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Vitamin D Remix

Posted by tdifranc on August 22, 2011

I posted this on Vitamin D about a year ago and since then there has been more info found on Vitamin D so here it is again with the updates:

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

* Benefits of having appropriate levels of Vitamin D:

  • You will eat less and feel more full! This is related to Vit D’s links to leptin and insulin regulation (both hormones responsible for making us feel full or hungry).
  • Your fat cells will stop trying so hard to make/store FAT!
  • Vit D appears to be particularly good at helping to decrease belly fat. This is due to the connection between Vit D & Calcium. The two work together to reduce cortisol production  (a stress hormone). Cortisol is a nasty character that helps to store belly fat.
  • Vit D is now being linked to helping stave off heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and memory loss.

* 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…is fat soluble, best absorbed, and has best efficacy

* 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:

  • Fatty Fish like salmon(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) – 6oz. = 900 IU
  • Cod liver oil…mmmm!
  • Mushrooms – 3oz. = 400 IU (if they are UV Light grown)
  • Liver – 3.5oz. = 50 IU
  • Eggs (REAL eggs from REAL chickens that eat REAL grass, bugs & critters, and/or Omeg-3 enriched feed) – 2 large omega-3 enriched eggs = 160 IU

* You can NOT rely on food to keep your vitamin D levels up (especially if you live in the Northeast) but you should try to eat as much Vit D in your diet as you can!

* Sunlight and appropriate supplementation is the only way to keep your vitamin D levels up to where they need to be unless you plan to drink wild salmon, mushroom, egg smoothies several times/day…good luck with that!

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 to eat a Vit D rich diet and get:

  • 15-30 minutes of mid day sun OR 2,000 – 4,000 IU of supplemented vitamin D3 per day from Feb-Nov
  • 2,000 – 4,000 IU of supplemented vitamin D3 per day from Dec-Jan

* If you live South of LA/Dallas/Atlanta you need a Vit D rich diet and:

  • 15-30 minutes of mid day sun OR 2,000 – 4,000 IU of supplemented vitamin D3 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.

Bowman, A. (2011, September). Feed Your Fat Burner. Men’s Health, 128-133.


2 Responses to “Vitamin D Remix”

  1. Jeffrey S Gold MD said

    It may benefit your poor MD if you check with your insurance company before requesting said vitamin D level. Most insurers will not cover the test for “screening” purposes and it will save us MDs aggravation when the patients that are so concerned with their health, call to complain about their bill. Insurance does not cover everything.

  2. tdifranc said

    That is a nice point Dr. Gold…the health insurance system is less than efficient at times.

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