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SUNSHINE VITAMIN D - To D or Not to D

Updated on April 20, 2010

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Very recently one my fan asked me why I never suggest people to use vitamin D3 for boosting immunity and healing various diseases, because many healers today are forcing D3 supplements as ultimate cure for many diseases: from the flu, various autoimmune diseases to the cancer. There is only one problem: overuse of D3 (or D2) can be as dangerous, as lack of it. Due to the overpromotion of D vitamin supplements, so many people today are literally poisoning themselves by taking massive amounts of this substance.

What is good to know about vitamin D before rushing to buy tones of vitamin D supplements?

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1. Vitamin D is not vitamin at all. It is a hormone (secosteroid). As a hormone, it is very active substance (far more active then any vitamin) and scientists like to compare it`s strength with corticosteroids (hormones of adrenal glands, that are extremely dangerous to be taken (please read my Hub about CORTICOSTEROIDS )).

2. Vitamin D supplements come in two forms:

  • as D3 (derived from animals)
  • as D2 (derived from fungus or yeast)

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3. "Vitamin" D3 (calcitriol) is derived from animals (lamb`s wool that has been exposed to the UV rays), as such is very bioactive, and has quick effect on human body, but not always the good one. Vitamin D is hormone, and hormones are always tricky to use, even the smallest quantity of bioactive animal or synthetic hormones can produce massive imbalance in the body - real need for any hormone differs from day to day, from moment to moment. Only natural way of taking hormones are homeopathic ones or phyto-hormones, (in case of hormone/vitamin D we primary need sunshine) - everything else, if not taken very carefully, can cause more troubles then people are aware of.

Vitamin D3, when overdosed through the supplements, is suppressing immune system, instead of improving it. Despite the fact that our body is able to store excess of D3 in the fat cells, when there is too much of it, D3 has an ability to attach to the T-cell receptors - blocking the normal action of T-cells (thymus) that are necessary for our immune system to work well. As a result of that, symptoms of various diseases can be also temporary suppressed (as it is case with taking corticosteroids), but in long term - chronic diseases develop and become obvious as soon as person stops using D3 supplements.

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4. Vitamin D2 (ergosterol, calcidiol) is derived from fungus (mushrooms or yeast (that have been exposed to UV light). It is not so bioactive as D3, because human body has to transform it into D3 in order to use it, but is stil powerfull substance. Today food we buy is often fortified with D2 (milk, butter, juices...), so if someone is additionaly using D2 supplements  it is very important to follow what are real amounts of vitamin D person is taking daily - recommended dosage should not be exceeded.

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5. There is only one type of vitamin (hormone) D I will always recommend - that is sunshine. 15-30 minutes of daily exposure to the sunshine is able to balance all needs for D hormone in the body, at least that is required minimum...  The another very acceptable way of taking vitamin D - is as homeopathic remedy.

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6, People who live live above 37 degrees latitude do not get vitamin D during the winter ( from October to March ), so during the winter they really need additional intake of vitamin D2 (in food, or fortified food or supplements), according to daily recommended dosage (400 UI) .


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7. Sources of vitamin D in food are: cod liver oil, fatty fish, halibut, egg yolk, sweet potatoes, vegetable oils, alfalfa, and oatmeal, but intake of vitamin D through the food (or supplements) cannot permanently replace our need for sunlight. Our skin will be always the best factory of the best quality of vitamin D.

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Supplements of vitamin D ? Not so good option...at least not for everybody.

It is not every person able to absorb vitamin D from supplements
It is not every person able to absorb vitamin D from supplements

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Nowadays is VITAMIN D DEFICIENCY(Hypovitaminosis D) a common problem. Due to the modern style of life and fear from negative effect UV sun rays, people spend very little time outside and their actual exposure to the sunlight is far below the needed minimum.

People who have kidney and liver diseases, as well as older people have additional problem with vitamin D synthesis.

