Are You Really Getting Enough Vitamin D?

Maylin Rodriguez-Paez, RN

Recently, we were shocked to find out that approximately 64% of our members had suboptimal vitamin D levels. We learned this after analyzing more than 39,000 blood test results.

Keep in mind that many of our members are avid supplement takers, and they also tend to take higher dosages of vitamin D.

So what does this mean? That you could have suboptimal vitamin D levels as well.

That would be bad news since maintaining an optimal vitamin D level is probably one of the single best defenses you have against disease.

Below are some simple tips on how you can improve your own vitamin D levels. Please take some notes!

Vitamin D is a Powerful Disease Preventer

By now, you’ve probably heard that vitamin D is really darn good for you. Sure, it helps you maintain healthy bones and teeth, but it also does so much more.

Vitamin D actually acts more like a hormone than a vitamin, as it interacts with key enzymes that regulate activities throughout your entire body.

Research shows having sub-optimal levels may increase you risk for several conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, strokes, cancer, and even depression.1-6

Don’t want to miss out on D’s benefits? All it takes is three easy steps. Here we go.

Step One: Take the Right Dose of Vitamin D

Most people need between 5,000–10,000 IU daily to obtain optimal blood levels (50–80 ng/ml). If you’re counting on conventional multivitamins, you’re probably going to fall way short.

Why? Because most of them contain somewhere around 400 IU, which is not going to do much to raise your blood levels or help you prevent disease. Consequently, a vitamin D supplement becomes necessary.

But even at that, taking the suggested dose STILL may not be enough for certain people. Our analysis found that a number of our members fell short even after following our dosing suggestions. This is why step two is very important.

Caution: Higher dosages of vitamin D are not appropriate for everyone, especially for individuals with severe kidney disease, sarcoidosis, or high blood calcium levels. Please check with your doctor first!

Step 2: Take Vitamin D with Fat AND Your Largest Meal

Due to its chemical makeup, vitamin D needs fat for proper absorption. So when taking it, make sure you do so with a fatty meal.

Also, be sure to take it with your largest meal of the day. This can make a big difference on how well it’s absorbed.

A study conducted by the Cleveland Clinic Foundation showed that taking vitamin D with the largest meal increased blood levels by 50% compared to taking it on an empty stomach or with a light meal.7

Step 3: Follow Up with a Vitamin D Blood Test

The only way to find out if you’re deficient is to get a 25-hydroxyvitaminD blood test. It measures the active form of D that is actually circulating in your blood.

Another vitamin D blood test that is commonly used is called a 1,25-dihydroxyvitamn D test. However, we suggest you don’t rely on this one since it’s not nearly as accurate.

Before testing, take your target dose of vitamin D for at least 30 days. This way it can build up in your system and you’ll get an accurate assessment. We should also note that it doesn’t matter if you take the test in the morning or evening.

Also worth mentioning is the fact that many insurance companies provide coverage for this test. That being said, if yours doesn’t, consider paying for it out of pocket. It’s affordable, it’s essential, and it shouldn’t cost you more than $50.00.

The Bottom Line

All it takes is three easy steps to maximize your vitamin D levels. Don’t let a simple oversight cost you an easy ticket to disease prevention!


  1. Int J Epidemiol. 1990 Sep;19(3):559-63.
  2. Arch Intern Med. 2007 Jun 11;167(11):1159-65.
  3. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med. 1997 Oct;216(1):21-7.
  4. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2005 Jun;15(3):188-97.
  5. Cancer Causes Control. 2005 Mar;16(2):83-95.
  6. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2008 May;65(5):508-12.
  7. J Bone Miner Res. 2010 Apr;25(4):928-30.


Kristellys said...

Could I get enough Vitamin D just from proper diet? Do we need supplements for this?

LifeExtension said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LifeExtension said...

Kristellys- Food is actually a very poor source of vitamin D. It's highly unlikely that you'll obtain optimal levels through diet alone. Research indicates that most people need to supplement to maintain optimal levels.

Eritrea said...

can we get enough vitamin D from the sun alone?

Lilac said...

Doesn't Vitamin D come primarily from exposure to sunlight?

Life Extension said...

Eritrea - It depends on the time of year, where a person lives, a person's age, and so forth. Now, some people who work outside in the sun all day long may get enough vitamin D from sun exposure, but this is often not the case. Blood testing is the only sure way to know!

Life Extension said...

Lilac - Yes, but due to the fact that most of us stay indoors all day, vitamin D deficiencies are fairly common. Blood testing is the only way to determine a real deficiency.

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