Summertime is in full swing, and I hope you've decided to discard the dangerous "sunscreen habit" and get some sun. But don't forget to keep taking your vitamin D supplements too--and not just what's in your multiple vitamin, but an extra 4,000 IU ("International Units") daily for adults and teenagers, 1,000 IU for infants and small children, and 2,000 IU for everyone in between.
While the sun is the best, most natural source of vitamin D, it doesn't typically provide the amounts necessary for optimum health. In fact, for years, even my colleagues who live in southern States have told me they frequently find that their patients have low serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D.
And a study published a few months ago in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition confirmed what these physicians have observed 1 of 637 adult participants (all Arizona residents) in a colorectal cancer prevention study, the average serum concentration of 25-hydroxyvitamin D was 26 ng/ml (nanograms per milliliter).
Presently, nearly all testing labs consider anything less than 30 ng/ml to be low, and most physicians skilled and knowledgeable in nutritional and natural medicine consider anything less than 60 ng/ml to be low (60-100 ng/ml is
optimal). In fact, only 22.3 percent of the subjects had levels of more than 30 ng/ml, and more than 25 percent of the participants had levels below 20 ng/ml. While vitamin D deficiency occurred in all races, the researchers found that African Americans and Hispanics had the lowest levels.
The researchers concluded: "Despite residing in a region with high chronic sun exposure, adults in southern Arizona are commonly deficient in vitamin D deficiency, particularly blacks and Hispanics." So it doesn't matter if you live in Arizona or some other sun-drenched state, you still need to take your vitamin D anyway.
You've read in Nutrition & Healing many times before about all the reasons for keeping your vitamin D at optimal levels, so this time I'll just mention the significant risk reduction for breast, prostate, and colon cancer, type 1 diabetes in children, multiple sclerosis and all other auto-immune diseases, and hypertension that it brings...but the list goes on and on. For an excellent source of under-standable and always up-to-date information about vitamin D, see www.vitamindcouncil.com