Vitamin D – An Endemic Deficiency That Needs to be Addressed

Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that helps the body use calcium and maintain strong bones. Less known is its critical role in innate and adaptive immunity. The most abundant natural source of vitamin D is sunlight, though it is also present in egg yolks, wild fish and fresh milk.

Medical guidelines suggest a daily intake of about 400-800 IU, however, studies suggest that this is grossly understated. According to a 2017 peer reviewed study published in the Journal of Preventative Medicine and Public Health, adults require closer to 10,000 IU of vitamin D daily and that much of the world is suffering from endemic levels of vitamin D deficiency that requires supplementation for most people. We now know that vitamin D is a powerful nuclear receptor-activating hormone of critical importance, especially to the immune system.

The question arises though, why did previous generations not require vitamin D supplementation? What is different now?

The reality is that modern society has increasingly moved towards indoor lifestyles, with adults working and children playing indoors for most of the day, which is an issue for all people but becomes increasingly problematic if you are a darker skinned person living in a colder and cloudier climate. In addition, many people use UV blocking cosmetics or creams specifically for protection against melanoma. Furthermore, we do not consume as much fish as previous generations and even if we do, farmed fish is increasingly more common than wild fish, which is 10x richer in vitamin D. Our milk is not farm fresh and is heavily watered down, and our eggs are more than likely not wild farmed but commercially raised.

Unless we are prepared to change our lifestyle drastically, supplementation is necessary to maintain a properly functioning immune system. Given that about only 20% of daily vitamin D requirements can be fulfilled with diet, the Endocrine Society suggests the following revised guidelines of vitamin D supplementation to obtain the remaining 80% with practically zero risk of toxicity:

1000 IU for children less than 1 year on enriched formula

1500 IU for those older than 6 months who are breastfed

2500 IU for children aged 1-3 years

3000 IU for children between 4-8 years

4000 IU from 8 years of age and above, though the study suggests up to 8000 IU for young adults and above

Higher doses may be needed to correct already deficient individuals, after which the above guidelines would apply in order to prevent deficiency. A safe and practical approach would be to take ¾ of the recommended doses above as standard daily practice but cutting back or eliminating supplement intake on days when you have sufficient sun exposure.  

Both Wilaya Super Multivitamin and Wilaya King Lysine contain 500 IU of vitamin D3 per capsule. Like all Wilaya supplements, all ingredients in Wilaya Super Multivitamin and Wilaya King Lysine are 100% Halal and vegan. For more on Halal vitamin D you may want to read one of our previous blogs on the matter. Wishing you the best of health and happiness!


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