Demythifying Vitamin D
The Martial Art of Wellness
Volume 8 – October 2009
Welcome to this month’s BioNews. We must learn to free ourselves from the control that others exert over us. As we learn we become FREE, we become powerful. This pursuit of self defense in wellness, I call “The Martial Art of Wellness.” And as we practice we become Wellness Ninjas.
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
“ The basic conditions which lead to disease are either nutrient deficiencies or toxic accumulations in the body. ”
~ Dr. Bernard Jensen
THIS ISSUE’S TESTIMONIALS:
This has never happened before!
“ I spoke with you on the phone last Friday about my 2 autistic boys and I also placed my first order. I received my supplements yesterday and immediately starting giving them to my children. First, thank you for sending the book, Awakening the Genius Within. I immediately devoured it! Second, after giving each boy one capsule of F2 and F3 yesterday, my older son got out of bed and dressed himself this morning! This has never happened before. He CAN dress himself, but I usually have to ask him over and over. Today, he did it without me even asking!
I’m certain that we are just beginning to see wonderful things from BIOSUPERFOOD. I will certainly keep you posted! ”
– A. L., October 2009, USA
REALITY CHECK ( Demythifying Vitamin D )
These days there is so much talk and controversy about vitamin D, I am glad to cover this sizzling hot topic for this month’s BioNews. I have been wanting for some time to shed some light on the current “craziness” about vitamin D.
As a result of lack of knowledge, and plain old marketing and business propaganda, Vitamin D has been for some time now a “shooting star” in the supplement industry, and also in the medical industry. Remember that once upon a time vitamin C was a shooting star, at another time it was vitamin B, then vitamin E, then COQ10, and a slew of others, and this has and will go on and on. If you were to fall for each of these recommendations and supportive theories, you would some day be taking as many supplements as there are “shooting” (or “falling”) stars in the sky.
Note: The information that follows was gathered from general biology and nutrition information and from various written discussions about the vitamin D, its debate and science. In writing this, my goal is that you can simplify your life, protect your health and save your money. As always I recommend that you do your own research when facing a decision to (or not to) supplement, or medicate. When it comes to your health, do not just rely on your doctor, or on any ONE expert. Instead, YOU become the expert; learn from the many experts from both side of the debate, then YOU will be able to make up your OWN mind.
The controversy with supplementing vitamin D
Next are two related quotes to start the discussion:
“In talking to a nutritionist, he told me that one of the big nutritional issues in people is vitamin D deficiency due to lack of sun exposure. To supplement, he said, requires huge doses to make up for the lack of sunshine.” ~ Charles S., DC., 2009
“At no time, ever, from any source, could the human or animal body have gotten the massive doses of vitamin D being used today in research, in medicine, as supplement, and as additives in feed in animal husbandry.” ~ Krispin Sullivan, CN 2003
Many companies are selling vitamin D in doses from 400 IU to as much as 5,000 IU. Some supplement companies and practitioners periodically send newsletters continuing to report the benefits of vitamin D and harmful effects of having too little D. One might assume that taking these supplements will insure that you are sufficient in vitamin D.
Following much research and published (old and new) papers on vitamin D, the ‘facts’ remain the same. Each person absorbs and/or produces vitamin D differently. One person may simply expose their arms and legs several times a week and have adequate levels of D, others may take a supplement of 4,000 IU daily and not see an increase at all. While others by simply increasing their calcium intake, or changing their diets, will see their level of D rise without taking supplemental D.
Getting enough of the sunshine vitamin (the skin makes it from ultraviolet rays) is vital for strong bones and other metabolisms. Vitamin D has made headlines in recent years because of research saying it may be a powerful cancer fighter, sparking a push for people to get “way” more than recommended amounts through supplements.
The real experts are cautious because other vitamins and nutrient supplements once widely thought (shooting star) to prevent cancer didn’t pan out when put to rigorous testing (falling star). With vitamin D, there are now several research showing the potential uselessness and even dangers of vitamin D supplementation.
National Cancer Institute researchers analyzed vitamin D levels measured in almost 17,000 people that tracked their health. About a decade after enrolling, 536 of those people had died of cancer. Whether people had low or high vitamin D levels played no role in their risk of dying from cancer in general, they reported recently in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The first-of-a-kind government study shows the issue is far from settled.
“Supplemental vitamin D is commonly found in multi-vitamin and single-nutrient preparations. Evidence for vitamin A and D toxicity as a result of dietary supplementation was more commonly seen in clinical practices in the earlier part of this century. More recently, vitamin D toxicity has been documented in several accidental situations that have usually involved food fortification errors, but it is rarely seen. In this issue, Adams and Lee report several cases of vitamin D toxicity in older adults who reported consumption of vitamin D supplements. The sources and doses of the supplements differed, but all patients regularly consumed (in addition to their diets) single-nutrient sources of vitamin D, other supplements that contained vitamin D, and multi-vitamin supplements. ”
What are the health risks of too much vitamin D?
