Thursday, May 24, 2018

Vitamin D | What a Surprise

It's not really a vitamin.  More correctly it is a PRO hormone.

Did you know?  Vitamin D3 is essential for higher animals.  Normally the skin produces D3 photochemically.  Hint: that means it needs the sun. 

NO Vitamin D is produced by the body from fall to spring in latitudes north of 35 degrees. (Los Angeles, CA to Charlotte, NC) - the part of the year when the sun's rays are at an acute angle to the earth.

In addition, very little Vitamin D is produced in latitudes below 35 degrees in individuals who are sedentary and do not have adequate skin exposure to the sun.  As you know, most people cover every inch of skin with anti sun (sunscreen), wear hats, long sleeves and long pants.
Did you know?  older skin makes very little Vitamin D from the sun.

Recently I have found studies reviewing Vitamin D3 levels in Finland (The Big Vitamin D Mistake), and another in Denmark (Modulation of the sympathetic nervous system in youngsters by vitamin D supplementation)- 2 countries we know lack sun a good part of the year.

The Vitamin D Mistake concludes that we need MUCH more D3 than has been recommended for years - more like 8000 IUs.

The Denmark study is very technical, but i was able to glean some interesting facts.   The authors start by connecting circulating vitamin d levels to heart failure (we have known about its benefits for the heart for over 30 years) and showing a relationship with autonomous nervous system in healthy youngsters.

They began by assessing  25-hydroxyVitaminD levels, assigning some subjects to a group with low levels and a group with normal levels.  I figured out that the 10 ug tablet (with calcium) 3x per day was the same as 1200 IU per day.  What was interesting is that the group with 'normal' D3 levels did not change much with supplementation.  The group that was sub normal did respond well, but after 6 months they had not yet reached the level of the 'normal' group.  I am summarizing and simplifying, so please forgive errors.  The point is, that reinforces the information from the Finland study - perhaps much more Vitamin D is necessary for health.

Normal levels per Horrobin and the Vitamin D Council

What is Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) good for?

  • Vitamin D is used for the prevention and mitigation of viral infections including upper respiratory infections and influenza
  • Vitamin D supplementation reduces systolic and diastolic blood pressure
  • Additional benefits include bone and prostate health
  • Chronic pain is often caused (or made worse) by low vitamin D levels in the body
  • Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is the natural vitamin D found in the human body.
  • In another study Vitamin D3 was used to treat shingles
  • Another study shows Vitamin D3 arms t-Cells 
  • Vitamin D, in conjunction with Parathyroid Hormone (PTH), regulates blood Calcium (Ca) and bone mineralization. It also stimulates the release of prolactin and growth hormone from the pituitary.

General Information: 

    Vitamin D3, or cholecalciferol, is produced by the action of ultra violet light (UVB3) in the skin of humans and other vertebrates. Vitamin D2, or ergocalciferol, is derived from plants and fungi. These forms (D2 and D3) are metabolized similarly in humans.  However, it is very important to supplement with Vitamin D3 because presently there is no accurate way of measuring Vitamin D blood levels when D2 is used.  UVB3 rays do not penetrate the atmosphere in late fall, winter, and early spring.  As a consequence, NO Vitamin D is produced by the body at these times in latitudes north of 35 degrees. (Los Angeles, CA to Charlotte, NC)  In addition, very little Vitamin D is produced in latitudes below 35 degrees in individuals who are sedentary and do not have adequate skin exposure to the sun.  In addition, older skin poorly converts sunlight to vitamin D in the body.

Uses for Vitamin D:

    Studies have shown that higher Vitamin D levels are protective against viral infections, including upper respiratory infections and influenza.  Flare ups of COPD and Pneumonia are less common if vitamin D levels are in a higher range.  Vitamin D3 can be used at 11,000 IU per day for 7 to 10 days in the event of upper respiratory bacterial or viral infections, including influenza.

    Gastrointestinal disorders of mixing and fat emulsification, decreased transit time, and fat malabsorption reduce vitamin D absorption.  We recommend daily doses that overcome these problems.  Adults in the US typically consume only 100 to 150  IU of vitamin D daily. Thinning of the skin and reduced sun exposure may contribute to decreased vitamin D3 production in the elderly. For these reasons.

    Vitamin D is used for the prevention or slowing of osteoporosis, the correction of hypocalcemia secondary to hypoparathyroidism, and prevention of hypovitaminosis D.  Use Vitamin D for any medical procedure or medication that decreases bowel transit time.  Vitamin D insufficiency has been implicated in prostate, breast and 11 other types of cancer.  Some of the conditions that Vitamin D plays a key role in preventing or helping are hypertension, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic pain and other autoimmune problems.

Vitamin D and chronic pain.  The Mayo clinic has reported a correlation between vitamin D levels and the amount of narcotic medication by patients with chronic pain.  The CDC reports that chronic pain is the leading cause of disability in the US.
Get your Vitamin D HERE:  Vitamin D3 5000 .
The Related Products tab lists other Vitamin D product options.

More Information:

The UV Advantage and
The Vitamin D Solution, by Michael Hollick, MD
Vitamin D Council,