I distinctly recall my 7th grade teacher telling me about Vitamins and their functions. At the time, it all went completely over my head except 2 things, which were the worst 2 things I could have remembered because they were both completely wrong:
- The most important vitamin: C. If you take enough you’ll never get sick
- The least important vitamin: D. You get all you need from the sun.
In my 20’s, essentially when I started working indoors all year-round, I started to get sick 2-3 times a year. In my late 20′s, I was sick 5-6 times a year. By my early 30′s, I was only getting well 5-6 times a year and the rest of the year was one long illness after another. I mega-dosed on every vitamin & mineral I could think of except D (because I thought I was getting all I needed from the sun). Nothing helped.
Then I was exposed to the following youtube video by Dr. John Cannell and finally, the lights came on.
As you just heard, Vitamin D is the backbone of the immune system and Cannell states that we DON’T get enough from the sun. At the time, I didn’t know how to have someone muscle test whether I needed Vitamin D or how much to take, so I was in the same boat as you probably are now: How to know if I needed it? I had to educate myself as best I could and then guess.
So I educated myself. I’ve been sending my friends & students the results of my research for over a year. Thought I’d put it in the blog once and for all: enjoy.
My Own Vitamin D Research
Here’s where my research/guess took me:
1. Vitamin D toxicity levels: Sources vary wildly, but the the Merck website, a reliable medical resource, confirmed what I had come across on several blogs: that toxicity occurs at or above 50,000 international units per day, and then only after several months of intake at such levels. Toxicity symptoms: Lack of appetite, nausea, feeling “gross” and vomiting.
2. The Sun: How much D do we get from the sun? The initial answer, that we can synthesize up to 1,500 i.u.’s of D per minute is incredibly misleading. I think my 7th grade teacher read that far and then stopped. I read between the lines and the following problems surfaced:
We CAN synthesize 1,500 i.u./minute, but only under the following conditions:
- We have to have fair skin. Darker = less absorption.
- We have to be in direct sunlight
- It has to be ‘Solar Noon’ (11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.)
- We can’t be wearing sunblock
- There has to be an Ozone Layer so we don’t get fried without the sunblock
- It has to be summertime
- We have to be practically naked so enough skin is exposed
- We have to be under 50 years old. Absorption ability decreases with age
- We have to live in the tropics (basically Africa, Brazil, Central America, Saudi Arabia, India and Southeast Asia)
The map of the world at the top of this article shows which parts of the globe get enough sun that walking around half-naked for hours at solar noon without sunblock will result in enough exposure that you’ll ONLY need to supplement with Vitamin D in the wintertime.
I’m writing this article in Canada. That means I’m in the part of the world where I’m more likely to win the lottery than synthesize enough D from the sun, even in the summer. At the moment, its winter, and -14.5ºC outside.
3. The politics of D: The USDA & Canada Food Guide set intake levels at 200-400 i.u. while our ancestors (let’s face it, naked bushmen running around at solar noon under direct sunlight in summer climates without sunscreen who never lived past 25 anyway) were probably getting 200,000 to 300,000 i.u.’s a day. Why the difference? Dr. John Cannell has gone to great lengths to create awareness about this difference through his website, VitaminDCouncil.org, and I appreciate and respect him for it.
At the end of the day, I didn’t care about the politics of D, just my own health, so taking all this into consideration, I decided to perform an experiment on myself:
LEONARD’S VITAMIN D EXPERIMENT
|USDA recommended intake||400 i.u.|
|John Cannell recomm. minimum intake||5000 i.u.|
|How much the Sun provides||50,000+ i.u.|
|How much I started taking (Jan 5, 2009)||10,000 i.u.|
The result: In about a week my immune system started to pick up. I still came down with a minor (3-day) sore throat in late February 2009 but haven’t been sick a single time since then.
I’m writing this in Feb 2011, so we’re looking at two straight years of uninterrupted wellness. Going from only being well for a few times each year to literally never getting sick, ever, month after month, has been quite a treat.
