Don’t Forget the Vitamin D this Summer
Many individuals assume that supplementing with vitamin D3 is not necessary in the summer months. For most of us, this is very far from the truth, leaving us a perfect target for the September cold, sinus infection, or something worse. Unless you have a job that puts you outside for at least eight hour per day, chances are you are not synthesizing enough vitamin D3 to protect and strengthen your immune system.
Study after study suggests current rates of cancer in this country could be reduced by fifty to sixty percent if everyone were to take adequate amounts of vitamin D. One of common denominators of almost all patients at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center is that they have low vitamin D3 levels at the time of diagnosis. But this is something so very easy to fix and potentially prevent illness in your life.
Thankfully, most doctors are now testing vitamin D levels in their patients. The correct test your doctor needs to order is 25(OH)D, also called 25-hydroxyvitamin D, which is the better marker of overall D status. This is the marker that is most strongly associated with overall health. The “normal” 25-hydroxyvitamin D lab range is between 20-56 ng/ml. Unfortunately, when it comes to disease prevention, the target range should be 65-100 ng/ml, but very little emphasis is placed on getting your levels to this range. Experts now feel that anything below 32ng/ml is considered a severe deficiency that will ultimately increase your risk for all cancer types and autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis, and rheumatoid arthritis, to name a few. Many individuals walk around with lower levels than this and it sends chills up my spine. It is like holding the door open to welcome a huge variety of ailments.
My best advice is to keep the door shut. Get your levels above 65ng/ml. For whatever reason, most primary care providers will rarely tell you to take more than 2000iu daily or prescribe a high dose of 50,000iu per week for a mere twelve weeks leaving you to drop numbers once again when the prescription is complete. This makes no sense and will not raise a low level to a protective place.
Based on the most recent research, the current recommendation for dosage is 35 IU’s of vitamin D per pound of body weight. So, for a child weighing forty pounds, the recommended average dose would be 1,400 IU’s daily, and for a 170-pound adult, the dose would be nearly 6,000 IU’s.
Vitamin D3 supplementation is probably one of the most important things you can do to protect your body from disease. Its effects on genes are so powerful that a deficiency in vitamin D over an extended period of time has been associated with twenty-two types of cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and autoimmune diseases including multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, rheumatoid arthritis, and a wealth of other modern chronic diseases. What’s most important is its powerful effect on the immune system. Adequate levels of Vitamin D in the body have been shown to increase the body’s natural supply of what are called “Antimicrobial Peptides” (AMP’s). These are small fragments of amino acids, the building blocks of protein, that have very beneficial effects on the immune system’s ability to fight against several types of germs, including viruses and bacteria. Optimal vitamin D3 levels should be the focus of attention when it comes to bone health. All the calcium in the world will not compensate for this.
Although there is little “official” data out on vitamin D3 insufficiency and depression, I have seen a connection I cannot ignore. D3 is commonly used in combination for those suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder. The results are impressive, even though the sun does not come out much in those long winter months.
Before September arrives, get those vitamin D3 levels up. Taking 6000iu daily would be an excellent place to start. My favorite D3 is Liqui-D3 by RX Vitamins. This bottle is approximately $20 and will last months and months. on drop equals 2000IU’s, so all you need are three drops daily. It doesn’t get easier than that. If you want to protect you child, one drop every day or every other day depending on their size would help prepare them for the petri dish of germs associated with going back to school.
Catherine Stack (RN, ND) is a practicing Doctor of Naturopathy, Certified Nurse Midwife, and the founder and CEO of Journey II Health Center for Rejuvenation. Her book, Free Yourself from a CONSTIPATED Life, is available on Amazon. Visit her website at journeyiihealth.com or email journeyIIhealth@gmail.com.