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Got my 25OH Vitamin D2, D3, and total checked the other day. The results are 0, 25, and 25 respectively. Total of 25 is listed as within normal limits for this lab, and the doc says I don't need to do anything, but I am reading other sources that say they like the total to be at least 50-80 (for instance, the Vitamin D Council suggests this). Suggestions?

October 1, 2012
Consider this: 25-hydroxy (OH) Vitamin D is the non-active form of vitamin D that we test. We test this because it is very difficult to test the active form, 1-25-hydroxy Vitamin D since this nutrient is so important and is used throughout the body. Since this is not the active form and the body WANTS to convert the 25-hydroxy to 1-25-hydroxy, it is likely your levels are higher than your test results.

Secondly, it is also probable that the Vitamin D council would suggest higher minimum blood levels in an effort to seem relevant and important. They ultimately don't want there not to every BE a “Vitamin D Council,” so they will gladly support and fund (and possible sway) research that influences consumers to increase their daily dosage of Vitamin D. Am I saying this is the case? Not necessarily, but it is something to consider.

I would say taking a supplement everyday is recommended, especially if you are a woman (see below). There currently is no Upper Limit or Toxic level for Vitamin D, so having higher levels literally won't kill you OR do any harm. 400 IUs is sufficient for daily usage from a supplement. Remember that your body doesn't absorb all of the nutrients you consume, so it's not likely you will even ingest all of the supplement.

It's uses are many, including:

-helping calcium go into the bones (which is important for women who have a greater risk of osteoporosis)

-serving as an anti-inflammatory agent

-reducing your risk for heart disease (the leading cause of death in US adults)

-control of insulin secretion and sensitivity (important for those with diabetes)

-may also reduce high blood pressure and high triglyceride levels (a type of fat)

Lastly, let me take the opportunity to clear something up. For fair skinned folks, 15 minutes of direct sunlight (no clouds) is sufficient to meet daily Vitamin D needs. For those with darker complexions, it could be up to 2 hours. This does NOT account for clouds, smog, city living, sunscreen, clothing, etc. All of this should be taken into consideration when relying on sun exposure to receive daily vitamin D allowances.

I recommend taking a D supplement - it sounds like you are at great levels but since there is no toxicity you could be preventing the onset of many unfriendly conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis. Worst case scenario, your blood levels are higher next time you get them checked (koudos for doing that in the first place!) - I must say, always consult a physician before starting any supplement regiment.

I hope this helps. Happy eating!

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