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Vitamin D

Why It Should Be Dosed By Your Healthcare Provider Only (not by you)

by Mila McManus, MD

Vitamin D is essential for good health. It has anti-depressant effects, enhances immune function, has anti-cancer effects,

Vitamin D is essential for good health. This fat soluble vitamin has anti-depressant effects, increases calcium absorption in the GI tract, enhances immune function, has anti-cancer effects, and is anti-inflammatory.

There are very few rich dietary sources which are egg yolks, fatty fish, and fortified milk. The best and cheapest source is sunlight on arms, face, and legs several days a week for 5 to 15 minutes and without wearing sunscreen.

While deficiency is common, many people are taking far too much. Fat soluble vitamins, such as D, store up in the body, unlike most vitamins that are cleared from the body quickly if unneeded. As a result, Vitamin D should be monitored regularly by your medical provider to ensure the correct dose for you. The optimal dose may vary by age, season, health status, weight, and other variables. Vitamin D can also have some drug interactions and contraindications with certain diseases, another reason why working with your medical provider to maintain appropriate levels is important.

Symptoms[1] of excess Vitamin D include excess calcium in the blood (hypercalcemia) which can cause nausea, vomiting, weakness, and frequent urination.  This toxicity can progress to bone pain and kidney problems, such as the formation of calcium kidney stones.

It is also essential that there be synchronization of Vitamin D with other vitamins such as calcium and vitamin K to ensure proper balance and absorption. For example, vitamin D, K, and calcium are a triad that work together synergistically and need to be balanced properly for optimal bone health and osteoporosis prevention. Excess calcium can lead to arterial and cardiovascular issues.

A common mistake people make is taking extra calcium or vitamin D without accounting for the amounts already in other vitamin supplements such as multi-vitamins and vitamin packed protein drinks.

We emphasize that everyone is different when it comes to vitamin D supplementation. Lifestyle, diet, age, health status, and one’s supplementation regimen must all be considered in order to properly  manage vitamin D levels. This needs to be routinely checked once or twice a year for most people.  Those who spend time outdoors may not need much supplementation, while an elderly individual who rarely gets out and has poorer absorption from the gut would have different requirements.  Very dark skinned individuals are less able to get vitamin D from the sun. 

While a normal reference range for blood levels of vitamin D is between 30-100, we broadly aim for 70-80, however this may not be right for everyone and could cause ill effects for some individuals. It can be dosed in a variety of forms including oral pills and liquids, injections, and can be dosed daily versus weekly. Your medical provider can also be helpful with determining which protocol is right for you.

With Vitamin D, it is wisest not to guess or be your own doctor. Consult with your medical provider for the best approach for you.


[1] https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/vitamin-d-toxicity/faq-20058108#:~:text=The%20main%20consequence%20of%20vitamin,the%20formation%20of%20calcium%20stones.


By |2022-11-01T10:00:16-05:00October 12th, 2022|Articles, General|

Immune Boosting Foods To Keep You Well

by Nancy Mehlert, MS

Supplementation is often a necessary step to ensuring our body is getting all of the vitamins, minerals and micronutrients necessary for optimal healthy living.  Many of our food sources are contaminated, and we don’t always choose the right variety and quality of food necessary to stay well.  But that does not mean we should not make every effort to eat well and make wise food choices.  We know that Zinc, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, and Probioticsare all critical players in the ability of the immune system to fend off disease and germs.  To help you make wise food choices that will arm your immune system with all the right weaponry, we have provided a list of the best food sources for each of these key immune boosting foods.

Zinc is found in highest levels in oysters, though they can also be ocean polluted with chemicals and metals so are not recommended as a daily food choice.  Better daily sources include grass fed beef, lamb, pork, liver, herring, egg yolks, pecans, Brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds, ginger root, mustard, chili powder, and black pepper.

Vitamin D is difficult to obtain from food and the body’s ideal source is to manufacture it from cholesterol in our skin from the ultra violet rays of the sun. With busy indoor lives, northern climates, cholesterol-lowering medications, clothes covering our skin and concerns about skin cancer, we are getting less sunshine, so Vitamin D deficiency is very common. We recommend supplementation of Vitamin D with regular monitoring for optimal levels by your healthcare professional.  However, modest amounts of naturally occurring vitamin D are provided in egg yolks, butter, liver, mackerel, salmon, sardines, herring, mushrooms and dark leafy greens.

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that our bodies cannot manufacture and is only available in plant foods.  It is also not very stable, so is most potent and available in very fresh, uncooked fruits and vegetables. Fresh vegetable juicing and eating fresh, whole fruits are two very effective ways to get Vitamin C.  All fruits and vegetables are very good sources but the very highest levels are found in the citrus fruits, cantaloupe, strawberries, red and green bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, asparagus, avocado, parsley, dark leafy greens, and cabbage.

Probiotics are the amazing bacteria that form the military force that protects your body from invasions of every kind.  Also called favorable or “friendly” bacteria, they serve to help in the production of some B vitamins and vitamin K, breakdown our food, and inhibiting the growth of pathogenic (disease-causing) bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites.  This is especially true of invading germs that arrive in, and on, our food. While we recommend probiotic supplementation, fermented and cultured foods are the ideal choice due to the very high population or concentration of living friendly bacteria. Unfortunately, food processing has killed the living aspects of most of our foods so few foods exist today in typical grocery stores that are truly living and full of favorable live bacteria. Whole Foods stores carry several brands of fermented sauerkraut and a high quality organic, living yogurt.  (Most live cultures in typical store bought yogurts are inconsequential in number, damaged by pasteurization and combined with a great deal of sugar.) Additionally, fermented vegetables can also be purchased online at Immunitrition.com. Additional resources to learn more about fermenting foods can be found on the Internet at many websites, one such example is www.culturesforhealth.com.

Eat Well, Stay Well!

By |2014-03-03T11:01:43-05:00February 14th, 2014|Articles, General, NANCY’S NUTRITIONAL NUGGET|