As a Functional Doctor, I take a holistic approach to healthcare, one element of this approach is to check vitamin D levels. Vitamin D plays a crucial role in various bodily functions and the body’s systems are interconnected and dependent on each other. This vitamin is involved in immune system regulation, hormonal balance, and overall well-being.
The benefits of Vitamin D are far-reaching, it is necessary for bone support and calcium metabolism, immune health, is essential for hormone and neurotransmitter production, blood sugar balance, muscle strength and cardiovascular wellness.
Insufficient levels have been linked to a range of health issues including immune disorders, mood disturbances, and increased susceptibility to chronic diseases. A Vitamin D deficiency is common in modern lifestyles that often have limited sun exposure and poor dietary choices.
Testing Vitamin D Levels
By checking vitamin D levels, functional doctors can tailor treatment plans to optimize this vital nutrient, considering factors such as supplementation, dietary changes, and sunlight exposure recommendations.
Vitamin D can be assessed during a routine blood draw, by measuring 25-OH Vitamin D. The optimal range is between 60-90 ng/mL. If you are below this range, supplementation may be needed. Typical daily dosage for Vitamin D is 2,000-5,000 IU/day and should be in the form of Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol), which is the naturally occurring form of Vitamin D, along with Vitamin K2 (menaquinone-7 or MK-7), which is the more complete form of Vitamin K2 and also inhibits calcium deposits in the arteries and vessels and instead shunts the calcium to the bones and the teeth.
It is important to always test Vitamin D levels for deficiency, but also for over-supplementation. Once the 25-OH Vitamin D level is sufficient, a lower dosage may be suggested.
We all need some sun exposure (ultraviolet rays, UVB), to help our body create/manufacture Vitamin D to be utilized in its most active/bioavailable form. Vitamin D assimilated through sun exposure is the active form of Vitamin D and is available for the body to use without engaging other biochemical processes.
Not to say you should lather yourself in baby oil, lay on aluminum foil on the roof and bake in the sun for hours on end, but rather recommending/suggesting some unfiltered sun exposure on your arms and legs for 10-20 minutes, between the hours of 10am and 4pm, 2-4 times per week. Healthy sun exposure is good for enhancing our sleep/wake cycles (circadian rhythm), improves mood, supports sleep, helps decrease blood pressure, modulates stress and optimizes immune function.
Food & Supplements
If you live north of Atlanta, GA, chances are, you get most of your Vitamin D from food and supplements.
Supplementing Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin; in order for your body to fully absorb and utilize Vitamin D (when taken as a supplement), it needs to be paired with a healthy fat. Some examples are: avocado, olive oil, flax seeds, salmon, a small handful of nuts, or a tablespoon of all-natural nut butter.
We recommend Solray D Liposome Spray a Physica product. We sell it in our online Physica SHOP (that needs a password for access) or through our office. It is most effective to have your Vitamin D levels tested and evaluated – contact us to schedule an appointment.
Foods with Vitamin D
Foods rich in vitamin D can be an essential component of a dietary plan. Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines are excellent sources. Cod liver oil, fortified dairy and plant-based milk products, egg yolks, and certain mushrooms also provide significant amounts of vitamin D.
Functional doctors emphasize integrating these foods into diets to complement other strategies aimed at maintaining optimal health and preventing various chronic conditions.
Have you had your vitamin D level tested lately? It is integral to the processes and functions of the body. Call for an appointment with Dr. Beth Bartlett.