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Why supplementing with Vitamin D3 has become critical


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As a Holistic Health Care practitioner, working with nutrition and lifestyle to create robust health for my clients and me, there are several supplements I would not be without.  Vitamin D3 is right up there near the top of the list. 

Natural synthesis of Vitamin D3 requires UVB sunshine on the skin.  Ireland, being at 51-55 degrees north latitude, does not get enough sunshine from October to March to generate healthy levels of  vitamin D which is essential for good health. Skin requires solar radiation with wavelengths of 290-315 nm. (1) 

There is a plethora of studies relating latitude to illness.  Maps of cancer recurrance overlaid with maps of equatorial sunshine,  (or more importantly lack of it), conclude the link is obvious.  

When vitamin D serum levels are tested in Ireland, very few have optimum levels for robust health.  Deficiency is highly prevalent. 

Dermatologists have recommended high factor sunscreens, and surprisingly, many people do not eat high amounts of fish, which is a dietary source of vitamin D.  

Testing your Vitamin D levels may be done by your doctor when you get your normal blood count done, or privately through a lab or service provider, with a finger prick test done at home. (The HSE recommends testing for certain groups of high risk persons, table attached). (Table a)

In a survey done in Ireland, the National Adult nutritional survey, done throughout the year, 40.1 % had levels considered by the Institute of Medicine as being inadequate for bone health. (2)

Your test results for Vitamin D levels could be stated in nanomoles or nanograms

When receiving your results, knowing which unit of measurement, nmol/L or ng/mL, has been used, is important. This is a bit like metric versus imperial measurement in different countries.  Your test results could be returned as nanomoles per Litre or nanograms /ml.  In most countries the measurement is nanomoles per Litre  (nmol/L)  however in the US and a handful of other countries, levels are measured using nanograms per millilitre or ng/mL.

In order to minimise confusion of the different measurements we recommend the following conversion:-

Converting  ng/ml to nmol/L multiply the ng/ml by 2.5

  • for example 50 ng/ml is equivalent to 125 nmol/L.

Internationally there is no absolute consensus on levels.

Table 1: Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] Concentrations and Health


We seldom see reference to, or agreement on, a recommendation of optimal levels.  Both Dr Neville Wilson, (our scientific adviser Doctor) and I, suggest working towards a minimum of 80 nmol/L for vibrant health.  I was delighted that my last test, revealed a level of 104 nmol/L. A good healthy level. 

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