New Vitamin D Recommendations And Why You Should Care

Living in Canada, ever wonder why when the days get shorter and your life gets busier...
 
... your family succumbs to seasonal illnesses, increased fatigue or joint pain?
 
You may want to think about Vitamin D.
 
Getting adequate vitamin D is essential for health.
 
With over 3000 binding sites for Vitamin D in every cell, we are clearly designed to spend time in the sun.
 
This time in the sun supplies our body with the rays that aid in the production of this vital pro-hormone.
 
Unfortunately, our modern lifestyles rarely allow for such regular sun exposure... especially in northern climates.
 
In Canada, the angle of the UV-B rays do not hit the Earth at the right angle… even if we were outside with the majority of our skin exposed in the cold, rain and snow.
 
We’re told to avoid the sun at all costs or, if we absolutely must venture out into the light... to apply a thick layer of sunscreen.
 
Estimates say most of the North American population is critically deficient in vitamin D.
 
Vitamin D is related to many functions within the body including the immune system.. which is why deficiency is associated with:
  • cardiovascular disease
  • cognitive impairments
  • severe asthma and rickets in children
  • and up to 17 different types of cancer
More recent studies are even saying proper Vitamin D blood levels could play a role in the prevention of:
  • diabetes (both type 1 & 2)
  • hypertension
  • glucose intolerance
  • and multiple sclerosis
A new study out of Finland suggests our supplementation levels for Vitamin D are inadequate. Additionally, they state public health authorities increase their recommendations…
 
We’ll get into why it’s important to supplement further on in this blog.

Explanation of the Pandemic of Vitamin D Deficiency


A recent study out of the Journal of Preventative Medicine and Public Health stated…

“Only 20% of our vitamin D reserve is meant to come from the diet. The remaining 80% is expected to be produced in our skin from the UV-B rays of the sun.
 
In contrast to the context of the recommendations of the 1960s of 4000 to 5000 IU/day to avoid rickets...
 
Our diet today is poor in wild fish (×10 richer in vitamin D), wild eggs, and fresh milk (non-pasteurized).
 
Children are playing and people are working indoors all day long...
 
And powerful sun-protective cosmetics are used to prevent melanoma.
 
Even sunny countries such as Greece present a high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency... as the angle of the sun rays from autumn to spring do not result in sufficient vitamin D production with usual sun exposure.”

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Importance of Vitamin D Supplementation


Studies in Finland are showing a decrease in type 1 diabetes when pregnant and lactating women, as well as newborns, are adequately supplementing with vitamin D.
 
The benefits for individuals’ general health status...
 
.... apart from the obvious gains in skeletal health cannot be fully foreseen...
 
... but may very well be surprisingly greater than expected given the impact of vitamin D deficiency on metabolic syndrome (pre-diabetes).
 
Improvements in vitamin D status may help reduce the public health burden of metabolic syndrome...
 
... and of potential subsequent health conditions, including type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
 
Being a general requirement for optimal health...
 
... we recommend testing your blood levels of vitamin D and supplementing in a variety of ways as needed:
  • adequate sun exposure,
  • eating wild fish, eggs, non-pasteurized milk
  • and supplementation with Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) of up to 10,000 IU’s per day

How Much Should My Family Be Taking?


A statistical error found in the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for vitamin D was recently discovered.
 
Correcting the analysis, it was found 8896 IU/day was needed for 97.5% of individuals to achieve blood values of vitamin D of >50 nmol/L.
 
A large meta-analysis conducted for research published between 1966 and 2013 concluded...
 
... vitamin D levels <75 nmol/L may be too low for safety.
 
Vitamin D levels below this level correlate with higher all-cause mortality.
 
All-disease mortality reduces to 1.0 with serum vitamin D levels greater than 100 nmol/L...
 
... so, the study’s author calls for public health authorities to consider redesignating the RDA.

This has lead the authors to make recommendations of:

  • 1000 IU for children <1 year on enriched formula and
  • 1500 IU for breastfed children older than 6 months
  • 3000 IU for children >1 year of age
  • 10, 000 IU for young adults and thereafter

The study authors believe actions are urgently needed to protect the global population from vitamin D deficiency.


NEW RECOMMENDATIONS FOR VITAMIN D


All-disease (autoimmune diseases, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, cancer) mortality risk is reduced to 1.0 with serum vitamin D levels ≥100 nmol/L.

So, proper dosage of Vit D for adults is 10,000 IU/day…

… since 10 000 IU/day of vitamin D is needed to achieve optimal vitamin D levels

… except for individuals with vitamin D hypersensitivity.

There is no evidence of adverse effects associated with vitamin D levels <140 nmol/L.

This leaves a considerable margin of safety for efforts to raise the population-wide concentration to around 100 nmol/L.

Of course, these recommended doses can be individualized based on…

  • Diet
  • Sun exposure habits
  • Latitude of the country (Canadians require higher doses)

Recommendations can also be adjusted as people who are obese, the elderly, and dark-skinned people require higher doses.

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5541280/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4103214/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4377874/

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Dr Brian Lanoue is a Life By Design Chiropractor, blogger and speaker on achieving extraordinary health. It is Brian’s passion and mission to empower you, your family and your community to live extraordinary lives. Brian co-owns The Powerhouse Chiropractic in beautiful Vancouver, BC, Canada with his partner Thea.