The Primal Pioneer Podcast teaches you how to improve the environment you live, work, and exercise in so you can achieve optimal health. Heathar’s leading-edge teachings and expert interviews with integrative health professions teach you the most effective, simple yet deeply transformative solutions to overcoming and preventing every chronic disease today. You’ll walk away from this podcast feeling invigorated, inspired, and confident about your body’s incredible and natural ability to heal!
Natural Sources of Vitamin D and Melatonin and Why Supplements Aren't Necessary
Many people rely on supplements because they don't know enough about natural sources of vitamin D and melatonin. Episode 18 of The Primal Pioneer is here to fix that. In this episode, I’m talking all about natural sources of vitamin D and melatonin.
But before we dive right in, let me introduce myself in case this is your first visit. I am your host, Heathar Shepard, and I am incredibly passionate about helping people JUST LIKE YOU find the health and happiness they truly deserve.
Besides being an alternative healer and integrative health coach, I’m also a Traumatic Brain Injury survivor who struggled for 10 years until I discovered the MOST important factor for overall health: the environment we live and work in. And in The Primal Pioneer, I share what 98+% of doctors don’t tell you (or don’t even know!) about true health and wellness. You’ll learn about the importance of sunlight, as well as the foods and eating cycles that heal the root causes of chronic disease. And in an age dominated by technology, you’ll discover how EMF mitigation can drastically improve your life.
Everyone has their own healing journey with their own unique struggles...but I’m here to give you all the tools you need to make that healing happen!
So if you’re ready to learn more about why supplements aren’t necessary and how you can rely on natural sources of vitamin D and melatonin instead, keep reading! And for even more details, listen to ALL of episode 18 of The Primal Pioneer on your favorite streaming platform.
What to Know About Natural Sources of Vitamin D and Melatonin, Point #1: Why all supplements aren’t created equal and how most of them are more harmful than helpful.
I want to preface today’s conversation by saying not all supplements are created equal. Even homeopathic and herbal remedies are considered supplements, and I do recommend and prescribe some herbal-based and homeopathic “supplements” to my clients.
However, you shouldn’t have this huge laundry list of supplements that you have to take and rely on every day, no matter what stage of what disease you have or where you're at in your healing journey. Because while some supplements have less toxic effects than, say, prescription drugs, they are still a Band-Aid approach to health. In addition, supplements can come with some very real and negative side effects.
One of my main concerns with supplements is that at least most of them are produced in a factory or a lab, and we know that nothing from those artificial environments is supportive to health. Also, many supplements contain GMOs - check out episode 17 for an in-depth discussion with Zen Honeycutt about GMOs and their negative effects on health - and the supplement industry is not well regulated. So companies can put many things in these supplements and not list them on the ingredients. But if you do use supplements, I would encourage you to look for GMOs, as well as ingredients like corn, soy, wheat, corn oil and canola oil, which are big red flags for GMOs.
I also want to discuss how supplements often include a large sum of a certain substance. For example, vitamin C has 1000 to 5000 milligrams of vitamin C per capsule or pill, and that is far too much for our body to process at one time. So we can think we're doing a really great thing, but taking that much vitamin C at once, especially if it includes GMOs, can lead to anything from weakened kidney function to frequent urination to fatigue to malabsorption of the mineral copper. And this applies to many other vitamins that we take in large amounts as well.
Now, you may be asking, “What actually happens in the body when I give it excess vitamins and nutrients?” Well, that excess often ends up blocking the absorption of other nutrients, such as with vitamin C and copper. These extra vitamins and nutrients can also end up being stored in not-so-great places in our body and cause harm.
Calcium supplementation is a prime example of this. Because calcium needs vitamin D, magnesium, vitamin K and cholesterol to actually make its way into the bones, supplementing with calcium doesn’t help prevent or overcome bone disorders, osteoporosis, osteopenia, etc. Instead, calcium often ends up in the soft tissue and arteries, which can lead to arterial plaque and calcium deposits in our joints or throughout our body and soft tissue.
So the moral of the story is that taking a big dose of something like vitamin C, calcium or any other supplement is typically very counter-effective and can negatively impact our body.
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What to Know About Natural Sources of Vitamin D and Melatonin, Point #2: My approach to supplementation and why vitamin D supplements are not as healing as sunshine.
