Obviously in any cloudy country, such as England, almost every person is deficient in vitamin D. But the situation is not much better also in hot and sunny regions since people living there do not expose their bodies to the sun on a regular basis. In India, for instance, 80% of people are deficient in vitamin D!
Vitamin D is important for human nervous system and it also assists in the prevention of osteoporosis brought on by the menopause. Vitamin D appears to be much more important than calcium in preventing fractures.
While taking vitamin D3 supplements always remember to take also well absorbed magnesium (such as citrate) as vitamin D supplements lead to magnesium deficiency over time. Vitamin D3 supplements may lead to magnesium deficiency symptoms such as headaches, insomnia, nervousness, anxiety, constipation, muscle cramps, heart palpitations, etc. This is true also in case of those who get high doses of vitamin D from the sun. Apart from that magnesium, like vitamin K, plays important role in proper absorption of vitamin D. If you neglect taking magnesium supplements you may experience similar symptoms as the person who on one of the websites shared the following story: “I started to become insomniac last year after several months of taking 2000 IU of vitamin D3 every day. Lack of sleep – waking up at 4am every night – was driving me nuts. Then I read that high doses of synthetic vitamin D3 can cause magnesium deficiency. Started taking magnesium, and normal sleep was immediately restored.”
Another reason magnesium is so important here is that it is necessary for proper absorption of vitamin D. Therefore, in cases where large doses of vitamin D3 don’t seem to work the true problem is usually not bad absorption but magnesium deficiency. Unfortunately, it is believed that the underlying magnesium deficiency is difficult to detect and that testing for magnesium is often not reliable.
Unfortunately, public health warnings about skin cancer have caused a rise in Vitamin D deficiency through lack of sunlight. For a very long time scientists as well as medical professionals and NHS brainwashed people suggesting that sun can cause skin cancer. In this way they effectively scared majority of people out of the sun which resulted in the widespread and huge vitamin D deficiency. The truth, however is that only an unwise and prolonged sunbaths can probably contribute to the development of a skin cancer and only in case of someone who often uses stimulants and whose diet includes a lot of animal and refined products. The sun, if used properly, always was and still is a healing agent for our body and not something to be avoided. Apart from that, our contemporary knowledge on this subject gives enough reasons to believe that avoiding sun is much more harmful than unwise prolonged sun exposures.
Type 1 diabetes, Multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, schizophrenia, asthma, autism, and food allergy have all been constantly increasing and all are associated with low sunshine exposure and vitamin D deficiency. According to the Oxford study published in BMC Medicine in 2013 many autoimmune diseases have been linked to vitamin D deficiency.
Contrary to what media and sunscreen makers dictate, there is a decrease in the rates of malignant melanoma among people who live in regions of strong UVB exposure! There are almost one thousand references in the medical literature demonstrating the effectiveness of vitamin D – in both preventing and treating cancer. Sunscreens, on the other hand, contribute to cancer because they contain carcinogens and because they do not allow sun to make vitamin D which fights with cancer. According to Marco Torres, “The sunscreen industry makes money by selling products that actually contain cancer-causing chemicals. It then donates a portion of that money to the cancer industry through non-profit groups like Cancer Societies which, in turn, run heart-breaking public service ads and charity events urging people to donate and use sunscreen to prevent cancer.” (January 20, 2015, Waking Times)
Besides, it is not UVB but UVA which is responsible for causing cancerous mutations that may lead to malignant melanoma (skin cancer). UVA can also break down the vitamin D formed in our skin as a result of outdoor UVB exposure. The fact is however, that skin cancer has been increasing even among the indoor workers simply because unlike UVB, UVA is able to pass through glass. On the other hand, according to the current scientific research, vitamin D3 (which we should have mostly from the sun exposure), is regarded as one of the most effective factors protecting us against cancer including melanoma.
Present scientific studies and research suggest that obesity may be associated with vitamin D deficiency because apart from improving fat cell metabolism vitamin D can also act as an appetite suppressant which effect is achieved by stimulating the release of leptin. New studies give evidence that vitamin D helps us to burn more calories by making fat cells more metabolically active, and by turning our body from a fat-storing into a fat-burning mode. Apart from that, according to some specialists, vitamin D can be trapped within the fat and cannot be easily released. This means that obese and overweight individuals actually require twice as much vitamin D as people with normal body weight.
A study by researchers at the University of Minnesota demonstrated that participants who were overweight had better results in losing weight after increasing their vitamin D intake. Scientists believe that the difference was caused by the fact that vitamin D deficiency (and lack of calcium) stimulates production of certain fatty acid and enzyme called synthase, which in our body increases conversion of calories into fat. Thus sufficient amount of vitamin D intake prevents this process and helps to cope with obesity. According to Dr. Peterson, using high dosages of vitamin D obese people can lose a lot of weight especially in the first week and then up to 15 pounds during the 1-month period.
Vitamin D, which is converted by the sun from cholesterol on the skin, is regarded today as extremely important health-sustaining factor because apart from being a vitamin it works as a hormone which can influence thousands of different human genes and cells. Recent studies suggest that maintaining our vitamin D levels at around 50ng/ml to 80ng/ml may have incredible health benefits relating to fat metabolism, cold, flu, asthma, cancer, skin problems, osteoporosis, hypertension, heart disease, diabetes 1 and 2, autism, multiple sclerosis, hormonal imbalance, athletic performance, hair loss, Crohn’s disease, eczema, mood problems, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, tuberculosis, aging, migraines, insomnia, hearing loss, periodontal disease, seizures, cystic fibrosis, fertility, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, and many other conditions.
