You have probably heard your doctor recommend vitamin D, this shouldn’t be new information. There have been numerous studies to show its benefits. It is even becoming the norm in your routine blood testing. However, the question comes with how much to be taking. While it is found in a multi-vitamin, the dose, usually 400IU; is nowhere near enough to cover a deficiency.
Vitamin D deficiency is widespread, especially in Michigan. The use of sunscreen and only 3 or 4 good months of sunshine are to blame. Nearly 90% of the population has a serum level of below 30ng/ML. Vitamin D plays a role in many aspects of human health. Most notably to ensure that the body absorbs and retains calcium and phosphorus, both critical minerals for building and maintaining bone. Laboratory studies have shown that vitamin D can reduce cancer cell growth and plays a role in controlling infections. Many of the body’s organs and tissues have receptors for vitamin D, continual research has linked low vitamin D levels with obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune diseases, and depression.
A vitamin D deficiency is not reversed immediately. You’re looking at months of sunlight and/or supplements before levels return to normal. The goal with vitamin D is a level between 60-80ng/ml. It was common protocol to recommended 1000IU of vitamin D3, this requirement has been found to be inadequate. A recent study published in The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, found that doses of at least 5000IU daily were needed to correct a deficiency. A maintenance dose of 2000IU has been observed with no toxicity symptoms.
Very little food sources contain vitamin D, though dairy products and breakfast cereals are usually ‘fortified’ with the vitamin. The easiest option is to supplement. The goal is to use the D3 form. This is the form naturally produced by your body in response to sun.
Don’t shove off the recommendation to take vitamin D, even if you are ‘outwardly healthy’, your body does require it.