The Nation's Health + [vitamin D]

vitamin D: Vitamin D deficiency is rampant

Today alone I've seen several people with severe deficiencies of vitamin D.

We're now checking everyone's blood vitamin D level at the start of the program. The measure that most accurately reflects your vitamin D status is 25-OH-vitamin D3. This is very confusing to many physicians, who traditionally have thought of 1,25-di-Hydroxy vitamin D3 as the standard test to measure. What they're failing to recognize is that this second measure is a kidney product, not a reflection of vitamin D status.

Using 25-OH-vitamin D3, several people today alone had levels of <10 ng/ml, clearly in the category of severe deficiency (generally regarded as <20ng/ml).

The majority of people we see in the office are Wisconsin residents. It's no wonder they're deficient. Although it's mid-May, we've seen the sun only a handful of days this year. And most of the days have been too chilly to wear short sleeves and shorts to permit sufficient surface area for UV exposure.

Living in a sunny climate, however, is no guarantee that you have sufficient blood vitamin D levels. Two recent studies have shown that 30-50% of the residents of sunny southern Florida and Hawaii are also deficient. (Why, I'm not sure.)

Although our experience thus far is anecdotal in several hundred people, my impression is that people who have normal blood levels of vitamin D (we regard normal as 45-50 ng/ml) have a far easier time of halting or regressing coronary plaque.

Vitamin D is among the most exciting nutritional tools we've come across in a long time. The conversation is making the media, which impresses me tremendously, given the fact that nobody stands to profit financially to any significant degree through vitamin D supplementation.

For a wonderful collection of discussions on vitamin D, go to Dr. John Cannell's website, www.vitaminDcouncil.com. You'll find a huge quantity of scientific background and conversation on the whole idea. I believe you will be thoroughly impressed with just how powerful the argument in favor of vitamin D has become.