Updated: Sep 6
Hey everybody today we're going to be talking about the Big D, vitamin D. We know that everybody's been hearing about this so I want to give you a little bit of help, so first thing we're going to start out with is a little quiz. So have you been checked for a vitamin D deficiency have you had a blood test that's checked your levels of vitamin D?
I know many people who are taking vitamin D but maybe you haven't gotten your levels checked so this is what we're looking for, if your levels are between 60 and 80 you're doing awesome but if your levels are between 40 to 60 we could improve a little bit and if your levels are between 30 and 40 in in functional medicine in optimal ranges you're on the more deficient side. If you don't know your levels of vitamin D we need to definitely make sure that you're finding out if you're taking supplements and if you're not taking supplements and you're going to learn why so if your vitamin D levels are lower than 30 you are truly truly deficient.
So this is the deal, people with low levels of vitamin D are twice as likely to have diabetes, 40 percent more likely to have high blood pressure, and about 30 percent more likely to suffer from a heart attack. Now those numbers are really crazy aren't they. So why are so many people deficient in vitamin D? Number one it's recognized as a major problem for adults over the age of 50. And honestly is the only thing I can say a hundred percent of everybody we've tested in our practice has been deficient unless they're supplementing. So 90 to 95 of people are deficient in vitamin D unless you're supplementing. And it's estimated that one billion people worldwide across every ethnicity and age group have a vitamin D deficiency.
Why are so many people deficient? We can only get vitamin D from the Sun from the UVB rays and the UVB rays are the highest between 10 AM and 3 P.M during spring, summer, and Autumn. If you're not outside during those times with your skin fully exposed, you're not getting enough vitamin D. The clouds can eliminate up to 99% of that UVB radiation so even if you are outside during that time you might not be getting it. And there's been a mark decrease in the UVB during winter months. People wearing sunscreen, that sunscreen is going to absorb the UVB and some of the UVA so the sunscreen is going to block your vitamin D production especially any SPF between 8 and 15 it will reduce your ability to absorb the vitamin D 95 to 98% that's huge.
If you're taking certain medications it can also decrease your absorption of vitamin D. Now people with darker skin have more melanin in their skin so they can't absorb vitamin D as easily and it interferes with the cutaneous synthesis of the vitamin D, that's how it's made on your skin. African Americans with dark skin tones require five-ten times more amount of sunlight necessary to produce a similar result in someone with lighter skin. The other problem is people who are obese they'll sequester the vitamin D in the fat and they require a higher dose to have it increase their levels. Some people genetically don't hold on to vitamin D so they require more of a supplementation and so technically vitamin D is not a vitamin.
What's a vitamin? It is an essential dietary factor. Vitamin D is a pro-hormone and is produced photochemically in the skin in other words it comes from the sun but we can get some vitamin D from food a little bit right, so from fatty fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel, fish liver, oils, beef liver, cheese, and egg yolks. But we're not going to get very much. Even the food that's fortified with vitamin D we're not getting sufficient amounts, so the best place to get it is going to be from supplements and we're going to talk about how much and who should take it and why.
What are some of the benefits of vitamin D? Now I got to tell you these benefits are crazy crazy good. So it reduces metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, and it even helps with type 2 diabetes. There's tons of studies out on vitamin D and during covid those studies have gone crazy really increasing to know more benefits of Vitamin D. It decreases risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, hypertension, hyperparathyroidism, osteopenia and osteoporosis, that's the bone loss, it helps with musculoskeletal weakness and myalgia, as a chiropractor we're seeing people come in with pain all the time and if they're vitamin D deficient that could be contributing to the pain, it decreases the spread of certain types of cancers, helps with weight loss, reduces the effects of depression, supports autoimmune diseases, parkinson, it bolsters your immune system and prevents colds and flus, it is system wound healing, it helps young children prevent rickets, and it helps with benign prostatic hypertrophy.
Now I don't know about you but that list is huge and sometimes when I see a huge list like that I'm a little suspicious. I got to tell you I have looked up studies on every one of these things and the results have been amazing. Vitamin D really is what it's cracked up to be. So what levels should you have? The lab says if you're below 20 you're technically deficient if you're between 21 and 29 you're insufficient and if you're greater than 30 they say it's sufficient and toxicity if you're over 150. Now this is if you have the lab done on your serum. For functional medicine our Optimal Health range we want you between 60 and 80. That's going to be your best place.
People say well how much should I take and it depends on your skin tone, size, genetics. So the best way is to get your vitamin D checked, take the dose that I'm going to tell you, and then recheck it again in three months because we're going to talk in a minute about toxicity you don't want too much either so if you take a thousand IUS of vitamin D a day it will increase your levels in your blood over that three months each month it will increase it by 10 nanograms per deciliter. So now the other thing is if you're exposed to sunlight and you take all those you know clouds away and no sunscreen and all of that in five to ten minutes per day if you're out between ten and three and your Caucasian right, you're going to get some exposure to vitamin D. If you have darker skin tones you can double that time but you're not going to get enough to get you up into that 60 to 80 range.
If you want to look at based on weight if you have 35 IUS of vitamin D per pound for your weight per day. That's a good way to do it the thing that I don't want you to do I don't want you to go over 50,000 per week and that's because that's the prescription dose and we know that that's been studied. So what about vitamin D toxicity? This is a big deal you can take too much so if you get excessive sun exposure excessive food intake you know those do not cause vitamin D toxicity. You can't get too much from food or from sun exposure and most of the toxicity comes from taking high amounts of supplements in.
Too much vitamin D can lead to hypercalcemia vascular and tissue calcification damage to your heart, kidney stones, and hardening of the arteries in the blood vessels so we don't want any of that. The symptoms are unlikely to appear if you're taking less than 10,000 IUS a day, so as long as you're taking less than ten thousand a day or less than 50,000 a week you should be okay. But I still want you to get it measured and remember it can be cumulative over time.
Who shouldn't take vitamin D? There are some contraindications so people who have granulomatous diseases (tuberculosis), sarcoidosis, metastatic bone disease, or Williams syndrome should not take vitamin D. That's it, that's what we're covering on vitamin D this week if you have any questions or if you're excited about this information be sure to comment below, SUBSCRIBE, comment, share and we'll be seeing you soon in our next video!