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Thread: Vitamin D: Sunshine vs. Supplementation page

  1. #1
    prana_dancer's Avatar
    prana_dancer is offline Junior Member
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    Vitamin D: Sunshine vs. Supplementation

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    I came across the Primal Blueprint in a friend's blog over at Sparkpeople. I've been looking for a healthy way to help with various stressors in my life and given the past couple weeks I think I've found it. However, it has explore the PB while also attending a traditional Nutrition class for my degree.

    In fact, it's what brought up this question for me. Last night we were covering vitamins in particular. We got to Vitamin D and my professor (an M.D.) started going of on his favorite tangent: fortified foods. I *wish* I had remembered to bring my PB book so I could reference the page I read this on, but I mentioned that I had read that you can get more vitamin D from 15 minutes of sunshine between the hours of 10am and 3pm (depending on your skin tone) than from however many ridiculous number of glasses of fortified milk (40?).

    His response was to go off about skin cancers and how those particular hours were the most dangerous to be out in the sun. He then said that the Vitamin D we get from sunshine isn't D3 anyway, so it still needs to be activated by the liver and kidneys (completely forgetting to mention that a lot of fortified milks and cereals also have unactivated vitamin D). He said that it's far healthier and safer to buy an activated Vitamin D3 supplement and take that instead.

    This coming from someone who is always stressing organic, and will criticize orthomolecular medicine frequently ("Taking a vitamin C tablet is not the same as taking an orange.")

    I'm still just a little confused. I do not personally like to take supplements unless I absolutely have to. For instance, I'm finally considering a fish oil supplement because we don't have all that many fatty fish in the plains. But I'm extraordinarily hesitant to take a supplement for something that I can achieve naturally, even if it's at the expense of not being able to guarantee 100% of it is activated.

    So I turn to the more experienced of those who are on the path I'm just starting out on. What are your thoughts? Is this something I should consider once winter rolls around? All year? Never? And I guess the main question is supplementation vs moderate sunshine?


  2. #2
    loafingcactus's Avatar
    loafingcactus is offline Senior Member
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    Jun 2011
    Raleigh, NC
    I would say get your levels checked and go from there. Sunshine alone doesn't work for everyone. I was shocked to come up deficient when I was walking outside 12 miles a day and also taking 400 IU supplement. Now I take 2000 IU. And I'm a light skinned person, the kind of person who should get the most benefit from sun, but it just didn't work out for me.
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  3. #3
    Grizz's Avatar
    Grizz is offline Banned
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    The wife requires 10,000 IU Vitamin D3 daily and I require 12,000 IU Daily of Vitamin D3 for an optimal blood reading near 65 ng/ml.

    Most people just don't have the time to get good full body sunshine, and then they just can't get enough in Northern climates. Please see my notes below the message for more on Vitamin D3. The ultimate authority is the Vitamin D3 Council.


  4. #4
    primalrob's Avatar
    primalrob is offline Senior Member
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    Manchester, NH
    i think if you can get your D from sunshine you'll be doing a whole lot better. grok didn't have a supplement...he just spend hours and hours outside hunting and playing and moving.

    your MD teacher is partly right; sunlight by itself isn't vitamin D. it's actually cholesterol that converts the sunlight to i'm sure he'll have plenty of old-fashioned opinions about that. and skin cancer or even sun burn are real just be smart about being in the sun. don't sit out there with a stop watch making sure you get the full 20 minutes of exposure; feel free to do a little gardening or walking or working out in the sun and you'll be fine.
    if your teacher really is an MD, he should know that most people are waaaayyyyy low on vitamin D levels because what comes from those fortified foods like milk is only a negligible amount. sunlight is good for people. and people who don't get much sunlight should be popping supplements whenever they can.

    on a more personal note, i hope your teacher encourages you to think critically, and find the answers for yourself. i know a lot of doctors consider their word law--an opinion well supported by the masses who look to doctors for all the answers--but there just is no way for them to know everything. most doctors know more about treatment and medicines than they do prevention and nutrition. sunlight is good for us. if it weren't, our bodies would have created protections from it a long long time ago.

  5. #5
    Unshod Sarah's Avatar
    Unshod Sarah is offline Senior Member
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    Sep 2010
    Western PA
    Dr. Mercola had something on his site a few years back that you shouldn't wash with soap 48 hours after sun exposure to get the maximum benefit. Around my house we use the "stinky spot method" of washing. That means, we only wash the stinky spots: groin, pits and bottoms of the feet. I also wash my face because I'm a girl and I wear makeup. This goes for my kiddo, too. I can't believe these kids get a bath every night. My child jumps in the shower for the stinky spot scrubdown only every third day or so. Maybe we're too earthy for our community?

  6. #6
    TheGrappler's Avatar
    TheGrappler is offline Senior Member
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    Inwood, New York
    Lolz, that's interesting =P
    "I know what my body needs and what it can handle. There's no better way to achieve my goal than what im doing now. If my regimen leads to my death, be it in six days or six months...I will die fullfiled. The outcome is irrelavent so long as i steer towards my fate. If death is to be my prize, i welcome it with open arms."

    "A pound of meat a day keeps the doctor away"

  7. #7
    prana_dancer's Avatar
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    @ loafingcactus

    I have been thinking about getting my levels check but it's not covered by my insurance, and while I may get a discount at the school clinic it's still money I don't really have right now.

    @ Grizz

    Thanks for the link! I'll try reading it when I get home

    @ primalrob

    My professor does say many people are deficient which is why he recommends supplementation. I know it's judgemental, but I find it hard to take any nutritional advice from an obese man, M.D. or not. Especially with how pale his is! He says he likes us to think critically but whenever any of us bring up something outside of CW that we have researched (such as PB) he shoots it down.

    @ Unshod Sarah

    Why is that?

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