The Importance of Adequate Vitamin D
More than a decade ago (even just a few years ago) alternative MDs that used supplements and suggested patients take Vitamin D above the RDA of 400IU/day were called quacks. The inaccurate ‘truth’ stated over and over again is that above 400IU/day you can get Vitamin D toxicity. We’ve learned a lot in the past several years and now thanks to certain organizations such as the Vitamin D Council and researchers Dr Bruce Hollis and Dr Michael Holick a long term lie has been disproved.
Every month there are numerous articles on the importance of Vitamin D. Many of the articles may just be red herrings as a research paper reports that patients with a certain disease have low vitamin D stores. But did the low Vitamin D cause the disease? Did the disease cause the Vitamin D? Or are there many inadequate nutrients causing the problem and Vitamin D is just one of them? That is what needs to be answered, however it is clear that Vitamin D plays an important role in immune modulation and it should be a standard blood test.
This past week there are several more published articles on Vitamin D deficiency:
- One that shows a reduced breast cancer risk when women have adequate Vitamin D.
- Another one showing Vit D supplementation improves insulin resistance in women with type 2 diabetes.
- Older women with cognition impairment have deficient Vitamin D levels.
- Women with Lupus have inadequate Vit D levels.
- Higher fish intake and regular exercise is associated with higher Vit D levels in Korean men.
OK that is just a quick search of Vitamin D articles published in the past week! Obviously Vitamin D is important. It is important to get your levels checked. But why is it that some people just cannot make enough even if their levels are low and they go out in an August sun? It may have to do with low cholesterol levels or some other hormone imbalance. That is the current million dollar question.
Bottom line is to get your Vitamin D level checked from your physician and then supplement with Vitamin D3. (Many physicians still give 50,000IU of Vitamin D2, ergocalciferol 1x/week. This is the wrong kind of Vitamin D! Make sure it is cholecalciferol which is D3 – you can get this at any healthfood store.) The general recommendation is you want your levels to be 40-60 nm/ml. So how much to take depends on where you are starting from. If you have a level of say 4nm/ml then I’d suggest 5000IU t.i.d. with each meal for 4 weeks. Then take a break of 2-3 days of taking the Vitamin D and retest. In general to be safe 2000IU/day during the winter should be safe for most people. Breast feeding moms should get at least 5000IU/day.
Yours In Health,
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