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Vitamin D

Category: Natural Chemicals



Introduction and description









Vitamin D is a group of fat-soluble secosteroids responsible for enhancing intestinal absorption of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphate and zinc. [A secosteroid is a molecule similar to a steroid but with a "broken" ring]. For us, the most important compounds in this group are;

  • vitamin D3 (also known as cholecalciferol) and
  • vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol)

In the liver, cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) is converted to calcidiol, the calcidiol is converted by the kidneys to calcitriol, the biologically active form of vitamin D, and Calcitriol circulates as a hormone in the blood, regulating the concentration of calcium and phosphate in the bloodstream and promoting the healthy growth and remodeling of bone. Calcitriol also affects neuromuscular and immune function.   

In addition to the kidneys, calcitriol is also synthesized by monocyte-macrophages in the immune system, where it acts locally as a cytokine, defending the body against microbial invaders by stimulating the innate immune system.  Vitamin D is absolutely key to the functioning of the immune system, and its actions “are expressed in several white blood cells, including monocytes and activated T and B cells. It is also involved in the synthesis of nitric oxide synthase, and increased glutathione levels”.

The body can synthesize vitamin D (specifically cholecalciferol) in the skin, from cholesterol, when 'sun exposure is adequate' (hence its nickname, the "sunshine vitamin"). 

Open the window, open the window

Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) can only be produced via our skin through the action of ultraviolet irradiation (UV) in a very quick and efficient process - 10,000 to 20,000 IU of vitamin D are produced in 30 minutes of whole-body exposure, in the skin of most vertebrate animals, including humans. Exposure to light through windows does not work because glass almost completely blocks UVB light. Sunscreen absorbs ultraviolet light and prevents it from reaching the skin. Sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 8 based on the UVB spectrum can decrease vitamin D synthetic capacity by 95 percent, sunscreen with an SPF of 15 can reduce synthetic capacity by 98 percent.   

Clothing is extremely effective at reducing the amount of skin exposed to UVB and reducing natural vitamin D synthesis.

Vitamin D imbalance


It should be clear from the list of essential minerals described above that Vitamin D deficiency causes Mineral deficiency of a major sort.

The immune system will be depressed, bone formation and repair will be depressed leading to osteoporosis or rickets, osteomalacia and tooth decay - all problems of the elderly, for example, who rarely get out into the sun. Without the regulating aspects of calcitriol, calcium can become a noxious substance in the blood stream and start to harden the arteries, as such a lack of Vitamin D will cause atherosclerosis. Calcium imbalance as well as mineral imbalance can cause all forms of heart disease from arrhythmias to heart damage.

There will be nervous problems and a host of other illnesses, all apparent if you glance at the sections on

If you turn to the section on Cancer, you will see that there is a strong correlation between cancer and viruses, bacteria, fungi, toxins and parasites. Without Vitamin D, there is zinc deficiency, with zinc deficiency you get a compromised immune function and a compromised immune function cannot fight all these unpleasant invaders, so even if you don't get cancer, you may get numerous other diseases of the organs, because much disease is caused by these pathogens. 

Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to increased risk of viral infections, including HIV and influenza. Low levels of vitamin D appear to be a risk factor for tuberculosis, Vitamin D hypovitaminosis may be a risk factor for multiple sclerosis. ..... Vitamin D deficiency has become a worldwide issue in the elderly and remains common in children and adults”.


Open the window for good ness sake.....

Overdosing on Vitamin D also causes Mineral imbalance, for example it can produce hypercalcaemia – too much calcium. Pregnant women who overdose on Vitamin D can produce babies with “mental retardation and facial deformities”.   

Vitamin D overdose can cause “anorexia, nausea, and vomiting, followed by polyuria, polydipsia, weakness, insomnia, nervousness, pruritus, and, ultimately, renal failure. Proteinuria, urinary casts, azotemia, and metastatic calcification (especially in the kidneys) may develop. Other symptoms of vitamin D toxicity include mental retardation in young children, abnormal bone growth and formation, diarrhea, irritability, weight loss, and severe depression. Kidney damage may be irreversible." 

