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What is your primary source for vitamin D?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I'm asking, because I was given a vitamin D blood test and it was on the low side (24) and my doctor told me it should be at least over 30. She said 30 is still considered low. Well I live in Hawaii and thought I was getting enough vitamin D but I guess not? Maybe my skin just doesn't absorb it as well? Not sure. I'm fair skin but tan easy. Or maybe I haven't been getting out as much as I thought. After my initial blood test, I started making a conscious effort to get outside more and taking a tsp of fermented cod liver oil once or twice a week. When I had my D levels checked again after 3 months it went up to 26. It went up only 2 points! Am I doing something wrong? My doctor prescribed me some vitamin D but I wanna stick to natural sources first. She thinks I'm too young to have low vitamin D and I'm at risk (not sure risk for what though). Any suggestions? Should I take more cod liver oil?
post #2 of 9
FCLO is great stuff, but you would need way more of it to get your levels up. I take vit d3 drops and also make sure I get enough vit A in my food to balance it. I would take more FCLO if it werent so expensive. I'd go through the bottles in no time at all.
post #3 of 9
Most cod liver oils have more A than D--even ones that have a fairly good ratio inherently aren't all that helpful in raising D levels. In general, people seem to be more D deficient than A deficient, so taking a supp that has a balanced amount of each doesn't help correcting the imbalance--did I explain that ok?

And you're not alone--someone posted a study a while back, done in Hawaii, most people who get out in the sun regularly in Hawaii were still low, I'm guessing it had more to do with very common stresses (lifestyle, nutritional and whatnot) that are causing D to either be made slowly or used quickly rather than just the amount of time in the sun.

For these reasons, and because I've got stresses that have made it more difficult for my body to make enough D, I use a D3 supp (check the script you got, often they are D2 which is not the form you want). It's easy to buy a D3 supp OTC.

I use the supplementation advice on the vitamin D council website as a starting point for dosages, it looks good to me.
post #4 of 9
Also, you can only make vitamin D outside for a few hours at mid-day. So not sure when you get outside, but if it's not in those few hours with lots of skin exposed and no sunscreen, you won't be making vitamin D.

And ditto what Tanya said, make sure you take D3 if you add a supp, not D2.
post #5 of 9
Sunshine! (and a supplement in my Calcium tablet)
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the info! I had no idea our bodies get depleted of vitamin D on a daily basis. Yes I am stressed cause of my toddlers and tired and don't get much sleep. Also, I had no idea that your skin can only produce vitamin D only midday! Around what time midday? 12:00 PM exactly? I only get out early morning or late evening around 5 pm.
post #7 of 9
Here's a really cool calculator, you'll need to plug in latitude, longitude, skin color, % skin exposed (that's a pretty big variable), time of day, several other variables, but play around with it to see how much time in what part of the day yields how much vitamin D, I found it helpful....


We use vitamin D every day but we don't use it all--I mean, people _should_ be able to make enough extra in the summer that they have enough all winter (but they'd get lower and lower through the spring, til the sun started getting intense), but there's interesting discussion out there about oxidative stress and polyunsaturated fats affecting either how much vitD we make to start with or the rate at which we use vitamin D, thus a lot of people end up supplementing all winter (and for some of us, all summer too).

I'll just say that the sunburn part of that seems a bit too average-y--I know people who burn very, very quickly, and in turn, it says that my kids, in the Texas sun, should burn in an hour, and neither does at all, they can stay out all day. So take the sunburn part with a grain of salt--it's a new addition to the calculator and I think they need to do some refining.
post #8 of 9
If you're deficient, you have to get a *lot* of vitamin D to meet your daily requirements and then make up the deficiency as well.

I get a lot of sun during the summer, as well as take Carlson's CLO (one of the only ones with the appropriate vitamin a/d ratio). In the winter, I take Carlson's CLO and vitamin D capsules. My daily multivitamin also has it.
post #9 of 9
To correct a level that low (you want levels in the 50's, 40 is sub-optimal and below that very low) I really think from experience you need high dose vitamin D3. I took 10,000 IU of D3 per day. That level is safe for healthy adults with any vitamin D level and needed imo to correct. I corrected quickly at that dose. Maintenance dose is 1000 IU per 25 pounds for many people. So once you get in the 50's you could drop there to maintain.

Sun isn't going to work for a significant percent of the population based on studies regardless of location (i.e. people getting over 20 hours a week of sun in Hawaii without sunscreen were almost all deficient). I think there are lots of theories about why but the take home is simply to do what you did and get tested regardless of sun exposure and then make sure you get to and maintain normal.
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