In February we wrote about the high risk of vitamin D deficiency for vegans living in locations which don't get year-round sunshine. If that description applies to you, this article contains essential information.
Reader Angie Bedson shared her experiences here back in April and she recently sent us a helpful update, which we share below with her permission.
First, a brief explanatory note. Angie mentions the half life of vitamin D. The half life is the length of time it takes for half of the amount ingested to be eliminated from the body. Vitamin D has a half life of approximately four weeks. The advantage of this is that as long as the body has adequate stores of it, you can go without it for this period and not run into a deficiency. The disadvantage is that if, on the other hand, you're supplementing it, you can build up too much of it and run into problems of excess. When we're getting our vitamin D from sunshine this never occurs. It is also hard to get too much from food sources. But when we're taking supplemental vitamin D, overdosing is a risk, as Angie discovered.
Sorry if this e-mail is a bit long but I promised to keep you updated on my vitamin D progress.... To recap, I had a result of just 12 on my first hydroxy vitamin D test [The Fresh Network notes: according to The Vitamin D Council a healthy level is at least 50] and I have been using 2,000 IU of ‘Sunshine Mist’ [a vitamin D supplement] for a total of 3-4 months now.
Firstly, I believe that the raw food community will only progress positively if we all remain as honest and open about our experiences as possible. In some ways we are pioneers and, some might even say, guinea-pigs – but I happily accept this if it will benefit others in their quest for optimum health.
Secondly, I want to point out that I fully agree with your stance that vitamin D is vital to good health and that raw fooders, especially those of us in Northern latitudes, are at great risk of being deficient in this nutrient.