I am so glad that we have finally had some sunshine and can begin to get outdoors and enjoy a good dose of Vitamin D in its most natural form. I just finished placing an order for some Vitamin D and thought it might be a good time to remind people of the benefits and importance of maintaining optimal levels of Vitamin D. Most of this information was taken from a previous post I did. On his website, Dr. Frank Lipman talks about Vitamin D, appropriate levels and some symptoms of deficiency.
What are the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency?
There is no clear pattern of symptoms. In fact many people remain asymptomatic despite low levels. But here are the more common symptoms
- General muscle pain and weakness
- Muscle cramps
- Joint pain
- Chronic pain
- Weight gain
- High blood pressure
- Restless sleep
- Poor concentration
- Bladder problems
- Constipation or diarrhea
Of course, our very best source of Vitamin D is that which is received via the sun, but many people need to incorporate more Vitamin D by taking supplements. Dr. Oz recommends 1000 IU a day, as do many health care providers. The chart below shows Vitamin D levels and what they mean in terms of your optimal health. Although this chart was not shared by my naturopath, this fits with the numbers and plan we had for achieving optimal levels for me. He felt that I should be within the 80 to 100 range due to the medication I take and other risk factors that I have. (However, another site I found stated that 50 ng/ml was the optimal level ~ so there are definitely different schools of thought regarding Vitamin D and supplementation.) I have my levels monitored to ensure that I am not taking in too much , but I generally take 10, 000 IU per day. In the time I have been taking this large dose, I have never tested much higher than 70. Keep in mind, that I live in Canada and work almost full-time, so my exposure to the sun is very limited in the winter. Vitamin D levels must be closely monitored by your health care provider as excessive amounts (above 100 ng/ml) can be harmful. The important thing to consider is whether or not you might in fact be deficient and need to get your levels checked and monitored.
Vitamin K and Vitamin D
A few months ago, my chiropractor told me about new research suggesting that taking a combination of Vitamin D and K really helped to enhance absorption and effectiveness of both when taken together. I found a supplement on iHerb that was less expensive than many similar supplements found locally and I have been extremely pleased with the results. This liquid Vitamin D3/K2 is manufactured by Ortho Molecular Products. I usually order 2 at a time to offset the duty and shipping fees. If you are interested in the link, here it is:
Dr. Mercola states:
But there’s a new kid on the block that could end up being “the next vitamin D,” and we are finding that some of vitamin D’s benefits are greatly enhanced when combined with this other vitamin.
That “new kid” is vitamin K.
Much new research is now focusing on the synergy between vitamin K (specifically, vitamin K2) and vitamin D3, particularly in terms of bone strength and cardiovascular health.
To read his entire article, follow this link ~ The Delicate Dance Between Vitamins D and K.
If you find that you are feeling “off” or are experiencing some of the symptoms mentioned above ~ get outside. For many, just being outside, can make you feel better. The fresh air, sunshine (Vitamin D) and immersion in nature can be the best medicine of all. However, if you feel that you may need to supplement, check with your health care provider. I think that most GP’s would recommend the standard 1000 IU’s and that you may need to see a Naturopath in order to get an accurate measurement of your levels and specific needs. I have found that supplementing my Vitamin D has had a huge impact on my over all health throughout the past 3 – 4 years. I can tell when I have missed taking it or run out, and it is an absolute staple in my daily routine.