Have you had your vitamin D levels tested recently?
If not, do so now! Vitamin D levels fluctuate throughout the year, generally rising in the summer months and dropping in the winter. Keep this in mind when you get your results. If you have marginal levels at the end of summer, for example, this is a warning sign that your levels may plummet in winter without proper supplementation. You may not realize that even people who get adequate sunlight may become vitamin D deficient; that’s because vitamin D absorption and utilization differ, sometimes dramatically, from person to person.
While a blood level of 40 ng/mL is acceptable, a more optimal blood level of vitamin D is 50 to 60 ng/mL as measured by the 25(OH)D blood test. On average, vitamin D levels are expected to increase 10 ng/mL for every additional 1000 IU of vitamin D. That’s why it’s crucial to get vitamin D testing to identify where you are starting — and retest a few weeks later to see if the amount you use is having an impact.
How much vitamin D to take varies greatly
On average we can use about 3,000 to 4,000 IU of vitamin D per day and taking this amount during winter months generally provides for at least a minimal protective level (which is around 32 ng/mL). However, many individuals need more than this, and there are a few who absorb vitamin D better and might be able to get by on 1,000 or 2,000 IU per day.
Winter is a “vitamin D desert” up here in the northern latitudes, and unless you head south - below Atlanta to be exact - you will need to take vitamin D supplements to maintain an optimal blood level of vitamin D throughout the winter.
How to test your vitamin D at home
Assuring that you and your family have adequate vitamin D levels is the simplest thing you can to do prevent disease and enhance health. Even winter colds and flu are much less common among those with adequate vitamin D on board! You can test your levels from the comfort of home with our kit.
Should you take vitamin D with vitamin K?
A frequent question we get is whether vitamin D should be taken together with vitamin K to avoid high blood calcium levels. Watch this short video from Dr. Brown for more information!
It is always wise to consult with your healthcare professional to determine your specific supplementation program. Individuals with special health concerns and those with disorders such as kidney failure, a history of kidney stones, high blood calcium, hyperparathyroidism, sarcoidosis, oat cell carcinoma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, or leukemia should not use vitamin D supplements unless under clear guidance of their physician.