MD-Physician, Dip. Endocrinology, Dip. Diabetes
The ten most important things you need to know about Vitamin D, with AITD or not:
Vitamin D is not really a vitamin. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble steroid hormone precursor that you get primarily from either sun exposure or supplementation. A very small amount comes from a few foods we eat.
Vitamin D has been known for its contribution to the maintenance of normal levels of calcium and phosphorus in the bloodstream. Current research has discovered that vitamin D levels can also impact a wide range of health issues, such as:
Cancer (Breast, Ovarian, Colon, Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, Kidney, Endometrial, Prostate)
Type 1 Diabetes
High Blood Pressure
The vitamin D that you take into your body is changed by your liver into a substance called 25(OH)D. Vitamin D (25 (OH)D) is usually measured on a scale of 30 – 100 ng/ml. Below 30 is commonly considered deficient.
To determine whether you need to supplement vitamin D, you should test your vitamin D level by doing the 25-hydroxy D lab test, which measures 25(OH)D. The Vitamin D Council recommends testing every 3-6 months when you’re trying different regimens to figure out how much vitamin D you need to maintain your optimal level. Once you’ve reached your optimal level, GrassrootsHealth recommends, “From that point forward, testing should be done at a minimum of once a year, ideally in the early spring (late March, early April) when your vitamin D level is the lowest. It’s a good time to adjust to make sure you don’t get too low.”
The optimal level of vitamin D is a matter for debate. The Vitamin D Council suggests that “a level of 50 ng/ml is the ideal level to aim for, with a range of 40 – 80 ng/ml.” And there used to be mention that ideal is 60 – 80.
Dr. Mercola says, “At present, based on the evaluation of healthy populations that get plenty of natural sun exposure, the optimal range for general health appears to be somewhere between 50 and 70 ng/ml.” GrassrootsHealth Scientists like to see the serum level ‘between 40-60 ng/ml.” Dr. Davis of Wheat Belly feels the optimal level is 60-70 ng/ml. Since people with AITD aren’t healthy and have factors that impair their production, absorption and utilization of vitamin D, the minimum 25(OH)D level for those with AITD may be need to be higher than for healthier people.
The recommended daily amount of vitamin D is also a matter for debate. For example, this amount ranges from 400 IU/day by the US government, 1,500 – 2,000 IU /day by the Endocrine Society to 5,000 IU/day by the Vitamin D Council. Grassroots Health has a chart on its web site that tells you how much vitamin D to take to change your level and says that intake of 35 IU/lb of body weight estimates the ideal daily dose. These amounts can be affected by amount of body fat, gut inflammation, high cortisol levels, auto-immune issues, impaired fat absorption, use of drugs that reduce absorption, aging, and genetic defects, Since intake amount doesn’t guarantee optimal levels, testing on a regular basis is highly recommended. But many thyroid patients have discovered that they don’t begin to raise their levels until they are at 5000 IU at the least, probably due to absorption issues inherent with our low stomach acid levels. See #9 below.
The Vitamin D Council recommends taking vitamin D3 rather than vitamin D2. Vitamin D3 is the type of vitamin D naturally produced by your body in response to sun exposure, while vitamin D2 is not. In the United States, most over-the-counter vitamin D supplements are D3. Other than that, it doesn’t matter what form of vitamin D you take, whether it’s in a capsule, tablet or liquid. For most people, vitamin D is easily absorbed in the body and you don’t need to worry about what time of day you take it or whether you take it with meals.
Vitamin D is fat-soluble, which means your body has a hard time getting rid of it if you take too much. The Vitam