Would you believe that a majority of American adults are considered deficient in vitamin D? Studies of pandemic cases have shown that those who experienced the strongest symptoms had low vitamin D levels. In light of the encouragement to boost our levels, I’d like to clarify how to maximize your vitamin D benefits.
How to Maximize Your Vitamin D Benefits
Vitamin D is considered by many to be both hormone and vitamin with a wide variety of benefits, including:
- Aiding in Calcium absorption in bones
- Supports the immune system
- Promotes cardiovascular health
- Supports health cell replication
- Helps manage blood sugar levels
Have you had your Vitamin D levels measured recently? This serum lab test is key to knowing whether your body needs added support and can be requested from your doctor. Though reference ranges on most lab tests consider 30-100 ng/mL acceptable, the optimal level would be 40-60 ng/mL.
Natural Sourced Vitamin D
Nature provides a means for increasing your levels from sun exposure. How much vitamin D your body makes depends on your age, your genetics, how much skin is exposed, and your skin tone. Wearing sunscreen blocks production of vitamin D, so I recommend 15 minutes of exposure before applying sunscreen. The darker your skin, the more sun exposure you need.
Your geographical location influences vitamin D levels. Those in the south receive more direct sunlight than those in the northern states because of the angle of the sun. Many experience seasonal depression in winter due to reduced vitamin D levels, demonstrating its effect on mood.
Supplementing Vitamin D
Most practitioners assess vitamin D by measuring 25-OH, which is actually a precursor in the body. This means that the body needs good levels of Magnesium to support its conversion. The majority of us are deficient in Magnesium. I would suggest that you begin supplementing that first with Malate or Glycinate form.
The body uses nutrients in a symphony. Each food we eat provides a variety of nutrients together. Likewise, your body needs a variety of nutrients to support Vitamin D – Vitamins A and K, along with Calcium and Magnesium. If you would like some guidance on the selection of supplements to support Vitamin D, reach out to me.
Has your doctor advised you to take a supplement because your Vitamin D level is low? Start by adding Magnesium daily for a week, and then begin a D3 supplement, but not at a high dose from the start. It’s best to ramp up in increments of 2000IU over a period of 1-2 weeks, to allow the body to adjust slowly. And don’t stay at the high dose longer than a month before going back to 4000IUs a day.
It is also wise to recheck your levels 3-4 months after you begin supplementing. You don’t want your levels to get too high. Aim for the functional sweet spot, between 40-60, because higher levels can be immunosuppressive.
If you are concerned about your bone strength, I don’t recommend taking high doses of Calcium. Large amounts are taken when your bones are not able to absorb it is likely to calcify soft tissue. Better to take no more than 700mg of Calcium a day in conjunction with Vitamin D and the others I mentioned above.
Maximize Your Vitamin D
A symphony of nutrients fuel the myriad functions in our body. I recommend you maximize your Vitamin D levels as I have shared above. You will be making significant strides toward pursuing wellness.