HOUSTON — Physician’s Preference, Vitamins and Supplements wellness experts on Wednesday announced an initiative to educate Americans on the importance of obtaining optimal vitamin D status — as the “sunshine vitamin” is coupled with numerous health benefits — by setting the facts straight about sunscreen use and offering quick tips for increasing one’s vitamin D level.
“Vitamin D deficiencies are rampant amidst our nation and could possibly lead to an increase in the most troubling diseases of our time,” PPVS founder and CEO Steven Hotze said. “Ironically, as Americans have become obsessed with lathering on sunscreen to avoid unprotected sun exposure, there has been not only an increase in vitamin D deficiencies, but also the effects of toxic overload on the human body have been compounded.”
Supplementing with vitamin D to reach optimal levels has a wide range of health benefits from the critical role it plays in immune health, even warding off serious diseases including certain types of cancer, to its profound impact on aging and bone health, the group stated. In particular, vitamin D3, which can help fight colds, the flu and allergies and help with inflammation, normally is obtained from the diet or produced by the skin from the ultraviolet energy of the sun.
However, it is not abundant in food. Also, as more people avoid sun exposure and use sunscreen, vitamin D supplementation has been shown to be essential to ensure that the body receives an adequate supply. According to a recent National Health and Nutrition Examination survey, only 10% of the U.S. population has levels that fall within the new recommended range.
PPVS recommended the following steps to assist in optimizing an individual’s vitamin D status:
Check vitamin D levels. To identify vitamin D deficiencies, see a physician and check 25-OH vitamin D levels. A level below 30 ng/mL is considered deficient, and many preventive medicine physicians consider 50 ng/mL to 100 ng/mL to be the optimal range;
Find the right dose. A safe daily dosage without monitoring vitamin D levels is: 1,000 to 2,000 international units, or IU. However, if a person is vitamin D deficient and needs to take a higher dose, his or her levels need to be monitored regularly by a physician;
Look for vitamin D3, not vitamin D2. Vitamin D3 is the most active form and is the same type the skin naturally produces from ultraviolet sunlight; and
Educate beyond the basics. “Health & Wellness Solutions” radio program recently welcomed vitamin D expert Marc Sorenson on its show. To learn more about the benefits of vitamin D, the segment is available on podcast.