Inner Circle Health Network

Getting Vitamin D Perfect

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Vitamin D is very important as part of your Undoctored Wild-Naked-Unwashed program, but, it's commonly goofed up, not done properly, by many people, including most doctors. There are some pitfalls you want to be aware of, so that you get your vitamin D just right. If it's just right, you're rewarded with magnificent effects, that add to the wonderful synergistic benefits of the Undoctored Wild-Naked-Unwashed program.

Common pitfalls

Taking a tablet form — dried powder or tablet form is so erratically absorbed that it's simply not worth it. Buy the oil-based gelcaps. They're inexpensive, available, and they're easy to find. Take that instead. Drops are OK, but drops are kind of erratic. You get wild fluctuations in blood levels. You could do that, but your best bet is to take vitamin D gelcaps.

Reply on sun, to get some vitamin D, but don't think you can get all of your vitamin D that way. Most of us at age 40 or so, lose a lot of our ability to activate vitamin D in the skin (sometimes even with a dark tan). Now that varies. Some people do maintain the capacity. Many do not. The only way to tell, is to get a blood level about two months into getting a lot of sun.

Let's say you start getting a lot of sun in May or June, consider a 25-hydroxy vitamin D level in August, and see what your level is. If you're taking, let's say, no vitamin D, and your blood level is 30, you know you're too low. If it's 75, you're good. So you'll have to make your own judgment. I'll tell you that the vast majority of adults do need to take vitamin D year-round. An occasional person needs to reduce the dose in the summer months, when they get lots of sun. Don't be fooled. Just getting sun is not sufficient.

Conversely, just taking vitamin D is also inadequate. It's becoming clearer and clearer, in the last 12 years or so of the vitamin D experience, taking vitamin D is wonderful. But you get even more benefits by getting sun. No one knows why that is. Now that's not so easy in northern climates, but you try to get outside and see real sun — not through glass, through windows, but outside and get sun. So, vitamin D plus sunlight is the best strategy of all — reduces risk of cancers, heart disease and other conditions even more so.

Another common pitfall is knowing what a desirable 25-hydroxy vitamin D blood level is. That's the blood test used to assess the adequacy of your vitamin D. The laboratories often say that 10 to 30 nanograms per milliliter is adequate, and your doctor will say “Your level of 32 is fine.”
Not true. That 30 given as the high limit, has no basis in reality. It was not made up, but based on population observations. It was drawn from a large population, and then the mean ±2 standard deviations. That is not a definition of health. That's a definition of being average, and most people are deficient. It's based on a flawed concept.

We ask: what's the ideal blood level? If you look at all the studies done so far, it looks as if at least a level of 50-55 is desirable, and that higher levels of 60, 70, 80 are perfectly fine too. Young people, at least can achieve those levels with sun exposure, which suggests to us, that is a physiologically appropriate level. We aim for a 25-hydroxy vitamin D level of 60 to 70 nanograms per milliliter or 150 to 180 millimoles per liter.

If your doctor says “your level of 32 is fine”, you know he doesn't know anything about vitamin D, and I would find better advice elsewhere. You also know, from us, that a better level is achievable, readily, just by increasing your dose.