Vitamin D3 is really a hormone, with a chemical structure like a broken cholesterol molecule. The precursor of Vitamin D3 is produced in the skin under the influence of Ultraviolet light (UV light). This precursor then undergoes changes in the liver and kidney to produce Vitamin D3.
Deficiency of vitamin D has many effects including:
- Increased cancers, especially prostate ,breast, and bowel.
- Reduced bone density
- Arterial stiffening and other cardiovascular effects
- Brain fog
- Reduced muscular strength
- Increased skin cancer
- Increased DM type 2
- Reduced immune function and increased infections.
People with skin cancer are often vitamin D deficient. Malignant melanoma is frequently associated with vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin D3 excess does not occur naturally and requires incorrect excessive supplementation.
The diagnosis of vitamin D deficiency requires a blood test.
Normal levels of Vitamin D are between 50 and 300 nmol/L.
It is important to realise that merely being in the normal range does not necessarily indicate that you have optimal levels of Vitamin D.
At Health Optimisation we generally treat low or marginal levels with vit D3 injections, often followed up with oral supplementation.
Levels up to 85 nmol/L may require oral supplementation alone.
Generally levels above 85 do not require treatment, but may do so if you are suffering significant symptoms or certain diseases such as MS.
The dosage for supplementation depends on the extent of the deficiency. As a guide we generally supplement with 300 000iu initially by injection then 5000iu daily orally.
It is important not to oversupplement with vitamin D3 as excess D3 can cause toxicity and calcium abnormalities.
Normally we do a Vit D lab test again at 6 months to assess the efficacy of the treatment. Sometimes further treatment is required at that stage.
We are asked a lot about the causes of vitamin D deficiency. The levels of deficiency in Australia are certainly surprisingly high. This may relate to lack of sun exposure, sun exposure with sunblocker only, increased indoor habit. Also the food sources of VitaminD3, which include dairy fats have been substantially reduced in the modern Australian diet. In countries with low levels of UV light the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency is higher.
If you have any questions in relation to vitamin D3 please contact SkinXam on firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the Clinic telephone 07 5537 5888.