Vitamin D is one of the absolute best supplements you can take year-round to support your health and longevity. Indeed, massive amounts of research over the last decade link higher vitamin D blood levels with lower risks of cancer, depression, Type II diabetes, heart disease, and overall mortality…and improved immune system function. It can even help support lung health, as I explained yesterday.
Unfortunately, a majority of Americans—nearly 80 percent, to be exact—simply don’t get enough of it. And for many, getting enough vitamin D can seem like a confusing endeavor…even like a “catch-22.”
(Today, we often use the term catch-22 as a noun that describes a dilemma from which there is no escape due to mutually conflicting or co-dependent conditions. But you may remember that Joseph Heller coined the term in the title of his timeless novel about a U.S. Army Air Corps base in Italy during WW II. Mike Nichols also directed a 1970 film by the same name, with Alan Arkin, Bob Newhart, Jon Voight, and a great ensemble cast.)
So, today, let’s talk about why D deficiency is so common—and what you can do to correct it…
Four main reasons why vitamin D deficiency is so common
1.) Fears about the sun. Spending more time in the direct sun, without sunscreen, is the single, best way to quickly, naturally, and efficiently boost your vitamin D blood levels. That’s because exposure to strong sunlight actually “triggers” your skin’s own natural production of vitamin D!
But dermatologists’ misguided advice over the past several decades has made people fear the sun. (Hence, why so many people slather on useless, toxic sunscreens any time they go out in it.) Not to mention, the sun actually isn’t strong enough to prompt the skin’s production of D in most parts of North America and Europe from October to April each year—which is why it’s so important to supplement. (And also why there’s no reason to “hide” from the sun, especially during those colder months!)
2.) Not enough fat in your diet. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning it requires fats in the diet in order to be absorbed properly. So, following a ridiculously unhealthy “low-fat” diet can, in addition to all its other problems, inhibit your absorption of this critical nutrient (which is actually a hormone), even if you do take it daily as a supplement.
Importantly, this means that vitamin D3 supplements must also contain some healthy fats so you can properly absorb the nutrient. (Pay close attention to this point. Because most useless multi-vitamins don’t formulate fat-soluble nutrients in oils, and therefore they aren’t absorbed...which is just another reason to avoid them.)
So, make sure to follow a balanced, Mediterranean-type diet that includes healthy sources of fat, including full-fat dairy, meats, and fatty fish. (These foods also naturally contain vitamin D. However, as I reported earlier this week, today, they sometimes don’t contain enough D to really impact your blood levels, which is why I encourage supplementation.)
3.) Unrecognized signs of deficiency. The signs of a vitamin D deficiency can be very subtle at first. Common symptoms include:
- Fatigue and lethargy
- Getting sick often, especially with colds or the flu
- Hair loss
- Low mood
- Lower back pain
- Muscle pain
- Slow healing wounds
The only way to really know if you’re deficient is by taking a blood test twice a year. (I’ll tell you more about that test in just a moment.)
4.) Problems with supplement dosing. Even if you do take a vitamin D supplement, chances are, the dose you take isn’t high enough to achieve optimal blood levels.
For example, the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for vitamin D is 15 mcg (600 IU) for adults and 20 mcg (800 IU) for those older than 70 years. And many of the mass-produced, low-quality supplements sold in big box stores and online only contain that paltry amount and are of inadequate quality.
But studies show you need much higher doses to impact your blood levels of this critical nutrient.
That’s why I recommend supplementing with 250 mcg (10,000 IU) of vitamin D daily (as I personally do every day, when I’m not directly in the sun).
Of course, I’ve come to realize that the crony, mainstream, medical system wants you to believe that 250 mcg (10,000 IU) per day is a “high” level...to steer you away from sensible, natural solutions for health and healing.
What you can do today for more D
As I mentioned earlier, vitamin D helps prevent and fight against just about every chronic disease in the book. So, do yourself a huge favor and take action toward bettering your health.
You can get started with these three simple steps:
1.) Ask your doctor to check your vitamin D levels twice a year—once toward the end of winter (like, now!) and again toward the end of summer. Just ask for a simple blood test called the 25(OH)D (25-hydroxy vitamin D) test. Optimal blood levels are between 50 and 75 nanomoles/Liter.
2.) Safely supplement with 250 mcg (10,000 IU) of vitamin D3 daily to maintain optimal blood levels. You can now find this dose in a convenient, highly absorbable liquid form—together with the potent marine carotenoid astaxanthin for added benefits. (For more information, simply type “astaxanthin” into the top–right search bar of my website, www.DrMicozzi.com.)
3.) Spend 15 minutes a day in the sun with as much skin exposed as possible and without sunscreen—especially once we get into May. You can even slowly add more time each day. But when you know you’re going to be outside for longer periods of time, wear some protective clothing, a hat, and sunglasses to help protect your skin, rather than reaching for toxic sunscreens.
At the end of the day, vitamin D3 is hands-down one of the most important supplements. If you could only take only one supplement from here on out, this would absolutely be the one.
To learn more about vitamin D3 and its disease-fighting benefits, I encourage you to visit my website, where I’ve written about it for nearly 10 years now, right here in my Daily Dispatch and in my monthly Insiders’ Cures newsletter. And if you have any questions in particular, feel free to comment on Facebook or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“8 Signs and Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency.” Healthline, 7/23/18. (healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-d-deficiency-symptoms#TOC_TITLE_HDR_1)