By Michael Jurgelewicz
Vitamin D has been a popular topic the past few years and seems to be getting more and more attention. Scientists are discovering that more and more diseases are being related to deficiencies in Vitamin D. It practically reducing your risk of dying from almost any disease.
A big misconception is that Vitamin D is just a vitamin and you need it for strong bones. Vitamin D is not really a vitamin, they just thought that's what it was when they discovered it, so its name does not do it justice. It is actually a substrate for a repair and maintenance steroid hormone that acts upon thousands of genes and regulating their function throughout the body.
There are 30,000 genes in your body, and vitamin D influences more than 2,000 of them. Vitamin D deficiencies has become more and more of a problem since dermatologists and sunscreen manufacturers have installed fear in the public and scaring them away from the sun.
Studies have shown that people living in higher latitudes have significantly higher cancer rates. Since getting adequate sun exposure daily is not always practical, almost everyone should be supplementing with D3. I personally only use Biotics Research and Designs for Health as my suppliers for D3. They pay special attention to their quality practices.
Vitamin D is fat-soluble so some people may have been told to avoid certain amounts due to toxicity. More and more research is showing those fears of toxicity have been overly cautious.
Vitamin D Toxicity from The Merck Manual states, the synthesis of 1,25(OH)2D (the most active metabolite of vitamin D) is tightly regulated, vitamin D toxicity usually occurs ONLY if excessive doses (prescription or megavitamin) are taken. Vitamin D 1000 g (40,000 IU)/day produces toxicity within 1 to 4 mo in infants. In adults, taking 1250 g (50,000 IU)/day for several months can produce toxicity.
That said, the way to proceed is to get your vitamin D levels tested before you begin, and then at regular intervals so taht you can tell when you reach the optimal level, because the amount of vitamin D required (whether from sun exposure or supplementation) to reach this level is different for everyone.
It's thought that 85 percent of the American public is deficient in vitamin D and over 95 percent of African American or deeply pigmented individuals. And, in the United States, the late winter average vitamin D is only about 15-18 ng/ml, which is considered a VERY SERIOUS deficiency state.
You can find out what your levels are by asking your doctor for a blood test called a 25(OH)D, also called 25-hydroxyvitamin D. (Please note, there are two typles of vitamin D tests, and this one is the one you want).
The OPTIMAL value of vitamin D that you're looking for has recently been raised to 50-65 ng/ml with even higher recommended levels required for more serious disease prevention.