Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol) If our office were to have a mascot it would be vitamin D3. This wonder vitamin has a special place in the hearts of all of us Office Staff. For one thing, we FREQUENTLY hear about vitamin D from Dr. Takemoto-Gentile, as well as from our great patients. Dr. Takemoto-Gentile recently did a talk on vitamin D; we recently put together an informational flyer on it; and so December has unofficially become vitamin D month and we decided to write a blog.
D2 or D3 what’s the big difference?
Not all vitamins are created equal and when we talk about vitamin D, we really meanvitamin D3. (Cholecalciferol is the fancy, super long, technical word for vitamin D3.) There are different forms of vitamin D. For example, if you take vitamin D2 you are taking the inactive form of the vitamin and your body must convert it into vitamin D3 before absorbtion. Thus, vitamin D3 is the active, and superior form of the vitamin.
Vitamin D – The Facts
Vitamin D3 is really more like a hormone than a vitamin. D3 is produced in large amounts by the skin when exposed to PROPER* sunshine. Vitamin D3 levels are checked through a simple blood test called 25 Hydroxy Vitamin D that can be ordered by any physician and is usually covered by most insurance companies. Vitamin D levels between 50-100 ng/ml are desirable, and the closer to 100 ng/ml the better. See more in this article about Vitamin D.
In Hawaii, most people will ask “don’t I already get enough sun exposure to have good levels of vitamin D?” The answer to this question 95% of the time is NO – and again we are located in Hawaii.
Question: Don’t I get enough vitamin D from the sun?
Answer: Maybe, if you are light-skinned, live in the tropics where there is little to no cloud cover, smog or other air pollution and at the warmest time of day you are in a bikini or Speedo and sun tanning without any sunblock on for about an hour and you don’t care about skin cancer.
- Sunblock/sunscreen prevents vitamin D3 synthesis
- Older skin produces less vitamin D3
- Darker skin produces less vitamin D3
- 95% of seniors are deficient in vitamin D3 (even if you live in Hawaii)
- Autistic children are found to be low in vitamin D3
So, unless you are following this sun tanning protocol, we recommend obtaining vitamin D3 through supplements. Vitamin D3 is pretty cheap and can be taken by kids and adults. The governments’ “recommended daily allowance” (RDA) of vitamin D is 200-400 IU/day. Based on the blood tests of thousands of our patients this amount will get most people to a vitamin D level of about 20 ng/ml. The RDA IS NOT ENOUGH. If you don’t believe us, go get your vitamin D levels checked at your next blood test. The Office usually recommends 1,000-2,000 IU/day for kids and 5,000-10,000 IU/day for adults and seniors.
I could go on and on about vitamin D3, however this blog is getting to be quite lengthy. The Office Staff may do another blog on vitamin D3 but until we do here is a synopsis of the benefits of vitamin D.
Benefits of Vitamin D3
- Prevents and reverses osteoporosis (easily proven by the DEXA Bone scan)
- Boosts the immune system
- Antiviral that fights common colds, influenza A, H1N1 (see flu blog)
- Prevents 16-25 different cancers
- Patients are 5x more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer with vitamin D levels that are less than 20ng/ml.
- Prevents heart disease and provides increased survival rates from a heart attack
- Prevents blindness resulting from macular degeneration
- Prevents dementia
- Prevents Rickets
- Prevents Multiple Sclerosis
- Improves glucose intolerance in diabetics
- Increases in vitamin D = a decrease in blood sugar
- Prevents strokes in diabetics by 50%
- Improves chronic pain, especially if vitamin D levels are low
- Prevents Parkinson’s Disease
We, the Office Staff, are very passionate about Vitamin D3 and hope that our notes help to answer some of your questions and provide valuable information on our favorite vitamin. Until next time.
Published on May 03, 2013