The now world famous sunshine vitamin is more than merely a nice have, ultimately D converts to a hormone and hormones have the power to unlock a long list of processes in your body — I mean long.
Made primarily from your skin’s exposure to sun or through supplementation, if you’re low in D you put yourself at risk for numerous health hazards. More than likely your doctor has tested you for vitamin D. More than likely he-she told you your levels are normal or close to normal, that is — greater than 20 ngl/ml.
Sound the buzzer. Wrong answer.
So what level of D is ideal?
Depends on which advisory board you follow. I follow the Vitamin D Council because they back their recommendations with decades of research. They’re specialists in one and only one substance,– D. The Endocrine Society’s recommendations are higher, but not high enough.
Writes the D Council:
“Vitamin D is important for general good health, and researchers now are discovering that vitamin D may be important for many other reasons outside of good bone health. Some of the functions of the body that vitamin D helps with include:
- Immune system, which helps you to fight infection
- Muscle function
- Cardiovascular function, for a healthy heart and circulation
- Respiratory system –for healthy lungs and airways
- Brain development
- Anti-cancer effects
How high should my vitamin D level be?
|Vitamin D Council||Endocrine Society||Food and Nutrition Board||Testing Laboratories|
|Deficient||0-30 ng/ml||0-20 ng/ml||0-11 ng/ml||0-31 ng/ml|
|Insufficient||31-39 ng/ml||21-29 ng/ml||12-20 ng/ml|
|Sufficient||40-80 ng/ml||30-100 ng/ml||>20 ng/ml||32-100 ng/ml|
How much vitamin D should I take daily?
|Vitamin D Council||Endocrine Society||Food and Nutrition Board|
|Infants||1,000 IU/day||400-1,000 IU/day||400 IU/day|
|Children||1,000 IU/day per 25lbs of body weight||600-1,000 IU/day||600 IU/day|
|Adults||5,000 IU/day||1,500-2,000 IU/day||600 IU/day, 800 IU/day for seniors|
|Recommended daily intakes from various organizations|
So who is this oh so bold Vitamin D Council?
The Vitamin D Council is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in California, United States, working to educate the public on vitamin D, sun exposure and health.
” ‘Why,’ you might ask. Simply put, humans do not get enough sun exposure in the 21st century. Because of this, many — if not most — humans are deficient in vitamin D,” writes Dr. Cannell, the Council’s Executive Director.
…..”Research on vitamin D is pouring out and it’s hard to keep up with the latest information. Recommendations on vitamin D and sun exposure are confusing, conflicting and inconsistent. We’re here to help both the public and health professionals sort through everything. The Vitamin D Council serves as a center for evidence-based vitamin D research and is a reliable source for the general public.”
Image: By samuiblue, published on 31 May 2013