Wednesday, September 10, 2008

My Vitamin D shortage

We don't get nearly enough sun in the Northwest, but we continue to read and believe advice from the rest of the country about the dangers of too much sun exposure, even though that advice may not apply to us.

Doctors say most people get too little Vitamin D, and here in Seattle at the University of Washington, Dr. Donald Miller says it may be worse:  of the local patients he tested, 78% had low levels, and 10% were "severely deficient".  He says deficient levels are correlated with all kinds of nasty things, from cancer to multiple sclerosis. (Washington's rate of MS is one of the highest in the country).

Looks like I'm one of the deficient ones too.  I had my blood tested and today found out that my Vitamin D level is 16.8 L ng/mL, far below the minimum 32 that many doctors recommend as minimal for good health. 

Note: for years I've been taking a multivitamin that has 100% of the US RDA for Vitamin D (400 IU), but obviously that hasn't helped.  So now I've upped that to 2400 IU/day of Vitamin D3 (the effective kind), and I'll test myself again in a few months to see what happens.

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