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vitamin d deficiency.jpg

What if I were to tell you there was a vitamin that was critical for the function and health of your immune system, bones, muscles, lungs, kidneys, heart, and brain? Would you think this was important? Now what if I told you that 42% of Americans are deficient in this key vitamin?

Enter, cholecalciferol. You may know cholecalciferol by it's street name: vitamin D (more accurately vitamin D3). A study in 2011 showed that 41.6% of American adults are vitamin D deficient. But what is vitamin D and why should we care?

Vitamin D is one of the only vitamins that your body can produce (it can also produce B3 in small amounts). Vitamin D is created when your skin is exposed to sunlight. It is then sent to the liver and kidneys to be turned into it's active form: 1 alpha, 25 dihydroxyvitamin D. In it's active form, vitamin D is actually a hormone. It is necessary for a number of functions in the human body including immune system regulation, muscle function, cardiovascular function, respiratory function, brain development, and protection against some cancers (colorectal and breast).

Entire books could be written just on this one vitamin alone. However, I tend to focus on nervous system health and function and that is what I am going to do.

vitamin d and the nervous system

A healthy nervous system in reliant on healthy nervous cells. Vitamin D is a powerful antioxidant that protects the cell membranes from free radical attack. It is even more potent than the commonly known antioxidant vitamin E. In addition to directly being an antioxidant, it also boosts glutathione production in the liver. Glutathione is one of the most potent antioxidants that we know of. (side note: never give a child or take Tylenol in the immediate time frame of a vaccination. Tylenol will deplete the body of the glutathione and leave you exposed to potentially harmful compounds in the vaccine.) Long term health is all about protecting your cells from damage. Vitamin D supports these protective mechanisms.

feeling sad?

In his book, The Better Brain Book, Dr. David Perlmutter MD talks about the role vitamin D plays in mood regulation. Every year in the winter millions suffer from something called Seasonal Affective Disorder AKA SAD. This is because sunlight causes the production of vitamin D which causes the brain to release serotonin (the chemical that helps regulate mood). So if you are moody, don't bring everyone around you down! Pop a high quality vitamin D supplement and turn that frown upside-down.

I am going to talk about vitamin D a lot more in the future, but let's wrap in up for now. In short, vitamin D is crucial for overall health and well-being. It is a powerful antioxidant that protects your cells from free radical damage. Vitamin D can also help regulate mood and protect against certain types of cancer. Do yourself a favor, start taking a vitamin D supplement. One last thing to note: vitamin D can be toxic in high amounts. Depending on who you ask, they will recommend different amounts. Many studies conclude that 400-800 IU daily is both safe and effective.


For those of you that know me, you know that I am a huge believer in taking high quality supplements. However, supplements are not for everyone. What I mean by that is supplements are not the place to start your health journey. Before we add anything to our routine or diet, we first need to look at what to take away. For example, if you are stopping by McDonald’s for lunch everyday, you shouldn’t be thinking about adding fish oil to your diet, you should first look at removing these unhealthy habits.

Before I recommend a supplement to someone, I make sure have consistently been meeting the following minimum criteria:


Drinking enough water is arguably the most beneficial things that most of us can do. Americans are severely and chronically dehydrated! 80% of american report that they do not drink enough water. In fact, the average american drinks only 1.5 cups of water per day. Did you know that one of the first signs of dehydration is joint pain? Water is super important to normal human function. This is why water represents 60% of our body’s makeup.


Diet and eating habits are crucial to baseline health. Before we look at adding any kind of supplements we should look at how we can modify our diets to best serve us. Bottom line, most of us consume to many processed foods and way to many carbohydrates and sugar. The problem is that most of us are unaware of what our diets actually look like. I always recommend tracking your food intake over a two-week span. Only then can we honestly evaluate our current diet and execute proper strategies to make changes. There are so many amazing food tracking apps available to make this easier than ever.

Don’t over think this. If you google “best diet” you will find thousands of diets all claiming to be the one for you. And all of this information will contradict other information you read. Keep it simple. Avoid processed foods and sugars and eat high quality meats and vegetables.


