One of the Most Common Nutritional Deficiencies in the U.S., Vitamin D Deficiency Can Reduce Your Immune Function, Cause Muscle Pain, Heart Disease, Cancer, & More
For those with gluten issues, vitamin D deficiency can exacerbate and contribute to the development of autoimmune diseases. Unlike other vitamins, the majority of Vitamin D is not acquired from eating adequate food. Most of our vitamin D comes directly from sunshine. The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in the US is largely a result of the following:
- people working indoors
- avoiding sunshine out of fear of skin cancer
- living in northern climates (see map)
- overuse of sunscreen
Those at risk for vitamin D deficiency include:
- The elderly
- Those who live in northern latitudes (see map)
- Dark skinned individuals
- Those who avoid sun exposure
- Those who use sunscreen (SPF >8 inhibits vitamin D synthesis by the skin. This includes the use of cosmetics and lotions that contain SPF ingredients)
- Those who work indoors
- Individuals who wear long clothing such as robes or head protection
- Breast fed infants whose mothers are vitamin D deficient
- People who are obese
- Those who have had gastric bypass and gall bladder surgery
- Those with inflammatory bowel diseases
- Those with celiac disease and gluten intolerance
- Those who take cholesterol medications
- Those who take steroid medications
- Chronic antibiotic use
What are the Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency?
- Muscle pain
- Muscle weakness
- Poor immune function (susceptibility to infection)
- Eczema (skin rash)
- Chronic infections (sinus)
- Poor growth in children
- Bowing of the legs (in children – AKA rickets)
Additionally, vitamin D helps regulate a number of vital body functions. Deficiency has been linked to bone loss, muscle atrophy, autoimmune disease, multiple forms of cancer, and cardiovascular disease. The diagram below illustrates many of these functions.
Are you at risk?
New research on vitamin D shows that the average person needs between 2,000 and 6,000 IU of vitamin D per day! Many nutritionist recommend large amounts of dairy as a source of vitamin D. Unfortunately, trying to get your vitamin D by eating dairy is the equivalent of trying to spit out a forest fire! Protect yourself by getting adequate sunshine daily. Have your doctor measure your 25 OH D levels (vitamin D blood test) to assess you for deficiency.
Below is a high dose gluten free vitamin D3 supplement protocol than can be used to support immune function…
Support Your Immunity Naturally
Vitamin D Therapy Protocol
The following protocol can be used to support the immune system during cold and flu season. You should consider seeing your doctor to have your 25 OH D levels (a simple blood test) measured as well.
This therapy has been used for years by doctors for many years and is very safe. However; it is contraindicated in people with kidney disease, sarcoidosis, or high blood calcium levels. If you have a kidney disease or abnormally high blood calcium, you should contact your doctor before attempting this therapy. You should also not perform this therapy more than 3 times per year without consulting your doctor.
How Much Should You Take?
For adults that weigh 150 pounds or more
Take 150,000 IU/day for 3 days followed by…
100,000 IU/day for 3 days…
For Adults under 150 pounds and for Children
Start with 1,000 IU of vitamin D per pound of body weight for three days. Afterward reduce by half for three days. For example: A 100 pound person would take 2 (50,000 IU) capsules for three days followed by 1 (50,000 IU) capsule for three days.
For Infants (0-1 year of age)
Infants should not need to supplement with vitamin D provided they are being breast fed. The mother should perform the vitamin D therapy to enhance the vitamin D content of her breast milk. If the infant is being formula fed he/she should receive 1,000 IU of vitamin D daily for maintenance. High dose vitamin D therapy is not recommended for infants.
Ultra D3 is concentrated gluten free vitamin D supplement. 50,000 IU per cap (15 caps in a bottle.)
- Gunville CF, Mourani PM, Ginde AA. The role of vitamin D in prevention and treatment of infection. Inflamm Allergy Drug Targets. 2013;12(4):239–245.
- Sue McGreevey and Mike Morrison. Study confirms vitamin D protects against colds and flu. Harvard Gazette
- Michael F Holick, Vitamin D: importance in the prevention of cancers, type 1 diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2014;79(3):362–371.