Only reliable way to get enough of vitamin D is from the sun exposure, because our skin has the best capacity to produce hormone/vitamin D in our body. (only smaller amount of it should be obtained from food and supplements).

Vitamin/hormone D - when in right quantity, is necessary:

  • for metabolism of calcium and phosphorus (it directly interacts with parathyroid hormone - PTH- of parathyroid glands, it promotes absorption of calcium and phosphorus from food in the intestines, and re- absorption of calcium in the kidneys)
  • for mineralization and growth of the bones and teeth (during the whole life)
  • for health of the kidneys and intestines
  • for improving immune system
  • it has strong anti-oxidant properties and activates regeneration of cells and cellular death of tumor cells

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There are two types of imbalance of vitamin/hormone D possible:

  1. Hypovitaminosis D, caused by lack of vitamin D
  2. Hypervitaminosis D, caused by excess of vitamin D

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1. Hypovitaminosis D (low level of vitamin D) today have many people of all age, actually more then ever: lack of outdoor activities has it´s high cost for health. As a result of that, people suffer from:

  • too high level of PTH (parathyroid hormone)
  • osteoporosis,
  • osteomalacia (softening of the bones)
  • increased risk of fractures
  • gum diseases
  • inability to absorb calcium and phosphorus from food
  • low immunity
  • musculoskeletal pain,
  • fatigue,
  • gum bleeding,
  • depression (especially seasonal), irritability,
  • appetite disorders,
  • foggy mind, lack of concentration

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2. Hypervitaminosis D (vitamin D poisoning), is occuring because of overuse of vitamin D supplements during the longer period of time, and can happen more often then people are aware. Hypervitaminosis D causes:

  • high blood concentrations of calcium (hypercalcemia),
  • overcalcification of the bones, soft tissues, heart and kidneys
  • damage the kidney
  • produces kidney stones
  • hypertension
  • problems with immunity

Symptoms of excess of vitamin D are:

  • Constipation, decreased appetite (anorexia), dehydration, fatigue, irritability, muscle weakness, vomiting

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As you can see, it is so easy to mix symptomes of lack or excess of vitamin D: fatigue, irritability, low appetite and problems with muscles and pain can happen in the both cases...(and also can be symptoms of million other health conditions...)  

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Even with Cod Liver Oil, that is excellent source of vitamin D we should not exceed recommended dosage.

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Vitamin D is very powerful hormone... We cannot be healthy neither without it, nor with excess of it.

Although vitamin D can be useful in healing various autoimmune diseases for some people and has strong anti-oxidant properties so can be great as tumor prevention , it is far for being ultimate cure for them - at least not in supplements. What is good for one person, it does not need to be good for the other. Taking massive doses of vitamin D will not cure any disease - it will just cause new problems.

So - let more sunshine in your life... and do it consciously, while enjoying in sunrays: your skin and your body is the best possible and most reliable creator of vitamin D...

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Tatjana Mihaela Pribic

Holistic healer and Reiki teacher

My services and pricing

I provide the following services, while on-line:

1.E-mail healing consultations

.2.Long-distance healing (Bio-energy, Reiki, radionics)

3.Recommendation  of remedies as: homeopatics,  herbal, Bach flower´s remedies, crystal essences

4.Prepare individual homeopathic/remedies which completely match the need of my clients and are highly efficient: I can combine much more remedies and healing vibrations then any of the companies which produce them for massive use.

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1. E-mail healing consultations are great for the people who are a lot on-line, or because of various reasons have no opportunity or wish to go directly on appointment with healer.

They can include:

  • analysis of health problem and  causes of disease
  • recommendation of most appropriate remedies (homeopathic or/and herbal)
  • recommendation of most appropriate diet
  •  radiestesy analysis with pendulum

The price of consultation service is 50 US$.

2. If someone is interested in long-distance healing (reiki, bio-energy, radionics), WHICH IS ALSO HIGLY EFFICIENT, you can contact me through my e-mail mihaelat999@yahoo.com  Price for 30-40 minutes healing treatment is usually 30 US$ - or 40$ per hour. Number of treatments needed vary from person to person.

