ARE YOU “D”ficient?

We have heard a lot about Vitamin D deficiency in the past few years. How do you know if you are deficient, and how much to take? There are many factors that affect your rates, so it is important that you actually get a blood test. I have seen reports that 100,000,000 people are low in vitamin D! Pretty much everyone who lives above Texas for the four months of winter has a significant deficiency. It is only in the past 10 years that major research has been done on the importance of vitamin D, so many doctors who went to school over 10 years ago, are not telling patients to supplement, unless they really keep up with research and literature. I know when I was in school, it was just a brief mention in nutrition and biochemistry classes.

We have heard of rickets, and it is caused by a lack of vitamin D, but there is compelling research that shows many diseases, and especially cancer, are affected by low vitamin D levels. The major biologic function of vitamin D is to maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D aids in the absorption of calcium, helping to form and maintain strong bones. It is used, alone or in combination with calcium, to increase bone mineral density and decrease fractures. Recently, research also suggests that vitamin D may provide protection from osteoporosis, hypertension (high blood pressure), cancer, and several autoimmune diseases.

Where do you get vitamin D? It is found in many food sources, such as fish, eggs, fortified milk, and cod liver oil. The sun also contributes significantly to the daily production of vitamin D, and as little as 10 minutes of exposure is thought to be enough to prevent deficiencies. Vitamin D is really a hormone, and it is fat soluble, so if you supplement it – and you really need to do that in the winter – take oil based supplement or a liquid. At, we have some great forms of vitamin D3 (the form you need to take).

Vitamin D3, Vitamin D, Vit D                                Vitamin D, Vit D, D3,

Take between 2000 and 5000 IU (international units) per day for 4 weeks, then, get your blood levels tested. If your levels are greater than 50, you are in a healthy range, so just maintain with 1000IU until the sun shines again! Or take that winter trip to Cost Rica – you need it for your health, right? Questions? Just Ask Dr. Susan!