The D Dilemma: Is Vitamin D a Vitamin or a Hormone or what?

The Little Known (yep) Hormone – Vitamin D

If we put this little pop-quiz out there, anywhere, chances are the majority of people would flunk out. It’s kind of complicated how D gets to be a hormone, so to eliminate the “huh?” factor, let’s just keep referring to it as Vitamin D, or just plain “D”.  Vitamin D is a hormone the kidneys produce that controls blood calcium concentration and impacts the immune system. It is also known as calcitriol, ergocalciferol, calcidiol and cholecalciferol. (Why, why do they have to create these names no one could even venture to pronounce?)Vitamin D manages calcium in your blood, bones and gut and helps cells all over your body to communicate properly. Understanding this hormone and the role it plays in the body will help you make informed health decisions that don’t include ziplining it to your pharmacy for buckets of D supplements.

D’s Duties

Another misconception is that D is all about building strong bones. Oh, but as a hormone, when it’s in balance, it does some pretty amazing other things. On the other side, Vitamin D deficiency has been shown to play a role in almost every disease. This includes:

  • Osteoporosis and Osteopenia
  • 17 varieties of Cancer (including breast, prostate and colon)
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • Metabolic Syndrome and Diabetes
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Bursitis
  • Gout
  • Infertility and PMS
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic Pain
  • Periodontal disease
  • Psoriasis
  • Oral health
  • Type 2 diabetes

You didn’t know? Who did. But before you start hyperventilating, read on.

Soak This Up

Another fact; only about 10% of D comes from food-even if you scarf sardines, salmon, mackerel, tuna, caviar (how high is your credit card limit?) and, we have to say, YUK, to cod liver oil. Ok, so pass on the food.

IU’s (that’s how D is measured) out the roof won’t do it.

So here comes the sun…

This is the most natural way to get vitamin D. Your body is designed to get the vitamin D it needs by producing it when your bare skin is exposed to sunlight. The part of the sun’s rays that is important is ultraviolet B (UVB). But how much sun is enough? Another conundrum. It can be an Einstein-worthy calculation that requires a multi-page spreadsheet.

Being a “worshiper” can do nothing but make your skin wretched and wrinkly and ah yes, lead to skin cancer. Slathering on SPF’s will only keep you from getting good rays. Cloudy days figure negatively into the picture. As does altitude, skin type, and the time of year and time of day. And no, you can’t get Vitamin D through a window.

Where on Earth?

Vitamin D deficiency remains the most common nutritional deficiency worldwide, affecting nearly 1 billion people. It’s epidemic. A global problem in all age groups, male and female. Generally, it’s found most where there is limited sun exposure. Which makes it surprising that even countries with plenty of sun have a high number of people with Vitamin D deficiency. For example, Vitamin D deficiency soars in sunny Australia, one of the sunniest places on earth. In the Caribbean, there’s no shortage of sunshine, but again, there’s a huge Vitamin D deficiency. The same goes for sunny states in the US, like Arizona, California and Hawaii. From Pakistan to Iceland, the D deficiencies would shock you. So where are you going to go?

The Best D Can Be

Your body contains hundreds of hormones circulating within your blood or stored within various tissues of your body. Maintaining a proper level of each hormone is absolutely key to your overall health; too much or too little of a single hormone can lead to a hormonal imbalance. And a Vitamin (hormone) D imbalance can do a boatload of damage to your whole body. So what can you do? You call Denver Hormone Health. They specialize in what your regular doctor doesn’t; hormones, and nothing but hormones. Every one of their experienced doctors can help determine if your D is deficient and exactly what to do about it. A few simple tests will tell them what they need to develop a treatment plan that targets your individual needs. So what you really need to do is make an appointment at Denver Hormone Health right now. Of the nearly 1 billion people worldwide with likely vitamin D deficiency, you don’t have to be one of them.