The Vitamin D Deficiency
I read an interesting article from msnbc.com today about pregnant women and the link between preeclampsia and low levels of vitamin D. I find it interesting because I believe that as a society, we are chronically deficient of vitamin D. Many doctors and researchers have long suggested that low levels of vitamin D can lead to a myriad of health conditions from heart disease to cancer to chronic fatigue. So, it’s not a huge surprise that they are now linking it to pregnancy complications.
In the current study, researchers found that vitamin D levels were generally lower among 50 women with early severe preeclampsia compared with those of 100 healthy pregnant women. The average vitamin D level in the former group was 18 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL), versus 32 ng/mL in the latter group.
To me, this makes perfect sense. The active form of vitamin D is regulated in the kidneys. Preeclampsia is marked by a buildup of protein in the urine due to stress on the kidneys. If the kidneys are stressed, they aren’t able to regulate vitamin D. If they aren’t regulating vitamin D, the levels plummet. As the numbers from the study indicate, they are dropping by almost 50% of normal levels. Pretty scary.
In addition, I’ve longed believed that the recommended daily IU of vitamin D is outdated. It’s only recommended that you take 400 IU, but what you aren’t told is that the research is from the 1930s. What other research would you trust that hasn’t been updated in 80 years? Not much else, I’m sure. I believe the vast majority of us are vitamin D deficient and the actual IU that we need each day is somewhere around 10-12 times what we are told. Personally, I take 5,000 IU a day. I think we live in a much different culture than that of the 30s. We aren’t outside tilling the fields and getting natural vitamin D from the sun. When we are outside, we are covered with sunscreen. It’s a viscous cycle that I believe is extremely harmful to our bodies. Now, please understand, this advise isn’t intended to replace what your health practitioner tells you, this is simply my opinion and what I do for my body.
What about you? I’d love to hear your opinions. How much vitamin D to you take? What other supplements are you taking?