Tapping into Vitamin D Benefits
Health experts concur that everyone can safely take up to 1,200 IU of vitamin D daily
Getting plenty of vitamin D from the diet and supplements, from sun exposure, or from a combination of these things is increasingly being recognized as key to good health. Unfortunately, many folks do not get enough of this nutrient. If vitamin D has been on your mind, you'll welcome the news that one particular form of the nutrient is especially effective for addressing deficiency and improving health.
Studying form and function
Researchers invited 20 healthy, post-menopausal women to participate in a four-month study to examine how two forms of vitamin D affect blood levels of the nutrient and other markers of health. The average vitamin D blood level of the study group was 13.2 ng/ml (nanograms per milliliter), which means that despite appearing to be in good health, some of the women were vitamin D deficient, and many had D levels too low (insufficient) for good health.
The women were randomly selected to take 800 International Units (IU) of one of the following:
The women completed tests of lower body function at the start and end of the study, and 14 times throughout the study, the researchers measured:
Compared with the women taking vitamin D3, those taking 25-hydroxy vitamin D3:
None of the women experienced signs of vitamin D toxicity.
Dialing in on D
There is no doubt that vitamin D is important for health, and this study suggests that the 25-hydroxy vitamin D3 form may more quickly and efficiently address low levels and the health problems associated with not getting enough D. Tips to help you dial in on vitamin D for good health include:
(J Bone Miner Res 2011; doi 10.1002/jbmr.551)
Suzanne Dixon, MPH, MS, RD, an author, speaker, and internationally recognized expert in chronic disease prevention, epidemiology, and nutrition, has taught medical, nursing, public health, and alternative medicine coursework. She has delivered over 150 invited lectures to health professionals and consumers and is the creator of a nutrition website acclaimed by the New York Times and Time magazine. Suzanne received her training in epidemiology and nutrition at the University of Michigan, School of Public Health at Ann Arbor.