Vitamin D: The Sunshine Vitamin.
Think of Vitamin D as the MVP of the micronutrient game. It’s easily the most researched and talked-about supplement of this decade, and it’s increasingly becoming recognized as one of, if not the, most important micronutrients for overall health. It’s also becoming more and more obvious that a huge part of the population, from newborns to the elderly and everyone in between, has blood serum D3 levels that are less than ideal if not outright deficient.
Current evidence shows that the potential consequences of this deficiency are likely to go far beyond reduced bone development and osteoarthritis. As a matter of fact, every single tissue in the body, including the brain, heart, muscles and immune system, has receptors for vitamin D, which means that proper circulating levels of D3 are absolutely necessary for these tissues to function as they were designed to.
Research has shown that the potential effects of low vitamin D include an increased risk of developing (and dying from) cancers of the colon, breast and prostate; osteoarthritis; excess abdominal fat; Diabetes Type I, and a deficient immune system that can result in autoimmune disorders and a greater susceptibility to infections.
Testing Vitamin D Levels
So what’s deficient, what’s optimal, and what’s safe? These are the generally accepted guidelines for 2018:
- Deficient: 20 ng/ml or less
- Optimum: 40-60 ng/ml
- Safe Upper Limit: 80 ng/ml
Unfortunately (surprise surprise), American caucasians average 18 to 22 ng/ml and African-Americans average 13 to 15 ng/ml, even less in the winter.
Vitamin D Can Save You From Flu Season
Now a new study published in the October Journal of Clinical Nutrition investigating the relationship of serum Vitamin D to influenza found that individuals with Vitamin D serum levels of 30ng/ml or more are 7x less likely to be infected by the flu virus than those with levels of 20ng/ml or less. That suggests that Vitamin D, an inexpensive supplement with zero side effects, might actually be several times more effective than anti-viral drugs or the flu vaccine.
How Much Supplemental Vitamin D3 Do You Need?
Most nutritional guidelines will tell you that 1000–2000IU Vitamin D3 per day is a safe intake. However, even this amount isn’t always sufficient to reach optimal circulating levels, as D3 metabolism can differ base on health issues, body fat percentage and genetics. A better rule of thumb is to take 1000IU Vitamin D3 per 50lbs of body weight per day. If you want to be sure you’re getting enough, take this dosage for 6 weeks and then get your Vitamin D level tested. If you’re still deficient add more, and retest after 6 weeks.
Need a vitamin D (or any other vitamin) lab test ordered? Give us a call, we’d be happy to order a test for you.
Can You Take Too Much?
Yes, D3 levels over 80 ng/ml can be toxic and result in symptoms of nausea, vomiting, poor appetite, constipation, weakness and weight loss, confusion and abnormal heart rhythms, as well as dangerous amounts of calcium that can result in kidney stones. But it’s actually very hard to reach such toxic levels. Healthy adults have taken 10,000 IU a day for 6 months or longer with no adverse effects and people with a serious vitamin D deficiency are often prescribed weekly doses of 50,000 IU until the problem is corrected.
Share what you’ve learned! We want our entire community to be healthier and stronger so they can do more of what they love. Good nutrition, proper exercise and regular chiropractic care to keep your musculoskeletal system working optimally are the best ways to reach that goal. Need a chiropractor in the Brookfield, Waukesha, Wauwatosa, or New Berlin Area? Call us at 262-345-4155 to make an appointment or use our online scheduling app – we’d love to help you get the most out of your body!
Nanri A, et al. Association of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D with influenza in case-control study nested in a cohort of Japanese employees. Clin Nutr. 2017 Oct;36(5):1288-1293.