Supps & Sunbeds – Raising the bar on serum Vitamin D!

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Twitter continues to throw up some gems. Here’s the latest one from one of my followers on the great Vitamin D debate:

And this is what we were talking about:

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Serum Vitamin D Levels of people living close to the Equator

Comparing Values in the Nordics

When I first started out with LIHF Living just over four years ago and on the prudent advice of my doctor friend, I raised my Vitamin D intake.. A LOT! (I wasn’t supping at all prior to that..) As explained in previous posts, serum Vitamin D levels unsurprisingly drop as you move away from the Equator and the recommended supplement levels to compensate for this are pitifully low, witness the above tweet (for details of ALL my supps, see this post..). I once read that serum levels around the equator are around 200 nmol/L and the above graphic would seem to support that. As you probably know, I live in the Nordics and so I thought it would be interesting to compare my serum Vitamin D levels side-by-side with those of DietDoctor, see below:

** My full results may be viewed here..**

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DietDoctor Vit D vs. Mine

Sunbeds vs Supps – Going for 200!

Last winter, after my Egypt trip, I decided to experiment with sunbeds. To that end, I used a sunbed approximately 2 x/ week for 5 mins each, total: 10 mins/ week. Together with my regular 20 mins/ day natural sun in the summer this seems to be working out nicely, with serum Vit D levels rising steadily. However, being the annoying perfectionist that I am, I really would like to hit that 200 level (comfortably!) by next year’s set of bloods and as you can see, I’m not far off. Hence, the only question for me is do I do that through additional supping or more sunbed?

I’m now on my winter regime of 3-400 ug of Vit D per day and I could probably hit 200 by going even higher. However, for me going that high is God’s way of saying, “You’re living too far away from the equator!” The natural way people get most of their Vitamin D is from the sun and so I’ve decided to increase my sunbed use to around 15-30 mins/ week, probably split into 2-3 sessions. When managed correctly, I have no issues whatsoever with the safety aspects of either sunbeds or natural sun in general as explained in this post.

Finally, here’s a link to a table from the Vitamin D Council that explains how to interpret your Vitamin D values. According to this, even if I doubled my current levels of serum Vitamin D, I still wouldn’t be close to “toxic levels” so please don’t be scared of aiming high when it comes to Vitamin D – the higher, the better!

(Note: the values are quoted in ng/ml so don’t forget to convert if your results are given in nmol/ L!!)

 

 

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