Vitamin D: Have you drunk the Kool-Aid?

I may have mentioned this once or two dozen times before: I am not a fan of supplements.  I have tried them over the years with various results but on the on the whole, I don’t think people should take them if they don’t need them.  So, when all the hoopla started over Vitamin D supplements, I found myself cynically noting how many of these Vitamin D pushing doctors were associated with supplement companies.

Let me be clear that I do I think there are times when supplements may be necessary.  Like so many other things I normally avoid but have had to embrace this year: conventional medicine, prescription pain-killers and protein shakes, I’ve begun using some supplements again for various lengths of time.  The only one that I take regularly is a Vitamin B-12.  I take it because my diet is essentially vegan and provides no opportunities for me to consume the bacterial by-product we like to call Vitamin B12.

By the way, there are serious doubts as to whether or not meat-eaters are getting proper amounts of B12 either.  Some studies have shown that meat-eaters are as deficient in B12 as strict vegetarians.  Other studies indicate that the amount of B12 required to avoid deficiency is so small that it is usually a non-issue for most people.  I like science, especially when it helps me win an argument, but at the end of the day, my best indicator of whether I need something or not is how I feel.  I know that when I go too long without a B12 supplement, I feel off.

I’d been taking B12 regularly.  So, I knew that wasn’t the reason I felt out of sorts in early September this year.  It was like winter came early.  I felt like I was dragging and had the blues.  As someone with a history of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), I don’t take this feeling lightly.  I had been feeling like this for a while when I went outside and laid in the sun with shorts and bikini top on and soaked in the September afternoon sun for an hour.  I felt significantly better and began to wonder if I was deficient in Vitamin D.

The sun is the best source for Vitamin D and I knew I wasn’t getting enough.  I have a long work day with a long commute.  Getting outside seems next to impossible most of the time.  Mushrooms and almonds contain Vitamin D; many soy products are also fortified with Vitamin D (as is cow’s milk) but it seemed doubtful that I would consume enough to make up for the lack of sunshine in my life.  Determined to avoid a wrestling with a bout of CFS (atop my current dental issues), I gave in and bought the vitamins.  About a week later, I started feeling better.  The blues subsided and my energy became unstuck.  You could probably make an argument for a placebo effect but either way, it worked.  I felt better and have been taking them ever since.

What are your thoughts and/or experiences with Vitamin D?  Please leave a comment.  I would love to hear from you.

Love and Blessings to All,

Cynthia

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justdragonfly

16 thoughts on “Vitamin D: Have you drunk the Kool-Aid?

  1. Andrea

    Hi, vitamin d deficiency affects many things, hair, skin, bones,etc. After my first and only bout with psoriasis I found out I was lacking in vitamin D. Wouldn’t you think a dermatologist would mention that was a possibility? Only after getting my yearly physical did I find out about it. I now take vitamin d every day, no more psoriasis.

    Take care Cindy. Hugs!

    Reply
    1. Cynthia Lenz Post author

      That’s very true Aunt Andrea. I wanted to get into bones and teeth but I don’t like the posts to be too long. I was especially willing to try the Vitamin D because of my current dental damage and missing bone. I want to do everything possible to get the possible result on the reconstruction.

      That’s wonderful that your bout with psoriasis cleared up!

      Reply
  2. Carol McClure

    After having a blood test last year I found I was deficient in Vit. D. Went on a mega dose(Vit D3) for 3 months and then 2000 IU per day. Started with an integrative doctor the following year. He upped it to 5000 IU per day. I wasn’t diligent over the summer (and I do not go in the sun regularly). Noticed I was getting lethargic and moody going into fall. Stated taking regularly again and I have to say I am noticing a significant difference. More motivated, less groggy. I live in NJ so really don’t see sun as soon as we change the clocks. I really believe that’s why so many people get into a funk come winter.

    Reply
    1. Cynthia Lenz Post author

      Moody and lethargic… that’s very similar to how I was feeling. I live in the Northeast also. You might be right about the winter funk. I wonder how much Vit D deficiency may be part of Seasonal Affective Disorder.

