Monday, February 09, 2015

Never Fear, Forti-D Is Here

The Philippines is a country with unending sunlight and so, one would think that Vitamin D deficiency would be uncommon. Surprisingly, it's not.  A local study on the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency commissioned by Unilab, found that 7 out of 10 Filipinos living in major cities in the Philippines are Vitamin D deficient.  Because of these findings, Unilab launched Forti-D, the first available single-ingredient Vitamin D in mainstream drugstores in the Philippines.

A medical forum on Vitamin D awareness was held last December with speaker Dr. Alejandro Diaz, an internist and neurologist. The study Dr. Diaz said, further revealed that women are more prone to vitamin D deficiency with 68% of the total female participants positive of having inadequate levels of vitamin D and this deficiency has been linked to chronic diseases.  As a medical doctor, data like this is interesting to know because Vitamin D deficiency is not something I would consider a contributing cause for such illnesses.  But listening to the biochemical and physiological explanation made me look at the importance of Vitamin D in a new light.  I began to do some research and found that there are recent studies, albeit limited to support benefits linking vitamin D to multiple sclerosis, heart disease, cancer, immunity and autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular and respiratory health, pregnancy, obesity, erythropoiesis, diabetes, muscle function, and aging.

We get Vitamin D from the food we eat, but these can only be synthesized to the active form when our skin is exposed to sunlight.  Over 90% of vitamin D is derived from ultraviolet light and the rest is obtained from the diet. There are  two forms of Vitamin D known as D2 and D3.  It is Vitamin D3, also known as cholecalciferol, that comes from food like oily fish, eggs, and liver, and can be made internally when your skin is exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.  Osteomalacia and Rickets are the most severe forms of Vitamin D deficiency. 

It is recommended that for fair-skinned persons like me, 20-30 minutes of sunlight exposure on the face and forearms at midday is estimated to generate the equivalent of around 2,000 IU of vitamin D, while darker skinned people need more sun exposure.  Now that is easier said than done!  I shun the midday sun like the plague for fear of getting skin cancer.  My sun exposure is limited to when I am getting in and out of my vehicle, and any miniscule benefit from that gets cancelled out because I diligently put on sunscreen.  This definitely makes me one of the many Filipinos who are deficient in Vitamin D.  I realize that now more than ever, I need Vitamin D since I am approaching my senior years and yes, Forti-D is the answer.  I have been taking this for the past two months now.  Each softgel capsule provides 800 IU of Vitamin D which will help me achieve healthy Vitamin D levels needed to reduce my risk of getting chronic diseases as I age. 

Fight Vitamin D deficiency today, Face tomorrow without fear
 


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