The most common vitamin deficiency is not a vitamin at all. It’s a hormone. Vitamin D3, cholecalciferol, is the hormone that every mammal has to indicate when it’s winter time. The sun hitting the skin begins a biochemical chain reaction involving both the liver and the kidneys that eventually affects every system in the body.
During winter, when sun is scarce, Vitamin D3 levels drop indicating to the body that it’s time to hibernate as there will inevitably be less food available. Metabolism slows through the action of the thyroid. Fat is stored rather than burnt as fuel. Sex hormones and fertility wane. Sleep cycles lengthen and lighten. Energy levels and brain function drop. Immune system goes to standby mode.
The problem is that in our modern age, we either work too much and miss the sun or are deliberately avoiding the sun due to a fear of cancer. Ironically, Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to many diseases including cancer, depression, autoimmune diseases, obesity, asthma, migraines, dementia, diabetes, heart disease, gastrointestinal disorders and more.
In fact, increasing Vitamin D levels to OPTIMAL range (60-80 g/ml), can decrease your risk of cancer by up to 77% one study at Creighton University School of Medicine showed. The clincher is that the recommended daily allowances of Vitamin D3 needed to increase levels has been grossly miscalculated by the Academy of Sciences (NAS) Institute of Medicine (IOM). Maintenance doses of Vitamin D3 vary, but are generally between 3,000 and 5,000 iu per day.
If you suspect your Vitamin D levels are low, work with your physician to monitor your Vitamin D levels through blood tests while increasing oral doses up to 10,000 iu’s per day for 3 months. You may also want to try Vitamin D injections.
Book your appointment with Dr. Sera to get your Vitamin D levels tested for only $50.
- Garland, Cedric, et al. The Role of Vitamin D in Cancer Prevention. Am J Public Health. 2006 February; 96(2): 252–261. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1470481/
- Web MD: Vitamin D deficiency http://www.webmd.com/diet/guide/vitamin-d-deficiency#1
- McDonnell, Sharon, et al. Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Concentrations >_40 ng/ml are associated with > 65% Lower Cancer Risk: Pooled Analysis of Randomized Trial and Prospective Cohort Study. PLOS Journal. 2016, April 6.
- 472–4475; doi:10.3390/nu6104472 URL: http://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/7/3/1688
- 2Veugelers, P.J. et al. 2014. A Statistical Error in the Estimation of the Recommended Dietary Allowance for Vitamin D. Nutrients 2014, 6(10), 4472-4475; doi:10.3390/nu6104472 URL: http://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/6/10/4472/htm.