It is only within the last few years that the important role Vitamin D plays has been researched and recognized.
Here are some facts regarding “Vitamin D” which is actually a hormone as opposed to a vitamin.
* Vitamin D, also called Calciferol, is a fat-soluble vitamin which means it is found primarily in animal fat. Unlike other vitamins that must be obtained solely through supplements or diet, vitamin D is manufactured in the body when sunlight comes in contact with the skin.
Here is a short list of what Vitamin D is responsible for.
- Vitamin D is responsible for regulating over 800+ genes in the body!
- It is a known fact that Vitamin D 25- Hydroxy levels lower than 15 will lead to many varieties of Cancer especially Colon Cancer
- Vitamin D deficiency was responsible for older patients losing their balance and falling. Two studies, one from the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society and the other in Pharmaco Economics support this theory
- .Low Vitamin D associated with age related cognitive decline, dementia and Alzheimers. In a new study published earlier this month in JAMA Neurology, researchers demonstrated a significant association between vitamin D insufficiency and cognitive decline that is specifically seen in Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. The results reinforce the importance of identifying vitamin D insufficiency among the elderly. Here, low vitamin D levels were associated with significantly faster rates of decline in memory and executive function performance..
- Vitamin D has historically been used to treat Low Blood Pressure as there appears to be a correlation between blood pressure and low blood calcium levels and Vitamin D is directly responsible for where calcium should be and should not be.
- Vitamin D is vital for bone growth and repair, especially in children and the elderly. Calcium and phosphorous levels in the blood stream are maintained by vitamin D. Vitamin D assists in the absorption of these important nutrients during digestion. This role in calcium and phosphorous absorption makes vitamin D an important part of bone growth and maintenance; and liver and kidney health Vitamin D also contributes to the function on the thyroid gland and to the immune system.
*The vast majority of the vitamin D used in the human body is manufactured in the skin. When vitamin D is consumed it is absorbed into the blood stream from the intestines with the help of bile. From the intestines Vitamin D is transported to the liver where it may be stored or used by the body. The daily Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of vitamin D is 400 IU’s for an average adult man/woman.
Why suddenly is everyone Vitamin D deficient?
- Not eating the foods high in Vitamin D which include fish liver oil, egg yolks, butter and cod liver oil. Vitamin D which naturally exists in milk is destroyed during the pasteurization process making it necessary to replace the naturally occurring Vitamin D that once was in the milk with synthetic Vitamin D which the body cannot utilize
- Not enough sun exposure due to fear that the sun causes cancer when in fact that is not the case. Poor diet is!
- Actually, it may not be a deficiency of Vitamin D atoll, but a deficiency of Vitamin F, Vitamin D’s antagonist. Vitamin D picks up calcium from the gut and puts it into the blood. Vitamin F takes it from the blood and puts it into the tissues.
How to Optimize Vitamin D?
- To optimize your levels, you need to expose large portions of your skin, such as your back, chest, legs, and arms, to sensible sun exposure. And, contrary to popular belief, the best time to be in the sun for vitamin D production is actually as near to solar noon as possible.
- During this time you need the shortest exposure time to produce vitamin D because UVB rays are most intense at this time. Plus, when the sun goes down toward the horizon, the UVB is filtered out much more than the dangerous UVA.
- Just be cautious about the length of your exposure. You only need enough exposure to have your skin turn the lightest shade of pink. Once you reach this point your body will not make any additional vitamin D due to its self-regulating mechanism. Any additional exposure will only cause harm and damage to your skin.
Vitamin D is important, but as we know, it is not the only key player. It is also important to assess calcium, magnesium, vitamin K2, and other trace minerals for deficiencies and support accordingly. There are several labs that can assess RBC minerals and fat-soluble vitamins.
What about Vitamin F–I never heard of this vitamin before?
- Vitamin F is a source of essential polyunsaturated fatty acids which are needed to transport calcium from the blood to the tissues.
- It contains Linolenic and Linoleic Acids which the liver will convert to Arachidonic Acid. Arachidonic acid is the only form of polyunsaturated fat that can be utilized by the body.
- It does not exist in vegetable oil—only in fat meat and butter—not margarine.
- Because polyunsaturated fats reduce blood-cholesterol levels, they are much preferred over saturated fats.
D without F will cause the blood calcium level to increase at the expense of the tissue calcium level because Vitamin D not only picks up calcium from the gut in a deficiency of F, it brings calcium from the tissues back into the bloodstream and then targets the additional D to be stored by the Liver.
Vitamin F Deficiency results in or plays a major role in the following conditions::
* Hives *Dry Skin
* Itchy Skin *Muscle Cramps (Charley Horse)
* Canker Sores (Herpes) *Sun Poisoning
* Hypothyroidism *Sun Sensitivity
* Ridged Nails *Heat Prostration
* Poor Hair Quality *Prostate Problems
In my practice, I often recommend a blood test called Vitamin D 25-Hydroxy to determine the blood levels of Vitamin D.. Once the blood Vitamin D levels are determined, I may recommend specific supplements;hopefully on a short rather than long term basis. I do not want my patients to stay on supplements forever, and prefer they increase their D levels using foods and the sun.
Note: Because vitamin D is stored in the body (in the liver), it can be toxic if taken in excess quantities. Vitamin D doses of three of four times the RDA may result in nausea, excessive thirst, confusion, heart rhythm abnormalities, weakness and headaches. Vitamin D is also known to interfere with certain medications including steroids and some seizure drugs. Point being do not take Vitamin D because it is a new fad–see a health care provider that knows what they’re doing, get the lab test and correct appropriately
There is a lot of chatter going on regarding Vitamin D. For further information on the subject, feel free to contact me at [email protected] or 619-231-1778