Supplementation of nutrients seems so controversial amongst medical/naturopathic/fitness professionals and enthusiasts. You have probably heard/read things like:
- Supplements are expensive urine.
- They’re not regulated by the FDA.
- This is the best fat burner… proceeds to point at CLA (eye roll)
- You don’t need Vitamin D, just eat a balanced diet and get sunlight!
Well….those statements are predominantly FALSE + Wtf is a balanced diet..? Asparagus spears in one hand and a brownie in the other? Although, the sunlight statement is true-ish, which leads us to the article’s topic: Vitamin D.
What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin (one of the 24 essential micronutrients) that is produced by exposure to sunlight. Vitamin D is actually one of the few vitamins we (humans) can produce depending on our exposure to sunlight. It is estimated that somewhere near 1 billion people are deficient or have some sort of vitamin D insufficiency . One study found that 88.1% of participants were insufficient . For the sake of background knowledge, here is a quick physiology primer on Vitamin D3 synthesis:
- Bare skin comes in contact with ultraviolet B rays and pre-vitamin D is produced .
- Pre-vitamin D attaches to a binding protein that is then transported to the liver .
- Once in the liver, it is converted to calcidiol and is making itself available for tissues that need it (this is what is measured by doctors) .
- When the kidneys or tissues (brain, immune cells, cardiac muscle, etc.) need vitamin d, it is converted to calcitriol (hormonally active form) and is ready to be used .
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