The Ultimate Vitamin D Talk - YouTube Review

September 6, 2023

The Ultimate Vitamin D Talk - YouTube Review

Topics of Interest

Topic Author Credit: Ivor Cummings

YouTube Reference:

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is essential for several vital functions in the body. It is primarily known for its role in maintaining strong and healthy bones by aiding in the absorption of calcium and phosphorus.

It is obtained through exposure to sunlight, certain foods like fatty fish and fortified products, and supplements.

Deficiency in vitamin D can lead to bone-related problems like rickets and osteoporosis, impair immune function, and potentially impact mood, making it crucial to maintain adequate levels of this vitamin.

The video that this article references breaks down a few different studies that all relate to vitamin D and it's critical role in the human body. All of these studies aim to prove and demonstrate the important of obtaining and maintaining healthy levels of vitamin D.

Clinical Research Study #1

Study Name: Pre-infection 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 levels and association with severity of COVID-19 illness

Study Reference:

Study Conducted: Study came out of Israel February 3rd 2022

Researchers looked at whether having low levels of vitamin D before getting COVID-19 makes people sicker or more likely to die from the virus.

The study looked at the medical records of people who were admitted to the Galilee Medical Center in Israel between April 7th, 2020 and February 4th, 2021, and tested positive for COVID-19. They checked if these individuals had their vitamin D levels measured 14 to 730 days before testing positive.

The study was extremely well executed and very well corrected for

  • prior medical histories
  • age
  • used previous vitamin D readings


In the graph to the right, the boxes represent the range of vitamin D values within the middle 50% of cases (interquartile range). The lines extending outside the boxes indicate the highest and lowest values within 1.5 times the interquartile range.

Any values that fall beyond these lines are considered outliers and are represented by empty circles.

The people who suffered most (Critical N = 13) had the lowest vitamin D levels. Conversely, people that had reasonable levels of vitamin D were in the Mild (N = 80) category (regardless of age, regardless of history).


This chart illustrates the risk ratio correlation between the severity of symptoms that are experienced with COVID and the levels of vitamin D in the body.

There is a 14x risk factor increase in the severity of COVID symptoms for participants that were deficient in vitamin D. Conversely there is no increase in risk for normal levels of vitamin D.

What does this study tell us? Having higher amounts of vitamin D in the body reduces the severity of COVID 19 symptoms.

It is recommended that you're in the 40+ng/mL (Nanogram units per milliliter) of vitamin D per day.

Clinical Research Study #2

Study Name: Vitamin D Supplementation Could Possibly Improve Clinical Outcomes of Patients Infected with Coronavirus-2019 (COVID-2019)

Study Conducted: Published 9th April 2020

This study looked at the levels of vitamin D in COVID-19 patients and how it affects their health. They studied 212 patients with confirmed COVID-19 from different hospitals.

They found that most patients had mild symptoms. The average vitamin D level was 23.8 ng/ml. Critical cases had the lowest vitamin D levels, while mild cases had the highest. Vitamin D levels were linked to how sick people got. Most patients didn't have enough vitamin D, but they were less likely to have severe symptoms.

The study showed that higher vitamin D levels were linked to better outcomes. For every increase in vitamin D levels, the odds of having mild symptoms instead of severe symptoms went up by about 8 times. Surprisingly, the odds of having mild symptoms instead of critical symptoms went up by about 20 times.

Interesting point: The study did account for multiple corrections (e.g. Correcting for age and prior history etc...) but it didn't really change the result.


Interesting point 2: The people that scored high on their Vitamin D levels (i.e. > 40 ng/mL) still had comorbidities associated with them. For example, 45% of the participants that scored highly had hypertension and nearly a 1/3 had diabetes.

The only thing that distinguished them between mild vs severe COVID symptoms were their vitamin D levels. You can see the power of having a maintaining a high level of Vitamin D in your body.


You can see in the diagram to the left the risk multiplier for participants that were deemed to have insufficient or deficient levels of vitamin D.

This chart is very similar to the first study referenced and reaffirms the benefit of having high vitamin D levels.

What does this study tell us? Having higher amounts of vitamin D in the body reduces the severity of COVID 19 symptoms.

Clinical Research Study #3 - Maasai Tribe and the Correlation

The median Vitamin D level for the Maasai males in this study was 42ng/mL. Remember, we are aiming for anything over 40 as healthy.

Having a level >40 ng/mL allows the bodily process that creates Vitamin D to self-correct and a feedback loop begins.

We also know ancestrally, men in the 40ng/mL and women in the 50 ng/mL is considered "normal" for the healthy indigenous populations.

Clinical Research Study #4

Study Name: Demographic Differences and Trends of Vitamin D Insufficiency in the US Population, 1988–2004

Study Conducted: 1988-2004

This study aimed to assess trends in vitamin D insufficiency in the US population. Researchers compared data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) conducted between 1988 and 1994 with NHANES data collected from 2001 to 2004. They analyzed serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) levels in a total of 18,883 participants from NHANES III and 13,369 participants from NHANES 2001–2004.

As you can see, levels of Vitamin D have dramatically reduced in all metrics and are below the healthy level.

Clinical Research Study #4

Study Name: Vitamin D and the scientific calcium dogma: understanding the 'Panacea' of the sun

Study Reference: European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2012) doi:10.1038/ejen.2012.78

Almost a century ago, scientists came up with the idea that vitamin D mainly controls calcium levels in the body. This idea is still widely accepted today, even though there's evidence challenging it.

If we take a step back and look at it from a simple, non-scientific perspective, it's a bit puzzling. Vitamin D, often called the 'sunshine vitamin,' is linked to more than just calcium. Many cultures and health traditions have appreciated the sun for various benefits. So, why did science focus so much on vitamin D's role in calcium regulation and ignore other aspects? It seems that this happened because it was easy to see how vitamin D affected our bones, easy to test for, and experts in the field emphasized it. They didn't pay as much attention to other potential effects of vitamin D, missing the bigger picture."

Human Evolutionary Environment

Key Takeaways:

  • We originally evolved in an intense UVB environment - part of our design
  • Migration over millennia drove commensurate skin pigmentation adaptation
  • Tradeoff: Between UV Excess (e.g. Folate), and adequate synthesis of 25(OH)D

Clinical Research Study #5

Study Name: Cutting edge: vitamin D-mediated human antimicrobial activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis is dependent on the induction of cathelicidin

Our body has natural defenses against certain infections, especially those caused by tiny intruders that can hide inside our cells. One of these defenses involves a molecule called TLR2/1 and vitamin D, which together activate special white blood cells called monocytes. These activated monocytes produce a substance called cathelicidin, which helps fight off intruders like the tuberculosis bacterium.

To see if cathelicidin is really necessary for this defense, scientists conducted experiments using cells. They first infected these cells with tuberculosis bacteria and then treated them with a form of vitamin D called 1,25D(3). This vitamin D not only helped the cells fight off the bacteria but also made them produce cathelicidin.

To check if cathelicidin is essential, scientists used a technique called small interfering RNA (siRNA) to block its production in the cells. When cathelicidin was blocked, the cells couldn't fight the bacteria as well, and the bacteria grew more inside the cells.

In simple terms, this research shows that cathelicidin is a crucial part of our body's defense against tuberculosis when vitamin D is involved."

So, How Do We Get High Vitamin D Levels?

Eat nutrient dense healthy food:

If you eat food that is high in Vitamin D and just nutrient dense in general and you don't eat processed food (i.e. so you eat meat, and fish, and eggs etc...), you're going to tend to have a high Vitamin D level even if you're not getting much sunlight exposure.

Avoid insulin resistance

Around 70% of Americans over 45 years of age are pre-diabetic or diabetic (based on data), so they have insulin resistance. If you can avoid having this, your Vitamin D level will be higher regardless of other factors. Higher insulin resistance levels decreases your Vitamin D levels.

Avoid inflammatory problems

You will generally achieve this by achieving the first 2 options. Inflammatory issues can include:

  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular inflammation
  • Neurological diseases
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Arthritis
  • Pulmonary Diseases
  • Alzheimer's disease

Healthy sunlight exposure

We know now from all of the published data that more sun exposure extended life expectation. It doesn't just create Vitamin D which is a precursor to many of our hormones and critical pathways, it allows you to increase Nitric Oxide which causes vasodilation and other benefits.

Of course, you do not want to get sunburnt!


Vitamin D supplements will raise your levels and are a good choice for people that are deficient.

Summary of Vitamin D

The following diagram below shows the overall correlation of mortality and low vitamin D levels. This is an age-adjusted hazard ratio which is a statistical measurement used in research to compare the risk of an event or outcome (such as a disease, death, or other specific event) between different age groups while accounting for the potential influence of age as a variable.

There were 32 studies combined together to measure the big outcome - "expected age of mortality" and it shows that high vitamin D levels reduces overall mortality.

As Ivor Cummins says - "You can't argue with that one".


Daily Crossword

Fresh Reads

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram