Vitamin D Supplements vs the Sun

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Interviewer: We've mentioned supplements and you have encouraged people to do that especially if they're lower. Does your body recognize the supplement form the same way it does as it manufactures it through sunlight?

Dr. Lucinda Messer: Sunlight is the best.

Interviewer: OK.

Dr. Lucinda Messer: We know that very well. And one of the reasons why sunlight is the best is because your body has seven dehydroxycholesterol inside the skin sub-dermal and that actual makes a certain amount and then it turns it off. There's a feedback system. So after your body gets enough it stops making it. It's really cool that your body, we have the knowledge, and that level, by the way is 20-25,000 units. It's not 2,000 or 1,000 like they are telling us to take. The Institute of Medicine is telling us to take. It's upwards of, our body will make 20-25,000 units given the amount of time, usually between 30 minutes and an hour in the sun. Out body stops absorption after that time. So, skin is optimal. 

The problem with sun in our skin that when we grown older, over 40, 45, our 7-DHC in our skin starts to atrophy and we just don't make it anymore. So we can't grab enough from the sun. Our skin atrophies. We can't get enough from the sun. So oral supplementation after that age is important. A lot of other reasons too. People just can't get access to the sun, et cetera. So sun is my favorite but very difficult to get to especially in Seattle or Alaska and North Dakota. Whereas if you take oral supplementation, it's very easy to come by and D3 is what we like. D2 is the irradiated egosterol form and it is more the vegetarian form, the vegan form, but also it does not last in our body very long at all. So we don't suggest people use it for health at all. The D3 is pretty much a must for health and you want to get that from oral form. I like the oil form, either capsule or drops. It's my favorite.

Interviewer: Okay.

Dr. Lucinda Messer: It's a little oil base there. 

Interviewer: How do you know how much? There's so many different sizes out there, supplements. From, you know, 250, 100, 1 thousand, 10 thousand. 

Dr. Lucinda Messer: Well, if you don't know your blood work level, and you don't have a physician or nutritionist guiding you with those levels and someone that's really knowledgeable in vitamin D, then my suggestion is just kind of go by the weight parameter. And the weight parameter says, it's mostly built on maintenance doses but it's 1,000 units per 25 pounds. So if you're 25 pounds, you take 1,000 units. If you are 100 pounds, you are going to be taking times four. So think of it that way. And so maintenance for anybody say 100, 110, usually I tell them 5,000 a day but that's maintenance. If they've never been on vitamin D and they've been on under 1,000 units a day or 2,000 units a day. I usually suggest always they get blood work done so we know but if for some reason on nothing or very little, I tell them to usually double that maintenance dose and then go depending on their weight. And then after 2,3 months going back to maintenance.

Does your body recognize vitamin d supplements the same way it manufactures it from the sun? Can you get optimal amounts from a vitamin d supplement? These and other questions are answered by Dr. Lucinda Messer in this video.

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