Should you give up on vitamin D and omega-3s? Not so Fast

TLG’s New Wellness Guru, Thalia Loumbardas provides her thoughts…

 

  1. What is vitamin D?
  • Vitamin D is special because it doubles as:
    • A vitamin: (antioxidant) because it is a substance that inhibits oxidation and formation of free radicals in a living organism.

AND

  • A hormone: because it is produced in one area of the body (skin) and released into the blood stream to affect other tissues (ex, the bones).

 

  1. Why take vitamin D?

Vitamin D influences the following major areas of healthy function:

  • Bone Health

Can prevent rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults.

Vitamin D3 in combination with calcium, magnesium, silicon, vitamin K2 are essential for good bone health, not just calcium alone contrary to popular beliefs.

  • Immune support
  • Beyond these major areas, there are many therapeutic uses of vitamin D supplementation and more emerging every day as research on vitamin D evolves. Vitamin D can also be considered for many types of female hormone imbalance, elevated cholesterol, Blood sugar control and long-term health promotion.

 

  1. Why are we deficient?
  • Vitamin D formation is complex, no other vitamin requires more whole-body participation! The skin, liver, kidneys, and blood stream all contribute to the formation of fully active vitamin D (D3).
  • We don’t get enough sun! Think back to how early humans lived…  They wore little clothing and spent most of their time outdoors in warm weather, so they made lots of vitamin D in the summer, which was stored in their bodies and used during the darker winter months. Today, most of us spend lots of our time indoors and when we are outside, we’re covered up with clothing, hats, and sunscreen!
  • Because unlike most other nutrients, there are few foods that provide vitamin D. Food is really just a back-up source for vitamin D.
    • Salmon
    • Sardines
    • Tuna
    • Cow’s milk
    • Eggs
    • Shiitake mushrooms
  • Other factors that impact vitamin D levels:
    • Season
    • Latitude
    • Age
    • Medications
    • Skin pigmentation

 

  1. How do we know if we are getting enough?
  • According to Health Canada, only 1/3 of the population has vitamin D levels above 75 nmol/L, which is the lower level for “sufficiency.”
  • The only way to know for sure whether your vitamin D level is normal and how much you may need to supplement is to test your vitamin D blood levels.

 

*Thalia’s notes:

  • The Recommended dosage is typically 1,000IUs daily. However, there is much supporting research and documentation to show we are able to tolerate much higher levels which can have a very favourable therapeutic benefits on your health and raise your vitamin D levels to a more optimal range.  https://vitalitymagazine.com/article/refuse-flu-shot/ is a great article to start with!
  • From my own personal experience, taking 4,000IUs of vitamin D3 a day over a 5-month period raised my levels from a mild deficiency to an optimal range!

 

  1. Possible Side effects of vitamin D supplementation:
  • Mild side effects can include: excessive thirst, diarrhea, nausea, weakness, headaches, dizziness (can mimic the symptoms of sun/heat stroke), increased levels of calcium in the blood, and can have negative effects on your liver and kidneys.
  • Because it is a fat soluble vitamin, and can be stored in fatty tissue and liver, there is a risk for toxicity if you get more than you need. Unlike water-soluble vitamins, which wash out in the urine.

 

OMEGA 3

  1. What is Omega 3?
  • It is an essential fatty acid (EFA). EFAs are good fat. They are called essential because they are necessary for life, but must be obtained through diet because the body cannot make them. EFAs are required for the proper structure and function of every cell in the body, and are important for optimal health.
  • Fats (fatty acids) fall into two main groups – saturated and unsaturated – based on their chemistry. EFAs are polyunsaturated.
  • Note*: DHA, EPA are the best to take
  • Note*: If you are vegan or vegetarian, there are omega 3 supplements you can take derived from algae, flax seeds, sunflower oils as well which offer health benefits, but in my opinion, fish oil is best from a clean and reputable source.

 

  1. Why take Omega 3 (EFAs)?

Although omega-3 EFAs are best known for their heart-protecting benefits,  EFAs also increase the absorption of vitamins and minerals; nourish the skin, hair and nails; promote proper nerve functioning (Support many Mental disorders), help produce hormones; ensure normal growth and development; and prevent and treat disease with their potent anti-inflammatory properties. Examples: diabetes, atherosclerosis, hypertension, eczema, PMS, immune dysfunction, and inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and many other health conditions.

 

  1. Possible side effects of EFA supplementation
  • EFAs can be consumed in quite large amounts with no serious side effects. Occasional minor side effects may include stomach upset, burping, flatulence, soft stools and diarrhea. These side effects often lessen with continued use and occur more often at higher doses. To minimize side effects, consume with food, start with smaller doses, and increase the dose gradually over several weeks.

 

*Thalia’s notes:

  • There is research to support anything less than 4000 mgs (4 grams) is not a problem, but persons on anticoagulant or blood thinning medications should consult a health care practitioner before taking EFA supplements since they can further thin the blood.

 

To read the full article, please see the link below.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/article-should-you-give-up-on-vitamin-d-and-omega-3s-not-so-fast/

The Leslie Group Limited is a full service Consulting firm and has the experience and expertise to assist in the management of your employee benefits. Should you have any questions or require our assistance please contact us at 416 510 8966.

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