A few years ago I wrote a blog post called "Your Solar Rockstar: Vitamin D3" and I think it's time to revisit it. Below are my current feelings on the importance of vitamin D for your health and vitality...
Vitamin D is one of the most important nutrients you may be lacking in right now. Vitamin D3 (the active form of vitamin D) is actually considered a hormone which is produced naturally in your body through a complex process. UV rays interact with cholesterol in your skin to produce a compound which is then activated further by the liver and the kidneys - and, voila! Active vitamin D3 is born. Dietary sources of actual vitamin D3 are scarce, so our body's own production of this vitamin/hormone are key! The unfortunate thing, however, is that there are many risk factors for being vitamin D3 deficient.
Risk factors for Vitamin D3 deficiency:
Do any of these risk factors apply to you?
If we are low in Vitamin D3, what are the risks? In severe deficiency, a condition called rickets in kids and osteomalacia in adults may develop. In both of these conditions, there may be seriously debilitating issues with bones and muscles. In less severe deficiencies, the effects are undoubtedly more frequent, far-reaching and, frankly, unrecognized.
Here are just a few conditions which are linked to Vitamin D3 status:
Here's a list of the best ways to improve your vitamin D3 status naturally:
In my practice most of my patients, when tested, come back with suboptimal vitamin D3 levels. What is optimal? I consider 60-80 ng/mL optimal - whereas many lab normal ranges are around 30-100 ng/mL. Many of my patients who were told they had "great" vitamin D3 levels were still at risk for some of the vitamin D3 deficiency-related diseases mentioned above.
If you're at all concerned about your Vitamin D3 level, talk to your healthcare provider about getting a blood test. The best way to avoid suboptimal vitamin D3 levels and the accompanying risks is to get tested.
If you have more questions, please reach out to me! I'd love to help you.
Leave a Reply.
Dr. Katie is a next-generation natural medicine doctor and proud dog mom living in the mountain west.