Vitamin D Supplementation: This Is Why It Can Be Wrong

By Raluca Schachter

Contributing writer for Wake Up World

Over the past decade, vitamin D has distinguished itself as a miracle supplement. Hundreds of research studies suggest that vitamin D can help prevent a multitude of conditions, from osteoporosis to autoimmune disorders, immune function, cardiovascular disease, cancer and more.

Statistics suggest that a large number of adults and children do not have enough vitamin D in the body.

Many doctors and nutritionists routinely prescribe supplements with high doses of vitamin D, ranging from 2,000-10,000 IU (international units) per day to 50,000 IU per week.

Vitamin D obviously supports human health. But why not address the reasons behind the decline in vitamin D?

There is already solid evidence that testing and correcting vitamin D deficiency is much more complex than monitoring hydroxyvitamin D levels and vitamin D3 supplementation. This approach loses sight of the fact that many factors will mediate how 25-hydroxyvitamin D is converted to the active secosteroid hormone calcitriol (1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D) and the most potent metabolite of vitamin D. In addition, many pathogenic influences will alter the course of intracellular transport of calcitriol and nuclear binding to the vitamin D receptor (VDR).

Without investigating these influences, clinicians lose sight of the causes of aberrant fluctuations in vitamin D levels and cannot apply a proper balancing and healing protocol.

The Importance of the Active Form of Vitamin D in Assessing Deficiency

Recent research suggests that almost every cell in our body has receptors for vitamin D, which indicates a much stronger role for this vitamin than previously thought. This new information has helped us discover that vitamin D also influences the immune system and helps differentiate cells, regulate blood pressure, insulin secretion and more.

Vitamin D in its active form – calcitriol is of great importance for many physiological functions. It is a micronutrient that helps absorb calcium from food in the digestive tract and regulate other minerals in the body.

These functions are activated when calcitriol binds to the site of the VDR nuclear receptor. Among other things, vitamin D receptor (VDR) activation is essential for:

  • modulating the immune behavior of T cells and B cells
  • reducing the proliferation of pro-inflammatory cytokines (interferon gamma and IL-17).
  • interaction with PTH (parathyroid hormone) to absorb calcium from the intestine and reabsorption of calcium into the kidneys, as well as to regulate the excretion of inorganic phosphate.
  • neuronal integrity and growth – NGF (nerve growth factor) which is enhanced by activating the VDR receptor.
  • activation of the dopamine pathway
  • interaction with sexual reproduction processes, including androgen receptor function, testosterone synthesis and gonadal sufficiency

Vitamin D and the Connection with Inflammation and Infections in the Body

Some medical research has determined that low levels of 25 (OH) D are a consequence of chronic inflammation, rather than its cause.

Research indicates that the proliferation of pathogenic bacteria can lead to a high level of 1.25 (OH) 2D and 25 (OH) D low. Eradicating pathogens and improving immunity can correct the dysfunctional metabolism of vitamin D and can resolve inflammatory symptoms.

Pathogen infections negatively influence Vitamin D receptor function, especially when these are present:

EBV (Epstein Barr virus)
CMV (cytomegalovirus)
Borrelia burgdorferi (spirochetes that cause Lyme disease)
Electromagnetic radiation
Gliotoxin, produced by many fungi.

Vitamin D Deficiency and Biochemical Balance

Random supplementation with high doses of vitamin D without knowing and understanding the person’s entire health profile or the condition of other minerals and vitamins involved in biochemical balance can be even dangerous. For example, high doses of vitamin D can lower the levels of zinc, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, calcium and vitamin A!

Vitamin D and calcium exist in a delicate balance. If the body cannot regulate calcium levels, it can be deposited on the body’s soft tissues, including the arteries. Some studies suggest that this is a real possibility when vitamin D levels become too high.

In addition to its role in coagulation, vitamin K also helps build and maintain healthy bones and teeth. It does this by activating a specific protein called osteocalcin that helps the body use calcium and deposit it where it belongs. So there is a very strong connection between calcium and vitamin K, and if we are deficient in vitamin K, calcium can accumulate and deposit in the soft tissues of the body. People with a low vitamin K content are more likely to suffer from atherosclerosis or arterial calcification. So, if supplemented with high doses of vitamin D in the presence of vitamin K deficiency, the long-term results could be disastrous.

Magnesium is an important mineral involved in over 300 different processes in the body, including the ability to produce and use ATP, the body’s main form of energy. Magnesium also helps with a number of activities related to the production and use of vitamin D. In particular, it appears to alter the sensitivity of tissues to vitamin D and helps maintain calcium balance.

Because magnesium is used in vitamin D metabolism, supplementation with high levels of vitamin D could cause an even greater magnesium deficiency in an already deficient population and can also cause calcium deposits in the arteries.

Vitamin A can prevent vitamin D toxicity and vice versa. The lower the level of vitamin A, the more vitamin D accumulates.

Other implications that must be considered when evaluating the condition of vitamin D, in addition to the possibility of high inflammation and unresolved infections is the involvement of the parathyroid glands. When they feel a drop in their blood calcium levels, they secrete parathyroid hormone (PTH). PTH stimulates the formation of active vitamin D, which increases calcium absorption in the small intestine and the release of calcium from the bone, in an attempt to restore normal levels of calcium in the blood. High PTH levels can therefore lead to a high level of 1.25 (OH) 2D, low bone mineral density, increased risk of fractures and osteoporosis.

We can thus use PTH, calcium and active vitamin D3 as markers to give us a more complete picture of the state of vitamin D. In his presentation at IHH-UCSF, Dr. Masterjohn suggested that serum PTH levels above 30 pg / ml may be an indication for vitamin D deficiency when 25 (OH) D levels are limited. But if 25 (OH) D levels are low or even slightly below the laboratory reference limit (eg, 25 to 30 ng / ml), but PTH is less than 30 pg / ml, it is unlikely that the patient is deficient in vitamin D, and supplementation is not justified.

For specialized consultation for your health problems you can schedule an  appointment here.

Resources:

  • www.metabolichealing.com/5-factors-that-inhibit-your-vitamin-d-receptor-vdr
  • www.chriskresser.com/vitamin-d-more-is-not-better
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4160567/
  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25048990/
  • Yenamandra SP1, Hellman U, Kempkes B, Darekar SD, Petermann S, Sculley T, Klein G, Kashuba E. Epstein-Barr virus encoded EBNA-3 binds to vitamin D receptor and blocks activation of its target genes. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2010 Dec;67(24):4249-56. doi: 10.1007/s00018-010-0441-4. Epub 2010 Jul 1.
  • Rieder FJJ1, Gröschel C2, Kastner MT1, Kosulin K3, Laengle J4, Zadnikar R5, Marculescu R5, Schneider M1, Lion T6, Bergmann M4, Kallay E2, Steininger C7. Human cytomegalovirus infection downregulates vitamin-D receptor in mammalian cells. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2017 Jan;165(Pt B):356-362. doi: 10.1016/j.jsbmb.2016.08.002. Epub 2016 Aug 9.
  • Salazar JC, Duhnam-Ems S, La Vake C, et al. Activation of human monocytes by live Borrelia burgdorferi generates TLR2-dependent and -independent responses which include induction of IFN-beta. PLoS Pathog. 2009;5:e1000444.
  • Trevor G. Marshallcorresponding author1 and Trudy J. Rumann Heil; Electrosmog & autoimmune disease: Immunol Res. 2017; 65(1): 129–135
  • Margherita T. Cantorna,1,2,* Lindsay Snyder,1 Yang-Ding Lin,1 and Linlin Yang; Vitamin D and 1,25(OH)2D Regulation of T cells; Nutrients. 2015 Apr; 7(4): 3011–3021.
  • Duygu GEZEN-AK, Erdinç DURSUN, and Selma YILMAZER; The Effect of Vitamin D Treatment On Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) Release From Hippocampal Neurons; Noro Psikiyatr Ars. 2014 Jun; 51(2): 157–162.
  • Coughlan CA1, Chotirmall SH, Renwick J, Hassan T, Low TB, Bergsson G, Eshwika A, Bennett K, Dunne K, Greene CM, Gunaratnam C, Kavanagh K, Logan PM, Murphy P, Reeves EP, McElvaney NG. The effect of Aspergillus fumigatus infection on vitamin D receptor expression in cystic fibrosis. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2012 Nov 15;186(10):999-1007. doi: 10.1164/rccm.201203-0478OC. Epub 2012 Aug 16.

Recommended articles by Raluca Schachter:

About the author:

Raluca Schachter is a dedicated Clinical Nutritionist / Natural Health Practitioner a.k.a “The Health Detective”. Raluca was able to naturally reverse chronic health conditions she was struggling with most of her life, and now uses her knowledge to help as many people as possible do the same. Her health programs and diet plans offer a very unique and comprehensive approach to health, where individual nutritional and biochemical requirements are firstly met using specific nutrients and foods that each metabolism thrives on. Raluca offers her services to international clientele and her practice is fully online based. You can connect with Raluca at www.metabolicenergy.net and https://www.facebook.com/raluca.schachter.metabolicenergy


If you've found value in our articles, we invite you to support the release of our brand-new book, "Gratitude Practices for Kids: A Practical Guide for Adults to Instill a Spirit of Appreciation and Positivity in the Next Generation."

"Gratitude Practices for Kids" brings together over 25 innovative and accessible practices designed to enhance gratitude in everyday life. This comprehensive guide is backed by 17 scientific studies, ensuring each concept is grounded in research, underscoring our commitment to nurturing growth, emotional intelligence, and positive interactions between adults and children.

We encourage you to opt for the paperback version to celebrate this new release. Dive into its fresh pages away from digital distractions, allowing you to immerse yourself in the transformative practices it offers.

Over recent years, Wake Up World has faced significant online censorship, which has impacted our financial ability to operate. Moving into book publishing represents a strategic step to secure the ongoing funds needed to continue our mission. By purchasing Gratitude for Kids, you help us keep our content free and accessible to everyone, avoiding needing a paywall. With over 8,500 articles published in the last 13 years, we remain dedicated to keeping our valuable content open to all.