Vitamin D has a wide variety of benefits such as being an anti-inflammatory; helping  protect against heart disease and diabetes; it can improve your mood; it strengthens muscles; it prevents and treats multiple sclerosis; and improves immune health.

Vitamin D is not only a vitamin it also acts as a hormone because it helps make sex hormones such as progesterone, testosterone, and estrogen; as well as, our stress hormone, cortisol.

Furthermore, Vitamin D also helps fight cancer as it may prevent tumors from developing new blood cells and encourages healthy cells to grow while discouraging cancer cell growth.

There are a few different transformations that take place before our body can utilize vitamin D, with vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol; 25-OH) being the active form that our skin synthesizes; (i.e.: UV light from the sun.) Our skin tone also affects our absorption of vitamin D as darker skin individuals don’t absorb as well as lighter skin individuals.

Foods rich in vitamin D include most dairy products, and fish like salmon, sardines, tuna, and cod liver oil. However, the vitamin D found in food is vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) an inactive form that has to be converted to D3 by the kidneys.

Conventional standards report between 30-100 as ideal levels, but once ranges are tightened, levels around 40-50, and then upwards of 60 to decrease risk of developing cancer, and studies have shown 75-100 for improving cancer survival. Levels are best improved through taking vitamin D3, checked regularly depending on the person’s baseline, and dosage.

On the downside: Vitamin D can be toxic, usually due to a buildup of calcium, as it encourages additional calcium absorption, and manifest symptoms like constipation or diarrhea, abdominal pain, muscle weakness, bone pain, or loss of appetite, when levels are over 150 ng/ml.

As always, discuss your concerns and questions with your attending physician.
We welcome your comments. If you have any questions on this or any other topic, feel free to write us at:

Dr. Serena Goldstein, ND
Natural solutions for Common Sense Medicine

Dr. Serena Goldstein, ND is a Naturopathic Doctor in NYC specializing in natural hormonal balance utilizing nutrition, botanical medicine, and homeopathy to discover the underlying cause of disease. She works with patients in navigating through natural and conventional care, while empowering patients to understand all options and trajectory of health. Dr. Serena is a native New Yorker who studied on the west coast for nearly 10 years, affording great versatility when creating individualized plans for patients. She is published in numerous wellness resources like MindBodyGreen, Better Nutrition, and the HeartySoul, and has spoken at places like Lehman College and the American Cancer Society. Dr. Serena is in her own practice, and lends her expertise to fellow doctors at NYU-Hospital Poison Control Center.


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