• Dr. Kristin Kukenberger, DC

Vitamin D Through the Seasons

"The body makes vitamin D from sun exposure, so I don't have to supplement."

This is a summer time truth, for most (depending on blood levels and diagnosed conditions). But really, just in the summer. If you live here in New York, vitamin D testing should be part of your annual physical medical exam. And yes, you can ask your doctor to include this value in your blood work any time.

There's an easy way to tell if you are making vitamin D from the sun while you're outside: The Shadow Test. Stand where your shadow is flat on the ground and visible and let's talk about the possibilities.

  • No shadow visible

  • If it's not visible, you aren't making vitamin D. Even if it is light outside, if you can't see you shadow, you are only being exposed to UVA light, which is great for making nitric oxide, but not Vitamin D.

  • Your shadow is longer than you are tall

  • No, sorry the sun is not at the correct angle to the earth to make it happen. Just nitric oxide again.

  • Your shadow is shorter than you are tall

  • This is it! You're making vitamin D! That's UVB light you're getting, and that makes vitamin D.


Is this a New York problem? No, it is, however, a latitude problem. Those who live north of about 34 degrees north, which is approximately the location of Atlanta, GA or Los Angeles, CA, experience a need to supplement vitamin D from September to April.


How much should you take? Well, that depends on your blood work levels! Let's talk about adults first.

  • Normal levels entering winter: 1,000 IU / day is sufficient for maintenance

  • Low to Moderate Deficiency: 2,000 - 4,000 IU / day for 3 months, then return to maintenance dose

  • Deficient with osteoporosis: 4,000 IU /day for 3 months, then 2,000 IU / day maintenance dose

And kids...

  • All infants 0-12 months: 400 IU /day (baby drops)

  • If breastfeeding, you can increase you own dose to 6,400 IU (total including your prenatal). This amount will make it through breast milk. Some formula contains vitamin D so keep that in mind if you are also supplementing as infants should not have more than 1,000 IU (0-6 months) or 1,500 IU (6-12 months).

  • 1 - 18 years: 600 IU / day

  • If deficient, a higher amount will be suggested depending on age and blood level.


The biggest question: Why do we need to worry about vitamin D levels at all?

Vitamin D has very important roles in the body: Strengthen the bones, Promote calcium absorption in the body, and Regulate the parathyroid's drive the balance calcium between blood and bone.


Vitamin D deficiency is more likely in the following conditions:

  • Cystic Fibrosis

  • Celiac Disease

  • Crohn's Disease

  • Weight loss surgery

  • Obesity

  • Kidney or Liver Disease

  • Taking certain medications


You've read this far, and you're wondering how this is a Chiropractic topic? Well, symptoms of vitamin D deficiency might surprise you! They tend to mimic physical discomforts. Here are the most common symptoms:

  • Fatigue

  • Bone pain, bone loss

  • Low back pain

  • Chronic widespread body pain

  • Muscle weakness, muscle aches, or muscle cramps

  • Mood changes, like depression, anxiety

  • Frequent colds/flu

  • Frequent bronchitis, pneumonia

  • Poor wound healing


Let's talk about supplement options. September to April is a long time, so automatic refills sent right to your house is a great way to go with Vitamin D. Theralogix offers a couple options they call "programs" for vitamin D ordering:

  1. Thera-D Program A - Rapid Repletion

  2. Your first 90 day supply is 4,000 IU, followed by refills of 2,000 IU daily maintenance dose

  3. Thera-D Program B - 2000 IU 90 day supply - maintenance to low deficiency dose

  4. Thera-D Program C - 4000 IU 90 day supply - low to moderate deficiency dose

  5. Thera-D Program D - 6000 IU 90 day supply - severe deficiency dose


Interested in ordering Vitamin D for the winter? Click this link to have our Provider Referral Code (PRC) automatically added to your cart to receive a discount on your order.


**Please remember to consider any additional vitamin D sources, like multivitamins. You should work with your Primary care doctor or Chiropractor to determine the correct daily dose for you.**


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