Ruth Kriz on Vitamin D for Recurrent UTI

Ruth Kriz on Vitamin D for Recurrent UTI


It turns out that vitamin D, which everybody
has heard of, plays a very important role in your immune system and protecting your
bladder and helping to fight infections. It turns out the vitamin D causes the bladder
wall itself to secrete a substance called Cathelicidin and that Cathelicidin fights
bacterial infections. Vitamin D is also the reserve unit of the immune system and the
activated form, not the stored form, is so potent it can even kill Tuberculosis. Vitamin
D is the precursor of cortisol that your adrenals need to handle stress, and if you’re having
chronic infections you certainly experience a lot of pain and maybe disrupted sleep, and
there is a higher demand for cortisol for your adrenals. And also it’s the precursor
of progesterone, it helps balance your estrogen. Most of us are familiar with vitamin D with
helping to absorb calcium, and reduce osteoporosis. But for the immune system we want to not only
fight infection but also balance other immune markers. We get vitamin D from the sun but
because we are so conscious of using sunscreens, we’re actually blocking the vast majority
of production of vitamin D made by the skin. SPF15 sunscreen blocks production by 87%.
So our really only natural source is through the diet and mushrooms are the only food that
has vitamin D in it. So they add it to foods at the grocery store but one study showed
that up to 70% of the foods taken off the grocery store shelf claiming to have vitamin
D added to it really don’t have that amount on the label. So supplementing becomes the
main way in which we need to depend on additional vitamin D to help our bladders. There are lab tests to measure your vitamin D. The United States labs use the reference range of 30
to 100 as normal, however, there’s a problem with that because there are seasonal and geographic
variations. The further away from the equator you are, the less sun you get fewer months
of the year. And certainly in summer time you’re able to make more vitamin D than you
are in the winter time when the angle of the sun is so low. The one thing that I’ve recently
discovered is that when they did this normal reference range they did not exclude people
who have a vitamin D receptor mutation. And I think this is a huge problem for those with
chronic urinary tract infections. I’ve had over 125 patients do genetic testing for this
and so far 100% of them have come back with this particular mutation. So with the vitamin
D receptor mutation, even if you’re out in the sun, even if you’re getting plenty in
your diet, unless you’re supplementing your body will never have sufficient amounts of
vitamin D to help fight infection. So what do we do about this? Well, we need to supplement. There are two forms of vitamin D. The prescription form is vitamin D2. The one that’s available
over the counter is vitamin D3. And actually the vitamin D3 form is more bioavailable and
therefore a better choice. How do we take it? Most people use oral supplementation and
that works well for them. However, for some people they don’t absorb it well because of
GI issues or other problems, and it turns out that Patch MD, sells a vitamin D transdermal
patch which is very well tolerated with almost everyone. I have a few patients who need to
use the vitamin D injections once a week in order to get their levels up, and that’s another
alternative. So, how much do you take? Well, there’s a difference between a restorative dose when your levels are already low and a maintenance dose – what you need to keep
taking on a consistent basis to keep it in a healthy range. The restorative level is
10,000 a day for two to three months and the goal is to get your value over 50 if you’re
using a reference range of 30 to 100. And the maintenance level to keep it in that range
is generally 5,000 units a day for most people. I do have a few people who require more than
that, based on their genetics and their vitamin D receptor mutation involved. So conclusions. We know that low vitamin D levels do significantly contribute to chronic urinary tract infections
and keeping your levels between 50 and 80 is optimum for fighting and reducing the occurrences
of urinary tract infections. And a high percentage of those with chronic urinary tract infections
will need to supplement vitamin D the rest of their lives in order to stay healthy.

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