Tuesday, June 19, 2012

More on Vitamin D

Vitamin D Foods
And the wonderful Mushroom

Unfortunately Vitamin D foods are rare, and there are only a few good Vitamin D sources to come by at all. Really the only significant Vitamin D sources worth discussing are the sun, Vitamin D3 supplements and fish. There are no fruits or vegetables that contain an amount of Vitamin D that would be considered significant. However there are a few other foods with Vitamin D -one of which that you may be surprised at.

Vitamin D foods

Vitamin D food sources definitely exist, although if you have read the Fish are great Vitamin D Foods Vitamin D requirements page, you will quickly realize that it would be very difficult to get all of your Vitamin D requirements through foods. These few sources are really the only significant sources of foods with Vitamin D. There are a few others, but they have so little Vitamin D that that they are not worth discussing.

Cod Liver Oil
Cod Liver Oil has a long history of being a highly nutritious food. From the 1800's and into the mid 1900's, mother's would regularly have their kids line up to get a spoonful of cod liver oil every day.
Although it was only a "folk remedy" and the mothers couldn't say exactly why it was good for their kids, we know today that it was a pretty good idea.
On the Vitamin D facts page, we discussed the potent effects that Vitamin D has on the immune system and how it prevents colds and flu.
Cod liver oil also is a rich source of Omega Three Fatty Acids. Nutrients that most people in the west are severely deficient in.
However, with only about 400 - 500 IU's per teaspoon (depending upon the manufacturer), that's not a significant amount of Vitamin D.
Unfortunately, cod liver oil also contains Vitamin A.

And to get a significant dose of Vitamin D, you would have to consume so much Vitamin A that you would quickly become toxic.
Therefore, Cod Liver Oil should NOT really be treated as a Vitamin D food- or any OTHER type of food or supplement for that matter.

Egg yolk is another Vitamin D food.
Each yolk contains about 20 IU's of Vitamin D.
That's not nearly enough to count on as a significant food source of Vitamin D

Fish are a good natural source of Vitamin D.
But only FATTY fish; salmon, sardines, makerel, and herring are good sources of vitamin D.
And a serving will always vary significantly due to the fat content of the fish, but you can estimate that a serving of one of these fish can get you between 200 - 1200 IU's per serving. 

Fatty fish also contain the Omega 3 fatty acids that we so desperately need in the west, so these are great dietary choices.
But unless you eat a lot of fish, you're probably not going to meet your Vitamin D requirements. You also risk higher mercury exposure when you eat large predatorial fish, so you need to balance out that risk as well.

We think of milk products as good Vitamin D food sources, but that is only because they have been fortified. Most milk products tend to have about 100 IU's per serving, so they may not even be the best Vitamin D sources either.
The issue of milk is a WHOLE discussion in itself. Milk is a VERY frequent allergen that many people don't even know they are allergic to.
This low level allergy could even be contributing to many chronic diseases.

Vitamin D Spray for Immune Health

There is debate about whether pasteurization and chemicals like rBST and antibiotics that are given to cows have made standard milk products unfit for human consumption anyway.
So, think critically about what you are putting in your body when you use milk to provide nutrients like Vitamin D and Calcium. They may not be the great sources that we have been led to believe.

The Surprising Vitamin D food

If you have read this far, you know that not many foods are great Vitamin D sources.
But there is ONE that actually IS a good Vitamin D food source, and wasn't mentioned in yesterday's blog from the Natural News article. 

Sun Dried Mushrooms are great Vitamin D Foods
Mushrooms can be a GREAT Vitamin D source under the right circumstances. Unfortunately, these circumstances are often not met - but the good news is that you can actually create those circumstances.

Mushrooms, like us, photosynthesize Vitamin D from the sun.
Unfortunately, farmed mushrooms are grown in the dark. Wild mushrooms, however get some sun exposure and have a certain amount of Vitamin D. A study done on volunteers who ate wild mushrooms every day at lunch for 3 weeks showed that this Vitamin D gets absorbed and so is actually one of the few very good Vitamin D foods, and the only natural source of Vegan Vitamin D

How much Vitamin D do mushrooms have?
Wild mushrooms have about 400 - 500 IU per serving.

Pretty soon, however, you may see Supermushrooms in the supermarket. These will be mushrooms that have been exposed to UV light either during or after harvest. These mushrooms may have up to 2500 IU's per serving! Wow! If you can find sun dried mushrooms, this would be another great source of Vitamin D. If you can't get wild or sun dried mushrooms and don't want to wait for Supermushrooms, theoretically you should be able to make your own Supermushrooms by sitting store bought mushrooms out in the sun or under a UV light for 5 to 10 minutes!