Both an excess and a deficiency in vitamin D appear to cause “abnormal functioning and premature aging”. 

Causes of Vitamin D imbalance


You cannot overdose on Vitamin D from ultraviolet exposure

You cannot overdose on Vitamin D from ultraviolet exposure, the concentration of vitamin D precursors produced in the skin reach an equilibrium, and any further vitamin D that is produced is degraded.  Vitamin D toxicity can be caused by supplementing with high doses of vitamin D. In other words it is usually caused by Vitamin supplements and fortified foods.

  • Vitamin supplements and food fortification -  No recommendations are issued by the Institute of Medicine, USA, for the amount of sun exposure required to meet vitamin D requirements. Accordingly, the Dietary Reference Intake for vitamin D assumes no synthesis occurs and all of a person's vitamin D is from food intake, although that will rarely occur in practice. Thus there is the real danger that a person with perfectly adequate exposure to the sun, may attempt to take their RDA of Vitamin D via fortified foods or supplements and thus overdose.
    There is also a growing trend to add fortification to foods.  A country with low sunshine [such as those in Scandinavia] may decide to fortify its foods to help boost Vitamin D intake, but foods are sold internationally and may end up being sold to people in other countries where sunshine is high.  The fortification of foods is a problem in general, as all food naturally produced is by definition balanced, but a diet consisting of fortified foods can easily lead to overdose.


    Inadequate access to sunshine – Vitamin D deficiency occurs in countries with low sunlight. It occurs in Islamic societies and groups where the women remain completely covered and are encouraged to remain in the house. It can occur in school children without adequate recreational breaks, who spend their leisure time indoors on computers or game machines. It can occur in shift workers, or those who work long hours indoors and rarely go out in their lesiure time. 
  • Nutritional deprivation – I would like you to glance at the list of foods containing Vitamin D shown below. What has been the abiding message from the medical community for the last 60 plus years? Avoid fats, avoid butter, avoid fatty meat, avoid eggs. And also what has been the one thing that has marked out the western diet and that of so called developing nations? A decline in fish eating – partly it has to be said, because we have polluted our seas so much the fish in some areas are full of mercury and toxic. We do not get enough sun and we are also nutritionally depriving ourselves [on the advice of the medical community] of all the foods that would help the most. The following study may be of considerable interest. The Inuit's chief diet at one time was fish and blubber from seals and occasionally whales. They were healthy, they are now unhealthy, the Inuits location is far removed from the sun, as such their main source of vitamin D was food.

Arctic populations are at an increased risk of vitamin D inadequacy due to geographic latitude and a nutrition transition. This study aimed to assess the adequacy of dietary vitamin D and calcium among women of child-bearing age in Arctic Canada. This study collected data from 203 randomly selected women of child-bearing age (19-44 years) in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories of Arctic Canada. Cross-sectional surveys ….. were analysed to determine the dietary adequacy of vitamin D and calcium and summarize the top foods contributing to vitamin D and calcium intake among traditional food eaters (TFE) and non-traditional food eaters (NTFE).....Traditional food eaters had a significantly higher median vitamin D intake compared with non-traditional eaters ... ….Inadequate dietary vitamin D intake is evident among Inuit and Inuvialuit women of child-bearing age in Arctic Canada. Promotion of nutrient-rich sources of traditional foods, ….should be considered to address this nutrition concern. PMID: 24223871

  • Pharmaceuticals - according to the eHealthme webite, as of March 2014, 932 pharmaceuticals could cause Vitamin D deficiency.  Fairly obviously, the list is too long to include here so this LINK takes you to the page where they are all listed.  The types of drugs in this list include the following - please note this list is not exhaustive:
    • Osteoporosis drugs
    • ACE inhibitors
    • Diabetes treatments
    • Benzodiazepines
    • Proton pump inhibitors used to treat stomach problems
    • Antipsychotics
    • Skin disease treatments including acne treatments
    • Diuretics
    • Multiple sclerosis treatments
    • Immunosuppressants
    • Breast cancer treatment drugs
    • Antibiotics
    • Pain killers and NSAIDs - including aspirin
    • Statins - statins have a very bad record in this respect

