Besides commanding celebrity status these days, with Vitamin D
deficiency being fairly common in the general public.,Vitamin D is a
fat-soluble vitamin (other fat soluble vitamins are E, A and K) that
actually functions as a pro-hormone (a precursor to hormones). Vitamin
D plays many roles in the body, enhancing absorption of calcium and
phosphorus in the intestines, promoting healthy bone structure,
influencing cellular growth, modulating the immune system and in
addition, it appears that vitamin D enhances the secretion and action of
insulin. There are a couple of different forms to understand. Vitamin
D3 is also known as "cholecalciferol” and you can obtain it from foods
such as cheese, beef liver and egg yolks. It can also be made in the
skin after exposure to sunlight and is the preferable form when it comes
to supplementation. Vitamin D2, also called "ergocalciferol” is
actually a synthetic form, not normally present in the body, made from
Potential consequences of low vitamin D levels include a faster rate
of bone loss, an increased risk of falls among the elderly, decreased
resistance to infection, and a potential increased risk of developing
cancer and certain autoimmune diseases. Studies have shown that
individuals suffering from diabetes, cancer, hypertension, lower back
pain, the seasonal flu, and a myriad of other illnesses typically have
depressed levels of Vitamin D in there blood.
And yes, you can get too much. Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite,
headache, dry mouth, abdominal or bone pain, and dizziness are the
classic symptoms of vitamin D toxicity. As the condition progresses,
signs of impaired kidney function, such as excessive urination, may
arise. Itching, calcification of organs and blood vessels, osteoporosis,
and seizures are still other signs that develop at the later stages.
A 25-hydroxy Vitamin D test, also referred to as a 25(OH)D is the test
usually performed to measure Vitamin D in the blood and optimal levels
are between 50-80ng/mL. At this time I recommend that levels be
monitored periodically however there is some debate over the accuracy of
this particular test.
Recommended dosage for supplementation vary, the Vitamin D Council
recommends the following amounts of supplemental vitamin D3 per day in
the absence of proper sun exposure.
Healthy children under the age of 1 years – 1,000 IU.
Healthy children over the age of 1 years – 1,000 IU per every 25 lbs of body weight.
Healthy adults and adolescents – at least 5,000 IU.
Pregnant and lactating mothers – at least 6,000 IU.
Additionally, children and adults with chronic health conditions such
as autism, MS, cancer, heart disease, or obesity may need as much as
double these amounts.
The US Government’s Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) for vitamin D is set at 4,000 IU per day.