Are you pregnant? Here’s more evidence that you should take extra vitamin D

According to a newly released study pregnant women taking 4,000 units of vitamin D daily cut their risk of preterm labor, preterm delivery, and infections by more than half. This dose of vitamin D is ten times greater what was recommended previously. Most prenatal multivitamins only contain 400 units of vitamin D, a dose now understood to be insufficient.

Prior to this study, higher doses of vitamin D had already been shown to lower the risk of infection, strengthen the immune system, reduce the risk of several types of cancer, and promote healthy nervous system development in fetuses.

When selecting the type of vitamin D you take I recommend that you choose vitamin D3, which is the natural form of this vitamin, and avoid the synthetic vitamin D2.

Because the body makes most of its vitamin D from the sun, nutritional needs of this vitamin vary depending on how much time we spend in the sun, what latitude we live in, the color of our skin and, most importantly, whether we use sunscreen, which inhibits vitamin D formation.

Recent research has shown that with regular sun exposure blood levels of vitamin D stabilize around 70-100 ng/ml, a level now considered optimal. For the majority of Americans blood levels of vitamin D are 30 or lower. If you’d like to find out where your levels stand and you are my patient let me know, as this can be found through a simple blood test.  If you are not my patient you can ask your doctor to run a simple and inexpensive blood test called 25-hydroxy-vitamin D, which is the correct way to assess vitamin D levels.

Read more about the study here:

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