There is a high health risk associated with consuming too much vitamin D. Vitamin D toxicity can cause nausea, vomiting, poor appetite, constipation, weakness, and weight loss. It can also raise blood levels of calcium, causing mental status changes such as confusion. High blood levels of calcium also can cause heart rhythm abnormalities. Calcinosis, the deposition of calcium and phosphate in soft tissues like the kidney can be caused by vitamin D toxicity. Consuming too much vitamin D through diet alone is not likely unless you routinely consume large amounts of cod liver oil. It is much more likely to occur from high intakes of vitamin D in supplements.
Norman AW. Vitamin D. In: Ziegler EE, Filer LJ Jr, eds. Present Knowledge in Nutrition. 7th ed. Washington, DC: ILSI Pr; 1996:120-9.
Adams JS, Lee G. Gains in bone mineral density with resolution of vitamin D intoxication. Ann Intern Med. 1997; 127:203-6.
The answer to the controversy is ; How does one resolve vitamin deficiencies?”
Let me start with addressing vitamin D in the context of prevention of cancers. That vitamin D is a player as far as cancer fighting goes is likely factual, but no one nutrient or hormone ever work alone; there are hundreds of health related biochemicals in our nutrition and body that when working in harmony are much more active when it comes to not only quench free radicals and tumor growth, but involved with total vitality, healing and regeneration. Should you start taking a supplement for each one of those hundreds of nutrients or hormones? Are you forgetting that it has already been established and published in cancer research that the best prevention of cancers are the powerful nutrients obtained from eating many colorful fruits and vegetables?
“The thousands of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals (beneficial plant compounds) in whole foods act synergistically together to create a more powerful effect than the sum of their parts, producing a result which cannot be recreated by supplements.”
– Vice President for Education at the American Institute for Cancer
The concept of measuring and supplementing individual, isolate or separate nutrients (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, etc) is of the chemical (as in Chemist) domain, that deals with inorganic, as in unorganized molecules, known as chemicals. While with natural sciences the bio-chemist works with bio-chemicals, those molecules that are organic, or organized together naturally and only as they occur in whole foods. These organized molecules with their natural balance and synergistic proportions that carry ZERO toxicity can never be found or replace with supplements that are isolate and separates.
Vitamin D is not a vitamin!
A “vitamin” by definition is a substance regularly required by the body in small amounts but which the body cannot make and is, therefore, required to be supplied in the daily diet. Technically the molecular species classified as vitamin D is not really a vitamin because it can be produced by exposure of the skin to sunlight. However for simplistic reasons, vitamin D3 continues to be classified officially as a vitamin. (History of vitamin D). In natural science we know that “vitamin D” is a complex metabolism involved in many aspects of human health, from bone formation, to hair growth and cancer prevention, and that the best source is its natural source, the sun. When the sun hits your skin, the vitamin D metabolism is triggered. At this juncture I must invite you to learn a bit more on this incredibly complex metabolism that is/are the vitamin D precursors or associates. Read this brief primer biochemical description of the vitamin D metabolism at the University of California, Riverside website Biochemistry and Physiology of Vitamin D
After reading this, let me know if you are still interested in “guinea pigging” yourself with a mega dose of synthetic vitamin D.
Vitamin D: the sun vitamin.
The sun is an important source of vitamin D. Our bodies make vitamin D when sunlight touches our bare skin. Despite the rumors about harmful effect of too much sun, in the United States and Canada, adequate amounts of vitamin D can readily be obtained from the diet and from casual exposure to sunlight. It has also been proven that at least 10-15 minutes of sunlight per day, depending on your skin sensitivity, is actually good for you.
But how much is too much? Here is the answer, according to The Center for Science For the Public Interest: Exposing non-sun screened hands, face and arms to the sun for about ten to fifteen minutes (depending on skin sensitivity to sunburning, latitude and time of day) two to three times a week between 8 am and 4 pm gives the body it’s vitamin D requirement.
|In most cases when a deficiency such as vitamin D is diagnosed, there are other deficiencies or degenerative conditions in your body. Supplementing to those deficiencies will not solve the cause of those deficiencies. One cannot view human health as a series of separate events or as a multitude of separate parts like that of your car. It is much more important to resolve the causes of deficiencies. For example; when you are exhausted from stress, or poor diet choices, you will not be efficient at; converting your foods into energy, metabolizing vitamin D, synthesizing proteins and enzymes, and at many other health giving function of your body. It’s a vicious cycle and supplementing to each deficiencies is like chasing your tail.||
Vitamin D Metabolism
The best secondary food sources of vitamin D
Until you resolve the potential causes of your deficiencies, a much healthier solution to supplementing your vitamin D is the natural way. Our need of vitamin D is very small and can easily be found in several foods. A partial list of foods high in Vitamin D3 include Cod liver oil, several micro algae, salmon, mackerel & sardines, some microalgae, egg yolks, and beef liver.
