Q: How many Americans have low levels of Vitamin D, does it matter and what can be done?
A: US government studies have found that three out of every four Americans have very low levels of vitamin D in their blood (below 30 mg/mL vs. 50-70 ideal). This is a concern because Vitamin D is essential to our wellbeing and immune functions and deficiencies can lead to osteoporosis, autoimmune diseases (such as MS and rheumatoid arthritis), infectious diseases and prostate and other forms of cancer.
What are your options to increase your Vitamin D level? Given that there is virtually no vitamin D in most of the foods we typically eat and there is a clinically meaningless amount even in fortified milk (only 100 IU per glass), you can either take a Vitamin D supplement (likely 2,500 to 5,000 IU) or have some limited sun exposure that produces Cholecalciferol (vitamin D3), the naturally occurring form of vitamin D. Only 20 to 30 minutes of full-body noontime summer sun exposure stimulates the skin to produce as much as 10,000 IU vitamin D while avoiding skin cancer.
And the authors of the cited study make a disturbing correlation: “The really significant reductions in sunlight exposure have occurred since the industrial revolution, just the time the “diseases of civilization” like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer seem to have greatly increased. Essentially, protecting yourself against the sun causes vitamin D deficiency.”
So limited sun exposure is important for our health and, if that’s not possible, it’s essential to take a Vitamin D supplement.
Prepared by Terry Gips from http://pinestreetfoundation.org/vitamin-d3-a-review-of-the-evidence-for-its-role-in-human-health/