Monday, December 26, 2011

Vitamin D is Necessary for Quality Sleep

I highly recommend going to You-Tube and Typing "Stasha Gominak" and watching the lecture which was posted in 5 15-minute segments.

Dr. Gominak's specialty is sleep. The lecture overviews her recent discovery that vitamin D plays a vital role in quality sleep. Alot of her lecture overviews why quality sleep is necessary to maintain optimal health.

During the lecture, Dr. Gominak claims that we are in the midst of a vitamin D deficiency epidemic - and that vitamin D deficiency is the cause of many of today's common afflictions. She claims that today's diseases are not the fault of drug companies. She asks, "Why would drug companies develop drugs for non-existent diseases?"

Vitamin D influences sleep by binding to vitamin D receptors in a part of the brain important for sleep. Most of the rest of the brain does not have vitamin D receptors. What she does not mention is that there are vitamin D receptors in many other tissues including kidneys, bone, parathyroid gland, pancreas, pituitary, plecenta, uterus, mammary glands, skine, thymus, monocytes, macrophages, and lymphocytes. Vitamin D is a steroid hormone.

The test for vitamin D measures the blood levels of a vitamin D derivative that is not the active hormone. The blood test measures the blood levels of a molecule called a diol. The active hormone is a triol. The triol is converted to a tetra-ol which transforms into an acid and is excreted in the urine. This metabolism is - to say the least - complex.

For most of human history, most humans depended upon the sun for vitamin D. There is good evidence that today's healthiest societies still get ample amounts of sunshine. Many of us, however, have been getting less and less sunshine. Food and/or supplements have never been a dependable source of vitamin D for most human societies.

I'm stunned to be arguing with most of the medical profession about vitamin D safety. I'll say it again that I can't believe that I am in a very small minority because I believe both that we are in the midst of a vitamin D deficiency epidemic and also believe that vitamin D must be used with caution. The facts are the facts. Vitamin D is labeled in my lab at work as a "Particularly Hazardous Substance" because it is an acute toxin. A small tablet of pure vitamin D will put anyone into the emergency room within hours of ingestion. It is a steroid hormone. What other steroid hormone can be used without caution? Who would recommend a non-natural method of taking another steroid over natural production? Who doesn't think that oral estrogen is more dangerous than estrogen synthesized naturally inside the body?

The stakes are incredibly high. I found Dr. Gominak's lecture electrifying. We really are in the midst of a vitamin D deficiency epidemic. Many cases of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, impotence, depression, back pain, migraines, and on and on are caused by vitamin D deficiency. The medical community is waking up to this fact and prescribing vitamin D supplements. Many people who might otherwise be helped are going to quit the vitamin D supplements due to side effects and rule out vitamin D as the cause of their problem. Stopping the epidemic requires the right prescription. I hope I'm wrong and maybe there isn't such a big difference between supplements and sunshine. Maybe most people can be helped with either. But if most people develop vitamin d side effects from supplements at well below the optimal dose of vitamin D, then the epidemic will continue until sunshine (or UV lamps) are recommended instead of supplements.

Time will tell.

In the meantime - whatever you think - read more about vitamin D. If side effects from vitamin D supplements have been giving you trouble, give vitamin D another try using sunshine. There's much to gain and little to lose.