Vitamin D to Improve Aging Health

Is it possible to avoid the health issues of growing old?

Vitamin D recommendations for a healthy body will never get you there. The 800 IUs of vitamin D is not enough to help. Why do I say that?

Vitamin D Recommendations

https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements-vitamin-d/art-20363792#:~:text=The%20recommended%20daily%20amount%20of,for%20people%20over%2070%20years. Recommends 400 IUs (International Units) for children under 12 years of age, 600 IUs for people under 70 years of age, and 800 IUs for everyone over 70. In the old days, people worked outside more. Sunlight is converted in the body into vitamin D.

The time of the day, the latitude where you live, and your skin color determine how much vitamin D your body creates. The hours before and after noon are the best time to get the right kind of sunlight for your body to make vitamin D. Latitude 37 degrees North is considered the northern boundary for adequate absorption of sunlight. The lighter your skin tone, the more vitamin D you create per minute.

Wearing long-sleeved shirts, hats, and sunblock reduces the body’s surface area for sunlight conversion. Some medications (antibiotics, anti-cancer, and anti-seizure drugs) can also interfere with vitamin D creation.

Vitamin D in Food

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/time-for-more-vitamin-d identifies food sources of vitamin D. Three and a half ounces of salmon or mackerel provide around 350 IUs. The same amount of canned tuna gives you about half that amount. Eight ounces of orange juice fortified with vitamin D delivers 100 IUs. Some breakfast cereals fortified with vitamin D can also offer up to 100 IUs. An egg yolk delivers just under 40 IUs. Three ounces of organ meats (liver and kidney) afford you around 40 IUs.

Vitamin D and Health

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/15050-vitamin-d–vitamin-d-deficiency
Adequate amounts of vitamin D can help your overall health. Higher levels of vitamin D have been shown to reduce the risk of cancer, cognitive health, cardiovascular disease, depression, multiple sclerosis, and some other diseases.

A deficiency in vitamin D increases the risks of bone fractures, dementia, psoriasis, weight gain. Seasonal influenza and the common cold are often improved with vitamin D supplementation.

Vitamin D Safety and Side Effects

https://www.agelessforever.net/anti-aging-news-blog/vitamin-d-what-s-the-optimal-blood-level-and-how-to-achieve-it It is difficult to overdose on vitamin D. It is incredibly easy to be vitamin D deficient.

Vitamin D from sunlight is difficult to measure. Supplements provide this vitamin in quantities of IUs. However, in our bloodstream, it is measured differently – in ng/mL.

Vitamin D deficiency levels are below 20 ng/mL. Insufficient is defined as less than 30 ng/mL and more than 20 ng/mL. Sufficient levels of vitamin D are over 30 ng/mL.

Please note that 30 ng/mL is no longer considered to be sufficient but now insufficient. Sufficient in today’s world is now set at the 50 ng/mL. https://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2016/1/why-isnt-everyone-supplementing-with-vitamin-d

An ideal range is between 50 ng/mL and 80 ng/mL. When fighting cancer or other serious diseases, some doctors prefer to have your blood vitamin D levels between 80 ng/mL and 100 ng/mL. Toxicity is thought to be above 150 ng/mL.

I took 1000 IUs of vitamin D for a couple of years and could not get my blood vitamin D levels up to the 50 ng/mL level. I increased to 5,000 IUs for a year and still unable to reach a ‘sufficient’ level of vitamin D in my blood.

I increased my daily supplementation to 10,000 IUs and found that I would be in the 50-80 ng/mL in the summer but not during the winter. I increased by winter supplementation to 20,000 IUs and was able to stay in the 70-80 ng/mL in both summer and winter.

I have maintained these levels for several years. I get a vitamin D blood test with every annual physical. My last annual physical was one month ago. My blood level of vitamin D was 108 ng/mL. Why? With the COVID-19 pandemic, I decided to maintain my winter supplementation level throughout the summer which resulted in bumping my normal summer levels in the 70-80 ng/mL range to just above 100 ng/mL.

Vitamin D Overdose Symptoms

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/vitamin-d-toxicity/faq-20058108#:~:text=The%20main%20consequence%20of%20vitamin,the%20formation%20of%20calcium%20stones identifies common symptoms associated with too much vitamin D are nausea, vomiting, constipation, overall weakness, weight loss, confusion, disorientation, heart rhythm problems, and possibly kidney damage.

My blood level of vitamin D has been above 70 ng/mL for several years. I have had no side effects. I rarely have any medical tests outside the normal limits on an annual physical. I had 31 annual flight physicals while I was in the military and an additional 21 annual physicals since I retired.

Vitamin D and Prescription Medicine

https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements-vitamin-d/art-20363792 lists the following drugs as having potential interaction problems with vitamin D – anticonvulsants, cholesterol drugs, psoriasis drugs, some weight loss drugs, certain heart medicines, high blood pressure medications, steroids, and some laxatives. Aluminum-containing phosphate binders incorporated in some drugs also interfere with healthy levels of vitamin D.

Vitamin D and Frailty in the Elderly

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/very-high-dosages-of-vitamin-d-may-delay-frailty-in-old-age An article I read today suggested that increased levels (dosages) of vitamin D might delay frailty in people over 70 years of age. Nearly half of all Americans over the age of 85 have symptoms of frailty.

There are typically five characteristics that define frailty. They are weight loss with no apparent reason, a significant loss in grip strength, slow walking speed, constant exhaustion, and low to no levels of physical activity.

Medical researchers believe that increasing supplementation of vitamin D can help the elderly regain muscle strength which combats many of the traits associated with frailty. The basis of their belief is testing done on mice.

Controlled studies of laboratory animals were used to evaluate potential increased vitamin D supplementation to offset frailty in humans. Over several months, the animals were tested for performance. Animals with sufficient and insufficient levels of vitamin D were found to be frailer compared to those with higher levels of vitamin D.

Conclusion

Information abounds on vitamin D and health. However, there appears to be no correlation between the intake of vitamin D (IUs/daily) to actual blood levels achieved. This type of testing could easily be done.

Instead of recommending 800 IUs for people of a certain age, a blood test could be given to a patient to accurately determine what that person needs based on his or her lifestyle. A person living in Chicago might need 12,000 IUs over the winter and 7,000 IUs during the summer. A person living in Miami or Phoenix may only require 7,000 IUs in the winter and 4,000 IUs in the summer.

We have the technology. The cost is minimal. The benefits are tremendous.

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – RedOLaughlin.com

 


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