A disturbing trend is that the vast majority of the patients that I test have low levels of Vitamin D. Most people know that Vitamin D is important for bone strength (osteoporosis prevention), and cancer prevention.
What about the role Vitamin D plays as a key agent in bolstering your immune system function?
I’ve written a lot about how 80% of your immune system originates in your “gut”. What if your vitamin D isn’t getting absorbed because of an intestinal problem?
Where is Vitamin D Absorbed?
Vitamin D is absorbed in the small intestine. People suffering from Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth, Celiac disease, small intestinal bleeding, peptic ulcers, infections, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, intestinal cancer, constipation, etc… can all have malabsorption of vitamin D.
People suffering from acid reflux (GERD), aka. “Heartburn” or “acid indigestion”, can also have problems with vitamin D absorption.
Proper levels of stomach acid are very important when it comes to maintaining a healthy body that is balanced in nutrition. When things are just off a little, it can contribute to lack of absorption of trace minerals, and vitamins.
How Does the Liver Affect Vitamin D Absorption?
If your liver isn’t as healthy as it should be, a.k.a. “fatty liver disease”, it may not produce enough bile. Bile is necessary for the breakdown of fats. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin. Poor digestion of fats can easily cause a vitamin D deficiency.
This is another reason why gall bladder health is so important. The gall bladder is pouch like organ that concentrates bile and makes it up to 10 times more acidic than when it is made in the liver.
When bile is very concentrated and acidic, it can break down fats easier.
Once fat is digested, the fat globules can be absorbed and distributed throughout the body for brain health, cell membrane health, sex hormone production, cholesterol production, nerve health, etc…
It turns out that fat is very important. We need it. We would die without fat.
What are Fat Soluble Vitamins?
Fat soluble vitamins are A, D, E and K. “Fat soluble” means that these 4 vitamins store in fat. This is just another reason why at all costs, every measure should be taken to keep your gall bladder as healthy as possible. In doing so, you are giving yourself a better chance of staying healthy.
Read my Article: My Long Lost Gall Bladder
Healthy levels of vitamin D have also been shown to increase insulin receptor sensitivity. This is important when considering Type 2 diabetics have insulin resistance. Vitamin D can help improve immune system function, decrease inflammation and actually help your body with blood sugar imbalances associated with diabetes.
People with leaky gut syndrome have damage to the inner lining of their intestinal tract. This creates intestinal hyperpermeability “the leakiness”. A leaky gut can keep you from absorbing vitamin D as well as other vital nutrients.
Common Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency
- Hot Flashes or “Night Sweats”
- Aching Bones
- Poor Sleep Quality
- Excessive Sweating
- Chronic Sickness
- Fatigue or Low Energy Levels
- Brittle Hair and Nails
- Poor Complexion
- Sweating of the head
- Low Hemoglobin and Anemia
- Muscle Weakness
What are Good Levels of Vitamin D?
Ideal Functional levels of Vitamin D are between 50 and 75. My average new patients have a Vit. D level of 27 therefore, it is actually rare that I find someone who is in the healthy range (even with the use of most Vitamin D supplements and prescription D).
Benefits of Vitamin D
- Bone integrity
- Cardiac health
- Cancer prevention
- Sleep quality
According to WebMD.com, low Vitamin D levels have been associated with the following: Increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease, cognitive impairment in older adults, seizures, severe asthma in children, and cancer.
Research has also shown that Vitamin D could even play an important role in the treatment and prevention of type 1 and 2 diabetes, hypertension, glucose intolerance and multiple sclerosis.
We have all heard it many times: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. I have a supplement called Super D3 which is a micellized, water soluble, liquid vitamin D3.
Super D3 is truly water soluble which is what differentiates it from other forms of Vitamin D (which are often synthetic oil based forms of Vitamin D2). Our bodies make D3 not D2.
Super D3 is water soluble and similar to the Vitamin D that our bodies make so it works very well. Super D3 usually raises my patient’s vitamin D levels very quickly.
What is the Vitamin D Myth?
The Vitamin D Myth is that your Vitamin D levels will be normal if you get 15 minutes of sun per day. Vitamin D is called the “sunshine vitamin”.
This is true if you don’t have genetic variants that keep your body from making Vitamin D.
I’ve written about my Dad in some other articles. I wrote about how his ferritin was through the roof and how he was able to get it down.
I also did genetic testing on my Dad that showed that he had genetic polymorphisms (defects) that keep his body from producing Vitamin D in adequate levels.
Genetically, some people are “homozygous” and others are “heterozygous” with certain genes. If you are “homozygous” (one gene is good and the other is bad) for the genes that produce good quantities of Vitamin D, then your body can still produce some vitamin D.
If you are “heterozygous” (both genes don’t work), your body may not be able to make Vitamin D no matter how much sun you get.
I have a 78 year old male patient named Jerry who owns his own lawn care business. He sometimes mows up to 11 yards in one day. Upon testing, his vitamin D levels were a 12! OMG, the tank was empty!!!
Jerry is in the sun all day at least 5 days a week and had extremely low levels of vitamin D. I began working with him and 2 weeks later, he wrote me a very heartfelt letter thanking me for the difference my care had already made in his life.
His energy levels were restored. He had no more abdominal pain and tightness. His anxiety was completely gone and he was sleeping through the night.
Obviously, I worked with Jerry on more than his low Vitamin D levels, but what I did with him worked very fast and he was thrilled.
Can Low Cholesterol Cause Low Vitamin D Levels?
One last thing about Vitamin D is that cholesterol lowering medications can cause low Vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is made from cholesterol.
When your levels of cholesterol are lowered, it can decrease your vitamin D levels. This can decrease immune system function and cause many other side effects.
Cholesterol is important. It is found in all cell membranes. Your brain is made up of cholesterol derivatives. Cholesterol heals and repairs chronically inflamed tissues in the body.
So, it’s probably time to do some self-evaluation. Are you healthy? Do you have some of the signs or symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency?
Granted, things are usually more complex than a deficiency of one vitamin or mineral. What is the cause of your deficiency? Do you have an infection that hasn’t been identified?
Maybe you don’t need to take vitamin D long-term. Once the source of your low levels has been identified, a strategy can be put in place to help you maintain and preserve your health.
Maybe you need to find out why your Vitamin D isn’t getting absorbed. Maybe it’s time to do something about it instead of staying fatigued with chronic sickness and prevent the onset of brittle bones, osteoporosis, etc… so that you can live a healthy, happy and vibrant life.
Health is Happiness,
Dr. Keith Currie