Vitamin D is one of the basics. It’s critical to for your immune function. Without Vitamin D your immune system is unable to mature from a generalized inflammatory response, to more specific antibody mediated responses. In other words every little virus, mold bit, bacteria and protein your body doesn’t like – pollen, gluten, casein, etc. makes you and keeps you inflamed, red, irritated, swollen and sore. As a bonus, chronic inflammation can make you grumpy, tired, depressed, cause brain fog and eventually make you crazy. Vitamin D is a key factor in regulating your immune system.

Plan on getting your D levels tested right After Labor Day (September 7). After the Summer sun, your D levels should be at their peak. Simply taking a D supplement is not enough. The body’s ability to absorb and use D varies greatly from person to person. Some people need to take 10,000 iu each day to maintain normal levels. Those of you down under should also get your D levels tested except you will be at the lowest levels of D fro the year.

The test you want is for 25-hydroxy vitamin D. That’s the inert storage form. You want your levels between 45-60 ng/ml. That’s what’s found in native populations who live near the equator and don’t obsessively use sunscreen like the rest of us. It’s ok to be higher in the 80-100 range, especially for the end of Summer, that should come down as we enter into the Fall and Winter and the UVB radiation from the sun decreases.

Since it’s the end over Summer and your levels should be at their highest. I would personally want my numbers to be at 60 or above because they are going to start declining soon.

Starting in September if you live above Georgia, the sun is too weak to make much D during the winter. If you live above Boston, you can sunbathe naked all day and get ZERO vitamin D. If you use any type of sunscreen, you are making close to ZERO vitamin D, no matter where you are.

PRESS YOUR PHYSICIAN FOR THE EXACT NUMBER FROM YOUR TEST. Don’t settle for a “Normal” result. Normal is the average D level in a severely D deficient population. You don’t want to be normal. Normal is what gets people sick.

The best source of D is sun exposure. It’s free and has many other health benefits. Most people can tolerate 15 minutes of noontime sun without sunscreen and not damage their skin. We were made to be outside in strong sunlight. Sitting in a window in the sun feels good because of the infrared warming rays, but most glass has UV filters which prevent the vitamin D rays from getting to your skin. You need to get outside if you can.

If you are D deficient you can take a supplement. The D3 supplements are derived from the oils from wool and are well tolerated by most people. You can safely take 5,000-10,000 iu/day until your levels are optimal, then you can back down until you find what works for you. Most people can get their levels up in a month or two, occasionally it can take a year or more.

Every once and a while I find somebody who feels worse when taking D. I had a patient once who got leg cramps with the D. Improving her D increased her uptake of calcium and imbalanced in her calcium/magnesium ratio. We backed off the D and increased her magnesium. She is now able to take D without adverse effects and her levels are close to 40 ng/ml.

If your health and healing are not where you want them, get tested. Taking a supplement is just not enough to guarantee your vitamin D levels. Additionally, your Vitamin D status can change over time. Get tested. You can get tested on your own for about $50 or go to your doctor or nurse practitioner. Most don’t make a fuss these days about testing for D.

If you want to know more about Vitamin D, here is my interview with Dr. John Cannell, director of the Vitamin D Council.


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