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Hey, guys. Welcome back to the ultimate human podcast, where we go down the road of everything anti-aging, longevity, biohacking, and everything in between. Today's biohacking short is about the single most important nutrient in the entire human body. I'll give you a little hint. It is the only vitamin-D vitamin that a human being makes on our own. If you were to check your bloodstream, you'd see that you have hundreds of vitamins in your bloodstream, but you're only capable of making one. We make this vitamin from sunlight and cholesterol and nearly every single cell in the entire human body has a receptor site for this vitamin. Do you have any idea what this vitamin is? It's vitamin D-3, cholacalciferal. When we make vitamin D from sunlight and cholesterol, but specifically the one that I want to talk about, is the most active form of vitamin D3, which is called colcalciferol. And vitamin D3 is one of the most chronic deficiencies on the planet. It's estimated that about 50 % of the world's population is clinically deficient in vitamin D3. 85 % of the dark complexed populations, African-Americans, Latinos, and other dark complexed populations are even deficient in vitamin D3.


You see, the darker the complexion, the more sunlight it takes for us to generate this vital nutrient. So many people have heard of the sunshine vitamin, but I don't think that we quite understand the importance that this vitamin plays in the human body. In fact, I would argue that it acts more like a hormone than it does like a vitamin. It's linked to an entire array of chronic conditions. This deficiency is one of the easiest for us to supplement with, and one of the easiest for us to fix. There's evidence that it helps reduce the severity and duration of COVID-19. In fact, it also can prevent the development of certain autoimmune diseases. I'm going to put that research below. There was a very interesting study published in 2023 in January in the Helion Journal looking at the impact of vitamin D-3 and different neurodegenerative diseases. And there's overlapping pathologies that are shared by a ton of neurodegenerative diseases, such as oxidative stress, inflammation, protein aggregation, where proteins don't fold properly, and demyelination. Demyelination is where the coating on the outside of the nerve is actually eroded and may even expose the nerve. You can think of a nerve as a copper wire inside of a rubber sheath, and that rubber sheath is called myelin.


And when that myelin is eroded or thinned, or there's a nick in that myelin or a sore in that myelin, this leads to a lot of the neurodegenerative pathologies that we refer to as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's, and other kinds of neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases. But as a major neurodegenerative disease, Alzheimer's disease has a growing patient population in the world. It's actually the main cause of dementia. And at present, I think about 48 million people are suffering from dementia, and this population is increasing at the rate of 10 million every single year around the world. Well, vitamin D has been shown to ameliorate neuropathological features, and vitamin supplementation contributes to a better prognosis according to this study. It strengthens the immune system. It stimulates the production of T cells. It even helps promote a proper immune response to infections and pathogens, including viruses, bacteria, and fungus that are responsible for all kinds of various illnesses. And if you remember during COVID, there was some evidence that COVID-19 disproportionately affected minorities. It also became evidence that vitamin D-3 deficiency was one of the second leading causes of COVID. So why would COVID disproportionately affect minorities? Well, it has to do with the pigment of their skin.


So things as common as influenza, the common cold, share a commonality in severity with a deficiency in vitamin D-3. It's been linked to improved brain function. Further research has linked vitamin D-3 specifically with improved overall brain function. They're vitamin D receptors located all throughout the brain and throughout the spinal cord, and vitamin D play a role in activating and deactivating the synthesis of neurotransmitter, serotonin, dopamine, and catecholamines, as well as nerve growth and repair. Vitamin D might even play a certain role in preventing cancers. Epidemiologic research shows that there is a lower incidence of certain types of cancers for people who live in what we call the Sunbelt, the Southern Equatorial locations around the world. I remember when I was a mortality researcher in the insurance industry, we noticed that the longest life expectancies on Earth tended to be centered closer to the equator. As you got further and further away from the Equatorial line, life expectancy had a precipitous drop. Now, we couldn't directly correlate this to a deficiency in vitamin D-3, but it's very interesting that the research that's coming out now correlates many of these diseases as being serviced by increased levels of vitamin D3.


And by serviced, I mean the severity of these diseases ameliorated by the presence of higher levels of vitamin D3. You can join me in a three day water fast. I have one coming up on December 19th, 20th, and 21st. Go to theultimatehuman. Com, download the free water fasting guide, join me for the challenge. It's entirely free. I'm going to stay with you every step of the way. We're going to harness all of the benefits from a three-day water fast. And as always, that's just science. There are also several studies that indicate that there's a possible connection between vitamin D and the development of cancer. Additional studies on animal subjects have found that vitamin D helps to protect neurons and reduces inflammation within the brain. All of these factors likely improves the overall function of the brain, helping promote alertness, quicker response times. I'm going to put a link to a study below that also analyzed the effects that vitamin D levels play on a collection of subjects that were performing mental exams. This study found that those that had lower levels of vitamin D-3 actually performed worse than those that had adequate levels of the vitamin, suggesting that it actually does improve mental acuity.


It boosts your mood. Vitamin D benefits your daily mood, especially in the cold or darker months. This is where the old wives tale about catching a cold came from. There's no such thing as catching a cold. In fact, there's more pathogens and bacteria outside in warm weather than there are in cold weather. But why do we associate catching cold with cold weather? Because when the weather gets cold, we layer up. When we layer up, our vitamin D3 levels drop. When our vitamin D3 levels drop, we are more susceptible to common cold. So we link cold weather with the association of illness. Several studies have revealed that the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder. And I used to live in Chicago, and I went to grad school there. I was there for six years, and I learned living in Chicago to believe in seasonal affective disorder. There were several months that would go by where you couldn't even see the sun. The sky was just this gray, misty, just cold and gray, and you couldn't even tell how high in the sky you were seeing. You couldn't see clouds. It was just a misty, gray, cold. And I never believed in seasonal and affective disorder until I would get several months into the winter in Chicago.


