The Vitamin D Scam: Yes, “D” is vital to health but …

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… not when it is taken in the way it is formulated, manufactured and processed, and recommended by the nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industries.

To where has good ole fashioned common sense fled? When did the ability to utilize the human faculty of reason flee the field of health and wellness?

The current marketing blitz, regarding the necessity of adequate vitamin D levels in the maintenance of optimal health, has been quite effective. It has made people more aware of the need to get out in the sun on a regular basis, truly the best way to stimulate vitamin D production. Especially during these days when sun-starved people stay sequestered in their homes, businesses and autos, and when many do not have sufficient intake of vitamin D-rich foods (which are both numerous and diverse), is this message both timely and important.

The medical advice, which has been routinely dispensed encouraging people to stay away from the ‘deleterious’ rays of the sun, has had a truly profound effect on our community health. The entire medical establishment has done an incredible disservice scaring people away from sun exposure with the threat of skin cancer, and into the sunscreen marketplace, haven’t they?!  

So, here’s another way we can all take back our power — BIG time!

Without question the very best way for the human body to receive its daily vitamin D requirement is through exposure to the sun, which then stimulates its production in the skin. The Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University has this posted at their “Micronutrient Center”:

“Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is essential for maintaining normal calcium metabolism (1). Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) can be synthesized by humans in the skin upon exposure to ultraviolet-B (UVB) radiation from sunlight, or it can be obtained from the diet. Plants synthesize ergosterol, which is converted to vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) by ultraviolet light (2). When exposure to UVB radiation is insufficient for the synthesis of adequate amounts of vitamin D3 in the skin, adequate intake of vitamin D from the diet is essential for health.”

The key point here is that the sun’s interaction with the upper epidermal layers of the skin is by far the best source of vitamin D [production] for the human body. The following statements from ehow.com health ought to be considered the voice of reason is this raging debate about how to effectively maintain a sufficient daily dosage of vitamin D.

Sunlight Is The Answer!

SOURCE: ehow.com

The Vegan Society also has this to say about some unknown aspects of this very weighty health issue.

“The most significant supply of vitamin D (for omnivores as well as vegans) comes from the action of ultra-violet B light on sterols in the skin. Most people, including infants require little or no extra from food when regularly exposed to sunlight when the sun is high in the sky. Bright sunlight is not necessary; even the sky shine on a cloudy summer day will stimulate formation of some D in the skin, while a short summer holiday in the open air will increase blood levels of the vitamin by two or three times the amount.”

Now that we have established that the best ways of guaranteeing proper intake (and uptake) of vitamin D is through exposure to the sun (and not necessarily to the direct rays of the sun), let’s talk about some major misconceptions about this issue. Especially all this talk about the fabricated necessity of eating flesh products and supplementing with vitamin D on a regular basis.

The human body has much more capability than what it is given credit for. When fed organic, fresh, locally grown, nutritious food, the body has the innate capacity to synthesize many of the essential nutrients that are required for a strong and healthy body.  It also possesses the capability of transmutation of substances, but that’s another story, for another session.

Vitamin D Toxicity

Certainly more is not better in this raging debate on vitamin D. As a matter of fact – scientific fact – more can be quite harmful because vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. Therefore, the way that it is metabolized is significantly different than water-soluble vitamins like vitamin C, which pass through the body quite easily. Here’s a short description of this potential problem from LIVESTRONG.COM.

“Your body has an unlimited ability to store the fat-soluble vitamins, A, D, E and K. This ability can be extremely beneficial if your dietary intake of any of these vitamins falls short. If you regularly consume high amounts of a specific vitamin or take a vitamin supplement, however, the ability to store fat-soluble vitamins may lead to a dangerous condition called a vitamin toxicity.”

“Hypervitaminosis D is a toxic condition that occurs as a result of consuming too much vitamin D. The University of Maryland Medical Center notes that this condition is most often caused by consuming prescription forms of vitamin D supplements. Those with hypervitaminosis D may experience constipation, decreased appetite, dehydration, fatigue, vomiting, muscle weakness and irritability. Mild to moderate forms of hypervitaminosis D can usually be reversed with the cessation of vitamin D supplements. More severe forms may require medical intervention. If left untreated, hypervitaminosis D can lead to kidney damage, kidney stones, high blood calcium and severe dehydration.”

You may want to read more at http://www.livestrong.com/article/390874-the-toxicity-of-fat-soluble-vitamins/#ixzz1tWeZ24Mw

Let’s consult PubMed regarding this much more serious case of Hypervitaminosis D, which occurs when vitamin D levels have become severely toxic.  It has been scientifically determined that this condition causes “abnormally high levels of calcium in the blood. This can severely damage the bones, soft tissues, and kidneys over time.” [1]  The real unspoken problem about this state of affairs is what may result when the blood levels of calcium are sustained over long periods of time. Please read the following exposition to understand the potential problems associated with this highly consequential mineral imbalance.

OVER-COMPENSATION: Are you breaking a basic law of healing?