The last, and probably most obvious thing that we need to talk about is exercise. Exercise is a crucial part of our overall health. I have not found a single person that will debate this with me. However, a CDC study released last year found that only 22.9% of american adults are getting enough exercise. The standards for enough exercise in this study was “150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise per week”. Maybe 150 minutes seems like a lot to you, but that comes out to 30 minutes 5 days per week. What that could look like for you is coming downtown and walking your dog along the water for 30 minutes. It doesn’t have to be SoulCycle and CrossFit (although I do think those programs are awesome). In order to be consistent with exercise you need to find something that you enjoy doing. Experiment and try new things until you find something that fits.


Why do I recommend this? Let’s look at each of the things on that list. All of the things I listed above are essentially free and easy. I am a firm believer that if you are not willing to consistently do things that are free and easy, you will not do things that are costly and require effort. Until you are able to do these things consistently do not waste your time and money on purchasing supplements. Maybe this is the realist in me coming out, but it’s just human nature.

But, if you have taken a look at your life and removed obviously unhealthy habits, and consistently done the things I mentioned above, adding the right, high-quality supplements to your diet could be hugely beneficial.

Arizona's Current Bill to Help Fight Opioid Addicition - SB 1097


Drug abuse and addiction is a major issue in our country today. From 1999-2017, 700,000 Americans died from drug overdose. One area that is particularly alarming is the current abuse and addiction of opioid pain medication. In 2017 alone, over 47,000 Americans died from opioid drug overdose. Currently, it is estimated that 130 Americans die every day from opioid drug overdose. Needless to say, opioid overdose and addiction is a major issue that needs to be addressed. The state of Arizona is currently trying to combat this issue by adding chiropractic benefits to medicaid insurance.

WHAT IS SB 1097?

SB 1097 is a senate bill that would allow patients covered under Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) to get a prescription from a primary care physician for 20 visits per year. This benefit would be for those suffering from acute or chronic pain and would serve as an alternative to opioid pain medication. 20 visits per year is a great start and may serve a majority of acute cases, but some patients suffering from chronic pain may require additional visits. Arizona is thinking ahead and has added the caveat of providing additional visits at the patients discretion.


The idea of adding chiropractic care to decrease opioid pain prescriptions, and ultimately opioid pain abuse and overdose, is not a new concept. In fact, over 27 states offer chiropractic coverage under their version of medicaid. One of the best examples is Rhode Island. A study was done after Rhode Island implemented chiropractic coverage in their state’s version of medicaid. The results were absolutely mind blowing. First, they saw a 36% decrease in per-patient costs. This shows that while chiropractic care my involve more frequent visits, the total cost on the healthcare system is dramatically lower. Even more astonishing was that opioid pain use decreased by 87%! This is one of the clearest cases that proves how effective chiropractic care is at decreasing and eliminating pain. Lastly, they saw that opioid pain prescriptions decreased by 72%. All of these results compare those that utilized chiropractic care to those that did not (control group). Imagine the amazing results we would see with higher participation levels.


It is estimated that adding these benefits would cost the state $4.9 million. But overall, this avenue is expected to decrease overall spending of Arizona’s version of medicaid. If we look to the Rhode Island case study, we can expect to see up to a 36% decrease in overall costs. However, this relies on program participation.


This is an amazingly creative way for Arizona to fight two issues at once: healthcare costs and opioid pain medication abuse. It is amazing to think that expanding coverage and adding benefits could, not only give patients more options when facing chronic or acute pain, but could also fight two of the biggest problems facing our healthcare system today.


In my personal practice, I have witnessed first-hand the affects that just 20 principle chiropractic visits can have on a persons life. From my experience, patients that come in with a long time opioid prescription do not want to be on these medications. They are simply on these medications because they have not been offered an alternative method for controlling their pain. When I say chiropractic care saves lives, this is what I am talking about. Every single day, chiropractors all over the world help patients control and eliminate pain where the only alternative given was opioid pain medication.

The Movement is here. People are beginning to catch wind of the amazing benefits that chiropractic care can have on our communities. If you have chronic or acute pain and feel as though there are no alternatives to pain medication, or if you have accepted that nothing can help your pain, call a local chiropractor today.