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How to maintain your vitamin D levels during winter
The COVID crisis has propelled vitamin D status, into the lime light. WE know it’s a problem….
Stats suggest that up to 75 % of the population are vitamin D insufficient.
And if your levels are lower, you’ll be hit harder, by colds and flu, AND CORONA !
Not enough sun
The usual suspect for the problem, is lack of sunlight exposure. And, for many of us, living in our indoor worlds………… this is an issue.
But, it’s not all of the issue.
NOTE : Since vitamin D is by its very nature, fat soluble, being particularly well endowed, also lowers vitamin levels, when supplies become TRAPPED, inside fat cells.
For the most part, the production of vitamin D, depends on being exposed to adequate levels of UV-B sunlight, so, vitamin D status, is often a problem, if you’re living indoors.
But it is also a problem, if you’re living at higher latitudes.
There just isn’t enough sun, to get the job done. Ouch !
A lighter shade of pale
Did Mother Nature make a mistake and doom, the clans of humans, brave enough to migrate, away from tropical rainforests, to this blight ? Of course not, you say………… this is why, peoples who live in these higher latitudes, are paler shades. Problem sorted.
It probably helps.
But, it’s not a COMPREHENSIVE solution.
Paler skin, helps you make more, when the sun is out and about. But, it’s not all that helpful, when the sun is NOT ABOUT.
So did Mother Nature slip up ?
No way ! She made a plan………….
THE MORE YOU MOVE, THE MORE VITAMIN D, YOU’LL HAVE !
The secret stash of vitamin D
Scientists are just beginning to unravel the vitamin D conservation plan, Mother Nature, built into our biology. Figuring out all the details, is still a work in progress, but it’s increasingly clear, your vitamin D status, is muscle bound.
Vitamin D is being stored in your muscles and released, into the circulation, to keep your vitamin D status, SUFFICIENT – even in the middle of a freezing cold winter, in the Northern latitudes.
All it takes to get your hands on this RESOURCE, is a vigorous bout of exercise.
Your vitamin D conservation plan
So let’s take a look, at what we know ……..
Vitamin D floats about, in the circulation, bound to vitamin D binding protein.
Sort of. You’ve got an awful lot of vitamin D binding protein, doing the rounds, but a very small fraction of it, is actually bound to vitamin D. We’re talking around 1 – 5%.
And, vitamin D binding protiein, is not particularly tough and durable.
It last on average, about 3 days.
The liver is continuously churning out, the stuff.
Vitamin D’s wheels
Having said all this, vitamin D’s ride, is not your average set of wheels – what makes it special, is it is able to hook up, with actin, the protein that makes muscles CONTRACT.
It’s a somewhat odd, super power.
Scientists have postulated, that it helps to mop up, actin spills, arising from muscle break ups, which inevitably happen, when muscles work out, thus protecting from clotting.
This may well be true, but it’s NOT it’s main role…..
It’s an INSIDE job
The actin it’s going after, is the actin INSIDE, a healthy happy muscle. Yup, vitamin D binding protein, hangs out, inside muscles.
Think of it as an off road vehicle.
It’s going off road, into the muscle……….
What’s it doing there ?
GETTING STUCK………. on the actin muscle fibers.
The stuck is not DELIBERATE, it’s part of the FUN – it’s what happens, when you race up nooks and crannies, to blaze NEW TRAILS.
Unfortunately, when you go “off” road, it’s easy to run into trouble – even in vehicles designed to navigate, such hazards. When you hit a swampy strip, you wind up sinking floor board deep, into the mud and come to a complete stop.
Vitamin D is not MacGyver
He is a play boy, with ZERO engineering skills – when his beach buggy, gets stuck, he stays put.
And waits to be RESCUED.
The speed of the rescue, depends on, how much muscle remodelling is happening.
In active muscle, remodelling happens, after a workout, so vitamin D, keeps moving – he rides his buggy, until it runs out of fuel. Then he DITCHES IT………
I did say, he was a PLAYBOY !
Filling up, is too much like hard work.
He then heads out of the muscle, to catch a new ride and the muscle’s clean-up crew, dispose of the chases.
No shortage of rides
Since the liver is always making vitamin D binding protein, finding a new ride is not challenging and the plus, vitamin D is released, back into the circulation………
AGAIN and AGAIN and AGAIN.
Studies suggest one vitamin D molecule, can keep circulating for on average 89 days.
So provided you are replete at the start of winter, you can make it through, THE DARK DAYS of winter, without a vitamin D crisis.
But you DO NEED TO MOVE… and you do need some muscle !
Stuck on the back side of the moon
Muscle remodelling is rather limited in, sedentary muscles…….so it can be A LONG WAIT.
The vitamin D just doesn’t circulate.
And shortages happen. And shortages have consequences…..
A tale of two vitamin D stores
The body is storing vitamin D, in two places…
The muscle store is easy to access. The fat store, NOT SO MUCH.
It only comes out, when you BURN those fat stores. Eish !
Low vitamin D levels, are increasingly being associated, with BAD BODY CHEMISTRY, not just, lack of sun exposure. The vitamin D conservation plan, explains this phenomenon.
Less muscle and more fat, will make vitamin D levels, THIN IN THE BLOOD.
The vitamin D conservation plan, also suggests, simply shoving more vitamin D in, is not the solution – to keep your levels adequate throughout winter, you need to keep the vitamin D circulating i.e. GET MOVING !
Use biology, not supplements, to keep levels adequate this winter.
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