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What Type of Vitamin D is Actually Helpful and Which Could Increase Death Risk?

Posted in: Conditions, Health, Nutrition, Supplements
By Dr. Pantea Etminan, NHD
Nov 30, 2011 - 1:10:04 PM

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It's widely accepted that vitamin D is one of the most important vitamin your body needs to stay in optimal health or to combat illness. But which vitamin D, in what form, how long, and to what strength?

Not all vitamin D's are equal. As a matter of fact, Drisdol, the synthetic brand type of vitamin D, D2 or Ergocalciferol, is the one that is prescribed at typical allopathic medicine doctors office. This is the type of vitamin D that should be avoided. It has been studied to find that it could increase death rate by 2% other than the fact that it is not helpful. This is not the natural type that is produced or recognized by the body.

Recent meta analysis done by the Cochran Database studied mortality rates for people who supplemented their diets with D2 versus those who took D3, the natural form produced by the body. The analysis of 50 randomized controlled trials or 94,000 participants showed the following results:

  • 6% relative risk reduction among those who used vitamin D3
  • 2% relative risk increase among those who used D2

This analysis shows clearly the end result of synthetic vitamin D (D2 or Ergocalciferol) versus natural Vitamin D (D3 or Cholecalciferol). Amazingly they did allow this to come out, though, it states opposition of what they are prescribing in regular doctors' offices and advocating in other commercial areas.

We must take note and understand that as the study indicates as well, Our body can only utilize the most natural form of vitamin D3 not the inferior synthetic type, vitamin D2. According to a recent research D3 is approximately 87% more potent in raising and maintaining vitamin D concentrations. In addition, it produces two to three folds greater storage of vitamin D than does vitamin D2. Vitamin D has to be converted into a more active form by the system, regardless of which type of vitamin D taken; and vitamin D3 has shown to be converted 500% faster than vitamin D2.

Vitamin D2 is a synthetic version of vitamin D. It is made by irradiating fungus and plant matter. It has much shorter shelf life and metabolites bind poorly with proteins, which further decreases its effectiveness. Unfortunately, this is the type of D that is in general prescribe by doctors. It is wise to be aware of this matter.

Vitamin D3 and Its Amazing Health Benefits

Vitamin D provides amazing health benefits, which without life could suffer greatly. The best way to obtain vitamin D that your body will uptake easily and utilize for its good--is through natural sunlight exposure. In this form the body will take what it needs only and in its best form. The trick is not to overdo it, like some people tend to. You would need just enough sun exposure that your skin has turned some color lightly--then that is enough until the next time or day. Best times would be when the sun light is at its peak, usually from noon to 3 pm. It is at this time that the UVB is present and strongest, therefore, you could get the optimal results in less time. We need a balance of both UVB and UVA for proper uptake of the sunlight. UVA , which is considered to be more of a concern is the one that is mostly available when the sun is not at its peak.
Vitamin D has incredible health benefits:

  • Regulates fighting infection
  • Regulates chronic inflammation
  • Produces over 200 antimicrobial peptides (cathelicidin, being one of the most important one--and naturally accruing broad spectrum anti-biotic)
  • Deficiency of Vitamin D Could Be Harmful

Being deficient in Vitamin D is quiet harmful to health and wellbeing. It has been researched and shown that it has direct affect on many illnesses and disease, including cancer. While it may not be the reason for getting these diseases, it certainly is a contributor. Meaning, the body needs optimal vitamin D levels to maintain strong immunity and ward off diseases.
These are some illness's and disease's that have been recognized that could take place with vitamin D deficiency:

  • Heart disease
  • Hypertension
  • Obesity
  • Cold
  • Flu
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Tuberculosis
  • Autism
  • Septicemia
  • Dementia
  • Insomnia
  • Hearing loss
  • Eczema and Psoriasis
  • Signs of aging
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Muscle pain
  • Muscular degeneration
  • Reduction of C-section risk
  • Infertility
  • Periodontal disease
  • Cavities
  • Preeclampsia
  • Seizures
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Asthma
  • Migraines
  • Depression
  • Schizophrenia
  • Alzheimer's disease

Dosage Recommendations

In an essence, each individual has different level of need for vitamin D, depending on their body type and condition at the time. That is why it is important to consult with a practitioner that is knowledgeable of this area and who could assist and guide you. With that said, the best way to obtain optimal amounts that is right for your body type would be through natural sunlight. But if you are suffering from an illness or disease it is vital that you consult with a natural health practitioner who could help you further with your particular needs of vitamin D, as you may need to supplement with vitamin D as well.
According to most recent founding by Carole Baggerly, founder of Grassroots Health--which is her research of nearly 10,000 individuals, has shown that the ideal dose appears to be 8,000 IU's a day to get most into the healthy range.

While this is only one research of what seems to work--I believe that one could take in as much as 20,000 IU. Remember these are only suggestion and typical doses that would work for normal type people. As stated above, since we are all individuals we may have unique needs. It is best to continue checking your serum blood level for vitamin D if you are supplementing with it. Because every individual's system may perform the uptake of vitamin D differently. It is not just enough to take it, but to absorb it is even more of an importance. The body needs to be in good health to absorb all nutrients, including vitamin D, especially since it does need to go through conversion before it can be utilized by the system.

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