“Vitamin” D is really a hormone; deficiency causes infertility, endometriosis, PCOS

13 09 2012

Fascinating reading, though long, by Dr. Gominak, a neurologist practicing in Tyler, Texas.

http://drgominak.com/vitamin-d :

Vit­a­min D is not a vit­a­min. We’ve been taught that Vit­a­min D is the “bone vit­a­min”, but it is really more of a sun hor­mone. The word “vit­a­min” means “some­thing my body needs that I can’t make, so I must get it from the food”. D hor­mone is instead, a chem­i­cal that we make on our skin from sun expo­sure. It is a hor­mone like thy­roid, estro­gen or testos­terone. Using the proper word “hor­mone” reminds us that it affects mul­ti­ple parts of the body and that it is not “extra”. It is essen­tial to every cell in the body and it is not in the food. It is sup­ple­mented in milk but as a cup of milk has only 100 IU of vit­a­min D you would have to drink 1000 cups of milk a day to keep from being D deficient.
….D hor­mone affects our weight and appetite. In the sum­mer as we have more sun expo­sure our D hor­mone level climbs to 80ng/ ml, our gas­troin­testi­nal tract works harder, we eat 10,000 calo­ries and store none. The high D mes­sage is it’s sum­mer it’s time to build our strength. We turn all of those 10,000 calo­ries into stronger mus­cle, bone, skin, eyes, hair, teeth, heart, and lungs. We sleep fewer hours, but more effi­ciently with a higher per­cent­age of the sleep spent in deeper stages of sleep.

In the win­ter the sun expo­sure is less, there is very lit­tle UVB light. The D we made and stored in sum­mer starts to fall as we use it. The low D mes­sage is; sleep longer, store fat until spring. Our meta­bolic rate goes down (we hiber­nate) by low­er­ing the thy­roid hor­mone. Remem­ber, there is no food in the win­ter, so if all we have is one piece of dried meat per day, we would sur­vive by sleep­ing 14 hours and using less energy. The low win­ter D mes­sage, through the hor­mones ghre­lin and lep­tin, tells our body that it needs to store half of our calo­ries as fat to save it for spring. A low D level also makes us very hun­gry for high fat, high calo­rie foods because that hunger is what allowed us to sur­vive 100’s of years of near star­va­tion dur­ing the win­ter months. Now when our D is low and we go on a diet of 1500 calo­ries, the body, still think­ing it’s win­ter, still puts 750 into fat. Then as we try to exer­cise, instead of using up our fat stores, we steal pro­teins from other parts of our body. We get weaker and fat­ter while we try to lose weight.
….Low D causes infer­til­ity, poly­cys­tic ovary syn­drome and endometrio­sis: There are vit­a­min D recep­tors in the ovaries, the tes­ti­cles and the fal­lop­ian tubes to help match our repro­duc­tion to the amount of food avail­able. As the D level climbs in the fall to 80 ng/ml we make higher estro­gen and testos­terone lev­els that make us want to mate. Because our human babies develop over 9 months, the baby that is con­ceived in Sep­tem­ber is born in June. This guar­an­tees that at birth the baby is in the sun mak­ing D hor­mone because there is no D in the breast milk. Low D sup­presses ovu­la­tion so that our babies will be born when mom has food. “Poly­cys­tic ovary” describes an ovary with many eggs that are all try­ing to mature at once. Each month one egg is sup­posed to fully mature; “ovu­late”, and the rest shrink down. Because ovu­la­tion is inhib­ited by the low D mes­sage, the ovaries are stuck at the stage of many eggs try­ing to ovu­late, lead­ing to abdom­i­nal pain, often accom­pa­nied by weight gain and acne (which also result from low D).

Endometrio­sis results from endome­trial tis­sue going back­ward up the fal­lop­ian tube into the abdomen instead of out the cervix, (the open­ing in the uterus), dur­ing men­stru­a­tion. Because the fal­lop­ian tube is open into the abdomen, the only thing that keeps the endome­trial tis­sue head­ing out the cervix are wave like move­ments in the fal­lop­ian tube push­ing toward the uterus. There are vit­a­min D recep­tors in the fal­lop­ian tubes that influ­ence the propul­sive move­ments, pro­mot­ing or pre­vent­ing fer­til­iza­tion depend­ing on the D level. Also, once the endome­trial cells have arrived in the abdomen, where they don’t belong, the white blood cells are sup­posed to find and kill them. Because the low D also affects the func­tion of the white blood cells the proper elim­i­na­tion of the endome­trial tis­sue doesn’t occur and fixed implants of endome­trial tis­sue appear in the abdomen.

…. Women bear­ing babies are the ones who are most affected: The rea­son why thy­roid dis­ease, gall­blad­der dis­ease, B12 and iron defi­ciency, obe­sity and sleep dis­or­ders (and there­fore severe headaches) often occur in young, healthy women is because they’re the ones hav­ing the babies. Each baby sucks up mom’s vit­a­min D. Unfor­tu­nately each pre­na­tal vit­a­min has only 400 IU of vit­a­min D, which is not nearly enough to pro­vide for mom and the devel­op­ing baby. Each baby uses up mom’s D and if she’s not out in the sun enough her D deficit is never cor­rected between preg­nan­cies. Each result­ing child is more D defi­cient and each baby sleeps worse than the last. Mom also sleeps badly being more D defi­cient her­self with each baby.

