Why Are My Vitamin D Levels Low?

Vitamin D is involved in a multitude of body functions and it can prevent a variety of medical conditions. It makes it possible for the body to absorb calcium and to have healthy bones and teeth. Vitamin D also seems to be involved in the immune answer of the body, in the reduction of inflammations and in the prevention of cancer. Unfortunately, there aren’t many foods containing it and the best way to make sure you have enough of this vitamin is to spend time in the sun. The body uses the cholesterol from foods to produce vitamin D in the presence of the sun. The form of vitamin D which is this way produced is not ready to be used and it needs further processing in the liver and kidneys. These organs turn it into vitamin D3 which can be used by the body. This means that the answer to what can deplete vitamin D lies in this process.

People who don’t spend enough time in the sun are likely to suffer of vitamin D deficiency. This usually happens in cold or rainy climates where sunny days are rare. Older persons and babies are also prone to lack of vitamin D because sun exposure in their case might lead to sunburns, so it is limited. More than that, the body of older people produces vitamin D at a slower rate and only 10-15 minutes in the sun a day is not enough. Dark skinned people also need more time in the sun for obtaining the same amount of vitamin D as faired skinned people.

Once the body has turned cholesterol into vitamin D, this goes to the liver and the kidneys in order to be transformed in vitamin D3 which the body can actually use. People who ask themselves what can deplete vitamin D and who dont seem to have enough of this vitamin despite regular sun exposure should also take into consideration kidney or liver disease. If these organs cant perform their functions, lack of vitamin D can occur regardless of how much time is spent in the sun.

Other possible answers to what can deplete vitamin D can include malabsorption diseases or inadequate diet. Fatty fish and mushroom are good sources of vitamin D and they should be consumed regularly especially by those who don’t get to stay in the sun. They are in fact the only foods which contain enough vitamin D naturally.

Drugs that Deplete Vitamin D
 Anti-inflammatory Medications
Antibiotic Medications
Anticonvulsant Medications
Cholesterol-Lowering Medications
Laxatives
Ulcer Medications
Anti-inflammatory Medications
Inhalant, Systemic, and Topical Corticosteroids
 Beclomethasone
 Budesonide
 Dexamethasone
 Fluticasone
 Hydrocortisone
 Methylprednisolone
 Mometasone Furoate
 Prednisone
 Triamcinolone
Antibiotic Medications
Antituberculosis Agents
 Isoniazid
Anticonvulsant Medications
Barbiturates
 Phenobarbital
Hydantoin Derivatives
 Phenytoin
Cholesterol-Lowering Medications
Bile Acid Sequestrants
 Cholestyramine
 Colestipol
Laxatives
Lubricant Laxatives
 Mineral Oil
Ulcer Medications
Histamine H2 Antagonists
 Cimetidine
 Famotidine
 Nizatidine
 Ranitidine Bismuth Citrate
 Ranitidine Hydrochlorid


Healthy Vitamin D Levels Explained 

Why should you keep your vitamin D level around 50 ng/ml? by Dr John Cannell Vitamin D Council (9/11)

Why should you keep your vitamin D level around 50 ng/ml? Four different sources, using four different rationales, and four different lines of reasoning, all lead to the same conclusion.

First, what is the vitamin D level of our closest simian relatives, such as chimpanzees living wild in Africa? Professor Reinhold Vieth reports the answer is between 40 and 60 ng/ml. This, by itself, does not prove we need such levels, but it certainly raises that question.

Second, what is the vitamin D level of humans who work in the sun without clothes, such as lifeguards, and without supplementing? We lived in the sun for 2 million years, so certainly lifeguards have more natural vitamin D levels than do people who work indoors. Again, the answer is between 40-60 ng/ml. Here, we have strongernaturalistic evidence unless one assumes the vitamin D levels of indoor workers are natural.

Third, what vitamin D levels do women have to achieve to convert from having little to having lots of vitamin D in their breast milk? Professors Bruce Hollis and Carole Wagner recently answered that question, again 40-60 ng/ml, enough to sustain the infant's vitamin D levels. One could claim breast milk is not supposed to have vitamin D in it, and that primitive man was supposed to expose newborns to sunlight. But then you would be arguing that primitive man was supposed to expose their infants to predators, which I find unlikely. Besides, we know from the second reason that any woman receiving consistent full body sun exposure would have vitamin D in her breast milk.

Finally, what is the vitamin D level of people who show no evidence of substrate starvation? That is, at what level do people begin to store the parent compound (cholecalciferol) in their fat and muscles? Professor Robert Heaney answered that question: around 40 ng/ml. I remember seeing several patients in the hospital who had vitamin D levels of 40-50 ng/ml in February. Both had worked as roofers the summer before and both had worked with their shirts off. The mechanism for humans who migrated away from the equator must have been the same, to store the parent compound in muscle and fat during the summer for use in the winter. The body stores it well before it turns on the enzymatic machinery to get rid of excess vitamin D.

So we have the above four questions, questions from four very different sources. Chimps, outdoor workers, lactating women, and clinical subjects all lead to the same answer: 40 ng/ml is the lower limit of a natural level. Taking into account errors in laboratory testing and variations in human techniques, we must accept what the Endocrine Society recently recommended, that healthy vitamin D levels are somewhere around 50 ng/ml, levels the Vitamin D Council has advocated for the last 8 years.

The Vitamin D Council 1241 Johnson Ave. #134 San Luis Obispo, CA 93401. Visit the Vitamin D Council website.
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Tanning & Natural Health News is a publication of Tan Plus /Essentials Of Life, Barclay Square, 350 Route 108, Somersworth, NH. This publication is designed for educational purposes only and is not intended to be presented as medical advice. Product statements made have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration.

Copyright © 2011-2014 • Ray Allard • All Rights Reserved

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