30 Day Paleo: Day Five – Supplement to Your Optimal Vitamin D Levels

Looking to make healthier choices? Perfect! This is Day 5 of 30 of my 30 Day Paleo Plan. For more information on 30 Day Paleo as well as 30 Minute Paleo, check out the get started page. Post each day on your 30 Day Paleo journey to Twitter or Instagram and show me by tagging me with @dranthonygustin — get after it! 

Vitamin D is one of the most critical vitamins we need as human beings. It is so important that it shouldn’t even be considered a vitamin – it should be considered a hormone. Vitamin D regulates over 1000 processes in your body, including vital immune, inflammation and sex hormones.

Check out our previous post on Vitamin D here for much more information. Here is a quick breakdown and why it is important to be at optimal vitamin D levels.

A vast majority of people are at suboptimal levels. Chances are, even if you are supplementing, you’re not getting enough. Most supplements are made with the RDA in mind. Keep in mind – the RDA is the minimal amount of nutrients as to not have overt disease and symptomatology. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to just survive, I want to thrive. I also don’t want to have the health of an average American.

The best way to quantify how much vitamin D is circulating in your body is through a blood test. For a lot of people, this should be covered by basic insurance benefits and routine lab work. If not, it’s not a very expensive test and, due to the importance of vitamin D, should be assessed at least 1-2x/year.

Most people go in for routine tests and sometimes get a vitamin D level checked to see if they have optimal vitamin D levels. After you get your results back, a classically trained clinician will tell you you’re “normal” if your levels are above 24 ng/mL, however, this is NOT optimal. You should be aiming for roughly 65-75 ng/mL concentration of vitamin D. How do you get to that level? By supplementing.

Take roughly 1000-1500 IU per 25 pounds of body weight. If you are carrying a little more body fat than the average person, take a little more. As it is a fat soluble vitamin, vitamin D accumulates in body fat and becomes less available to the rest of your tissues.

Additionally, because vitamin D is fat soluble, you should consume some fat with your supplement. Some high end vitamin D supplements already contain fat in the form of coconut oil, so you don’t have to worry about this.

If you suffer from autoimmune conditions, consider also supplementing with cod liver oil. Vitamin D supplementation sometimes will require more vitamin A. This process increases dramatically for people who have autoimmune conditions. Cod liver oil or organ meat is a great source of vitamin A.

Vitamin D is naturally synthesized with intense sunlight, so supplement in the morning. Your body will think it just got blasted with a huge dose of sunlight, so supplementing at night may interfere with sleep.

When in doubt, ask your doctor to check your blood for optimal vitamin D levels. You should be at about 65-75 ng/mL. It is likely that you should be supplementing. Go with 1000-1500 IU per pounds body weight, consume with fat, and supplement in the morning.