22 Aug Vitamin D – It’s Important to Know your Numbers
What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is called a fat-soluble vitamin however, is actually a hormone that can be synthesized by the body when exposed to sunlight and consumed in the diet. In addition, the presence of Vitamin D is required for calcium absorption.
Why is Vitamin D so Important?
Recent research on Vitamin D shows that it promotes normal cell growth to maintain hormonal balance and a healthy immune system. New research also links Vitamin D in the prevention and progression of Arthritis, Osteoporosis, Cancer (prostate, colon, and breast), Dermatology, Tuberculosis, Diabetes, Muscle pain, Heart disease, Pregnancy complications, IBS, Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus and Fibromyalgia.
Different Forms of Vitamin D and Food Sources…
Vitamin D exists in two forms: Vitamin D2 & Vitamin D3. Vitamin D2 can be obtained from some plant food sources; primarily dark leafy green vegetables and mushrooms and it’s also the main form of Vitamin D found in fortified milk juices & cereals. Vitamin D3 is the natural form of vitamin D for humans; produced in the skin after sunlight exposure and present in some animal foods such as eggs & fish. Vitamin D3 (supplement form) is more effective than D2 (food) in raising serum levels of Vitamin D; thus preventing a deficiency.
Who is at Risk and Why…
Most non-Caucasian’s are at risk of Vitamin D deficiency. Two primary reasons: 1) not having enough direct sun exposure and 2) the melanin in our skin blocks the absorption of sunlight. In most cases, there are no symptoms. Doctors are starting to check levels based on current research and as a preventable step to promote good health.
If you have never had your levels tested before, ASK your doctor so you are well informed of your numbers. When deficient, a supplement (D3) is in order as one cannot eat enough food to bring levels back to normal range. Normal levels are 20-50 mg/dl. Optimal levels are 50-100 mg/dl.
Share your comments…
- Have you ever been or currently Vitamin D deficient?
- What course of action did the doctor take to bring your levels to normal range?
- Do you continue to take a vitamin D supplement to maintain levels in normal range? If so, how many IUs per day?