You May Not Be Taking Enough Vitamin D

. . . or getting the most benefit from that vitamin D you’re taking

You may have heard that vitamin D is important and checked your multi to make sure it includes vitamin D. If it’s our multi, and you’re taking 2 tablets a day, you’re getting 800 IU of the highest quality vitamin D3 available. Noting that this is more than the Recommended Daily Allowance for most people, you may assume you’re getting enough.

Or maybe you spend a lot of time in the sun during the summer months soaking up those vitamin-D producing UV rays. Again, you may assume your vitamin D blood levels are more than adequate.

In both cases you may be wrong.

Vitamin D experts recommend that you maintain a blood level of vitamin D in the upper-normal range, which would be 50 ng/mL or more on the 25(OH)D test. But in a 2006 study, Bischoff-Ferrari and colleagues found that 700-1,000 IU of vitamin D taken for eight weeks resulted in less than half of average healthy adults achieving 30 ng/mL. This is the low edge of the normal range. Likewise, in a 2007 study of 93 young (average age 24), physically active Hawaiians of all races who were spending more than 20 hours in the bright sun weekly without sunscreen, more than half had blood levels below 30 ng/mL.

This is why it’s so important to get your blood levels checked with the 25(OH)D test. Many factors influence both how much vitamin D you get from the sun and how your body processes that vitamin D. For example, if you’re dark-skinned, you require more sunlight to get the same amount of vitamin D than if you’re light-skinned. As we age, we become less and less able to convert the UV rays from the sun into the vitamin D precursor.

You may need to supplement with 5,000-10,000 IU of vitamin D a day to get your levels up above 50 ng/mL.

You’ll get the most benefit from your supplements if you take them with your heaviest (fattiest) meal of the day. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin and needs to be taken with a good amount of fat. Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic found that no matter how much the dose, taking your vitamin D with your largest meal of the day improves absorption and results in about a 50% increase in 25(OH)D levels over what you’d achieve taking your D supplements by themselves or with a light meal.

You’ll get 5,000 IU of the highest quality vitamin D available in our Vitamin D3 Formula, along with vitamin D’s partners vitamins A and K, and stabilized with vitamin E as d-alpha tocopherol and mixed tocotrienols.

Bischoff-Ferrari HA. Estimation of optimal serum concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D for multiple health outcomes. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. July 2006; 84(1):18-28.
Binkley N. Low vitamin D status despite abundant sun exposure. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. June 2007; 92(6):2130-2135.
Mulligan GB. Taking vitamin D with the largest meal improves absorption and results in higher serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D. Journal of Bone Mineral Research. April 2010; 25(4):928-930.
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