№6: Why Vitamin D from a bottle does not substitute SUNLIGHT (UVB) at all

We all know that Vitamin D is important for so many functions in the body. I keep explaining to people that food alone sometimes is not enough to fix issues, and this is one perfect example! So I have selected a few sources which I will use as reference. First and foremost, thank you Wikipedia for the nice picture for the header! 

Here is the main reason for this blog: Your body only gets 20% of Vitamin D from food, and the other 80% from sunlight with no clouds! This is due to the fact that these two are simply a family but not the same, are different, and serve for different things. You cannot compensate D3 by overdosing on D2. Vitamin D is not one vitamin, it is the "family" name for those two. Like we say the Neighbors, for the couple living next door to us, but the couple consists of a husband and a wife. So five wives will not substitute one husband, not even 10 wives will not substitute him! The man has something women don't and the other way around and no matter what you do, it is still not going to change the situation. On the other hand, let say you need to give birth. Only one man can be the father of the child, you can sleep with 10 others, and their sperm will go in the garbage, and it will not produce a child because the place has already been taken, you cannot get more pregnant, there is no such word.

 

In other words, we need approximately 4/5ths of Vitamin D3 and 1/5 Vitamin D2, and these spaces are with different "molds" and if the mold is round you cannot put a square piece in it. So both forms may help calcium absorption but only Vitamin D3 does that and immune modulation. The reason why D3 has both functions it is because it consists of (very general explanation) several parts and only one part has the key to the immune system and insulin influence. That part is not present in any over-the-counter Vitamin D because it is Холекалдиферол (cholecalciferol)  and we need Калцитриол (Calcitriol). But Calcitriol  is 1,25- dihydroxyvitaminD3 and NOT 25- hydroxyvitamin D3. That part you can only get through sunlight, because the UVB light makes the 25 become a 1.25. There is an exception of a serious prescription drug that contains it BUT then you have to monitor your calcium levels twice a week, be supervised by a doctor, at least twice a week, and you need a prescription and they will not give it to you if you don't have a serious diagnosis and you should not even think about taking it yourself under No circumstances, even in Bulgaria where you can get anything above the counter even if it is supposed to be with a prescription. 

  • Ergocalciferol (Vitamin D2) Absorption of calcium & phosphorus
  • Cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3) Helps body absorb calcium
  • Calcidiol (25- hydroxyvitamin D3) Not an active form of Vitamin D until the conversion to Calcitriol
  • Calcitriol (1,25- dihydroxyvitaminD3) Increases uptake of calcium from GI tract Enhance effect of PTH on bone **Increases calcium in blood Regulates cell growth

So, with that in mind, what is the solution:

1. Even if you take over the counter Vitamin D supplement, even with a prescription, you are only covering 1/5 of your needs and you are doing pretty much nothing for insulin and the metabolism, or the Hashimoto. You are going to have strong bones but the Hashimoto will stay given all other things equal. Diabetes will still trouble you, etc.

2. People with darker skin need more vitamin D, because they receive less penetration of the UVB needed, so they need more in the sun and the same food relatively speaking. The darker your skin, the more time you need to be in the sunlight, and this is a light with no clouds! So darker people who move to colder countries have to be very aware of this problem!

3. The Medical Institutes and Endocrine Societies have a bit of a difference in what they find normal and needed. But 30 min naked in a pleasantly burning sun every day for a white person let us say, they agree on. If you go to the beach you will get darker, not only because you love the tan, but because the body naturally protects the body of getting more vitamin D3 from sunlight, than needed. Remember, we only need 80%, the other 20% we still need from food. This natural reaction of the body is nature, she knows the tricks. When taking Vitamin D with or without prescription you have to be monitored, you have to be tested not to overdose and cause serious issues because the body does not have inborn mechanisms for dealing with synthetic medications. I suppose when our Gods were creating the human body pharmacies did not exist! 

4. You can spend two weeks at the seaside and replenish your Vitamin D needs. It is a vitamin that is stored in our storage and can be used in small parts later. But it depletes pretty quickly. You can't burn yourself live for two weeks either because first you will burn and be in pain and second, because you only have 4 out of 5 "molds" to fill and their size is only a certain amount. Yes, you should try and go more on vacation and not in one take but a few months a part. You can spend as much time as possible outdoors when you have sun, but remember, your clothes and sunscreens lower the penetration of the UVB so you need not 30min, but may be 90 min in the sun. 

So, what other means do we have? We have sunbeds! But modern UVB clean, preferably standing sun beds or sun chambers rather. When I first started working with my Tibetan specialist he told me about that, more than three years ago, before my license, before my 500+ clients. I had Hashimoto and three knots in my thyroid, depression, extra weight, you name it. My Vitamin D level was at 23 and I needed at least 50. For 6 months I went 64 times, the first month did 5 min on average of every other day or three days a week, the second 6 min and the last month it was 7min. Taking a shower after the suntanning controls how dark you want to get, it does not affect the production of that part of vitamin D. For 6 months my number went from 23 to 58. 95% of the clients who come to me don't have even 25 out of the min 50 level. I tell them to get a prescription for vitamin D from their primary doctor and take as directed, and go find a quality sunbed. This practice is very helpful when having psoriasis as well. Just try to notice how you feel before and after the sunbed. I bet you will see the difference in your mood immediately!

So the conclusion is that taking over the counter Vitamin D is really wasted money because you are paying a premium price for something that will be used only 20% and could be achieved by food alone without a problem. Prescription Vitamin D has may be 20% more value but should be strictly monitored because it could cause an overdose very easily. Do not self-medicate, especially without knowing  your real test results!

What I'd choose? I would choose a healthy low-carb diet rich in leafy greens and broccoli and use the summer for the beach, and the sunbed in the winter. Now it is actually  more affordable to use the sundbed for 5 min, it cost $3 per 5min in my neighborhood nice spa.  3x$3= $9 per week, $36 per month. One good brand Vitamin D is the same price or more, but remember 80% vs 20%, so you pay 4 times more for something that only solves 20% of your problem!

Why is vitamin D important for weight loss? Because it participates in glucose homeostasis and if it is not there this process just does not happen. It is a very general explanation but that's the bottom line. The lower the vitamin D the higher your insulin resistance, but it is not the only requirement. The end result is, that you have to make an effort first to test your level of vitamin D in the lab, and second to take needed action to fix it, it won't happen with a pill!

If you speak English, read this article, it is the best by far, I have ever seen  on this topic! https://alliedhealth.lsuhsc.edu/cl/CE/Fall2019/handouts/Vitamin%20D_Fall2019colorhandout.pdf

Love, Rossi

References: 1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6408731/

2. https://alliedhealth.lsuhsc.edu/cl/CE/Fall2019/handouts/Vitamin%20D_Fall2019colorhandout.pdf

3. US Patent: US20130267606A1.

 

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