Vitamin D: The Happy Hormone

Vitamin D is often referred to as “the happy hormone”. Actually it is a prohormone — it gets converted to an active hormone with multiple tissue targets such as the brain, bone and liver. Deficiencies have been linked to diabetes, autism and many cancers. Experts like Michael Holick Ph.D.,M.D. at Boston University have proven that optimal levels of D3 in humans are 60-80 ng/ml and in North America people living above Atlanta Georgia’s latitude are at risk of a deficiency in this vitamin due to a lack of sun exposure. Even farmers and other workers who are outside all day are deficient due to the angle of the sun’s rays in the northern hemisphere. Depending on your epigenes, which dictate the efficiency of your vitamin D receptors, even if you get sun exposure and take the RDA allowance of vitamin D in a multi-vitamin, you can still be deficient. Fortunately, a simple blood test can determine your level and supplemental D 3 vitamins can help! At AIM, we’ve tested thousands of patients and although 25-45 ng/ml is considered normal (but not optimal!) we’ve seen patients with levels as low as 8. Many with low levels suffer with diagnoses of fibromyalgia, depression and other autoimmune diseases. While this is often not the only imbalance, correcting it can make a tremendous difference in your health.

Reset your taste buds by adding bitter foods to your next meal!

We all love sweet foods – corn on the cob, peaches, figs, and brownies (or maybe it’s just me!). Too often we overindulge and load up on “healthy” sweet foods while dampening our taste buds’ ability to interpret what we are really feeding our bodies. There are five (not four) types of taste buds – salt, sweet, bitter, sour, and umami. Everything we put into our mouths give us some combination of these sensations. In America, we tend to have little to no bitter foods on our plate and an excess of sweet and salty foods. In addition, the foods we eat today are far less nutrient dense than what our ancestors consumed due to years of damaging farm practices and genetically modified engineering. It is only in response to our demand for sweeter food that these practices continue to flourish while the most nutritious foods get stepped over on our way to the cookie aisle.