The most common supplement I see my new clients taking that I actually will NEVER recommend, is vitamin D. I know within the last two years, vitamin D is something that so many of us feel like we need in order to stay healthy. I also know that in the winter, sunlight may not be available in your area and so a vitamin D supplement sounds like something you might need. However, even if you have no sunlight, I will never recommend a vitamin D supplement.
What many people don't know is that supplementing with vitamin D negatively impacts the other minerals in your body. Mineral balance is something not a lot of Functional Medicine Practitioners talk about. Each mineral plays a huge role in your gut health, hormones, and more. Taking one vitamin or mineral in a supplement form, can cause other minerals to go out of balance, causing further issues down the line.
Vitamin D is actually a hormone, not a vitamin. It is an essential, fat-soluble nutrient that we can get from the sun, with only a small amount coming from food. It is best known to help us absorb calcium from our digestive system and into the blood. We need vitamin D to absorb calcium. Sun exposure means vitamin D production. When your skin is exposed to sunlight, two things are produced: Cholesterol Sulfate and Vitamin D Sulfate. This sulfated vitamin D is transported in the blood and to the liver via a Vitamin D Binding Protein (VDBP), where it is converted to Calcidiol (the storage form of Vitamin D).
Magnesium is a key player when it comes to the steps of converting and utilizing vitamin D in the body. We actually need adequate magnesium and vitamin A stores in the body and a well-functioning liver for optimal vitamin D metabolism. Vitamin D is not just about getting daily sun exposure. Without enough magnesium or vitamin A, our liver won’t work correctly and this can develop a vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin D deficiency might actually mean that there is chronic inflammation due to magnesium deficiency. When you are magnesium deficient, vitamin D levels lower because there isn't enough magnesium to convert storage D into active D. Vitamin D supplementation can deplete magnesium even further.
Vitamin D supplementation also depletes important nutrients needed for thyroid, adrenal, and cellular health. Supplementing with vitamin D creates calcification by increasing calcium in the tissues, creating more mineral imbalances. Our minerals all work together, so it’s crucial we aren’t just supplementing with random vitamins or minerals.
Instead of assuming you need a vitamin D supplement, look at the whole picture. Are you consuming enough vitamin A? Are you consuming enough magnesium? Remember that taking vitamin D daily is causing you way more harm than you think.
So what should you do instead of supplementing with vitamin D? Eat foods rich in vitamins A, D, E, K, and copper. Eat foods high in cholesterol (stop fearing quality red meat and eggs). Eat vitamin D rich foods such as pasture-raised egg yolks, grass-fed beef liver, grass-fed butter, goat’s milk, and grass-fed whole milk. Support your gut, kidneys, and liver.
If you were previously taking a large dose of vitamin D or maybe you’re currently taking vitamin D, please do not freak out. Take a deep breath. Remember you can replenish the damage this may have caused, but it will take time.
I know that it’s scary hearing these types of things, but this is exactly why I created my online group coaching program “Trust Your Gut.” This is going to discuss every single mineral and why mineral balance is so important. Just because your doctor or other Functional Medicine Practitioners tell you to take vitamin D or supplements, does not mean you actually should be.
Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below!