Everyone is talking about Vitamin D because the research behind it is exploding with great information! Recently, two studies done at the Intermountain Medical Heart Institute found that those who had higher levels of vitamin D had a lower risk for cardiovascular disease, heart attack, high blood pressure, heart failure, kidney failure, diabetes and more when given over time. In some it was as much as 30 percent.
Many scientists and Vitamin D experts believe the current levels for Vitamin D are too low when looking at the blood work. Most labs consider 30ng/ml and lower to be a problem however these two studies were looking at levels above 30ng/ml or above 43ng/ml. Research using vitamin D and cancer prevention (colorectal, breast, and ovarian cancer) found optimal levels to be between 80 to 100ng/ml. This is a big difference!
Living and practicing in a minimally sunny state I find that many of my patients are low in Vitamin D. In fact today I had peri-menopausal woman whose Vitamin D level was 10ng/ml. She was experiencing mild depression, fatigue, and increase joint and muscle aches. I explained to her that low levels like hers can cause many of the symptoms she complained about plus it is heart and cancer protective. Unfortunately, I also find that those living in sunny states are low in Vitamin D too because they don’t go outside due to their job, or they wear protective sunscreen, sunglasses, hats, and clothing that blocks the absorption into the skin.
Many who are low in Vitamin D hope to eat more fortified dairy products in an attempt to raise their levels but I find this is not adequate enough and ends up requiring supplementation. Talk with your healthcare provider about vitamin D testing and make sure to request the 25(OH) Vitamin D3 level, not the 1,25(OH)Vitamin D3. When supplementing, look for the vitamin D3 also called cholecalciferol, not the Vitamin D2. Be careful not to exceed 100ng/ml on your test or else this can lead to toxicity symptoms.