Dr. James Chandler, N.D.,  Ph.D - Chandler Naturopathic Health Center
Chandler Naturopathic Health Center

Vitamin D The Sunshine Vitamin

     As summer winds down and autumn just a couple weeks away it is a good time to start thinking about the "sunshine vitamin" vitamin D.  As the days begin to get shorter and the temperature a bit cooler, we will need to manage our vitamin D levels.  Vitamin D plays a dual role, that as a fat soluble vitamin and that as a hormone.  During the fall and winter moths, especially in latitudes north of Atlanta Georgia, the sun in not at an angle that can produce vitamin D through the skin.  Vitamin D is needed by the body to regulate calcium and phosphorus.  More extensive roles for vitamin D include: immune system regulation, cancer prevention, diabetes prevention, and mood elevation.
     Who needs to have more vitamin D?  Older people, those that stay indoors or work indoors, people of color, people in long term care facilities, people that have health issues and those in areas that receive fewer hours of sunlight (those north of Atlanta) in the fall, winter and spring months.  It is a good idea, if you fall into one of these categories, to have your blood levels check at your next doctor's appointment.  Anything less than 50 ng/L is considered low, although most medical doctors and laboratories have a range of 20-100 ng/L with 20 consider being low.  For some people, especially those that have health issue, the optimum level should be 70-80 ng/L. 
     How much should I take?  How much is enough? How much is too much?  It is difficult to answer these questions without knowing what your vitamin D levels are.  That is why it is recommended that you have your levels checked periodically.  As a general rule, the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) used to be 400  International Units (IU) per day which is equivalent to about 10 mcg.  In 1997, the National Academy of Sciences revised their guidelines and issued Adequate Intake (AI) levels.  These are recommendations based on nutrient intake levels by a group of healthy people, that are assumed to be adequate.  The AI levels did not change the RDA of 400 IU daily.  More research has suggested that these levels be increased to 800 IU daily.  More and more studies show that most Americans are low or below optimum levels.  My suggestion is that all people should supplement vitamin D3 (or if you are vegan vitamin D2).  I recommend that everyone supplement with at least 1,000 - 2,000 IU daily. The most important thing is, know what your levels are.  If you are low, you may need to supplement at higher doses.  It is not recommended to supplement at extremely high doses (above 10,000 IU daily) for long periods of time.
For otherwise Healthy Individuals:
Infants and children........................800 - 1,000 IU
Teenagers........................................800 - 1,000 IU
Males and Females up to age 50.....800 - 1,000 IU
Males and Females  51 -70 years....1,000 -1,500 IU
Males and Females older than 70....2,000 IU
Pregnant and Lactating women.......800 - 1,000 IU
If you have a health condition, please get your Vitamin D level checked!
Disclaimer: This blog and all of its content is for informational use only.  It does not intend to diagnose, treat, or prescribe for any illness and does not substitute for the advice of medical physicians.  Seek medical approval before starting any supplemental routine or protocol.
For supplemental vitamin D or any supplemental vitamin, herb or mineral, please visit my website at www.drchandlernd.com, click on the "Store" tab.  There you will find links to DaVinci Laboratories of Vermont, IHERB, and Natural Dispensary.
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