Clayton's Health Facts: Vitamin D.

Clayton South, SPN (ISSA), is a recognized expert in the bodybuilding / fitness industry with over 150 bodybuilding, fitness and nutrition publications to his credit.

There is milk available with Vitamin D. Not many people know the relevance of Vitamin D and even less people supplement it, but Vitamin D is a classified steroid-hormone. It's the most versatile except for cholesterol.


What Is It?
And Where Does It Come From?

milkVitamin D is mainly derived from radiation, such as sunlight. So if you are a beach bum chances are you don't need extra, but if you live in an area that gets pretty heavy winters, getting a little extra in this period may be wise. Nowadays the FDA recommends milk be enriched with Vitamin D to prevent bone diseases, but it's a highly anabolic hormone that may be of greater benefit than you think. The basic recommendation is 400 International Units, but as with Vitamin E, getting 800 IU or so makes more sense.


What Does It Do?
And What Scientific Studies Give Evidence To Support This?

Calciferol as it's called is known as the sunshine vitamin. I never believed you could get vitamins through sunlight, not even as a gullable kid. How funny it is then that as an educated adult I had to change my mind. One of the best alternate sources of Vitamin D is by letting your body's cells manufacture it themselves from cholesterol under the influence of unfiltered sunlight. Depending on the darkness of your skin and your normal daily exposure to sunlight, this will take 30 to 200 minutes.

It can regulate the phosphorus balance in the body and helps to maintain the heart muscle and protects nerves from deterioration. Vitamin D is also a classified steroid hormone. Something you already learned if you read my article on milk. After all it is manufactured from cholesterol, just like the sex-hormone precursor dehydro-epiandrosterone. As such it increases the absorption and use of calcium and thereby assists in bone growth and density. It also stimulates the thyroid and helps in blood clotting.


Who Needs It?
And What Are Some Symptoms Of Deficiency?

Deficiency: Severe for a bodybuilders since it results in bone softening, muscle twitching, perhaps cramps, convulsions, loss of minerals like calcium, you could develop osteoporosis dues to protein deficiency in the bone. Common symptoms are burning sensation in the throat, diarrhea, insomnia and visual problems.

The Vitamin D deficiency disease is called rickets, which is basically brittle bones in young children, this is also the reason why the FDA encourages the enrichment of milk with calciferol. In earlier years the new continent had a real problem with rickets.

Toxical effects: 5000 IU is the established toxicity line, but usually it is recommended to not exceed 600 IU. This will lead to excess calcium in the blood (though I don't know of a bodybuilder that has too much calcium ions in his blood), lower appetite (that would worry me), increased thirst, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pains and calcium depositing in soft tissues like blood vessels, which is especially harmful to older people because calcifying of veins can cause severe health issues.


How Much Should Be Taken?
And Are There Any Side Effects?

Dosage: 400 IU is the needed dose, 600 is usually the maximum, but I advocate the use of an 800 IU's. I'll get into it in a bit. Megadosing is only used in medical treatment and only under medical supervision.

Stacks well with: Vitamin A, Calcium, creatine, Phosphorus.

Sources: http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/calcium.html, mackerel, butter, sardines, salmon, kipper, egg-yolks and liver.

Useful tips: I'm a prime advocate of the use of Vitamin D, provided you keep toxicity in mind and cycle the use of it. I usually take Vitamin D in 800 IU's for 4 weeks, then 400 for 8 weeks and then all over again year round. Especially for users of creatine (dependent on calcium transport ions) this is beneficial, also because it increases your desire for water which is needed when taking creatine to maximize its potential and avoid side-effects and I also find it useful in the final weeks of a diet phase to curb appetite and need extra water as a diuretic.

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