Men: Watch your vitamin D levels this winter
It’s been a little over a week since we all turned our clocks back an hour. So according to our watches, it’s the perfect time to issue a reminder about the vital importance of vitamin D supplementation.
As you may already know, the sun is your prime source of this life-saving nutrient—which means we’re losing more than just an hour of daylight when we “fall back” every year. That’s why a supplemental boost of vitamin D is so essential in the winter months, when days seem to end as soon as they start.
But the truth is, a daily vitamin D supplement should already be a year-round staple in your medicine cabinet. Most people simply don’t live close enough to the equator—or get outside enough, in any season—to achieve adequate vitamin D levels on sunshine alone. And rates of vitamin D deficiency among Americans are sky-high because of it.
Unfortunately, the science on this subject is very clear: Vitamin D deficiency leads directly to higher risk of disease—and not least of all, to a higher risk of prostate cancer.
In fact, research has shown that men with vitamin D levels below 12 ng/mL are more than three times as likely to be diagnosed with an aggressive form of the disease following a prostate biopsy. (And more than four times as likely, if they also happen to be African American.)
The good news: You can avoid this particular risk simply by paying close attention to your own vitamin D levels.
First: Everyone should get routine vitamin D testing. The absolute best way to determine adequate levels of vitamin D is with a 25-hydroxy-vitamin D blood test. Some practitioners, like me, order it automatically.
If your doctor doesn’t, ask for it. And when the results come in, make sure you ask for the numbers, too.
That’s because many doctors consider anything over 30 ng/mL to be sufficient. This is the deficiency threshold for most clinical research—but for optimal health, you want to your levels to be much higher.
Dr. Geo likes his patients to be between 40 and 70 ng/mL. Anything below that requires aggressive supplementation. And what does that mean?
Well, despite the low doses you’ll find in many multivitamins, 600 IU of vitamin D3 is the absolute minimum you should be taking for maintenance. If you’re a larger man, heavier, have darker skin, or just don’t get outside much, you probably need more than that.
Dr. Geo generally starts his patients with 2,000 IU in these cases, and sometimes with as much as 10,000 IU daily. Just bear in mind that at these high doses, it’s important to work with a doctor who’s monitoring your levels.
Already taking XY Wellness nutraceuticals? You’ve got you covered! You’ll find recommended daily dosages of vitamin D3 in each of these formulas:
- Prostate Support, which is in Regimen 01 Active Surveillance
- Agaricus/Vitamin D, which is in Regimen 02 Post-treatment
- Better With Age, which is in Regimen 03 ADT
Please keep up your good work and do so with a new heightened awareness of the importance of vitamin D to your good health. And please let us know how we can help you succeed in your journey.
Your XY Wellness Team
Murphy AB, et al. “Vitamin D deficiency predicts prostate biopsy outcomes.” Clin Cancer Res. 2014 May 1;20(9):2289-99.