Nutritious and Fit

Diet, Fitness, and a Healthy Attitude

Vitamin D

Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving weekend!

As I mentioned before, I attended the Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo in Boston at the beginning of the month. Aside from the hundreds of expos that I visited, the best part of the weekend was Dr. Holick’s lecture on Vitamin D. He was an amazing speaker and extremely knowledgeable. He’s a well-known dermatologist and has done countless research on varioius topics including Vitamin D. He has also seen first-hand the impact Vitamin D can have on the immune system and overall health while treating both humans and animals by replenishing their vitamin D levels. The following are my typed-notes from the lecture:

Getting Your Vitamin D

  • Sunlight provides longer lasting Vitamin D levels than supplements
  • Your skin, with the sun’s help, makes most of your body’s vitamin D
  • Glass blocks the UV rays from the sunlight to your skin, preventing your skin from making vitamin D
  • Your skin cannot make vitamin D in the winter unless you live far enough south- Atlanta, GA or below
  • 30SPF or higher sunscreen decreases the synthesis of vitamin D by 99%
  • Your skin can only make vitamin D outside between the hours of 10AM and 3PM
  • When you’re outside and your skin gets a light pinkish color, thats equal to 20,000iu of vitamin D
  • You only need 5-15minutes in the sun without sunscreen on arms and legs- always protect your face

Vitamin D Deficiency

  • Those with darker skin are at greater risk
  • Causes- obesity, increased sun protection, decreased milk intake
  • Associated with muscle strength and disorders- fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, sarcoidosis
  • Associated with mental conditions- dementia, schizophrenia, depression
  • Associated with increased risk for cancer, Type 2 diabetes, CVD, high blood pressure


  • Treatment for those with deficiency- tanning beds, supplements: 50,000iu weekly for 8 weeks
  • Maintenance for those who were deficient- 50,000iu once every 2 weeks
  • 1000iu daily is not enough for the general population- should get at least 1500-2000iu a day
  • Toxicty is possible, but it’s much more out of reach than previously thought: you can have up to 10,000iu a day for 3 months without reaching toxicity
  • Vitamin D2 and Vitamind D3 supplements will raise blood levels of D equally
  • Blood level goal: 30ng/mL

Pregnancy, Infants, Children

  • There is NO vitamin D found in breastmilk
  • Risk for preeclampsia is greater for those who are vitamin D deficient
  • Pregnant women are recommended to get 1000iu-2000iu of vitamin D a day
  • Pregnant women who have adequate levels of vitamin D are less likely to need a C-section
  • All infants and children need at least 400iu a day
  • A common symptom of vitamin D deficiency in infants is night head-sweating
  • Pregnant women with a deficiency are more prone to vaginitis in their 1st trimester
  • Deficiency is associated with infertility, low birth weight, and poor birth outcomes


  • Even though vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin, you do not need to eat fat with it
  • Vitamin D can be considered a hormone because your body makes it
  • Mushrooms have the ability to make Vitamin D when UV rays are absorbed like our skin does
  • Vitamin D has been associated with better immune responses- a theory as to why flu season hits around February is that people’s immune systems are lowered due to inevitable vitamin D deficiency

Hope this information was helpful and interesting! Visit to learn about his book The Vitamin D Solution and about Dr. Holick himself.

Next post: my new work-out plan and how it’s going so far.


11/29/2010 - Posted by | diet and nutrition

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: