In a previous post I had mentioned that I had received a few responses from colleagues who had read my vitamin D article. When I checked an older account, I found that I had saved a copy of two of the emails. I posted a copy with names and contact information removed as evidence of my attempt to seek help. I have made the post private and added a link to it within the post where I had mentioned the topic. The emails had been intended as private correspondence and I hadn’t asked the writers for permission to post a copy. My send virtual apologies to them in advance.
One of the emails included this link with the suggestion that it contradicted my article. But it actually supports the premise that healthy levels of vitamin D are healthy and abnormal levels may be abnormal rather than deficient in a normal sense of the term nutrient deficiency. Vitamin D is unique in that it can be formed by the body from cholesterol. Other vitamins and minerals that are considered essential can not be produced by the body. A deficiency of one of them would suggest a true lack of the nutrient but a low level of vitamin D can occur with an elevated level of the active hormone form of the nutrient.
Continued below the link:
***This is just an abstract, on rereading it I see that it doesn’t include that much information about the results and I misread the data about types of cholesterol. All the types of cholesterol levels were higher in the participants with normal or higher levels of vitamin D not just the ‘good’ HDL cholesterol. However the total ratio of good/HDL to bad/LDL cholesterol was better and the triglyceride level was lower in the participants with normal levels of vitamin D than participants with low levels of vitamin D.
I had written this earlier today:
*The study included in this email actually does not conflict with my research findings – Many studies have shown that health is associated with having normal vitamin D levels. Obesity and chronic illness is associated with having depressed vitamin D levels. The controversy arose when some research physicians decided that therefore simply providing megadoses of vitamin D should/would correct the depressed vitamin D levels and correct the individual’s underlying chronic illness problem — but correcting the depressed levels hasn’t proven to be that simple.
Studies on the effectiveness of providing vitamin D supplements have not shown that health improves even when the person’s vitamin D level was able to be brought back up to the normal range by providing megadoses of the supplement or megadose injections of the supplement. Much of the research that showed depressed levels of vitamin D did not also include laboratory assessments of the participant’s hormone D levels – which likely were actually elevated in the individuals who had obesity or chronic illness problems.
Megadoses of the supplement that are given to individuals whose bodies have too much of the activating enzyme and not enough of the deactivating enzyme will simply by converted into hormone D and lab tests for vitamin D will continue to be low. This lack of change in the vitamin D lab values even with the provision of larger and larger supplements was baffling the research physicians. They continue to seem to think that most or all of the supplemental vitamin D that is given to patients will remain in the vitamin D form within their bodies — the problem in chronically ill and obese people is that the supplements of vitamin D may be rapidly being converted into hormone D. And my concern based on my on experience with elevated hormone D levels is that it is very biologically active in many systems of the body and it can cause muscle cramps and mood changes and actually cause osteoporosis over time rather than help prevent it. Hormone D is not just for strong bones.
I then started adding this but realized the abstract really doesn’t provide enough information about the cholesterol levels in the participants with low levels of vitamin D to speculate about possible causes.
/Speculation/ Thinking more about this research link suggested to me that the higher ratio of ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol in the participants with lower vitamin D levels may actually be showing evidence of the soft tissue calcification that can occur with elevated levels of hormone D. Excess calcium is stored along the walls of arteries and veins within placques formed by cholesterol deposits. The cholesterol helps enclose the electrically active calcium ions which can cause damage if allowed to enter into the interior of cells. Magnesium is the electrically active ion that is found in greater quantity within the interior of cells. It is necessary to help block openings within cell membranes that can allow calcium or other chemicals into the interior of the cell in amounts that might be unsafe (for more information look up excitotoxins, aspartic acid, or glutamates).
From a previous post regarding having elevated hormone D levels: “It causes increased loss of calcium from the bones and can lead to osteoporosis over time, and excess free calcium in soft tissue can cause muscle cramps and headaches in the short run and lead to calcification of soft tissue over time, such as atherosclerosis, a type of hardening of the arteries.” [post]
/Disclosure: This information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes./