Vitamin D plays a critical role in our wellness, much more than we originally believed.
We all grew up understanding that if we didn’t get enough Vitamin D we could possibly develop rickets, a childhood disease characterized by impeded growth, and deformity of the long bones. The government came up with the Minimum Daily Requirements (MDR) for vitamins to make sure we didn’t get Rickets. Now we are beginning to understand that those MDR levels developed in the 1950’s are not enough to optimize our health.
The body makes Vitamin D3 when the skin is exposed to UVB ultraviolet light. The fear of skin cancer has driven most of us out of the sun, depriving our skin of the UV rays so necessary for the production of Vitamin D3 . When we are in the sun we use sun screen products to block these same UV rays. So if this emerging science is correct and our bodies need much more Vitamin D than originally thought we need to increase our intake of Vitamin D. The only way to do this is to increase our sun exposure, use tanning beds or nutritional supplementation. But how do you know what is enough exposure to the sun or how much Vitamin D3 do you need to supplement your diet?
Currently the only way to determine the effect of your personal program is to be tested for your serum vitamin D levels. Vitamin D experts advise that testing for serum vitamin D levels is the only way to correctly diagnose and properly treat vitamin D insufficiencies. The authors also assert that treatment should be sufficient to maintain levels of at least 40 ng/mL year-round. More on Testing is Necessary for Diagnosis and Treatment of Vitamin D Deficiency.