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A Cheese in a shape of bone with Vitamin D and Calcium bottles on the right

Optimizing Vitamin D Levels for Bone Health

IV Therapy Academy

Jason A. Duprat, MBA, CRNA

Jason A. Duprat, MBA, CRNA

February 22, 2024

Finding the right balance with Vitamin D

When many people think about vitamin D, they likely think about their bones. Vitamin D is known for helping to balance minerals like calcium, phosphorus, sodium, and magnesium for healthy bone formation and mineralization. But did you know that Vitamin D is not actually a vitamin, but a prohormone? It’s produced in the body in response to sun exposure and certain foods and supplements. And here’s the kicker: Vitamin D insufficiency is found in 50% of the worldwide population due to lifestyle, environmental factors, and lack of Vitamin D food groups.

Vitamin D is unique because it can be made in the skin from exposure to sunlight. It exists in two forms, Vitamin D2 and D3. Vitamin D2 is found naturally in sun-exposed mushrooms, while Vitamin D3 is most commonly produced in response to sun exposure or oil-rich fish, making it the more “natural” form.

So, what happens if you don’t get enough Vitamin D?

Well, without the proper amount of Vitamin D, your body is only able to absorb 10-15% of dietary calcium and about 50% of phosphorus. That’s not good news for your bones. But that’s not all. Your body may also respond in other ways, such as regular sickness or infection, fatigue, bone and back pain, low mood, impaired wound healing, hair loss, and muscle pain. Yikes!

But what causes deficiencies in the first place?

There are a few factors at play. Darker skin tones and sunscreen reduce the ability to absorb UVB rays, which prevents the skin from producing Vitamin D. In fact, sunscreen alone can reduce the body’s ability to synthesize Vitamin D by a whopping 95%. Geography also plays a role. If you live in the north, where there’s a lot of pollution, work at night, or are homebound, you are more prone to being Vitamin D deficient. And let’s not forget about breastfeeding. Infants who exclusively breastfeed need a Vitamin D supplement, especially if they have darker skin or minimal sun exposure.

Now, you might be thinking, “Well, can’t I just get my Vitamin D from the sun?” It’s true that our bodies produce Vitamin D when our skin is exposed to the sun. But here’s the catch: skin tone affects the production of Vitamin D. A lighter skin tone will only need about 45 minutes a week of sun exposure, while a darker skin tone may need up to three hours. And prolonged exposure to sunlight can have consequences over your lifetime. Just 60 seconds of UVA exposure can increase your risk for melanoma. So, while sunscreen is important for skin cancer prevention, it also blocks 95% of the exposure. And factors like clouds, clothing, and work can drastically reduce how much sunlight reaches the skin, especially in northern areas.

Now, you might be wondering, what happens if you get too much Vitamin D? Well, like with anything, moderation is key. If you exceed the recommended dosage (such as IV infusions) you may experience symptoms such as loss of appetite, dry mouth, metallic taste, vomiting, constipation, and diarrhea. So, it’s important to follow the recommended guidelines.

So, there you have it. Maintaining wellness has never been more important, and we hope this article has given you a better understanding of the importance of Vitamin D.

If you are interested in starting your own IV Therapy practice, register for our free IV Nutrition Masterclass to learn more.

Jason A. Duprat, MBA, CRNA

Jason A. Duprat, MBA, CRNA

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