….What should my level be? How much vit­a­min D should I take? What would my body make nor­mally out in the sun? When we sit in the sum­mer sun, at noon, with chest, face, and arms exposed we make 10,000 IU of vit­a­min D, whole body expo­sure pro­duces 20,000 IU in 2–4 hours. The rate of pro­duc­tion is depen­dant on the skin color. Darker skinned peo­ple make D more slowly for equal time spent in the sun. Because we don’t have fur or feath­ers cov­er­ing our skin, the melanin col­oration in the skin keeps us from mak­ing too much D. Lighter skinned humans sur­vived in far north­ern and south­ern lat­i­tudes because they did not block the D pro­duc­tion with melanin. They were stronger and could repro­duce in lower sun envi­ron­ments where D was scarce. Those same bright white or freck­led peo­ple have a dis­ad­van­tage when they move to a high sun envi­ron­ment, they don’t have the nat­ural pro­tec­tion and they burn. White skinned humans have had a higher inci­dence of skin can­cer than dark skinned peo­ples up until recently for this rea­son.

…. As most of us don’t receive “sun D” every day, our sup­ple­men­tary vit­a­min D require­ments are much higher than the FDA rec­om­mended 800 IU per day, and are prob­a­bly closer to 5,000–10,000 IU per day just to stay the same. Now that we’re not using the sun and we’re using pills our level should stay between 60 and 80 ng/ml to sleep per­fectly. If you are below 50 ng/ ml you have no stores of D hor­mone to call on in emer­gency.

….Why FDA rec­om­men­da­tions are so low: This is a hor­mone not a vit­a­min. It makes no sense to put hor­mones into food, we would never dream of putting estro­gen or testos­terone or thy­roid hor­mone into the milk. Because it was incor­rectly called a vit­a­min the FDA has been put in the very dif­fi­cult posi­tion of mak­ing “rec­om­men­da­tions” for hun­dreds of thou­sands of peo­ple who have dif­fer­ent D lev­els from year to year depend­ing on their lifestyle, where they live and their skin color. The FDA knows that you can kill peo­ple with this hor­mone, but they don’t really know why. (I think it is because this hor­mone makes the sleep just as abnor­mal when it goes over 80, as it does when it’s under 50, there­foreevery­thing I have described above results from a high vit­a­min D just as eas­ily as from a low vit­a­min D.) Because they know it’s dan­ger­ous the FDA has appro­pri­ately rec­om­mended a dose, (400−800 IU/day) that’s unlikely to hurt any­one. This does not mean that 800 IU is what you need, it just means that’s all the FDA will rec­om­mend to a per­son who is tak­ing D hor­mone with­out check­ing blood lev­els.

Every­one who takes this hor­mone in big­ger doses must under­stand the impor­tance of fol­low­ing the D blood level. Ask your doc­tor to mea­sure your vit­a­min D level. Most doc­tors do not know what the “nor­mal” D level really is, so ask for the num­ber, it should be between 60–80 ng/ml. Because the vit­a­min D test is expen­sive, if you don’t have insur­ance www.vitamindcouncil.org will do your level for $75.00. All your ques­tions about vit­a­min D are answered at www.vitamindcouncil.org. It is a site started in 2005 to teach you and me about this hor­mone. The one thing you won’t see there is the rela­tion­ship to sleep because that is a new discovery.

What is the right D hor­mone dose? For most peo­ple the daily sup­ple­men­tal D will be 5000 IU per day in sum­mer 10,000 IU per day in win­ter, but if your level is 30 or below and it’s win­ter, I rec­om­mend that you take 15–20,000 IU for 2–3 weeks to get your level back above 50 rapidly so you have stores of D. Then check your level again in 4–6 weeks to be sure it is above 60. After that you want a daily dose that keeps the level 60–80. Over 1–2 years mea­sure your D lev­els every 6 to 12 weeks and make sure that you are tak­ing enough to pro­vide a D level between 60–80 ng/ml all year long. Don’t take extra D when you’re using a tan­ning bed or out in the sun in the sum­mer, you’ve just made your daily dose or 2–3 daily doses on your skin.Never take doses over 5000 with­out check­ing your lev­els regularly.

….The largest dose of vit­a­min D3 locally avail­able over the counter is 5,000 IU. Wal­mart, Sam’s Club, Drug Empo­rium all have it. We doc­tors have been, incor­rectly, taught that it’s safe to give vit­a­min D2, (ergo­cal­cif­erol) as a once a week pill of 50,000 IU. D2 Ergo­cal­cif­erol is not the same as D3 Chole­cal­cif­erol, and may be dan­ger­ous for some peo­ple, in fact the major­ity of my patients felt that it made their sleep and headaches worse. Make sure what you buy is D3.This impor­tant mis­take resulted from using the rat as the exper­i­men­tal model to look for the “vit­a­min” that pre­vented the bone dis­ease of rick­ets in the 1930’s. Rats are noc­tur­nal ani­mals. That means they, in order to spend their lives in the dark, had to have a mutated vit­a­min D recep­tor that allowed them to use a dif­fer­ent chem­i­cal, D2. D2 is sim­i­lar but not iden­ti­cal to what you and I, and all other ani­mals, make on our skin. It does come in the food, (which is why the “vit­a­min” word was orig­i­nally applied to this chem­i­cal incor­rectly). D2 is a chem­i­cal made by fun­gus that grows on grain. The rat’s abil­ity to use this “fake out” chem­i­cal meant the rat was able to live at night and run about our houses eat­ing our food at night. This is why humans don’t like rats and find exper­i­men­ta­tion on them less objec­tion­able than on other ani­mals. It also means that rats are eas­ier to keep alive indoors. Once D2 was dis­cov­ered it did, in fact, help the dis­ease of rick­ets in chil­dren, but it is not what our body really wants.



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