Sock Doc 3: Is Vitamin D Over-Hyped? How To Assess Your ‘D’ Needs, Plus More on Vitamins A, E, K, and Being Discerning of the Supplements We Take

August 23, 2016


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Back on EP is our friend, The Sock Doc, aka Dr. Steve Gangemi, to discuss the real deal with Vitamin D–yes, it’s super important, but are we over-hyping its importance and the need to supplement these days? It turns into quite the discussion! Before that we catch up with The Sock Doc on his new book, The Systems Health Care Manual, a 175+ page manual geared toward practitioners to aid in evaluating, diagnosing, and treating patients. You don’t have to be a practitioner either to benefit from this manual! Get it here. Also: We ask Steve how to find a good chiropractor and/or massage therapist? Do we need both?

On Vitamin D and other essential vitamins and nutrients:

  • Vitamin D’s importance for athletes and the general population, but we take a critical look. What D actually does for us, the active form of D (and the conversion that takes place in our body for the active form of D), measuring in blood labs, optimal levels, supplementing with D and dosages, ways to get D more sun to get your D.
  • Clinical history: Vitamins E & D
  • Vitamin E was the big hype back in the day: people told to supplement, usually was synthetic form, led to hormonal issues, common problem associated was hip pain, with less E supplementing improvements occured
  • Now, these days Vitamin D is the big hype
  • A lot of experts and studies say we need to “get our Vitamin D up,” is this valid?
  • Discussing normal ranges and units used, ng/ml vs. nmol/L
  • What about Vitamin A? (Great for immune wellness)
    • Why Steve says he’s often more inclined to prescribe Vitamin A for a client than D
    • Often fear associated with Vitamin A due to potential side effects, toxicity issues, and liver issues.
    • Types of Vitamin A—check the labels on your supplements to see what you are really getting. (beta carotene, palmitic acid, retinol)
  • Signs of Vitamin A deficiency:
    • Frequent bladder infections
    • Itchy skin
    • Sore throat
  • Critical nutrients Steve also likes includes
    • Glutathione
    • Fish oil(s)
  • Vitamins A & D should be in 5:1 ratio
  • Vitamin D3, is also known as cholecalciferol
  • This becomes 25(OH)D, also known as calcidiol, in the liver and is best indicator of D status (usually measured in blood labs)
  • With more niacinamide and iron, vitamin D becomes 1,25(OH)D, also known as calcitriol, in the kidneys. This is the most hormonally active form.
  • D has critical roles in the human body—meanwhile, the risks of taking too much D
  • What’s measured in blood doesn’t always tell the whole story
  • Optimal Ranges of Vitamin D? There’s a lot of debate:
    • Deficiency: in the teens
    • Gray area: 30-40 ng/ml
    • Optimal: ~ 50-80 ng/ml
  • Vitamin D deficiency is common—why are we low in D? Factors:
    • Lacking co-factors for conversion to active form of D in the liver; need Mg and B3 for this
    • Liver is impaired
    • Deficeincy of something else inhibiting D production
    • Body’s function impaired and unable to convert to active form of D
    • Immue issue, infection, etc.
  • Cytochrome P450 pathway
  • D3 vs. D2: why you don’t want plant-based vitamin D2, especially in large doses
  • D is often said to benefit athletes and increase performance including:
    • Increased skeletal muscle function, force and power production
    • Decreased recovery time from training
    • Increased testosterone production via inhibited testosterone aromatization—conversion of T to estrogen—and enhanced androgen binding
    • Decreases inflammatory markers, including alanine (ALT) and aspartate (AST)
  • BUT are performance benefits seen in research limited to individuals who had a vitamin D deficiency to begin with?
  • Other reasons for low D:
    • Not enough D because not absorbing dietary fat or not enough dietary fat in the diet?
    • Absorb more D with more fat! Nordic Naturals fish oil offers Vitamin D in the Ultimate Omega (get 15% off NN with this code: 114594)
    • Or not enough D because of low body fat?
  • Genes, hereditary factors and personal experience of sun exposure for more D and better health
  • Endogenously produced vitamin D
  • Best Sources of Vitamin D
    • Fatty fish
    • Egg yolks
    • Quality dairy
    • Sunlight
  • Role of Vitamins K1 and K2
    • Do we need K vitamins with our D, or are these not imperative?
    • Are K deficiencies a real thing?
  • How do we really know if we are out of balance???
  • Gut health
  • Clearing up confusion, and take-home messages!


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