Al Sears, MD, CNS – I have been talking about the overwhelming importance of vitamin D3. Especially in these uncertain times. Since then, nothing but silence from the media. Here’s the takeaway: When you maintain robust levels of vitamin D3 your risk is extremely low.
Today I will show you how to find (and hit) your ideal D3 levels for bullet-proof immunity.
How Much Is Enough?
As one of the first doctors in the country to test vitamin D levels, many of my patients were surprised by how low their vitamin D levels were.
Based on recent studies, vitamin D levels above 30 ng/mL correlate to better protection.1
While helpful, 30 ng/mL is on the lower end of where I want you to be.
For my patients, I want them somewhere between 60 ng/mL and 80 ng/mL, especially as we approach the fall season.2
Here’s how you can bring up and maintain your vitamin D levels.
2 Easy Ways to Maintain Optimal Vitamin D3
If your vitamin D levels are low, here are some ways of raising them:
• Get some sun. As I discussed in my book Your Best Health Under the Sun, sunshine is essential for letting your body make its own vitamin D. Getting midday sunlight for about 10 to 15 minutes a day will give you between 3,000 and 5,000 IU of vitamin D3.
But just know that it’s not enough to just take a walk. You need to expose the skin that’s usually covered up. If you always wear a shirt when you’re out, try taking your shirt off. Even sitting in your backyard for a few minutes is helpful. Getting sun when you’re all covered up will not have the same effect.
• Take a high-quality vitamin D3 supplement. As great as sunshine is, it isn’t always available because of weather, season, or working indoors. I recommend taking vitamin D3, known as cholecalciferol. It’s the same vitamin D3 your body produces. Just be sure to avoid the synthetic form of vitamin D2 in most multivitamins because it is less potent and less absorbable.
I recommend 2,000 IU via supplement daily, preferably in the morning but never at night because vitamin D is inversely related to melatonin, and may keep you awake. However, this is the minimum.
Depending on how low your vitamin D levels are, you may need 5,000 IU to 8,000 IU of vitamin D3 to keep your levels in the optimum range.
I strongly recommend getting your vitamin D levels tested by your doctor. It’s an easy test for them to order. It lets you know right away where you stand, and it also helps you understand how much you need to supplement daily to maintain your target goals.
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD, CNS
1. Grant WB, et al. “Evidence that vitamin D supplementation could reduce risk of influenza and COVID-19 infections and deaths.” Nutrients. 2020;12(4):E988.
2. Tello M. “Vitamin D: What’s the “right” level?” Harvard Health Publishing. Updated April 16, 2020.