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Vitamin D on a Mountainside

Vitamin D on a Mountainside
Angelo Coppola

If you’ve listened to the most recent episode of This Week in Paleo (Episode 10), you know that I’ve pretty much sworn off supplements.  The only supplement I had been taking on a daily basis was Fish Oil.  But after some reflection on the ideas that “Human Beings are not Broken by Default” and also that “90% of Medical Research is Wrong” — I decided to nix even the fish oil.

It can be tough to make a decision like this, especially when a bunch of people wearing white lab coats will look you in the eye and tell you that the consensus of everyone else who wears white lab coats is that Substance X is good for you.  You should buy it.  You should take it.

Well, I am becoming more and more confident in my own intuition when it comes to decisions like this, but it was still reassuring to later hear Robb Wolf talk about healthy people eventually weening themselves from Fish Oil in Episode 53 of the Paleo Solution podcast.

So what does this have to do with Vitamin D and hiking in the desert?

Ok — Vitamin D is another biggie in the Paleo community, and I’d like to offer another perspective.  On the podcast, you may have heard me compare a Fish Oil gel capsule to a Salmon or a Sardine.  Clearly, the salmon and sardine are more complex.  What if the omega 3s in fish are so beneficial because the are *IN* fish, and their benefits are maximized when consumed with all of the other stuff that’s in fish.

Likewise with Vitamin D.  Can a Vitamin D capsule hold the full and complete complexity of the Sun?  You can try to talk about human evolution without talking about the Sun…but you’d be missing the forest for the trees.  The Sun has been there with us since the beginning.  And I *know* it’s more important to human health than whatever benefits we derive from Vitamin D, whether by natural photosynthesis or by pills.

There’s no substitute for actually getting out there.  Here are some pictures from a quick 6-mile hike Amy and I went on last weekend.  Lots of sun, talking, walking, and fun — they don’t sell this in a bottle. (more after the pics)

So, here’s an article that’s probably a lot more convincing to many of you than my intuitive, “I’m-Not-Broken” mumbo-jumbo: The Vitamin D Scam –

If you think a little Vitamin D pill is a substitute for sunshine, consider that you may be seriously wrong.