Statistically speaking, the odds are that you may not be. It is estimated that 1 billion people globally are clinically deficient in vitamin D. In the United States alone, roughly 4 out of every 10 people are considered deficient. Keep in mind that being deficient is different than having low vitamin D levels. Current data suggest that optimal vitamin D levels are 20 nannograms/milliliter to 50 ng/ml, while levels less than 12 ng/ml are considered deficient.1
Now let’s discuss why vitamin D is so crucial. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is important for mental health, immunity, hormonal health, mood, body composition, bone health, gut health, and so much more. It also plays a factor in the intestinal absorption of other vitamins and minerals such as calcium, phosphorus and magnesium. All of these are important for bone health.2
But why are so many people deficient?
In the past couple of decades, our lifestyles have drastically changed. We went from working on farms to working in offices with artificial light. Children went from spending their entire days outside to being glued to tablets, computers and televisions. People are traveling in their cars more than walking (vitamin D can’t be absorbed through a window). People spend hours exercising inside gyms with artificial light rather than outdoor workouts. We’ve essentially become hermits.
So with something as important as vitamin D and something that so many are lacking, there are some common questions that come up. Below are my answers to some of them and if you have more, make sure to join me in the ENERGY Formula Facebook Group and ask me there.
Oil-based vitamin D is best and take it with a fatty meal. It’s important to combine vitamin D with vitamin K2 (MK7) because of how they work together to regulate calcium levels. D3 is the best form (over the vegan D2).
Recent studies demonstrate that it’s best to take vitamin D in the morning as ingesting it later in the day can affect melatonin production, therefore disrupting your sleep.
The US Institute of Medicine recommends 400-800IU (or 10-20mcg) per day, but recommendations are continuously adjusted upward as some recommend 2000 IU/day or 60IU/kg. It is really best to get your levels tested as this will decide what recommended dose you should be taking.
The upper limit is 4000IU per day, but taking vitamin D is generally very safe with little to no negative risks.3
Check out my other blog post on vitamin D for additional information on dosages.
Recent recommendations say that 15 minutes of sun exposure, or until the skin turns slightly pink, between 10 am and 3 pm can produce roughly 3000IU of vitamin D in the body. Vitamin D produced from the sun can last twice as long in the blood compared to vitamin D from the diet so try to schedule some time outside each day.
Incidences of vitamin D toxicity are rare, getting too much can be harmful. It could lead to:
Extremely high levels can cause:
This is typically only seen in individuals who have accidentally or intentionally taken extremely high vitamin D doses for long periods.4
I am often asked by people what brands and dosages I myself use, so I wanted to share that as well! I take anywhere from 5,000-10,000 IU/DAY, depending on sun exposure.
My go-to brands are:
Although these foods do contain vitamin D, it is difficult to eat enough of these for an adequate amount of vitamin D. The best way is with a combination of foods, supplementation and sunlight.3
And DON’T FORGET SUNSHINE!!
For more extensive information on vitamin D, make sure to check out my other post and guide about it. Hopefully, this article answered some of your questions and encourages you to take some time to get outside today, enjoy the sun and get your daily dose of vitamin D.