What is Vitamin D?
1a,25(OH)2-vitamin D3, the biologically active form of Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is essential to human health.  Vitamin D may be obtained through your diet, although you can also obtain this vitamin through sun exposure.
Sources of Vitamin D
Foods rich in this vitamin are fatty fish, eggs, cheese, and milk just to name a few sources. As we hear constantly in reports and on the news, the sun offers many benefits, yet significant side effects with exposure. Your body can convert sunlight that has made direct contact with your skin into vitamin D.
Vitamin D Benefits
The National Institute of Health went on to further say this: “However, despite the importance of the sun to vitamin D synthesis, it is prudent to limit exposure of skin to sunlight in order to lower the risk for skin cancer. When out in the sun for more than a few minutes, wear protective clothing and apply sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of 8 or more. Tanning beds also cause the skin to make vitamin D, but pose similar risks for skin cancer.”  
What if you’re not getting enough vitamin D? Why should you care you may ask? “Vitamin D deficiency is now recognized as a pandemic”.  Let’s take a quick look at what you risk if you’re deficient:
several bone diseases
more than a dozen types of internal cancers
type 1 diabetes mellitus
How would I Know if I’m Getting Enough?
So, the question is, “how would I go about knowing if I have been getting enough vitamin D?” A simple blood test from given by your qualified heath care provider that test for serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) can tell you how you currently stand.
If we quickly go back to sun exposure, we can ascertain through logical thought that individuals that reside in a sunny climate would naturally have higher vitamin D levels. This is correct, so it may be important for individuals who get little sun exposure to get this test annually. Current vitamin D requirements are being examined:
“The current vitamin D requirements in the United States are based on protection against bone diseases. These guidelines are being revised upward in light of new findings, especially for soft-tissue health. The consensus of scientific understanding appears to be that vitamin D deficiency is reached for serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) levels less than 20 ng/mL (50 nmol/L), insufficiency in the range from 20-32 ng/mL, and sufficiency in the range from 33-80 ng/mL, with normal in sunny countries 54-90 ng/mL” 
Sufficient Vitamin D Levels = More Testosterone?
For fitness enthusiasts, if I haven’t given you enough reasons why sufficient vitamin D is required for optimal health, did you know that sub-optimal levels of vitamin D could result in lower testosterone? A study from 2010 found the following:
“Men with sufficient 25(OH)D levels [vitamin D] (> or =30 microg/l) had significantly higher levels of testosterone and FAI [free androgen index] and significantly lower levels of SHBG [sex hormone binding-globulin] when compared to 25(OH)D insufficient (20-29.9 microg/l) and 25(OH)D-deficient (<20 microg/l) men (P < 0.05 for all). In linear regression analyses adjusted for possible confounders, we found significant associations of 25(OH)D levels with testosterone, FAI and SHBG levels (P < 0.05 for all).” 
Should we examine what optimal testosterone levels do for us:
optimal libido/sexual function
enhanced muscle mass
greater body composition
increase in quality of life
decrease in chance of cardiovascular disease
 Readers can also consider looking at other natural testosterone boosters listed on this site if they are interested in alternatives for a hormonal boost.
Sufficient vitamin D levels also may reduce your chance for various cancers, as noted above. A study done in 2008 from the University of Maine at Orono showed the following:
“An increasing body of research supports the hypothesis that the active form of vitamin D has significant, protective effects against the development of cancer. Epidemiological studies show an inverse association between sun exposure, serum levels of 25(OH)D, and intakes of vitamin D and risk of developing and/or surviving cancer.” 
With all of this positive news about vitamin D and what it can do to optimize your health, researchers are still conducting to research to see what an optimal amount of vitamin D per day is. Currently, the RDA for vitamin D is 600 IU.
Vitamin D plays a fundamental role in bone health. If you’re an unfortunate individual who currently has osteomalacia or osteoporosis, you should take note. Even for people who don’t have this issue, it’s essential that you understand what sort of risk you put yourself at if you’re deficient.
“Vitamin D deficiency is an unrecognized epidemic among both children and adults in the United States. Vitamin D deficiency not only causes rickets among children but also precipitates and exacerbates osteoporosis among adults and causes the painful bone disease osteomalacia.” 
