The Truth About Vitamin D

 

 


Vitamin D is something that has been all over the place in the media lately. Do you understand everything there is to know about Vitamin D? If you are like most people, all of the conflicting messages can be quite confusing!

I recently created a video about Vitamin D, where I addressed many of the key questions.
If you‘d like to see the video, here it is:


(If you are having difficulty viewing this video, please click here to see it on my YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/JanetBrunoMD?feature=mhum )

I’ve received lots of feedback from that video, so I thought I’d clarify some of the questions right here.

1. Can I get natural Vitamin D even if I live where the sun doesn’t shine very often?

First off, you indeed CAN get the benefit of natural Vitamin D even on a cloudy day.  So, if you live somewhere that the sun doesn’t shine too often, you still indeed can get natural Vitamin D.  It simply takes more exposure to get the same amount of Vitamin D than someone who lives in a sunnier climate.

2. Is the natural source of Vitamin D enough, or do I need to supplement too?

The answer to this is very personal.  For some people, getting natural vitamin D is all they need.  For others, supplementation is indeed necessary.  I strive to provide solid, general advice.  For something like this, you really do need the guidance of your physician.

3. How do I know how much Vitamin D I need?

Again, the answer to this is personal — However, there are some general guidelines that will help you significantly.  At a  conference I recently attended, these guidelines were well presented by Dr. Michael Greger of Cornell University.  They specifically address how to get appropriate Vitamin D levels depending on where you live in the world.

Here are the guidelines:

  • If you live below approximately 30 degrees latitude (south of Los Angeles/Dallas/Atlanta/Cairo), then you need:
    • 15-30 minutes of mid-day sun (15 for those with lighter skin; 30 for those with darker skin)
    • or 4,000 IU supplement vitamin D
  • If you live between 30 degrees latitude (cities as noted above) and 40 degrees latitude (Portland/Chicago/Boston/Rome/Beijing), then you need:
    • From February through November
      • 15-30 minutes of mid-day sun (15 for lighter skin/30 for darker skin)
      • or 4,000 IU supplemental vitamin D
    • From December through January
      • 4,000 IU supplemental vitamin D
  • If you live between 40 degrees latitude (same cities as above) and 50 degrees latitude (Edmonton/London/Berlin/Moscow), then you need:
    • From March to October
      • 15-30 minutes mid-day sun (15 for lighter skin/20 for darker skin)
      • or 4,000 IU supplemental vitamin D
    • From November through February
      • 4,000 IU supplemental vitamin D
  • If you live above approximately 50 degrees latitude (north of Edmonton/London/Berlin/Moscow), then you need:
    • From April to September
      • 15-30 minutes of mid-day sun (15 for lighter skin/30 for darker skin)
      • or 4,000 IU supplemental vitamin D
      • Tip:  if above 60 degrees latitude (Anchorage/Stockholm), this period can be shortened
    • From November through February
      • 4,000 IU supplemental vitamin D
      • Tip: if above 60 degrees latitude (Anchorage/Stockholm), this period may be extended

There you have it!  As you can see, there is A LOT of variability.  There is no “One Size Fits All”. Also, as stated earlier, these are general guidelines.  Always discuss with your doctor before embarking, or changing, a vitamin D regimen.

I hope the video and this added explanation was useful to you!

As always, if you have any comments or questions, I welcome them.

Here’s to your better health!

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