Unless you live in the southern hemisphere right now, you should be taking Vitamin D. And even if you lived in the southern hemisphere right now, chances are you should still be taking vitamin D. I have been measuring vitamin D levels for almost 20 years. I have seen teenagers in the middle of summer in California with tragically low vitamin D levels. What are the effects of low vitamin D? It can be associated with one or all of these symptoms:
- Increased pain
- Depression or low mood/feelings of sadness
- Increased irritability/anger
- Lowered immunity/increased likelihood of getting sick
- Shortness of breath
- Bone or muscle pain
- Hair loss
- Muscle weakness
How would you know if you had low vitamin D? The most obvious is to get tested. I and many other functional medicine doctors consider 75-85 ng/ml to be optimal. I would assume that everyone in California has sub-optimal vitamin D after October and could safely take Vitamin D3. But the dosage can more accurately be determined by someone who has experience with testing and supplementation. Some supplements are better absorbed than others and it’s important to know how much to take of which supplement. Something to know is that most supplements now include Vitamin K2. All of my patients are on a maintenance dose of D3-K2 once they get their numbers in the optimal range. Vitamin K2 is involved in healthy clotting and bone building.
Your doctor should test your 25-Hydroxy Vitamin D at least every 6 months to know where your levels sit. For something that has such a big impact on health, you want to stay ahead of the curve!
So what is it that keeps dropping until December 21st? The angle of incidence of the sun – and because of this we cannot make enough vitamin D even if we are out in sun for long periods of time. Even though we live in California.
Remember, my favorite new quote if you’ve been reading my blogs:
Smart people solve problems. Geniuses prevent them!
Be a genius and get your vitamin D measured today!