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Monday, July 15 2019

Vitamin D Provides Value to Your Health

With statistics indicating an extended lifespan for most people in our country, there is a lot of attention directed at how to live well. Healthy eating, quality sleep, exercise, and supplementation are all facets of long-term vitality. The problem with the critical nutrients that we need is that they are somewhat difficult to get. Agricultural changes, GMOs, and climate change are just a few of the factors that have affected the quality of our foods. Due to the degradation of nutritional quality in produce, many people are turning to supplements to bridge the gap. This may only be a start.

Multivitamins are commonly taken for convenience and perceived benefits. While this certainly is better than taking no supplements at all, a general multivitamin may not bring blood serum levels of certain nutrients up to the desired degree. Furthermore, some people may need more of one vitamin than others. For example, studies show that many people are deficient in vitamin D. Here, we discuss why nutrient testing for vitamin D deficiency is beneficial.

What is Vitamin D and Why Do We Need It?

Contrary to the common reference, vitamin D is actually not a vitamin, but a hormone. It is involved in several physical processes, including the absorption of phosphorus and calcium. This is one reason why many milk products are supplemented with D. In addition to supporting bone health, vitamin D is also associated with a reduced risk of developing diabetes, tumors, dementia, and cancer. An increasing amount of data is also pointing out a correlation between vitamin D deficiency and heart-related issues.

Numerous studies have discovered that low vitamin D levels are associated with heart conditions including hardening of the arteries, cardiovascular disease, heart attack, and stroke. On the other hand, when vitamin D levels are adequate, study participants have demonstrated a lower amount of systemic inflammation that contributes to high blood pressure.

Understanding Vitamin D: Where to Begin

Any retailer that sells vitamins will have at least a few vitamin D products to choose from. Vitamin D is also called the “sunshine vitamin,” which is representative of the body’s conversion of sunshine to vitamin D. Neither a standard supplement nor sitting in the sunshine may be sufficient for raising vitamin D levels. Some medical organizations say that vitamin D level should be in the 30-50 ng/ml range. A measurement below 30 indicates a deficiency. The Vitamin D Council believes that number should be more along the lines of a 40-80 ng/ml range.

Nutrient testing is an excellent first step in gaining an understanding of your personal vitamin D level. Knowing your baseline, your doctor can then recommend a daily or weekly supplement schedule to increase levels as needed for optimal health.

Dr. Ong is proud to serve patients in Scottsdale and the Phoenix and Mesa areas. To schedule your vitamin D level testing, call (480) 771-7771.

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