Much has been written about the benefits of vitamin D and deficiency related dysfunctions. We doctors are mainly blaming less sun exposure which is not the only reason for its deficiency. Problem with conventional medical system is that when it cannot find the correct root cause, it always blames a “difficult to cure root cause” which is humanly non-accessible.
Scientific facts about vitamin D:
Vitamin D is a group of fat-soluble secosteroids responsible for intestinal absorption of calcium and phosphate. In humans, vitamin D is unique because it can be ingested as cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) or ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) and because the body can also synthesize it (from cholesterol) when sun exposure is adequate (hence its nickname, the “sunshine vitamin”). Vitamin D is carried in the blood stream to the liver, where it is converted into the pro-hormone calcidiol which is also known as calcifediol (INN), 25-hydroxycholecalciferol, or 25-hydroxyvitamin D—abbreviated 25(OH)D; and which is the specific vitamin D metabolite that is measured in serum to determine a person’s vitamin D status. Circulating calcidiol may then be converted into calcitriol, the biologically active form of vitamin D, either in the kidneys or by monocyte-macrophages in the immune system. When synthesized by monocyte-macrophages, calcitriol acts locally as a cytokine, defending the body against microbial invaders. Following the final converting step in the kidney, calcitriol (the physiologically active form of vitamin D) is released into the circulation. By binding to vitamin D-binding protein (VDBP), a carrier protein in the plasma, calcitriol is transported to various target organs. Calcitriol circulates as a hormone in the blood, regulating the concentration of calcium and phosphate in the bloodstream and promoting the healthy growth and remodeling of bone. Calcidiol is also converted to calcitriol outside of the kidneys for other purposes, such as the proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis of cells; calcitriol also affects neuromuscular function and inflammation. Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol) is produced photo chemically in the skin from 7-dehydrocholesterol. 7-dehydrocholesterol is produced in relatively large amount in the skin of most vertebrate animals, including humans.
The vitamin D receptor VDRs belongs to the nuclear receptor super family of steroid/thyroid hormone receptors, and VDRs are expressed by cells in most organs, including the brain, heart, skin, gonads, prostate, and breast. VDR activation in the intestine, bone, kidney, and parathyroid gland cells leads to the maintenance of calcium and phosphorus levels in the blood (with the assistance of parathyroid hormone and calcitonin) and to the maintenance of bone content. There are only 30,000 genes in your body and vitamin D has been shown to influence over 2,000 of them. That’s one of the primary reasons it influences so many diseases.
SLP causes of vitamin D deficiency:
I will try to relate the sources of vitamin D, organs and systems contributing in the metabolism and absorption of vitamin D, and an unhealthy lifestyle. This global vitamin D deficiency is not a simple phenomenon to understand, and probably it took many decades to develop this deficiency.
First look at the precursors/sources of vitamin D in the human body:
- Proper and sufficient exposure to sunlight
- Foods rich in cholesterol to produce more vitamin D
- Intake of healthy proteins to produce sufficient vitamin D binding proteins (VDBP), broiler chicken based diet makes us protein deficient.
- Healthy skin and availability of right type and amount of cholesterol in skin layers, application of sun blocks and various skin lotions impair the absorption of vitamin D
Organs / system required for absorption and bioavailability of vitamin D are:
- Parathyroid gland
- Monocytes-macrophages in immune system
- Liver to produce calcidiol
- Kidney to produce calcitriol
- Proper circulation of blood for availability of vitamin D to the target body areas
Unhealthy lifestyle factors and vitamin D deficiency:
- Low fat, fat free and transfats laden foods have invaded our routine diet and cause deficiency of fat soluble vitamin D. Vitamin D rich natural foods like raw butter, ghee, whole milk, organ meats and egg yolks are avoided under the instruction of a medical doctor.
- According to the rules of biological clock we are suppose to follow specific meal timings for the optimum absorption of various nutrients especially vitamin D which has got the involvement of multiple systems for its absorption. Maximum absorption of vitamin D is from an early breakfast which is rich in, fats and proteins. However people prefer to eat dead foods for the breakfast in the form of packaged cereals, bran or white flour products or foods with naked calories.
- In a routine meal, chemically incompatible foods are combined to produce unhealthy metabolites which are liver and kidney toxic, therefore disturbing their metabolic functions. A dysfunctional liver will impair vitamin D conversion into calcidiol, resulting in low serum levels of vitamin D in Laboratory tests. Therefore a dysfunctional liver is the root cause of commonly observed low levels of vitamin D. Low calcidiol will affect the production of calcitriol from kidney and immune cells. Calcitriol works on target organs therefore its deficiency will be affecting multiple biological functions of a human body and resulting in various signs and symptoms.
- Repetition of same food groups, natural or artificial for weeks or months result in overloading of one type of metabolite which impair liver and kidney functions. So keep on switching between various natural food groups to facilitate proper detoxification of liver and kidneys, which will result in optimum absorption of various food nutrients.
- Less open air exposure has dropped the blood oxygen level, therefore putting extra load on our lungs. Another factor which has affected the health of our lungs is the breathing pattern. Lifestyle stress has forced humans to adopt shallow breathing patterns and which has affected lung immunity. Acupuncture says that lungs look after the health of our skin. If lung function is impaired, skin absorption of vitamin D will be impaired indirectly.
- Our second brain resides in our gut, stress filled lifestyle and artificial foods have badly affected the gut environment and flora causing poor absorption of vitamin D.
- Another unhealthy important lifestyle factor is less nocturnal sleep. Sleep deprivation is giving less rejuvenation time to liver, kidney, gut and endocrine glands, therefore impairing nutrient absorption especially vitamin D.
How to manage this deficiency:
Vitamin D deficiency is a result of an unhealthy lifestyle resulting in multiple chemical imbalances and dysfunction of various organs. Modify your dietary habits by following “SLP eight rules of diet correction” from my website. http://www.slpintegratedholisticcare.com/diet_correction.html
Learn to recognize and manage your stress on every day basis. Do some out door activity to get sufficient oxygen and sunlight and learn how to breathe properly. Take natural foods and fermented foods in routine to take care of your gut, which will facilitate the absorption of vitamin A and D. Learn how to align your body with nature by reading my book “ Living as Nature Intended”.