Vitamin D is a pre-hormone. This means the body needs it in order to manufacture all the hormones is uses on a daily basis- growth hormones, sex hormones, all of them. Hormones are the catalysts responsible for practically every function in the body. The vitamin D pre-hormone is basically one of the main elixirs of life.
The human body can’t make vitamin D on its own. Most people don’t get enough vitamin D from food. And many aren’t in the sun long enough to generate vitamin D that way either so they will require supplementation.
Make sure you’re taking Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol) not Vitamin D2 (Ergocalciferol). According to the latest research, D3 is approximately 87 percent more potent in raising and maintaining vitamin D concentrations and produces 2- to 3-fold greater storage of vitamin D than does D2. Vitamin D2 also has a shorter shelf life, and its metabolites bind poorly with proteins, further hampering its effectiveness and causing excessive strain on the body. There are studies showing vitamin D2 can actually be toxic over the long run. It’s obviously better than nothing (and did save kids from rickets) but please take D3 instead for lasting great health. Also, Vitamin D3 is converted 500 percent faster than vitamin D2.
Find out what your vitamin D blood levels are and monitor them. The recommended level is around 50 nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml) but many doctors are now saying it should be in the 80-100 range.
The FDA recommends 1000 international units a day (iu) for people who don’t enough sun but most people are going to require around 5000 iu a day. If you get a blood test and you’re very low the doctor may prescribe a temporary high dose (50,000 iu) to take once a week for 15 weeks but that should only be done under the supervision of a doctor (large doses of vitamin D can cause kidney damage and other serious issues.) I think vitamin D supplementation is important if you are pregnant or lactating, but consult your physician about it as well. If your kidneys hurt while on a high dose of D, scale back and take less. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin (not water soluble) which means that it can build up in your fat stores. So don’t over do it. Vitamin D is one of this vitamins you absolutely need, but the dosage is also something you absolutely need to get right.
Remember, most people aren’t getting enough vitamin D, even if they live in sunny climates. 5000 iu is good baseline dosage for most adults. Most children and teens need vitamin D supplementation as well.
The vast majority of people tolerate Vitamin D supplements well but it’s best to take them in the morning because vitamin D can cause insomnia. Vitamin D can cause insomnia because it temporarily shuts down melatonin production (which occurs in the pituitary gland). Melatonin is a sleep-inducing chemical the body produces when it’s time to go to sleep.
Note: Generally, the best vitamins are whole foods based. The nutrients come from food instead of synthetic isolates that are sometimes sourced from petroleum products. Also, since vitamins are actually collections of micronutrients and synergistic compounds that work together- food based vitamins can provide a much closer profile of a true vitamin with all its cofactors. However, Pure Encapsulations, which is not a whole food vitamin company, makes a great Vitamin D3 supplement that is very clean and easy on the system:
Pure Encapsulations products are usually only sold through a physician’s office but they can be ordered at PureFormulations.com without a prescription or physicians’ code
*I do not financially benefit in any way by recommending any products mentioned in this article.
*I am not a doctor and this article is not medical advice. Consult your health care professional.