Last week we discussed the need for Vitamin D and the three phase conversion of Vitamin D3 from the sun, to your skin and your entire body. This week we’ll go a little deeper on how to further support your body in this process.
When taking Vitamin D3 you also need to consider important mineral co-factors that support your body to utilize the D3 properly – Magnesium, Boron and Zinc. Magnesium is necessary for your body to make energy from the food you eat, controlling your blood pressure, controlling blood sugar levels and keeping your heart beating regularly.
The Vitamin D Council believes that the daily amounts of magnesium recommended by the Food and Nutrition Board aren’t enough to keep your body healthy – supplementation is recommended. Some research studies show that your body needs between 500 & 700mg/day. However, excessive use can cause side effects such as diarrhea.
Magnesium is important in order for your body to use vitamins and other minerals, such as calcium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, and vitamin D.
Zinc is a mineral found mainly in your muscles and bones. It helps your body perform many vital functions such as:
- Fighting infection & healing wounds
- Your sense of taste & smell
- Helping your body to make new cells & substances called enzymes
- Helping your body to use the carbohydrate, fat & protein in food
- Growth & development – it’s extremely vital to get enough during pregnancy, childhood and adolescence
Zinc isn’t stored in your body so you need to either eat foods that contain zinc or take daily supplements. (Oysters are an example of a food with a high concentration of zinc). Zinc helps work Vitamin D3 into your cells, as well as strengthen and develop your bones. If you are taking any medications that are intended to suppress your immune system consult your doctor before taking zinc.
Boron is a trace mineral that your body needs in small amounts. Fruits, leafy vegetables and nuts contain boron. Boron works with Vitamin D3 to help your bones use other minerals they need, such as calcium.
Get your Calcitriol 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D blood levels checked and ask your doctor to recommend an appropriate dose of Vitamin D3 for supplementation. Most doctors order 25 dihydroxyvitamin D but this is the inactive form and may not be accurate.
A healthy Vitamin D3 blood level is about 45-75 ng/mL, depending on your unique biological needs. The Vitamin D Council recommends an average of 50 ng/mL. I’ve learned to individualize things – some people do better with Vitamin D levels that are 75, and others lower. People with known autoimmunity, immune dysfunction and those living in northern states should have their levels tested regularly.
Don’t be fooled by internet chatter that promotes sun exposure alone to boost your Vitamin D3 levels. It’s likely your Vitamin D3 levels are under what is optimal for your body. Be an informed consumer and ask your doctor to test both 25 dihydroxyvitamin D and Calcitriol 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D. Speak with a functional and holistic healthcare provider who can individualize dosing and better support your unique health situation.
Blessings of Vibrant Health,
Kristin Grayce McGary
Health and Lifestyle Alchemist