Almost every day it seems like researchers are discovering fascinating new details about vitamin D. What’s more, you can put many of their findings into use immediately to help ensure you maintain the optimum 50-60 ng/ml blood level of vitamin D.
Here are five of the newest ways you can take action:
1. “D” stands for daily.
While we tend to think that vitamin D is stored in the body, recent research suggests that one very important type of vitamin D, cholecalciferol, has a very short half-life. This means that to ensure the disease-protective benefits of vitamin D it must be taken daily. This also might explain why studies giving six months of vitamin D in one large dose often show no beneficial effects.
2. You likely need more D than you are taking.
At the recent American College of Nutrition Conference, vitamin D authority Dr. Robert Heaney reported that to reach his recommended target 40-60 ng/ml vitamin D blood level the average person needs to supplement with 4,000-5,000 IU a day. This is the same intake level I recommend for my clients at the Center for Better Bones and for you!
3. You can calculate your true supplemental need.
Scientists now know that for every 1,000 IU increase in your vitamin D supplementation your blood level will increase by about 10 ng/ml. So if you’re taking 2,000 IU a day and your vitamin D blood test says you have a 30 ng/ml level, then adding 2,000 IU more will likely give you a 50 ng/ml level, and adding 3,000 IU more should give you a 60 ng/ml level. Test Your Vitamin D at Home!
4. Overweight and obese individuals need more vitamin D.
We’ve known for a while that those of us with excessive body fat have lower vitamin D levels.
At first it was thought that fat cells sequestered vitamin D and were reluctant to release it. But new research shows that obese individuals have higher vitamin D binding proteins and thus less free, available vitamin D. Whatever the cause, if you are overweight, I suggest you have your vitamin D level tested.
5. Not absorbing your vitamin D well? Try this.
I also learned from Dr. Heaney’s recent lecture about the new unpublished finding that vitamin D can be absorbed from the buccal lining tissues in the mouth. If you can’t bring up your vitamin D level with the supplements you are taking, try opening a capsule of dry vitamin D and let it dissolve under your tongue.
Please let me know if these tips are helpful. Be well and thrive!