Why Is Vitamin D So Important for You?

Most of us have heard of the importance of vitamin D levels for optimal health. Yet, I am always surprised at how many of my clients never get their levels checked with their yearly bloodwork and how few people supplement with vitamin D. Furthermore, if you live above the 37th parallel line (shown in the picture above) your body cannot get enough sunlight to produce adequate vitamin D during the four months of the winter season. Why is vitamin D so important? Consider just a few of vitamin D's important roles in your health. Vitamin D does the following:

• Helps modulate the immune system

• Promotes calcium absorption to enable mineralization of bones

• Helps regulate blood pressure

• Promotes protein synthesis in muscles

• Low vitamin D levels can be a contributing factor in fatigue because of its role in the production of ATP

• Low vitamin D levels can be associated with symptoms of depression

Therefore, if you live above the 37th parallel line, be sure to supplement with vitamin D during the winter months. If you don't live above the 37th parallel line, you may still be deficient so get your levels checked.  You want your blood level of vitamin D to be between 50ng/ml and 100ng/ml.

How to take vitamin D:  Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin so it needs to be taken with some fat.  I suggest it be taken with dinner since this is typically the largest meal of the day and includes more fat.  A typical maintenance dose is 2,000 IU daily.  If you test low in vitamin D, you may need to take up to 5,000 UI daily for one month and then get your vitamin D levels rechecked to make sure you are within adequate levels.  If your blood levels are within normal limits, you may then go down to a maintenance dose.  My favorite way to supplement vitamin D is with an emulsified form of vitamin D3 which includes vitamin K2.   Also, cod liver oil contains vitamin D, A and E and could be used.