Last week at the doctor’s I was told I was stellar. My cholesterol panel was good and the kidney/liver functions were within normal limits. The blood pressure OK and the PSA was WNL. There was one blemish: my cholecalciferol level was subtherapeutic.  I have cholecalciferol deficiency syndrome, commonly called low Vitamin D.

Having a low Vitamin D level is a bit of an embarrassment. I keep a good diet and I live in the Valley of the Sun. So what the hey?

There are three main types of Vitamin D, of which D3, cholecalciferol, is the most important.  It is technically not a vitamin, for the body can make it. Exposure to sunshine causes the skin to convert cholesterol to a vitamin D precursor. This is sent to the liver for a modification then onto the kidneys for a final refinement. Once vitamin D3 is complete, it acts as a hormone to regulate the absorption of calcium into bone. Vitamin D probably does a lot of other things like cardiovascular health and prevention of cancer.

And I don’t have enough of the stuff.  The irony is we are all paranoid here in the Valley of the Sun about getting skin cancer from the perpetual sunshine. When we go out (if we go out at all) we dip ourselves in sunscreen.  So we don’t get enough sunshine to make Vitamin D. I can take a vitamin D supplement or I get some rays.

On the other hand, I am a bit dubious about ‘fixing’ this for I have enough training in nutrition to know it wasn’t too long ago when we were all taking Vitamin E only to find out this was either a waste of time or bad for us.  Vitamin D could follow the same fate.

But I am a good patient and will start to take some Vitamin D supplements.  When it is warm enough I hope to go outside ‘sky clad’ in order to get as much ratio of sun to skin as possible.

If anyone objects to my lying around sans clothes I will reply I am only taking my vitamins.