      Reply
  3. Yvette McIntire

    I take Vitamin D generally from October through May as I live in the Northeast and don’t get nearly enough natural sunlight. Along with boosting a general feeling of well-being, the biggest way I know it’s time to start taking it is because my joints hurt inexplicably. (I originally started taking Vit D years ago after a blood test revealed that my blood levels of Vit D were severely lacking.) It can take anywhere from a week to two weeks for the joint pain to subside after starting the regime. I’m a believer!

    Reply
  4. Jodi

    Very early this year my blood work showed a Vitamin D deficiency. I started taking 2000 IU per day. Last month I was tested again and did not have a deficiency. I’m in CT and I do get really tired at this time of the year. I used to attribute to not as much sun, getting dark earlier, etc… But can’t chalk it up to Vitamin D this year, maybe I’m part bear and wanting to sleep through the winter! 🙂

    Reply
  5. Ada

    I’m a great believer in getting your nutrients naturally, but in many areas that just isn’t possible with industrialized farms (N-P-K) only fertilizers that don’t replenish the soils crop after crop or areas that some just cannot buy real produce like in inner cities. Some people don’t absorb nutrients well due to other factors and have to balance things out with supplements at times or permanently. I do believe in getting supplements as organic and non – GMO as possible because there isn’t any “watch dog” for our supplements. Sometimes supplements are vitally necessary for a variety of reasons. Loved your post and so glad you are feeling better!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
    1. Cynthia Lenz Post author

      Hello Maaaaah-garet, D is indeed essential top strong bones and teeth. Vitamin K is also really important for strong bones and thankfully has many food sources like kale, broccoli, swiss chard, beans and my former nemesis, brussel srouts, to name just a few.

      Reply
  6. pamela

    A few years ago I was very low in D despite being outdoors everyday. I am also recovering from systemic Candida and heavy metal poisoning and was severely malnutritioned as a result of dysbiosis and severe gut inflammation. I spend the last couple of years on 5,000 iu of d3 daily along with my continue daily walks 1-3 hours, and recently tested at good levels of d and am nutritionally sound on paper, my body is still trying to balance and my immune system needs lots of support, so now i supplement on occasion with d and still take other food based supplements and will continue to do so until my immune system can manage the candida on its own. I don´t eat any foods fortified with d but i do eat a diet high in healthy fats, pastured meats and leafy greens. I think of herbs and algaes as whole foods and don´t consider them a supplement, they might be in a capsule or as a tea, but I consider them part of a healthy diet. I also think that when our bodies are overwhelmed and in need sometimes our digestive process is to weak to extract all the nutrients needed out of food, so supplements are a a short term measure to support healing and re-balancing, its just that short term is different for everyone. I take a gluthathione precursor because my liver is so overwhelmed it needs that extra support, I cannot eat what is necessary for my body to manufacture all its needs, so I will take this supplement until my liver is ready to work on its own. Sometimes I take a break and then start up again. That being said a little known fact is that vitamin d can be acquired from mushrooms gills up in the sun. And it may be the way it is coming to you in your supplement bottle that. So it is a whole food source that you can make at home, then add to food or grind up and put in capsules and your body will know just what to do with it. You can read about it here.
    http://www.fungi.com/blog/items/place-mushrooms-in-sunlight-to-get-your-vitamin-d.html

    Reply
    1. Cynthia Lenz Post author

      Pamela, thank you so much for sharing your story and all this information!!! I am pleased to read that you are now thriving. I like to use herbs as well.

      That’s interesting that you are taking D3 and it is mushroom-derived. I thought only D2 came from mushrooms. I just ordered D3 derived from lichen, as I am not sure where my current D3 comes from. Although, I suspect it is lamb’s wool and I prefer to consume a plant-based product.

      Reply
  7. Debra

    I live in Virginia Beach and love being outside in warmer months so I usually do not take Vit. D during those months. However, during the colder months I take Vitamin D with Vitamin K2 in an isotonic solution. My body has less work to obtain maximum absorption of the nutrients and because there are no binders or fillers, the nutrients pass directly into the small intestine and rapidly absorb into the bloodstream. Nutritive value is retained, making the absorption of nutrients highly efficient while delivering maximum results. I have never had a flu shot and rarely get the flu during flu season and take this and other essential nutrients in an isotonic delivery solution. I feel much better and have more energy when I take high quality doctor-approved GMP quality supplements.

    Reply

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