Vitamin D3 – Legal Doping, What Is IT?
Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is a vitamin, which is also considered a prohormone due to its effect on all the vital processes in the body.
I know you are getting excited when you hear about legal doping, or legal steroids for that matter. Trust me, it’s not like taking testosterone unfortunately.
It arises from its provitamin – dehydrocholesterol.
- It belongs to the group of fat-soluble compounds, which means that fats are necessary for its dissolution and absorption.
No that does not mean you should stuff yourself with junk food in order for it to work, sorry.
These should be good fats that you get from healthy food, you know what they are!
Within the kidney, it is converted to its active form – calcitriol.
“According to studies conducted by the WHO (World Health Organization) in the past decade, it is discovered that 40-90% of the population has a problem with deficit of vitamin D3.”
That is, depending on their age, race and nationality.
In 1927, it has been proven that the correlation between vitamin D3 and athletic performance exists.
Positive Effects Of Vitamin D3
It is known that this vitamin affects calcium, phosphorus and magnesium metabolism.
- But we should perceive Vitamin D3 as a master hormone that has receptors in almost every cell in our organism.
Vitamin D3 is crucial for hormonal balance, reproductive health, bone growth and development.
Also, bone density, muscle strength (muscle fibers type II), adequate immune response and anti-inflammatory effect.
On top of that, good mood and insulin resistance are benefits as well.
Scientifically Proven Facts About Vitamin D3
Basic physiological role of vitamin D is to regulate the concentration of calcium and phosphates in blood.
- It helps their absorption in the digestive tract and prevents their loss in kidneys.
It helps add calcium to the bones, and it is crucial for bone and teeth health.
Since calcium is responsible for almost every cell in our body, we come to a conclusion that vitamin D is one of the key parts to the vital functions that occur.
These functions are growth, division, and differentiation in the cells.
- Because of that, vitamin D helps with immune and hormonal regulation.
Research shows that poor levels of vitamin D3 are present in patients that suffer from cancer, depression, Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease.
Adequate intake of this vitamin prevents diabetes type II and regulates blood pressure.
Biochemistry And The Role Of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a generic name for 10 sterols, with a different type of antirachitic effect.
- The two most important ones are: ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) and cholecalciferol (vitamin D3).
The human organism can synthesize provitamin D3 (7-dehydrocholesterol) and photochemically turn it into vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol.
This is done by exposing the skin to the UV rays (approximately 165 nanometers).
In order for this to happen, it takes 3 – 4 days.
1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol (1,25-(OH)2- D3) induces transport of calcium through the intestinal mucosa.
- It provokes calcium mobilisation from bones.
1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol (25- OH- D3) can be found in liver mitochondria, and 1,25- (OH)2- D3 can be found in kidneys.
24,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol is also found in kidneys and it is active in renal tubular mechanism for calcium and phosphorus transportation.
Calcium Concentration Is Normal Or Heightened
Synthesis of 1,25-(OH)2-D3 is inhibited in kidneys. While, if calcium concentration is lowered, synthesis of 1,25-(OH)2-D3 is stimulated in kidneys.
- That is the same way that 25- OH- D3 acts in the liver. In case of chronic renal failure, there is no synthesis of 1,25- (OH)2- D3.
Vitamin D resistance is developed (because cholecalciferol cannot be turned into its active form).
The amount of calcium concentration is being lowered, while simultaneously heightening synthesis of parathormones.
Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol; calciferol; viosterol).
- Activated ergosterol in form of ergocalciferol is found in plant kingdom (yeast).
Provitamin D2 can be synthesized in human organism, and it is activated in skin with help from UV radiation.
It has the highest antirachitic effect than all the other forms of vitamin D.
Vitamin D3 structure is the same as the one of vitamin D2.
- The only difference is that D3 has the structure of cholesterol in the place that is numbered 17.
Sun Tanning As A Source Of Vitamin D3
Vitamin D3 is mostly released under the skin, where it acts as a provitamin 7-dehydrocholesterol (made out of cholesterol).
- Under the influence of UV-radiation, it turns into (in)active form of vitamin D3 – cholecalciferol.
Cholecalciferol is hydroxylated to 25-hydroxycholecalciferol, within the liver.
Within the kidney, 25-hydroxycholecalciferol serves as a substrate for 1-alpha-hydroxylase, yielding 1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol, the biologically active form.
- Exposing your skin to the sun is the most natural way to get vitamin D3.