anna on Nov, 22, 2011:  After taking Tricor on and off for a couple of years, my Dr. did Vitamin D tests and found me quite deficient. I was sent for a bone density test and it was bordering on abnormal. I am a 60 year old female, live in the south and tend to get sun year round. I do not use sunscreen. Since D3 is a fat soluble vitamin, I felt maybe the Tricor was preventing proper absorption or production of vitamin D. I stopped the Tricor for about 4 months, took 5000 IU's of Vitamin D3 a day for 30 days. Four months following my stopping the Tricor, my vitamin D levels returned to normal. I have been trying to confirm that the Tricor causes this deficient condition. I feel I should stop it, despite the improvement in Lipids and cholesterol. I cannot tolerate statins.

 Sources of vitamin D

well she's opened the window, now she needs to go onto the balcony

I actually have a complementary activity in this suppression section called Being naked in the sun, whose purpose is to help us get more sun for reasons other than just health, but it is clear from the description above, that this activity serves a multitude of purposes.

In the same way, Eating for health and Sexy eating are also complementary activities.   As the aim should be to eat your way to health via foods containing Vitamin D, if you cannot get enough via sunshine alone.

Rather than produce a simple list of foodstuffs containing Vitamin D, I have instead taken the information from the USDA Nutrients database and reproduced it here.  I have excluded all fortified and manufactured foods, simply because they are not universally available.  What should be apparent is that only a limited number of 'pure' foods contain Vitamin D.  Despite its extraordinary importance to our health the main sources are Sunshine, Fish, Eggs, Animal fats of various sorts, Mushrooms and Butter.

Indians who have a vegetarian diet use ghee and live in the sunshine.  Westerners with a vegetarian diet using vegetable oils and not eating fish are at great risk unless they make a lot of effort to be in the sun a great deal.

One source outside the USDA has stated that sprouted seeds such as alfalfa contain Vitamin D. 


