This article titled Vitamin D: Don't Overdo A Good Thing is a healthy reminder that isolating and/or overreacting to any one nutrient, vitamin or mineral can have significant backlash. It's easy to see how a universal overreaction to vitamin D has developed. Widespread vitamin D deficiency has consistently been reported, the critical functions/benefits of vitamin D are regularly raved about and it's a crudely understood vitamin at best (it's actually much closer to a hormone than a vitamin). Let's consider why too much vitamin D would cause the metabolic mayhem evidenced in the article and what a responsible approach to keeping levels appropriate looks like.
too much of a good thing...
The symbiotic relationship between vitamin D and other vitamins or minerals such as vitamin A, magnesium, vitamin K and calcium is very sensitive. When you dump extreme amounts of supplement based vitamin D into the mix without attention to the supporting castm you turn vitamin D into a dangerous character. Additionally, this creates ripples in the availability and levels of all interrelated nutrients, minerals or vitamins.
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A responsible solution to the vitamin D dilemma is simple: seek regular 5-30 minute doses of sun exposure during peak hours (on sunscreen/clothing free skin) for starters. Back that up by eating a balance of appropriately sourced leafy greens, colorful veggies, mushrooms, eggs, meats, organ meats, fish, cheese/other dairy, butter, dark chocolate, nuts/seeds and naturally fermented items such as sauerkraut. These foods are expertly designed to provide appropriate amounts of vitamin d, vitamin A, vitamin K, magnesium and calcium.
Vitamin D3 supplementation may still be necessary depending on your baseline levels, where you live, or the season. Be sure to consult your MD and base supplementation dosage off of whether you are truly deficient or if you simply need to maintain healthy levels.
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Tim DiFrancesco, PT, DPT, ATC, CSCS is the Head Strength & Conditioning Coach for the Los Angeles Lakers and Founder of TD Athletes Edge, where he provides fitness, recovery and nutrition guidance to aspiring and professional athletes. For training advice, visit www.tdathletesedge.com and follow him on Twitter/Instagram through @tdathletesedge.