So let's get into my favorite model around supplementation: if you can make it, don't take it. What do I mean by this? I mean that if you're designed to make a specific vitamin or nutrient or neurochemical like serotonin or dopamine, you shouldn't be taking it in pill or supplement form.
Instead, if you are presenting with an issue that shows you're deficient in a vitamin or nutrient (whether you’re showing big symptoms like osteoporosis or cancer or seemingly smaller ones like anxiety or depression), you need to re-educate your body on how to produce healthy amounts of that particular substance. And to do this, we have to put your body in an environment that allows it to accomplish this task.
This is a great segway to the vitamin D topic because vitamin D is by far the most common supplement that people are taking today with research associating high vitamin D levels with longer life spans and less chronic disease. This information is super accurate, and research has also shown that individuals with type-two diabetes who struggle with obesity have low vitamin D levels. This increases the risk of infection, weight gain, diabetic retinopathy and poor quality of life. Conditions like psoriasis, M.S., R.A., cancer, IBS, neurological diseases and osteoporosis - and basically every other chronic disease - all have significant correlations to low vitamin D levels, too. And the higher the vitamin D level from sunlight - not from a pill - the more these symptoms will begin to disappear.
So why don't I recommend taking a vitamin D supplement? Well, first of all, I've heard from many clients that they've developed a vitamin D toxicity from over-supplementation. They’re typically tested and learn they have a vitamin D level below 30, which is when the red flags begin, and start supplementing. Then, they’ll be re-tested and have vitamin D levels in the five hundreds or even in the thousands, which is impossible when you only get vitamin D from the sun. As a result, these people experience over-toxicity symptoms like nausea, fatigue, loss of appetite, low sex drive, poor sleep, and feeling irritated. So if you're taking a vitamin D supplement and you're like, “Hey, I have one or some of these side effects,” you might want to check your vitamin D levels.
Secondly, when you take vitamin D from a pill, it acts very differently in the body than when you make vitamin D from sunlight. As we mentioned earlier, these pills are super processed and vitamin D has all of these polyunsaturated fatty oils you really shouldn’t be eating. Naturally, your body creates vitamin D from LDL cholesterol and UVB sunlight, which tells you two things:
- LDL cholesterol actually isn't bad. We need it to make one of the most important hormones in our body, which is vitamin D. And if you have low vitamin D levels, it’s likely that you also have low LDL cholesterol levels because if you don't have enough LDL cholesterol, you can not make vitamin D.
- When we take supplements, they allow us to keep living a crappy lifestyle and think we're getting better. But to go from poor health to optimal health, you need to change your environment. If your vitamin D is low, taking a supplement isn't going to change your environment, but getting more sunlight will undoubtedly cause you to get outside more and change your environment. That's the key to health.
- When you take a vitamin D pill, there's no LDL cholesterol or UVB light in that pill. All you get is some oil and a little bit of vitamin D from an animal-based substance because plants don't make cholesterol or provide vitamin D.
Now here’s the main reason why popping a pill isn’t equal to getting vitamin D naturally. When you make vitamin D from sunlight and cholesterol interacting, a bunch of chemical, metabolic and hormonal signals and communication networks are stimulated. These help run your circadian rhythm, or the internal clock you have in every organ in your body. So when you take a vitamin D supplement without improving your sunlight exposure, your body gets very confused. The chemical signaling can't happen. Steroid hormone production can't happen.
And in a nutshell (because I could really go on talking about this topic for ages) that is why you shouldn’t take vitamin D when you can make it yourself!
What to Know About Natural Sources of Vitamin D and Melatonin, Point #3: Why melatonin supplements can negatively impact your sleep, healing and recovery.
Next, let's dive into melatonin because many people who frequent my practice also take a melatonin supplement. It's one of the most popular holistic alternative supplements that people take to help them sleep, and it is a powerhouse of a molecule. If your vitamin D levels are optimal and your melatonin levels are optimal, you will not get a chronic disease and your ability to recover from a chronic disease will be really awesome.
If you struggle with sleep or feeling energized throughout your day or you can’t detox - meaning you feel sluggish and bloated and heavy in your body most days and get a reaction to certain foods when you eat them - those are some symptoms that you likely are deficient in melatonin. And just like vitamin D, you can make melatonin so you don't need to take it.
