Vitamin D and How Too Little is Often Recommended
The whole problem with Vitamin D is that you cannot get much of this vital vitamin from what you eat.
And added to that is, although the medical profession are in agreement that raising your vitamin D levels is a good thing, they continue to endorse low recommendations for vitamin D intake in solving the ongoing deficiency epidemic. Higher vitamin D intake will also help to reduce adverse health conditions.
Why is there still this serious vitamin D deficiency?
- A 2018 study found that vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency are increasing at a global level.
- Severe vitamin D deficiency, defined as less than 12 ng/ml, dramatically increases the risk of excess mortality, infections and many other diseases, and should be avoided whenever possible.
- Another study found that higher levels of vitamin D were linked to a 59% lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease.
- Experts have pointed out that there is a high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency which has remained an epidemic for decades despite how easy it is to prevent and treat.
- This issue, along with growing research demonstrating the health benefits of getting enough vitamin D, was the reason Carole Baggerly founded GrassrootsHealth in 2007, starting with the Scientists’ Call to D*action to address the vitamin D deficiency epidemic. And this was when I first became interested in the subject of vitamin D.
- Following the founding of Grassroots Health, there were thousands of research studies published linking vitamin D deficiency to a wide array of adverse health outcomes.
- But at the same time, there were also many inferior studies whose conclusions result in confusion among health practitioners and individuals about vitamin D, what levels to aim for, and how much to take.
- With deficiency defined as less than 20 ng/ml (50 nmol/L) and insufficiency defined as 20-25 ng/ml (50-62 nmol/L), one study found a prevalence of deficiency at 28.9% and insufficiency at 41.4%. Meanwhile, the Grassroots Health scientists panel recommends a vitamin D level between 40-60 ng/ml or 100-150 nmol/L)
Some interesting Vitamin D deficiency facts
- Obese adults have over 3 times higher prevalence of deficiency, as they need more vitamin D than normal weight individuals.
- Physically inactive individuals are twice as likely to be deficient in vitamin D.
- Those with higher vitamin D dietary intake (or who use supplements) have lower prevalence of at risk of deficiency or inadequacy.
- Research has revealed that severe vitamin D deficiency (less than 12 ng/ml) dramatically increases the risk of excess mortality, infections and many other diseases.
- Further studies have found that higher levels of vitamin D is linked to 59% lower risk of developing Alzheimer's Disease.
Vitamin D treatment by supplementing is a safe option. In fact, it is difficult to overdose.
Testing your vitamin D levels
Measure your vitamin D levels at home as part of the D*action project! To know if you are getting enough, make sure you test today!
Or if you have to have a blood test for any other reason, ask your medical practitioner to include a test for vitamin D levels at the same time so you can be sure of your own level.
How to raise your own vitamin D level
During the warm and sunny summer months, spend at least twenty minutes out in the sun (between the hours of 10am and 2pm) with as little clothing as possible - and minus any sunscreen - until your skin starts to turn pale pink.
During the winter months, start a course of good quality vitamin D3. When supplementing with vitamin D3, you will also need to add in magnesium and vitamin K2. Take with a spoonful of fat (such as grass fed butter or coconut oil) as vitamin D is fat soluble. Make sure you have calcium in your diet by including dairy products and dark green leafy vegetables.
It can be difficult to know what dosage to take if you have not been tested but as we have already pointed out, most suggested doses of vitamin D are too low and it is hard to overdose. 40 ng/mL is a good level to aim for initially, rising to 60 or 70 if you can for optimum health. In the meantime, a suggested dose when supplementing with vitamin D3 is 5000 IUs per day.
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https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25985947. (Accessed, 2 October 2021).
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Gruber-Bzura, B. M. (2018). Vitamin D and influenza—prevention or therapy?
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6121423/. (Accessed, 2 October 2021).
Koplin, J. J., et al. (2010). Can early introduction of egg prevent egg allergy in infants? A population-based study.
https://www.jacionline.org/article/S0091-6749(10)01173-5/fulltext. (Accessed, 2 October 2021).
Matyjaszek-Matuszek, B., et al. (2015). Clinical implications of vitamin D deficiency.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4498026/. (Accessed, 2 October 2021).