cloudy Seattle skyline

With Spring and Summer right around the corner, it’s important to address Vitamin D. Having adequate levels of Vitamin D is critical to ensure prevention of many serious diseases. Vitamin D’s use has been vastly under-emphasized by the medical community until recently. The RDA (recommended Daily Allowance) levels of Vitamin D are currently 600 IU (International Units); however studies show that 90% of people in the northern hemisphere are Vitamin D deficient and that those RDA levels are insufficient. A lack of Vitamin D has been link to:

  • Osteoporosis
  • Ricketts
  • Pain
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Cancer
  • Increased rate of all-cause mortality
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Decreased strength

The major sources of Vitamin D are either by direct sun light or from supplementation. The Vitamin D council currently recommends that all well adults and adolescents require 5000IU’s daily either from sunlight or from supplementation to achieve blood levels in the desired range of 50-80ng/mL. Best sources of Vitamin DThe best source of Vitamin D is from direct sunlight WITHOUT any application of sunscreen (SPF>8). Sunscreen use will reduce 95% of the bioavailability of Vitamin D from sunlight. We get about 10,000IU’s of Vitamin D with 20-30 minutes of direct skin sunlight exposure. With that being said since we are farther north, we are unable to utilize sunlight for the production of Vitamin D until about May as the UV-B rays produced by the sun are not strong enough. Vitamin D toxicity from exposure to increased sunlight does not appear to be an issue as toxicity will occur from either a sustained exposure to 100 times the RDA for several months or from a one-time exposure to more than 10,000 times the RDA. That is a risk I would be willing to take to ensure the prevention of so many more potentially harmful disease. The next best source of Vitamin D is from supplementation. This is because it is a quick, easy, and inexpensive way to ensure we get proper amounts of a very important vitamin that helps to reduce and prevent so many disease and problems. In our office we recommend PURE Vitamin D3 in the liquid dropper form as it is easy to take, is tasteless and easily absorbable. It is important to note that if you are going to supplement you make sure and use Vitamin D3, not D2, because Vitamin D2 is not shown to raise blood levels of 25-OH-vitamin D effectively. Food sources are few and far between to get the recommended 5000IU’s of Vitamin D daily. You would need to drink 50 glasses of fortified milk or take 10 tablets of a standard multi-vitamin. You would need a 10 oz piece of raw Atlantic herring to get sufficient supplementation of Vitamin D and more with other fish. The health benefits of Vitamin D far outweigh the risks of toxicity. There is no reason why most people should not be on Vitamin D. We do recommend that a blood test of 25-OH-Vitamin D test is taken to measure levels of Vitamin D. This will give us an objective indicator of the level of supplementation you as an individual require. Feel free to inquire about Vitamin D supplementation with any of the doctors here at Graham Rehab.