As the days get shorter and we spend less time outside in the sunshine, it is time to think about optimizing our Vitamin D levels again. Vitamin D plays an important role in immune function, energy levels, mental health, mineral absorption and in prevention of chronic inflammatory conditions such as: heart disease, cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis and autoimmune conditions.
Regular sun exposure, without sunscreen, causes your skin to produce Vitamin D naturally. But, not all sun exposure produces Vitamin D. The angle of the sun to the earth must be greater than 45 degrees. If it is lower, the UV rays are filtered out and do not make it to the surface of your skin. In Victoria, only sun exposure between 10am and 3pm during the months of April-September will result in Vitamin D production. Through the fall and winter, it may be necessary to supplement with oral Vitamin D.
Recent research shows that it is important to be taking Vitamin D with Vitamin K2.
If you have a personal or family history of any of the above conditions, please ensure you are taking Vitamin D3 with Vitamin K2 in an ideal ratio . Vitamin K2 ensures that Calcium and Vitamin D make it to our bones and teeth rather than our arteries. A large epidemiological study from the Netherlands measured the extent of heart disease and how this is related to Vitamin K2 intake and arterial calcification. They found that calcification of the arteries was the best predictor of heart disease. Those in the highest third of vitamin K2 intakes were 52 percent less likely to develop severe calcification of the arteries, 41 percent less likely to develop heart disease, and 57 percent less likely to die from it.
Vitamin D levels can be measured with a simple blood test: Serum 25-Hydroxy Vitamin D. Optimal levels should be between 125-150nmol/L. The ideal ratio of Vitamin D3 to K2 for most people is 10:1, ie. Vit D3 - 1000IU/Vit K2 - 100mcg.