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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Vitamin D - Are you Getting Enough?

Vitamin D has been in the nutritional news a lot in the last couple of years. Most people know about the role Vitamin D plays in maintaining strong bones and reducing the long term risk of cancer. What you may NOT know is that Vitamin D plays a role in reducing back pain, the risk of developing Alzheimer's and related diseases and susceptibility to colds and flu.

What I also learned recently is that vitamin D plays a role in lowering your blood glucose levels which is important for Type II diabetics. An analysis of 28 different studies found people with HIGH blood levels of vitamin D have a lower risk of developing cardio-metabolic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, TYPE II DIABETES, and metabolic syndrome. One study showed that Vitamin D and calcium supplements prevented increases in fasting blood sugar while blood sugar levels increased substantially among people given placebos.

Vitamin D comes in two forms:

  • Vitamin D3 also knows as choleacalciferol / the MORE POTENT of the two forms
  • Vitamin D2 (ergocaliferol)

We make our vitamin D when our skin is opposed to sunlight. The problem is that as we age, it doesn't work so well. If you live in the north eastern United States as I do, we also don't get much sunlight. If you use sun screen lotion, this also interferes with Vitamin D absorption.

How much is enough? First of all  3 out of 4 Americans do NOT have optimal levels of vitamin D, according to a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

How much is too much and causes toxicity? Recent estimates are that one would have to take 50,000 IU daily for several months to reach toxic levels. the National Institute of Medicine recommends 600 IU of vitamin D daily, however their recommendation is based strictly on bone health and does NOT include the host of other benefits of higher vitamin D consumption.

What do I take? Remember I am neither a doctor or a nutritional expert. I am just a guy with Type II diabetes, who reads a lot. I normally take 2000 IU during the spring and summer months, and step it up to 5000 IU during the fall and winter months. I FEEL comfortable with that amount and feel I am well within the latest research and guidelines for Vitamin D3.

If you decide to add this to your regimen then make sure you purchase Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol)

This POST is based on an article in "Better Nutrition Magazine" February 2011 edition. By the way, this is a good magazine and a source of nutrition based articles.


Nature, time and patience are three great physicians.
- H.G. Bohn

(Proverbs 3:7-8 NKJV) Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil. {8} It will be health to your flesh, And strength to your bones.

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