Source: Vitamin D Deficiency and Supplementation and Relation to Cardiovascular Health
Vitamin D and Your Ongoing Health
Chronic vitamin D deficiency has been associated with an increased risk of developing numerous chronic diseases and/or all-cause death - especially from cardiovascular and diabetes. Individuals in this vulnerable population who began taking the sunshine vitamin experienced a significant increase in overall survival.
Source: Vitamin D Deficiency and Supplementation and Relation to Cardiovascular Health
A recent study found that test participants who ingested a vitamin D fortified yogurt drink experienced a significant improvement in blood sugar levels, waist circumference and body mass, compared to those who ingested only the plain yogurt.
In another unrelated study, a correlation between vitamin D and gastrointestinal homeostasis was established. The association appears to involve a relationship with signaling between the natural occurring flora found in the GI tract, the host and the vitamin D pathway.
As more and more scientific evidence emerges, vitamin D supplementation confirms that currently recommended daily allowances (RDA) of vitamin D are grossly insufficient for young and old alike.
Under summer conditions it is frequently possible to generate about 20,000 units of vitamin D by exposing your skin to the sun. That fact makes the following recommendations seem more in line with reality. The problems with relying on the sun are many including: over exposure leading to skin cancer; dark skin, which decreases your body's ability to generate vitamin D; inconsistent exposure to sunlight on a daily basis; and living in the Northeast, where 6 months or more out of the year we are unable to absorb vitamin D from natural sunlight.
Currently, the U.S. RDA for vitamin D is 400 IU (international units) for the majority of the population. (IU is frequently shortened to just “units.”) This dose was recommended to prevent rickets, which works well, but does nothing to give the far more important protection from cancer, heart disease and infections.
To achieve healthy blood levels, most adults will need about FIVE THOUSAND units of vitamin D every day. Interestingly, the majority of people are taking vitamin D are taking 1,000 units, and they believe they are taking “high” doses. Don’t fool yourself, as an adult, you likely need about 5,000 IU’s a day.
Some also worry that if they are in the sun that they will overdose on vitamin D. However this is not typically the case, and here’s why: When you’re exposed to the sun, the UVB rays cause vitamin D to be produced in your skin while the UVA rays in the sunlight will tend to destroy excessive levels of vitamin D circulating in your body. It is somewhat of a natural failsafe mechanism that prevents overdosing.
HOWEVER, please understand that about 10 percent or more of the people reading this needs significantly more than 5,000 units. I have seen people requiring over 30,000 units of vitamin D a day to reach therapeutic levels of 25 hydroxy D in their blood. Please remember that the ONLY way to know for sure is to get your blood level tested.Based on the most recent research, the current recommendation is 35 IU’s of vitamin D per pound of body weight. So for a child weighing 40 pounds, the recommended average dose would be 1,400 IU’s daily, and for a 170-pound adult, the dose would be nearly 6,000 IU’s.
However, it’s important to realize that vitamin D requirements are highly individual, as your vitamin D status is dependent on numerous factors, such as the color of your skin, your location, and how much sunshine you’re exposed to on a regular basis. So, although these recommendations may put you closer to the ballpark of what most people likely need, it is simply impossible to make a blanket recommendation that will cover everyone’s needs.
So how do you ensure optimal vitamin D levels for yourself, your child, and aging parents?
The only way to determine the correct dose is to get your blood tested since there are so many variables that influence your vitamin D status. You can either get this done at your doctor's office or my practice, Lifestyle Nutrition, works with Metametrix Clincial Laboratory enabling me to do Vitamin D testing. Metametrix measures 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OH-D). Within hours, vitamin D from sunlight and diet is removed from circulation and recirculates again a few hours later as 25-OH-D. This form has the longest half life, about three weeks.
It is important to realize the difference between what conventional medicine considers to be “normal,” versus what is optimal. The “normal” 25-hydroxyvitamin D lab range is between 20-56 ng/ml. This conventional range is really a sign of deficiency, and is too broad to be ideal. In fact, your vitamin D level should never be below 32 ng/ml, and any levels below 20 ng/ml are considered serious deficiency states, increasing your risk for as many as 16 different cancers and autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis, just to name a few.
