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Yesterday, we addressed our first vitamin D myth – that, being fat soluble, vitamin D can be stored in our fat cells for later use. We have heard concerns that supplementation with vitamin D is not needed, or even safe, because of this. While it is true that vitamin D has a higher affinity for fat, the ratio of vitamin D in fat to blood is relatively constant, and the body does not rely on vitamin D in fat to increase vitamin D blood levels. Nor is it possible to get vitamin D3 itself without regular intake from supplements or food, or from proper sun exposure.

Toxic Vitamin D in Fat?

Since vitamin D has a higher affinity for fat, some have speculated that vitamin D can build-up in our body fat over time and become toxic. Hopefully, our last post helped put that thought to rest, by demonstrating the constant ratio of vitamin D in fat to blood.

Additionally, the question has been raised that individuals who are overweight and obese might be at particular risk when taking vitamin D supplements of vitamin D toxicity if they lose a large amount of weight in a short period of time. Yet, this is simply not true. Overweight and obese individuals are one of the most at-risk groups for vitamin D deficiency and associated health problems. In fact, they typically need 2 to 3 times the amount of vitamin D intake as do people in the normal body mass index range. Rather than worrying about toxicity, the more appropriate concern would be about deficiency.

Today’s post adds additional evidence to dispel the myth that vitamin D stored in fat can lead to toxicity.

Here for a good time, not a long time

Vitamin D build-up in body fat does not continue indefinitely. When there is a continuous supply of vitamin D, a balance is reached between the vitamin D stored within our body fat and its removal for use into the blood stream.

In a review of vitamin D storage in pig tissues Dr. Robert Heaney and colleagues from Creighton University discovered that groups with vitamin D blood levels near 36 ng/ml (90 nmol/L) use up their vitamin D just as fast as they are getting it. In fact, pigs given feed with over 2,000 IU/d only had a 7 to 12 day supply of vitamin D in their body. This means that they are using the vitamin D as they get it – there is ongoing turnover and essentially no storage occurring.

In cases of adequate vitamin D intake, some gets stored in body fat, but this breaks down over time. It is not stored indefinitely.

False Flood Alarm

Suggestions that rapid fat loss could result in a sudden flood of vitamin D – or any other fat soluble vitamin for that matter – into the bloodstream are also unsupported.

A 2013 study by Piccolo et al. centered on overweight participants in a weight-loss program found no change in vitamin D blood levels after an average total fat loss of 13%. Weight loss did not change vitamin D levels.

Click to Enlarge & Print

Studies on weight loss surgery also show that vitamin D is not rapidly released from the fatty tissues. The chart above, from a 2012 study by members of Boston University School of Medicine, shows the vitamin D blood level of 17 subjects who were followed for an entire year after undergoing a weight loss procedure. After a year the average weight loss was 130 lbs and 90 lbs of fat. As can be seen, there was no increase in vitamin D blood levels despite such a dramatic loss of fat.

Clearly, vitamin D in your body fat does not lead to high levels of vitamin D in your blood after dramatic weight loss.

What doses of vitamin D can be considered safe?

“Normal” vitamin D levels are those that you can attain naturally through sun exposure. The best evidence for normal levels comes from native groups at the equator (can make vitamin D all year) and living a traditional lifestyle (plenty of time outdoors and they don’t wear sunscreen). Their blood levels of vitamin D are around 46 ng/ml (115 nmol/L).

While the current guidelines set by the U.S. National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) recommend 600 IU/day of vitamin D, with an upper limit of 4,000 IU/d, this is not enough for many to reach the levels suggested above.

Is there additional concern for toxicity when supplementing with more than 600 or 4000 IU/day of vitamin D? When should you be concerned? Stay tuned and find out!

Is it True?

Our goal with this “Vitamin D Myths” series is to provide information and resources to answer the question, “Why should I care about vitamin D?” and to help dispel the myths and misconceptions surrounding it that may be preventing you and others from accepting it as an essential component to health. We will also discuss other nutrients essential to the function of vitamin D (and vice versa) within the body that should not be ignored.

Vitamin D is necessary for multiple functions within the body and should not be ignored, but has the hype about vitamin D and its role in the body’s response to COVID-19 been over-exaggerated? What concerns about vitamin D are valid, and which are not? We want to provide you with evidence-based information to help you decide what vitamin D action to take, if any, for your own health.

We want to hear from you!

Is there a particular ‘myth’ you have heard about vitamin D? Or, something you have read or been told that makes you question whether vitamin D ‘deserves’ so much attention? Or whether you should be taking it and how much? Share with us by emailing jen @grassrootshealth.org what you have heard that makes you question vitamin D so that we can consider addressing it in our newsletters.

Do you know your nutrient status?

Do you need to be concerned about getting more vitamin D or other essential nutrients, such as magnesium, omega-3s and zinc? Test today and take the necessary steps to ensure your body has enough of each to support daily health!

