Sunday, September 6, 2009

Vitamin D Is Essential


Vitamin D is essential for a number of functions in the body. It is essential for bone health, autoimmune diseases, cancer, heart disease, cognitive function and even pain control. Despite numerous studies that show low levels of Vitamin D are detrimental to overall health, deficiency seems to be pandemic. Before the last few years, physicians didn't even measure Vitamin D levels in the blood. We assumed if you got a bit of sunshine and weren't an elderly shut in, you were good.

Vitamin D comes in two forms, Vitamin D2 and Vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 is formed in the skin after exposure to Ultraviolet B radiation and from animal sources such as some fish. Vitamin D2 comes from plants (that have been exposed to sunlight) and foods are fortified with Vitamin D like milk, cheese, bread and juice.

Vitamin D goes through a complicated synthesis within the body to make a biologically active form. There are Vitamin D receptors in the intestine, prostate, colon and breast and most tissue and cells in the body. Vitamin D is one of the most potent regulators of cell growth in both normal and cancer cells.

I could go on and on but this should be just a "taste" of the importance of Vitamin D in maintaining health. Keep in mind that laboratory measurements of Vitamin D are not perfect, but if you aim for a goal of 35-40ng/ml, the Vitamin D status should be good.

Vitamin D deficiency can be treated with supplements that are relatively cheap to purchase. For healthy people, 1000-2000IU/day should bring low levels up to a normal range. For people who have severe deficiency (malabsorption, healing fractures, osteoporosis), larger doses may be necessary.

Ask your doctor to screen for Vitamin D. We continue to evolve with our medical knowledge and the importance of Vitamin D is new information.

15 comments:

KM said...

I know someone who was tested for Vit D and was deficient at 8.5 at applied for a new insurance but got declined because of having Vit.D deficiency.
Although after taking the supplements he is up to 32 or 33 the low end of the normal range. But his doctor wants him up to 50.

jobb said...

Thanks for the reminder. I have my annual check-up this month, and wil request the D test when the lab draws blood for other tests.

Anonymous said...

I thought the vitamin d council is recommending getting vitamin d levels in the 50-80 range.

Rich said...

Good post here. I found out that I was vitiman D deficient and now take a supplement. I thought it was a good catch by my doctor.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the info! doing a college science project and it really did help!

glucosamine said...

Nice post everything is explained clearly. Its very useful to all science students. Taking the pill of Vitamin D is not the better idea.

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Vitamin D is important because is carried in the bloodstream to the liver, where it is converted into the prohormone calcidiol. Circulating calcidiol may then be converted into calcitriol, the biologically active form of vitamin D, either in the kidneys or by monocyte-macrophages in the immune system, I've studied a lot about the perfect properties this vitamin has, actually I think you provide us excellent information.m10m

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