Published on April 19, 2019
At GrassrootsHealth, one of our goals is to provide information about the importance of maintaining a vitamin D blood level of 40-60 ng/ml, as recommended by our panel of 48 international vitamin D scientists. Our data, and that from a multitude of other studies on vitamin D, has confirmed that the majority of the population does not spend much time in the sun and requires the intake of vitamin D through supplements in order to reach this target range.
A Common Misconception
A question frequently heard in response to the recommendation to supplement with vitamin D goes something along the lines of “I thought that I didn’t need to take vitamin D since it’s stored in my fat?” While it is true that vitamin D, as a fat soluble vitamin, has a higher affinity for fat cells in the body, it is not stored as a means of maintaining a steady serum level necessary for health. In fact, the more fat a person has on their body, the more likely they are to have vitamin D deficiency, which is defined by the amount of vitamin D in the blood (since vitamin D is pulled from the blood for use in the cells). Today, we will address this topic in hopes to clarify the relationship of vitamin D in fat versus blood.
Vitamin D in Fat vs. Blood
The chart below, published by Blum et al., shows a plot of the relationship between the concentration of vitamin D in fat versus the concentration in blood. At any given vitamin D serum level, the level of vitamin D in fat remains at about 12 times the amount in the blood. As vitamin D levels rise and fall in the blood, so do vitamin D levels in fat. While this does indicate that vitamin D is “pulled” from fat as vitamin D serum levels decrease, it also shows that this transfer of vitamin D from fat into blood is not occurring to maintain the vitamin D serum level, but instead is maintaining the same ratio of vitamin D in blood to fat. At the same time, as the amount of fat on the body increases (such as with obesity), the amount of vitamin D needed to maintain a healthy blood level also increases.
Maintain a Steady Vitamin D Intake to Maintain Vitamin D Levels
The conclusion we offer in response to the common misconception of “I don’t need to supplement with vitamin D because it’s stored in fat” is that in fact, you do need to maintain a steady intake of vitamin D, whether from supplements, sun, or vitamin D-rich foods, if you want to maintain a target vitamin D blood level. Without this steady supply of vitamin D, levels in both blood and in fat stores will decrease.
Higher Inflammation also leads to Lower Vitamin D
Similar to body fat content, inflammation is another factor that influences vitamin D levels where higher inflammation has been linked to lower levels of vitamin D.
What is your vitamin D level? Make sure you know yours is it at a level that could help prevent or reduce inflammation. Find out today! Log on to the shop (click the link below) to get your tests and see for yourself if your supplementation routine has helped you reach your target vitamin D level.
Make sure you track your results before and after, about every 6 months!
How can I track my Vitamin D levels?
To help you track your nutrient levels, GrassrootsHealth has created an online tracking system called myData-myAnswers. You can also track your supplemental and dietary nutrient intake to see how they impact your nutrient levels. Check it out today!
How Can You Use this Information for YOUR Health?
Having and maintaining healthy vitamin D and other nutrient levels can help improve your health now and for your future. Measuring is the only way to make sure you are getting enough!
STEP 1 Order your at-home blood spot test kit to measure vitamin D and other nutrients of concern to you, such as omega-3s, magnesium, essential and toxic elements (zinc, copper, selenium, lead, cadmium, mercury); include hsCRP as a marker of inflammation or HbA1c for blood sugar health
STEP 2 Answer the online questionnaire as part of the GrassrootsHealth study
STEP 3 Using our educational materials and tools (such as our dose calculators), assess your results to determine if you are in your desired target range or if actions should be taken to get there
STEP 4 After 3-6 months of implementing your changes, re-test to see if you have achieved your target level(s)