In my recent blood test from September I also checked my Vitamin D level. Because my job involves working indoors, at a desk, in front of a computer for 10 hours a day, it’s rare for me to get much sun exposure. Sometimes I’ll sneak out for a coffee run or something, but even then only my face and hands will be exposed since I typically wear a dress shirt, and the walk to the coffee shop only takes 5-10 minutes. We’re talking minimal exposure at most.
When I’m not at work I’m either working on this blog, again indoors, at a desk, in front of a computer, or I’m training BJJ, indoors on the mats. Maybe twice a week I’ll go to Crossfit, but the way my schedule works out, this is either very early in the morning before the sun rises or in the evening after the sun has set.
In order for me to maintain optimized levels of Vitamin D I need to supplement, and in order to track how well I’m supplementing, I need to measure my blood levels.
Whenever I’ve slacked with my supplementation, my levels drop like a stone. Vitamin D plays an essential role in calcium regulation, bone density, gene expression, immunity, obesity, and may have anti-cancer effects. While the normal range provided by labs are 30.0-100.0 ng/mL, the consensus among most resources I’ve looked into state that the optimal range is somewhere between 50-70 ng/mL.
When I first checked in late 2013, my levels were low:
After supplementing with Mark Sisson’s Primal Sun I was able to bring it up.
I slacked off again and it dropped:
My supplementation switched to Athletic Greens D3 + K2 because I wanted the added benefit of Vitamin K2, and things improved a bit:
Again I slacked…. and my levels dropped when I saw Dr. Dall, my lipidologist. Incidentally she said she likes to keep levels between 50-90 ng/mL:
I changed my supplements again to Thorne Research Vitamin D/K2 because it was a bit cheaper at the time, and still wasn’t supplementing enough because when I rechecked things were still low:
December 1, 2015 – 35.2 ng/mL
I increased my dosage of Thorne Research Vitamin D/K2 to between 8000-12000 IU per day and managed to bring things back up:
Where I Am Now
September 8, 2016 – 36.3 ng/mL
Looks like I slacked again. Right before our cross country move I ran out of my supplements and didn’t bother to order more. Now it looks like it’s time to resupply.
I don’t know why I haven’t gotten it through my thick skull that I need to be on regular Vitamin D supplementation because my lifestyle just doesn’t support enough natural UV exposure, but it’s just one of those lessons I need to learn and re-learn every so often.
Hopefully you guys are doing a better job than me of staying on top of your Vitamin D levels.
*Image found here