Vitamin D: How to Maintain Good Levels Throughout the Winter


Now that winter is here, your vitamin D level is dropping just when you need it the most. In fact, the average American’s level will drop well into the deficiency zone, increasing risk of illness, cancer, and a host of other health problems. Fortunately, latest research has provided some very simple guidelines for maintaining optimal levels of vitamin D throughout the winter.

Many current guidelines for vitamin D levels are too low because they only take into account what is needed for bone health, and will leave us susceptible to cancer and many other chronic diseases. Recently, the Endocrine Society took a bold step forward and created their own guidelines based on overall optimal health requirements. The society considers blood levels of vitamin D below 20 ng/mL to be outright deficient, 21-29 ng/mL to be insufficient, and 30-100 ng/mL to be sufficient for achieving optimal health. Unfortunately, the latest research confirms that 33 percent of Americans are outright deficient. During the winter, your levels may drop as much as 50 percent, plunging you deep into deficiency territory. This can be avoided with correct supplementation and, where possible, sunlight exposure.

The Endocrine Society recommends the following daily intake levels of vitamin D :

Children under one-year-old: 400-1,000 IU/day
Children one to 18 years old: 600-1,000 IU/day
Adults: 1500-2000 IU/day

It’s next to impossible to get these amounts through food alone. Only oily fish, fortified foods, mushrooms, and eggs contain significant amounts. Recent studies in the U.S. have estimated that, from food alone, women get fewer than 210 IU/day, men get fewer than 320 IU/day and children between one and eight years old get fewer than 250 IU/day of vitamin D. Correcting these gaps through supplementation is quite safe, as the current upper limits for most children and adults range from 4,000 IU/day (Institute of Medicine) to 10,000 IU/day for adults (Endocrine Society). Beyond supplements, sensible sun exposure can also be safely used to further increase vitamin D levels for optimal health.

But vitamin D production from sunlight is not possible from November to February for those living north in Michigan. This is due to shorter daylight hours and the sun being low in the horizon. During this time it is especially important to consider supplementation.

So if you want to make this winter a healthy one, be sure to consider the Endocrine Society’s guidelines on optimal vitamin D supplementation. Ensure the quality of your vitamin D supplement by scheduling an appointment at our office. With Nutrition Response Testing, we can ensure that your body is responding well to Vitamin D supplementation.

Article adapted from Natural News.

Speak Your Mind