Dr. Alison shares what you need to know about Vitamin D and what you need to know about supplements, sun, and testing.
Listen to the podcast:
Link to Vitamin D Supplements with 35% discount: https://us.fullscript.com/protocols/littleblackbagmedicine-favorite-basics
You are listening to functional wellness with Dr. Alison and today we are talking about Vitamin D and what you need to know about supplements, sun, and testing.
Vitamin D is important for many aspects of our health, not just our immune system. It reduces bone loss, reduces risk of cancers, reduces high blood pressure, and helps with blood sugar balance.
Vitamin D is found in fatty fish, eggs, and dark green leafy vegetables. It is a steroid hormone that is produced from cholesterol in your body. Which means if you have low cholesterol, struggle with hormone issues, or even have high triglycerides, you may have a difficult time making vitamin D.
Let’s start with testing. Most doctors will run a basic blood test for vitamin D and that is what I do as well. The difference is the ranges. Did you know that the labs actually set the ranges and they change based off the population, location, and average test scores? So there are no real set values for lab ranges, unless they are set by associations. Like the American Heart Association sets the ranges for cholesterol.
The typical lab will set the Vitamin D range for 30-80 as normal and healthy. Functionally, I like to see people between 60-80. If you have been supplementing vitamin D for a long time and your ranges are still low, then there might be a few issues. You might not be taking enough, your digestion may be off and you aren’t breaking it down well enough to absorb, or the supplements you are taking are actually blocking the absorption.
I also like to test your vitamin D levels in the winter and at the end of summer. This tells me what your average levels are and how well you absorb and utilize vitamin D over the summer.
The amount of vitamin D as a supplement you should be taking will vary by person. Because vitamin D is fat soluble, this means your body will retain it and it could become toxic. Now, reaching toxicity levels is very difficult and would take a lot of supplementation over a very long period of time.
I typically recommend people take as a daily support 5,000IU’s of vitamin D. If you have lower levels you may need up to 10,000IUs until your levels regulate or if you are dealing with acute or chronic infections.
Gummy supplements: Did you know that high fructose corn syrup will actually block the absorption of vitamin D? So if you love your gummy vitamins or are giving them to your kids, they are actually worthless.
I prefer the patches from PatchMD.com or liquid form from Apex because it is more readily absorbed and used by the body.
You will need other nutrients to best absorb vitamin D because no vitamin works alone. In nature, all nutrition is in a complex and requires that chain or combination to be effective. Add in K2, magnesium, and calcium to your regimen. Or look for a whole food based supplement that includes this.
I am the person who loves the sun and I always try to get as much as possible in the winter and spring too. Sitting by windows or outside as often as possible. But there are two factors that prevent our bodies from using vitamin D from the sun.
The first is sunscreen because it blocks the suns rays, it also blocks the rays that help our body produce vitamins. I do believe we need sunscreen when in the sun for extended periods, when traveling to places you aren’t used to the sun exposure (like going from Ohio to Florida), or if you have sensitive skin. Avoiding burns is very important.
Another sun factor is that if you live in certain areas, the sun is not strong enough to allow your body to produce vitamin D during the winter months. You can look up Vitamin D Latitude lines and see where you live and if you need supplementation. But if you live in the United States, most likely you will need it from Fall until Spring. Which means when I am sitting outside on a weird warm day in January, I am not getting any vitamin support.
That is a lot of information you might not have known and now you know how to take care of your body! There is a link in the description for you to find these supplements at a great discount through my FullScript account and I invite you to schedule your initial consultation with me to review your blood work and health history to create a plan that works for you. Thank you for tuning in today, make sure to like and subscribe to stay up to date with all my weekly podcasts and see you next time!