The real problem, which we see developing in the real world with real people, is that many individuals are dealing with a greatly impaired digestive capacity. This includes such conditions as leaky gut, intestinal dysbiosis, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), celiac sprue disease, diverticulosis, diverticulitis, spastic colon, insufficient HCL production, compromised enzyme secretions, etc. All of these lead to compromised digestion which can translate to additional problems when people indiscrimately supplement with fat soluble vitamins like “D”. Simply put, when they are not properly digested, they can end up being treated like a foreign invader often causing allergic reactions, hyper-reactivity symptoms, various levels of intolerance and different types of sensitivity.

Fat soluble vitamins (synthetic isolates, that is) already have a reputation for causing serious problems because they have the characteristic of over-accumulating in certain tissues like the liver. Particularly when over-dosing over longer periods time, which many are now doing with their daily supplement regimes, do various ailments start to emerge.

Dr. Norman Childers alerted the world to this looming health crisis.

Dr. Norman Childers from the Arthritis Nightshades Research Foundation has also studied the problem of over-ingestion of D3 and has noted the following:
“In our early work, arthritic cooperators were warned against excess intake of vitamin D3 (ten times more active than vitamin D) from consumption and use of nightshades- potato, tomato, eggplant, tobacco, and peppers of all kinds except black pepper (another plant family, Piperaceae).”

Dr. Childers goes on to tell us that:
“In fact, D3 at 0.075% is used as a ration, “True Grit Rampage,” to poison the hardest-to-kill Northern Rat better than Warafin. The problem is that modern nutritionists are not aware of the D3 in nightshades naturally. The food nightshades often make up a fourth of our plates. The D3 can cause osteo-like arthritis in livestock as discussed with photographs in the Diet book. Actually, the amount of vitamin D naturally in a wide variety of food is not known. The reason is that analysis of vitamin D content is difficult and expensive.”

The upshot of this discussion is that D3 most certainly exists in many foods which are not listed by the various organizations responsible for analyzing, monitoring and disseminating such official dietary information. In fact, the Solanaceae family contains an inordinate amount of D3, which can cause a specific type of toxicity for those who eat too many nightshades (also because of the high content of solanine present). The American diet is full of potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, paprika, eggplant, etc. which may be pushing many over their own unique thresholds to properly metabolize vitamin D3.

Our final message on this matter goes back to our oft-repeated sermon: Taking isolates of any kind, in any form, over long periods of time CAN BE VERY DANGEROUS TO YOUR HEALTH. It’s as simple as that. The human body was not designed to receive it’s nutrition in the form of pills and potions, tablets and capsules. Especially when the pills are full of synthetic, isolated nutrients.

Yes, when there is a chronic nutritional deficiency causing a serious medical condition we treat it, and treat it appropriately. And then we stop the treatment as soon as balance is achieved. If the condition persists we treat the root causes first, because we know that OVER-COMPENSATION will inevitably occur producing a range of unintended consequences, toxic side effects and collateral damage. We do not want this to occur, do we? Especially as we age and we need to keep our hard-working livers functioning efficiently and without added stress.

In Closing:
There are not many research papers written about this particular subject because it has been conveniently avoided by academia and the research institutions which ought to have great interest in it. What is more than overdue is non-harmful, biomedical research conducted on volunteers about the serious consequences of vitamin D over-supplementation for extended periods of time. There is no doubt that there is a looming healthcare crisis in the works around this issue. Because of the many recent marketing campaigns undertaken to corral as many as possible into the scheme of daily synthetic vitamin D consumption, WHEN IT IS CLEARLY NOT NECESSARY TO DO SO.

Caveat:
Dear Reader,
We highly advise that you check your daily regimen of supplementation to determine what your fat-soluble vitamin intake currently is. Vitamin D is just one of several fat-soluble vitamins, which also include vitamins A,E and K. All of these can have serious side effects when they over-accumulate in the body. The following guidance on this matter is provided by the Colorado State University Extension:

Conclusion:
Trust your body to take good care of itself, especially when you truly engage right living.
Taking a daily sunbath, eating foods with ample vitamin D and having a lifestyle which promotes good digestion will go a long way.
Vitamin D supplementation should only be undertaken by those who truly need it, and not by anyone who doesn’t.
Be prudent, be smart, be aware in this regard; your health and wellness greatly depend upon it.

May you enjoy great health,
The Health Coach

Author’s Note:
We fully acknowledge that some folks suffer from nutrient depletion, especially in the wake of intensive treatment regimes of pharmaceutical medications. And that there are instances where individuals must supplement to overcome these serious deficiencies. However, there are better ways to supplement these days than taking high concentrations of synthetic vitamin D pharmaceuticals or nutraceuticals. Of course, the sun is first, vitamin D-rich foods are second, and non-toxic supplements (that are neither synthetic or isolates) are third.
By the way, this just came out:
Too Much Vitamin D Can Be as Unhealthy as Too Little, Study Suggests

Endnotes:
[1] Hypervitaminosis D: PubMed Health – U.S. National Library of Medicine – The World’s Largest Medical Library

Health Disclaimer:
All content found at The Health Coach is for information purposes only. Therefore, the information on this website is not a substitute for professional medical care and should not be construed as either medical diagnosis or treatment. All information contained herein ought to be considered within the context of an individual’s overall health status and prescribed treatment plan.
Since The Health Coach does not diagnose, treat, mitigate, cure, or heal any type of disease or medical condition, the information contained at this website is not intended to provide specific physical, mental, emotional or psychological health advice.
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© 2012 The Health Coach

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