Having optimal levels of vitamin D is essential for cellular health. Vitamin D: not only is it powerful, it’s vital for good health. Although it’s called a vitamin, D is actually a steroid hormone that acts as a catalyst for processes that protect our cells. Every tissue in the body needs vitamin D, yet a large percentage of the world’s population is deficient, or borderline deficient, in this critical hormone. Even a mild deficiency can contribute to chronic and autoimmune diseases such diabetes, cardiovascular disease, depression, cancer (including ovarian, colon, and breast), multiple sclerosis, and psoriasis.
Nature intended for us to get vitamin D from exposure to sunlight, but absorption is blocked by sunscreen. We need bare-skin sun exposure for 15-20 minutes a day; most of us don’t get that. Additionally, we don’t eat enough D-rich foods, which include egg yolk, cod liver oil, shitake mushrooms, and wild salmon. Fortified milk/dairy is not the best source because you need several cups every day. For anyone intolerant of dairy products, this food category is off limits. Not to mention if it isn’t raw or organic you’re not get the full benefits and factory farmed cow milk is pro-inflammatory and filled with things that are not good for your body. Unfortunately, these days the best way to help the body establish optimal levels of vitamin D is to take a supplement.
The recommended blood level of vitamin D (above 25 nmol/L) was established to protect people from bone disease (rickets and osteomalacia). From the natural medicine perspective (and emerging scientific data), that threshold is too low to protect against serious illness or to promote optimal health. Depending on the individual, holistic physicians identify 65-90 nmol/L as the ideal vitamin D blood level for disease prevention.
In its active form as calcitriol, vitamin D contributes to skin cell growth, repair, and metabolism. It optimizes the skin’s immune system and helps destroy free radicals that can cause premature aging. While the body can produce vitamin D on its own through sun exposure, too much sun accelerates skin aging.
Don’t wait to raise your Vitamin D levels. Low Vitamin D levels result in:
- Getting sick often
- Fatigue and tiredness
- Bone and back pain
- Impaired wound healing
- Bone loss
- Hair loss
- Muscle pain
Age, gender, diet, stress level, and lifestyle factors affect absorption of vitamin D. A holistic physician can order a blood test prior to starting a supplement to help ensure you take the appropriate amount and form of vitamin D. Follow-up testing tracks improvement in your levels and health conditions. Your doctor can then adjust your supplement dose accordingly. If you aren’t the pill type Vitamin D3 injections are the next big thing. Weekly Vitamin D3 injections will raise your levels quickly.
- The VitaminD Society. Accessed 5 June 2018.
- Holick, M.F., “Sunlight and vitamin D for bone health and prevention of autoimmune diseases, cancers, and cardiovascular disease.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, (1 December 2004) 80: 6,–1688S. Accessed 5 June 2018.
- Grassroots Health. “Vitamin D Action” brochure. Digital copy available.
- NIH.gov. “Vitamin D Fact Sheet for Health Professionals.” Accessed 5 June 2018.