The OPTIMAL value that you’re looking for is 50-70 ng/ml. This range applies for everyone; children, adolescents, adults and seniors.
These ranges are based on healthy people in tropical or subtropical parts of the world, where they are receiving healthy sun exposures. It seems more than reasonable to assume that these values are in fact reflective of an optimal human requirement.
Only Supplement with the Right Kind of Vitamin D
There are two things you need to be aware of when you choose to use an oral vitamin D supplement and that is the quality of the supplement and that there are two types – one is natural and one is synthetic.
Vitamin D2 also has a shorter shelf life, and its metabolites bind with protein poorly, making it less effective. Studies have even concluded that vitamin D2 should no longer be regarded as a nutrient appropriate for supplementation or fortification of foods (although it continues to be used). So if you choose to use vitamin D supplements make sure it is in the form of vitamin D3.
I recommend NutraMetrix Isotonix Vitamin D, which is a high-quality supplement superior for its delivery and absorption. NutraMetrix Isotonix Vitamin D with K2 contains vitamin D3, the metabolically active form of vitamin D, along with vitamin K2, a form of vitamin K which supports vascular health and calcium utilization. Vitamin D plays an important role in bone health, heart health and immune support, while working with vitamin K to support normal absorption of calcium and promote healthy arteries.
Vitamin K is included in nutraMetrix Isotonix Vitamin D with K2 because of its unique partnership with vitamin D. Vitamins K and D work together to support calcium absorption and utilization. Vitamin K supports the normal delivery of calcium to the bones and promotes healthy arteries.
Isotonix dietary supplements are delivered in an isotonic solution. This means that the body has less work to do to obtain maximum absorption of the nutrients. The isotonic state (drinkable form) of the suspension allows nutrients to pass directly into the small intestine and rapidly absorb into the bloodstream. With Isotonix products, little nutritive value is lost, making the absorption of nutrients highly efficient while delivering maximum results.
Questions or would like to schedule a time to have your vitamin D levels tested?
Alissa C. Robertson, MS, RD
Researchers have found that those with Crohn’s disease have a distinct difficulty absorbing fat soluble vitamins, including vitamin D. These individuals have therefore tend to be very prone to vitamin D deficiency - especially those individuals living in the Northeast or who
Taking a Vitamin D supplement like NutraMeterix Isotonix Vitamin D, which contains vitamin D3 and the fat soluble vitamin K2, may prove to be beneficial in individuals with Crohn's disease and many other gastrointestinally challenged patients.
Source: Use of a novel vitamin d bioavailability test demonstrates that vitamin D absorption is decreased in patients with quiescent crohn's disease
There is no doubt that Vitamin D is the "hot" topic when it comes to health and wellness. Vitamin D has been shown to prevent osteoporosis, depression, prostate cancer, breast cancer, and even effects diabetes and obesity. The vitamin has been said to be the single most underrated nutrient in the world of nutrition. Most likely this is because we can make it naturally from the sunlight and quite frankly, pharmaceutical companies cannot sell sunlight. We can, however, take vitamin D supplements, but absorption of pill-form supplements is still widely debated. The truth is, most people don't know the facts about D and health. So here's an overview to make sure you're staying up to speed on quite possibly the biggest secret in health and wellness.
Diseases and conditions cause by vitamin D deficiency:
Shocking Vitamin D deficiency statistics:
Sensible exposure (approximately 15 minutes without sunscreen) to natural sunlight is the simplest, easiest and yet one of the most important strategies for improving your health. Supplementation is also extremely important to guarantee that you are getting sufficient amounts of vitamin D throughout the year. I urge you to visit the NutraMetrix website to learn more about the high-quality Isotonix vitamin D supplement I both take and endorse.
If more people understood this information, we could drastically reduce the rates of chronic disease in this country and around the world. Vitamin D supplementation and sensibile exposure to sunlight is truly one of the most powerful healing therapies in the world, far surpassing the best efforts of today's so-called "advanced medicine." There is no drug, no surgical procedure, and no high-tech procedure that comes even close to the astonishing healing power of vitamin D.
