Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamins for acne and overall health.
Vitamin D is a very special vitamin that we obtain from food and being out in the sun.
What makes Vitamin D special is that it is also a hormone.
It’s most notable for its synergistic companionships with calcium and vitamin K and other nutrients to support bone health.
Vitamin D also performs a multitude of physiological effects that are separate from bone health, including immune regulation and proper endocrine functioning.
The cool thing about vitamin D is that we create it in our skin using sunlight. When we go out in the sun, the rays from the sun convert cholesterol molecules circulating under our skin into vitamin D. Many people in the United States are deficient in vitamin D and it has recently become a popular supplement for doctors to recommend.
In a study showing the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in U.S. adults, researchers showed the overall prevalence of vitamin D deficiency was 41.6 percent with the highest rate seen in blacks (82.1 percent), followed by hispanics (69.2 percent).
What’s concerning about this is that a deficiency is below the reference range. There’s a difference between the reference ranges and optimal ranges. You can look at on your blood test to see where you are and how much you need to take.
You’re Probably Deficient In Vitamin D
Living in south Florida, going to the beach and taking walks outside on a weekly basis under the blazing sun, I would expect my vitamin D levels to be high, or at least normal. But when I did my bloodwork I found that my vitamin D levels were 37.3.
Here’s the thing… If I asked my doctor about that number, he would have said it would be fine.
Unfortunately, that probably wouldn’t be the truth.
That’s because 37.3 falls under what’s known as the “standard lab ranges.” The problem with that is that the standard lab reference ranges are based off of people who go to the doctor. And when do people usually go to the doctor? When they’re sick. So while 37.3 falls under the “standard lab ranges” it falls short of the optimal ranges.
According to Dr. J.E. Williams, an integrative practitioner who has been practicing natural health for over 30 years, has published several books, is an international lecturer and educator, and the creator of The Complete Blood Test Blueprint Program, we want a number between 55 and 80 ng/mL of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D. He says to that if it’s below 39 to take 5,000 IUs daily. If it’s below 30, you need 10,000 IUs daily. He also says that: “If you take doses of vitamin D3 above 5,000 IU daily, remember to take vitamin K2. You need extra vitamin K to support calcium metabolism that vitamin D alone can’t do. These two nutrients have synergistic activity in healthy building of strong bones and improve cardiovascular health.”
Vitamin D And Acne
Vitamin D plays a role in the improvement and management of acne and other skin conditions. In acne patients, there is a bacteria called P. acnes that recruits cells from your immune system. When we get pimples, our keratinocytes (skin cells) overproliferate (multiply too fast), and our corneocytes (the dead skin cells at the very top layer of our skin) don’t shed off as fast as they should. Sebum is overly produced, and the bacteria on our skin, called P. acnes, proliferates out of control.
When P. acnes gets out of control, our immune system actually attacks it with special immune cells called T-helper 17 (Th17) cells. P. acnes even causes other T-helper cells to differentiate into Th17 cells to attack the bacteria. This results in redness and inflammation. Vitamin D is an antibacterial that helps to normalize the levels of P. acnes on the skin. Vitamin D, along with vitamin A, has also been shown to inhibit P. acnes-induced Th17 differentiation. In other words, vitamin D works twofold: It stops your immune system from making inflammatory molecules that attack your skin and it destroys the bacteria your immune system is attacking.
Vitamin D and vitamin A also help to regulate cellular differentiation and proliferation. To get a clearer picture of what this means, we need to understand that whenever a new cell is created in the body, certain things influence what cell type it will become. These influencers can “differentiate” the cells while they’re still in their stem cell stage to become anything, whether it be kidney, liver, or skin cells. Vitamin D and vitamin A are just two influencers that regulate this process to make sure that the correct amount of skin cells get created. If we create too many cells, we can get patchy skin. Too little can cause major problems as well. This is why these vitamins are so important for acne.
Studies With Vitamin D And Acne
There was an experiment done in the 1930s where 90 percent of the people that started taking vitamin D showed a 70 to 80 percent improvement and the remaining 10 percent showed a 40- to 50-percent improvement in their acne from taking a supplement of vitamin D. More and more doctors are prescribing vitamin D as one of the supplements to take for life because of the beneficial properties it has. Those with acne might also want to consider taking a vitamin D supplement for life because the same study also showed a reoccurrence of acne after vitamin D was discontinued.
Recommended Vitamin D Supplements
Other than cod liver oil, I recommend taking a liquid vitamin D along with a K2 supplement because both vitamins work synergistically in the body. The dose should be based off of lab results.
Taken separately I recommend Designs for Health Hi-Po Emulsi D3 liquid and MegaQuinone by Megaspore Biotics (available from the doctor’s supplement store using registration code LR824).
Otherwise I recommend Numedica’s D3 + K2
- Are professional grade
- Are highly bioavailable liquids that’s easy to take and can be easily titrated to whatever dose is best for you
- Have no fillers
What Affects Your Vitamin D Levels?
There are factors that affect vitamin D levels, including the amount of cholesterol you have and sun exposure you get. I’m a big proponent of getting a comprehensive set of tests done. The only way to know what your vitamin D levels are is to get a vitamin D test. By getting tested for vitamin D, you won’t be guessing if you’re deficient or not. I recommend using any of the following companies for testing vitamin D levels.
- Life Extension Foundation
- Direct Labs
- Anytime Lab
Vitamin D is an essential vitamin and hormone that is absolutely crucial to maintain the health of our body and our skin. It’s antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory. It tells your cells how many skin cells it needs to produce and where they need to go. No matter where you live, get tested to see if you’re deficient or not.
GET YOUR VITAMIN D LEVELS TESTED. You simply will not know where you stand unless you get tested. Period.
Get out in the sun, preferably before 10 a.m. or after 2 p.m. and spend at least 20 minutes soaking up the sunlight every day so your body can create the vitamin D it needs. Taking a high quality vitamin D supplement such as OrthoMolecular Products vitamin D/K2 liquid every day can be a healthy way to ensure you are getting this most necessary nutrient in a synergistic blend with the best form of K2.
Be sure to test yourself again after six months and alter your dose as necessary. Take vitamin D in the morning or at noon (when the sun is in the sky) and to mimic the natural waves of vitamin D you would have experienced historically with the rising and falling of the sun.
BONUS VIDEO ON VITAMIN D AND ACNE
I made this video explaining that Vitamin D actually enhances our immune system and that it’s been shown to reduce Th-17 immune complexes which are elevated in acne patients. Basically, Vit. D can lower inflammation in your skin by lowering the amount of Th-17 that attacks your acne.
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