Vitamin D explained.

What is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is actually a hormone, not a vitamin, that the body produces when our skin is exposed to sunlight. “Vitamin D” is a group of fat-soluble secosteroids responsible for intestinal absorption of calcium and phosphate. In humans, the most important related compounds of vitamin D are vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) and vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol).

Although, not everyone lives in areas of sunshine year-round,  if you expose yourself to enough sunlight during spring and summer time, at least 30 minutes per day, your body should be able to store enough vitamin D in the liver for use during the colder months. But if you are concerned about Vitamin D deficiency you can take a blood test that will measure the levels in your blood.

Vitamin D Deficiency

According to many studies, some of the health problems associated (but not the main cause) with vitamin D deficiency are: flu, asthma, muscle weakness, Chronic Kidney disease, diabetes, periodontal disease, Psoriasis, cardiovascular disease, depression, and others. Note: Vitamin D supplementation will not cure these health issues.

Current Standards for Vitamin D Blood  Test (ng/ml)

Definitely deficient: 10 or less

Deficient: 19 or less

Insufficient: 20 to 29 (recent research says this level is Sufficient!)

Sufficient: 30 to 80

Excess: 81 to 199  and Toxic above 200

Why are so many doctors promoting vitamin D testing these days?

Because they elevated the standards, so that your levels will be found too low, with that their medical  business will benefit by increasing your visits to the doctor, more blood test and the pharmaceutical industry benefits by selling you supplements that you don’t need.

Based on the current standards of normal (30 ng/ml or more) – In U.S. 50 to 90% of children and adults are considered deficient in vitamin D. According to Dr. John McDougall recent scientific literature suggests that the level for normal of 30 ng/ml is exaggerated and should be lowered. He believes a level of 20 ng/ml or more is adequate and most children and adults meet this target.

What about taking Supplements? Are they effective?

Taking vitamin D supplement may increase the levels in your blood, but studies show that getting vitamin D from pills, fortified milk or orange juice (with added vitamin D) is not very effective at strengthening your bones or preventing health problems associated with vitamin D deficiency.

So, if you your levels are below 20 ng/ml – I would suggest to spend more time outside enjoying the sunshine and avoid using sunscreen. If  you have very sensitive skin and want to avoid sunburn –  try a natural nontoxic sunscreen. Or better: enjoy the sun in the morning or later in the afternoon.

> A diet rich in fruits, greens, some nuts and seeds will provide enough omega-3 that will help protect your skin against excess sun exposure.

Also, most of the supplements are synthetic and very few are made from whole foods. Synthetic vitamins and supplements are made possible by isolating some compound in nature that’s proven to be beneficial, creating a manufacturing process that pumps up its production, and then mass producing it and putting it in bottles.

So, how can these isolates (concentrated nutrient- either synthetic or made from whole food) work properly in your body if, nutrients work synergistically with hundreds of other compounds found in whole foods to create any health effects? Well, Isolates cannot efficiently work  in assisting the body when low in any vitamin/mineral. In the vitamin D case, the sun is your best friend. It’s free and feels good!

Notes:

> There are different kinds of vitamin D: D2 (ergocalciferol) and vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol) - D3 is not always vegan!

> I am not a big promoter of mushrooms but they can transform UV light into vitamin D! and 3oz of mushroom daily can provide as much vitamin D as supplements ! So, if you really need some extra vitamin D and don’t want to take supplements or too busy working that your time outside is limited, just add the best kind of mushrooms to your diet.

Dietary supplements can cause liver problems/disease in different ways:

  • Some are toxic to the liver and cause direct injury to the organ.
  • Others are transformed by the liver into toxic chemicals that can injure liver directly or indirectly.

References:

NaturalNews

The Starch Solution

Wikipedia

Dailymail