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VITAMIN D BENEFITS AND SIDE EFFECTS

A RECENT VISIT

By a nurse practitioner led me to think more about Vitamin D. As part of my health insurance program, a nurse comes to my home and checks out my physical and mental health.

This is an annual trip and a valuable part of my general health. I also have an annual wellness exam with my primary care physician, but it helps to get more than one viewpoint.

The nurse was adamant that I might need more Vitamin D, that I should check into this.

There were compelling reasons for this, since Vitamin D is known to give us:

  • Stronger bones
  • More testosterone
  • Protection against diabetes
  • Better lung function
  • More strength
  • Better teeth
  • More energy
  • Better sleep
  • Regulation of insulin
  • Better athletic performance
  • More pleasant moods
  • Protection against flu
  • A better immune system
  • Healthier children
  • Protection against cancer
  • Prenatal benefits

I could quickly see that I had underestimated the value of Vitamin D. I needed to check my prior tests and make plans for some changes, with my doctor’s approval.

AM I GETTING ENOUGH VITAMIN D?

Last year, I had a 25-hydroxy Vitamin D test. This is the most accurate test for how much Vitamin D is in our blood. I tested at 39.8 ng/ml, or nanograms per milliliter. This was within the standard range, so I was not deficient. But the standard range is 30.0 – 100, so I was not even at the midpoint.

Foods rich in Vitamin D include lots of fish: salmon, tuna, cod and trout. Also, fish roe and sardines. I don’t eat fish on a regular basis, though I enjoy salmon and tuna,

Cheese is high in Vitamin D, as are beef, chicken and ham. I eat lots of these.

Yogurt is good and I enjoy it. I need to switch from ice cream to yogurt. I grew up with milk, which is rich in Vitamin D, but I rarely drink it now.

Eggs are rich in Vitamin D and I usually have an omelet every morning.

Mushrooms are great, but I normally only eat mushrooms when eating out. Mushroom soup may be an idea for this winter.

SUPPLEMENTS

My multivitamin pill gives me 25 mcg (micrograms) or 1000 I.U. (international units) per day of Vitamin D. Also, I take an Ashwagandha gummy (by Goli) for an additional 25 mcg, so I am at 2000 IU, plus Vitamin D from cheese, eggs and meat.

Sunlight is a provider of Vitamin D, since our skin makes Vitamin D when it is exposed to sunlight. As a lifetime tennis player and outdoors person, I have had plenty of sunlight, even to the point of some skin damage. At this point, I am not looking for too much sunlight.

The recommended dosages for Vitamin D seem to be changing. I see suggestions that 1000-2000 IU would be sufficient and that 4000 IU would be too much. Also, I see that 400-800 IU would meet the needs of 97-98% of people.

Honestly, I am a bit confused about what my recommended dosage should be.10 minutes ago, I sent a message to my primary care physician to ask him if it would be safe to increase my dosage by an additional Vitamin D pill, to bring my supplemental Vitamin D to about 3000 IU.

Ashwagandha gummies by Goli provide Vitamin D and also stress reduction, better sleep, a healthier immune system and even boosted sexual function. Goli now has a wide variety of gummies and “bites” to improve our health. Goli’s Labor Day sale and general information may be seen here or see the permanent link on the side of this article.

An important distinction – Vitamin D3 comes from animals, while vitamin D2 comes from plants and yeast. Vitamin D3 is more effective in raising the Vitamin D levels in our bloodstreams.

Amazon is usually my source for vitamins. I am also an Amazon affiliate and may recommend products and earn from qualifying purchases.

An organic vitamin D3 option can be found here and is shown below.

Amazon also provides a home test kit for Vitamin D. See below and note the other options within the link.

SIDE EFFECTS

Vitamin D toxicity is very rare, but can be found when someone takes more than 10,000 IU of Vitamin D per day for months. This can cause high blood calcium levels and digestive issues. This is when the levels rise above 150 ng/ml in the 25 – hydroxy Vitamin D test.

There may be issues regarding blood pressure elevation, gastrointestinal problems and bone loss.

But the side effect that alarmed me the most and prompted my message to my primary care physician was kidney failure.

Excessive amounts of Vitamin D frequently result in kidney injury and kidney stones, as calcium stones are formed. Kidney failure is accompanied by weight loss, fever and nausea.

Personally, I watch my kidney related readings very carefully.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Vitamin D provides so many benefits to us that I understand why my nurse practitioner seemed to be promoting it. As is often the case, I learned a lot by researching this topic and applying it to my personal needs.

I wasn’t ready to go to a pharmacy and load up on more Vitamin D. My primary care physician has several years of my testing, medical treatments, weight fluctuations, blood pressure records – my health history. I will go by his advice.

It is interesting that I grew up with milk, cereal and lots of sunshine – great sources of Vitamin D. But now I don’t get much of any of those.

Good health is largely a matter of adapting to our changing circumstances, or so it seems. We need to stay informed!

Please leave me any questions or comments in the “Comments” section below. Or email me, richard@myworkoutathome.com.

Be well!

Richard

2 Comments

  1. Thank you for reminding us about the importance of vitamin D.  We tend to neglect these things as our lives get busy.  Thanks also for your recommendations on which products to use.  I will check these out as I definitely need to up my intake of vitamin D.  Thanks for the review, go well and stay healthy.

    • I appreciate your input, Abbas! Your comment rings true – we do indeed often forget about vitamins. I certainly had until the nurse’s visit. Thanks for your input!

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