Vitamin D3 Sun or Supplement?

Vitamin D3 Sun or Supplement?

Life Priority Blog, July 25, 2019—Vitamin D3  Sun or Supplement?

We have a love-hate relationship with the sun, don’t we? As much as we may worship the sun for its comforting, life-giving light and warmth, and as much as our world literally revolves around it, we have nonetheless learned to fear its power to harm us—even kill us. Skin cancer is no laughing matter, and we are right to take precautions against excessive exposure to ultraviolet radiation, the “light” we cannot see.

The paradox of the sun is that, even as it’s burning our skin and setting us up for cancer, it’s also causing something almost magical to happen in that same skin: the synthesis of vitamin D. This formerly rather boring vitamin, which helps build strong bones and teeth and prevents rickets, is rapidly achieving stardom in the nutritional world, as scientists find out more and more about its ability to help prevent cancer and reduce our overall risk for death.

Vitamin D—Sun or Supplement?

Vitamin D is the only nutrient we get from the sun—all the rest must be obtained from food or supplements. Of course, vitamin D can also be obtained from food or supplements, and for many people—mainly shut-ins or those who live in far northern (or far southern) latitudes and who don’t get out much—that is the principal way, or the only way, they get their daily dose.

Actually,  though, it’s not that easy to get adequate vitamin D from food, because so few foods contain appreciable amounts of it. Unless you eat a good deal of fatty fish (such as salmon), fish-liver oils, or fortified milk or cereals, you probably don’t get enough vitamin D, and you should supplement to make up for the deficit.

Information provided for educational purposes only. Not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any medical condition. Consult your healthcare provider for medical advice. Statements not evaluated by the FDA.

References-

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3356951/

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/6-things-you-should-know-about-vitamin-d

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4391331/

LIVE LONGER WITH VITAMIN D3

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Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to many chronic disorders, such as multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, infections, immune deficiency, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, heart failure, sudden cardiac death, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease (Gruber, 2015). But, even more than that, low vitamin D levels in serum are associated with increased mortality. In fact, in a recent meta-analysis of 42 randomized trials, taking vitamin D for three years or longer resulted in a significant 6% reduction in all-cause mortality.

In another meta-analysis (this one included 73 observational studies and 22 randomized controlled trials with 849,412 and 30,716 participants respectively), the observational studies were reported to show that “[e]ach decline of 25(OH)D [vitamin D] by 10 ng/mL was associated with a 16% increased risk of all-cause mortality (Gruber, 2015).”

Importantly, however, different forms of Vitamin D have different effects. In the randomized clinical trials noted in the paragraph above, “where vitamin D2 (dose range: 208-4500 IU/day) or vitamin D3 (dose range: 10-6000 IU/day) were given alone vs placebo or no treatment, vitamin D3 significantly reduced the mortality by 11%, whereas vitamin D2 increase[d] the mortality by 4%.” (The increased mortality seen with vitamin D2 was, however, seen with lower doses (<600 IU/day) and shorter average periods of supplementation (less than 1.5 years).) Vitamin D3 is the form of vitamin D that the two of us take.

A third meta-analysis that included 32 studies from January 1966 to January 2013 with more than 500,000 people (about 55 years old), found that serum 25(OH)D levels less than or equal to 30 ng/mL were associated with greater all-cause mortality, as compared to levels over 30 ng/mL. The authors of this meta-analysis also noted that the cutoff point for a deficient intake of vitamin D (20 ng/mL), as recommended by the federal government’s Institute of Medicine was too low to get all the health benefits of vitamin D (e.g., reduced risk of all-cause mortality and diseases such as cancer, autoimmune diseases, etc.). They suggested that the cutoff point should “not be set at 20 ng/mL, but at 30 ng/mL (Gruber, 2015).”

It is notable that the “Institute of Medicine recommended a daily tolerable upper intake (UL) for vitamin D for persons of nine years and older of 4000 IU and the Endocrine Society recommended for adults an UL of 10,000 IU vitamin D (Gruber, 2015).” We take 16,000 IU/day to attain a minimum-mortality sweet spot value of 60 ng/ml. NOTE: Do not take more than 10,000 IU/day unless you also have a blood test to verify that you are not taking too much.

It is also interesting to know that “obese individuals needed 2.5 times more vitamin D to raise the blood levels of 25(OH)D to the same degree as a normal weight person (Gruber, 2015).”

In conclusion, vitamin D3 is an inexpensive way to obtain a variety of potentially important health benefits, including the possibility of living longer.

Reference

Gruber et al. Live longer with vitamin D? Nutrients. 7:1871-80 (2015).

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Why Our Bodies Need Vitamin D Supplementation

Why our bodies need Vitamin D supplementation & how today’s lifestyles hinder production.

Sunlight Trees Horses Herding Horseback Cowboys

The year is 1817, void of our current-day electronics, processed foods, and 8+ hour desk job work days. The farming and agriculture industry reigns, where 90% of the population lives on a farm and produces their own food.

This lifestyle encouraged ample amounts of sunlight to be absorbed into the skin thus, producing Vitamin D for our bodies to use. In those times, Vitamin D deficiencies were not an issue like they are today.

Vitamin D is a unique vitamin in that our bodies do produce it, but as our habits change and we age, it becomes harder to trigger its production. Natural Vitamin D food sources are very limited and only include fish and egg yolks. Some foods can be fortified with Vitamin D, but natural sources are the best way to obtain the Vitamin.

This is where it becomes problematic for us today. We are already faced at a disadvantage with such a limited number of food sources where we can access Vitamin D. Couple that with the fact that our population hardly spends time outside in the natural sunlight like we did 200 years ago. We are hit with a double whammy where Vitamin D deficiencies seem inevitable.

Vitamin D is essential for our bone, cardiovascular, and neuromuscular health. It is for these reasons that we require Vitamin D supplementation. The recommended dietary allowance of Vitamin D for adults aged 51-70 years is 600 IU. For adults over 70 the amount increases to 800 IU (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services). With our modern lives that are mainly spent indoors, we simply cannot naturally produce these amounts resulting in us relying on supplementation to keep us healthy.

Make sure you are being proactive about your health and being intentional when it comes to obtaining Vitamin D and seeking out supplementation.

Be sure to speak with your health care professional before you start taking a Vitamin D supplement.

https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/#h2
http://www.health.harvard.edu/mens-health/vitamin-d-and-your-health
http://animalsmart.org/animals-and-the-environment/comparing-agriculture-of-the-past-with-today