Vitamin D (Calciferol) – EHI eLibrary
Author: Monica Sava Bruenn, PhD, CHN, FDN, Herbalist & Henele E’ale, ND, BCHN
Editor: Shannon Summers, CHN
Date: Sep 26, 2019
Energetic Health Overview
What makes Vitamin D so amazing for you and your Energetic State, Emotional State, Anatomy, Physiology & Cellular Biochemistry? Is it taking you longer to get over a cold? Looking to build stronger bones? Let’s see what Vitamin D has to offer.
Interestingly, Vitamin D was discovered during the 1930’s while researchers looked for a potential cure for rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. As a result of this discovery, the U.S. began fortifying foods with Vitamin D which resulted in a drastic decrease in the number of children who developed rickets. However, since too many children don’t get enough sunlight today due to lives spent increasingly indoors and overuse of toxic sunscreens, children are still at risk for developing rickets leaving many parents forced to rely on fortified foods (and supplements) for Vitamin D, even though the best natural solution is simply getting a safe amount of unmuted, chemical-free sunlight. B,1,4
Vitamin D is “the sunshine vitamin,” and an incredible nutrient that acts as a messenger in our cellular metabolism, promotes optional organ function, and has many roles in the body including aiding in cell growth, neuromuscular function, immune function and reduction of inflammation in the body.9 But perhaps it’s most famous for it’s ability to promote calcium and phosphorus absorption along with the 3 phases of bone formation (mineralization, growth, remodeling).
One of the most important roles Vitamin D plays is to control bone resorption and formation. It aides the parathyroid gland helping to maintain ideal blood calcium levels. However, in the US today, in spite of vitamin fortification, Vitamin D Deficiency is at epidemic levels, particularly in the northern climates, as evidenced by the elevated rates of osteoporosis.1
Vitamin D is also referred to as a prohormone, with the ability to increase the intestinal absorption of critically important minerals calcium, phosphate, and magnesium. And thanks to Ultraviolet B (UV-B) waves of light, it can be produced naturally through the skin, directly from cholesterol, and through a series of built-in human biochemical reactions. Conversely though, it can only be found in a very small number of foods, including fatty fish such as sardines, eggs, yogurt, and mushrooms.
It’s clear that Vitamin D plays a critical role in your ability to optimize your own health. Has it felt like it’s been taking you longer and longer to get over a cold? Well that might be a sign of Vitamin D deficiency. Currently, it’s estimated that around 41.6% of the U.S. population is deficient in vitamin D to some degree. A,1,6
Vitamin D, or calciferol, is a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning that it dissolves in fats and oils, but it can be stored in your body for extended periods of time until it is needed. Vitamin D regulates calcium and phosphorous metabolism in the body. It can be obtained from unmuted sun exposure, certain foods, and supplementation. The two major forms are vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). When we speak about ‘fortifying foods’ with Vitamin D such as cereal and milk, this typically involves Vitamin D2, while vitamin D3 is synthesized from unmuted skin exposure to the sun in addition to being available in certain foods as well as supplementation. B
Vitamin D – When You Don’t Have Enough
The key factors affecting your ability to utilize Vitamin D from the sun are: the time of day, cloud cover, season, latitude, density of clothing fabric and your skin tone. The darker your skin is, the more clothing covers your body, the more north you live from the equator, the shorter the daytime, and the more clouds in the sky…the more difficult it will be for your body to synthesize Vitamin D from its cholesterol precursor. Add in the use of toxic sunscreens to block out UVB sun rays and your body will have a very difficult time making Vitamin D.
Here are some signs & symptoms of acute Vitamin D deficiency:A,2,4
• loss of balance
• low immune function
• chronic fatigue syndrome
• muscle weakness
• digestive disorders
• metabolic syndrome
And signs & symptoms of chronic Vitamin D deficiency:A,2,4
• multiple sclerosis
• chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
• rheumatoid arthritis
• increased risk of cancer. esp. breast, colon and prostate
• digestive disorders
Because of Vitamin D’s extensive health effects, its Energetics fall into the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) categories of the Water Element (Kidney, Urinary Bladder, Adrenal Glands), Gold Element (Lungs, Large Intestine, Thyroid, Parathyroid), & Wood Element (Liver, Gallbladder, Reproductive Glands).
Eating organic alkalizing foods, herbs, and supplements rich in Vitamin D that support these Elements and their Organs & Glands is the key to achieving the multitude of benefits created by living an Energetic Health lifestyle.
Foods, herbs, thoughts & lifestyle practices that support your Water Element will have positive effects on your Kidneys, Urinary Bladder & Adrenals. Foods & herbs with an Alkalizing net effect pH, including foods that are naturally salty and blue/purple(black) in color (Anthrocyanins) are often beneficial. Organic Alkalizing Foods will typically generate positive Energy Cultivating Moods that can help you overcome Anxiety while also calming your Nervous System leading to improved digestion and sleep. And lifestyle practices like drinking clean water & organic herbal teas can give your Water Element the hydration it needs to perform at a high level everyday.
