Nutrition continued... it's complicated.
Currently diving deep down the Vitamin D rabbit hole.
I wonder if my remaining symptoms stem from vitamin D deficiency. I didn't really think much of it as for the past 7 years I was living in sunny Southern Spain and spent many hours in the sun, including midday, and naked sun bathing, no sunscreen.
Symptoms I am talking about are the red cheeks (sometimes flushed) and ice cold hands. I always noticed the redness in the face gets worse during winter. Maybe because I am more pale and the red shows up more. Or it's vitamin D deficiency. But even in summer the redness often didn't go fully way.
So here are a few collected observations over the past years:
I had the red cheeks since childhood.
In tropical climates they almost disappear fully (more vitamin D?)
In winter they are worse and I flush more often. Temperature dysregulation? It's triggered by cold weather, coming into a warm room, alcohol, (certain?) foods, sometimes exercise, stress (!) and sunshine when it's starting to get sunnier again (seems to get less and less the more sun I get). Sometimes I seem to flush without reason, just sitting in a normal warm room.
I don't tan very easily. My sister gets super dark brown in 2 weeks holidays and I am still not at that level of skin colour after a whole summer of tanning in Southern Spain.
On a raw food diet (low fat) I was tanning better I had the impression. I did still flush though in the sun. Interestingly I flushed less in the sun when I didn't drink water additionally to my raw food.
The only time EVER that my cheeks were a normal colour with NO sign of redness was after a 5 day water fast (after about 2 years of raw foods only).
My hands are ice cold but my body temperature is normal.
I was thinking maybe it's connected to the liver. Toxic liver doesn't convert vitamin D well. Is taking more vitamin D then the solution though? And what about the partner of my sister who tans even more than she does? He certainly doesn't have a healthy liver as a chainsmoker and junk food eater.
Maybe connected to pyroluria (I was diagnosed with many years ago)? Bad tanning is one symptom. But I always thought of pyroluria as more a symptom of heavy metal toxicity.
There seems to be a temperature dysregulation in my body. I know heavy metals mess with the glands, especially the hypothalamus, adrenals and thyroid. But I have been detoxing for quite a while now, and did improve in many areas. Some people reported also that their face redness reduced with detox. Am I still so toxic?
Last year I experimented with vitamin D supplementation. I also took zinc regularly. I felt I was tanning a bit easier and my sking looked great. But my eye sight over time got worse. Now it could be that the vitamin D reduced the amount of vitamin A which is important for eye health. But also the eyes are connected to liver health in TCM. I also still have lots of red veins in the white of my eyes which is a sign of a toxic liver.Hormonal issues are a sign of a toxic liver. Maybe a reason why some hormonal problems improved on the raw food diet, the liver was relieved from digesting too much fat.
Now I don't think it's very fair though that I still have to deal with this shit. I have been eating clean and healthy for many years now, detoxing, taking bitters for the liver.
Currently I am on TCM herbs because apparently I have Blood Deficiency, Qi & Blood Stagnation, Deficient Spleen Qi, Liver Qi Stagnation and some deficient heat. Great.
So from the TCM diet point of view this makes it even harder to eat. I crave cooling foods like coconut yogurt to keep the flushes away, but then I get too cold/yin. Foods that are too hot like cacao create heat in the liver aka redness in the face. Feels like I am left with kitchari which needs to be cooked to death, because otherwise my colon is having a hard time digesting whole grains.
So I looked into Vitamin D, and found studies that showed no significant health improvements from higher levels or supplementation. There also was a study about Hawaiian skaters who were outside a lot and still had levels more on the low side. Then there is the genetic factor. Afro-Americans have low levels (due to the pigmentation of the skin) but still higher bone density than fair skinned folks (always been jealous of those strong white teeth of black people). I have a slight tweak in my VDR (vitamin D receptor) gene so maybe there is one reason.
But I wonder. Is taking vitamin D the answer? Is it the root cause? Or would it put even more pressure on the overtaxed liver that has to convert all of it?
People who follow high dose vitamin D protocols (van Helden, Coimbra Protocol etc) seem to have great successes with their therapy. Though there is the risk of hypercalcemia.
I mean there are so many factors of the Vitamin D cycle that we still don't know.
There are many studies showing how important vitamin D is for health, especially against cancer, and autoimmune diseases and immunity in general.
So I took vitamin D and over time tried taking more. At 5000 units per day though I noticed my cycle became longer (obviously could have other reasons as well but a quick research showed many women showed similar reactions to high dose Vitamin D - and my dose wasn't even really high). Maybe the cycle would get back to normal eventually but I am always so worried when my cycle changes as for many years in the past I had really irregular cycles or no period at all.
It could also be that Vitamin D uses up all the magnesium which is important for healthy hormone levels and cycles. One should always take magnesium with Vitamin D and I did but maybe my levels are always so crazy low (due to an overactive nervous system?).
Also Vitamin A and K2 are crucial to take together with Vitamin D. Without adequate doses one loses bone density as the calcium does not get into the bones. Chris Masterjohn even claims that excess Vitamin D (over 80 ng/ml) increases health risks.
Then there is Morley Robbins who says VItamin D lowers immunity (maybe one reason why it works well for autoimmune diseases), and it is bad for ceruloplasmin. His recommended VItamin A:D ratio would be 10:1! Maybe a reason why cod liver oil has a higher Vitamin A:D ratio. Nature knows best?
And maybe a reason why Vitamin D levels from the sun are self-regulated from the body and kept lower than what those Coimbra folks want.
So Robbins claims that VItamin D lowers potassium, raises calcium and slows down thyroid.
On the other hand it seems quite proven that Vitamin D hinders viruses to attach to the ACE2 receptors. People who supplement vitamin D claim they have lesser colds, and it's also recommend to prevent COVID. Then again there are also people saying they got MORE cold when they started supplementing vitamin D (maybe because it is immune suppressing?)
Frustration. Why can't it be easy???
So apparently a low level of Vitamin D doesn't really tell much about your health . IT can also be low when you have a calcium and/or magnesium deficiency. Or a primary hyperparathyroidism.
The Trevor Marshall Protocol prescribes NO vitamin D because apparently it reduces the activity of the receptor (again, immune suppressing).
Apparently cadmium and lead block the activation of Vitamin D into it's active form (we are getting closer again to the solution? Detox). Vitamin D protects against mercury and can also be detoxifying by enhancing glutathione levels. So maybe initial flushes are signs of detox.
Apparently we can also have a VDR blockage caused by viruses like EBV!
Lysine (often lacking in vegetarian diets) can be positive in vitamin D deficiency.
And so on. I will continue researching and working on this blog post. For now I am undecided if supplementation of VItamin is actually good. I know a lot of people report real good results. But I wonder if low levels are the consequence of chronic inflammation, rather than the cause. I feel in the end it once again all comes down to gut health.
Adding a few interesting links
To be continued.
PLease comment whatever you know :)