Vitamin D levels. Optimal levels for optimal health

Uncategorized Jun 24, 2018

Nutrients instruct the cells how to function.

The body runs on nutrients (not calories) to build, heal and repair.   

Nutrients include macro-nutrients  (fat, protein, carbohydrate), micro-nutrients (minerals, vitamins) , water and sunshine.    

Nutrients, including vitamin D,  provide INFORMATION to the body and INSTRUCTS CELLS what to do and how to function.

Nutrients build cells, strong mitochondria, bone structure, high functioning brain and a healthy immune system.

Vitamin D is one of the most important nutrients while also being one of the most common nutrient deficiencies.

Vitamin D is called a vitamin, although it is really a hormone, and as a hormone it has multiple functions in the body.  
When the vitamin D level is deficient it can cause a number of health issues that go way beyond bone issues but also include and is associated with cancer, autoimmune, depression, cognitive decline and a low functioning immune system.

As with all nutrients lab tests show ranges from deficient to normal to optimal.   
Knowing the optimal level of vitamin D can make a difference between health that is deficient, health at is normal or health that is optimal.  

0-20 = Dangerously low
20-40 = Deficient
40-60 = Normal
60-80 = Optimal
Over 100 = Too high

Vitamin D is the second most common nutrient deficiency … #1 is water, #2 is vitamin D and #3 is magnesium.

Vitamin D  is so widely deficient for several reasons.   As a society we are outside less than previous generations, especially children and young adults, and there has been heavy marketing by sunscreen manufactures to make sure everyone wears sunscreen all the time, even some ads suggesting sunscreen should be worn indoors.
The Standard America Diet (SAD) contains far less vitamin D rich foods than decades ago and most people do not consume vitamin D rich foods including cod liver oil, sardines, liver, pastured eggs, wild caught salmon and mushrooms.

Ways to obtain vitamin D

Sunshine on the skin.
Vitamin D is also known as “the sunshine nutrient”.  Sun on the skin, without sunscreen, produces vitamin D in the body.   30-45 minutes a day of morning sun is a good start to provide the body with optimal levels.   

The amount of vitamin D absorbed depends on:

  • Skin tone.... the darker the skin tone the less vitamin D is absorbed/produced
  • Time of day… morning sun is best as it is not as direct as the more intense afternoon sun
  • Time of year…. less sun in winter with better sun in summer
  • Location…. southern states provide stronger sun than northern state
  • Amount of clothing …. this is obvious of course- but just walking at lunch while having long pants and a long sleeve shirt may seem like 30 minutes of exposure but if the sun can not penetrate the skin not much is absorbed.

    Vitamin D rich foods
    Cod liver oil
    Wild caught salmon
    Beef liver
    Pastured egg yolks

    Supplement when necessary
    Supplement according to current blood level, body weight and desired blood level.

    Often supplementation recommendations are given in very general terms such as “take 400-800 IU’s per day”.
    However, different people may have VERY different vitamin D needs for supplementation.
    For example,  a 100 pound, light skinned woman, who lives in Florida, works outside during the day, and eats a nutrient rich vitamin D diet will very likely need less supplementation than a 240 pound, dark skinned man, who has an office job in the Northwest and eats a typical SAD diet.
    Yet so often a general number is given to everyone as a supplement recommendation.   

    Bio-individuality matters.  Skin tone matters.   Diet matters.  Body weight matters.  Current vitamin D blood levels matter.

    Supplementation of vitamin D should also be taken with fat, as vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin (it’s a hormone actually but still fat soluble) or the supplement should be emulsified in fat.

It all matters for best absorption and optimal levels.
And optimal levels of vitamin D is one step to optimal health.  


Sources and references
Vitamin D and breast cancer:  http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0199265

Vitamin D and depression:  https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120105131645.htm

Vitamin D and immune system:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3166406/

Vitamin D and autoimmune disease:  http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?pid=S0482-50042010000100007&script=sci_arttext&tlng=en

Vitamin D and bone health:  https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/staying-healthy/vitamin-d-for-good-bone-health/

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