Are you getting enough vitamin D? “ The sunshine vitamin”

Vitamin D is really a prohormone, or precursor to a hormone, and not a vitamin although it is called a vitamin. Vitamin D is often called the “sunshine vitamin” because the body can naturally synthesize it when exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D is also obtained from foods such as milk, nuts and fatty fish. However, sun exposure is by far the best way to boost vitamin D levels, particularly because very few foods contain significant amounts that are adequate for your body’s needs.

Vitamin D is critical for cardiovascular, immune and bone health. It plays a key role in calcium absorption and multiple studies show it can prevent various cancers.

Despite the importance, it is estimated about one billion people have a vitamin D deficiency. You are at more risk for vitamin D deficiency if you don’t get enough sunlight, have more melanin in your skin, have a milk allergy, eat vegan diet or have an underlying malabsorption condition.

Vitamin D levels of 30 to 100ng/ml are considered optimal. Vitamin D levels between 20 and 29ng/ml are considered suboptimal. Vitamin D levels < 20ng/ml are considered vitamin D deficient.

Vitamin D deficiency causes rickets or osteomalacia (softening of the bones), increase serum PTH (Parathyroid Hormone) levels leading to bone resorption, osteoporosis and fractures.

Vitamin D Supplementation

Vitamin D supplementation is the most consistent way to get enough vitamin D and has been shown to be associated with reduced incidence of type 1 diabetes, with improvement in type 2 diabetes, weight loss, reduce risk of multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis, promote healthy bones and teeth, support lung function and immune health as well as cardiovascular, brain and nervous system health.

Ideally a blood test would be performed to check to see what your levels are before dosing. For someone who is deficient of vitamin D a dose of 50,000 IU a week for 8 weeks might be recommended. For those who do not have access to blood tests, a very safe dose would be between 1000-4000iu per day, however, you can safely take 10, 000iu of vitamin D daily for five months without a problem. Toxicity is very rare. However, people with sarcoidosis, tuberculosis, histoplasmosis, Crohn’s disease, hypo or hyperthyroidism, adrenal insufficiency or who are taking thiazide diuretics should monitor their blood levels.

Supplemental vitamin D come in two forms: vitamin D3 or cholecalciferol and vitamin D2 or ergocalciferol. Cholecalciferol is considered the more natural form to take since it is the form that our body naturally produces.

Increased levels of vitamin D require increased levels of vitamin K, especially vitamin K2 (menaquione). Without enough vitamin K2 there is increased risk of hardening of the arteries and other soft tissues. Vitamin K2 along with vitamin D, are essential for the uptake calcium in the bones. Recommended daily intake of vitamin K2 is 120mcg for adult men and 90mcg for adult women.

Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency can include:

Fatigue: You may feel tired all the time even when you get a good night’s sleep

Infection: Those who have low vitamin D levels are at a greater risk of catching respiratory and other infections.

Bone Pain: Muscle weakness, muscle aches, or muscle cramps.

Mood changes: like depression or mood swings.

Do you have symptoms of vitamin D deficiency and want to have your levels checked?

Give us a call today at  470-607-3866 or 404-261-5199. We can test your levels and treat with professional grade supplements or injections to optimize your levels.