For those of you taking vitamin D supplements: Knowledge is power so I want to share a little something with you. This hair analysis graph is of someone who has a history of taking vitamin D3 supplements. For me, it’s pretty obvious without even knowing this due to the high calcium, low potassium, and low boron on their hair analysis report. And this pattern isn’t an isolated incident; it’s a pattern that I see in 75-80% of my hair analysis clients!
Why should you worry about high calcium, low potassium, and low boron levels?
Because they can make you feel like crap.
How Vitamin D Supplements Influence Your Hair Tissue Mineral Balance
Vitamin D (technically a hormone or messenger in your body) does several things that change your mineral imbalance in an unfavorable way.
First, vitamin D tells your body to absorb more calcium from your food. The presence of vitamin D in the bloodstream means that the person taking vitamin D supplements is going to absorb more calcium from their food than someone who isn’t taking vitamin D supplements.
For the very rare person who’s deficient in calcium (most people have plenty), a tiny bit of supplementary vitamin D can be helpful. But it’s still not preferred to get vitamin D from supplemental sources. Supplementing over the long-term can create chronically high calcium levels, which leads to calcification of your body. Think stiffness among other undesirable things, like back pain, joint issues, and osteoporosis.
The next thing vitamin D does is reduce potassium levels. This can cause a whole host of symptoms such as:
-Weakness, tiredness, or cramping in arm or leg muscles
-Numbness and/or tingling
-Excess water consumption
-Nausea or vomiting
-Abdominal cramping and/or bloating
-Fainting due to low blood pressure
-Heart palpitations (irregular heart beat)
Low potassium and high calcium levels—an imbalanced thyroid ratio, as I call it in hair analysis—can lead to a host of other negative side effects, which I’ll get to shortly.
The third way vitamin D affects your mineral levels is by lowering boron levels. Research suggests that getting enough boron in your diet has a host of fantastic benefits, including: healthy bones, improved wound healing, increased levels of sex steroids, increased vitamin D levels (or vitamin D deficiency prevention), improved magnesium absorption, anti-inflammatory effects, and anti-cancer effects.
All of these mineral changes caused by vitamin D supplementation (D2 and D3) are not exactly favorable. If you’re going to take a supplement, it’s good to not only understand why you’re taking it but also make sure that it’s going to have a positive effect on your body. And there are several other ways to get your vitamins D levels up without taking a supplement.
The Thyroid Ratio
Your thyroid ratio, which compares your calcium to potassium levels, affects how you actually feel. When it’s out of balance, you may experience symptoms like:
-Low body temperature
–Blood sugar issues (hypoglycemia)
–Sluggish thyroid function
One of the ways to assess how a person is feeling is by looking at their thyroid ratio on a hair analysis. The desired ratio is pretty simple; we want it to be around a 4:1. (In the example above, this person’s ratio was over 70:1. It’s not rare to see it around 300!)
So if you’re taking vitamin D, which raises calcium levels and lowers potassium, you’re moving these minerals in the opposite direction of what supports your thyroid’s health and ability to do its job.
Don’t worry, though; once we know your levels, we can reverse this with nutrition!
The Key to Getting Results = Understanding Your Body
Now remember, vitamin D is a hormone. Hormones are chemical messengers or information molecules that communicate messages around your body. If you’re taking a messenger every day in the form of a supplement, be sure you understand the message that it is sending by reading the references in this article and beyond. I prefer to let my body control how much of the vitamin D hormone it wants to absorb through sunlight on its own, instead of forcing the body to do certain things with a supplement.
If you’ve been going with the popular advice about taking vitamin D (that is not without controversy I might add), but you still feel like crap, it’s probably a good time to start understanding your body. Start learning about your body so you can supplement it right, and correct your mineral imbalances—not just follow the latest supplement trend without working with your health professional and monitoring the effects of your supplementation. Hair analysis is my favorite tool to address your mineral deficiencies and excesses. You can learn more about all the other data it gives you on the interworking of your body here.
By testing, we can know exactly what you need to get things back in balance, instead of just playing more of the “guessing game” or following conventional blanket advice that doesn’t actually always work out.
Ready to find out your mineral levels?
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Do you take vitamin D supplements? How do they make you feel? Please share in the comments!