Importance of Vitamin D
Vitamin D – why is daily intake important?
The ultimate guide to vitamin D supplementation
Vitamin D – an essential nutrient
Vitamin D has been called the “sunshine vitamin”. It is produced in the skin during exposure to ultraviolet light.
It is rarely produced in sufficient quantities, not only in northern countries such as Scotland – where our winters are long and dark and our summers are cool and often feature overcast skies –, but also in southern climates.[1,7]
Vitamins serve highly specific functions within the human organism. They play a key role in vital metabolic and regenerative processes. In order to stay healthy, the human body needs a regular supply of vitamins and other essential nutrients such as minerals, fatty acids, and amino acids. Essential nutrients cannot be created by the organism itself (or, at least not regularly in adequate amounts). Therefore they need to be supplied from external sources such as dietary intake or sunlight exposure. Inadequate intake may result in disease. Vitamin D is such an essential nutrient – the body cannot supply it by itself and it needs to be supplied through external sources.
Vitamin D – what is it?
Vitamin D is fat-soluble. This means it is best processed by the human body if there is an adequate intake of some form of fat (butter, milk, cheese, olive oil, etc.). Vitamin D levels can be determined via a simple blood test. Results can show mild, moderate, or severe deficiency. The results depend on latitude, skin colour, sunlight exposure, use of sunscreen, and cultural factors relating to clothing style/skin exposure.
What most people don’t realise is that vitamin D cannot function by itself. In order to get activated in the body, there needs to be an adequate level of vitamin K. Many vitamin D supplements do not contain vitamin K because the general assumption is that the intestines can produce sufficient quantities of vitamin K; however, this presupposes that the gut flora is working correctly – and with today’s overuse of antibiotics and a general lifestyle of fast food rather than leafy green vegetables (which contain vitamin K), it is questionable whether this assumption is correct. If you are only supplementing vitamin D and are still deficient, you may need to increase your intake of vitamin K as well.
Why is Vitamin D important?
Vitamin D is vital for maintaining adequate concentrations of calcium and phosphate in the body; it contributes to healthy bone growth and protects against rickets, osteomalacia (a defect in bone growth), and osteoporosis (brittle bones). Deficiency has a strong correlation with lumbosacral stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal in the low back).
In the past, most studies focused on the relation of vitamin D to bone health, but more recently other benefits have been demonstrated:
- it seems to be involved in many processes related to cell growth in general, including the programmed “death” of old cells, the creation of new cells in the body, and the removal of diseased cells. It seems to protect against certain types of breast, ovarian, and colon cancer.[4,18]
- it has been shown to improve immune system functioning and to reduce inflammation[2,11].
- it seems to play a role in the prevention of Type 1 Diabetes.
- it seems to be involved in the prevention of cardiovascular disease
- deficiency is correlated to obesity.[6,10]
- sufficient supplementation before the age of 13 has been found helpful in the prevention of dental caries.
Now you can understand just how important the sunshine vitamin is for keeping the body healthy!
Recommended daily allowance
There is considerable debate among scientists concerning adequate daily intake of essential nutrients in general, and official guidelines are frequently subject to change. Safe nutrient levels were established for different populations, taking into consideration factors such as age, gender, weight/height, health/fitness status, nutritional preference (vegetarianism/veganism), and latitude. This has led to constant refinement of the recommended dietary allowance.
In 2010, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommended an increase of the RDA from 400 to 600 IU daily (15 micrograms per day) for persons under the age of 70, and 800 IU for over-70s. The safe upper limits were set at 2000-4000 IU daily but doses of up to 10,000 IU (250 micrograms per day) have been shown to be safe. However, an increase of Vitamin D can upset certain hormone levels in the blood and lead to an increase of calcium levels. Persons with a prior history of an over-function of the parathyroid gland, or with a history of kidney stones, bladder stones, or any form of kidney disease should consult their doctor before supplementing Vitamin D[9, 11, 12].
Check out our vitamin range
At PPWC we are invested in the health of your bones and nervous system in particular.
We have formulated our own range of supplements, called Mening-Ease A and Mening-Ease C. Our aim is to help your body with the Unwinding process produced by Advanced Biostructural Correction™, which partly relies on your body’s ability to remodel bone and cartilage.
Targeted nutrition may facilitate this. When we formulated the Mening-Ease range, we carefully looked at how different vitamins work together. The “A” range therefore not only contains vitamin D but also vitamin K.
Ultimately, however, it must be kept in mind that supplementation is no substitute for a balanced diet, exercise, and a healthy lifestyle. This should include sufficient intake of fruit/vegetable and fish/meat rather than highly processed packaged foods. Outdoor exercise increases sunlight exposure and therefore natural Vitamin D production. Supplementation may still be needed however, especially in northern climates. Pregnant/breastfeeding women generally have higher daily requirements than the remaining population. If in doubt, ask your Advanced Biostructural Correction™ practitioner or your GP before consuming vitamin supplements.
 Beloyartseva M, Mithal A, Kaur P, Kalra S, Baruah MP, Mukhopadhyay S, Bantwal G, Bandgar TR. Widespread vitamin D deficiency among Indian healthcare professionals. Arch Osteoporos. 2012 Dec;7(1-2):187-92. doi: 10.1007/s11657-012-0096-x.
 Bhupathiraju SN, Tucker KL. Greater variety in fruit and vegetable intake is associated with lower inflammation in Puerto Rican adults. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011;93:37–46. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2010.29913.
 Chakhtoura M, Azar ST. The Role of Vitamin D Deficiency in the Incidence, Progression, and Complications of Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus. International Journal of Endocrinology. 2013. https://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/148673.
 Crew KD. Vitamin D: Are We Ready to Supplement for Breast Cancer Prevention and Treatment? ISRN Oncology 2013. https://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/483687.
 Dawson-Hughes B, Harris SS, Dallal GE. Plasma calcidiol, season, and serum parathyroid hormone concentrations in healthy elderly men and women. Am J Clin Nutr. 1997 Jan;65(1):67-71. https://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/65/1/67.long.
 Güttler N, Zheleva K, Parahuleva M,Chasan R, Bilgin M, Neuhof C, Burgazli M, Niemann B, Erdogan A, Böning A. Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Vitamin D in Cardiology. Cardiology Research and Practice 2012. doi:10.1155/2012/729670.
 Hovsepian S, Amini M, Aminorroaya A, Amini P, Iraj B. Prevalence of vitamin D deficiency among adult population of Isfahan city, Iran. J Health Popul Nutr. 2011 April;(2):149-55. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3126987/#__ffn_sectitle.
 Hujoel PP. Vitamin D and dental caries in controlled clinical trials: systematic review and meta-analysis. Nutr Rev. 2013 Feb;71(2):88-97. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.2012.00544.x.
 Misung K, Woori N, and Cheongmin S. Correlation between vitamin D and cardiovascular disease predictors in overweight and obese Koreans. J Clin Biochem Nutr. 2013 March; 52(2): 167–171. doi: 10.3164/jcbn.12-81.
 Office of Dietary Supplements. National Institutes of Health. Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Vitamin D. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/.
 Tae-Hwan K, Byung HL, Hwan-Mo L, Seung-Hwan L, Jin-Oh P Hak-Sun K, Seok Woo K, Seong-Hwan M. Prevalence of Vitamin D Deficiency in Patients with Lumbar Spinal Stenosis and its Relationship with Pain. Pain Physician 2013; 16:165-176. https://www.painphysicianjournal.com/2013/march/2013;16;165-176.pdf.