Observation

"Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again..."

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Location: Tampa, FL, United States

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Appreciating Vitamin D

It's likely 99% of the reading audience has ever had a 25-Hydroxyvitamin D (i.e. Vitamin D) blood level measurement. It's not included in a standard basic metabolic profile (BMP) nor as part of a complete metabolic profile (CMP). If a physician doesn't order it specifically labs don't test for it. If you're not seeing a nephrologist (kidney doctor) or endocrinolgist (diabetes specialist) you're not likely to ever have the test ordered. Recent research is showing the many health benefits and reduction in all-cause mortality in people with a normal Vitamin D level. Dr. Joseph Mercola lists the many benefits of a normal Vitamin D level here. A normal level, depending on the testing lab, is about 50-90 ng/ml (nanograms per milliliter).

Vitamin D is produced by the exposure of one's skin to the UVB rays of the sun. Thousands of units can be produced within a few minutes of midday sun exposure. Toxicity from overexposure won't happen as God has designed protection mechanisms. Factors affecting conversion of the body's precursors to Vitamin D include: time of season (winter is worse); latitude at which you live (the closer to the poles the worse); skin pigment (less Vit D production with darker pigments); age (less conversion as you age) and amount of clothing worn (the less exposure the less conversion). Living in Florida, Texas, California or Hawaii is not assurance against subtherapeutic levels. So many people work indoors now, wear suntan lotion due to inordinate melanoma fears, or wear lots of clothes that low Vitamin D levels are more prevalent than one would think.

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