(Health Secrets) Vitamin D3 is the type of vitamin D most readily useable by humans. It has been heavily documented as an immune regulator that helps prevent many ailments, from colds to cancer. Vitamin D is considered safe at high doses and is an inexpensive and highly effective form of disease prevention. A high blood level of vitamin D can also curb a cytokine storm, which is often an over reaction of the immune system from vaccinations. Cytokine storms actually feed on the nervous system instead of attacking pathogens, and the results range from convulsions to paralysis and even autism.
According to integrative physician Dr. Frank Lipman, “Vitamin D’s active form can interact with almost every cell in the body directly or indirectly, targeting up to two thousand genes, or about six percent of the human genome. Vitamin D is necessary for numerous cellular functions, and when the body does not have what it needs to function optimally, it follows that we experience a decline in health and put ourselves at risk of disease. We now know that almost every cell and tissue in our body has Vitamin D receptors, which raises the question: Why would those receptors be there if they didn’t have a function?”
Almost all humans are deficient in vitamin D3. Those who inhabit regions of long darkness or cloudiness are the most deficient. Vitamin D3 is manufactured from direct sunlight in our exposed skin, with help from the liver and kidneys. Direct sunlight means no glass between the sun and you. Glass lets only the sun’s UVA rays come through. UVA rays are much greater dangers for sunburn and cancer than the UVB rays that promote Vitamin D3 production.
Vitamin D is stored in the body, so if you spend lots of time in the summer sun, you may have enough to make it through the darker months. The main problem is that most of us are not getting enough sun on our exposed bodies, without sun screens, often enough. In this case, to get up to what our bodies need for preventing major and minor disease, we probably need to supplement. There’s where the controversy lies.
Bogus Dangers of D3 Supplement Toxicity
Up until quite recently, the word in nutritional circles was that D3 supplements taken in large doses could lead to hypercalcemia, too much calcium in the blood that’s not going into bone building. Hypercalcemia at low levels can be without symptoms, but if extreme enough may cause cardiac arrest. However, early stages of hypercalcemia produce enough discomfort to notice if you’re taking too high a dose of vitamin D3: nausea, headaches, vertigo, lethargy and aches and pains.
Throughout medical circles, it’s recognized that the body’s inherent ability to reduce vitamin D3 production from sunlight exposure when needed inhibits D3 toxicity. But the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB), a division of the Institute of Medicine produced a report that claimed supplemental amounts over 10,000 IU/day would lead to hypercalcemia toxicity. From that, the toxic overdose rumors about D3 supplements created a stir.
Meanwhile, the FNB and the FDA still stick to their 600 IU/day required dosage for adults. This daily amount will not come anywhere close to getting most of humanity up to normal blood levels of vitamin D3. When looking at these guildelines, one wonders how much these organizations prefer treatment to prevention. There’s not much profit for the medical establishment with D3 as a preventer of disease.
Fortunately, the FNB toxicity report has been proven to be bogus and it turns out that Vitamin D is considered safe at high doses. The test procedure for the original faulty study was questionable, and the only thing that could be reported with accuracy was that calcium levels were increased somewhat in some cases of 20,000 IU/day of D3 consumption. Evidently, there was not enough increased blood calcium to cause any real concern. But that didn’t stop the FNB from sounding a toxicity alarm and maintaining their low dosage recommendation.
More recent independent research has determined that even up to 40,000 IU/day (international units) of supplemental doses of D3 shouldn’t be a problem. The recent study was done by Anthony Norman, Professor of Biochemistry & Biomedical Sciences Emeritus University of California Riverside. Here’s how he concluded his abstract: “Conclusion: Universal intake of up to 40,000 IU vitamin D per day is unlikely to result in vitamin D toxicity.”
Just about any health practitioner who knows the advantages of vitamin D3 compared to its rampant deficiency will advise taking 5,000 to 10,000 IU/day (250 micrograms) for three months. Then getting a blood test to determine where the D3 blood levels are and adjust the dosage accordingly. Blood testing needs to show D3 levels of 50 to 80 ng/mL. Most people are deficient, especially in the darker months, and have readings well below 50, even below 25.
Just as the body shuts down D3 production from the sun as the blood levels go to where they should be, Professor Norman discovered there is an inverse D3 production when taking vitamin D3 supplements. Taking 1000 IU/day for someone who has very low blood levels of vitamin D3 produces more of an increase in those blood levels than if someone who has higher levels takes that 1000 IU/day. So as one approaches the 50 to 80ng/mL zone, there is a diminishing return from the D3 supplements taken. One has to take an incredible amount more to get past that blood level zone and into danger.
Supplements vs. Sun
First of all, vitamin D3 is unique. It’s not really a vitamin. It behaves more like a steroid hormone. The sun converts 7-dehydrocholesterol in our skin to previtamin D3, which is converted by the liver and kidneys into the hormone calcitriol, the active form of vitamin D3.Then there is the argument that one should shun supplements in favor of direct sunlight to exposed skin.
Outdoor tennis players or sun worshipers without day jobs can do that easily, if they live in a warm, sunny region. But very few of us fall into that category. There are tanning beds that produce only UVB rays. They work to produce D3, but not everyone has access or time for tanning beds four or more times per week. The limited food sources of vitamin D, primarily dairy and wild fatty fish, demand way too much constant consumption to get even near the 50 to 80 ng/mL zone.
So really, if you want to make sure you get the protection from vitamin D3 that everyone needs in our toxic environment, supplementing is the way to go along with some time spent in the sun without sunscreen. When you take a high quality vitamin D supplement, you are taking the active D3, or the hormone calcitriol, thus bypassing the sun and skin procedure.
It’s wise to take vitamin D3 supplements with your biggest meal that contains some fat, which includes olive oil or butter. Studies have shown up to a 50% increase in vitamin D3 absorption taken this way. Remember, the diminishing curve of effectiveness, even with D3 supplements, makes it almost impossible to OD on Vitamin D.
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