 3. Price of my homeopathics/radionics remedies is circa 30 US $ per remedy.

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Tatiana-Michaela Pribic

Usui and Karuna Reiki teacher and holistic healer

 

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    • Tatjana-Mihaela profile image
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      Tatjana-Mihaela 6 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA

      I completely agree Leo, only problem is that so many people take it without any criteria, while not activating it through the most natural source - sunshine.Of course, during the winter days situation is different.

      Thank you so much for your nice comment.

    • profile image

      Leo 6 years ago

      Thanks for the article, tes vitamin D is a very under-rated vitamin, yet so essential for our health and well-being.

      Tests have proven that the D vitamin plays a crucial role in the immune system. It actually 'triggers' the dormant white blood cells into action, turning them into 'killers' to seek out and destroy nasty infections.

      Amazing stuff!

    • Tatjana-Mihaela profile image
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      Tatjana-Mihaela 7 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA

      Thank you very much GG.

    • GmaGoldie profile image

      Kelly Kline Burnett 7 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      Fantastic Hub! Thank you! All I have heard is the pushing of vitamin D - glad to have all the facts. The comments are fascinating too! Love all your work - keep it up!

    • Tatjana-Mihaela profile image
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      Tatjana-Mihaela 7 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA

      Thank you very much, Adorababy.

    • adorababy profile image

      adorababy 7 years ago from Syracuse, NY

      I really appreciate you taking the time to inform people about the misconception of taking tons of vitamin D. A lot of people just take in these supplements without really reading about what it can do if you over use it.

    • Tatjana-Mihaela profile image
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      Tatjana-Mihaela 7 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA

      Thank you so much, Mwatkins for your really valuable comment about negative effects of vitamin D!

    • mwatkins profile image

      mwatkins 7 years ago from Portland, Oregon & Vancouver BC

      Your sunshine recommendation is excellent. Both my husband and dog (no pun intended) were taking vitamin D and developed sores on their bodies. Once they stopped taking it, the sores cleared up and went away - My husband had to shave his head and our dog couldn't grow hair over a shaved spot on her body until we stopped giving her vitamin D. It was weird! I'm sure glad we don't have it in the house anymore so that it can't even be taken by accident! Thanks for a great hub!

    • Tatjana-Mihaela profile image
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      Tatjana-Mihaela 7 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA

      Thank you so much Healthy Hanna. Well, some people really need advice, because they like to play dangerous games with their health.

      Thank you for your wise and encouraging comment.

    • HealthyHanna profile image

      HealthyHanna 7 years ago from Utah

      I was glad to read this article too. Caution needs to be raised. As with most natural supplements, you need to know what you are doing. That is why people need to seek the advise from someone like you on an individual basis as to what they need to do given their circumstances.

    • Tatjana-Mihaela profile image
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      Tatjana-Mihaela 7 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA

      Thank you very much for reading me, Loveofnight.

    • loveofnight profile image

      loveofnight 7 years ago from Baltimore, Maryland

      WOW...........this hub should be called all you wanted to know about vitamin d and didn't know what to ask.you did an excellent job with this hub...love the format and detail....thx 4 share

    • Tatjana-Mihaela profile image
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      Tatjana-Mihaela 7 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA

      Thank you very much, GL - in my part of the world I feel only benefit from sun exposure (of course I do not barbique my body, neither go on sun in the part of the day where is too strong...)...and feel great on that way (I wish this rainy winter is finally completely over, so I can get more light-food, LOL).

    • Green Lotus profile image

      Hillary 7 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Great information Tatjana and I learned a lot. Vitamin D a hormone! And I never knew about the different varieties of D. excellent! I need to sun myself more too. There's so much talk about the dangers of sun exposure, one needs to find a happy medium. I suppose you can wear sunblock on your face and take it in on your arms and legs.

    • Tatjana-Mihaela profile image
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      Tatjana-Mihaela 7 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA

      Me as well QS - sometimes I spend on beach all day...vitamin D and breeze of wind: perfect natural combination.

