Know your Numbers: Vitamin D

Google vitamin D right now and I bet you find a lot of headlines about cancer.

Lack of vitamin D can increase risk of breast cancer.

Vitamin D can help battle cancer.

Oncologists begin prescribing vitamin D as part of cancer therapy.

But did you know vitamin D is important even if you do not hang out in the oncology ward?

Where does vitamin D come from?

vitamin-d-sunshine-beach

A day at the beach is a great way to get vitamin D.

Vitamin D is the “sun” vitamin. It is not found naturally in many foods (other than some fish, fish oil and a handful of proteins.) But each day at the beach and afternoon in the yard gives us plenty of vitamin D. Because vitamin D is not found in many foods, it is added to many products and vitamins (milk, for one.) You can even buy vitamin D pills off the shelf or get vitamin D infusions.

A big role of this vitamin is that is helps us absorb calcium and ward off bone disorders like osteoporosis. Vitamin D aids in overall absorption of nutrients from foods.

It can also help boost the immune system, reduce inflammation and help you feel more “alert.”

Breastfeeding moms are often advised to give infants vitamin D supplements.

It has been suggested by some vitamin D researchers, for example, that approximately 5–30 minutes of sun exposure between 10 AM and 3 PM at least twice a week to the face, arms, legs, or back without sunscreen usually lead to sufficient vitamin D synthesis and that the moderate use of commercial tanning beds that emit 2%–6% UVB radiation is also effective [6,19]. Individuals with limited sun exposure need to include good sources of vitamin D in their diet or take a supplement to achieve recommended levels of intake. – NIH

What are “good” vitamin D levels?

Here is a chart from the Office of Dietary Supplements of the National Institute of Health on understanding vitamin D levels:

Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] Concentrations and Health*

nmol/L** ng/mL* Health status
<30 <12 Associated with vitamin D deficiency, leading to rickets in infants and children and osteomalacia in adults
30–50 12–20 Generally considered inadequate for bone and overall health in healthy individuals
≥50 ≥20 Generally considered adequate for bone and overall health in healthy individuals
>125 >50 Emerging evidence links potential adverse effects to such high levels, particularly >150 nmol/L (>60 ng/mL)

* Serum concentrations of 25(OH)D are reported in both nanomoles per liter (nmol/L) and nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL). ** 1 nmol/L = 0.4 ng/mL

Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for Vitamin D

Age Male Female Pregnancy Lactation
0–12 months* 400 IU
(10 mcg)
400 IU
(10 mcg)
1–13 years 600 IU
(15 mcg)
600 IU
(15 mcg)
14–18 years 600 IU
(15 mcg)
600 IU
(15 mcg)
600 IU
(15 mcg)
600 IU
(15 mcg)
19–50 years 600 IU
(15 mcg)
600 IU
(15 mcg)
600 IU
(15 mcg)
600 IU
(15 mcg)
51–70 years 600 IU
(15 mcg)
600 IU
(15 mcg)
>70 years 800 IU
(20 mcg)
800 IU
(20 mcg)

* Adequate Intake (AI)

Read more about vitamin D from the NIH.

What is your vitamin D level?

If you are on a path to health (and do not get out into the sun much) make sure to have your vitamin D levels checked. We offer a vitamin D, 25 hydroxy wellness test that will measure the amount of 25-hydroxy vitamin in your bloodstream to evaluate for vitamin D deficiency.

You do not have to face something as serious as cancer to evaluate your vitamin D. Take control of your health and prioritize wellness today.

Need a vitamin D test? Contact any of our three ARCpoint Labs of Kansas City locations!

Speak Your Mind

*