Vitamin D3 – a PROHORMONE!
This little known pro-hormone (not an actual vitamin!) is produced inside our bodies from the action of ultraviolet light on 7-dehydrocholesterol in the skin. Technically it is a potent neuro-regulatory steroidal hormone.
Vitamin D3 (blood test range is 32-100 and the ideal is 50-100 and if dealing with major illness 80-100):
ALERT: The world is in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic. Public health measures that can reduce the risk of infection and death in addition to quarantines are desperately needed. Through several mechanisms, vitamin D can reduce the risk of infections. Those mechanisms include inducing cathelicidins and defensins that can lower viral replication rates and reducing concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines that produce the inflammation that injures the lining of the lungs, leading to pneumonia, as well as increasing concentrations of anti-inflammatory cytokines.Vitamin D supplements aid in the resistance of respiratory infections such as the coronavirus and at the very least… limits the severity of the illness in those infected, according to researchers. The findings also correspond to other recent reports that find the vitamin playing a role in preventing respiratory infections, reducing antibiotic use, and boosting the immune system response to infections. Literally every single person should have their Vitamin D3 levels checked and monitored and keep their levels at the top of the range.
Symptoms of low D3 are:
Autoimmune disease is developed in the body (MS, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Rheumatoid arthritis, etc.)
Aches and pains in the shins of your legs
Generalized bone pain and/or stress fractures
Upper respiratory issues
Tender sternum (chest bone)
Hypertension (high blood pressure)
Low B12 or low iron
Lowered immune function
Aberrations of estrogen metabolism = infertility, pms, rocky menopause
Lowered progesterone hormone
Hair loss (alopecia, etc.)
Sadness and/or depression
Greater pain sensitivity
Fatigue and/or sleep issues
Extreme crankiness / grouchiness
Sweating (even on top of head)
Vitamin D is necessary for building and maintaining healthy bones. That’s because calcium, the primary component of bone, can only be absorbed by your body when vitamin D is present. Your body makes vitamin D when direct sunlight converts a chemical in your skin into an active form of the vitamin (calciferol)
The amount of vitamin D your skin makes depends on many factors, including the time of day, season, latitude and your skin pigmentation. Depending on where you live and your lifestyle, vitamin D production might decrease or be completely absent during the winter months. Sunscreen, while important, also can decrease vitamin D production.
Many older adults don’t get regular exposure to sunlight and have trouble absorbing vitamin D, so taking a multivitamin with vitamin D will likely help improve bone health.
Research on vitamin D use for specific conditions shows:
- Cancer.Research suggests that vitamin D, especially when taken with calcium, might help prevent certain cancers.
- Cognitive health.Early research suggests that vitamin D might play a role in cognitive health. In one small study of adults age 60 years and older being treated for dementia, researchers found that taking a vitamin D supplement helped improve cognitive function.
- Inherited disorders.Vitamin D supplements can be used to help treat inherited disorders resulting from an inability to absorb or process vitamin D, such as familial hypophosphatemia.
- Multiple sclerosis.Research suggests that long-term vitamin D supplementation reduces the risk of multiple sclerosis.
- Osteomalacia.Vitamin D supplements are used to treat adults with severe vitamin D deficiency, resulting in loss of bone mineral content, bone pain, muscle weakness and soft bones (osteomalacia).
- Osteoporosis.Studies suggest that people who get enough vitamin D and calcium in their diets can slow bone mineral loss, help prevent osteoporosis and reduce bone fractures.
- Psoriasis.Applying vitamin D or a topical preparation that contains a vitamin D compound called calcipotriene to the skin can treat plaque-type psoriasis in some people.
- Rickets.This rare condition develops in children with vitamin D deficiency. Supplementing with vitamin D can prevent and treat the problem.
Long known for its role in the prevention of childhood rickets and in the intestinal absorption of dietary calcium, vitamin D has now been found to be important in protecting the body from a wide range of diseases. Disorders linked with vitamin D deficiency include stroke, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, osteomalacia, several forms of cancer, some autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and type I diabetes, and even type 2 diabetes, depression and schizophrenia. A major culprit of vitamin D deficiency is inadequate sun exposure. Vitamin D deficiency is especially problematic for people who spend much of their time indoors, or who live in colder climates.
Who is at Risk?
The Elderly The vitamin D precursor decreases in the skin with age, therefore elderly people are more prone to deficiency. Living in rest homes or becoming home-bound can limit exposure to sunshine. Muscle weakness and osteoporosis associated with vitamin D deficiency make the elderly more susceptible to falling and fracture risk. Clinical trials indicate that vitamin D supplementation may decrease the risk of fractures.
Dark skinned people require much longer sunlight exposure to generate adequate circulating vitamin D compared to fair-skinned people.
People with Limited Sunlight Exposure
People living at northern latitudes or who have limited sunlight exposure because of their working environment or cultural dress rules may have low vitamin D levels.
Musculoskeletal Pain Sufferers
Patients with symptoms of hypothyroidism, non-specific musculoskeletal pain, chronic low back pain, or fibromyalgia, are frequently found to have low vitamin D levels and show clinical improvement after supplementation. Vitamin D screening is strongly recommended in patients with musculoskeletal pain.
Overweight or Obese People
Vitamin D can be locked up in fat stores in obese patients, who have been found to have lower levels of circulating 25-hydroxy vitamin D and are at risk of deficiency.
Breast-Fed Infants, and Children with Limited Sunlight Exposure
All children require adequate circulating vitamin D to prevent rickets. Dark-skinned children and those who spend much of the day in indoor daycare centers are at risk of deficiency. Breast-fed children often receive inadequate amounts of vitamin D, particularly when their mothers are deficient. Maternal supplementation or the use of cod liver oil or other vitamin D supplements in infants and children can avoid the risk of developing type 1 diabetes in childhood.
BEST METHOD OF TESTING: Dried Blood Spot or Serum Blood test