Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with many brain disorders including:
Other conditions linked with low vitamin D levels include:
In fact, recently a group of researchers from Harvard, Cambridge, Oxford and seven other institutions published a study in the BMJ that concluded that low vitamin D levels were responsible for almost 13% of U.S. deaths.
That falls between the 20% of U.S. deaths associated with smoking and 9% for alcohol consumption.
They also determined that vitamin D3 supplementation reduced the risk of premature death by 11%.
They estimated that almost 70% of Americans are deficient in vitamin D, which they defined as having vitamin D levels of less than 30 ng/ml.
I have found similar results here at the Natural Medicine Clinic, as most of our patients whose blood levels I check for the first time are low in vitamin D.
Although the lab normal ranges are typically 30 to 100 ng/ml, the optimal range of Vitamin D 25-OH is considered to be 50-80 ng/ml by the Vitamin D Council and other authorities.
The primary source of vitamin D is from the sun, as it is not readily available in our diet in sufficient amounts.
So why even here in sunny Florida are so many people low in vitamin D?
First, sunscreen can prevent the absorption of vitamin D.
Second, most of us don’t have the time to get a daily 10-15 minute dose of mid-day sun on most of the body.
Third, the darker someone’s complexion is, the less vitamin D they produce from the sun.
Years ago, a patient flew over from the Bahamas to see me. He had many different symptoms including depression, fatigue and chronic pain and had seen many doctors without any answers.
After running some tests, I found out he was extremely low in vitamin D, even though he was a landscaper and was out in the sun (with no sunscreen) for over 40 hours per week! Apparently his very dark Bahamian skin prevented any absorption of vitamin D.
So how much vitamin D do you need? Well, that depends on your blood levels.
I have found that most teenagers and adults need to take 2000 to 5000 IU Vitamin D3 per day and most infants and children need 1000-2000 IU per day depending on their age and weight.
I do, however, recommend that you get lab testing before you just start taking vitamin D supplements because it is a fat soluble vitamin, and you can get too much of it.
Just remember, making sure you get enough of this vital nutrient is one of the most important things you can do for your health and wellness.
If you need any help in this area feel free to contact us. If you have any questions or would like yourself or a family member to have their Vitamin D levels checked, email us at [email protected] or call us at 561-627-5800. We would be happy to help.
Yours for Optimal Health,
Dr. Tom Rofrano
P.S. We have three vitamin D supplements to choose from. One is a convenient liquid Vitamin D for the kids. Click here to take a look!