Vitamin D is a fat soluble nutrient that plays a key role in almost all of our physiological functions. As an immune system regulator, vitamin D is absolutely vital to vibrant health. It is the only vitamin your body makes itself (and is actually a hormone). There are many forms of vitamin D, the two most common types are vitamin D3 and D2. Although sunlight is one source of vitamin D, there are very few individuals who get enough sun exposure to reap the benefits that lead to adequate levels of vitamin D.
How can we get vitamin D?
Exposing your body to sunlight is the simplest way to get vitamin D-your body makes it naturally. However, the amount of sun you need to meet your vitamin D requirements varies, depending on your geographic location, the season, your skin type, the time of day, air pollution, body parts exposed, and age.
While some experts say exposure to the sun is enough, others say that the sun is not reliable and they recommend supplementation. However most experts agree that your Vitamin D level should be checked at least once a year. The correct blood test is
25 (OH) D, which is the best marker for the measurement of Vitamin D levels in the body.
Healthy Sun Practices
Spending 3-15 minutes outdoors for light skinned individuals and 15-30 minutes outdoors for darker skin tones in midday, unobstructed sun with 40% of your skin exposed will provide most people with a protective vitamin D level (up to 50,000 IU of vitamin D in the next 24 hours). The Reference Daily Intake(RDI) however, is only 200-600 IU of vitamin D per day.
Studies suggest 2000 IU per day to have a protective effect, which can be delivered by regular sun exposure.
If you are supplementing Vitamin D, how much should you take?
According to the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Institute of Health office of Dietary Supplements the following is the recommended dosage of Vitamin D per day :
Birth to 13 years - 200 IU (International Units)
19-50 years - 200 IU
51-70 - 400 IU
71 + years - 600 IU
According to research published by Dr. Mercola on July 7, 2014, "many experts agree that 35 IUs of vitamin D per pound of body weight could be used as an estimate for your ideal dose."
If you are supplemeting with Vitamin D make sure you are taking a good quality supplement. Experts in the field have recommend that you take Vitamin D as D3 as well as taking Vitamin K2. The recommended ratio is that for every 1000 IU's of Vitamin D you should take 100 to 200 Micro Grams of Vitamin K2. The biological role of K2 is to help move calcium into the proper areas of your body and remove calcium from areas where it shouldn't be.