3. Predictors of Disease and Mortality

Vitamin D

Dr. Antonia added the following about vitamin D as a predictor of disease and mortality.

“Most studies focus on the association between total 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and age-related disease and mortality. As 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D is the active form of vitamin D in our body, it was possible it could have been a stronger predictor for disease and mortality. It has also been debated if the total or free vitamin D levels should be measured.”

In addition, he added, “Our data now suggest that both total and free 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels are the better measures of future health risk in men.” Dr. Antonio and her colleagues are currently finalizing the statistical analysis and paper on their work.

2. How Much Vitamin D to Take?

Vitamin D Supplementation

Now that you know the importance of vitamin D, you might want to consider taking a daily supplement to ensure that you are getting enough of the crucial vitamin to stave off disease.

The Mayo Clinic suggests that adults take at least 600 IU, although you can take 1,000 to 2,000 IU per day of vitamin D safely. You can ask your physician to take check your blood levels to determine if your levels are acceptable or not.

1. The Sun and Vitamin D

Vitamin D

As you age, you might not get out in the sunshine as frequently as you did in your youth. However, sunlight remains the best way to ensure that your body is receiving enough vitamin D daily.

Your skin that is exposed to the sun’s rays can make vitamin D. In fact, your body uses cholesterol and sunshine to create vitamin D. When ultraviolet B rays encounter your skin’s cells, they produce energy that synthesizes vitamin D for your body’s use.

Interestingly, studies have shown that your body makes the most vitamin D when you expose your skin to sunlight at noon each day. Only 30 minutes of exposing your skin to sunlight at noon can make as much as 10,000–20,000 IU of vitamin D.

Related: 8 Side Effects of Too Much Vitamin D


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