Of all the vitamins that you could supplement with, Vitamin D3 is the most essential. This does not diminish the importance of the other vitamins, but Vitamin D is the only one that we cannot possibly get a sufficient amount from our diet, and it is probably the most deficient vitamin in America. Recent research estimates that upwards of 80% of people are deficient in Vitamin D, and those are by very modest standards.
What Does it Do?
To be honest, we’re still learning what it does. Just when we think we’ve figured out everything it does, we find another function. We’ve known for decades that a deficiency of vitamin D can cause a disease called rickets. But in recent years we’ve discovered that it has a role in preventing heart disease, cancer, autoimmune diseases (Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Type 1 Diabetes), obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, and even more. It is also essential for bone health and the prevention of bone loss and osteoporosis. The simple truth is that everyone needs to have healthy levels of Vitamin D.
How Do I Know if I’m Getting Enough?
We can get Vitamin D from two possible places: our diet, and the sun. Historically, we would have been out in the sun much more than we are today, and that is where historical man would have gotten his supply of Vitamin D. Also, certain foods are higher in Vitamin D, particularly organ meats like liver. It’s estimated that the average man would have gotten about 4000-8000 I.U. per day from food and the sun (10-20 times the arbitrary RDA). But today, we don’t eat well and aren’t outside enough. So how do we know if we are getting enough?
The best method to know if your Vitamin D levels are healthy is to get a blood test ran by your doctor. These tests are very cheap and easy to run. Additionally it’s becoming quite common for doctors to run them, since they too are learning the importance of this nutrient. The correct test to get is the 25-Hydroxyvitamin D (not the 1,25-Hydroxyvitamin D).
The print out you will receive will say that somewhere between 30-60 is healthy. That’s not entirely true. Those numbers are based on Homer Simpson, not a truly healthy person. The best range to shoot for is between 80-120. If you aren’t in that range, then you will need to supplement until it is.
How Much Should I Take?
The amount you need to get you to a healthy level will vary depending on where they currently are. I’ve heard of people with levels in the teens (very common) start with 200,000 I.U. per week in divided doses. I don’t recommend taking doses that high unless working with a health care practitioner and getting regular tests (every 1-2 months). Right now research seems to indicate that you need a minimum of 8,000 per day to increase your blood levels. If I were just starting out, without a blood test, having never taken vitamin D3 before, I would start with 20,000 I.U. per day for 4 weeks. Then I would drop to 10,000 per day for 4 weeks, then take 5000 per day as a maintenance dose.
The information presented on this website is the opinion(s) of the the author only. The information presented is not intended to treat, prevent or cure any disease. Neither Synergy Personal Training nor any representatives are doctors or medical professionals. We do not give medical advice. We recommend that any changes you intend to make to your diet or exercise routine be discussed with your licensed health care practitioner.