Foods, herbs, thoughts & lifestyle practices that support your Gold Element will have positive effects on your Lungs, Large Intestine, Thyroid & Parathyroid. Foods & herbs with an Alkalizing net effect pH, including include foods that are naturally pungent & spicy and white/blue in color (Anthrocyanins) are often beneficial. Organic Alkalizing Foods will typically generate positive Energy Cultivating Moods that can help you overcome feeling Stuck and that you have to Keep It All Locked Inside and also calm your Nervous System leading to improved digestion and sleep. And lifestyle practices like Speaking Your Truth (in a loving way) can give your Gold Element the relief it needs to perform at a high level for decades and decades.
Foods, herbs, thoughts & lifestyle practices that support your Wood Element will have positive effects on your Liver & Gallbladder. Foods & herbs with an Alkalizing net effect pH, including foods that are naturally sour and green in color (Chlorophyll) are often beneficial. Organic Alkalizing Foods will typically generate positive Energy Cultivating Moods that can help you become much less prone to fits of Frustration while also calming your Nervous System leading to improved digestion and sleep. And lifestyle practices like annual 28-Day Energetic Cleansing can give your Wood Element the attention it needs to keep your body feeling amazing year after year.
The foods we eat become moods we feel. How is this possible? It’s just food after all, right? If we were to say, ‘you are what you eat’, would that seem far fetched? Of course not, the foods you eat literally become structure within your body. Fats (healthy or unhealthy) become integrated within the Phospholipid Bilayer of your cells. Proteins (healthy or unhealthy) become your bones, muscles, and organs. We literally are what we eat…but can the same be true for our emotional state? What you feel has a great deal to do with what you eat too. Neurotransmitters, the molecules of emotion, are biochemical compounds your body makes every moment of every day. And where does the source material for your neurotransmitters come from? That’s right…from the food you eat. What you eat becomes what you feel. Eat acidic foods tainted with pesticides, GMOs, chemical preservatives and other chemical pollutants and your moods will trend towards negative, Energy Draining Reactions because pollution disrupts homeostasis. Anger isn’t just anger, it’s a sign of nutritional imbalance typically the result of too many chemicals in the blood stream. Eat organic plant-based alkaline foods, free from the chemical pollutants that effectively short-circuit your Nervous System, and your moods will trend towards positive, Energy Cultivating Responses (See 5 Element Image Above). It’s not rocket science, food is medicine even for the mind, and clean foods lead to clean moods.
With respect to Vitamin D, foods like Wild Caught Salmon and Sardines stimulate your Water Element leading to positive Energy Cultivating Responses like being able to Trust in Life’s Perfection, be Faithful and Believe in Yourself…yes clean, organic, nutrient dense foods have the ability to help you be the best version of you! A food like Organic Yogurt that stimulates your Wood Element can lead to Energy Cultivating Responses like being Patient, Peaceful and Confident. While a food like Shiitake Mushrooms that stimulates your Gold Element can lead to Energy Cultivating Responses like being Forgiving and Open to Speaking Your Truth.E
(Refer to Table 1 above for more insights.)
Looking at health and the human body holistically, it’s imperative that you understand how everything is connected. You are a luminous being and your body is designed to heal. Your Energetics influence your Emotion. Your Emotion influences your Anatomy in what most people term body language. Your Anatomy influences how your body functions, aka your Physiology. Your Physiology influences your Cellular Biochemistry. And coming full circle, your Cellular Biochemistry influences your Energetics. At EHI, we call this series of amazing holistic connectivity The Cycle of Influencing Energy (CoIE). Literally nothing is independent of or isolated from anything else. It’s all you and what you do for one aspect of your CoIE, you do for all.
Vitamin D, in conjunction with Vitamin K, has a direct role in the providing the building material for strong, resilient bones. And this is made possible by your your skin transforming sunlight into an essential vitamin. Here’s some food for thought…have you ever been a little under the weather and gone outside to rest? Has a little bit of sun bathing on your skin felt really good? Well one of the reasons is that your skin was manufacturing Vitamin D to help your Immune System deal with any lingering infections. Pretty neat huh?
Vitamin D is activated by physiologic transformations into Calcidiol and Calcitriol. Calcidiol is formed by the Liver, while Calcitriol is formed in the Kidneys. Calcitriol stimulates Vitamin D Receptors (VDRs) within cells. In fact, Vitamin D helps to regulate between 100 and 1250 genes within the nuclei of the cells. Vitamin D is responsible for stimulating the production of Calcium Binding Protein, which increases calcium absorption along the digestive tract. To think of this simply, Calcitriol production is stimulated by Parathyroid Hormone when Calcium levels are low, and as Calcium levels rise, Calcitriol production diminishes.2,9,10,11,12
• Lowers the risk of hypertension
• Lowers risk of cardiovascular disease
• Lowers risk of stroke
• Lower risk of inflammatory bowel disease
• Maintain health gut balance of microbes
• Helps to avoid metabolic syndrome
• Helps control food cravings
• Helps control skin issues
Nervous & Endocrine Systems
• Helps avoid diseases of the nervous system (ie. multiple sclerosis)
• Maintain brain health
• Lower risk of diabetes
• Helps avoid cold and flu
• Strengthens overall immunity
• Lowers risk of cancer
• Lowers risk of autoimmune disease
Biochemistry focuses on the biochemical processes that continuously occur inside the body to the cellular level for energetic functioning. It explains these processes down to the cellular level. Calcitriol, the active form of Vitamin D created by the Kidneys, binds to Vitamin D Receptors (VDR) located in the nuclei of important cells. Interestingly, VDRs are common and abundant in immune cells. In its activated form, it can act like a cytokine to signal the cellular upregulation of Immune System. In vitro studies have also shown that Vitamin D plays a role in the synthesis of neurotrophic factors that enhance brain development & function, nitric oxide synthase that acts to balance blood pressure, and glutathione, the body’s most potent antioxidant.
