Episode 204: Why You Need Vitamin D for Your Mood

In this re-released episode, Dr. Lisa and Dr. Toni are discussing everything you need to know about vitamin D. Vitamin D isn’t just needed for bone health and immune system – could low vitamin D be the cause of your aches, pains, low energy and mood?

Vitamin D deficiency is still underdiagnosed, under prevented and under treated in between 60-90% of the worldwide population. In Canada, over half of the population are vitamin D deficient (below 75 nmol/L). 

Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin and is best absorbed as a supplement when taken with food. 

What increases your risk of experiencing vitamin D deficiency?

  • Dark skin
  • Obesity
  • Older age
  • Malabsorption
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease (due to malabsorption and inflammation)
  • Sunlight overprotection and/or deprivation
  • Chronic use of prednisone and other anti-inflammatory steroid derivatives, anticonvulsant medications (due to upregulation of liver detoxification, promoting excretion of vitamin D and metabolites)

Why should you care about vitamin D?

Vitamin D plays many roles in the body! It’s not just for bone density, which can decrease as estrogen decreases in perimenopause and menopause.

Vitamin D is known as a pro-hormone synthesized in the skin and activated in the liver and kidneys. Cholesterol is its precursor.

Why do you need vitamin D in your body?

  • Reduces cellular growth
  • Improves cell differentiation
  • Regulates and controls genes
  • Reduces inflammation, risk of cancer, autoimmunity
  • Reduces muscle aches/pain, fibromyalgia
  • Improves mood (and energy)
  • Enhances bone health

“The most common manifestations of vitamin D deficiency in adults is:

Depression

Infection

Chronic Pain”

  • Alex Vasquez (vitamin D monograph available at academia.edu)

Low vitamin D status or deficiency can manifest as:

  • Bone and muscle pain 
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Infections/dysbiosis
  • Frequent falls and cognitive impairment
  • Statin intolerance and myalgia
  • Preterm birth 

How does vitamin D support your vagina?

Research shows that vitamin D supports the proliferation of vaginal epithelium in postmenopausal vaginal atrophy. After using a suppository with 1000IU vitamin D over 8 weeks, vaginal pH decreased, while vaginal dryness and pain significantly reduced.

You can think about your skin and mucous membranes (including epithelial cells and immune cells) are like bricks in a wall, with tight junction proteins acting like mortar and weather proofing or waterproofing provided by antimicrobial peptides, as well as lysozyme and secretory IgA, on surfaces. 

Mucous membranes are present in your mouth, digestive tract, genitourinary tract and respiratory tract. Strengthening your exterior barrier defenses prevents infection.

Research shows that people with low vitamin D levels are 27-55% more likely to get an upper respiratory tract infection. Higher doses of vitamin D are more protective, improves lung function and decreases inflammation. 

Synergistic nutrients for vitamin D include:

  • Magnesium – cofactor in the synthesis of vitamin D from both exposure to sunlight and dietary sources
  • Vitamin K2 supports getting calcium into bones and teeth

Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) produced in skin and consumed in diet, preferred form for supplementation.

Food sources provide low amounts: fatty wild fish like mackerel, herring, sardines, trout, salmon, cod liver oil, egg yolk, milk, soy milk, fortified foods, beef liver, cheese

Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) produced by irradiating fungi and mushrooms, less efficient precursor to biologically active 1, 25 dihydroxyvitamin D (calcitriol), also potentially less effective and more toxic. 

Some examples of research using cod liver oil as a source of vitamin D:

  • study with 10 patients with multiple sclerosis over 2 years, daily supplementation of 1000mg calcium, 600mg magnesium and 5000IU vitamin D (from 20g cod liver oil) reduced number of exacerbations with an absence of adverse effects
  • studies with cod liver oil showed significant reductions of type 1 diabetes, while a study of more than 10,000 infants (less than 1 year of age) and children with 2000IU of vitamin D daily reduced incidence of type 1 diabetes by almost 80%

How do you know if you’re getting enough vitamin D?

Get your blood tested!