Feel free to contact me with questions. Healthy wishes!
Alissa C. Robertson, MS, RD
Vitamin D and Anti-Aging
Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with many chronic diseases that lead to aging inlcuding multiple sclerosis, cancer, heart disease, depression and diabetes among many others.
Recently a new study has identified low levels of vitamin D in the abnormal development and function of the nervous system as well.
There is no doubt that vitamin D is flooding the nutrition and wellness scene. More and more evidence is showing the importance of supplementing with Vitamin D - especially for those of us living in the Northeast - for at least the winter months (October - March).
I recommend to all my clients NutraMetrix Isotonix Vitamin D, which is a supplement superior for its delivery and absorption. Click this link to learn more about the difference between Isotonix and pill-form supplementation.
Source: Vitamin D, nervous system and aging
Vitamin D, Calcium & Bone Health
Whether you're younger, older, or somewhere in between, bone health should be on your radar. Having weak bones is not just an issue for older women. In fact, osteopenia (low bone mineral density) is being diagnosed in both younger women AND men - most often in lower weight individuals. So if you're an athlete who is lower in weight OR if you're a person who hasn't exercised regularly for quite some time, read on to learn how to protect your bone health!
There are a number of foods and nutrients that can boost your bone health and are shown to have protective benefits!
Lycopene - This phytonutrient is found in tomatoes, ketchup, tomato sauce, watermelon, canned tomato products (I suggest buying low-sodium), pink grapefruit, red peppers, apricots, and guava.
Flaxseed oil - Contains ALA Omega-3 Fatty Acids, which may help to protect bone matrix formation and bone mineralization. Add to salad dressings, in your shakes, or into your oatmeal.
Protein - Choose at least 60 grams daily for women, and 80 grams for men. The amount varies based on your weight and how active you are. You will definitely need more if you strength train regularly. Choose lean protein sources such as: skinless chicken breast; skinless turkey breast; fresh fish; tofu; beans or lentils; veggie burgers; lean turkey burger; unsalted nuts or seeds; low or non-fat Greek or plain yogurt; eggs or egg whites; and peanut, almond, or soy butter (be careful with portions).
Calcium - 1,000 mg per day for those under age 50; 1,200 to 1,500 mg after age 50. Supplementation can be extremely beneficial as getting this amount of calcium from our foods is challenging.
Vitamin D - This vitamin is essential for calcium absorption – 600 IU per day up to age 70; 800 to 1,000 IU per day after age 70. These figures were updated just yesterday, however many health professional are of the opinion that the preventative dosage should be higher. I recommend supplementing with Vitamin D at least 2,000 IU per day up to age 70 (and up to 4,000 IU during the winter months) and 4,000 IU per day after age 70. This is especially important for those of us who live in the Northeast due to the fact that during the winter months, the sun is not strong enough for the skin to make vitamin D!
This may come as a surprise to you, but decreasing your grain intake can also be a beneficial step in protecting your bone mass! Researchers at Tufts recently found that breads, cereal, rice, pasta, tortillas, pastries, etc., release sulfuric acid when metabolized, which can add to the acid load, and may result in the body's breaking down of bone and muscle in order to neutralize the excess acid.
What CAN you eat, you ask? Increase your consumption of fruits and vegetables! YUM!!! These foods are broken down to bicarbonate and add alkali to the body to help neutralize the acid. There are so many fruits and vegetables to choose from and so much you can do with them. I encourage you to try some that are new to you!
How can you transfer this information to your every-day life?
Alissa Robertson, MS RD
Lifestyle Management & Nutrition
Recent Vitamin D Press Release
Just yesterday there was a press release which addressed recent research on vitamin D. I have to say that the report was frustrating to me as a health professional, as the press release seemed to skew the discussion between the government-organized panel. It seemed they were trying to discourage or scare people away from supplementation when ongoing research clearly shows that modern populations, especially those with darker skin and those who live further from the equator, are deficient in vitamin D, and even more so in the winter months.
They missed a number of important and critical points that need to be taken into consideration such as the great body of ongoing research that is available to us. These studies document double-blind, placebo-controlled research that is in direct contradiction with the IOM's "findings" that were reported in this press release.
