The real impact of learning is when it challenges your current paradigm of thinking.
This past weekend I attended a seminar and the main speaker really got me thinking about Vitamin D differently. My personal take-a-way is, “are we over doing it on vitamin D?”
I know, I’ve been harping on Vitamin D for a long time and its importance. What got me thinking about this has to do with the ‘calcium absorption’ equation. Have we not clearly defined the term ‘absorption.’
Many women coming in are taking Vitamin D to help with absorption of calcium. But in my own personal research, I never stopped to ask, ‘where is it being absorbed?’ When you ask better questions, you get better answers.
Vitamin D helps the absorption of calcium in the intestines to then be available in the blood stream. But then we stop there. Having something present in the blood stream, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s being absorbed into the bones or muscles in the case of calcium to improve bone and muscle health.
If vitamin D helps absorb calcium into the blood stream, why do we assume that vitamin D then helps absorb calcium into the bones?
What happens when we assume?
Instead of asking does calcium improve calcium absorption, let’s instead ask what the role of vitamin D is in terms of calcium regulation. When we ask that, the same result happens. Vitamin D increases SERUM (blood) levels of calcium.
This could be in the crossing of the gut lining. BUT, if could also be in the pulling out of calcium from bones and muscles to maintain blood calcium levels.
Are our efforts of increasing vitamin D to increase calcium absorption in the blood, actually contributing to bone loss. Vitamin D has similar effects on bone as does parathyroid hormone where if blood calcium levels get too low, parathyroid hormone will pull calcium from bones to regulate blood levels.
One possible disruption is bone density loss.
What could be another? I’m seeing more and more people getting Coronary Calcium Scores. If Vitamin D is being amped up, raising blood calcium levels with no place to put it, then it has the potential to start lining arteries, creating kidney stones, etc.
Though I haven’t formulated a formal stance on this, this takes me back to the fact that you need more fat. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin. The more fat you eat, the better it’s processed. Therefore, you could probably back off vitamin D intake and get better results by increasing fats. Anecdotally, I’ve also noticed as I’ve increase my fats, I’m also more sun tolerant. I tan easier instead of burn.
This will then lead to other questions that I need to research more like the Vitamin D ranges. If someone is eating higher fat, would they be able to get away with a lower value? If people are going to eat low fat, should they be taking vitamin D at all? Or are we completely wrong on Vitamin D testing and dosing?
The body never does stupid stuff. Everything is appropriate, but everything is also dose dependent. Keep asking better questions and you’ll get better answers.