Solar D Gems 2,000 IU
We prefer this brand because ...
In our experience, Carlson Labs are experts in oil-based vitamin formulas, and their formulations are very reliable for containing exactly the doses described on their labels. We have had consistently excellent results with our patients' vitamin D3 blood levels and health improvements using Solar D Gems. The quality of a vitamin D3 formula matters a great deal: Studies show that over-the-counter brands may contain a fraction of the labelled amount of vitamin D3, and we have tracked patients whose blood levels plummeted using commercial brands. Solar D Gems also includes synergistic ingredients to maximize the absorption and stability of the vitamin D3. It has modest but useful amounts of omega-3 fats, sourced from pristine Norwegian cod liver oil: Omega-3 fatty acids in their own right add to the heart protection, mood support, and anti-inflammatory joint benefits that vitamin D3 brings. And because vitamin D3 is a fat-soluble nutrient, its absorption is enhanced in an oil base. Solar D Gems has one of the vitamin E family, d-alpha tocopherol in its natural form, as an antioxidant to preserve freshness, which is important for all oil-based supplements that have a shelf-life longer than six months. It contains natural lemon extract to counter the cod liver oil, and patients report that it is tasty to chew!
About vitamin D3
Vitamin D3 is technically a hormone, a substance made in the body that travels in the blood to regulate its target tissues, rather than a vitamin which is a nutrient essential for life that we cannot make and must ingest from our diets. However, we very often cannot make sufficient vitamin D of our own, so we generally need to take in supplemental amounts. Vitamin D is made in our skins when UVB ultraviolet light from sunshine converts 7-dehydro-cholesterol, a cholesterol derivative, into cholecalciferol. This can occur after minutes of sun exposure, but the cholecalciferol may only last for hours or a few days at most. But in northerly states there simply is not enough ultraviolet, because of the angle of the sun: We make only tiny amounts of vitamin D in our skins in the summer, with blood levels maybe increasing by only 5 points, and virtually nothing in Fall, winter or Spring. Sunscreen that blocks UVB prevents vitamin D formation. If sunlight is effective, cholecalciferol is transported to the liver where it is converted into 25-hydroxycholecalciferol, a prohormone which is five times more active than cholecalciferol. In the kidneys this becomes 1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol, which is ten times more effective than cholecalciferol, and the most potent form of vitamin D3. Liver or kidney disorders can impair the production of the most active vitamin D3 compounds. Vitamin D2 or ergocalciferol is made by plants, and is weaker, only about a third as effective for raising 25-hydroxycholecalciferol levels.
Vitamin D3 supplements are best absorbed when taken with a meal or snack including fat or oil, as D3 is a fat-soluble vitamin. Good fats in food stimulate bile acid, which D3 needs to be absorbed, as do vitamins A, E and K. Research at the Cleveland Clinic found that, at any dose, vitamin D3 reaches 50% higher blood levels when it is ingested with food. We recommend that patients take the same dose every day for four to six weeks before their blood levels reach a steady state when we test to measure levels, though larger doses large doses can be taken at one time, as vitamin D3 is slow-acting. Studies suggest that with each 100 IU of vitamin D3, the body's 25-hydroxyvitamin D will increase 1ng/mL on average.
Very importantly, there is no standard dose: Each person has an individual dose requirement that probably depends on absorption and how fast the clearance of vitamin D is. Our aim is to reach a blood level between 60 to 100 ng/mL. Recent research indicates that 70 to 85 may be ideal. The Vitamin D Council (VDC) is a non-profit organization of medical professionals and vitamin D researchers whose goal is to educate professionals and the public on the benefits of vitamin D and the risks associated with deficiency. The VDC recommends blood testing and dosing to achieve a level between 50 to 80 ng/mL. Lifeguards in south California, without sunscreen, reportedly have an average Vitamin D3 blood level of around 120ng/mL. Toxicity with blood levels of 350 or above is almost unheard of. It would mean taking about 50,000 IU a day for months before hypercalcemia (the initial manifestation of vitamin D toxicity) might occur. The one case we know of involved a family who took veterinary doses of D3. We start our patients with a modest dose of 2,000 or 4,000 IU daily, depending on how low their pre-treatment blood level was, then wait four to six weeks to test. If blood levels are still too low we increase the dose, and weeks later test again. The commonest doses people need are 4,000, 6,000 or 8,000IU daily, but some need only 2,000 IU to achieve excellent blood levels and others need 12,000 IU or more. Incidentally, the skin can produce around 10,000 IU of vitamin D with 30 minutes of southerly summer sun.
