With January slipping by faster than any of us can believe, here’s a reminder to put “getting your vitamin D tested or retested” on your calendar for late February.
Timing really is everything, because by the end of winter your vitamin D level will be as low as it will be all year. Because of this, many women suffer more rapid bone loss by the end of winter— actually leading to an increase in springtime osteoporotic fractures.
Ideally we should strive for a 50 to 60 ng/ml level of vitamin D, all year round. To determine how much supplementation you need in each season, not only test your vitamin D level in late February but also toward the end of summer in late August. With this information, you can accurately adjust your vitamin D dose.
Helpful hints to remember
1. Keep track of how much of vitamin D you take during the different seasons, and note when you change doses. This way when you get your blood test you will know how much vitamin D you took to obtain that vitamin D level.
2. As a rule of thumb, for every 1,000 IU increase in vitamin D supplement, your vitamin D level increases by 10 ng/ml.
3. It takes two months to see the full effect of a change in vitamin D dose.
Vitamin D: how much is best?
• Lower than 32 ng/ml is deficient
• 33-49 is adequate
• 50-60 ng/ml is optimum
• Greater than 100 ng/ml is excessive
Experts now agree that a 32 ng/ml is the minimum adequate vitamin D level 25 necessary to protect bone. A level of 50-60 ng/ml is optimum for significant protection against many cancers, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and heart disease.
Why vitamin D is so important
At the Center for Better Bones we find good evidence that having an adequate vitamin D blood level reduces your risk of fracture by 50%, while at the same time significantly decreases your vulnerability to diabetes, cancer, heart disease, periodontal disease, high blood pressure and even cognitive decline! For the latest new research on vitamin D and a free chart depicting the degree to which various diseases can be prevented by adequate vitamin D supplementation take the time to visit my friends at www.grassroots health.net. Or, learn more with my article Vitamin D: the benefits are more than ever imagined.