Vitamin D deficiency is a worldwide silent epidemic. Given the current circumstances and state of the world (people don’t know what they don’t know), and due to some recent 1:1 conversations, I felt compelled to share this with you!
Unconditional of whatever is going on around us, it’s important to remember the trees with the strong roots and tough bark are least likely to get rattled by wind and rain! Nourishing and supporting the immune system (and the gut, because they go hand-in-hand) with foods and vitamins/minerals (aka “micronutrients”) is never a bad thing.
Disclaimer: This info is meant to be educational, supplemental and to enhanceyour well-being, no matter where on the spectrum your beliefs are! This info is not meant to replace medical advice or any other kind of preventive measures happening nowadays.)
In lieu of empowerment, here are 15 things most people don’t know but DESERVE to learn about vitamin D3…
1. It’s estimated that worldwide, 40-80% of people are walking around with vitamin D deficiency
- This could be for various reasons whether it be darker pigmented skin reducing vitamin D from sun exposure, or low dietary intake (most foods don’t naturally contain vitamin D), or modern-day lifestyle factors (like sitting inside all day) which reduce our sun exposure.
2. Vitamin D is a “fat soluble” vitamin
- If you don’t eat enough fat in your diet, you may not be absorbing the vitamin D supplement you take everyday!
- Take your vitamin D it with a meal. And please don’t go on a very-low-fat diet…. unless you’ve got pancreatitis/gallbladder issues/cystic fibrosis/you are post-surgery, etc.!)
3. People with fair skin tone are more likely to absorb vitamin D3 from the sun.
- 20 minutes ~3-4x/week outside, on arms, is usually enough for people with lighter skin tones to get some natural vitamin D.
- People with darker skin pigmentation need to be checking their vitamin D blood levels at least 1 to 2x/year. (See #15 for more details!)
4. Vitamin D3 is the “activated” form of vitamin D, most similar to the natural kind we get from the sun – different than D2.
- Vitamin D2 is the stuff added (fortified) into most cereals and milk substitutes – this must be supplemented alongside vitamin K2 (or a diet rich in vitamin K2).
- Tip: If a study is claiming that vitamin D supplements “don’t work”, read between the lines and make sure they’re talking about vitamin D3 versus synthetic vitamin D2. They’re two totally different substances!
5. Having enough of the right vitamin D is necessary and vital for a healthy gut!
6. Vitamin D helps keep inflammation levels under control…
- Vitamin D3 also is known to help keep under control the production of cytokines, which are involved in COVID-19 and also in Crohn’s disease.
7. Not enough vitamin D over time can contribute to “dysbiosis”.
- Dysbiosis is a fancy clinincal term, referring to an imbalance of the “good” and “bad” microbes in the gut.
8. Our immune system NEEDS healthy levels of vitamin D in the blood in order to function properly!
- Otherwise, things get wonky!
9. People with autoimmune diseases (specifically MS and cystic fibrosis) are exponentially more likely to be low in vitamin D
- This is because they’re using the vitamin D to modulate their immune system, diluting the availability of vitamin D3 needed for normal day-to-day functions.
10. A recent study found that healthy vitamin D levels ARE associated with stronger immunity, specifically against COVID-19.
11. FYI: This popular study stated it found no correlation between having higher vitamin D levels and improved COVID-19 case outcomes.
- But if you read the entire study, towards the bottom they state: “Our study still has limitations. First, our results do not apply to individuals with vitamin D deficiency, and it remains possible that truly deficient patients may benefit from supplementation for COVID-19-related protection and outcomes.”
12. “Vitamin D supplementation could reduce the incidence, severity, and risk of death from COVID-19”
- Grant WB, Lahore H, McDonnell SL, et al. Vitamin D supplementation could prevent and treat influenza, coronavirus, and pneumonia infections. Preprint. 2020
13. Vitamin D deficiency is found to be associated with both COVID-19 positivity and severity of the disease.
14. Unfortunately vitamin D doesn’t seem to be effective at treating someone who already has COVID-19.
- The key is to have healthy levels of vitamin D (and other vitamins like vitamin C) built up in your system over time.
15. Vitamin D is NOT a routine blood test.
- While it may ruffle a few feathers, it needs to be said: in mainstream medicine, knowing whether or not everyone has a vitamin D deficiency doesn’t benefit the bottom line of the facilities or economies that rely on sick people to keep making money.
That said, I’ve observed in many cases with my clients their vitamin D doesn’t get routinely checked unless you ASK! (Or unless they’re working with holistic-minded providers.)
- Make sure to ask for a baseline vitamin D blood test at your next check-up or ASAP. A level between 35-50 ng/mL is considered optimal. If it’s under 30 your level is definitely too low.
- WARNING: Vitamin D can interact with some medications and it’s also prone to cause liver toxicity when taken in excess, so please don’t self prescribe.
- Generally a “safe” and adequate dose for most people is 1000 to 2000 IU/day.
- Getting an annual micronutrient panel via a functional dietitian nutritionist can also be a great way to ensure your vitamin D levels are optimal.
Vitamin D: final thoughts
To be clear, this is not medical advice. I’m just sharing with you a sample from the well of knowledge we have dwelling in plain sight.
I want you and your loved ones to have access to more information that will allow you to see more of the full picture, so ya’ll can make informed decisions.
There’s a LOT more than one way to help prevent the spread of viruses, and illness in general for that matter.
- If you’re interested in learning about the power of micronutrients and herbs as they pertain to the immune system, you may also be interested in this article!
If you found any of this helpful, please make sure to share this article with someone you care about.
XO – Jenna