It's mid-May, so you may want to cut back on your VItamin D3 supplement if you get a lot of summer sun. I get quite a bit, and what I do is reduce my supplementary intake from 5000 IUs to 2000 IUs. However, I realize that there are many people who aren't out biking and swimming like I am, and they may get little more sun in the summer than they do in the winter. And if that's the case for you, you should continue taking 5000 IUs.
There is now available a vegetarian Vitamin D3, which is made from a certain kind of marine moss. We don't offer it, but it's available from several different companies, which you can easily find online. So, just do a search for "vegan Vitamin D3" and you'll find it. The standard Vitamin D3 is made from sheep's lanolin.
The news continues to be good about the health benefits of Vitamin D. Here are a few examples from the Vitamin D Council. The benefit of Vitamin D3 to tuberculosis patients was demonstrated in a study, but that's hardly surprising since 100 years ago there were TB sanitariums in which sunlight exposure was a central part of the regimen to help these patients. In another study, liver cancer patients who were given Vitamin D had significantly longer survival. Another found that cigarette smoking erodes the body's Vitamin D reserves, but I presume everyone reading this is well past being a cigarette smoker. Another study found that Vitamin D3 contributed to weight loss. A study among the elderly found that the seniors with higher Vitamin D blood levels reported a higher quality of life. Another study found that among lupus patients, those with higher Vitamin D levels reported longer sleep and better sleep quality. And among college students, those with higher Vitamin D levels were found to have greater cardiovascular fitness.
But, there was one negative study. Among rheumatoid arthritis patients, those taking Vitamin D2 reported no improvement and may have experienced a worsening of their condition. I have been saying for a long time that you shouldn't take Vitamin D2, and now that this vegan Vitamin D3 is available, there is no longer any justification for anybody to be taking Vitamin D2. It is not Vitamin D; it is really just a Vitamin D-like drug, an analogue of Vitamin D. It has no normal relationship to human life, and I say avoid it like the plague.
Unfortunately, millions of Americans continue to be grossly deficient in Vitamin D, and thousands of American doctors continue to be ignorant of how much Vitamin D their patients really need. Getting everyone in the country up to speed on Vitamin D would be relatively inexpensive, and what it's likely to save in medical expenses is at least many tens of billions of dollars. And that's being very conservative. It could easily be over $100 billion. And that's every year. The inhibitory effect that Vitamin D has on cancer and heart disease would do that alone, and at least. It really is a tragedy that so many people are literally in the dark about this- metaphor intended.
So, if you know about the importance of Vitamin D to your general health (not just your bones) and if you realize that the proper dosing is in the thousands of IUs not the hundreds, then consider yourself lucky. And spread the word.