More Vitamin D, Please!

I'm big on vitamin D as a support to the immune system, anti-inflammation, and the plethora of functions it supports in the body. I currently take 2000 IU of D3 per day, and will be taking more in the fall and winter. It turns out that most of us don't get adequate sun exposure, some even in summer! Think of it this way, if you are lightly clothed and sleeveless, and out in the sun, your skin makes up to 20,000 units after a couple of hours! This makes the FDA minimum of 400 units quite inadequate.
But how much?

Best indicator is your blood levels of serum 25(OH)D (a metabolite of Vitamin D). Your doctor and health plan should be offering this as a standard test these days. You want your 25(OH)D between 50 and 80 ng/ml, the upper end if you have chronic illness, cancer, inflammation, fatigue, sleep problems, etc..

There has been a lot of medical controversy about this, as the commonly prescribed version of D for deficiency is D2, but many researchers have found D3 (cholcalciferol) to be more effective. A recent study at Creighton University in Nebraska by Robert Heaney, MD, found that "By the various measures employed, D3 was from 56 to 87 percent more potent than D2 in raising serum 25(OH)D, and more than three times as potent in increasing fat calciferol content."

Vitamin D3 is up to 87% more effective at raising blood levels of vitamin D than D2 that's commonly prescribed for raising low 25(OH)D levels.

It takes a while with an adequate dose as well, if your levels are low to begin with. The study found that over a twelve week (three month) it required on the average of 6500 IU daily to get into recommended range. And that's just the average. If you are already ill it will probably require a larger dose or longer time, as your body may be using it up more rapidly.

For more on Vitamin D, see

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