The ultimate solution to vitamin D deficiency and other deficiencies
A more comprehensive solution then supplementing vitamin D, and in the process to address other known and unknown deficiencies, is the systemic restoration of your vitality, and particularly that of your brain organs, which regulate your natural efficiency ;
A) to replenish vitamin D from your exposure to the sun and/or from your diet,
B) to metabolize the many biochemicals and hormones involved in your utilization and synthesis of vitamin D, and that in harmony with the myriad of other biochemicals.
You will be surprised how easily you can progress by simply applying some of the following life style changes:
- stop overeating, and stop eating the wrong foods
- eat lots of fruits and vegetables, and drink mostly water
- exercise, exercise and exercise
- manage your stress level
- get informed about the health and diet connection
Your brain is too smart to settle for second best!
In a recent study, researchers have found that individuals with a high daily intake of vegetables and fruits also demonstrate higher cognitive performance. Subjects with a high intake (about 400 grams per day) of fruits and vegetables had higher antioxidant levels, lower indicators of free radical-induced damage, and better cognitive performance. The findings were independent of age, gender, body mass index, and level of education. Further studies are planned that will include larger subject cohorts, patients with Alzheimer’s disease, and patients with mild cognitive impairment. In this study, the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease confirms previous studies on vegetable intake and dementia. Here, healthy subjects between the ages of 45 and 102 underwent cognitive testing while their blood was checked for antioxidant micronutrients and biomarkers of oxidative stress. Their daily fruit and vegetable intake was also assessed. The subjects in the high fruit and veggie intake group scored significantly higher on the cognitive tests, and they also had higher antioxidant levels and lower biomarkers for oxidative stress than those in the low intake group. The results were independent of age, gender, body mass index, education, total cholesterol, LDL- and HDL-cholesterol, triglycerides, and albumin. The researchers concluded that “modification of nutritional habits aimed at increasing intake of fruits and vegetables should be encouraged to lower prevalence of cognitive impairment in later life.” Do note that the researchers focused their recommendation on fruits and vegetables as opposed to the antioxidants (or supplements) themselves, as previous studies have shown that while antioxidants from food have a beneficial impact on your brain and can prevent cognitive decline, supplements do not appear to offer the same benefits.
In summary, it is likely that your brain is too smart to settle for second best, and the key for brain health is FOOD based, and can likely NOT be duplicated by supplements.
Let me repeat and be clear regarding deficiencies of nutrients such as vitamin D or others; If you eat a “proper” diet and follow the above recommendations on life style changes, there is no need for supplementation with isolated vitamins or supplements (unless there is an acute deficiency, immediate infection, or a life threatening condition).
So how does BAC fit in as a solution to vitamin D deficiency?
In all of BAC’s formulations, there is less then 1.0 μg/g of vitamin D3. In essence, it is below quantitative limit (BQL) or too small to be measured precisely. But don’t stop reading; let me shed some light on the benefits of taking BAC as it relates to vitamin D deficiency and any other deficiencies.
BAC as a solution fits right in with the “eat much fruits and vegetables” recommendation, but as many now know, BAC is no ordinary food; BAC is an “extremely” efficient food; in the words of Dr. Michael Kiriac, PhD, “the culmination in cellular nutrition.” BAC contains many more nutrients then that contained in 30 exotic foods gathered from around the world. Some of its nutrients occur in just the right amount needed for the day, others that are not enough, and some that could not be obtained easily in your diet, are a “bonus” to the body.
BAC awakens the genius within
Beside supplying an “extraordinary” array of nutrients, the best return in consuming BAC, lies in its capacity to “awaken the genius within”. When fed by BAC, the cells of our critical brain organs will regulate better energy and endocrine metabolisms that govern nutrients assimilation, all internal gland and organ functions, and in turn you will assimilate “vastly more” nutrients from your foods, (or better synthesize needed biochemicals as in the case of vitamin D), and process more efficiently your hormones, peptides, vitamins, etc. This “awakening” effect is the most important value resulting from consuming BAC.
In natural sciences it is established that there are no better nutrient then those naturally occurring from the sun, the air we breath, and from whole foods, NONE. When consuming BAC, because of its positive influence on the brain organs that regulate digestion, you will assimilate “significantly” more nutrients out of any diet, and certainly out of a good diet, and with most people that should be enough.
There are over 5,000 individual nutrients in BAC, including over 4,000 enzymes, vitamin A, B-complex, C, D, E and K, all ten essential amino acids plus ten more, all known trace minerals and elements, Omega-3, Omega-6, Omega-9, GLAs (Gamma-Linolenic Acids), ALAs (Alpha-Linolenic Acids), DGLA (Dihomogamma-Linolenic Acid), DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) and more fatty acids, etc. Here are some links: The ingredients in BAC and Detailed list of ingredients