Q. What is your take on vitamin D3?
Vitamin D is a vitamin. Vitamins are vital; we need them for optimal health and well-being. In the winter months here at this latitude, you can not make vitamin D. You can not make it at all, even if you’re outside. For about 3 months of the year, you have to be south of Bakersfield, CA to be able to make vitamin D in the winter months. The reason is, the sun has to be a certain degree above the horizon; otherwise, those ultraviolet B-rays, the frequency that vitamin D is made, are filtered out by the atmosphere. So vitamin D is very important. We know that there’s much research suggesting that by supplementing or getting additional vitamin D, you can prevent some of the immune-related problems that go along with vitamin D deficiency.
For example, in Scandinavia where they have very long winters, they found that supplementing with vitamin D actually decreased the rates of type 1 diabetes in children. So vitamin D is important for immune health. Low levels are related to cancers and other problems, like type 1 diabetes. I do recommend that people in the winter months do supplement with vitamin D. D3, how much? Let me make a point about D3 and D2. D3 is absorbed better. It’s from an animal source. It comes from sheep’s wool, from the lanolin. Vitamin D2 is from a non-animal source. And so if that’s a concern to you, you can take the D2. Both are adequate; D3 is absorbed a little bit better. How much do you take? Most experts who are really on the cutting edge of vitamin D today are recommending that you take 1000-2000 IU of vitamin D a day to ensure adequate levels.