Sunday, January 30, 2011

What do you Think About Vitamin D?

by Glen Depke

There is quite a bit on the internet about vitamin D, so what do you think about vitamin D?

Well, here is my take on this important nutrient.

First of all, there is a question as to whether or not vitamin D is a vitamin at all. Some claim it is a vitamin, some claim it is a vitamin with hormone type properties, while some believe it is actually a hormone. Regardless of what it is there is one agreement, we need it in adequate amounts.

First of all, what is the benefit of maintaining proper vitamin D levels? Here is a list of the benefits of proper vitamin D levels.

• Delay the onset of aging
• Improves hearing
• Assists in cancer prevention
• Enhances immune system function
• Assists in balancing hypoparathyroidism
• Potentially assists with joint pain
• Stimulates the formation of bone
• Accelerates healing of fractures
• Potentially assists with muscle soreness
• Increase muscle strength
• Aids in preventing Osteoarthritis
• Prevents Osteomalacia and Rickets
• Potentially relieves migraines
• Potentially assists with Multiple Sclerosis as well as other autoimmune disease
• Helps prevent tooth decay
• Facilitates calcium into your teeth
• Potentially relieves Psoriasis with topical application
• Stimulates the production of nerve growth factor
• Stimulates the production of insulin-like growth factor-1
• Increases absorption of calcium and phosphorus
• Improves the absorption of vitamin A
• Potentially lowers PSA levels

This is quite a list of benefits and I would suggest that we potentially have yet to scratch the surface of the multiple functional benefits to our body.

The RDA for vitamin D is now 400 to 700 IUs daily depending on age. Remember thought that the RDA is the minimum to ward off disease. The optimal daily allowance ODA is up closer to 1000 IUs daily. As a follower of Depke Wellness, I know that optimal health is your goal and therefore the ODA would be your goal.

Now that we can understand the benefits and recommended amounts, how can we be sure we are maintaining proper levels for optimal health and wellness? Let’s look at ways to address this.

My first suggestion is always to get out in the sun. Daily sun exposure is the preferred avenue for increasing vitamin D production in the body as well as so many other health benefits. Did you know that your body also uses cholesterol in the conversion of sunlight into vitamin D? I want to be clear though that you pay attention to your individual skin tone and do not over expose yourself to the sun. It is all about the correct balance. For someone that has very fair skin you may only need 10 minutes per day, while another with a dark complexion may need 30 to 40 minutes or more. It is also important to get this exposure during the peak times of 11:30AM to 1:30PM. Yes, I know that is when you have been told to stay out of the sun, but this is the best sunlight for vitamin D conversion. Remember also that you need to have total cholesterol at a minimum of 150 for this proper conversion also.

I know that most do not have the availability of daily sun exposure, so let’s look at alternatives.

From a nutritional perspective some of the higher dietary sources of vitamin D are listed below.

• Halibut oil
• Kippers
• Cod liver oil
• Mackerel
• Salmon
• Tuna
• Raw dairy
• Egg yolks
• Shrimp
• Liver

Most of the food sources do not provide the optimal levels for us individually so nutrionally, I always recommend cod liver oil. This has been used throughout our history as a significantly positive addition to the diet of most. Not only are you getting a quality source of vitamin D but also vitamin A and the ever important omega 3s that we discussed last week. When I lived back in the Chicago area, I took a krill supplement in the warmer months and cod liver oil in the cooler months. This was an incredible way for me to maintain yearlong vitamin D as well as omega 3 balance. The cod liver I recommend to my clients in cold weather climates is the Pure Cod Liver Oil. This is lemon flavor and in a liquid form to allow the highest level of absorption and assimilation. I only offer the lemon flavor to my clients. Funny, but once I purchased the non-flavored by mistake and it ended up in my dog’s food for the next month. To all those that consumed the non-flavored when they were younger, I give you a lot of credit. If you are using cod liver oil, it is recognized that 2 tablespoons per day with meals provided the ODA you're looking for.

From a supplement perspective, you could take vitamin D3 drops in a liquid form. If you are on the Krill-Plex which is the omega 3 supplement that I always recommend, and you do not want to stop taking krill through the year, you could simply add the Pure Vitamin D3 drops. This would also be the best option if taking oils in a liquid form are difficult for you. Cod liver oil is a great product but I get that it is not for everyone. All you need is one drop per day of the Pure Vitamin D3 to enhance your vitamin D needs. This is perfect for those winter months or for those that are not able to enjoy regular sun exposure. For most, that one drop per day is all that you would need.

Now you understand the importance of vitamin D and optimal health. Assess your individual needs and address this accordingly. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to respond with a post below and I will address this personally.

To order your Pure Cod Liver Oil or Vitamin D3 drops visit the Depke Wellness Store. Remember, as always shipping and handling is FREE with Depke Wellness.


  1. Hi Glen
    I have yet to test anybody, including my family in California, who is in the optimal range for vitamin D. Here in Chicago I've seen some extremely low numbers-in the deficiency range.
    My current saying is "D is the new C" since it seems to be important in so many body functions.Thanks for getting the word out.
    Rindie Coker, D.N.

  2. Yes Rindie, vitamin D deficiency is a real challenge in our culture these days and getting the word out is important for all of us.

    Keep up the great work yourself.