What’s the Most Common Vitamin Deficiency?

With all the supplements everyone takes, would you think that most people are still deficient in one crucial amazing vitamin that prevents and helps so many disease processes?

Can you guess the name of this deficient vitamin? Did you know it’s readily available most days but you actually go to great strides to avoid it?

With all of the buzz about it in the news you probably guessed right. Yep, it’s vitamin D.

I first wrote about vitamin D in the fall of 2008 after attending a medical conference sponsored by the International College of Integrative Medicine (ICIM), an organization of kind and wonderful health care providers. They meet twice yearly to learn more about integrating natural, alternative treatments with main stream medicine to provide the best treatments from both worlds for their patients.

I became a believer in taking vitamin D supplements since I don’t expose my skin to the sun very much and have taken 2,000 IU per day ever since then.

But I did not heed the advice about checking vitamin D blood levels until a few weeks ago. To my surprise my vitamin D levels were very low, so I’ve upped my daily dose to 6,000 to 8,000 units. When the spring sun returns I may try to take more sun baths as I originally purposed to do when I wrote the vitamin D articles in 2008. But that resolution didn’t last very long.

You may be in the same boat as me in regard to low levels of vitamin D. Current research indicates most of us have unhealthy, low levels of it.

Why are our levels low? Could it be that the sun phobia and wearing sunscreen all the time has an adverse effect on health in at least one respect? Perhaps.

When the sun shines down on our skin, it converts cholesterol in the skin to vitamin D.

The skin must receive the UV sun rays to be able to make vitamin D in our skin. And those are just the rays we block with sunscreen slathered on our bodies. Sunscreens with SPF ratings of 8 or higher block 95% of synthesis of vitamin D in the skin. SPF 15 blocks 99% of vitamin D production.

So now we have a dilemma.

  • Excess sun causes skin cancer.
  • But blocking sun causes low vitamin D levels.
  • Good vitamin D levels powerfully protect against skin and other cancers.

How can we solve this problem?

Consider a strategy of moderation. Expose our skin to sunlight long enough to produce good amounts of vitamin D, but not so long that our skin gets damaged.

Your skin factory can whip out 10,000 to 50,000 units of vitamin D with 15-30 minutes of sun exposure in a bathing suit. Professor Michael Holick of Boston University School of Medicine studied this extensively and has concluded that most people make an average of 20,000 units of vitamin D when they have almost full body exposure to sun for 15-30 minutes. Now that’s a lot of vitamin D, but you can never overdose on vitamin D from sunshine.

Since UV rays strike the earth’s surface in the greatest abundance between about 10 AM and 2 PM, you will want to sun bathe between those hours for the most effective production of vitamin D.

Here’s a summary of the no cost way to increase your vitamin D levels:

Rev up your vitamin D levels by spending 15-30 minutes in the sun with as much of your skin exposed as possible between 10 AM and 2 PM daily.

But there are some caveats:

  • How many of us are stuck indoors working during the best time of day?
  • The sun doesn’t shine all year round.
  • How many of us will actually take the time to enjoy the great outdoors for a few minutes every day?


In the next few articles we will discuss:

  • The many health advantages of keeping our vitamin D levels high.
  • Proper vitamin D supplementation. How much is enough? How much is too much?
  • What form of vitamin D is the best?

Now you know another step in making disease optional in your life.


Dr. Jo


About Dr. Jo

Dr. JoDr. Jo delights in sharing the message of health. She believes disease is optional if you know how to take care of yourself. And she’s a great coach to help you reverse or prevent disease.

So she writes this blog to keep you up to date with information that may undermine your health if you are not aware of it. She also provides tips on healthy living, how to reverse degenerative diseases, delicious recipes, and ways to enjoyably change your habits to healthy ones.

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