Getting in the “Sweet Zone” With Vitamin D
Why is it important to increase your Vitamin D level? Well there are many reasons! There is a “sweet zone” of the Vitamin D level in your blood. If you can get your Vitamin D level within this “sweet zone” there is a statistical decrease in cancer, diabetes, fractures, neurological disorders, and heart attack. Besides bone health and prevention of certain diseases, Vitamin D plays a large role in fighting viral infections. Your best flu shot just may be your daily dose of Vitamin D!
The first and most important thing is to find out what your baseline Vitamin D level is. This is a simple blood test. Many patients will say, “Well my medical doctor just took my blood and didn’t say anything, so I guess my Vitamin D level is fine.” Don’t assume this to be true. The doctor has to specifically order a Vitamin D test when doing blood work – it isn’t automatically measured with the basic tests.
Once the blood work results show your D level, you can determine if you are low, borderline low or within the “sweet zone”. Anything below 26 ng/ml is considered “low”. Surprisingly, the majority of people are found to be low! This is because we go from our house to our cars to our office to our cars and back to our house, getting little exposure to the sun. Further, our soils and foods are depleted of nutrients so even if we eat healthy and get out in the sun, we are likely not getting enough proper minerals such as magnesium to absorb and utilize Vitamin D properly. Low D can cause increase in pain sensitivity, musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, poor bone health, asthma, cardiovascular risk and decreased resistance to disease and infection.
The “sweet zone” would be around 50 ng/ml. If your level is below 50 ng/ml, it would be advisable to build your Vitamin D stores. A person needs 2000 IUs of Vitamin D a day to MAINTAIN their stores and at least 4000 IUs a day to BUILD them. In our office, we have a daily 5000 IU tablet or we have 2000 IU chewables (you can take two). Once you start building your store of Vitamin D, have your doctor periodically repeat the blood work to recheck your Vitamin D level. When you get into the 50s you can drop down to a maintenance dose of 2000 IUs a day. We prefer to use D3, the most biologically active form of D. D has to be converted in the liver, then in the kidneys to a form known as D3, before the body can utilize it properly.
I hope this clears up any questions about Vitamin D! Now you can have an informed discussion with your medical doctor or your chiropractor about your D levels.