Your body needs and loves Vitamin D!

Your body needs and loves Vitamin D!

 

It is estimated that up to 85 percent of people have insufficient levels of vitamin D and are unaware of this deficiency. Conventional media and medicine promote sun avoidance, but this can have significant health consequences. 

The symptoms of vitamin D deficiency are sometimes vague and can include tiredness and general aches and pains. Some people may not have any symptoms at all.

If you have a severe vitamin D deficiency you may have pain in your bones and weakness, which may mean you have difficulty getting around. You may also have frequent infections. However, not everyone gets these symptoms.

Low vitamin D is strongly associated with Metabolic Syndrome but if elevated fasting insulin is causing the problem taking vitamin D won't fix it.  Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of conditions — increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels — that occur together, increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

Most experts recommend getting about 10-15 minutes daily of direct sunlight without wearing sunscreen if you are fair to medium toned. If you have dark skin, you will likely need more time in the sun to make enough vitamin D since your skin has more protection against the sun’s effects.

Some experts recommend that darker toned people spend about 40 minutes to one hour in the sun daily if possible. If you live farther from the equator (in the US this would be the mid-states or farther north), then you will need more time overall in the sun (closer to the hour time-frame).  Or if in winter, you will need to double the recommended time to allow enough vitamin D production to occur.

The only way to know if you are deficient in vitamin D is to have your doctor perform a test. This will tell you if, and how severely, you are deficient.

When your doctor performs a blood test and gives you the results for your vitamin D levels, keep these numbers in mind:

  • 60-80 ng/mL is an optimal level of vitamin D
  • 30-59 means that you will want to be supplementing vitamin D, working on spending more time in the sun and adding in vitamin D rich foods to your diet.
  • <30 means that you are very deficient and you will definitely want to take immediate action to bring those levels up!

Talk with your doctor about supplementing with higher doses of vitamin D if you are severely deficient or have a very low level according to tests done. When your doctor performs a vitamin D test, specify that you would like to have the 25-hydroxoyvitamin D test done, sometimes also called the 25(OH) D test.

Some other types of vitamin D tests can show normal or even elevated levels of vitamin D which are actually inaccurate and can hide a serious deficiency, so this type of test seems to be the most accurate when determining vitamin D levels.

A critical point to remember is you shouldn't take any vitamin D supplement without taking vitamin K2. Vitamin K2 deficiency is connected to vitamin D toxicity symptoms, which includes excessive calcification that can contribute to the hardening of your arteries.

One of the functions of vitamin K2 is to direct calcium to areas in your body where it is needed, such as your bones and teeth. It also functions to keep calcium away from areas where it shouldn’t be, including your soft tissues and arteries.

Great sources of Vitamin D are cod liver oil, sardines, salmon, halibut, mackerel, maitake and portabella mushrooms (Exposed to UV light), swordfish, eggs, tuna and whitefish.

 

Missy Bane