Sunshine For Vitamin D


by Kevin Donka, D.C.

sunshineThe American Academy of Pediatrics has just announced that breastfed infants should now get vitamin D supplements to prevent rickets. Infant formulas contain much more vitamin D than breast milk, and there is an apparent resurgence of the condition among babies who have been nursed. That's the word from the nation's leading pediatricians, outlined in a new policy statement issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics. The statement appears in the April 2003 issue of Pediatrics.

"There's evidence that many children are vitamin D-deficient long before they show signs of rickets," says Frank R. Greer, MD, a member of the AAP's Committee on Nutrition, and professor of pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. His committee helped write the new policy regarding baby development.

Rickets is a bone-softening disease linked with inadequate vitamin D intake, Greer says. Weakened bones in small children result in bowed legs, soft skulls, and delays in crawling and walking. Doctors are seeing increasing numbers of children with rickets, he says.

This reminds me of a true story I read years ago in a paper by the World Health Organization. In the early 1950's, the Dayak people of Borneo were suffering terribly from malaria. The World Health Organization (WHO) had a solution: It sprayed large amounts of DDT to kill the mosquitoes that carried the malaria. The mosquitoes died and the malaria declined quickly, so the WHO celebrated its vic tory.

But, their victory celebration was cut short when, in just a few short months, the thatched roofs of people's houses began falling in. It seems that the DDT also killed a certain type of parasitic mud wasp that had previously dined on the larvae of thatch-eating caterpillars and kept the caterpillars under control. In addition, the DDT-poisoned insects were eaten by the small lizards known as geckos that were in turn, eaten by cats.

As the cats started to die, rats began to flourish and the people were then threatened by potential outbreaks of typhus and bubonic plague. To cope with these problems, which it had itself created, the WHO came up with the only answer they could think of. They parachuted 14,000 live cats into Borneo!

Now, what does the recommendation for Vitamin D supplements in breast fed babies have to do with this story? Well, you see, babies used to get all the vitamin D they needed by getting ten to twenty minutes of sunshine every day. The sunshine converts what is called "provitamin D" into active vitamin D. The problem is, doctors are afraid to recommend the sunlight anymore because of fears the babies will get skin cancer.

"But wait a minute" you say, "most babies do get 10 - 20 minutes of sunshine every day!" And, you are right. BUT, they are usually wearing sunscreen! Sunscreen blocks the sunlight and prevents it from making the vitamin D! "But don't they need the sunscreen," you ask. Well, did you know the incidence of skin cancer has only gone up in areas that use lots of sunscreen?

If the sunlight caused all the skin cancer, why did it only become a problem after we invented sunscreen? Do you think that it's possible that putting powerful chemicals on your skin and then going out into the hot sun and allowing your pores to open up and absorb the chemicals more easily might have something to do with it?

Let's look at something else. Why do formulas have more vitamin D than breast milk? Do they think that God "messed up" and didn't put enough in breast milk? Here's another question. Why not supplement the mother who makes the breast milk? It will go right into the breast milk! Oh, that's right - she's wearing sunscreen and will need the extra vitamin D herself, so it won't make it into her milk!

Do you see how messed up the world is becoming because of the typical outside in way of looking at health? Rather than looking at causes, we are in a constant mind set to treat effects. From a microscopic view, we come to erroneous conclusions which in turn lead to more chaos and disruption of the natural order of things. When we step back and examine the bigger picture, it often reveals an entirely different way to handle a situation.

Here's what I know to be true. We were put together with everything we need to be happy and healthy and to express our purpose and our potential in life. We have within us an Inner Wisdom called our "Innate Intelligence" that helps us adapt to all of the physical, chemical and mental stresses we encounter every day. This Intelligence also heals us from the effects of the subluxation process and helps us continually grow physically, mentally and spiritually so that we can express our purpose and our potential in life as completely as possible in each present moment.

If we can remain free of interference in our nerve systems by receiving specific chiropractic adjustments and live a healthy lifestyle, we will rarely, if ever, have to worry about the distorted conclusions drawn by not looking at the bigger picture.

In fact, the only thing we will really have to watch out for is all of those parachuting cats!