You're not getting nearly enough vitamin D - find out how much you REALLY need

Ahead of the curve

It’s paralyzing…watching the footage from Japan. For the first time in my life, I honestly cannot imagine how the victims could recover from something like this. Watching the devastation on the ground and the fear on their faces…and knowing there is more–much more–to come…I can’t even fathom how they will start to heal and rebuild.

Saying my thoughts and prayers are with them seems empty. And yet, for right now, it’s really all I can do. So I will…

While we all focus on the tragedy in Japan, it’s still important to stay focused on our health, to avoid personal tragedies of our own. And one of the most urgent is knowing if you’re getting enough vitamin D to stay healthy. Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure you’re not.

I say that with confidence because almost everyone is not getting enough, and that’s a major health problem.

Now, this probably doesn’t apply to you if you live near the equator and get a few minutes of sunlight exposure every day. And this certainly doesn’t apply to you if you’re Dr. Jonathan Wright.

Years before the mainstream finally woke up and caught on about the importance of vitamin D, Dr. Wright was recommending very large doses of daily D supplements.

But even in 2011 – when we know so much more about the remarkable benefits of D – Dr. Wright is still way ahead of the curve.

Tropical thunder

Last month, in his Nutrition & Healing newsletter, Dr. Wright wondered if members of the Institute of Medicine might also be members of the Flat Earth Society, because the IOM recently stated that most Americans and Canadians under the age of 70 need no more than 600 IU of vitamin D per day.

That’s preposterous!

For adults, Dr. Wright recommends a MINIMUM of 5,000 IU daily. And he adds that many of us need between 5,000 and 10,000 IU daily to reach what he calls the “tropical optimum” – or rather the amount you’d naturally get every day if you lived in Ecuador.

And a new study shows that Dr. Wright is, as usual, right on track.

For five years, researchers at the University of California, San Diego, measured blood levels of vitamin D every six months in more than 3,600 adults. Also, twice a year, subjects completed a questionnaire about their dietary and supplement intake, as well as their sun exposure and general health status.

Results showed that adults need 4,000 to 8,000 IU of vitamin D daily to cut their risk of certain cancers and other diseases by half.

Now, there are a lot of mainstreamers out there who will tell you that 8,000 IU of D every day might actually be dangerous. But if anyone tells you that, here’s your comeback: It’s inconceivable that 8,000 IUs might be in the least bit dangerous.

With just 30 minutes of full body exposure to sunlight, your body produces at least 10,000 units of vitamin D. So if 8,000 were harmful, we’d see lifeguards, gardeners, and baseball players dropping like flies.

Unfortunately, the only group of people who consistently get several thousand IUs from daily sun exposure are those who work outdoors.

So you might wonder why supplement makers don’t put more D in multivitamins and other formulations that contain D.

In fact, I wondered that myself. So I checked with Becky Jacobs of NorthStar Nutritionals.

Becky explained that supplement makers like NorthStar often avoid loading up any supplement formulation with too much vitamin D (or any other component) to give customers who take multiple supplements more flexible control over their dosage.

So the best way to get your full measure of D (after some daily direct sunlight exposure, of course) is to take a good quality supplement of D3 – that’s the same form of the vitamin that’s produced in your skin after exposure to sunlight.

Dr. Wright also recommends a consistent intake of dietary sources that contain vitamin D3, including salmon, sardines, and cod liver oil.

“New daily recommendation for vitamin D is off by THOUSANDS” Jonathan V. Wright, M.D., Nutrition & Healing, 2/25/11,

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