Reference ranges for serum 25 (OH) vitamin D3 in adults can vary:

Example:

Deficiency: <20 ng/ml (50 nmol/L) 

Insufficiency: 20-40 ng/ml (50-100 nmol/L)

Proposed optimal: 40-65 ng/ml (100-160 nmol/L)

Excess: >80 ng/ml (200 nmol/L)

Proposed updated ranges:

Depletion: <20 ng/ml (50 nmol/L) 

Insufficiency: <32 ng/ml (80 nmol/L) 

Marginal sufficiency: 30-40 ng/ml (75-100 nmol/L)

Sufficiency: 40-50 ng/ml (100-125 nmol/L) 

Proposed optimal physiologic range: 50-90 ng/ml (125-225 nmol/L) – based on levels found in pregnant rural Africans, lifeguards in USA/Isreal, farmers in Puerto Rico

Supraphysiologic: >100 ng/ml (250 nmol/L)

Potentially toxic: >150 ng/ml (325 nmol/L)

Pharmacologic dosing: 200-300 ng/ml (500-750 nmol/L)

Today’s Mama Must Have:

Dr. Lisa is a big fan of board games for lots of family fun, including Despicable Me Minion Game of Life, Mousetrap and Don’t Make Me Laugh. 

Dr. Toni loves her emulsified vitamin D drops by NFH plus vitamin D/K for the whole family.

Email us or connect with us on Facebook and Instagram. We’d love you to subscribe, leave us a review and a 5-star rating if you enjoyed this episode.

Please tell your perimenopausal mama friends about us, too!

Stay safe and healthy everyone!

Disclaimer: The information provided in this presentation is not meant to replace treatment with a licensed health care practitioner. It is for informational purposes only. Consult with a Naturopathic Doctor or other licensed health care professional to determine which treatments are safe for you.

Episode 114: Two Years of COVID-19: Research Update and the Possibility of Co-Infections with Dr. Paul Anderson, ND

In today’s episode, Dr. Toni welcomes back Dr. Paul Anderson to discuss what the latest scientific research is telling us about COVID-19 and what it means for you and your family. Their discussion includes the shift from pandemic to endemic, how COVID-19 affects kids and the importance of addressing viral and bacterial co-infections to recover completely and stay healthy.

Previously, Dr. Toni discussed the scientific research on nutrition and COVID-19 with Dr. Paul Anderson in Episode 39 back in September 2020.

Dr. Paul Anderson is a naturopathic doctor and educator with a focus on complex infections,  chronic illness and cancer care, as well as the author of multiple books including “Outside the Box Cancer Therapies” and the upcoming book “Cancer…Living Your Life While You Have It”. In addition to educating clinicians through his website www.ConsultDrAnderson.com and various conferences. He is the host of the podcast Medicine and Health with Dr. Paul Anderson.

In this episode, we cover:

  • The difference between the spread of Delta and Omicron variants of the SARS CoV-2 virus, regardless of your vaccination status or isolation behaviours
  • How more kids are getting the Omicron variant compared to the previous variants
  • The impact of Omicron on kids 0-12 years old compared to you and other adults in general
  • What living with COVID-19 might mean for you and your family
  • What the research now says about your immune response to the vaccine and to virus exposure
  • Why Dr. Anderson considers COVID-19 “the great door opener” and the impact of co-infections like Epstein Barr virus and other lung infections on how you can experience COVID-19
  • What to watch for if you or other family members experience COVID-19
  • Nutrients with scientific research for immune support and ability to address COVID-19 and other viral infections:
    • Vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc, quercetin, probiotics, NAC

Connect with Dr. Anderson and find his newsletter that includes links to research articles, recommended nutrients and dosages at https://dranow.com/

Today’s Mama Must Have:

Dr. Toni is thankful for podcasters like Dr. Paul Anderson who are trusted sources of information we can use to stay healthy…we hope the Perimenopausal Mamas Podcast does the same for you!

Thank you for joining us today!

Email us or connect with us on Facebook and Instagram. We’d love you to subscribe, leave us a review and a 5-star rating if you enjoyed this episode. You can also support us by visiting our Patreon page.

Please tell your perimenopausal mama friends about us, too!

Stay safe and healthy everyone!

Disclaimer: The information provided in this presentation is not meant to replace treatment with a licensed health care practitioner. It is for informational purposes only. Consult with a Naturopathic Doctor or other licensed health care professional to determine which treatments are safe for you.