Vitamin D Deficiency: How You Got Sucked into the Vitamin D Scam

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Vitamin D Deficiency: How You Got Sucked into the Vitamin D Scam

Let me start by saying that Vitamin D is absolutely necessary for the proper functioning of your body.  It’s the essential vitamin that our bodies can not produce on their own.  Unfortunately, Vitamin D deficiency is now recognized as a pandemic. The best and most efficient way to get it is through sun exposure but if you don’t live in warm sunny places, then supplementation is a must. Then what’s the scam you might ask? After all, doctors recommend Vitamin D supplements and even the dairy industry got the memo so they produce milk fortified with Vitamin D. However, in spite of this seemingly good advice, the reality is quite different.

A couple of years ago, when I was pregnant with my son, my doctor heavily recommended I take vitamin D supplements. Well, at that time, I was a somewhat obedient patient so I went ahead and I bought a bottle from Whole foods. But mind you I live in Southern California, there isn’t any shortage of sunshine. The sad part about this, my doctor never even mentioned the idea of simply going out and getting a free dose of Vitamin D. So you see where I am going with this? Let’s look at a few reasons I believe Vitamin D has become a profitable scam.

Vitamin D Deficiency: How You Got Sucked into the Vitamin D Scam

1. The Sun is not an evil monster.

I am personally really tired of hearing how sun exposure causes cancer.  Aren’t you?  What about the centuries of extreme exposure to Sun (farming and hunting…) and so few cases of cancer?  The truth is, no sunlight means no Vitamin D.  It’s as simple as that.  We’ve been lied to about the dangers of sun exposure because the sunscreen industry is a billion dollar industry. Conventional sunscreen not only contains very dangerous ingredients but multiple studies have found that wearing sunscreen significantly limits the body’s ability to produce vitamin D from sun exposure.

2. Most Doctors recommend the wrong type of Vitamin D.

If I weren’t a tedious health researcher, I would have not payed attention to the type of Vitamin D I recommend in some cases. I would probably not know the difference. But the truth is, most doctors prescribe Vitamin D2 instead of Vitamin D. Vitamin D2 is a synthetic version of Vitamin D. Why would they prescribe it?  This is because pharmaceutical companies cannot patent natural compounds. Thus, they went around the problem by creating a synthetic version. Vitamin D2 is not only ineffective but may be doing more harm than good. It can not be manufactured by the human body even when the skin is exposed to sunlight. In a paper published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers Lisa A. Houghton and Reinhold Vieth caution that D2 should not be considered an equivalent supplement to D3.

3. Vitamin D enriched foods are useless.

Most people I know tend to buy milk with Vitamin D. In their minds, it has become a must when it comes to buying milk. We’ve all been deceived. Why? Because as I mentioned earlier, dairy companies add chemically-synthesized vitamin D.  A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that synthetic vitamin D2 “should no longer be regarded as a nutrient appropriate for supplementation or fortification of foods,” because of it’s ineffectiveness and even danger to our bodies. When ingested, Vitamin D2 is broken down by the body into different substances some of which can be very harmful.

If you choose to supplement with Vitamin D, you need to choose D3 (here).  Look for animal based supplements.  You can also obtain small amounts of vitamin D from your diet through animal based sources such as:

  • Fish, such as salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines
  • Egg yolk
  • Raw milk
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  1. As someone born in Sunny California, who moved up to the Seattle area (and spent a lot of time inside on the computer out of the rain). It took me years to figure out I was Vitamin D deficient. I started taking Vitamin D and I really noticed an increase in energy & mood, (I had gotten quite depressed after the move, hard to say if it was high school or lack of sunshine, but the Vit D really did help more than any other pill.)
    Anyways I mostly wanted to say that mushroom as also a natural source of Vitamin D, and it only takes about 20 minutes a day to get your fill (depending on latitude!)

  2. As far as I can tell, the D3 supplements you recommend are not gluten-free. Is that true?

    • Hi Carol! These supplements are gluten free ” No gluten, milk derivatives, or artificial colors or flavors.”

  3. Nice work. Cholesterol (think cholesterol hoax) is converted into vitamin D. So, the plot thickens.
    To improve the production of vitamin D, we need to be well hydrated. If so, we reduce the chance of getting sunburned. How to hydrate is covered by http://www.watercures.org, a non-profit dedicated to sharing this info with the world. Spoiler alert, simply drinking water will not properly hydrate. We also need salt (the great salt shake up).

  4. I wouldn’t jump to conclusions about “needing” to choose to buy the vitamin D from the source shown. Not every supplement works for everybody. I have a chiropractor who uses kinesiology (muscle testing for those not familiar with it) to test for supplement tolerance. I’ve found that each time she tests and we find a supplement brand that works, it always works very well and I can tell the difference over a supplement that my body doesn’t want. It’s a much better way to find a supplement that will make a difference for you than just picking one that is recommended. I use a D3 supplement that has no fillers or artificial ingredients and it took testing numerous brands before I found it. My vitamin D levels are much improved since using this supplement according to my last labs.

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