Meet Dan, our Ocean store’s Clinical Nutritionist. He’s been noticing a lot of people asking about Vitamin D lately as a supplement for cold & flu season, so he decided to write a little piece about it to help you further understand its uses. Thank you, Dan!
Vitamin D: The Sunshine Vitamin by Daniel Sobon
If you’ve been paying attention to current health news you’ve noticed that vitamin D has been a hot topic. There are many questions regarding supplementation of vitamin D, so hopefully this brief article will clear up some confusion.
The two most common forms of vitamin D are D-2 (ergocalciferol) and D-3 (cholecalciferol). Vitamin D-2 is found in plants and fungi. Vitamin D-3 is found in animals and is the form of ‘D’ we get from adequate sunlight exposure. Vitamin D-3 is the preferred form, not only because it’s more active and effective, it’s the form that is used in clinical health studies. (Side Note: If your bottle of vitamin D does not say “D-3” on the front label, simply check the nutrition facts for the word “cholecalciferol”; that’s D-3)
Increasing your levels of vitamin D into optimum range [40-60 ng/ml, (nanograms per milliliter) *ask your doctor about checking your levels of vitamin D] has been shown to have tremendous benefits:
- Prevents cold and flu through increased immune activity
- Protects us from many forms of cancer
- Increases bone strength by promoting calcium absorption
- Helps prevent heart disease
- Helps prevent diabetes by increasing insulin sensitivity
- Increases mental function and alleviates symptoms of depression.
- Helps maintain healthy weight and proper muscle tone.
Clinical research suggests that the average person in America is deficient in vitamin D (baseline adequate levels are 30 ng/ml. We are averaging 18 ng/ml) despite the intake of a multiple vitamin, calcium formula, and sun exposure. Being that vitamin D toxicity is highly unlikely, consuming 40,000 i.u. daily for two months before any signs of excess, I am suggesting the following range of dosages for your consideration. *Check with your doctor before embarking on any nutritional program. Getting your vitamin D levels checked is a great way to be proactive with your health.
Proper dosages are determined by age and weight. A simple, safe guideline for maintaining ideal vitamin D levels are as follows:
infants 400-800 i.u.
Children 6yrs – 12yrs 800-1600 i.u.
13yrs – 24yrs 1600-4000 i.u.
25yrs – 65+yrs 4000-8000+ i.u. (*If a blood test reveals a vitamin D deficiency, the higher potency range may be required to ensure adequate levels)