    • Tatjana-Mihaela profile image
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      Tatjana-Mihaela 7 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA

      Thank you so much Prasetio, continue enjoying your vitD-jogging and you will be healthy always!

    • quicksand profile image

      quicksand 7 years ago

      Sometimes I get a larger dose than my daily requirement ... on the beach of course! :)

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 7 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Nice information. We have to concern about Vitamin D. Why I like jogging in 8.00 a.m, because I get free vitamin D from sunshine. It good for our health. This hub inspiring me to keep my health better than before. Thanks

    • Tatjana-Mihaela profile image
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      Tatjana-Mihaela 7 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA

      Thank you very much theherbivorehippi.

    • Tatjana-Mihaela profile image
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      Tatjana-Mihaela 7 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA

      Thank you so much, Sage Williams, your compliments are really special present to me.

    • Tatjana-Mihaela profile image
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      Tatjana-Mihaela 7 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA

      Hi Kanav,

      ...sometimes I love cloudy and rainy days- to take rest, but after too many of them I cannot functionate properly . I enjoy receiving vital energy from sun, immediately feel better...

      Thank you so much for the visit and comment.

    • Tatjana-Mihaela profile image
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      Tatjana-Mihaela 7 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA

      Hi Cherie,

      sun is great...

      I mentioned lattitudes in my article:

      "People who live live above 37 degrees latitude do not get vitamin D during the winter ( from October to March ), so during the winter they really need additional intake of vitamin D2 (in food, or fortified food or supplements), according to daily recommended dosage (400 UI) ."

      Point of my Hub was to prevent overdosage, that became serious problem.

      Thank you so much for the visit and comment.

    • theherbivorehippi profile image

      theherbivorehippi 7 years ago from Holly, MI

      Here is my link to my Vitamin D article I mentioned. It's not nearly as in depth as yours so hopefully after people read mine they'll come right over there and get mroe information! :)

      https://hubpages.com/health/Vitamin-D-and-Gum-Dise

    • Dr. Cherie profile image

      Cherie Santasiero PhD 7 years ago from Hamburg, NY

      Hi Tatjana,

      I love the sun.

      l go in the sun, unprotected, for 30 minutes a day... In the summer. However, to get the benefits of D, the sun has to be directly over head. For those of us who live in the northern Latitudes, the only time to get D benefits is between about May through July. Following is a tiny quote from just one study. I'll include the link for you as well. I believe I mentioned the latitudes in my hub "Vitamin D Deficiency an Epidemic." If you are interested, I've got more research. Just let me know. Glad you wrote about it.

      "While our bodies do manufacture vitamin D on exposure to sunshine, the levels in some northern countries are so weak during the winter months that our body makes no vitamin D at all, meaning that dietary supplements and fortified foods are seen by many as the best way to boost intakes of vitamin D.

      Source: Journal of Nutrition

      Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.3945/jn.109.115253

      "Vitamin D Intake Needed to Maintain Target Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Concentrations in Participants with Low Sun Exposure and Dark Skin Pigmentation Is Substantially Higher Than Current Recommendations"

    • Sage Williams profile image

      Sage Williams 7 years ago

      Wow! I am always amazed at your knowledge and expertise. You are a truly amazing resource and an exceptional writer.

      I always learn something new and am forever grateful on the topics that you choose to write. Thanks so much for another very valuable hub.

      Sage

    • Kanav profile image

      Kanav 7 years ago from Matrix

      We Indians are over blessed with Vita D but Tatjana, how do over body compensate for over exposure. While my time in Copenhagen, I became sluggish and did not keep well in first winters, I went to the doc and he immediately recommended me taking oat meal with some probiotics and then told me that my body was reacting to Vita D and no show from Sun god :)

      I was well within 5 days.

      Cheers!

