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The 21st Century Vitamin-D

Posted by Dr. Leia Melead on Apr 30, 2010 in Important Information, Recent Articles

Vitamin D has received a lot of press lately so what is all the fuss?  Can it really save us from osteoporosis, heart disease, cancer, arthritis, and all human degenerative diseases?  Let’s take a closer look at this vitamin:

Vitamin D  is really not a vitamin but a hormone.  It is fat soluable which means that it will be stored in your fat and muscle tissue as opposed to water soluable substances which do not accumulate in the body, but are urinated out with the urine on a regular basis, such as Vitamin C.  Vitamin D takes time to build up in the body before toxicity can occur.  Ideally, Vitamin D is best obtained by exposure to sunshine(It is also called the “sunshine vitamin”).  The sun activates the skin cells of the body to produce Vitamin D.  The problem with this process is that some people, even though they have adequate exposure to sunshine are unable to produce enough Vitamin D.  The elderly, the weak, people with compromised immune systems, and other disorders may be among those who cannot convert into Vitamin D.  And those who live in the colder northern climes of the planet are at high risk to be deficient during the winter months.  However, even though I live in Hawaii, with sunshine year around, I have found many people who have tested deficient or low in Vitamin D.

In order to find out if you are Vitamin D deficient, have your doctor order a blood test for 25(OH)D level.  This is the best test to see if you are deficient.   The laboratory might list the normal range for 25(OH)D as being between the levels of 30-100ng/ml.  However, more recently,  researchers and experts in this field are recommending that the level of 25(OH)D be maintained between 50-80ng/dl.  This smaller range will guarantee that you have adequate levels in your body and will also guarantee that you do not have elevated levels that might lead to toxicity.

After testing, you can work with your doctor to determine the individual dose of Vitamin D3 to take to maintain your Vitamin D levels in the normal range.  It is recommended to take Vitamin D3(cholecalciferol) over D2.  D3 is the naturally occurring form of Vitamin D which is produced in the skin from sunshine.   Daily doses from 1000 IU to 5000 IU usually can be taken safely by an adult, depending upon one’s laboratory results. 

Work with your doctor, obtain a baseline 25(OH)D level, determine your daily dose of Vitamin D3, and then recheck your laboratory results after three months of implementing your Vitamin D3 supplements.  Let’s try to wipe out this epidemic of Vitamin D deficiency safely!

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