Hmmmmm. Hard choices. My sister and I used to play a game and whenever there was anything particularly abhorrent we would say, “Fire, fire. Would you choose ___________ or nude on the beach?” Invariably we would choose even the most horrifying thing, rather than risk the humiliation of “nude on the beach.”
I’m faced with just that quandary. While recently in Dallas, I went to an Any Lab Test Now and got a blood test for my levels of Vitamin D, and also a thyroid panel.
Of course a “real food snob” like myself who revels in the delights of raw milk, butter, cream, kefir…, uses grass-fed lard and tallow for cooking, slathers tallow salve/lanolin/coconut oil on her skin, never uses sunscreen and is in the sun everyday can surely gloat over her high levels of Vitamin D to the poor city dwellers who are caged indoors most of the time.
Not all of us have the luxury of lying around in the sun, and besides we won’t see green grass here for a month or two.
“Don’t you take cod liver oil,” you ask? Well, yes and no. I must admit that I do not take it regularly, as I really can’t afford it for myself, my milkman and milk maiden to take everyday. Those two call it dog poop, but I like the taste of it, BLUE ICE™ Royal Butter Oil / Fermented Cod Liver Oil Blend – Chocolate Cream. I save it for if and when they are ever coming down with something, and surely all of the other things we do that have bioavailable vitamin D in them are enough.
Well, they are not. The test I took was a “25-Hydroxyvitamin D assay includes 25-Hydroxyvitamin D2 and D3. Methodology is chemiluminescent immunoassay,” whatever all that means and my results were abnormally low at 24 L where the optimal range is between 50 and 100 NG/ML.
So now what and what are the best methods to raise the level of vitamin D, and is it really such a big deal?
According to Dr. Mercola on his Vitamin D Resource Page 85% of people are vitamin D deficient and we are told by the media and medical establishment to avoid sun exposure. He says that “one major study shows you can slash your risk of cancer by 60% by having optimal vitamin d levels. Vitamin D can also help reduce the risk of other conditions as well, including type 2 diabetes, chronic inflammation, age-related macular degeneration (the leading cause of blindness), and Alzheimer’s disease. Vitamin D also exhibits its infection-fighting abilities in the treatment of tuberculosis, pneumonia, colds, and flu. It can also improve seizure control in epileptics.”
Here is an interesting article on Vitamin D deficiency and lupus. and another on lupus.
Sun exposure is definitely a limited choice for much of the year, and Dr. Mercola also recommends safe tanning beds but says: “not all tanning beds are created equal. To make sure you are getting safe exposure from tanning beds, there are two things to be aware of: UV dosage and EMF’s ” and he explains safe tanning beds here.
Proper exposure to the sun, without sunscreen is explained here:
…“You don’t need to tan or to burn your skin in order to get the vitamin D you need. Exposing your skin for a short time will make all the vitamin D your body can produce in one day. In fact, your body can produce 10,000 to 25,000 IU of vitamin D in just a little under the time it takes for your skin to turn pink. You make the most vitamin D when you expose a large area of your skin, such as your back, rather than a small area such as your face or arms…”
So nudist colony is definitely out for me, as is finding a safe tanning bed, so how about proper vitamin D supplementation?
I found this out about taking vitamin D: “…Another critical point to remember is you shouldn’t take any vitamin D supplement without taking vitamin K2. Vitamin K2 deficiency is connected to vitamin D toxicity symptoms, which includes excessive calcification that can contribute to the hardening of your arteries. One of the functions of vitamin K2 is to direct calcium to areas in your body where it is needed, such as your bones and teeth. It also functions to keep calcium away from areas where it shouldn’t be, including your soft tissues and arteries.”
“The optimal ratios between vitamin D and K2 have yet to be determined. However, Dr. Rheaume-Bleue recommends that for every 1,000 IUs of vitamin D, you can benefit from about 100 to 200 micrograms of vitamin K2…”
For those familiar with the teachings of Dr. Weston A. Price and activator x : “In 1945, Dr. Weston Price described “a new vitamin-like activator” that played an influential role in the utilization of minerals, protection from tooth decay, growth and development, reproduction, protection against heart disease and the function of the brain.
Using a chemical test, he determined that this compound—which he called Activator X—occurred in the butterfat, organs and fat of animals consuming rapidly growing green grass, and also in certain sea foods such as fish eggs.”
It has been shown that this factor-x is vitamin K2. Ok, so vitamin D needs to be taken with K2, good.
Dr. Mercola continues, “But this is not as simple as taking any vitamin D pill; there are many things to consider.
What your body requires is vitamin D3 and not vitamin D2, the synthetic form commonly prescribed by physicians. One microgram of vitamin D3 or 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 is about five times more potent in raising serum 25(OH)D than an equivalent amount of vitamin D2. Aside from being less effective, vitamin D2 can also pose potential harm to your body.
It is very, very important to have your blood levels of vitamin D tested before and during supplementation. There are two vitamin D tests currently being offered: 1,25(OH)D and 25(OH)D. The correct test to order is 25(OH)D – also known as 25-hydroxyvitamin D – because it is the better marker of overall D status.”
Grassroots Health has testing kits you can order yourself and is a wealth of information.
“Example: To go from 20 ng/ml to 50 ng/ml would require an average additional intake of 4300 IU/day.
Average intake observed to produce noted serum levels in adults, 150 lbs average weight.”
