Do you do D3?

25 03 2011

So, I joined Mark Sisson’s MDA blog today. I started a thread summing up my experiment and my goals and got some interesting feedback. Two people suggested that my vitamin D (specifically D3) levels were most likely low. I started looking for research about D deficiency and was quite surprised at the current literature. Sure, I knew that D is created by sun exposure and aids in calcium absorption but apparently it has many other functions that are still being identified. It’s importance has been relatively overlooked and is now being studied further. Some of the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency include: muscle pain, weak bones/fractures, low energy and fatigue, lowered immunity, symptoms of depression and mood swings, and sleep irregularities.

It sounds like it may be the next “oatbran” but I would rather be safe than sorry. Many sources suggest an RDA of 5000-10,000 IU per day. This is a staggering amount compared the FDA’s RDA of 200 IU per day for those under 50 years of age. The FDA’s recommendation was established as the minimum amount to prevent rickets. So, if in fact the vitamin (which is actually a hormone) is necessary for more processes than just calcium absorption, I’m betting that the current RDA is way too low. There is a lot of anecdotal information about the benefits of taking the higher suggested RDA.

I am positive that I am D deficient. Your body makes D by sun exposure and eating certain foods like fatty fish. Winter is finally over and I was vegan the last 7 months (eating no fish or animal products). So needless to say, I’m sure my level is extremely low. As for the symptoms, I do suffer from fatigue (which I have just chalked up to lupus symptoms and starting the paleo diet) and sleep irregularities. My sleeping has been super erratic over the past year because I have a 1 year old, but she’s been sleeping through the night for months now and I still have problems.

So, I’ve ordered my vitamin D3 supplement and it should be arriving today. I’ll keep you up to date with how it makes me feel, if in fact there is a noticeable difference.

Until then,