Unless you get a minimum of 20 minutes full exposure (with all surfaces of your skin exposed – face, arms, legs) to the sun every day, during other seasons, then you need to supplement with Vitamin D in the spring/summer/fall as well.
As Adrian Gombart PhD, Oregon State University, Dept. of Biochemistry & Biophysics writes:
“Vitamin D prevents the “adaptive” immune response from over-reacting and reduces inflammation, and appears to suppress the immune response. However, the function of the new genetic element this research explored allows vitamin D to boost the innate immune response by turning on an antimicrobial protein. The overall effect may help to prevent the immune system from overreacting.”
Why You Need To Take Extra Magnesium With Vitamin D
Now, if you’ve been taking plenty of Vitamin D, but yet not experiencing the benefits, or perhaps even feeling worse, it may be because your magnesium deficiency is masking all the benefits of the Vitamin D!
Vitamin D requires magnesium in order to be converted to its active form. Therefore, the more Vitamin D you take, the more magnesium you need. Compounding this requirement is the fact that over 40 percent of Americans are deficient in magnesium. So it is possible you have begun Vitamin D supplementation with a magnesium deficiency already in place.
If you are not getting adequate magnesium, then you may get additional, or worsening symptoms when you supplement with Vitamin D (since it also uses up magnesium). You may become constipated, get muscle cramps, heart problems, etc. (there’s a list of about 110 ailments that are caused by magnesium deficiency).
You can see which brands of magnesium I recommend here. And be sure and read my blog post specifically on Magnesium for all the details on the different forms, absorption rates, and figuring out which one is best for you.
My good friend, Dr. Carolyn Dean MD ND spends a lot of time educating people about why it’s so necessary to get enough magnesium, especially when you are supplementing with calcium or vitamin D:
“Everyone thinks there’s a Vitamin D deficiency epidemic but I’m not convinced. The big question is, why all of a sudden are we so deficient. What could Vitamin D be responding to and what do the low levels indicate?
Here’s 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 required and the levels drop.
We are a calcified country, so the effect of high calcium may be lower levels of Vitamin D. And without understanding the complex chemistry involved, most people think we just need to take more.
But MORE Vitamin D pulls in more calcium and bumps out magnesium, making people more magnesium deficient.
Taking high dose Vitamin D (anything above 2,000 IU) will also use up your magnesium because this mineral is required to change the supplemental/storage form of Vitamin D into active Vitamin D.
Not everyone is going to suffer from too much Vitamin D and enough people seem to benefit from it (at least in the short term) that it’s not going to ring any alarm bells for many years. After all, it took about 3 decades for us to realize that high dose calcium supplementation was causing heart disease and s