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Vitamin D3: The Hibernation Hormone

The most common vitamin deficiency is not a vitamin at all, but a hormone. Vitamin D3, cholecalciferol, is the hormone that every mammal needs during winter. The sun hitting the skin begins a biochemical chain reaction, involving both the liver and the kidneys, that affects all systems in the body. 

During winter, when sunlight is scarce, Vitamin D3 levels drop, indicating to the body it’s time to hibernate, as there will be less food available. The metabolism slows through the action of the thyroid.  Fat is stored rather than burnt as fuel.  Sex hormones and fertility wane. Sleep cycles lengthen and lighten. Energy levels and brain functions decrease. The immune system goes into standby mode.

The problem is that in our modern age, we either work too much and miss the sun, or deliberately avoid the sun due to fear of cancer. But ironically, Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to diseases including cancer, depression, autoimmune diseases, obesity, asthma, migraines, dementia, diabetes, heart disease, gastrointestinal disorders and more.  

In fact, increasing Vitamin D levels to the optimal range (60-80 g/ml) can decrease your risk of cancer up to 77%, according to one study at Creighton University School of Medicine. A recommended daily allowance of Vitamin D3 needed to increase levels has been miscalculated by the Academy of Sciences (NAS) Institute of Medicine (IOM). Maintenance doses of Vitamin D3 vary, but are generally between 3,000 and 5,000 IU daily.

If you suspect low Vitamin D, book a consultation with our physician to monitor levels through blood tests, while increasing oral doses up to 10,000 IUs daily for 3 months. You might also want to consider Vitamin D injections offered at Point Lumineux.   


To schedule an appointment, call 941-217-6828, or visit


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