Vitamin-D, A Critical Factor
Most people don’t know that Vitamin-D is actually a hormone!
In his Covid-19 papers, Paul Bergner referenced studies which indicate that low levels of Vitamin-D, (specifically 20ng/mL and below), correlate to a 57% increase in infection and hospital stays (specifically ICU or intensive care units).
That probably doesn’t mean much to the average person, but let’s be blunt, shall we? —For the sake of time.
We are pretty much all deficient. Unless you are eating copious amounts of virgin cod liver oil, eating organ meats every week, or getting lots of sunshine Vitamin-D —you’re pretty much, ahem, shall we say —screwed.
So… ‘true’ vitamin-D as I call it only comes from animal sources or the sun.
So if you are getting sunshine, and enough magnesium, you’re probably good to go —but I’d lay bets that anyone getting enough D from sun exposure is probably still deficient in magnesium to some degree.
And ya need magnesium to process D.
If you aren’t sufficient in D —and for the sake of perfectionistic thoroughness, I’m gonna add ‘true’ vitamin-A to that (not beta-carotene, which doesn’t even convert in most, sorry vegans).
Some vitamins and minerals go in tandem —like hand and hand, and are actually DANGEROUS if not balanced together.
Take iron and vitamin C —iron is way more absorbable when taken with a good (non-ascorbic acid) source of vitamin-C in conjunction. Think beef and bell peppers or peanut soup and spinach.
Next, take iodine —it is way better with selenium (and super dangerous if not balanced for those at risk for hypothyroid).
Now, back to vitamin-A and vitamin-D.
They are like 2 peas in a pod which is why you find them naturally together. Everywhere you find one you find the other, such as organ meats and cod liver oil.
That’s why taking them alone IS just meh —mediocre, better than nothing, but certainly not IDEAL.
Additionally, low vitamin-D levels correlate with a 76-79% increased mortality rate. Most Americans have a 28ng/mL at the peak end of summer, which plummets to a mere 16ng/mL by the end of February.
This stat puts about ½ of the population at risk for critical complications and yes, even hospitalization.
Paul indicates to take 4,000-7,000 IU of Vitamin-D3 —however he doesn’t specify types of D3, which we discuss below.
Herbalists are amazing at herbs —often they frown on other holistic practitioners. I get that —but for many herbalists their direct specific knowledge begins and ends with herbs.
Unlike advanced holistic nutritionists like Rockwell produces, herbalists generally aren’t so focused on nutrition, outside of foraging.
So they don’t seem to really specify and go deep in regard to best practices for supplementation and how critical it is that A is balanced with D or serious issues can arise, etc.
So we get into all that for you at the end.
But first, anyone not already taking Vitamin-D during the winter should just assume they are deficient.
Additionally, wherever applicable (CA / FL) people should try to get 10-20 minutes of direct sun exposure per day. I’m saying that regardless of skin color a little is better than none, because skin color actually plays a role.
Specifically, a light-skinned person can produce 20,000 IU of Vitamin-D with 20-minutes of direct sun exposure, whereas it will take a dark-skinned individual 3 hours to produce the same amount.
Sunlight is weaker in the winter, so play around with it to figure out when it is strongest.
Unfortunately, we only catch UVA rays through glass, which do not promote the creation of Vitamin-D. It has to be unfiltered UVB rays in order to produce Vitamin-D.
Vitamin-D deficiency is much more prevalent in dark-skinned individuals.
For such individuals, getting some sunshine is still beneficial, but supplemention may b the only truly viable option (besides food sources).
Vitamin-D stimulates the production of virucidal antimicrobial peptides and suppresses cytokine activity, making it useful for the “treatment of those viral respiratory infections that peak in wintertime.”
For this purpose, Cannel et al suggest a pharmacological dose of 1,000-2,000 IU/kg per day, for several days.
According to Paul Bergner, this translates into 75,000-150,000 IU (ng/mL) per day if they are 165 lbs. In my opinion, you can go up or down based on weight as a guide.
Surprisingly, this high amount is not toxic.
Bergner adds that throughout most of the 20th century, after Vitamin-D was first discovered, actual doses of up to 300,000 IU per day were standard treatment for toddlers and children exhibiting symptoms of rickets. In essence, the more, the better, but A does have upper limits so use caution and don’t down a full bottle of cod liver oil in one day.
What Form of Vitamin-D is Best?
There are 2 kinds of vitamin-D, which include vitamin-D2 and vitamin-D3.
Vitamin-D3 can only be sourced from animal-based foods and vitamin-D2 is sourced from plant-based foods.
Vitamin-D is complex, plain and simple, the best way to get it is virgin CLO (unrefined —which means the vitamin-D was not removed and readded, or that a symmetric was added during the manufacturing process).
Liver and Wellshire Farms pork or turkey liverwurst are also good sources. You can request your local Whole Foods order if it isn’t’ already stocked. Just contact the ‘speciality’ dept, and request it.
The turkey version has lower levels of A and D, respectively and is more mild .The pork is stronger in flavor, with much higher ratios of A and D.
We will add that when taking vitamin-D, it really must be in the exact proper relation to vitamin-A. You see them together and naturally occurring in CLO and organ meats, specifically liver.
It really isn’t ideal to load up on isolated vitamin-D. It’s best in relation to vitamin-A.
It is a big, controversial subject however, so here are a few articles to help guide you in choosing which type of vitamin-D is good for you.
- Vitamin D Supplementation: Panacea or Potential Problem?
- From Seafood to Sunshine: A New Understanding of Vitamin D Safety
- Vitamin D Experts Defend Cod Liver Oil
- Vitamin D in Cod Liver Oil
A Word on Magnesium
You can’t absorb Vitamin-D without proper levels of magnesium.
Bottom line here? Take your vitamin-D and get some 10-20 minutes of sunshine when you can! Of course, take your natural melatonin levels and the strength of the sun into consideration.
Strong sun can take 10-minutes and a weak sun might take 20-minutes for a light-skinned individual. Medium or dark-skinned persons may require more sun time or more supplementation.
See our chart below for how to get Vitamin-D and dosage details.
- Vitamin-D Sources & Uses
|Vitamin-D Source||Amount||Variance (Pros / Cons)|
|direct unfiltered sunshine||10-20 min light to medium skinned + if darker skinned (but you can still wear a hat to protect the delicate facial skin)||depends on skin color|
|Vitamin-D3 (aka, cholecalciferol)||meh… Take a lot if you want, as the study shows 300,000 IU was common —the concern arises with high dosages not balanced with A —this is the major issue. Vitamin-A as beta carotene are associated with increased risks of lung cancer.||it’s synthetic
some people are sensitive to it
Is it synthetic?
Ok well the lanonlinn is ‘natural’ if you don’t mind eating sheep hair grease, but then they add other chemicals… Yuk.
It will do if it’s all ya got
|Wellshire Farms Liverwurst (pork or turkey)||2 kinds pork or turkey —pork is stronger flavor, but higher A/D ratios
—turkey is more mild of the two, lower A/D ratios
|it has a little dairy if you’re opposed / sensitive / allergic
lots of A and D tho!
|Our Fave —one of 2 versions of VIRGIN cod liver oil
My fave sources are:
|wow just wow. amazing stuff
see the brands we recommend at the end of this post
additionally — ½-1 tsp is standard but lots of people take more but there are upper limits
|all the vitamins that were natural there weren’t filtered out and ‘re added’ (that’s just too much tampering)
other CLO’s pull the D out, re-add it, or worse, add synthetic.