I spoke at a Tysabri Patient-Advocate event today where the topic of Vitamin D was discussed. I thought it was fitting to post this excellent article by Dr. White following that event. Enjoy!
By Linda B. White, M.D.
Why We’re D-ficient
In response to ultraviolet B (UVB) rays in sunlight, our skin transforms a derivative of cholesterol normally found in the skin into vitamin D3 (cholecaliferol). The liver, kidneys and other tissues further activate this molecule. Given that the skin is a veritable vitamin D factory, why is deficiency so rampant? History — ancient and recent — holds the answers.
Results of D-ficiency
So what are the dangers of too little vitamin D in your system? A whole host of chronic conditions.
How to Get Enough D
Expose yourself. Your skin can tackle much of your vitamin D needs. If you’re young, fair, scantily clad and near the equator, 10 to 15 minutes of peak sunshine produces 20,000 IUs.
Who’s at Risk?
The only way to measure vitamin D blood levels is to check a form of vitamin D called 25-hydroxyvitamin D. Doctors don’t routinely perform this test, and Holick thinks universal screening would be too expensive. If you’re at risk for, or already have symptoms of, deficiency, then you might want the blood test.
Linda B. White, M.D., is an assistant professor of Health Professions at Metropolitan State College, Denver. Since researching this article, she’s upped her vitamin D dose.Posted in Causes of M.S., Life with M.S. Tagged: M.S., Multiple sclerosis