Vitamin D: Are you at Risk for Inadequate Levels?

By Dr. Nicole Pierce, ND

The Vitamin D and Healthy Weight Connection

Vitamin D has moved into mainstream consciousness in recent years as a nutrient that prevents chronic diseases including cancer, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disease, and depression as well as fighting infections such as colds and flu, promoting DNA repair, and improving metabolic processes. But did you know that studies have shown that increasing your vitamin D intake could support your weight loss and weight maintenance efforts as well? Vitamin D may promote healthy weight in part by reducing inflammation in the body and by promoting healthy blood sugar regulation.

During my Jump Start Program consultations I recommend evaluating Vitamin D levels in the blood, and based on these lab results (optimal levels > 50 ng/ml) combining quality Vitamin D supplementation with a healthy diet and exercise program, as well as other individualized supplementation based on your needs and goals.

Are you at risk for inadequate Vitamin D levels?

  • Do you slather on sunblock every time you spend time outdoors? You are blocking vitamin D production.
  • Do you have a dark complexion (olive, brown, or black skin)? You’re probably not producing enough vitamin D.
  • Do you spend much of the day indoors, such as in an office? Then you are not producing much vitamin D.
  • Are you a senior? Your body’s natural production has slowed down. In fact, natural production begins to slow at age 30!
  • Do you take vitamin D on an empty stomach? It needs to be taken with a fatty food.

Other factors that influence how much Vitamin D your body makes from sun exposure include the amount of skin you expose (the more skin you expose, the more D you will make); your altitude (people at higher altitudes make more D compared to those at low altitudes); the weather (if it’s cloudy, you will make less D); and air pollution (polluted air prevents UVB rays – the ones responsible for producing D – from reaching us).

So unless you are a light-skinned person who is spending time in the midday summer sun, on a clear day, without sunblock and with a lot of skin exposed, you may not be producing healthy levels of Vitamin D. Ask us about having your levels tested and supplementing with a quality Vitamin D product. Then be sure to have your Vitamin D levels rechecked after a few months to make sure they’ve risen to a healthy level.