Here's why vitamin D3 and B12 deficiencies are called silent epidemics

Here's why vitamin D3 and B12 deficiencies are called silent epidemics

An easy guide to understanding Vitamin D3 and B12's vital roles in our body

Luke CoutinhoUpdated: Sunday, January 29, 2023, 12:38 PM IST
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In Integrative and Lifestyle Medicine, we invest time in identifying the root cause behind every symptom and disease. And there is one root cause that seems to be a commonality in almost every other patient we consult. It is like a silent epidemic plaguing everyone, maybe you too. 

It's a deficiency of Vitamin D3 and B12. Because this is so common, many think this isn't a big deal, but it is! It's an alarming shortcoming, and possibly your body is already showing signs of its deficiency in several ways. Medical science and studies today show that Vitamin D3 and B12 have a connection with — aches and pains, brain fog, memory loss, low energy levels, weak bones, blurred vision, depressive symptoms, low immunity, poor libido, hormonal imbalance, autism, and ADHD, infertility, stubborn weight, numbness and tingling sensations, mouth sores and ulcers, cognitive declines like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and dementia, lack of balance and coordination. Even side effects one might experience due to heavy medications and treatments because it wipes out these vitamins from our body.

The science behind these vitamins has always existed. Every cell in our body, from the brain to bones, has Vitamin D3 receptors on its surface. These vitamins regulate the functions of several genes in our body. Hence its deficiency can lead to a range of symptoms and conditions. A lot of times, just by upping the levels of these two vitamins you can start to feel better. We see this so often in our day-to-day practice. In fact, we come across cases where the individual's Vitamin D3 levels are as low as three, five, and 10, which is dangerously low.

Role of Vitamin D3

Vitamin D3 is not just a vitamin. It is a hormone. Its role is beyond strong bones. It's a precursor to immunity, hormones, and so much more.

WBC production

Training a smart immunity (T-cells)

Production of hormones including thyroid and sex hormones 

Brain health and memory 

Absorption of calcium, and phosphorous (bone health) 

Insulin resistance  

Role of Vitamin B12

Energy production

Carbohydrate metabolism 

Gut health 

RBC production 

Nerve health (including optic nerves)

Brain health, memory 

Mood regulation  

This means a drop in your Vitamin D3 and B12 levels can affect all of the above functions. So, would you then take a pill for every symptom you experience? Or address the root cause, which is fixing low levels of these vitamins? 

What causes these levels to drop?

Long-term use of antacids and other medications

Heavy treatments like chemotherapy

Chronic stress

Poor gut health

Low stomach acids 

Following fad diets 

Going completely fat-free (Vitamin D3 is fat-soluble)

If your vitamin D3 and B12 levels are critically low, supplementation under expert guidance is the best option, but if your levels look great and you are looking at maintaining them, then here are some natural sources. Also be aware of vitamin toxicity, as too much of anything is a problem. 

Vitamin D3 and B12 are fundamental requirements for your body; no matter who you are, what you do, and your dietary preference. The fundamentals never change. Spend that money and get yourself tested for its levels. And if your levels are low, boost them under a healthcare expert's guidance. 

2023 is all about keeping it simple. We are done with complications to achieve great health. While some cases are complicated in nature, the majority are simple, and simplicity is what works.

(Luke Coutinho, Holistic Nutrition and Lifestyle – Integrative and Lifestyle Medicine, Founder of You Care - All about YOU by Luke Coutinho)

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