Q. Dear Terry, “I don’t get outside much this time of the year. How much vitamin D should I take?” – Jolene P., Minot, ND
A. Dear Jolene, Vitamin D is incredibly important to virtually every cellular process within our body. When our skin is exposed to sunlight, there are certain cells that undergo changes and convert a special kind of cholesterol into usable vitamin D. There are many factors that can impact how efficient this process is: including age, latitude, cholesterol status, ethnicity, and many others.
Recently, there was an increase in the RDA (recommended daily allowance) for vitamin D, but I think the level may still be too low for most people to receive many of the therapeutic benefits of vitamin D. This is especially important for the people living in areas of the world where receiving vitamin D from the sun may not be available year-round or if you have limited access to the outdoors.
Because vitamin D levels can vary greatly during the year, it may be helpful to check your vitamin D levels. Vitamin D levels can be checked through a blood test and can be ordered by your healthcare practitioner.
In general, most people need about 5,000 -10,000 IU (50 to 125 mcg) of vitamin D per day for the maintenance of good health. There are two forms of vitamin D: D3 (cholecalciferol) and D2 (ergocalciferol). Research has shown that vitamin D2 is much less effective at raising vitamin D levels. I prefer to use vitamin D3, as cholecalciferol, because it is in the human form.
Terry . . . Naturally
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