Vitamin D Series PART 2 – Vitamin D and Your Health

vitamin d 3d illustration on white glossy surface

Vitamin D insufficiencies are estimated to affect over one billion people worldwide. The Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) data showed a significant increase in vitamin D insufficiency in the USA over the last 30 years, with over 77% of Americans considered vitamin D insufficient.

The alarming rates of insufficiency and the vast metabolic properties of vitamin D have led researchers to examine the influence of vitamin D on disease prevention.

The consequences of low 25(OH)D status include increased risk of various chronic diseases, ranging from hypertension to diabetes to cancer.

The safest and most economical way to ensure adequate vitamin D status is to use oral dosing of native vitamin D. (Both daily and intermittent regimens work well.) Serum 25(OH)D can be expected to rise by about 1 ng/mL (2.5 nmol/L) for every 100 IU of additional vitamin D each day. Recent data indicate that cholecalciferol (vitamin D(3)) is substantially more potent than ergocalciferol (vitamin D(2)) and that the safe upper intake level for vitamin D(3) is 10,000 IU/d.

What is the Ideal level of Vitamin D?

The Vitamin D Council recommends that adults take 5,000 IU/day of vitamin D supplement in order to reach and stay at .50 ng/ml

The Endocrine Society recommends taking a vitamin D supplement of around 2,000 IU/day to reach and stay above a level of  30 ng/ml. This is what the Endocrine Society recommends as the ideal level to aim for.

The Food and Nutrition Board recommends 600 IU/day of vitamin D supplement because they believe 20 ng/ml is the ideal level to aim for.

References

  1. Holick MF, Binkley NC, Bischoff-Ferrari HA, Gordon CM, Hanley DA, Heaney RP, Murad MH, Weaver CM; Endocrine Society. Evaluation, treatment, and prevention of vitamin D deficiency: an Endocrine Society clinical practice guideline. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Jul;96(7):1911-30.
  2. Institute of Medicine, Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2010.
  3. Vieth, R. “The Pharmacology of Vitamin D.” In Vitamin D, Third Edition, by Feldman D, Pike JW and Adams JS. Elsevier Academic Press, 2011.

Vitamin D Series PART 1 – Vitamin D and Athletes

vitamin d 3d illustration on white glossy surface

Vitamin D is well known for its role in calcium regulation and bone health, but emerging literature tells of vitamin D’s central role in other vital body processes, such as: signaling gene response, protein synthesis, hormone synthesis, immune response, plus, cell turnover and regeneration. In addition, a common symptom of clinical vitamin D deficiency is muscle weakness.Recent reports have shown a direct relationship between vitamin D blood levels and

  • muscle power
  • muscle force
  • muscle velocity
  • bone mass.

In addition, low levels of vitamin D can result in

  • over active parathyroid function
  • bone loss
  • increased risk of low trauma fractures
  • muscle injuries.

A new study, recently published in the Journal Sports Health, is entitled “Prevalence of Abnormal Vitamin D Levels Among Division One NCAA Athletes”.

This study begins by stating:

“Up to 1 billion people have insufficient or deficient vitamin D levels. Despite the well-documented, widespread prevalence of low vitamin D levels and the importance of vitamin D for athletes, there is a paucity of research investigating the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in athletes.”

The researchers evaluated the blood levels of vitamin D in a large group of NCAA Division I athletes. The results showed that about one-third of the athletes had very low levels of vitamin D. The highest risk factors for having low levels of vitamin D were being of hispanic descent, or having dark skin tone.

Look for the PART 2 on recommendations for Vitamin D supplementation

REFERENCE – Sports Health. 2014 Jul;6(4):340-7. doi: 10.1177/1941738114524517. Prevalence of Abnormal Vitamin D Levels Among Division I NCAA Athletes. Villacis D , Yi A , Jahn R , Kephart CJ , Charlton T , Gamradt SC , Romano R , Tibone JE , Hatch GF 3rd .

Life Perspectives From 30 Plus Years As A Wellness Seeker

I don’t often write about my musings on life. Usually I am teaching the  latest exciting news about health and nutrition such as the miracle of the microbiome or the science of epigenetics or the teachings of Functional Medicine. Today is different.

I just found out that a fabulously fit, amazingly healthy young man had a brain bleed while hiking and it stopped me in my tracks. How could that happen? His life is forever changed in an instant. Yes, I am sure he will make a huge recovery from his brain injury but the truth is that could happen to any of us at any time, so I wanted to muse on the notion of living in the moment.

Being a wellness seeker is about being able to live fully in the moment. Feeling clear headed and energetic and vibrant so that each moment counts. I have never said this out loud, but I think we need to bring the concept of mindfulness front and center in our health and wellness teaching.

Being a wellness seeker is NOT about deprivation now for a brighter tomorrow. Some people live this way but I recommend we change that perspective. Living for tomorrow is a missed opportunity!

Here is what I know for sure . The meaning of anything is about being fully present while you do it.

This is a big leap for me as being a competitive athlete growing up, I was always delaying gratification for the hope of a better future! Perhaps it is living longer and realizing how precious life is that has shifted my perspective.

What do you think?