    • Tatjana-Mihaela profile image
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      Tatjana-Mihaela 7 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA

      Yes - Katiem - this is exactly what I love to do (soak up some warm sun in some adequate pose). Thank you so much for the visit and comment (BTW, Yoga is great!)

    • Tatjana-Mihaela profile image
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      Tatjana-Mihaela 7 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA

      Thank you very much, Theherbivorehippi, I will be honored.

      Please live the link to your Hub here in the comments, and I will add it in link box.

      Thank you very much for the visit and compliment.

    • katiem2 profile image

      katiem2 7 years ago from I'm outta here

      The sun will be shining bright today and tomorrow. I just opened my french doors to a bright and happy sun. I and do a trick I learned from my cat. I srike a YOGA pose in front of the door and soak up some warm filtered sun for a good twenty minutes or so.. It feels SO amazing and DOES so much good for heart, body, mind and soul :) Peace

    • theherbivorehippi profile image

      theherbivorehippi 7 years ago from Holly, MI

      Awesome Hub! I'd love to link this to my vitamin d hub if you don't mind?

    • Tatjana-Mihaela profile image
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      Tatjana-Mihaela 7 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA

      Thank you so much, Hello Hello.

    • Tatjana-Mihaela profile image
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      Tatjana-Mihaela 7 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA

      Yes Dohn it is true: the best things in life are free and we should learn how to appreciate them.

      Mountain biking is great and so healthy...and views are beautiful.

      Thank you so much for the visit and comment.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      I never stop learning here. Thank you for your very informative hub.

    • dohn121 profile image

      dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      Isn't it amazing that the best things in life are free? I have to wonder about this these days as many kids (like myself, hehe) stay indoors with my PC when I should be outside catching some rays (as the expression goes). I try to keep fit by mountain biking which I love to do from spring to fall and as much as I can.

      I'd tell you that you give the best health advice, but I already have! Thanks as always, Tatjana-Mihaela.

    • Tatjana-Mihaela profile image
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      Tatjana-Mihaela 7 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA

      Thank you so much Sue, I appreciate your support very much.

    • Tatjana-Mihaela profile image
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      Tatjana-Mihaela 7 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA

      Just be careful and do not exceed recommended dosage, Mary. Well, today some people are taking 2000 UI ( recommended dosage is aprox 400 UI) while thinking that is benefit for the health...instead they spend some time outside.

      If you have garden - so great! With water fontains - so lovely.

      While writting this Hub, I also did not forget to sit on the sunshine for some time - I love being outside.

      Love and hugs

    • emohealer profile image

      Sioux Ramos 7 years ago from South Carolina

      A much needed appropriately written article!!! There is much hubbub about Vitamin D and no warnings where there should be....Sunshine....Yes...2 thumbs up and a huge Bravo!!!

    • VioletSun profile image

      VioletSun 7 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

      Ooops, Tatjana... I took my Vitamin D this morning, I thought it was good, but yes, getting sunshine has to be much more healthier than the supplement. Thanks for this hub, will be very careful in how I take it, didn't know it was dangerous or that it was a hormone! Today, I went out and spent some time in the sunshine, and walked and walked. We have a back garden here at home, with chairs and water fountains, so there is no excuse for me not to sit outside for 20 minutes and get some sunshine now that the weather is warming up.

      I like Explosive Ink's comments, he makes sense too!

      Thumb up!

      Hugs,

    • Tatjana-Mihaela profile image
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      Tatjana-Mihaela 7 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA

      Thanks for the comment, Explosive Ink, this is exactly the point of my Hub.

    • Explosive INK profile image

      Explosive INK 7 years ago from Austin Texas

      Save your cash. I am German and in Europe it is popular to sit outside with friends and get your daily dose of VD by the sun. Even on a cool February day you can get some good direct sun and it makes you feel good. Many movies show people sitting with silver boards reflecting sun on them as they bronze on break. Too many people take suppliments to compensate for the lack of time or laziness to exercise or eat right in which instigates your bodies functions in order. Get sun, Run and eat right and I will see you in 75 years and the skating rink.