Vitamin D3

Vitamin D3 is so vital that although I have written about it profusely already, I will go into the topic again. It is the only vitamin that should be supplemented by everyone, especially in the winter. It is also the only one that is given a doctor’s prescription for.

It is created by sun-exposed skin – so in the dark months, the light is too feeble to cause the vitamin’s synthesis in the body. Add depression and unwillingness to go outside to the mix and we are facing a huge deficiency already. I’m not sure if deficiency causes issues with the mood or the other way round; trials are inconclusive – it is helpful to some and to others it makes no mark. Experiences of patients, discussed online mirror this tendency. Doubtlessly, there were cases when D3 supplementation made a huge change in the mood. Importantly, low levels of D3 are related to an increased risk of many other diseases (it lowers the risk of becoming ill with cancer and autoimmunological diseases).

D3 seems not to be a favourite – too cheap to be marketed and mass-sold. Yet, it could solve so many health issues that the pharmaceutical industry has been benefiting from: seasonal colds, flu, asthma, cancers, high blood pressure, and diabetes. What would happen to the industry if these disappeared..?

How to supplement D3? Medical professionals researching this topic seem to agree that the officially recommended dosage is about ten times to low!!! Let’s apply some basic maths: recommended dosage for eight kilo infant amounts to 400 IU daily – so, a person weighing 80kg should supplement 4000 (scientific recommendation), while officially only 600 IU is recommended. To make this even less plausible, there is no research that would confirm this dose is sufficient – the official recommendation is taken totally out of the blue. Look for a supplement with a generous dosage of the vitamin. You can test for deficiencies, it is slightly counterproductive though as the levels fluctuate – higher in the warm half of the year, lower in the dark one. In case of deficiency start with the maximum dose (even over 10 000 IU daily), while on average is between 2 000- 4000 is enough, with no supplementation in the summer (provided you sunbathe in direct sunlight outdoors – glass in the windows prevents synthesis completely while UV infused lotions lessen it by about 99% as does skin cleansing after sun exposure). Note that low cholesterol or magnesium levels can cause a deficiency regardless of regular sun exposure.

Final notes on the supplementation process:

Magnesium is needed during the process of the vitamin’s activation (when ingested the levels of magnesium drop). As a result one may experience nervousness, insomnia, constipation and headaches. In case of very tangible side effect, stop supplementing and start taking high doses of magnesium (300-400 mg daily – check what kind of supplement you are taking: ion or lactate based as they are entirely different). Additionally take small doses of vitamin A which will be needed at the beginning of the therapy (100-200% of the need for it) and vitamin K2 (buy either MK4 or combined MK4/MK7). Vitamin K minimalizes the risk of arterial calcification and will also strengthen the bones. D3 is responsible for absorption of calcium while K2 shows where it should be implemented.