- The amount of vitamin D you will get, depends on the time of the day, where you live, the color of your skin and the amount of skin you expose.
Recommended amount of time spent suntanning, is 10-20 minutes, from 10:00 a.m. to 02:00 p.m.
As mentioned above, one of the factors that impact vitamin D3 production is liver and kidney health.
For people that are over 60, 15-30 minutes, twice a week is enough to provide sufficient amount to vitamin D.
What Causes An Insufficient Amount Of Vitamin D3?
If organism lacks vitamin D, calcium that is taken in by food, cannot be absorbed, which leads to its mobilization from the biggest depot in our body – bones.
- As a consequence, children can suffer from rachitis, while adults can get osteomalacia (bone softening) and osteoporosis (loss of bone mass).
Bone changes are considered to be the most common consequence of insufficient amount of vitamin D3.
However, its deficit badly affects insulin production by the beta cells of the pancreas.
Sometimes, there can be issues with division, differentiation and programmed cell death.
- This heightens the risk of malignant and autoimmune diseases, skin diseases, low immunity, and tendency to develop infections.
Side Effects Of Insufficient Amounts
Insufficient amounts can cause tiredness, insomnia, anxiety and weakness in muscles.
- In the case of chronic renal insufficiency renal osteodystrophy may develop.
Then the therapy with vitamin D is applied, and even more efficient are its metabolites 25-hydroxy vitamin D3, 12-hydroxy D3, 1.25- dihydroxy D3 (calcitriol) in the treatment of osteomalacia.
Osteitis fibrosa and for mitigation of myopathy.
In case of overdose it is easy to develop hypercalcemia and soft tissue calcification.
- Recommended for protection of lungs in areas with high smog density.
In colon cancer studies have revealed a lack of vitamin D.
Skin cancer occurs primarily in sunny areas, and colon cancer in the less sunny ones.
In geographic areas where skin cancer dominates, colon cancer is less frequent and vice versa.
Vitamin D3 Treatment
Treatment with vitamin D3 and fish oil is applied successfully when dealing with chronic glomerulonephritis, psoriasis and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.
In the therapy of these diseases, vitamin D and fish oil are applied as immune support.
Fish oil reduces the number of patients suffering from coronary heart disease (anti aggregation and hypolipidemic activity).
- Vitamin D2 is also applied in case of skin tuberculosis (10 mg once a week);
It is also recommended for normal functioning of the nervous system and thyroid gland and for the proper formation and maintenance of bones, teeth and skin.
What Is Hypoparathyroidism Calcitriol?
In contrast to the absence of Vitamin D, increased content in the body is really rare and is the result of irrational use of dietary supplements.
- The main reason is that it is liposoluble and it is accumulated in our body fat from which is gradually released.
The result can be a hypervitaminosis deposition of calcium in the kidneys.
Caution is advised when taking vitamin D to all people who suffer from kidney stones.
Having any kind of the parathyroid gland disease, lymphoma or sarcoidosis.
- Hypervitaminosis D manifests itself through anorexia, abnormal thirst, pain in the eyes, paresthesias, skin rash, and constipation.
Hypercalcemia manifestations can lead to calcification in parenchymatous organs (liver, lungs, thyroid gland, kidneys (nephrocalcinosis), stomach, blood vessels, heart valves, etc.
In infants sustained release 2.000 I.u, in adults: sustained release 5,000 IU or 150,000 IU during twenty-four hours will result in hypervitaminosis D.
Calcium concentration is higher than 2.62 mmol or greater than 11.5 mg / dl.
Treatment Of Hypervitaminosis D
Treatment: stop the medical intake of vitamin D.
- Prednisone dramatically reduces hypercalcemia resulting from intoxication of vitamin D.
They are: vitamin A, E and diuretic furosemide.
Verapamil (antiarrhythmic agent) and phenobarbital (antiepileptic) are administered as needed:
- keratopathy in form of tape is one of the possible side effects of vitamin D on the eye;
- in the case of idiopathic hypercalcemia hypervitaminosis D should always be excluded
Does Vitamin D Improve Athletic Performance?
Back in 1927, German swimming association introduced “UV treatment” as an obligatory part of sports preparations.
This is because it since it showed a positive effect on athletes’ performance.
Amongst many other world renowned sports experts, Charles Poliquin and Dr. Tim Ziegenfuss studied this topic.
- They have been claiming that vitamin D represents a milestone in the field of supplementation, and that it really works.
