Vitamin D – What It Is and Why We Need It

It’s that time of year again where the summer fun begins to come to an end and the fall weather begins to force us inside to friendlier temperatures. It’s this movement inside that starts to create the problems we may experience with dropping Vitamin D levels. The nutrient has many functions in the human body, some of which include:

  • Immune system support – which helps you to fight infection
  • Muscle function
  • Cardiovascular function – for a healthy heart and circulation
  • Respiratory system – for healthy lungs and airways
  • Brain development – low levels may be associated with cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s
  • Some Anti-cancer effects

In a clinical setting possibly one of the most import effects of Vitamin D is seen with the immune system. Some studies conclude that low levels of Vitamin D allow for impaired immune function therefore increasing your risk for Influenza(FLU) and other viruses to take effect.

A simple way to protect yourself is to supplement with Vitamin D. Some guidelines indicate up to 4000 IU is sufficient to maintain your blood levels. Current lab ranges for Vitamin D are 30 -100ng/ml. This reference range varies slightly between lab companies. Most agree that blood levels below 30ng/ml is considered insufficient. Some labs reference below 20ng/ml as insufficient.

The adequate range of Vitamin D varies between countries and what their regulatory agencies deem important. Within the research driven sector of the health care industry, an adequate range that gives the most comprehensive level of protection seems to be in the 50-70 ng/ml on a blood test. With levels beyond the upper limit of no clinical value to the individual.

On your next visit to the doctor, ask to have your Vitamin D levels checked. It could be one of the best health decisions you ever make for yourself.

Author: Kaitlyn Sorenson