The causes of deficits of Vitamin D are not only lack of sun exposure, but many others.
In my clinic I observe people who spend many hours in the sun in summer during their vacation in Spain with high exposure to UV rays on their skin by going without a shirt. Surprisingly they keep having significant deficiencies of Vitamin D in their blood tests. Why?
One of the causes that I think is most important for these deficiencies are Liver, Kidney or Digestive disorders. Interestingly these 3 organs are directly correlated on building new Blood in Chinese Medicine. Therefore deficiencies on Vitamin D might not be caused by lack of sun exposure but diet and natural environment pollution. In order to understand why we need to explain how the metabolism of Vitamin D works within our body.
The metabolism of Vitamin D ingested from supplements and certain foods (we will talk about it in other posts) or produced through sun exposure has to carry out certain processes in order to be bioavailable for our body to be absorbed in its active form known as (1, 25(OH)2D). First it goes through the liver to make the first conversion to 25(OH)D. Then through the kidney it is converted into its active form. Once we have Vitamin D in an active form, it can already create physiological benefits, including improving bone quality and strength as well as having a direct intervention in the parathyroid gland’s functions.
The vitamin D’s function on calcium absorption happens on the gut, being also the location where it will be absorbed into the bloodstream to reach all the receptors of Vitamin D (known as VDR) which are present throughout our body.
The problem we all have today is that we are exposed to large amount of toxins, both through food (organic food included) and the environment which can hinder hepatic and renal metabolism. In addition, the intestine and the digestive system tend to be more inflamed compared to years ago either due to stress or an inadequate diet in terms of quality, diversity and ingest rate. All these factors may be one of the causes of Vitamin D deficiencies.
Another important aspect is that Vitamin D, in order to be metabolized in the liver and kidney, requires other micronutrients to optimize its absorption. The most important is MAGNESIUM, an essential mineral for multiple biochemical reactions.
Going back to causes of Vitamin D deficiency cause is having stopped consuming edible animal viscera such as the brain, lung, heart, liver, etc; as our grandparents did. It is in these organs where Vitamin D is most present, emphasizing that it is not the only solution to consume these foods, which also, if they are not of the highest quality, are full of toxins too.
As you can see, the consequences of Vitamin D deficiencies also have a long list, being essential to assess in an analysis what plasmatic levels we have to try to help in the prevention of said diseases.
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Photo by Vitolda Klein