time in the sun or live above 35 degrees Latitude during the winter (Boston is sadly 42 degrees) you should take an oral supplement to get enough D.

Current Recommended Daily Allowance for Vit D is a measly 200 International Units (IU’s) which is absurd considering that a light skinned person can easily make 10-20,000 IU’s in 15-30min in the mid-day summer sun. (But RDA’s were never based on optimum levels of health; they were based on minimum amounts required to avoid symptoms in the short term…that is a blog for another day).

Based on what I’ve read average adults should take about 2,000 IU’s daily if not getting enough sunshine to keep their Vit D at a healthy level.

5. My Real (wellness revised) Recommendations:

Get into sunshine as much as possible without burning.





Get Tan 4 Health!

Your Health Buddy,

Dr. Nicholas Araza DC CCWP

For More on this Topic and Action Steps:

16 Shocking Vitamin D Facts

10 Ways to Boost Your Immune System

Vit D: Sun Exposure, Supplementation & Doses