Vitamin D SupplementsPosted by BlogTrev on Dec 27, 2012 in Supplements • No comments
Are you Vitamin D deficient and need to take vitamin D supplements?
If you live in North-America, Europe or Australia, there is an over 80 % risk that you are. At least that is what the consensus between the conservative health-authorities and the researchers on vitamin D.
The health-authorities and cancer-councils are maintaining an by now outdated view on that the only proven benefit of vitamin D is to avoid rickets and osteoporosis. And for that is needed not very high blood-levels of 25 (OH)D (25-hydroxyvitamin D). For those conservative forces the threshold for deficiency is considered to be below 20 ng/ml (50 nmol/l). Even with such a low threshold, vitamin D deficiency was recently declared to be the “most common nutritional deficiency worldwide” in a recent article in the “Best Practice”-section of British Medical Journal (BMJ).
Researchers that have looked further into the possibilities to improve our health with vitamin D supplements use a different scale when they define vitamin D deficiency. For them below 30 ng/ml is deficient and below 50 ng/ml is insufficient. They claim to have discovered that the benefits of higher levels of vitamin D correspond to a radically increased resilience towards most cancers, cardiovascular and other serious maladies.
From this difference in definition of vitamin D deficiency also comes radically different recommendations for vitamin D supplements. For health-officials it is needed only 600 IU (International Units) per day to get above 20 ng/ml and avoid osteoporosis. Vitamin D experts agree about that but add that with such a low amounts and levels we miss out on all the real benefits from higher vitamin D blood-levels. The consensus among those experts is that we need at least 1,500 to 2,600 IU per day to get above 30 ng/ml and maybe up to 5,000 to 10,000 to get above 50 ng/ml.
For the low threshold, is is possible to get enough vitamin D from food naturally rich in vitamin D and from food (mainly milk and cereals) that are fortified with vitamin D (even if you have to eat A LOT of mushrooms and fish plus drink A LOT of milk). For the higher levels, vitamin D supplements are necessary.
And this creates the next problem. The human being is not meant to get that much vitamin D through the digestive system. We were not meant to TAKE vitamin D at all but rather to MAKE it when exposing our skin towards sunlight.
Since vitamin D supplements is a relatively new phenomena, nobody really knows the long-term risks involved with such high doses. Therefore the debate is now focusing more on what is a safe amount for vitamin D supplements than what should really be the levels in our bodies.
Of course, this discussion would become irrelevant if everyone could unite around the idea that the main source of vitamin D should be sunlight and not vitamin D supplements.