We're taught that melatonin is the nighttime hormone that helps us sleep, and that's one-hundred percent true. However, humans are designed to recycle and replenish their melatonin stores in AM sunlight. Here are a couple points to explain what I mean:
- Melatonin is produced by the aromatic amino acid called tryptophan, which is activated by UVA light. This is the light present in AM sunlight.
- Three to four hours after sunset, melatonin is released into the bloodstream. This is why you heal during sleep because we go into rest and digest mode. Melatonin allows us to heal, regenerate and recharge our battery during sleep. So what happens if we take a melatonin supplement? While you may be knocked out cold at night from taking your melatonin supplement, you won't be healing. You won't be regenerating. You won't be running autophagy or any of those cellular housecleaning programs and your cortisol and melatonin relationship will be out of whack.
We want your cortisol levels to be higher during the day and your melatonin to be higher at night. How do you do that? By getting more sunlight during the day so that melatonin can be released into your bloodstream at night. When you take a pill, you skip this whole step. Plus, the more you depend on melatonin for sleep, the more you'll need over time to be able to sleep. You'll create a dependency on the supplement, and one day, melatonin will stop working because you're not getting to the root of the issue: a sunlight deficiency.
Hi, I am Heathar
With over 12 years experience as an alternative healer, integrative health coach and one who has been through severe physical injury trying every remedy under the sun to heal myself with no avail…I’m here to tell you, all of those things are not only attainable but are foundational to achieving optimal health and are core elements to overcoming all chronic and stubborn diseases.
At the age of 23 I suffered a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) preventing me from the ability to engage in physical activity for over 12 years post my car accident. Today, I know I could have recovered from this injury much quicker if I had known then what I know now! But….the accident lead me down the healing path. A path that I was destined to take to help myself heal and to learn how to help others heal complicated and chronic disorders as well.
During this time, I learned two things: How to harness the healing power of sunlight and how to utilize frequency based medicine to facilitate biological transformations in the body - all the way down to the mitochondrial level.
Today, I lead an active life and you can bet I’m uber passionate about teaching others how they can overcome even the most daunting health experiences that most medical professionals have band-aid solutions for, at best.
And today, my health continues to improve each day and I now lead an active, healthy lifestyle - all of which I thought would never be possible to achieve again. All it took was discovering the most effective path to health and healing to get me there and now, to help my clients get there as well!
What to Know About Natural Sources of Vitamin D and Melatonin, Point #4: Four important questions you should ask yourself before taking a supplement.
So before you decide to take a supplement for your health concerns, it's really important to ask yourself a few questions:
- Can your body make it? If yes, how does your body make it? And if you don’t know, email me, FB message me or send me a DM on Insta (at sunlight_rx) and we can go over it.
- Is the supplement highly-processed? Read the ingredients. Are there GMOs in it? Corn? Soy? Most supplements are highly-processed, which is why I rely on herbal remedies and homeopathic remedies in my practice.
- Is the supplement filled with a whopping dose of a nutrient or a powder or hormone or a vitamin? Your body cannot deal with huge amounts of these at one time.
- Do you feel better in multiple aspects of your life as a result of taking this supplement, long-term? And do you not need to take more to get the same effect?
Those are the top four considerations you’ll want to make before adding a supplement to your routine. We talked about vitamin D and melatonin today, but we could have the same talk about every single supplement out there. That is why I'm a really big fan of if you can make it, don't take it. If you implement a lot of sunlight, EMF mitigation and the jet fuel diet, you will have no issues with producing the nutrients, hormones and neurochemicals you need to be healthy.
The Bottom Line of What to Know About Natural Sources of Vitamin D and Melatonin
I hope this episode has helped shed some light on supplements and why it's super important to understand how your body will be impacted by taking something as “benign” and “helpful” as vitamin C, calcium, vitamin D and melatonin. Those are the main supplements we discussed today, but we can apply our conversation to basically all supplements.
For additional guidance utilizing the healing powers of sunlight to improve nutrient and hormonal health and production, check out my Sunlight Rx Ebook at my website, heatharshepard.com!
And to hear even MORE about all four points outlined above, be sure to tune in to episode 18 of The Primal Pioneer on your favorite podcast streaming platform! And if you love this episode, don't forget to take a screenshot, share it on your Instagram stories and tag me @sunlight_rx so that we can spread this important message to even more people.
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