Moreover, microelements like this one, are crucial for normal functioning of each of our cells.
What Are The Most Common Fitness Supplements?
When it comes to supplementation, the majority of fitness enthusiasts start with creatine, hormone stimulators, amino acids, Whey Protein, and multi-vitamins.
In order for our training, diet and all these supplements to have desired effects, we should take care of our water intake.
Nutritionally dense meals that are going to provide needed amounts of vitamins and minerals are a must.
- Vitamin D3 also contributes to fat burning, especially in the abdominal part, and it has a positive impact on building lean muscle.
Sports experts recommend 1000-5000 i.j. of vitamin D3, daily through supplements (5000 i.j. if there is not enough UV/UVB exposure).
Which Foods Have Vitamin D?
Foods rich in vitamin D are mostly fish and whole milk dairy products, but also less popular beef liver, soy milk, eel and fish oil.
- Vitamin D is only soluble in fat, which means that eating fatty foods is important for absorption of this vitamin.
In addition to vitamin D, fat absorbs vitamins A, E and K.
In order to get the best out of vitamin D, it is necessary to combine it with magnesium and calcium.
Mushrooms, just like people, get vitamin D from sunlight (100g of mushrooms contains 7 UI vitamin D).
- The more sun they get, the more vitamin D they have.
In addition to other beneficial nutrients, one mushroom has from 2 to 5 UI of vitamin D.
Are Mushrooms The Best Source Of Vitamin D?
Depending on the type of mushrooms, their consumption can bring sufficient amounts of selenium and iron.
- Some studies have come to the conclusion that mushrooms help the human immune system by increasing the production of cells that protect and regenerate our tissues.
Mushrooms are rich in antioxidants that clean our body of free radicals and the release of harmful toxins.
- As an excellent source of protein, mushrooms are recommended for those who are on a low sodium diet.
Only six medium-sized mushrooms have 22 calories.
Cheeses And Vitamin D
Goat cheese is usually recommended for those who want to train and recover their muscles (100g contains 22 IU of Vitamin D).
Caloric value, which mostly comes from fat, depends on the type of cheese.
The same goes for vitamin D.
- Feta cheese has less vitamin D in relation to Gouda.
What they have in common, is that they all contain essential proteins, minerals and vitamins.
A cube of cheese is only 6.22 UI of vitamin D.
Orange Juice, Yogurt And Eggs
Fresh squeezed orange juice and preserves bones and overall health (100g contains 43 IU of Vitamin D).
- A glass of 100 percent of squeezed orange juice is rich in calcium and vitamin D, and other valuable minerals that keep our teeth and bones healthy.
Big amount of vitamin D from the pressed juice, helps absorb the calcium more easily.
Yogurt has more vitamin D of the whole milk (100 g contains 52 IU of Vitamin D).
Yogurt contains various different minerals, from calcium and magnesium to useful bacteria and group of vitamin B.
Therefore, it preserves and improves the quality of bones.
Benefits Of Yogurt
Yogurt is a pillar of a healthy diet and is often on the menu of those who practice and those who want to lose weight.
- Just one serving of yogurt with fruit helps muscle recovery after training, because this dairy product is rich in amino acids and proteins.
Only two eggs are sufficient to provide enough nutritional elements for the entire day (100g contains 218 UI of vitamin D).
- A whole egg is primarily highly nutritious and biologically valuable food, with low caloric value.
The eggs from chicken free range are especially interesting, because they contain more folic acid and vitamin B 12 than the ones obtained at the farm.
Eggs are a great source of first-class protein, vitamins A, D, B2, B12, iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium and riboflavin.
Doping In Athletes
When we are talking about advanced needs of highly active athletes, that put their body through maximum effort, the recommended amount still remains the same.
- Some general recommendations say 400-600 i.j. of vitamin D3 is enough, due to its “toxicity”.
For example, 30 minutes of suntanning can produce up to 20,000 i.j.
What does that say about the people who spend even more time in the sun, and there is no lethal outcome of “overdosing”?
“Except for the fact that darker skin color prevents independent production of vitamin D3, longer sun exposure is necessary, or that sun blocker lotions can cause lower vitamin D3 production”
The best vitamin D3 supplements are gel capsules (extra virgin olive oil, fish oil).
Native fish oil represents one of the best vitamin D3 sources, and the probability of hypervitaminosis is minimal.
There is a good chance you didn’t understand a lot of this article. This is because you are probably not a scientist.
That is not our problem honestly.