We’re in a time of great crisis that could be greatly affected by making sure you and everyone you know has a serum level of at least 40 ng/ml. Help us help you.

Give your immune system the nutrients it needs to support a healthy you and protect yourself from unnecessary diseases.

GrassrootsHealth Nutrient Research Institute is preparing to do a Community RCT with the use of our myData-myAnswers nutrient health system that over 15,000 people are already using for their health. We will demonstrate how one can use the Nutrient Research Model established by Dr. Robert Heaney to establish the effect of vitamin D serum levels of at least 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L) on risk reduction with different ethnicities in the population. Please let us know if you’re interested in helping sponsor this project.

Through GrassrootsHealth Nutrient Research Institute, you can also test your essential elements magnesium, copper, zinc and selenium, toxins such as lead, mercury and cadmium, as well as your omega-3 levels, inflammation levels and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) level. Find out your levels today! Log on to the test selection page (click the link below) to get your tests and see for yourself if your levels can be improved.

Make sure you track your results before and after, about every 6 months!

Click Here to Access the Test Page

How can I track my nutrient intake and levels over time?

To help you track your supplement use and nutrient levels, GrassrootsHealth has created the Personal Health Nutrient Decision System called

For each specific supplement, you can track what days you take it, how much, and many other details.  This will help you know your true supplemental intake and what patterns of use work for you to reach and maintain optimum nutrient levels.  Check it out today!

Important Message

NEWS ALERT: States, Governments Acknowledge the Need for Vitamin D to Build the Immune System; Vitamin D*action has achieved a major milestone of ‘Moving Research into PRACTICE’!

EVERYONE needs to know about the benefits of vitamin D... We need your help to do this. Donating $25.00 today will positively affect millions of lives!

We will take this opportunity to use our extensive network to get pertinent information on vitamin D to the new US COVID Panel as well as local and state government representatives around the world.

Donate $25 today to help support this outreach effort (and, let us know if your employer could match the donations made by individuals from now until January 1, 2021!). You can also "text-to-give" by simply texting Daction to 44321.

Donations made through GiveLively are received in full by GrassrootsHealth.

What Does it Take YOU to Get Your D to 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L)?

Did you know your health could be greatly affected by making sure you have a vitamin D level of at least 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L)? Help us help you.

STEP 1 - Do you know what your vitamin D level is? If not, be sure to test today to find out.

STEP 2 – Determine your target level. Are you at your target level? Experts recommend a level of at least 40-60 ng/ml (100-150 nmol/L).

STEP 3 – Need to boost your level? Use the D*calculator to see how much vitamin D it may take to reach your target. Opt for the Loading Dose for a quicker boost.

STEP 4 – Optimize how your body absorbs and utilizes vitamin D with co-nutrients and these simple steps.

STEP 5 – Re-Test! This is an important step to make sure you have reached your target level, and to ensure you are not taking too much! Re-testing after 3-4 months is recommended.

STEP 6 – Adjust, Repeat…

Give your immune system the nutrients it needs to support a healthy you and protect yourself from unnecessary diseases, especially COVID-19.

NEWS ALERT

The first Randomized Controlled Trial on vitamin D and COVID-19 has shown a 96% lower risk of ICU admission for those receiving vitamin D (as 25(OH)D to quickly boost vitamin D blood levels) along with the standard treatment, compared to those receiving standard treatment alone.

These results support many previous observational studies showing a relationship between vitamin D levels and intake and COVID-19 severity.

Review the Latest Nutrient Research for COVID-19

GrassrootsHealth Nutrient Research Institute has launched the new Immune Boost project with the use of our myData-myAnswers nutrient health system that nearly 15,000 people are already using for their health. Specific markers that influence immune health are suggested for testing as part of this project including:

  • Vitamin D
  • Omega-3 Index
  • Essential elements magnesium, selenium, and zinc
  • hsCRP

Our goal is to demonstrate how one can use the Nutrient Research Model established by Dr. Robert Heaney to show the effect of vitamin D serum levels of at least 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L) on risk reduction for all ethnicities in the population. Status and intake of other nutrients will also be analyzed for any type of relationship to immune status and symptom severity. Join the project today!

Please let us know if you're interested in helping sponsor this project.

CLICK HERE for updates and new information about the project.

Through GrassrootsHealth Nutrient Research Institute, you can also test your essential elements magnesium, copper, zinc and selenium, toxins such as lead, mercury and cadmium, as well as your omega-3 levels, inflammation levels and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) level. Find out your levels today! Log on to the test selection page (click the link below) to get your tests and see for yourself if your levels can be improved.

Make sure you track your results before and after, about every 6 months!

Click Here to Access the Test Page

How can I track my nutrient intake and levels over time?

To help you track your supplement use and nutrient levels, GrassrootsHealth has created the Personal Health Nutrient Decision System called

For each specific supplement, you can track what days you take it, how much, and many other details.  This will help you know your true supplemental intake and what patterns of use work for you to reach and maintain optimum nutrient levels. Check it out today!