Vitamin D Spotlight
So maybe you have heard that many individuals that have fallen ill over this unprecedented time are deficient in vitamin D and maybe you heard other countries handing out vitamin D supplementation.
I for one am stoked that they are finally publicly talking about nutritional deficiencies!
BUT!! And this is a big but, it is misleading to blindly have every single person supplement with vitamin D…
- Do you know what your body’s vitamin D levels are? I’ll get into issues below.
- Do you know there is a vast array of quality in supplements on the market? This will make more sense as you read the mechanisms in the body below, but if we are consuming low quality supps that don’t do anything for us, our liver needs to process it (detoxify) and our body needs to eliminate it. If we have a struggling liver (detox issues, think skin issues) and we have sluggish bowels (not pooping at least daily) we are over burdening our bodies.
- Do you know too much vitamin D can lead to dysregulation of calcium within the body? Do you experience weak bones, calcium deposits within tissues or arteries, or kidney stones?
Let’s get into it – vitamin D is a nutrient as well as a hormone (it sends messages to communicate). It has roles in bone health, immunity, and calcium homeostasis.
Our primary source of vitamin D is the sun. So yes, a lifestyle of being inside a majority of the day and wearing sunblock when we go outdoors primes us for vitamin D deficiency. It can be found in our food but these are foods we have been told to minimize or avoid – fatty fish, animal liver, and egg yolks. Milk has been fortified with vitamin D but we still have vitamin D deficiency….weird….
No matter what form of vitamin D we get – whether it is from sun, food, or supplements – it is not in an active form that our body uses. All forms MUST GO through 2 CONVERSIONS within the body:
- If from the sun, the sun reacts with a molecule found in our skin to make pre-vitamin D3
- First conversion takes place in the liver to get calcidiol
- Second conversion takes place in the kidneys to get calcitroil – this is the ACTIVE HORMONE that we need for optimal health
- Both the first and second conversions require magnesium
I am stressing this because, it doesn’t matter if you take D2 or D3, if your liver and/or kidney function doesn’t work! So yes, shielding ourselves from the sun is one problem, but so is the fact that we live in a toxic swamp leaving our livers and kidneys struggling.
And how many of you are stressed AF? Stress depletes magnesium…
I’m not trying to add to the fear. But I think it is irresponsible to make generalized recommendations for the population when it needs to be addressed individually. It is time we take responsibility for our health so we can be healthy and handle hiccups.
When it comes to vitamin D recommendations, mine are below. Without further testing, I will never OK supplementation.
- Get a minimum of 15 minutes outside. No sunscreen or SPF clothing – naked is gold standard. No sunglasses (your eyes play a role!) The darker your skin, the more exposure to sun you need (mother nature is amazing and if you think about skin color and ancestrally where they are located, you see those that are closer the equator needed more protection as they are outside more. Those further away aren’t outside as much and need to get as much vitamin D as possible quickly). Download the DMinder app on your phone to tell you the prime time to get outside for most vitamin D impact
- Consume vitamin D food sources – fatty fish (sardines with the bones), animal liver, lard, and egg yolks. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, hence why you are seeing foods high in fat as the best sources! This also adds fuel to the fire, if you have been low-fat or non-fat, you not only are probably deficient but your liver is really struggling.
And if you suspect liver or kidney issues, let’s chat! Let’s do some testing to see what’s happening.