Do You Need to Take Vitamin D?

VitaminDTo D or “not” to D??

Yes or no to vitamin D supplementation? That is the question!!

Much has been said over the years about vitamin D, a critical critical nutrient for building bone, immune function, heart disease, brain and neuromuscular health, fetal development and anti-aging.

Here is what we know….

We can get vitamin D from food and the sun. Seafood is the only significant source and at that you’ll need to eat over 12 ounces of salmon to get roughly 2,000 IU’s (the minimum daily requirement to maintain adequate blood levels)

The sun’s rays convert something called 7-dehydro-cholesterol in our skin to vitamin D3. It’s this D3, along with the D3 in our food that gets converted in our liver into the measurable 24 hydroxy-vitamin D (25D). Optimum 25 D level is between 35-50 ng/ml. Some research recommends raising blood levels of 25D over 50ng/ml, but there may be harm to that.

Studies show bone mineral density peaks at 45 ng/ml and then it falls again as levels get over 45. Elevated serum calcium levels accompany excess vitamin D and studies have shown the risk for kidney stones and cardiovascular disease increases when it does. But there is a caveat. Vitamin A and K2 can protect against vitamin D toxicity and vice versa. Fat soluble vitamins always exist in a synergistic relationship with each other. Studies that show issues with excess 25D levels could have definitely been vitamin A and or K2 deficient. Another reason to supplement with ALL of the fat soluble vitamins together or at least eat good fats of all sources to maintain levels!

You think you get a ton of vitamin A from the beta-carotene conversion of your carrots?

While beta-carotene is converted into vitamin A in humans, only 3% gets converted in a healthy adult. And that’s assuming you’re not one of the 45% of adults that don’t convert any beta-carotene into vitamin A at all. This means that – contrary to popular wisdom – vegetables like carrots and red peppers are not adequate food sources of vitamin A. Vitamin A is found in significant amounts only in animal products like liver and grass-fed dairy. You’d have to eat a huge amount of beta-carotene from plants to meet vitamin A requirements during pregnancy. For example, 3 ounces of beef liver contains 27,000 IU of vitamin A. Some foods rich in vitamin K2 are fermented foods like sauerkraut, cheese (from grass fed cows) and natto, egg yolks and chicken breast (from pasture raised chickens), butter, liver, and ground beef (from grass fed cows).

What about the sun?

30 minutes of direct sun will get you 10-20,000 IU of vitamin D. But if you are dark or you wear sunscreen, spend a lot of time inside or downtown surrounded by shade from buildings that block sunlight you won’t get that much. Aging, compromised digestion, inflammation, being overweight or having another health condition reduces our conversion of vitamin D, so that can be a limiting factor. This is why you can’t just depend on the sun!

It is my opinion that most of us do need to supplement with vitamin D…

The amount needed to maintain blood levels of 35-50 ng/ml varies depending on some of the factors I’ve listed above, but based on experience it’s usually somewhere between 2,000 – 5,000 IU. The important thing is to definitely test your vitamin D3 levels, begin supplementation, and then re-test a few months later to determine the correct maintenance dose.

I love taking fermented cod liver oil/butter blend for my vitamin D. It contains not only vitamins D and A but also vitamin K2 and vitamin E in it’s natural form.

Additionally, Fermented Cod Liver Oil contains about 25% DHA and EPA, which are highly recommended forms of Omega-3s.

Here is what I take:

Cat Dillon

This blog is my journal, where I share everything wellness. From tips on healthy lifestyle to creating as much deliciousness in your life as possible.

Cat Dillon is the Cat in Caterpillar Nutrition and Wellness.

Caterpillar Nutrition and Wellness is a unique combo of nutrition, fitness and cooking coaching all in one pretty package. Read more about Caterpillar Nutrition and Wellness.


  1. Nature knows best ! Isolated supplements, especially when not monitored, can often end up causing rather that alleviating problems or symptoms. Good you are paying attention Sofia.

    It is my quest to help the health-minded like yourself achieve an element of “self-care” that can’t be reproduced!

  2. Thank-you Cat!!!
    I’m heading to pick up a bottle of the above mentioned. I take very few supplements, however this one resonated with me! Coming from you, I’m certain I’m on the right path!

    Warm hugs

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