The Grassroots Health testing kits are part of an international project to solve the vitamin d deficiency epidemic. “When you order your kit from GrassrootsHealth, you will also be participating in the world’s largest vitamin D project to solve the deficiency, D*action. You may choose to enroll for a 1-time test with your health information or you may even participate in the 5 year project where you provide your health information along with a vitamin D test each 6 months for the 5 year period.”
“There is a $60.00 fee + $5.00 shipping each 6 months for your sponsorship of the 5 year project which includes a complete new test kit, your new questionnaire entry and reporting of results to you. Or for a one-time sponsorship, the cost is $65.00 + $5.00 shipping. When you finish the questionnaire, you can choose your subscription option. You will get a follow up email every 6 months reminding you it’s time for your next test and health survey.”
FYI the lab test I took in Dallas for my vitamin d was $99 and it would have been considerably higher if taken at a doctors office.
This brings me to the option of “trusting the government.”
The FDA recommends 400IU per day for infants and 600IU for children and adults. hmmmm.
The upper limits by many more organizations including the Vitamin D Council are:
“The Vitamin D Council recommends taking no more than the upper limit, meaning do not take anymore than 10,000 IU/day for adults.
While these amounts seem like a lot, keep in mind that your body can produce 10,000 to 25,000 IUs of vitamin D after a little bit of full body sun exposure. Vitamin D toxicity, where vitamin D can be harmful, usually happens if you take 40,000 IU a day for a couple of months or longer.
In some diseases, researchers have studied the safety and benefits (if any) of these types of high doses of vitamin D. These diseases include multiple sclerosis and prostate cancer. If you have a disease for which research has shown there may be a benefit in taking larger amounts of vitamin D, and you would like to consider taking more than 10,000 IU/day, the Vitamin D Council recommends taking the following precautions:
- Work with your doctor
- Test your vitamin D [25(OH)D] levels every 3 months and make sure that your blood levels are within the safe and healthy range.”
What type of Vitamin D to take from this article:
“…The notion that vitamin D2 and D3 were equivalent was based on decades-old studies of rickets prevention in infants. Today, we know a lot more about vitamin D, and the featured study offers compelling support for the recommendation to take vitamin D3 if you need to take an oral supplement—which is the same type of D vitamin created in your body when you expose your skin to sunlight.
Supplemental vitamin D comes in two forms:
- Ergocalciferol (vitamin D2)
- Cholecalciferol (vitamin D3)
Aside from the featured findings that supplemental vitamin D3 reduced the relative mortality risk by six percent, while D2 actually INCREASED mortality risk by two percent, the two types differ in the following ways:
- According to the latest research, D3 is approximately 87 percent more potentiii in raising and maintaining vitamin D concentrations and produces 2- to 3-fold greater storage of vitamin D than does D2.
- Regardless of which form you use, your body must convert it into a more active form, and vitamin D3 is converted 500 percent faster than vitamin D2.
- Vitamin D2 also has a shorter shelf life, and its metabolites bind poorly with proteins, further hampering its effectiveness…”
The Vitamin D Council explains what form of Vitamin D to take and has a caution about high doses of cod-liver oil:
“The Vitamin D Council recommends taking vitamin D3 rather than vitamin D2. Vitamin D3 is the type of vitamin D your body produces in response to sun exposure, while vitamin D2 is not. In the United States, most over-the-counter vitamin D supplements are D3, but check to make sure. Vitamin D2 is sometimes prescribed by doctors because that is what pharmacies have available. If your doctor prescribes you D2, ask them if you can take vitamin D3 instead.
Vitamin D3 supplements aren’t vegetarian and some part of the production in making them occur outside the United States. If you have ethical concerns with taking vitamin D3, then sun exposure is a good option and vitamin D2 can be an alternative.
Other than that, it doesn’t matter what form of vitamin D you take, whether it’s in a capsule, tablet or liquid drop. For most people, vitamin D is easily absorbed in the body and you don’t need to worry about what time of day you take it or whether you take it with meals.
Cod liver oil contains vitamin D. However, the Vitamin D Council recommends against taking cod liver oil because of the high amount of vitamin A there is in cod liver oil compared to vitamin D. Vitamin A is also a fat-soluble vitamin, so your body has a hard time getting rid of it and too much vitamin A can be harmful.”
This is the one I have been taking for the last month, but obviously not enough or consistently. I am going to get some vitamin K2 to go with it today and upped my dosage since my test results.
I like that it is made from lanolin (the oil from sheep wool) and has no soy and has a base of EV olive oil and that the softgels are 5000iu.
This article explains the differences between how different vitamin d formulations are made.
Another note is that it is better to take Vitamin D in the morning rather than at night, to help improve your sleep.
“Vitamin D is inversely related to melatonin, your sleep hormone, so it makes sense that taking it at night disrupts sleep. I’ve noticed this effect personally. For this reason, there is no reason to take vitamin D at night…” (from Bulletproof Executive, which talks about Bulletproof coffee, which I have not idea what it is, but want to check it out later.)
So, I’ve found out lots of info on vitamin d. My thyroid situation is going to take a lot more research, and in the mean time I have ordered this book: Stop the Thyroid Madness and this desiccated Thyroid supplement Thyro-Gold, and am doing a lot more research on iodine.
Have you ever gotten a vitamin D test, and had results raising your vitamin d levels?