I hope you are all catching some of the sunshine whilst it is out here in England…
So the last week in the various forms of media from social media, to radio to national and international newspapers, Vitamin D has made a huge appearance. The general advise is take Vitamin D as it is such an important vitamin involved in a plethora of functions within the body.
So what are the benefits of Vitamin D? Well the list is pretty endless as newer and newer biochemical processes are being discovered that involve Vitamin D. Some of these benefits are…..
Strong and healthy bones
Reduction of all manner of cardiovascular health issues from reducing heart disease, atherosclerosis, blood pressure
Reduction of strokes
Prevention of auto-immune conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, Grave’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis
Boosting various biochemical processes in the body as it improves DNA repair
Helps fight infections
As you can see the benefits of Vitamin D are vast, so we can all understand why this specific vitamin is important and making a show in the media.
However and there is always a however, vitamin D is not a vitamin it is a hormone and just supplementing with vitamin D is not the answer. If anything it can be detrimental in the long term.
Before rushing off to your GP or the health food store or anywhere for that matter to pick up some Vitamin D supplements…let us just consider a few things about Vitamin D….
Vitamin D is a hormone
Vitamin D is mainly made from our skin being exposed to sun light
Vitamin D was never a vitamin
Vitamin D is what was is called a fat soluble vitamin like A, E and K
Vitamin D ALONE does NOthing of benefit.
So this leads to the question why is it being recommended as a supplement? Well like any other vitamin or mineral that is found to have so many health benefits, various companies will have a financial interest in turning these vital health nutrients into pills. Just like magnesium….if you have missed the magnesium craze then you have not been ‘present’. What most of the companies as well as health professionals recommending them do not know is that each mineral or vitamin does not act alone. Give one nutrient on it’s own it will eventually impact another and another creating chaos within the body in other words chronic health issues.
Did you know Vitamin D requires the minerals magnesium and boron and the vitamin, vitamin K to do what it needs to? ..have you ever looked at a vitamin D supplement bottle ingredients? ..if not, have a look
Vitamin D in supplement form usually comes in a version called D3. I do not want to go into the chemical jargon of this D3 structure but to get the information out in a non-complicated manner with valuable health information I will add that Vitamin D3 is NOT the active form that your body uses.
Vitamin D3 is made by the action of sunlight on our skin that acts on 7 dehydro-cholesterol. Yes, yes …I did type cholesterol, it was not a mistake. Cholesterol is critical for healthy levels of vitamin D. If you are on statins or on any cholesterol lowering medication then your vitamin D is going to be an issue…so bone health will be the least of your worries. Can you see the link? Cholesterol lowering medications can in an indirect way impact bone health amongst other things …these are known as side effects.
Remember the days when they said ‘saturated fat is bad for you?’ and now all has been forgiven and saturated fat is no longer the enemy…well the same will happen with Vitamin D…right now it is being pushed as a supplement but give it a couple of decades there will be a U-turn and everyone will be advised to get out in the sun and get their vitamin D dose.
Ok getting back to the activation of Vitamin D3….this D3 once partially activated by sunlight then must be activated by the help of our liver and kidneys…
The liver converts D3 to 25 hydroxy vitamin D3 (aka calcidiol also the storage form) and then the kidneys go onto convert the liver bi-products to 1, 25 dihydroxy vitamin D3 (aka calcitriol). So in other words you need a happy liver and healthy kidneys to carry out the activation of Vitamin D. ……
Many people have over burdened livers and kidneys that are not flushed enough with good quality water…so get drinking good quality water and support the loyal liver by feeding it good herbal teas and avoiding toxins such as caffeine, alcohol and sugar. …they don’t call me a ‘joy killer’ for nothing.
Now the 1, 25 dihyroxy Vitamin D3 is the actual HORMONE! ….remember I mentioned D3 is the pro-hormone…in other words, the precursor to a hormone…well it basically waits to become the di-hydroxy version to be able to do it’s job.
So once we have this active version of Vitamin D…..it can then go onto carry out it’s various functions which have all been mentioned at the beginning of the post.
I will share with you how you can increase your Vitamin D without creating the severe imbalances in other minerals and systems. For example, supplementing with Vitamin D can increase calcium in places where you do not want it such as in the kidneys and heart tissue, this is known as calcification. Vitamin D supplementation can also slow down the thyroid…..more to come in the next blog. Until then, catch the rays and stay informed not mis-informed.