In the 35 years I have been in the health and fitness industry, I have never seen a supplement (whether a vitamin, mineral, herbal preparation, or other) get the attention vitamin D has gotten over the last few years.
It is, without question, an important vitamin – but with the positive spin both lay and medical media have put on it – one would think it is THE answer to about all healthcare needs and concerns. From curing the common cold, to treating cancer, vitamin D has been reported as able to do it.
One reason it has gotten so much press is the fact that you can easily, and rather inexpensively, test your levels. This is very much unlike other supplements; for example, I can test vitamin C levels in your body, but it is difficult and expensive, and has several variables that need to be accounted for before a proper interpretation can be made. Vitamin D is a blood test you can do at any time, and you’re given a simple number with a (rather large) range it should fall within. This does nothing more than increase its popularity and our supposed need for it.
Being an admitted pessimist when it comes to such things, I have always questioned the validity of what has been advertised. Our bodies are designed to make vitamin D when exposed to the sun. It could be argued that sunscreen, desk jobs, and being above the 37th parallel all contribute to low vitamin D levels.
What is not usually discussed, though, is the fact that poor health, processed foods, and lack of exercise also lower vitamin D levels. In other words, maybe the blood test we do and the resulting supplement suggestions are not all that accurate considering overall health? Studies are now starting to appear that show we are taking too much vitamin D, and there may be associated health concerns with that.
The reason I bring this up is to ask you to really consider everything you do for your health (or disease). The few things you do not have to consider are daily movement and the avoidance of processed foods and drink! Never rely on a pill, from any source – big pharma, a supplement company, or your neighbor – to optimize your health.