I lived downtown on 10th and Wabash in an area called the South Loop. And several months into the wintertime, you definitely felt the effects on your mood. All you wanted to do was stay inside and eat pizza. And I remember it very vividly. And now that I'm starting to parse through some of the research, I'm virtually certain that it was linked to my vitamin D3 level. Seasonal effect disorder has been linked to low levels of vitamin D3. They're associated with lack of sunlight and lack of the production of this vitamin.


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Seasonal affective disorder is a mood disorder, and the primary symptom is depression. And the incidence of depression does rise during the winter months. So studies suggest that the decreased levels of vitamin D3 may even impact the level of serotonin in the brain. Remember, that's the hormone that's one of the main regulators of mood. Dopamine is the main regulator of behavior, but serotonin is the main regulator of mood. By taking a vitamin D3 supplement or increasing your exposure to the sun, you could see a significant boost in your mood. It can even aid in weight loss and weight management. There is another article that I will post below where the research revealed that people who were deficient in vitamin D-3 had a greater risk of becoming obese and developing complications related to obesity. So not only a greater risk of developing obesity, but a higher incidence of complications once they were obese. It can lower the risk of rheumatoid arthritis. I posted a seventh study below that found that people who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic inflammatory disease of the joints, often have very low levels of vitamin D. Rheumatoid arthritis is classified as an autoimmune disease, and the immune system reacts to the lining of the joints as if these proteins were foreign substances.


And this leads to inflammation in the joint, which causes the stiffness and the pain and the reduced mobility. So since one of the main vitamin D benefits is to help maintain the immune system and ensure that it's properly functioned, it makes sense that a deficiency in this vitamin could lead to the development of rheumatoid arthritis or at least exacerbate, accelerate the time frame for the onset ofdysregia, and rheumatoid. So by raising your vitamin D 3 levels, there's a chance you could reduce the severity and onset of this disease and potentially even other autoimmune diseases. It lowers the risk of type two diabetes. This has been well researched, and there is a study below that confirms that there is a link between D3 deficiency and the body's resistance to insulin, which is type two diabetes. By overcoming insulin resistance, you could potentially prevent the development or the further exacerbation of type two diabetes. You see, the cells in the pancreas that are responsible for secreting insulin, the beta cells and the islets as a result of not getting enough sunlight, reduce the secretion of insulin from the pancreas, which creates insulin resistance and affects how the body responds to glucose.


So we know that vitamin D can help lower blood pressure. There have been several long term studies that have proven that there's an association between low vitamin D3 levels and hypertension. And until recently, it wasn't known if being deficient in vitamin D actually led to hypertension, but a large genetic study that involved more than 150,000 people revealed that low levels of vitamin D, in fact, caused hypertension. And this study, in particular, those who had the highest levels of vitamin D had lower blood pressure. And it was demonstrated that by increasing vitamin D 10 %, it led to a concomitant decrease in blood pressure of 10 %. So if you have high blood pressure, or you want to avoid developing it, an increase in your vitamin D level might help. It might reduce even the risk of heart disease. Now, some of the studies are non-causal, meaning they couldn't link the low D3 directly to heart disease. But there's an increasing number of studies that have indicated that deficiency in vitamin D is a risk factor for developing high blood pressure, heart disease, congestive heart failure, peripheral arterial disease, which is a condition of the peripheral arteries of the system, and even increases the incidence of stroke and heart attack.


So we know that improving vitamin D levels can help reduce the risk of developing heart disease and the symptoms that are associated with it. I'll put a link to that article below. There's a whole series of clinical studies below that I've tried to summarize in 20 minutes or less. So now the question is, where do I get vitamin D-3? What vitamin D-3 should I take? How much should I take? So guidelines, the RDA guidelines are considered by functional medicine physicians to be way too low. Most of them would recommend 5,000 IUs of vitamin D-3 minimum. That's 5,000 international units of vitamin D-3 with 120 micrograms of K-2 or a D-3 that contains K-2. There's also a version of K-2 called MK-7, I believe, is the version that is the most bioavailable, because if you take vitamin D3 with vitamin K-2, it helps calcium that's being transported around the blood, deposited into the bone and not into the arterio wall. It's very easy to get vitamin D3 supplements. You can order these supplements online from a medical grade supplement supplier. Make sure that your vitamin D3 is a minimum of 5,000 IUs and has a minimum of 120 to 140 micrograms of K-2, that's MCGs of K-2, and you should be well on your way to having adequate levels of vitamin D-3.


You should also get your vitamin D-3 levels checked when you get your blood work done. The D-3 levels go from 30 nanograms per deciliter to 100 nanograms per deciliter. Most functional medical practitioners would say between 60 and 80 is the optimal range. That's 60 to 80 nanograms per deciliter, 5,000 ius should get you within that range. I hope you found this podcast helpful. I hope that you take a moment to check out the studies and the links below that I summarized in the podcast today. I didn't want to go through all the studies because I wanted to keep this less than 20 minutes. I just wanted to get the importance of the single most important nutrient in the human body out into the public domain so people could start to supplement with this critical nutrient. And as always, that's just science. If you haven't had a chance to connect with me on theultimatehuman. Com, head over there now and sign up for my free newsletter and all of the exclusive content.