Vitamin D also acts as an immune system regulator because although it stimulates different types of white blood cells to fight with bacteria, virus or cancer cells yet at the same time it can prevent excessive expression of inflammatory cytokines. In this way vitamin D may be very helpful in preventing and treating allergies and autoimmune diseases.
Vitamin D can be very effective in fighting flu or colds as it produces numerous natural and harmless antibiotics such as antimicrobial peptides. It increases our ability to fight chronic inflammation and infections. German scientists discovered that vitamin D increases the effectiveness of human immune system by 3 to 5 times and is more successful in fighting the bird flu virus than any vaccine!
Vitamin D deficiency leads to low bone mineral density and osteomalacia (rickets in children). Low levels of vitamin D are associated with obesity, certain types of cancer, high cholesterol levels, multiple sclerosis, hypertension, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, eczema, psoriasis, periodontal disease, insomnia, infertility, cystic fibrosis, depression, migraines, Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia. Also pregnant and lactating women are encouraged to take vitamin D3 supplements. A 2013 study by University of Kentucky researchers found out that low levels of vitamin D causes damage to the brain.
Caffeine products (coffee, tea, chocolate, cola drinks, etc.) are known to affect vitamin D receptors in human body, not allowing it to absorb all the ingested amount of the vitamin.
In case of deficiency, take about 4,000 to 10,000 IU of Vitamin D3 daily especially during winter months, although some people are so deficient in this vitamin that they may require 20,000 to even 30,000 units each day for some time to reach the normal level. Use only vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) supplements and not vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) because only the first one is the same type of vitamin created in our body when we expose our skin to the sun. D3 is almost 90% more potent and more efficient in our body and it is converted about five times faster than D2. One of the recent studies also demonstrated that vitamin D2 supplements slightly increased the mortality risk while D3 reduced it.
Keep in mind that getting vitamin D from sun exposure is still regarded as more beneficial than vitamin D3 supplements. Besides, it is impossible to overdose vitamin D when we get it from sun exposure because our body has the ability to regulate this process. If you expose unprotected skin to the sun on the summer between 10 am and 2 pm for about 15 minutes a day, you will probably store enough of vitamin D.
There are also some other details we need to be aware of with regards to vitamin D. Sunlight is composed of 1500 wavelengths, and only UVB-rays can make Vitamin D on our skin when the sun’s angle to the Earth is greater than 50°. That is why in countries such as UK, our skin isn’t able to make vitamin D from our bodies’ exposure to the sunlight between November and March as the sunlight hasn’t got enough UVB (ultraviolet B) radiation. Also early morning and late afternoon sun won’t produce enough vitamin D as the angle of the sun is lower than 50° and therefore the ozone layer would reflect the UVB-rays back into space while the more dangerous and longer UVA-rays would still reach the Earth. Thus the best time to sunbath during the summertime is probably between 10am and 2pm, or even better between 11am and 1pm.
Some specialists also suggest that we shouldn’t sunbathe on cloudy days and when the sun is lower than 50° because our body will be subject to the harmful effects of the UVA-rays while the UVB-rays cannot penetrate the clouds and are also unable to rich our skin when the sun angle is lower than 50°. Also remember that you don’t need to spend long hours in the sun to get the optimal benefits of sunlight because an extra time in the sun doesn’t mean we will still keep on making more vitamin D out of cholesterol. 15 to 30 minutes a day would be enough. If we keep on doing it during the summer season we should get vitamin D from our body’s stores during the winter, or otherwise we need to get it from good quality vitamin D3 supplements.
In addition, when the UVB-rays of the sun reach our body our skin uses them to convert cholesterol found in our skin into Vitamin D3. The problem, however, is that the newly formed in this way vitamin D3 requires up to two days to be entirely absorbed from the skin into the bloodstream. It means that the longer we stay away from showering our bodies the more vitamin D3 will be absorbed, because water (especially with soap) washes away much of the vitamin. Therefore, the best solution, if possible, would be to wash only the parts of the body which were not exposed to the sun such as armpits and groin area, and if you have to take a shower try to apply soap only to where it is necessary.
Dosage: Since the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for vitamin D which is only 600 IU per day for adults is unbelievably low we can assume that it is probably inspired and controlled (imposed) by big pharma which doesn’t want people to be healthy. However, according to an article published in 2005 in the Journal of Nutrition, this amount should be regarded as insufficient, especially when we take into consideration the fact that a 15-minute exposure to the sun can produce as much as 20,000 IU of vitamin D3. The ideal serum level of vitamin D for children, adolescents, adults and elderly should be between 50 and 70 ng/ml. In case of individuals suffering from heart disease or cancer it should be even higher (between 80 and 120 ng/ml). Unfortunately most people do not spend sufficient time in the sun and as a result they suffer from vitamin D deficiency. Remember, therefore, to expose your body to the sun whenever it is possible as sun rays convert your body cholesterol into vitamin D which is vital for your health.
If you can’t afford higher doses take at least 4,000 IU of vitamin D3 a day with meal. But since deficiency of this vitamin is so widespread (especially in the UK) it would be better to take 10,000 to even 50,000 IU a day with meals with appropriate doses of magnesium. If you decide to try high doese of 50,000 IU a day take it for no longer than two months and after that reduce to 10,000 IU a day.
Another requirement for proper absorption of vitamin D is 200 mcg of Vitamin K2 MK-7 (Derived from Natural Natto) every day.