“Vitamin D insufficiency and vitamin D deficiency is now being recognized as a major cause of metabolic bone disease in the elderly. Vitamin D deficiency not only causes osteomalacia but can exacerbate osteoporosis. It is generally accepted that an increase in calcium intake to 1000-1500 mg/d along with an adequate source of vitamin D of at least 400 IU/d is important for maintaining good bone health.” [7
Although this applies to anyone, women have probably been hearing about the need and importance of calcium for ideal health. Sometimes when you’re shopping (check below for PricePlow prices) around, you’ll see a supplement that combines calcium and vitamin D. That’s because it is crucial to calcium absorption in the intestines.
“The principal function of vitamin D in calcium homeostasis is to increase calcium absorption from the intestine. Calcium is absorbed by both an active transcellular pathway, which is energy dependent, and by a passive paracellular pathway through tight junctions.” 
Potential Side Effects of Vitamin D Supplements
Vitamin D is generally regarded as very safe to supplement. Most people will not get to toxic levels, but those mega-dosing it should know the warning alerts, as should the sick or elderly who are taking it.
The first signs of toxidity will result in nausea and vomiting, and then excess urination and thirst. Daytime fatigue is another symptom.
Blood pressure and blood sugar levels can be lowered, which could cause complications for diabetic or hypoglycemic users.
The biggest risks are for those who are already diagnosed with diseases such as hyperparathyroidism, sarcoidosis, tuberculosis, and/or kidney disease. As always, speak to a doctor before beginning any diet or supplementation program.
Best Vitamin D Supplement
When it comes to vitamins and minerals, we are big fans of NOW Foods. They have a massive selection, and provide high quality at low prices - exactly what we look for here on PricePlow.com!
As discussed, vitamin D is a crucial vitamin that is needed for your health and wellness. Vitamin D deficiency is currently being viewed a pandemic that has many implications. Bone diseases, muscle weakness, a dozen-plus internal cancers, multiple sclerosis, and type 1 diabetes mellitus are all side effects of having low levels. For the fitness enthusiasts, let’s also remember how crucial this supplement is for your androgen levels. The above topic points should be enough reason for individuals to monitor and potentially get their levels examined.
Author’s Note: This information is intended to supplement your knowledge, not to replace advice from your health care provider. Interactions between your current medications and the above topic are not noted, therefore never use supplements without approval from your health care provider.
1. Christakos S, Dhawan P, Porta A, Mady LJ, Seth T. Vitamin D and intestinal calcium absorption. 5 December 2011. 20 December 2012 .
2. Grant WB, Holick MF. Benefits and requirements of vitamin D for optimal health: a review. 10 June 2005. 20 December 2012 .
3. History of Vitamin D. November 2011. 20 December 2012 .
4. Holick MF, Chen TC. Vitamin D deficiency: a worldwide problem with health consequences. April 2008. 2012 December 2012 .
5. Ingraham BA, Bragdon B, Nohe A. Molecular basis of the potential of vitamin D to prevent cancer. 24 January 2009. 20 December 2012 .
6. MF, Holick. Sunlight and vitamin D for bone health and prevention of autoimmune diseases, cancers, and cardiovascular disease. December 2004. 20 December 2012.
7. Vitamin D an Bone Health. April 1996. 20 December 2012.
8. Nazem Bassil, Saad Alkaade, and John E Morley. The benefits and risks of testosterone replacement therapy: a review. 22 June 2009. 20 December 2012.
9. Vitamin D. 24 June 2011. 20 December 2012.
10. Vitamin D Health Professional. 24 June 2011. 20 December 2012.
11. Wehr E, Pilz S, Boehm BO, März W, Obermayer-Pietsch B. Association of vitamin D status with serum androgen levels in men. August 2010. 19 December 2012.
Where to Buy Vitamin D Cheap:
|Product Name||Size||Lowest Price||Main Ingredient / Dollar||Go to Cheapest Store|
|NOW Foods Vitamin D-3 5000 IU||120 Softgels||92449.92 IU of Vitamin D3 per dollar|
|NOW Foods Vitamin D-3 2000 IU||120 Softgels||50104.38 IU of Vitamin D3 per dollar|
|NOW Foods Vitamin D-3 400 IU||180 Softgels||18997.36 IU of Vitamin D3 per dollar|
|NOW Foods Vitamin D-3 & K-2 Vcaps||120 Capsules||17167.38 IU of Vitamin D3 per dollar|