I want to talk to you about something that has changed my life and may have the potential to change yours. Chances are this article will affect one in four people. I remember going to the doctor with symptoms of extreme fatigue. I would only want to sleep; I would be slow, sluggish; I would be sore all the time, and depressed. Having a rather physical job, and working outside all the time, I thought it might have been my job, working hard and always being on my feet; however a blood test showed different results.
After a doctors visit, a very in depth blood test, and an eight week wait, we discovered I was extremely low on vitamin D. I found this odd, because I worked outdoors ten to twelve hours a day; but when I thought about it, it made sense why I was so low. I had layers of clothing and fire resistant coveralls on. Although my scenario may not be like yours, I began to learn more about vitamin D. My exploration took me to a doctor's visit and a referral to an endocrinologist, to discuss the vitamin D and a couple other things.
Vitamin D is traditionally thought to bring calcium to our bones (as well as a few other minerals), but Alberta Health Services (AHS) says this: "Deficiency of vitamin D has been linked to skeletal conditions (i.e. falls and fractures), as well as rickets in children, and osteomalacia in adults. There is also some evidence to suggest that health related, non-bone outcomes such as certain types of cancer, cardiovascular disease are linked to vitamin D deficiency." Okay! Great! But…this doesn’t tell me anything about how it affects my mood and what other benefits there are! Let's dive a little deeper.
New neuro-research shows that our brain cells actually have receptors for vitamin D much like we have receptors for numerous other chemicals, like neurotransmitters, hormones, polypeptides etc. This new discovery means that vitamin D is, in some way, shape, or form, having an effect on your brain. Due to this discovery, we are learning that a vitamin D deficiency has some sort of impact on our moods. I have always taken nutritional supplements so this came to me as a surprise, that I am not only low on vitamin D, but it has an effect; not to mention I second guessed this vitamin, thinking to myself, “Right...Like this vitamin is going to make a huge difference.”
Over the course of three months I have started taking vitamin D3 supplements at 10,000 units a day (ten, 1,000 UI tablets). Taking such a large dose, I noticed some change, but not an overly large improvement in my mood, fatigue, etc; so I went back to my doctor for a new blood test to see where my vitamin D levels were.
I waited another eight weeks for my blood test results (it's not that Alberta Health Care is slow, it is just a really extensive blood test) and have discovered my blood test results hardly even changed. It turns out, however, I was taking the wrong vitamin D! Little did I know, there is a huge difference between the vitamin D types: D1, D2, D3; but I am only going to focus on D2 and D3.
Vitamin D3 is a common supplement found at almost any pharmacy, chemist, or grocery store. Our body will use the vitamin D3 we take in supplement form, and then pee out the rest. This is where we get people saying supplements are stupid. You are literally creating expensive pee.
Vitamin D2, however, is a little different. Why pee out something good, when we can get our bodies to store it for easy use later on? Vitamin D2, when taken, is stored in our bodies for current and future use. When our bodies need the vitamin, we will convert it to vitamin D3. This way we can build up our bodies’ reserves and not make some expensive pee.
As I went to the doctors office a second time to follow up with the second blood test results, I was prescribed vitamin D2 tablets of 50,000 uI/week. I thought, “I may as well just down a whole bottle of vitamin D”. Of course vitamin D supplements can be found over the counter, and these supplements, provided by the pharmacist, came out to be a lot more cost effective.
After about three weeks of being on the supplements, I found that I was able to stand for longer periods without getting sore, , I recovered faster from work outs and best of all my mood was lifted. As well, I didn’t feel as anxious and felt a bit more at peace. After five weeks, I felt like a completely new person. I knew vitamin supplements can go a long way, but these supplements really changed my life.
The benefits of different supplements are absolutely mind blowing, and vitamin D really blew me away. I recommend anyone above the 49th parallel, and even the world, to go to their doctors and get their blood tested before getting prescribed some poisonous chemical (anti-depressants and other legal drugs) that may ultimately lead you to more harm.
I also advise that you work with a doctor or medical professional to get the best results as, although there are many benefits to vitamin D, too much can harm you.