Today's question comes from Kate. She's been recently diagnosed with a low vitamin D level and she wants to know what could she do to boost up her vitamin D.
It's a great question because vitamin D is such a critical vitamin that I'm going to expand on by giving an overview on the symptoms of vitamin D deficiency, and why vitamin D is so low in this country.
Vitamin D deficiency is an epidemic right now. Over 90% of the population have been shown to be low in vitamin D, according to some scientific studies. Vitamin D is not just a vitamin, it's also a hormone.
Hormones have receptors, and there are receptors that are activated by vitamin D. That shows that it not only has some metabolic functions to the body, it has tremendous impact on so many different things.
Let's get into some of the symptoms you can have if you have vitamin D deficiency.
Immune dysfunction is a big one. Some scientific studies show that cancer will increase with a lower level of vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency also has its effects on diabetes, or cardiovascular disease. It affects bone density because vitamin D is critical to help calcium absorption. Vitamin D can even have an impact on your mood because depression increases with vitamin D deficiency. Even muscle pain can be increased with a vitamin D deficiency.
And that's why most people who go to the doctor aren't going there looking for vitamin D deficiency, because their symptoms are kind of amorphous. They have muscle pain or some fatigue and doctors aren't thinking, oh, let's check your vitamin D level.
Now, why are so many people deficient of vitamin D?
Number one, people are inside more often than they used to be. Staying inside prevents us from going outside and being in the sunlight, and sunlight hitting our skin increases vitamin D synthesis. So if we have jobs where we're indoors, or if we live in a northern hemisphere, whether it's the upper United States, and Canada, and Northern Europe, that's gonna impact how much sunlight we get.
The second thing is bisphenol A, also called BPA. It is found in canned foods and hard plastics. BPA has been shown to decrease vitamin D synthesis. So if you are someone who has a lot of canned foods, whether it's canned beans or you drink from plastic bottles, it has BPA that's going to diminish your vitamin D count.
So what you're putting in your body, even if the food itself seems healthy, try to stay away from canned foods, and stay away from plastics that have BPA in them.
The third thing that could affect your vitamin D synthesis is your liver function. The liver is critical at producing vitamin D. So people who have a sluggish liver or their liver function is a little bit off can have a decrease in vitamin D synthesis.
Now how can we boost our vitamin D?
Get more sunlight, stay away from the BPA, and make sure you have a healthy liver.
In fact, I recently did a video on how to have a healthy liver and how to reverse fatty liver disease. And, basically, it's all about keeping a nice clean diet. Stay away from conventional meats and dairy foods and make sure you're having lots of fruits and vegetables. If you're getting meat and dairy, make sure it's from grass-fed sources. Stay away from processed grains and sugars, and stay more with sprouted grains.
Other things good for the liver are choline, and three herbs that I recommend are turmeric, dandelion, and milk thistle.
Now, the last thing that you need to do to boost your vitamin D level is just take a good vitamin D3 product. But when you are supplementing with vitamin D, make sure it's a D3 product not a D2 product, and make sure you're also taking vitamin K2. When you take D3 you're helping absorb calcium, which is great for you, but your body needs extra K2 to take that calcium to put it into the bones.
If you don't have enough K2, then the extra calcium in your system can actually be detrimental to your health. Now be sure it says K2, this is not your regular clotting vitamin, vitamin K. K2 is completely different than that. Now, what you want to shoot for is somewhere between 1 and 5000 IUs of vitamin D3 when you are using the supplement.
So, that's everything you need to know about vitamin D. It's a critical nutrient, it's a hormone.
There's different things that can decrease its production and it has a lot of effects on many aspects of the body. If you have any other health questions, always feel free to reach out.
I hope you have an amazing day!