Vitamin D (D2 + D3) (µg)
Value Per

Fish oil, cod liver


Mushrooms, maitake, raw


Fish, halibut, Greenland, raw


Fish, mackerel, salted


Fish, carp, raw


Fish, eel, mixed species, raw


Salmon, sockeye, canned, drained solids, without skin and bones


Fish, salmon, sockeye, canned, drained solids


Fish, trout, rainbow, farmed, cooked, dry heat


Salmon, sockeye, canned, total can contents


Fish, salmon, chinook, smoked


Fish, swordfish, cooked, dry heat


Fish, mackerel, Atlantic, raw


Fish, sturgeon, mixed species, smoked


Fish, trout, rainbow, farmed, raw


Fish, salmon, pink, canned, drained solids


Fish, Salmon, pink, canned, drained solids, without skin and bones


Fish, swordfish, raw


Fish, salmon, pink, canned, total can contents


Fish, cisco, smoked


Mushrooms, portabella, exposed to ultraviolet light, grilled


Fish, salmon, sockeye, cooked, dry heat


Fish, salmon, pink, cooked, dry heat


Fish, sturgeon, mixed species, cooked, dry heat


Fish, whitefish, mixed species, smoked


Fish, catfish, channel, wild, raw


Fish, roe, mixed species, raw


Fish, whitefish, mixed species, raw


Egg, yolk, dried


Fish, mackerel, Pacific and jack, mixed species, cooked, dry heat


Fish, salmon, coho, wild, cooked, dry heat


Mushrooms, portabella, exposed to ultraviolet light, raw


Fish, pompano, florida, raw


Fish, salmon, sockeye, raw


Fish, salmon, pink, raw


Fish, sturgeon, mixed species, raw


Fish, snapper, mixed species, raw


Fish, salmon, chum, canned, drained solids with bone


Fish, mackerel, Pacific and jack, mixed species, raw


Fish, salmon, coho, wild, raw


Fish oil, sardine


Fish, mackerel, jack, canned, drained solids


Fish, mackerel, spanish, raw


Fish, tuna, light, canned in oil, drained solids


Fish, halibut, Atlantic and Pacific, cooked, dry heat


Fish, tuna, fresh, bluefin, raw


Fish, sea bass, mixed species, raw


Egg, yolk, raw, fresh


Fish, herring, Atlantic, cooked, dry heat


Mushrooms, Chanterelle, raw


Egg, yolk, raw, frozen, pasteurized


Mushrooms, morel, raw


Fat, chicken


Fat, duck


Fat, turkey


Fish, sardine, Atlantic, canned in oil, drained solids with bone


Fish, sardine, Pacific, canned in tomato sauce, drained solids with bone


Fish, shad, american, raw


Fish, halibut, Atlantic and Pacific, raw


Fish, rockfish, Pacific, mixed species, cooked, dry heat


Fish, herring, Atlantic, raw


Fish, cod, Atlantic, dried and salted


Mushrooms, shiitake, dried


Fish, trout, mixed species, raw


Fish, rockfish, Pacific, mixed species, raw


Fish, flatfish (flounder and sole species), cooked, dry heat


Chicken, broilers or fryers, separable fat, raw


Egg, yolk, raw, frozen, sugared, pasteurized


Egg, whole, dried


Egg, yolk, raw, frozen, salted, pasteurized


Pork, fresh, backfat, raw


Fish, tilapia, raw


Fish, perch, mixed species, raw


Fish, caviar, black and red, granular


Yogurt, Greek


Fish, flatfish (flounder and sole species), raw


Fish, herring, Atlantic, pickled


Pork, fresh, spareribs, separable lean and fat, cooked, braised




Meat drippings (lard, beef tallow, mutton tallow)


Animal fat, bacon grease


Fish, pike, northern, raw


Egg, whole, cooked, fried


Egg, whole, cooked, hard-boiled


Pork, fresh, spareribs, separable lean and fat, cooked, roasted


Fish, herring, Atlantic, kippered


Egg, whole, raw, fresh


Egg, whole, cooked, poached


Fish, tuna, white, canned in water, drained solids


Fish, tuna, yellowfin, fresh, cooked, dry heat


Turkey and pork sausage, fresh, bulk, patty or link, cooked




Egg, whole, cooked, scrambled


Pork, fresh, separable fat, cooked


Fish, whiting, mixed species, cooked, dry heat


Egg, whole, cooked, omelet


Egg, duck, whole, fresh, raw


Egg, goose, whole, fresh, raw


Pork, fresh, separable fat, raw


Pork, fresh, shoulder, whole, separable lean and fat, raw


Fish, anchovy, european, canned in oil, drained solids


Fish, tuna, fresh, yellowfin, raw


Butter, salted




How it works

Vitamin D itself is a healing substance as such we have observations in the list below that show how it helps health.

But deficiency and overdose can  both produce hallucinations and psychosis.  It should be clear that hallucinations and 'psychosis' including such illnesses as schizophrenia and manic depression do not have one cause, they have multiple causes.  But it appears that Vitamin deficiency is one of them and more specifically Vitamin D deficiency. 

The following is pure speculation, because as yet the cause effect chain has not been investigated, but I think the person has a parasite, virus, bacteria, fungi, toxin, heavy metal or even a pharmaceutical/drug in their system.  The vitamin D deficiency has a knock on effect in suppressing their immune system and once the immune system can no longer fight the onslaught, the pathogen gets to the brain and starts doing damage there.  The following chart comes from the ehealthme web site.  In looking at the chart we need to remember that this is just those who were tested, it may well be that thousands never have been, so we do not in reality know the actual number, but we do know it exists.  This chart tells us that there is a link.

On Feb, 18, 2014: 36,486 people who have bipolar disorder are studied. Among them, 32 (0.09%) have Vitamin D Decreased.

Trend of Vitamin d decreased in bipolar disorder reports

References and further reading

  • PLoS One. 2013 Nov 4;8(11):e78987. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0078987. eCollection 2013.  Dietary adequacy of vitamin D and calcium among Inuit and Inuvialuit women of child-bearing age in Arctic Canada: a growing concern. Kolahdooz F, Barr A, Roache C, Sheehy T, Corriveau A, Sharma S. Aboriginal and Global Health Research Group, Department of Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Related observations