At the cellular level, Vitamin D plays an essential role throughout your body’s innate healing processes.A,10,11,12
• Enhances Calcium and Phosphate Absorption in the Intestinal Mucosa
• Calcidiol (storage form) produced in liver through phase 1 hydroxylation
• Calcitriol (active steroid form) produced in the kidneys through second phase hydroxylation
• Essential nutrient for bone formation
• Promotes bone growth and remodeling by osetoblasts and osteoclasts.
• Regulates cell proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis
• Helps Reduce & Clear Arterial Plaque
• Greatly Reduces the Risk of Cognitive Impairment
• Stimulates the Production of Immune Cells (monocytes, T, B)
• Act as a cytokine to fight microbial pathogens
• Regulates cell apoptosis
Recommended Therapeutic Range
A. Energetic Health Holistic Nutrition Certification & Energetic Health v.1 by Dr. Henele, Genesis Publishing 2001 to 2019.
B. The World’s Healthiest Foods, George Mateljan. The George Mateljan Foundation 2001 to 2019.
C. Net Effect pH is a Teaching Concept Developed by Dr. Henele for Genesis Health Systems & the Energetic Health Institute. 2001 to 2019.
D. Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) Values provided courtesy of https://www.superfoodly.com/orac-values/
E. 5 Element Perspective is a Teaching Concept developed by Dr. Henele for Genesis Health Systems & the Energetic Health Institute. 2001 to 2019.
F. Therapeutic Range is a Teaching Concept developed by Dr. Henele for Genesis Health Systems & the Energetic Health Institute. 2001 to 2019.
1. The George Mateljan Foundation @2001-2019. March 4-10, 2019. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=110
2. Linus Pauling Institute, Micronutrient Information Center, Oregon State University. Assessed: March 4, 2019. This link leads to a website provided by the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. The Energetic Health Institute is not affiliated or endorsed by the Linus Pauling Institute or Oregon State University. https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/vitamins/vitamin-D
3. “Vitamin D.” U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services; National Institutes of health: Office of Dietary Supplements. Assessed: August 26, 2019. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/
4. Garland, C. F., Garland, F. C., Gorham, E. D., Lipkin, M., Newmark, H., Mohr, S. B., & Holick, M. F. (2006). “The role of vitamin D in cancer prevention.” American journal of public health, 96(2), 252–261. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2004.045260. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1470481/
5. Marcinowska-Suchowierska, E., Kupisz-Urbańska, M., Łukaszkiewicz, J., Płudowski, P., & Jones, G. (2018). Vitamin D Toxicity-A Clinical Perspective. Frontiers in endocrinology, 9, 550. doi:10.3389/fendo.2018.00550. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6158375/
6. Forrest KY, Stuhldreher WL. “Prevalence and correlates of vitamin D deficiency in US adults”. Nutritional Research. 2011 Jan;31(1):48-54. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2010.12.001. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21310306
7. Mayo Clinic. “Vitamin D.” By: Mayo Clinic Staff. Assessed: August 26, 2019. https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements-vitamin-d/art-20363792
8. The Nutrition Source. Harvard T.H. Chan: School of Public Health. “Vitamin D.” Assessed: August 26, 2019. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/vitamin-d/
9. Institute of Medicine (US) “Committee to Review Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin D and Calcium”; Ross AC, Taylor CL, Yaktine AL, et al., editors. Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2011. 3, Overview of Vitamin D. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK56061/
10. Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press, 2010.
11. Lips, P. Vitamin D physiology Prog Biophys Mol Biol. 2006. Sep;92(1):4-8. Epub 2006 Feb 28. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16563471
12. Deeb, K.K., Trump, D.L., & Johnson, C.N. (2007). “Vitamin D signaling pathways in cancer: potential for anticancer therapeutics.” Nature Reviews Cancer, 7, 684-700.
13. Oldways: Cultural Food Traditions. April 3, 2018. “Vitamin D Sources For Vegans And Vegetarians.” https://oldwayspt.org/blog/vitamin-d-sources-vegans-and-vegetarians
Monica Bruenn is a graduate of the Energetic Health Institute, Certified Holistic Nutritionist, Herbalist & PhD. She enjoys helping her clients with chronic health issues using a variety of natural healing modalities. Monica spends her free time growing organic herbs & making customized herbal formulations for people and animals in her private practice that supports her rescue farm for abused horses.