We often hear that we should take vitamin D and that we need it for mood and for the immune system but do you know the function of Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a Fat-soluble vitamin which means it uses fat to get it into the body, or that the dissolves into fat. It is carried by fat into the body and held in the body. We get vitamin D in other areas as well like the sun from the ultraviolet rays. So why is it so many lack vitamin D? Most wear sunscreen when we are outdoors and many people spend little to no time in the sun. We also have an issue of breaking down fat and ingesting fat well.
When you have too much time in the sun you get heatstroke and some people will even get hives/rashes. This has to do with having an abundance of vitamin D and not having fatty acids in the body. Vitamin D can get very dangerous if you are not breaking down and getting enough fatty acids(specifically polyunsaturated fats).
Vitamin D picks up calcium in the gut and if needed it pulls it from the tissue back into the blood. It plays a role in processes such as cell growth, neuromuscular, immune function, and glucose metabolism (Vitamin D - Health Professional Fact Sheet (nih.gov). Many genes encoding proteins that regulate cell proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis are modulated in part by vitamin D. The pH in the bloodstream, gene expression all can be impacted by the mechanism of vitamin D. Vitamin D plays a key role in bringing in calcium and helping to direct it, calcium not accompanied by the right nutrients can cause you issues.
You can not discuss Vitamin D without discussing fatty acids. Fat is needed to carry both D and calcium to tissue and bones. Vitamin D also plays a role in the parathyroid which regulates calcium and phosphorus. Vitamin D can play a role in parathyroid hormone production. Parathyroid is directly connected to the thyroid so this is going to impact other hormone factors of estrogen which is how we rebuild. Vitamin D plays a role in bone health as it drives the calcium into the blood and the with the help of other minerals and vitamins drives it into the bones. Essentially Vitamin D is a cofactor to calcium and part of the transport process we need Vitamin D to pull calcium into the body and bloodstream.
Vitamin D impacts many organs and functions due to its role in calcium channeling. Excess amounts of vitamin D are toxic. Because vitamin D increases calcium absorption in the gastrointestinal tract, vitamin D toxicity results in marked hypercalcemia. Vitamin D toxicity has been caused by the abundance of supplemental use, consumption of dietary supplements that contained excessive vitamin D amounts because of manufacturing errors, that were taken inappropriately or in excessive amounts, or that were incorrectly prescribed by physicians.
Vitamin D is distributed into fat, muscle, liver, and serum. Body fat can impact the amount of vitamin D needed. As the body fat increases the demand for vitamin D often can increase.
We have to look not only at getting D but also at having the fatty acids and breaking them down to help drive it properly. When you eat foods with vitamin d they often have the fat needed with the vitamin D. How to get it in your diet The flesh of fatty fish (such as trout, salmon, tuna, and mackerel) and fish liver oils. Looking to how the liver is functioning and gallbladder is a large factor of getting all your fat-soluble vitamins, A, D, E, K. It is also important to have a good gut (small intestine health) as well as proper stomach acidity.
I do believe if we could help support good gut health in most people we could have a large advantage on most diseases and immune dysfunction. So before you go take a huge amount of vitamin D supplements make sure your liver and gallbladder are breaking your fat down. Get it from a natural source to have the cofactors with it.
If you want to have an assessment or understand how to nutritionally support immune set up an appointment for a scan. I would love to help you understand your specific health needs.