When I feel something coming on, I am able to prevent it from turning into full-blown symptoms by boosting my D intake from 10,000 i.u.’s up to 40,000 i.u.’s (10,000 4x a day).
Interestingly enough, Michael Holick, author of The Vitamin D Solution, also recommends 10,000 i.u.’s as the optimal daily intake, although I hadn’t read his book when I made the decision to start taking that amount.
Other variables: I also take a lot of other stuff to boost my immune system during times of stress – zinc, magnesium, iodine, B & C – but I’ve been taking them for a decade and that didn’t stop me from getting sick. The missing link for me was D.
Overall result: It is incredibly cool to never get sick.
How Vitamin D Works
John Cannell (paraphrased): “Your body makes hundreds of naturally occurring antibiotics, called antimicrobial peptides. Vitamin D is the thing that ‘up-regulates’ their production (causes the body to release them into the bloodstream.”
Think of Vitamin D as your primary immune system vitamin.
The video below shows D attacking a cancer cell and rupturing it. If you want to go directly to that part in the video, it occurs at 4:46
D is the new C.
Deficiency Symptoms: Getting sick, ever. Its also been linked with Depression, but in my case, I can attest that what I was depressed about was getting sick all the time.
Which D to take?: The D you need is Cholecalciferol, or D3. You can get it in tablet or capsule form. I prefer the capsules because powdered tablets stick in the throat half-way down and are notoriously low-quantity (200-400 i.u.). I take a 2,000 i.u. capsule from Carlson Vitamins, and pop 5 of those every morning, its much easier than taking 20 throat-sticking powdery tablets. The bottle I get is $13.00 and lasts about 3 months. To be clear, I am not compensated by Carlson in any way for this endorsement, I just like their product.
Measuring D in the blood tests: D is measured in nanograms per milliliter, and needs to be at or above 50 NG/ML for optimal health. According to an article by Nancy Kalish in the Nov 2010 issue of O magazine, half of Americans have blood levels of 28 NG/ML.
The Vitamin D blood test: you can order one through Cannell’s Vitamin D Council website. Its $65 for 1 tests or $220 for 4. (I’m not selling it and am in no way compensated should you look it up and purchase it.) In Canada D testing is free. Personally I don’t care what my ‘levels’ are, just whether I’m sick or healthy.
Muscle Testing Vitamin D
This is where most articles end and mine really begins.
The fact is, you can muscle test whether or not you need Vitamin D. There are 4 major benefits to muscle testing it:
Know for sure whether you need it, how much you need, save time and save paying someone else to do it.
Keep a few caveats in mind: Unless you understand the following, it may not work when you try to replicate it:
- How to perform a muscle test and a CNS test (they’re two different things)
- Meridian Testing – specifically, the Adrenal & Thyroid meridians
- Vitamin & mineral testing
- Things that can go wrong with a muscle test
- Things that can go wrong with a CNS test
So if you’ll accept those few minor caveats, here’s how to test for D:
- Find a ‘strong’ indicator muscle, usually medial deltoid
- Test the Adrenal Meridian & the Thyroid Meridian (Adrenals usually take priority)
- If either of these points creates a weak response in the indicator muscle, have the person hold some D in their other hand against their stomach and test it again. (I usually go straight to 10,000 i.u.’s but you can test in tiers: 6,000/8,000/10,000.)
- Whatever level they test strong at, that’s how much D they need.
That’s it… Its incredible simple. The whole process takes less than a minute.
I’m not going to go into the physiology of how or why muscle testing D is possible: It gets into electromagnetic fields and is the topic for two books that I’m currently working on: Book 11: Muscle Testing Vitamins & Minerals, and Book 12: Muscle Testing the Meridians.
Until then, feel free to experiment. As long as you don’t take or recommend that someone else should take levels that could lead to toxicity, what’s the worst thing that can happen? Nothing could happen… that’s worst-case.
Best-case? Imagine what it would feel like to never get sick.
Where to go from here?
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