Can we PLEASE stop this Vitamin D madness?
Every time I see someone talk about giving isolated Vitamin D to their infants, I want to call up their pediatrician and slap them through the phone. Seriously- that is how mad it makes me. I had a child almost 2 years ago and I got the spiel too. “Breastfed babies are low in vitamin D. You HAVE to give them a supplement.” That’s it, end of story, thanks for coming, have a nice day. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against the parents! As parents, we feel like we should be able to trust the doctor since they should be the “expert”. It is not our fault that they give poor advice!
Luckily, this made no sense to me as I live in FLORIDA! Hello, sunshine all day long, all year long. Where would the common sense be in that? Knowing what I know now about isolated vitamin D, I am so glad I never listened to my pediatrician.
To doctors, Vitamin D is the new calcium! They seem to pick one nutrient every so often which gives us the illusion that they actually understand and care about nutrition. Has no one learned from their mistakes when they were promoting calcium supplementation? Calcium supplementation is being linked to heart disease, arthritis, crippling PMS, thyroid disorders, renal failure, and countless other ailments. Someone with “M.D” behind their name would be the last person I take nutritional advice from, especially considering that most will admit they got a whole few hours long class on nutrition!
You see, vitamin D is actually a hormone. We aren’t meant to eat hormones- we are meant to eat the building blocks to these hormones, which includes minerals, fat and cholesterol.
But let’s keep the focus on D here- this study tells us what we need to know about why vitamin D deficiency is not about taking a vitamin D pill:
“Life depends on an energy-consuming complex interplay of organic and inorganic substances to maintain biological structures. Adequate energy and nutrient supply is a prerequisite to guarantee normal functioning of metabolic pathways and thus a healthy life. To become metabolically active, several nutrients require other essential nutrients as cofactors (emphasis added). For example, copper is required for the oxidation of absorbed Fe2+ to [become] Fe3+, which is then bound to transferrin; and riboflavin (vitamin B2) and pyridoxine (vitamin B6) are required to produce niacin (vitamin B3) from dietary tryptophan. Therefore, some nutrition-related illnesses, such as anemia and pellegra, can be caused by multiple nutrient deficits [1,2]. Magnesium (Mg) is a cofactor that is required for the binding of vitamin-D to its transport protein. Moreover, conversion of vitamin-D by hepatic 25-hydroxylation and renal 1a-hydroxylation into the active, hormonal form 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin-D (1,25(OH)2D) is Mg dependent [3,4]. ”
Read that again: “Magnesium is a cofactor that is required for the binding of vitamin-D to its transport protein.”
So, taking isolated vitamin D without knowing your personal D and magnesium levels is just downright dangerous. There is a reason why D is not abundant in foods- we are NOT supposed to consume it. And those that praise D to no end, ask them one question- “How can you possibly bottle up sunshine?” You cannot! You cannot put something in a pill and say it replaces something from nature.
In my training and research with mineral balancing, one nutrient can start a cascade of changes with other nutrients. This is true for ANY nutrient. Isolated vitamin D will tank potassium, magnesium, and vitamin A. It makes us absorb more calcium as well. This can lead to adrenal fatigue, thyroid disorders, renal failure, insomnia, kidney stones, and even hospitalization. Yes, hospitalization! I know of about a dozen people that started isolated D (per their doctor’s advice) and ended up in the hospital because of life-threateningly low potassium.
How to Really Raise Vitamin D
Testing is key to fixing ANY nutritional deficiency. We cannot merely go off of symptoms. I am definitely one to extol the virtues of magnesium, but now that I understand its relationship with other minerals, I would *never* tell anyone to try it without testing first. Hair tissue mineral analysis is a great first step to assess your personal mineral status- we are ALL DIFFERENT. I cannot stress that enough- we will all have different triggers to illness and different levels of deficiencies and we need different approaches to healing.
Raising vitamin D is not about taking a pill, but helping the body to convert it. From this article from WAPF, “Vitamin D raises the requirement for vitamins A and K. Vitamin D should be taken by mothers or given to infants in the form of cod liver oil, and mothers should consume a diet rich in grass-fed butterfat, cheese, fermented foods, bone broths and grass-fed organ meats to supply vitamin D in a way that is safest and most effective.”
Cod liver oil is one of the oldest supplements around. Luckily, they’ve managed to make it taste a little better now! Some good cod liver oil brands are Rosita’s, NutraPro, and Nordic Naturals (without the added D!)
Safe sun exposure, cod liver oil, magnesium, and balancing minerals will be the big keys for fixing a D deficiency. Especially when it comes to infants, we have to be cautious when using synthetic supplements. You can read my entire post on raising vitamin D the correct way here.
We can’t focus on ONE nutrient anymore. We just can’t. We are depleted in numerous nutrients and we have to learn our personal statuses, and go from there.
So if this is new to you, please take your time and read all of these links. It will all make sense, I promise.