By now you are likely well aware of the benefits of taking vitamin D3. But are you still thinking “how do I get vitamin d?” or “what’s the best way to get vitamin d?” Surprisingly, a new report that tested 13,000 folks who supplemented with vitamin D found that 85.7% of them still had vitamin D levels that were less than optimal (1).
According to most experts, the optimal range is between 50-80 ng/ml.* The so-called “normal” range established some 50 years ago is 30-100 ng/ml. Current research reveals that when vitamin D levels rise above 45-50 ng/ml the vitamin D ceases to act as a vitamin and starts functioning as one of the body’s most powerful steroid hormones. At this level, it has been shown to greatly support immunity, mood, and brain function, among other benefits (2, 3).
So how do I get vitamin D levels above 50 ng/ml?
1. Make sure you are using an easy-to-absorb supplement. At LifeSpa we use a vitamin D derived from sheep lanolin. The UVB rays from the sun combine with the sheep lanolin and create pre-vitamin D. The sheep lick their skin and, voila! This is similar to the process by which humans absorb pre-vitamin D through the oil on our skin combining with UVB radiation and absorbing into the blood. Vitamin D from sheep has a transport process much like humans and the only damage to them is a haircut. Fish-based vitamin D is often a challenge for folks to digest, thus making it difficult to reach optimal levels.
2. Take your supplement with your biggest meal. This is the meal with the most fat in it.** New research from The Cleveland Clinic indicates that when you take your vitamin D with your main meal, blood levels increase by 50% (4). This means that many folks can cut their vitamin D use in half and still get the same benefits.
* Most folks need 5,000 IU of an easy-to-absorb form of vitamin D3 in the winter to reach optimal levels.
**Take all of your fat soluble vitamins such as vitamin A, E, D, K and any fish oils or omega supplements with the heaviest meal of the day.