The downside to getting your Vitamin D from mushrooms is that they only contain Vitamin D2- and Vitamin D2 is a much inferior form to the Vitamin D3 that is made in our own bodies from the sun. Therefore, mushrooms are not the recommended way to get your vitamin d. If you are a vegan or vegetarian, then take a look at the Vegan Vitamin D page and find out what your best options are.

So as you can see, there are not many good sources of Vitamin D foods. Really the best and cheapest source is mild exposure to sunlight on a regular basis. If this isn't possible, you may want to consider getting your Vitamin D level checked and supplementing accordingly because getting your requirements through Vitamin D foods may not be realistic. 

What are the Vitamin D Side Effects?
You Might be Surprised...

What are Vitamin D side effects?" you ask. Well, there are VERY few side effects of vitamin d- and most of those are very easily remedied when you know a few tricks. There is a lot of confusion about the side effects of vitamin d because so many people get SIDE EFFECTS confused with Vitamin D Overdose Symptoms . Overdose symptoms are NOT the same as side effects of vitamin d, so please be sure to read the previous page so that you understand the difference between the two. 

There have been thousands of studies done on Vitamin D and the vast majority of studies state that they were astonished at the remarkable LACK of vitamin D side effects. Of course, there are ALWAYS some side effects, but even placebos (sugar pills) have side effects in studies and you must COMPARE the amount and severity of side effects to those experienced by placebo. For the most part, there just simply are no more side effects of Vitamin D than those experienced by users of placebos. But here are a few that you might experience and some help for them.

What's Magnesium Got to Do With it

In order to MAKE vitamin D in the blood, your body must USE UP magnesium. And a large proportion of people are already mildly to moderately magnesium deficient (really!). And therefore, some people who take Vitamin D and believe that they are having vitamin D side effects are ACTUALLY having Signs of Magnesium Deficiency!!
These side effects of Vitamin D that are actually magnesium deficiency symptoms are:
These vitamin d side effects can be easily overcome by taking Magnesium and Vitamin D together- with the magnesium in a dosage as outlined on the Magnesium Dosage page. But magnesium is not the ONLY nutrient required to prevent problems from taking vitamin d. It's imperative to also be sufficient in Vitamins A and K when taking vitamin d, especially the Vitamin D 50,000 IU pills that are being recommended by many doctors. It is HIGHLY recommended that with any Vitamin D regimen, you also take a HIGH QUALITY multivitamin and mineral pack such as Beyond Chelation Improved Multivitamin and Mineral Daily Packs that contains Vitamins A, K and magnesium in adequate doses that will allow you to avoid the side effects of vitamin d that are due to lack of necessary cofactors.

Quality of Pills and Ingredients

What ARE the Vitamin D Side Effects
"Some Great Vitamin D Side Effects"
Some people get nausea, feel sleepy, get a rash or get a bad taste in their mouth. These vitamin D side effects are VERY OFTEN not due to the vitamin d itself, but due to the oil that is used as a carrier for the vitamin d! You see, most vitamin capsules are made with oil and oil can go rancid over time. Even if the capsules have a date on them, there is no way to know how long the oil was sitting around before it was packaged. If you feel sick, get sleepy, get a metallic or foul taste in your mouth or think that you are 'allergic' to vitamin d- then the very first thing to do is to change your Vitamin D Supplement to one that is either:
  • Packed in Coconut Oil- which doesn't go rancid
  • Is packed 'dry' without oil
and this might solve your vitamin d side effects.
You can get a High Quality Dry (no oil) Vitamin D Supplement here.
If you have trouble swallowing pills or you are supplementing small children, there is Vitamin D in a Spray available to make things easier for you.

Muscle and Bone Pain

This is a side effect of vitamin d that is not so easy to remedy and is actually a sign that you really NEED TO CONTINUE taking the vitamin d. If you experience Pain from Vitamin D this very likely means that your bones have become somewhat demineralized from having vitamin d deficiency for a very long time. When your bones are demineralized and you begin Vitamin D Therapy, this can cause calcium to begin to go back into the bones. When the calcium goes into the bones it drags fluids with it. This fluid can actually cause a small expansion of the 'collagen matrix' inside the bones and this expansion pushes out against the exterior covering of the bone which is very inflexible and has extensive nerve endings. 

When this occurs, you can experience this as bone pain or even muscular pain. If you experience new or worsening pain from taking vitamin d, it is NOT Vitamin D Contraindication, a reason to be scared or to stop taking the vitamin d. If you continue with the Vitamin D Therapy, the pain should subside in several weeks. While uncomfortable, you will be better off in the long run if you manage the pain for this time and 'get through' to the other side.

Vitamin D Resources

 I personally take a spray form of 1000 IU Vitamin D3 per serving of 6 sprays from Dr. Mercola...that way I get to control the dose according to how much sun exposure I get in a day:) I find a spray form is a great way to take it for fast absorption and an amazing way to get a controlled dose.


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