Three Little D’s

October 18, 2011

Three Little D’s: We Don’t Have Enough, Linked to Many Diseases and You Really Need it if you are Fair Skinned Competency:  Vitamin D,  

References attached in hyperlink:   

Neal Binkley, at the American Association of Clinical Chemistry reported this month that his research shows that only 23% of Americans have enough D, that is over 30 ng.  He notes that 40% of women and 30% of men will have an osteoporosis-related fracture in their lifetimes (compression fracture of a vertebra, wrist, hip, or shoulder fracture – all messy and with bad outcomes).  The current level of recommended dosing won't get most folks to levels of 30 ng.  Optimal levels are probably higher, and the human body will level off at about 60 ng given adequate sunshine.  

In  Wisconsin, we are now going into a virtual tunnel of darkness for the next six months with no opportunity to make D on our own.  We do know that you will raise your blood level of D by about 1 ng for every 100 IU  of D you take a day.  So, the Institute of Medicine has recommended that all folks be on at least 600 IU a day, which will raise your D level 6 ng.  1000 IU a day will raise you 10 ng.  Prior reporting in this column from Antarctica reviewed an article in which 2000 IU a day got folks to an average level of 29 ng.  That’s not 30.   

To get to 45-60, the optimal range for most of us, you would need about 4000 IU a day to reliably be at that level.  Considering we have never seen any toxicity below 14,000 IU a day, 4000 should be safe. 

And then, there is the loading dose.  Because so much D is absorbed into fat tissue, you have a volume of distribution of about 20-50 times your actual volume.   D acts like you are a 10,000 gallon tank, not a 15 gallon tank.   To fill up the tank, you need a loading dose on the order of some 7-10,000 IU for every nanogram you want to raise your blood level.   For example, 100,000 IU will raise your level about 14 ng in a day.  

 Second little D:  Fair skinned folks, especially with freckles, are more deficient in D because they get sunburned.  Oops. We thought it would be the other way around.  Fair skin allows you to make D more efficiently.  But with the lesson of sunburn, apparently, fair-skinned folks get in the habit of staying out of the sun. The only way to get to adequate D all on your own is to be in the sun for a long period of time. Considering we are now going into winter in Wisconsin, we all need to be supplementing ourselves. (You may enjoy reading some of the articles Dr.   Gellinghas published on this topic) 

 Final little D:  Dr Atul Gupta has found that kids with asthma have much higher rates of serious problems in direct inverse correlation with their D levels.   The mass of smooth muscle in their lungs was shown to increase with lower D levels. That just shows they are breathing harder.  The African American community in Milwaukee has a catastrophically higher rate of asthma.  I have personally given several hundred children (their mothers) instructions on Vit D and how it might reduce their risk of future ER visits.  An ER visit costs about $ 1,000.  That would buy enough D to last a child their entire life, not to mention reducing all their lost school time, lost play time, and all the other medical complications of asthma. 

 WWW.  What will work for me?  Vitamin D has an important threshold of activity we don’t get to unless we take enough.  2000 IU a day is not enough.  The 600-800 IU  a day recommended by the IOM is not enough.  Only a blood level will tell you if you are high enough.  And if you have fair skin or dark skin, it doesn’t matter.  Winter is a high-risk season and we all need to be on the stuff.  It’s cheap.  I’m on 10K a day.  My level is 62.  Perfect.   

Pop Quiz

1.     What is a healthy D level?      Answer:   Accept that D of 50 reaches optimal anti-cancer effects.   So, optimal is at least 50.

2.   What is a volume of distribution?             Answer:  It can be calculated by observing how much of a substance it takes to raise a blood level by any given amount.  With Vitamin D, it is at least 10 fold higher than the volume of you.

3.  If you have a kid with asthma, what is their likely D level?             Answer:  Too low.

4.   African Americans have lower levels of D in their blood in northern cities than Caucasians.  Why?          Answer: Skin pigment makes it harder for UV radiation to penetrate deep enough to activate cholesterol.

Written by John E. Whitcomb MD Brookfield Longevity and Healthy Living Clinic 17585 W North Ave, Suite # 160 Brookfield, WI 53045 Follow us on Facebook!   Name:  Brookfield Longevity