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How much Vitamin D do I really need?


Sun exposure many times is not enough to provide adequate Vitamin D

Vitamin D is responsible for many things in the human body. It facilitates normal immune function. It helps aid the growth and development of bones and teeth. It can help reduce depressive symptoms. It has even been found to support weight loss through a possible appetite suppression effect.


Symptoms of low Vitamin D are #fatigue, aches, pains, pain or weakness specific to muscle and bone, and stress fractures can also signify deficiency. X-rays, bone scans, and DEXA scans can show how strong your bones are and if you need to supplement. While a normal range can be 30-100, the more precise needs show that 30-40 is adequate, 40-60 is optimal, 60-100 is therapeutic, and over 100 is excess though signs of excess likely will not show in the low 100s. Therapeutic would mean that you are treating something like osteoporosis. There has even been a study that shows that 80% of headaches were cured by keeping the vitamin D level from 60-100 as opposed to placebo. Those levels are also important to provide enhanced immunity vs the common cold and other viruses, achieve antidepressant effects, and have been found to have some effect against seizure activity as well.


The optimal dose that I've found gets people into the 60-100 range seems to be 5000 IU per day. Pairing Vitamin D with Vitamin K2 helps to assure that the calcium needed as a cofactor with vitamin D stays in the bones and is taken from the arteries instead. This dose aside, the only sure way to know if your vitamin D is adequate from a combination of sun exposure and supplementation is to have a level drawn with your PCP or on your own through a lab like Quest, Labcorp, or any of the others. Ways to be sure vitamin D is absorbed is to take it with Magnesium and also with some fat, as it is one of the four fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K). Those that still do not absorb with this advice should seek guidance from a health professional as some people need doses up to 70,000 - 80,000 once a week to achieve normal levels.


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