As my patients know, an integral part of good health is optimizing one’s vitamin D levels. Actually, it is not a vitamin but technically a hormone. It has far more reaching effects on the body then a mere vitamin. Ideal levels in the blood are associated with lower cancer rates, decreased inflammation and better overall health. While most labs values will state that the normal range is 30-70ng/ml. If fact, 50-70ng/ml is ideal. Simply keeping your levels in the ideal range has got to be one of the most direct ways to improve one’s health.
The problem is that with the exception of supplements or fortified foods, Vitamin D is not found in the diet to a significant degree. The primary source our bodies use to get vitamin D is the sun. UVB rays hitting our skin allow it to synthesize and absorb vitamin D. Which leads us to the second problem; it is often difficult to get the appropriate amount of sun to synthesize enough vitamin D. In fact, anywhere north of the 37th parallel will not provide enough sunlight in the non-summer months to allow our bodies to make enough vitamin D. For my local readers in the San Francisco bay area, we are just north of the 37th parallel. What to do? We must supplement. While everybody is different, most people supplementing with 8000IU of vitamin D each day will get their blood levels into at least the lower level of the acceptable range.