Supplements of any sort can be overdosed. This does not mean we should take the matter lightly, this simply means we need to understand our individual needs when it comes to supplementation. Ask yourself these questions: "how is my diet?" "Do I eat foods rich in vitamin D?" "Do I live in the Northeast" The truth of the matter is that most people are not eating adequately during the day to get the needed vitamins and minerals for optimal heath through their foods. People's eating patterns vary - some days eating well, other days making poor choices; money is tight for a large majority of the population meaning, people are buying fewer nutrient-rich foods and more processed foods; things come up and don't go as planned, which means grabbing quick and often processed foods; we eat too much at times and don't eat regularly enough other days. My point is that these reasons are why supplementation with at least a multi-vitamin IS important - in an effort to make-up for this "gap" in our every-day nutrition.
Medical supervision is also important when it comes to individualizing supplementation. Not everyone needs the same dosages or types of supplements. When it comes to vitamin D, tests such as a 25(OH)D can be done at a doctor's office to determine an individuals' overall D status. It is this marker that should be done regularly in Dr.'s offices as a preventative measure since it is this marker that is most strongly associated with overall health.
I hope this information helps to clear up some of the confusion from the recent press release. Feel free to contact me with any questions or to discuss this topic in more detail.
Alissa Robertson, MS, RD
Vitamin D: The Wonder Vitamin
New Bedford Guide has posted a new item, 'Vitamin D: The Wonder Vitamin '
By Alissa Robertson
Imagine a treatment that could build bones, strengthen the immune system, and
lower the risk for illnesses like diabetes, heart and kidney disease, high blood
pressure, depression, and cancer. Seems unrealistic, doesn’t it?
Research suggests that such a wonder treatment already exists in the form of
vitamin D. Vitamin D is a nutrient that ...
You may view the latest post at
Vitamin D may protect asthmatics and those suffering with cystic fibrosis from an allergic response linked to the common mold, Aspergillus fumigates, suggests a new study. This environmental mold is a very widespread fungal organism that when inhaled does not normally cause any problems to the vast majority of people. However, in asthmatics and in patients with cystic fibrosis, exposure can lead to significant allergic symptoms.
In an unrelated vitamin D study, researchers have identified vitamin D receptors (VDR) on 2776 gene positions and also found 229 genes that were activated in response to vitamin D. Vitamin D receptors are proteins that become activated by vitamin D. Activated VDR can then attach to specific sites on DNA which result in the expression of certain gene traits and/or genetic products such as enzymes. VDR binding sites were densely populated near autoimmune and cancer associated genes which may imply the importance vitamin D can play in autoimmune disease and cancer prevention.
Recently, the media has been referencing a study in which researchers have determined that calcium supplementation has now been associated with increased incidences of myocardial infarct. To those who understand the relationship between calcium, vitamin D and vitamin K, the researcher's conclusion makes sound physiological sense.
Unfortunately, what the media has neglected to mention is that this potential problem can easily be averted by always supplementing calcium with vitamin D and vitamin K. Vitamin D is necessary in order to help transport calcium into the blood stream. But once there, calcium can then find its way into soft tissues including blood vessels, thereby leading to calcification or hardening of the arteries which can then lead to cardiovascular disease.
Vitamin K plays a major role in calcium metabolism as it is responsible for activating a key protein that actively transports calcium away from soft tissues and into the bone where calcium can help strengthen bone and diminish the chances of developing osteoporosis.
This is the primary reason why I recommend Isotonix vitamins. Isotonix Vitamin D contains the important addition of vitamin K.
Source: Effect of calcium supplements on risk of myocardial infarction and cardiovascular events: meta-analysis
Alissa Robertson, MS, RD, Nutrition Specialist and Owner of Lifestyle Management & Nutrition, received her Bachelor's Degree in Dietetics and Nutrition from the University of Vermont. Upon graduation in 2003 she spent four years providing nutrition education and counseling to local Vermonters. In 2007 she returned to the University of Vermont to complete a two-year Master's program in Dietetics and Nutrition. She is now practicing as a Registered Dietitian at Essex Physical Therapy located in Essex Center, Vermont.