To Curb Your Chance of Death, Get the Right Amount of Vitamin D

By: Bulletproof Staff
March 5, 2018

To Curb Your Chance of Death, Get the Right Amount of Vitamin D

A Norwegian study[1] concludes that a normal amount of vitamin D reduces the risk of death by 30 percent in people with cardiovascular disease. The key to the findings? Aim to get just the right amount of the vitamin – neither too little nor too much, which can actually increase death risk as well. Read on to learn about vitamin D’s optimal blood level range and how you can get your daily dose.  

If you have heart disease, get an optimal amount of vitamin D to curb death risk

From 2000-2012, researchers observed over 4,000 cardiovascular patients of average age 62, and found it’s imperative to have vitamin D values between 400-1,000 ng/mL (42-100 nmol/l). If vitamin D levels were higher or lower than that range, they were at greater risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.

According to study lead Professor Jutta Dierkes at the University of Bergen, it’s tough to offer general guidelines for vitamin D. “The optimal amount of vitamin D supplement varies from one person to another. It depends where you live, and what kind of diet you have,” says Dierkes. The standard recommendation for Nordic countries is 10 micrograms per day from all vitamin D sources. However, the U.S. recommends 15 micrograms while Germany aims for 20 micrograms. “Even if Norwegians receive less sun then the Germans, the Norwegians have more fish in their diet. Fish and cod liver oil are important sources to vitamin D during the winter, in addition to physical activities outdoors during the summer,” notes Dierkes.

Why is vitamin D so crucial to good health?

For those who have heart disease, it’s especially important to measure and monitor vitamin D levels. However, possessing adequate vitamin D levels is crucial for everyone. Why? Vitamin D supports numerous biological processes — it acts on thousands of different genes in the human body to support daily function and is the key ingredient of strong muscles, bones, and joints. Low vitamin D is linked to conditions like type 1 and 2 diabetes[2] and cancer[3]. In fact, vitamin D might be the most important thing you can do for your health.

Related: The Top 5 Reasons Vitamin D Makes Women Bulletproof

Test your vitamin D levels

How do you know if you’re getting enough vitamin D? After all, it’s estimated that 1 billion people worldwide have low vitamin D levels[4]. While getting sick often and frequent fatigue are symptoms, these might be too general to clue you into a deficiency. So, it’s important to get your vitamin D levels tested.

Your doc can order a vitamin D test for you – and your insurance will likely pay for it. Otherwise, you can order a test through services like WellnessFX. A test will give you a baseline idea of where your vitamin D level is at, and help you understand whether you need to tweak your vitamin D intake. Work with your doctor, who will adjust the amount according to your age, weight, absorption, skin color, and normal sun exposure.

Up your vitamin D intake now

Here’s what to do if your vitamin D levels are inadequate, which is far more common than having too much vitamin D:

  •    Foods: Eat fatty fish like fresh tuna or salmon; beef liver, and egg yolks.
  •    Supplement: Take vitamin D3 in the morning. Or take cod liver oil, which also contains vitamin A and omega 3s in addition to vitamin D. By taking them together, they work as inflammatory disease combatants.
  •    Sunlight: Aim for 20 mins a day of adequate sun exposure.  Sunscreen prevents skin from absorbing vitamin D, so leave some areas unexposed. For more tips, read The Bulletproof Guide To Sunscreen and Sun Protection.

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