Vitamin D3 works by entering cells and attaching to vitamin D receptors, which are within the cell nuclei. Once vitamin D3 locks into its receptor, the combination stimulates the cell's DNA to produce proteins that have specific jobs. Intestinal cells produce proteins that greatly increase the transport and absorption of calcium into the bloodstream. Bone, kidney and parathyroid gland cells are activated by vitamin D3 to regulate calcium and phosphorus balance for bone health. Vitamin D receptors are present in the brain, heart, colon, skin, prostate and breast tissues; also in blood vessel linings (the endothelium), and the pancreas. Vitamin D activates macrophage white blood cells and other key immune cells, when it binds to its receptors, to become an immune booster. The human genome has more than 2,700 binding sites for active D3; these receptors are located near genes that are involved in virtually every known major disease of humans.
Rapidly increasing research reveals that vitamin D3 deficiency may affect half of the North American population, and could be the commonest medical condition in the world. This may underlie many chronic degenerative diseases, and accurate supplementation is can be a highly cost-effective and useful way to reduce disease and live longer. In 2008 researchers found that up to 40 percent of children aged eight months to two years are vitamin D deficient. An April 2014 study published in the flagship British Medical Journal analyzed the results of double-blind trials with more than a million people conducted through Harvard, Oxford and other leading universities. They found that low vitamin D3 blood levels were linked with a 35% increased risk of death from heart disease, 14% greater likelihood of death from cancer, and double the risk of developing cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, asthma, autoimmune diseases and multiple sclerosis. The researchers estimated that roughly 13% of all deaths in the United States could be attributed to low vitamin D levels. Other research determined that higher vitamin D3 levels may cut the risk of getting colon or prostate cancer by 50%, and that one-quarter of breast cancer deaths in northern European women may be attributed to inadequate vitamin D levels. Older people are at higher risk for vitamin D deficiency. They have less ability to form cholecalciferol in their skin with sunlight, may not absorb dietary vitamin D3 as well, and make less of the active 1,25 form because of reduced kidney function. Up to 40% of people over age 65 in South Florida are lacking vitamin D in their systems. Adults who took D3 had an 11% reduction in mortality from all causes. Only vitamin D3 had these effects, the D2 form had no benefit.
Because of its wide-ranging effects on many tissues and its actions as a prohormone building block for numerous critical metabolic functions, the list of clinical benefits for Vitamin D3 is long. For people with a blood level of 60 to 100, the chances of developing breast cancer may be reduced by as much as 60% according to some studies, though other results contradict that, and colon and prostate cancer rates are notably lower. Cell studies show that vitamin D3 enhances normal cell development and appropriate cell lifespan, and lowers abnormal cell invasion and angiogenesis blood vessel formation. Vitamin D3 is an immune activator, it can cut the number of winter colds and flus, and a brief booster dose may clear a respiratory infection in days. For asthma, people with vitamin D3 deficiency are more likely to suffer asthma symptoms, and for children healthy vitamin D3 supplementation is linked with fewer asthma attacks. It appears that vitamin D3 reduces the influx of inflammatory cytokines in the lungs, boosts lung immune responses, and calm excessive cell cycling and hyperplasia. Vitamin D3 may help asthma medicines work better, so that lower doses can be used. Vitamin D3 has potent anti-inflammatory actions and reduces the risk for autoimmune joint disorders: it appears to normalize immune T cells, B cells, macrophages, dendritic cells, and keratinocytes, and to reduce the immune system's over-reaction to antigens. Research indicates that higher vitamin D3 intake from foods or supplements lowers the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. Vitamin D can also retard the progress of osteoarthritis, from wear and tear. Psoriasis can benefit from vitamin D3, especially used as a skin cream. Vaginal atrophy during menopause is also helped by vitamin D3 taken for at least one year, which improves the surface of the vaginal wall.
