Gut health

Vitamin D and cod liver oil to support the immune system in winter

Just a reminder, now that it’s winter, you really want to make sure that you and your family are taking vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) on a daily basis, and maybe you would benefit from cod liver oil as well.

Unless you’re exposed to the sun for at least 20 minutes a day (with all surfaces of your skin exposed – face, arms, legs) for at least 20 minutes a day in other times of the year, then spring / summer / fall need to supplement with vitamin D like good.

Adrian Gombart PhD, Oregon State University, Dept. of Biochemistry & Biophysics, writes:

“Vitamin D prevents an overreaction of the“ adaptive ”immune response, reduces inflammation and appears to suppress the immune response. However, the function of the new genetic element explored in this research enables vitamin D to boost the innate immune response by activating an antimicrobial protein. The overall effect can help prevent the immune system from overreacting. “

Why You Get Extra Magnesium With Vitamin D. need to take

If you’ve taken a lot of vitamin D by now, but haven’t experienced the benefits or maybe even feel worse, it may be because your magnesium deficiency is masking all of the benefits of vitamin D!

Vitamin D requires magnesium to be converted into its active form. The more vitamin D you take, the more magnesium you need. To make matters worse, over 40 percent of Americans are magnesium deficient. So it is possible that you started vitamin D supplementation with a pre-existing magnesium deficiency.

If you are not getting enough magnesium, additional or worsening symptoms may occur with supplementation with vitamin D (since it also uses up magnesium). You may get constipation, muscle cramps, heart problems, etc. (there is a list of around 110 ailments caused by magnesium deficiency).

You can see which magnesium brands I recommend here. And be sure and read my blog post on Magnesium specifically for all the details on its different forms, absorption rates, and which one is best for you.

My good friend, Dr. Carolyn Dean MD ND spends a lot of time educating people about why it is so necessary to get enough magnesium, especially when supplementing calcium or vitamin D:

“Everyone thinks there is a vitamin D deficiency epidemic, but I am not convinced. The big question is why are we suddenly so deficient. What might vitamin D respond to and what do the low values ​​indicate?

Here is one possible answer. Vitamin D is really a hormone with a feedback loop to calcium. When the body has enough calcium, less vitamin D is needed and levels drop.

We are a calcified country, so the effect of high calcium levels may be lower vitamin D levels. And without understanding the complex chemistry, most people think we just need to take more.

But MORE vitamin D attracts more calcium and expels magnesium, leading to greater magnesium deficiency.

Ingesting high-dose vitamin D (anything over 2,000 IU) will also use up your magnesium as this mineral is needed to convert the supplement / storage form of vitamin D into active vitamin D.

Not everyone will suffer from too much vitamin D, and enough people seem to benefit (at least in the short term) from not ringing alarm bells for many years. After all, it took about 3 decades before we realized that high-dose calcium supplement causes heart disease and soft tissue calcification if not properly balanced with magnesium.

Do some research before taking high-dose vitamin D. Google the benefits AND the dangers before making a decision. If you do a vitamin D blood test, keep in mind that a medium value is better than a high one. “

Adding cod liver oil

Cod liver oil contains the extended omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. EPA is the precursor to important prostaglandins – localized tissue hormones that help the body deal with inflammation; and DHA is extremely important for the development and function of the brain and nervous system. Cod liver oil is also a good source of vitamin K – which is important for maintaining blood and bone health.

Since cod liver oil naturally contains vitamin D, I think it’s best to take vitamin D along with cod liver oil to improve absorption and utilization in the body – and of course both must be in the right form with healthy extraction and filtration methods used.

Here is the brand of natural source vitamin D3 that I recommend oil-based (vitamin D must be taken along with oil to be absorbed, and the natural form of D3 – also known as cholecalciferol – is the only one you use for want to use maximum effectiveness).

And here is the cod liver oil I recommend – from pristine waters off Norway, all pollutants have been filtered out through natural filtration (without heat or chemicals) and with measures against overfishing. These gelcaps have a delicious lemon taste, so the kids and I just put them in our mouths along with the vitamin D gelcaps, chew everything together (it tastes really good!) And then spit out the empty gel covers – except for my youngest, who is them for gummy bears and she just swallows. We have them first thing in the morning for breakfast and then we’re good for the day.

There are different recommendations for how much vitamin D you should take, and some suggest having your vitamin D level tested with the 25 (OH) D test – since the dosage varies depending on weight, age and skin color – the darker it is The more vitamin D your skin needs, children need less than adults, overweight people need more, and people with disease states (especially IBD) need more.

To give you a rough guideline, this is what my family takes:
Family beach
Adult woman with medium brown skin (me): 4,000-6,000 IU of vitamin D per day and 2 capsules of cod liver oil

White adult male: 4,000 IU of vitamin D per day and 2 capsules of cod liver oil

My children (1/4 Indian, 3/4 white, 3 – 6 years old): 2,000 IU per day and 1 capsule of cod liver oil

For my friends (mostly white women) with no serious health issues, I usually suggest that they take at least 3,000 IU a day for maintenance.

For people with IBD / IBS with white skin, I would recommend 4,000-6,000 IU of vitamin D per day and 4-6 capsules of cod liver oil.

And Please note that we live in the Pacific Northwest – a very rainy climate with very little sun in winter. If you are in a warmer place and your skin is exposed to the sun even 20 minutes a day, you will need less vitamin D in supplement form because you can get it from the sun.

If you want to know exactly how much vitamin D you need, this David Rostollan BSc article is very clear and simple but it goes into every point you need to be aware of.

Click here to view my full Winter Immune System Log.

Climb higher

Originally posted November 2009. Last updated December 2020.

Jini Patel Thompson is an internationally recognized expert in naturopathic treatments for digestive diseases. She healed herself from the widespread Crohn’s disease and has been drug and surgery free for over 20 years. Appeared on numerous podcast, television and radio shows in the US, UK, Canada and Australia, Jini gives people hope and visions on how to cure colitis, Crohn’s disease, diverticulitis and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in all natural methods. Her books on natural digestive disease cures have been sold in over 80 countries around the world.

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