Vitamin D? Say out loud ’One-Two-Five’

Vitamin D?  Say out loud ’One-Two-Five’
Approximately 88% of the UK population has vitamin D levels below 35 ng/ml, classing them as deficient and increasing their risk of chronic illnesses. Everybody - adults and children - should aim for a level of 50ng/ml which is 125 nmol/L.
 
According to research (1), vitamin D regulates phosphorus and calcium absorption and so helps build strong bones, muscles and teeth. For 60 years, the medical world has known only this and so 800IUs a day or 45 minutes in the sun has been the official ‘dose’. 
 
How naive they were?
 
For the past 20 years only laziness (and mischief) has prevented the importance of Vitamin D being accepted. The research was there for all to read. I wrote my first version of 'Vitamin D -are you getting enough?' in 2004. I haven't needed to alter my target levels since that day, even with more research available.
 
Vitamin D - essential to a healthy immune system
 
There is clear research that Vitamin D can correct cancer cells, restrict inflammation in the gut and prime the immune system attack.
 
A vitamin D receptor has been found on immune T-cells, B-cells and antigen-presenting cells. And these cells can even synthesize a metabolite from vitamin D which acts as a hormone within the immune system! Vitamin D can modulate both the Innate and Adaptive immune systems in humans.  And vitamin D deficiency is associated with greater gut problems, more autoimmune disease and greater infection (2).
 
Low  plasma  Vitamin D levels are associated with an increased risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, strokes, dementia, DVT, diabetes, MS, colds, flu, infection and a greater risk of death from Covid (3).
 
 
Recent research from SEA showed simply that if you developed Covid and your Vitamin D levels were below 19 ng/ml you were in trouble but if you had levels over 29ng/ml it might cause a sniff and a cough but that was all.
 
 
But there is confusion over the what is considered a safe or a good plasma level, even amongst the medical profession. It doesn’t help that two systems of units are used - ng/ml and nmol/L, the latter being two and a half times higher!
 
Vitamin D deficiency in the UK is defined as: 'A person having below 20 ng/ml, or 50 nmol/L' But Dr. Donald Levy, Medical Director at the Osher Clinical Center for Integrative Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital, and assistant clinical professor at Harvard Medical School is adamant that deficiency is below 32 ng/ml. That equates to approximately 80 nmol/L. But not being deficient, and being at a good healthy and safe level are two different things. 
 
In the USA, the recommendation is that you should have plasma vitamin D levels of 40+ ng/ml to be in the healthy 'normal' zone. That means you should be above 100 nmol/L.
 
In 2011, following a number of good research studies, the highly respected Endocrine Society published a report stating:- 

"Based on all the evidence, at a minimum, we recommend vitamin D levels of 30 ng/mL, and because of the vagaries of some of the assays, to guarantee sufficiency, we recommend between 40 and 60 ng/mL for both children and adults." Again, this would mean you should be above 100 nmol/L - and actually as high as 150 nmol/L..

Professor Holick of Boston Medical School has overseen 25 years of research on Vitamin D and his report believes in even higher levels for safety, above 75 ng/ml and up to 150ng/ml.
 
Vitamin D - Safe, healthy levels
 
In my opinion  and based on all these views and on the research I have read, a good, safe level is 50 ng/ml or 125 nmol/L. Smack in the middle of the range recommended by the Endocrine Society.
 
Since many hospitals, their doctors and nurses will openly tell my patients with 70 nmol/L that this is a high level and may cause liver damage (there’s no research; it’s a complete nonsense), I would like to point out that this score of 70 is not even 30ng/ml, but 28ng/ml.
 
So to repeat, in my view you want to be 50ng/ml. And starting today you need to get there as fast as possible to avoid chronic illnesses.
 
Be clear - there is virtually no Vitamin D in the average diet (a very little is in dairy - slightly more in Cod liver oil).  If you don’t go in the sun wearing limited numbers of clothes, take a supplement. 5,000 IUs for people with a chronic illness, 2500 IUs for people who are ‘well’. 
 
If you haven’t been in the sun for a while and you don’t supplement, start with 10,000 IUs for 2 months; don’t take a risk with your health!
 
And if a nurse or a doctor comes to you and says 70 is a high figure for your plasma Vitamin D - just say very loudly ...  One-Two-Five’. 
 
Then you will know you are safe!
 
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