Every afternoon, Jeff and I take a little break from our computer screens and go for a walk around our neighborhood. It’s a good change of pace and we get to move our bodies, get some fresh air, and talk about business or life or whatever comes to mind, like Paxton’s adorable cuteness.
Yesterday, I went into Jeff’s office to grab him for our walk, but he had to jump on an impromptu meeting. So, I waited thirty minutes until he was ready to go. I put on my winter coat, gloves, hood, and scarf, and headed out the door.
Even though it was only 4:30pm, it was already pitch-black outside. As we walked down the road, we could hardly see ahead of us if it weren’t for the occasional car headlight casting long shadows from behind us. As we walked, we were guided by the Christmas lights adorning our neighbor’s houses.
Unfortunately, we had fallen victim to what the winter months like to deprive us of, missing our chance to suck in some natural sunlight.
Shorter, colder days mean fewer chances to replenish our stores of Vitamin D…
What is Vitamin D?
Despite its name “Vitamin”, Vitamin D is actually a hormone – and a powerful one at that. You can find vitamin D receptors in almost every cell and tissue in the human body, where it is responsible for regulating up to 200 genes.
The reason you may have heard of Vitamin D referred to as the “Sunshine Vitamin” is because Vitamin D is synthesized from cholesterol when your skin is exposed to sunlight. At least this is true for a lot of people.
Many others have genetics that does not allow this conversion to occur, which means they really need to focus on getting enough Vitamin D in food and supplementation.
Vitamin D2 vs. D3
There are two types of Vitamin D: D3 or Cholecalciferol and D2 or Ergocalciferol.
D3 is the natural form of Vitamin D that is produced by your body when your skin is exposed to sunlight. It is the most biologically active form of Vitamin D, meaning that it has superior absorption and is the type preferred by your body. D3 is also found in wild fatty fish like salmon and sardines.
D2, on the other hand, is produced by irradiating the yeast sterol ergosterol, as well as in sun-exposed mushrooms. This is the type you’re most likely seeing added to your fortified non-dairy milk and other packaged products.
Humans do not produce Vitamin D2, and research shows it is less readily absorbed than D3. In other words, if you are planning to supplement, go with D3 – and you can help it to do its job when combined with Vitamin K.
Deficient, Sufficient, Adequate, and Optimal
How would you describe your Vitamin D levels?
Most conventional doctors will tell you that your Vitamin D is “fine” if you have a level of 20 nanograms/milliliter to 50 ng/ml. This is considered “adequate” for healthy people. A level less than 12 ng/ml is what will constitute Vitamin D deficiency.
In natural medicine, we prefer to strive for optimal levels of Vitamin D. Remember that I said Vitamin D is responsible for regulating over 200 genes. It is also important for heart health, hormone balance, fertility, bone health, cancer prevention, autoimmune disease protection, and fighting off infections – like the big virus that is top of mind right now.
Optimal levels should be between 60-90 ng/ml.
Know Your Numbers
There is no better way to ensure you have optimal Vitamin D levels than to regularly check your numbers. A simple, very affordable blood test will tell you exactly where you stand, and if you need to focus on getting your Vitamin D levels up. You can ask your doctor to run this test or you can order it yourself here for just $49.95.
My team will even review your results and make a recommendation for supplementation and diet modifications if needed.
Know Your Risk
I mentioned above that some people do not have the genetics to allow them to convert sunshine into Vitamin D in their bodies. This is just one of the genetic variants that can put your at risk for low Vitamin D. Other genes involve Vitamin D transport and metabolism.
In addition, other genetic inflammatory markers like IL6 are impacted by Vitamin D deficiency and can lead to increased systemic inflammation putting you more at risk for heart disease, cancer, and viral infections like C-19.
Understanding your genetics can give you a true advantage when it comes to taking proactive steps to protect your health.
Learn more about how to understand your Vitamin D genetics and well as immune health genetics, nutrition genetics, sleep genetics, fitness genetics, and more with DNA Made Simple.
These days, there are so many options when it comes to supplements, and I always recommend buying quality supplements from a trusted source. Many bargain options that you find at your local warehouse store or on Amazon look great, but they don’t offer the benefits you are looking for, and can even contain harmful, expired, and adulterated ingredients.
(Don’t get me wrong, I love Amazon, just ask Jeff!! I just don’t buy supplements from them!!)
If you do find that you are low on Vitamin D, I recommend supplementing anywhere from 5,000 IU to 10,000 IU every day until your numbers come up, then you can maintain with 1000-2000 IU daily. It is always a good idea to work with a practitioner to help you decided the best dose for you.
One of my favorite brands for Vitamin D is this one. It comes in a nice liquid form, making it easy to take and adjust your dose.
Bottom line, Vitamin D is a hormone that is necessary for so many functions in our body, and it is crucial for optimal health.
Vitamin D deficiency is super common. It’s estimated that about 1 billion people worldwide have low levels of the vitamin in their blood. According to a recent study, 41.6% of adults in the US are deficient. This number goes up to 69.2% in Hispanics and 82.1% in African-Americans.
Test Your Levels – Click Here to order a Vitamin D blood test (only available in the US – except New York State)
Understand Your Genes – Click Here to uncover your Vitamin D genetics as well as understand the weak links in your immune system, hormones, detoxification, micronutrients, sleep, heart health, and more. This ONE test can change your health outcomes significantly.
One of my favorite Vitamin D Supplements – Click Here to get yours today while supplies last.