Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Vitamin D for Good Health

Recently, I found that one of my liver tests, alkaline phosphatase was steadily decreasing, and I was concerned. I had previously written an article about the importance of vitamin D (see link above) and had my primary care physician run a vitamin D level. The result was shockingly low at 19 (normal is 30-100). What was even more disturbing was the fact that I have been taking daily vitamin D supplements for years.

Vitamin D is a hormone (not a vitamin) that targets more than 2,000 genes in the body (that is 10 percent of the total number of genes in the human body). Moreover, deficiencies have been linked in at least 17 different cancer types, cardiovascular disease, ankylosing spondylitis, birth defects, and more.

Because my level was so low it got me thinking that perhaps others with autoimmune related conditions might have deficient levels as well. For this reason, I suggest a vitamin D baseline level for those who can justify the test (for example because of an abnormal liver panel or some underlying disease process); it should be paid by insurance. The test is expensive, so do not assume your insurance will pay for it.

That being said, please do not run to your nearest vitamin store and start mega-dosing on vitamin D, as it is fat-soluble, and toxicity could occur. In my case, and for some unknown reason, my body was not synthesizing the over-the-counter formula. Therefore, I am now taking a prescription to help increase my levels, which will take weeks to months to occur.

The research on vitamin D continues -

Click on the title (link), to read more on this important hormone.