The significance of optimal Vitamin D
Updated: Jun 9
When did you last have your Vitamin D levels checked?
There is a misconception amongst some that because we live in sunny Oz, there is no need for supplementation. This is just not the case, more than 1 in 5 Australian adults do not get enough vitamin D.
Vitamin D is crucial for bone and muscle health
Vitamin D may assist in prevention of respiratory infections (in those with low D levels)
Vitamin D is cyclic, thus the same levels can not be made during the winter as in the summer
A 2019 Australian study of 30'023 patients published in the BMJ this year, found that patients not on vitamin D supplementation were at risk of deficiency, especially during the winter months.
Possible implications of insufficient Vitamin D levels
Factors such as limited sun exposure, hormonal issues, aging and disordered absorption in the gut are some of the considerations that as a Naturopath I look at. Some medications that bind fat and/or decrease cholesterol production and absorption (such as anticonvulsants, steroids, laxatives) can also contribute to deficiency. Insufficiency of vitamin D compromises adequate calcium metabolism and absorption and research shows the intricate interrelationships with other nutrients.
Did you know that magnesium deficiency is another one of the most common nutrient deficiencies and that when one is deficient in magnesium, their vitamin D will remain stored and inactive?
Vitamin D is both a hormone made by our body and a nutrient that we eat and it assists our bodies in both absorbing and retaining calcium and phosphorus; both are critical for building bone.
There is much evidence supporting the prominent function that Vitamin D3 plays in immune health and upper respiratory tract infections such as the common cold and the flu. Studies have found a link between vitamin D deficiency and a higher risk of respiratory infections.
Dietary sources of vitamin D
fatty fish (salmon, tuna, sardines, cod, halibut, mackerel), butter, fish liver oils, nuts, avocados, beef liver, egg yolks, mushrooms, sprouted seeds (and some fortified foods)
Dai, Q., Zhu, X., Manson, J. E., Song, Y., Li, X., Franke, A. A., … Shrubsole, M. J. (2018). Magnesium status and supplementation influence vitamin D status and metabolism: results from a randomized trial. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 108(6), 1249–1258. https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqy274
Rosa, M. Di, Malaguarnera, M., Nicoletti, F., & Malaguarnera, L. (2011). Vitamin D3: a helpful immuno-modulator. Immunology, 134(2), 123. https://doi.org/10.1111/J.1365-2567.2011.03482.X
Voo, V. T. F., Stankovich, J., O’Brien, T. J., Butzkueven, H., & Monif, M. (2020). Vitamin D status in an Australian patient population: A large retrospective case series focusing on factors associated with variations in serum 25(OH)D. BMJ Open, 10(3), 1–10. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2019-032567