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Vitamin D!!!

Posted by tdifranc on August 11, 2010

Before I get into anything about supplements or nutrition I always like to remind people that I am not a certified nutritionist of any sort.  That being said it is a crucial part of my job to have updated knowledge on supplementation and nutrition in order to help people function at their optimal performance levels!  The best training/strength program in the world will only go so far if the participants are clueless on how/what to eat.

People ask me often what vitamins/supplements they should be taking and I like to keep it simple but the first ones I tend to talk to them about are vitamin D and fish oil.  These two are important for me because of the effects they have on muscle atrophy/weakness, bone wasting, muscle/bone pain, energy levels, and fighting inflammation.  Lets chat a bit about vitamin D!

Here’s the deal:

* Somewhere between 30-80% of the population is vitamin D deficient

* Vitamin D deficiency can result in:

  • Increased cancer risk
  • Loss of muscle strength/mass
  • Limited bone development ability
  • Increased local and general bone/muscle pain
  • Increased risk of diabetes
  • Impaired neuromuscular function
  • Impaired immune function

* The best indicator of vitamin D levels/status is “Serum 25(OH)D” levels

  • When you go for a physical – ask your MD to check this!

* Vit D3 is the animal form

* Vit D2 is the plant form

* Even if we did have regular access to REAL food that hasn’t been processed, stripped of all goodness and pumped with chemicals, antibiotics, growth hormones etc…it would still be very hard to get vitamin D through food.

* Foods that do have vitamin D in them (at low levels) include:

  • Fish (farmed or fake fish are fed grain and kept in tanks where they poop the grain out then eat their own poop so not surprisingly they have lower vitamin D levels than wild fish)
  • Cod liver oil…mmmm!
  • Mushrooms
  • Liver
  • Eggs (REAL eggs from REAL chickens that eat REAL grass, bugs & critters)

* You can NOT rely on food to keep your vitamin D levels up!

* Sunlight and appropriate supplementation is the only way to keep your vitamin D levels up to where they need to be

He probably got more than 4,000 IU!!!

* Vitamin D levels should be between 75-100 nmol/L

  • Tell your MD to check your vitamin D levels via “serum 25(OH)D” levels and see if it is between 75-100 nmol/L

* If you live in the Northeast you need:

  • 15-30 minutes of mid day sun OR 4,000 IU of supplemented vitamin D per day from Feb-Nov
  • 4,000 IU of supplemented vitamin D2 per day from Dec-Jan

* If you live South of LA/Dallas/Atlanta you need:

  • 15-30 minutes of mid day sun OR 4,000 IU of supplemented vitamin D per day (regardless of the time of year due to a lack of snow and below zero weather)

* The skin produces 10,000 IU of vitamin D in response to 20-30 mins of sunlight (this is 50 times the amount the US government recommends!!

* Sunlight through a window is no good!  The glass blocks nearly all UVB and negates vitamin D from being made in the body!

* Looking for vitamin D from a multivitamin?? Bad plan!

  • In order to get the appropriate/beneficial amount of vitamin D from a MV you would have to go into toxic levels of all of the other vitamins in the MV!

* In order for the body to optimally utilize vitamin D there are several other co-factors that it works best with:

  • Magnesium
  • Zinc
  • Vitamin K2
  • Boron
  • Vitamin A (
    • So pay attention to how much of these you are getting as well (magnesium is the most important)

* Several vitamin D product options on the market now that include the higher dosage of vitamin D that you need and are approved by the vitamin D council include:


Andrews, R.  All About Vitamin D –  June 29, 2009.


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