My previous Vitamin D Posts:
I hope you don’t mind if I just plagiarize myself a bit since it’s also helpful for me to go through some of this stuff:
Basics of Vitamin D
- It is a hormone derived from cholesterol
- It can be made in the skin with exposure to sunlight
- It can also be ingested with food or supplementation
Effects of Vitamin D
- Maintains calcium levels in body which is important for bone health
- Regulates gene expression
- Helps immune function
- May provide anti-cancer effects
- Vitamin D levels need to be in the 50 -70 ng/mL range for thyroid hormone receptors to respond properly
- Low Vitamin D levels are seen in obesity, although I’m not entirely sure if it’s known whether obesity causes low vitamin D levels, or if it’s the other way around.
Optimal Range of Vitamin D Levels
- Most sources I’ve come across recommend 50 – 70 ng/mL
Chris Kresser’s Thoughts:
Chris Kresser actually recommends a level of 35 ng/mL with the range between 25 – 50 ng/mL in the supplemental material provided with his Paleo Code book.
He states that there isn’t much evidence indicating levels above 50 ng/mL to be beneficial with some evidence that it can cause harm. Higher levels have been linked to:
- Decreased bone density
- Heart attack
- Kidney stones
My Vitamin D Levels
When I first checked it in December 2013, it was on the lower end of normal at 31.3 ng/mL. After regular supplementation with Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint Vitamin D of 6000 – 8000 IU per day, when I rechecked my levels in April 2014, I had brought it up to 54.3 ng/mL. Now it stands at:
Vitamin D, 25-Hydroxy: 39.9 ng/mL
It dropped a little bit. Depending on who you ask, this could be considered normal or low. Chris Kresser thinks it’s normal. Most other sources would say that it’s low.
For me… it tells me that I haven’t been doing a very good job of supplementing.
I work in an office and don’t live in a place where I can get regular sunlight. That’s just how life is for me. When the BJJ Cavewife and I did have a chance to go on vacation, we didn’t go to tropical locations like we did the years prior. So I didn’t have much of an opportunity to do some tanning this year… and my skin is pasty enough to prove it.
This is why I’ve had to rely on supplementation in the past… and as the numbers show, in this time period I didn’t do a very good job of it.
My current preferred Vitamin D supplement is the Athletic Greens Vitamin D3 formula. Each drop holds 4000 IU of Vitamin D, and the bottle contains enough for the entire year! Anything that decreases the amount of pills that I’m popping is a welcome addition to my supplement stack.
I’ve been hit or miss with taking this though out of sheer forgetfulness, so I need to make a better effort of taking this regularly.