For heart disease, there is some indication that vitamin D3 may reduce the chance of a heart attack. Studies show that taking vitamin D3 can reduce arterial blood pressure by relaxing the tiny muscles in arteries through its effect on calcium flux. It can benefit vascular cells by reducing inflammation and atheroma, and reducing calcification, and improving blood sugar levels. Because vitamin D3 is kidney-protective, it calms the release of renin, angiotensin and aldosterone, which then helps lower blood pressure. Echocardiograms have found that with heart failure, men with deficiency of vitamin D3 have worse left ventricular enlargement. Diabetes risk is significantly lower for people with ample vitamin D3 levels. If a pregnant woman has sufficient vitamin D3 in her body, her baby is less likely to develop diabetes during its life. Infants who receive vitamin D3 also have less chance of type 1 diabetes later. Human research on type 2 diabetes shows that taking vitamin D3 may improve insulin secretion and reduce insulin resistance.
Vitamin D3 is an important mood supporter. Many of our patients notice feeling more cheery especially during the dark winter months. Low vitamin D3 is linked with depression, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and premenstrual syndrome. There are vitamin D3 receptors in the brain and nervous system, and vitamin D3 may stabilize the body's natural cortisol levels. This may contribute to its role for supporting ideal weight too: research has found that vitamin D3 deficiency is linked with a greater risk of obesity, and that people with good D3 levels can more easily lose weight and keep it off. Also mothers who take vitamin D3 supplements during pregnancy are less at risk for delivering a low birth weight infant. Vitamin D3 is key for children to maintain a normal weight; any nutritional deficiencies slow the metabolism. Research at the University of Texas with 12,000 American children aged six to eighteen discovered that 49% of obese children had vitamin D3 deficiency, compared to 21% with a healthy weight. Neurological benefits were some of the earliest noticed for vitamin D3: in 2006 Harvard reported that multiple sclerosis patients had exceptionally low vitamin D3 blood levels. Then in 2009 researchers from Oxford University in England and the University of British Columbia established a genetic link: vitamin D3 binds to a specific gene that can then function normally, but without enough D3 this gene reacts aberrantly to increase production of T-cells which mistakenly attack myelin around nerve cells. Subsequent studies found that taking ample amounts may reduce the risk of developing multiple sclerosis by as much as 40%, and there may be a protective role for Parkinson's too.
For bone density, adequate vitamin D3 is a necessity. It increases calcium uptake from the digestive tract, and helps direct calcium from the blood to the bones. Clinical reviews confirm that vitamin D3, with or without calcium, improves the quality and quantity of bone, and helps prevent fractures. The vitamin D3 receptor gene in bone cells helps regulate bone density, and normalize N-telopeptide and alkaline phosphatase. Vitamin D3 also helps osteomalacia which is softening of the bones related to liver and kidney disorders, medications or malabsorption, and it can prevent and maybe reverse bone loss caused by long-term steroid use. It further helps to reduce fracture risk by apparently improving muscle strength and balance: better neuromuscular control and faster muscle responses lead to improved physical performance. Vitamin D3 attaches to a range of genetic and other receptors in muscle cells, and is the cure for rickets.
1 capsule provides: Vitamin D3 as cholecalciferol 2,000 IU; Vitamin E (natural d-alpha tocopherol) 1 IU as an antioxidant to protect freshness; Vitamin A 90 IU from cod liver oil; Norwegian cod liver oil 500mg. including 115mg. omega-3 fatty acids, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) 50mg, EPA (eicosapentanoic acid) 42mg; other omega 3 oils 23mg.
Other Ingredients: Natural lemon flavor, soft gel of gelatin, glycerin, sorbitol, water. Contains fish (cod).
Free of: - This product does Not contain: artificial coloring, artificial flavoring, preservatives, parabens, gluten, dairy, corn, shellfish, egg, salt, sugar, soy, wheat, yeast. Contains ingredients from beef and cod.
Always take natural remedies under the supervision of your health care provider. Do not use Solar D Gems' without consulting your physician if you have kidney disease, high blood calcium levels, hardening of the arteries or atherosclerosis, sarcoidosis, histoplasmosis, an overactive parathyroid condition (hyperparathyroidism), or lymphoma as vitamin D3 can affect calcium levels. Do not use Solar D Gems' without the advice of your healthcare professional if you take diltiazem, Cardizem, or verapamil as changes in calcium levels may affect heart rhythm. Vitamin D is likely to be safe during pregnancy and breast-feeding, only at daily doses that maintain normal blood levels, which should be regularly checked by your physician; excessive doses may risk harm to the infant.
Benefits of Consistency
“With the right vitamins, herbs and foods, your health can continue to improve over time, as vibrant new tissues replace old cells. Our patients often feel increasing vitality as medical tests get better and better, year after year.”
- Dr. Rachelle Herdman