Are Your Vitamin D Levels Too Low?

“He blew me away when he mentioned that in his practice only 1% of the 2,700 new patients he tested had sufficient levels of vitamin D.”

The latest research tells us, for the most part, we’re just “not getting enough vitamin D.” I was listening to Dr. Mitchell Glen who holds advanced degrees in Osteopathy as well as a PhD in anti-aging medicine. He blew me away when he mentioned that in his practice only 1% of the 2,700 new patients he tested had sufficient levels of vitamin D. The majority of them are from the “sunshine” state, Florida. So we’re not getting enough vitamin D from the sun.

Also a colleague of mine, Julie Burns, works with professional athletes. She tested “trained and fit” professional hockey players from the Chicago Blackhawks. Their vitamin D levels were woefully deficient. She supplemented to help them reach optimal levels. I’m not saying it was the reason they won the Stanley Cup, but optimal levels of vitamin D can help increase performance and reduce injuries.

According to Dr. Glen’s research, patients should have vitamin D levels of 60-100 ng/ ml. So the ranges seem to keep going up as more data accumulates. I must confess I worry about my patient’s pocketbooks when it comes to ordering an expensive vitamin D lab test. Pre and post testing can be a little expensive; but in reality, the benefits outweigh the cost; and I’d like to give you two reasons why. The first reason comes from a study about the lack of vitamin D in “over the counter” supplements. The study was presented at the June 2010 meeting of “The Joint Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers” and “America’s Committee on Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis.” Are you ready? The mean vitamin D content from 10 different “over the counter” brands was only 33% of the label claim. The actual numbers ranged from 0.24% to 81.7% of what was listed on the label. That means when you purchase vitamin D and think you are taking the right dose, you have no idea if you are approaching sufficiency.

There are two sides to the coin of sufficiency. Side A: What is in the capsule? We need to know if what companies print on the label is really in the tablet or capsule. Side B: What are you digesting and absorbing? Sadly the state of the GI tract for many of us is less than optimal.

With my patients, I use Bio-D-Mulsion Forte from Biotics Research Corporation. It’s a form of vitamin D that is already emulsified and goes right into the lymph system and doesn’t have to be broken down or digested in an already compromised GI tract. I am always surprised when other doctors are surprised that Bio-D-Mulsion Forte raises blood levels so consistently. I am thinking, “Isn’t that what it is supposed to do? Why are you surprised?” But considering many products don’t meet label claims, it’s no wonder they are impressed with Bio-D-Mulsion Forte.

Here’s the second reason that pre and post testing is necessary. If tests reveal you are low in vitamin D, it can be a marker for inflammation. If you have inflammation markers, you can make life style “choices” to manage them. These usually include diet, supplementation, and exercise. Vitamin D levels are becoming more popular as one of many inflammation markers. However, sometimes doctors may not be up to speed on the newest levels and may miss the opportunity to optimize your health.

In the past, normal levels were 20-56 ng/ ml. Here are the latest guidelines supplied by one of the professional laboratories who have been at the forefront of vitamin D testing. Vitamin deficiency is defined as 0-5 ng/ml; insufficiency is 5-20 ng/ml; hypovitaminosis 20-40 ng/ml; sufficiency is 40-100 ng/ml; toxicity is greater than 100 ng/ml. Deficiency, insufficiency, and hypovitaminosis are just academic terms. The point is, we want to make sure you have enough vitamin D for optimal gene function and physiological performance.

As I mentioned, Dr. Glen found only 1% of his patients in the sunny state of Florida had the levels of 60-100 ng/ml, the levels considered optimal for cancer prevention and gene protection. Dr. Godo provides reliable testing for vitamin D levels. The price for the Vitamin D test is $77. You can purchase the test and go to a blood drawing station near you

I think it is important to take responsibility for you own health. Get tested. Obtaining and maintaining optimal levels of vitamin D can be a major factor in preventing all kinds of diseases. For some it will be life “changing;” but for all, it will certainly be life “enhancing.”