Improving Vitamin D Levels Can Increase Energy and Improve Health

by karen on September 2, 2020

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There’s one vitamin that just about every American is deficient in. Can you guess what it is?

Correct, vitamin D.

Vitamin D is produced in the skin following exposure to the sun, and is contained in some foods, but we still tend to have trouble getting enough. Research has shown that vitamin D deficiency can increase the risk of T1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, lupus, fibromyalgia, heart attack, rheumatoid arthritis, and certain cancers. Vitamin D assists in the absorption of calcium, is a powerful anti inflammatory, and helps maintain healthy cholesterol and immune function.

Vitamin D deficiency is on the rise in the US, and we recommend that you get a simple blood test from your doctor, if possible. Not all MDs test for vitamin D deficiency, so it’s our recommendation that even if you cannot get tested, stay on the safe side and add a supplement to your diet. Individuals who are overweight, the elderly, and those with limited sun exposure are at increased risk for deficiency, as are those with cystic fibrosis, inflammatory bowel disease, or other fat malabsorption syndromes.

Exactly how much vitamin D we need is a contested subject, however many healthcare providers, including the National Osteoporosis Foundation, recommend 1,000 IU or more daily. Based on our clients’ experience, we recommend 2,000 – 3,000 IU daily, as 1,000 IU is often insufficient in correcting deficiency.

What can be done? A balanced diet is important (for vitamin D levels and everything else). Fatty fish and eggs are the only foods where vitamin D is naturally found, and there isn’t more than 360 IU in a serving. Unprotected sun exposure can cause skin damage and potentially skin cancer, and vitamin D conversion from sunlight is not particularly high. So, we recommend everyone take a vitamin D supplement. We use Consumer Lab for our specific brand recommendations as they test for contaminants, ingredient accuracy, and absorption. They consistently recommend Costco’s Kirkland, Target’s Up and Up, and NatureMade brand vitamins.

If you’d like additional consultation on your personal goals, we’d love to hear from you. Please schedule an appointment by calling (775) 360-6500, or visit

Karen Fisher, MS, RD, LDN, CDE is a dietitian in Reno, Nevada, happily promoting the benefits of healthy foods at her nutrition consulting firm, Nutrition Connection.

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