Vitamin D | SIX08 Health Styling for tooltip.

Are you getting enough or too much Vitamin D?

The sunshine vitamin

Vitamin D is unique because it can be created in your skin through sun exposure. You can also get it through foods and some foods are even fortified with it.

This vitamin is most often thought of in connection to bone health. It helps to absorb calcium in the small intestine.

Most tips on this vitamin are based on what is needed for adequate bone health. The Endocrine Society considers a level of 75nmol/L is often sufficient, while levels below 50nmol/L signify deficiency. However, there is controversy about where these cutoffs should occur, especially as more information about the other important function of the vitamin become available.

Besides calcium absorption and bone formations, it is involved in immunity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and mood.

Deficiency in Vit D is associated with autoimmunity and increased infection

Studies have found that lower levels of the sunshine vitamin are associated with certain conditions such as autoimmune diseases including multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes mellitus, IBD, and lupus.

Whether these conditions occur due to a low vitamin level or because the vitamin decreases as part of these conditions isn’t clear, especially as inflammation in known to lower Vitamin D levels.

Lower vitamin D leves may occur in certain populations

– Malabsorption as occurs in certain conditions such as IBD, celiac disease.

– Darker skin limits conversion from sunlight.

– Obesity holds more Vit D in fat cells, releasing less to circulation

– Higher latitudes and sun protection practices limit conversion from sunlight.

– Weight-loss surgeries that affect absorption.

– Kidney and liver disease reduce conversion of Vitamin D into its active forms.

– Aging decreases the skins ability to form Vitamin D.

But more isn’t necessarily better when it comes to this sunshine vitamin

Because it is a fat-soluble vitamin, it can build up in the body and can reach toxic levels. Testing is important to ensuring that a healthy level is achieved without being too high.

Levels of 374nmol/L enter the toxic range. Excessive vitamin D leads to elevated calcium in the blood. If you have Vit D toxicity, you may experience nausea, vomiting, weakness and frequent urination. This may lead to bone pain and kidney issues like stone formation. Taking high dose supplements of this vitamin for a long period of time is the most significant cause of toxicity.

Long story short, this vitamin is an incredibly important nutrient and having adequate stores appears to be important for overall health. But more isn’t necessarily better as higher levels can be toxic.

There has been a lot of hype over vitamin D in recent years with some sources advocating very high doses. While high dose supplementation may be useful for certain people in certain situations, this can’t be taken as sound advice across the board. Blood tests are an important tool in order to determine optimal dosing, to monitor for response, and to ensure safe maintenance therapy.

Naturopathic doctors can screen for risk factors and test Vitamin D status.