What Is the Difference between Vitamin D and Hormone D?

Hormone D, often called vitamin D, is important for our health. But did you know that your body makes hormone D with the help of the sun?

Because your body can make vitamin D when it is exposed to sunlight, it technically isn’t a vitamin at all. So what is it? A hormone! Our body's version of photosynthesis is when sunlight hits a chemical close to the surface of the skin and turns it into hormone D. Guess what chemical in the skin the sun reacts with? Cholesterol! Cholesterol and the sun make the hormone that we call a vitamin!

Vitamin D infographic

Vitamins are nutrients that can’t be made by your body that your body needs to function. Vitamins work in conjunction with enzymes, or they catalyze very important processes. What many call vitamin D doesn’t fit this definition because our bodies can make it.

Not all cholesterol is bad for you. There is a specific band of cholesterol found in your HDL group (a high-density lipoprotein) that is your good cholesterol. A small amount of the same band of cholesterol is found in the LDL area (low-density lipoprotein, the bad cholesterol). Without cholesterol, your body could not make steroids. Steroids reduce inflammation, allergies, and all kinds of things—we have all kinds of steroids. In general, all hormones in your body are made of cholesterol. You have to have cholesterol to make female and male hormones. All hormones are dependent on cholesterol!

The vitamin D that you can buy is commercially made from radiated sheep oil or lanolin. The chemical from that is then taken and given out in a pill. You don’t need to take vitamin D pills; when you get all of the right nutrients and get 10-15 minutes of sunshine a day, you’ll actually store up hormone D that works properly.

The sun is the best source of hormone D! The sun reacts with cholesterol in the skin, which sends a chemical to the liver, which converts the chemical and sends it to the kidney, which then converts that chemical to the final hormone. Why supplement it when you can make it?

History

“Vitamin D” was created because people were looking for a chemical cure for rickets. Rickets is osteomalacia, or juvenile osteomalacia, which is softening of the bones that leads to bowed legs.

Back in the 1920s and 30s, there were children working in factories who weren’t seeing sunshine at all. There was an epidemic of a disease called rickets, or osteomalacia. “Osteo” means bone, and “malacia” means softening of tissue. Those with osteomalacia get bowed legs because there’s not enough hormone D for the bones due to poor nutrition and insufficient sun exposure.

Dr. Theobald Adrian Palm was one of the first to conclude that there is an inverse relationship between prevalence of rickets and exposure to the sun. Orphans and other children also were known to have the disease due to poor nourishment and lack of time spent outside. Dr. Huldschinsky successfully demonstrated how rickets could be treated with ultraviolet (UV) lamps.[1]

When vitamin D was discovered, it was not yet known that it could be synthesized in human skin. Elmer McCollum named it vitamin D because it was the fourth “vitamin” discovered. The fact that sun exposure and UV light could create it was discovered later, yet it remained being called a vitamin[2] so child factory workers could remain out of the sun, working. Without adequate sun exposure, people are unable to make hormone D themselves,[3] but calling it a “vitamin-deficiency” meant it could be treated with diet (time in the sun wouldn’t be required and industry could keep their workers without protest).

These children were getting poor diets and no sunshine, and that’s why vitamin D started getting added to milk. It remained a vitamin so people could get away with putting it in milk because no one wants added hormones in their milk. Any scientist who looks at vitamin D with open eyes knows it’s a hormone. People who buy “hormone-free” milk with vitamin D are actually getting hormone milk.

That’s how vitamin D got its link to calcium too! Hormone D is not just meant to be in our bodies for calcium. Calcium is a small part of what it does for us. Yes, hormone D is important for calcium absorption, but it does many other things as well.

The medical community and the public were of the opinion that both specific dietary deprivations and environmental restrictions contribute to rickets, but after WWII, the “sunshine movement” was able to gain some ground.

Check out this timeline to see some of the milestones in hormone D’s discovery: https://cdn.knightlab.com/libs/timeline3/latest/embed/index.html?source=18fdnM6FpXohjLPMvr4UQz5_9_q9JdU_IH6YDkqLLD-Y&font=Default&lang=en&initial_zoom=2&height=650 

Making Hormone D

To make bread, you have to put the dough in the oven. Let’s say the oven is sunshine, and the sun rays add heat. The heat allows for that last chemical change to occur. If you don’t add the heat to it, you aren't going to end up with bread, just dough.

Besides heat, you also have to have all of the ingredients to make bread. If you have everything but the salt, the bread won’t be the same. It’s the same thing in the body! The problem is that we don’t have those nutrients (ingredients) nowadays. Just look at an average diet! What does the average first grader get for breakfast? Sugar cereal. How many fruits and vegetables? Little to none. For lunch, they would get chicken nuggets, ketchup, pizza, french fries, hamburgers, etc. For dinner, a lot of kids get fast food. Is it much different for adults? No! Walk down the streets of any city. The food may be yummy, but it's pizza, etc.—a lot of the same.

We've seen that when people take Balance of Nature, their hormone D levels go up and the body starts producing it on its own. You will get better hormone D from your body and, working with your doctor, you can eventually get off of drugs and only take Balance of Nature.

Which do you think would be better: if your body could make hormone D and use 100 percent of it, or radiated sheep fat? Which do you think will work better in your body?

Now, we aren't trying to regulate what you (or what your doctor tells you to) take, but we can tell you how we’re going to get your body working. Would you agree that if we can get your body to make it, it would be better than taking a pill? If you use our Health Coaching services, your Health Coach will work with you in ways to do that. It’s part of the service that we offer because we want you to see results! With time, generally what we see is that most people can come off of their vitamin D, with their doctor’s blessing.

Vitamin D isn’t going to kill you, but why don’t we, in the meantime, help your body make its own like it was meant to in the first place! Let’s get your nutrients up, and remember, the sun is your friend. Hormone D produced in the skin may last at least twice as long in the blood compared with ingested hormone D.[4]

We know, we know . . . overexposure to the sunlight’s UV rays can contribute to skin cancer. Well, according to Dr. Douglas Howard, founder and formulator of Balance of Nature, there’s actually a study that shows there’s as much power in the sun to prevent cancer as there is to cause it! Don’t be afraid of the sun, it is your friend.

You might then wonder, “How much sun do I need?” Your liver and your fat cells store calciferol (hormone D) for up to a year! All you have to get is between 5 to 15 minutes of sunshine a day. Sitting in front of a window won’t do it because most windows have been treated with UV protection.

Deficiency

An article in the International Journal of Health Sciences says that more than a billion people worldwide are vitamin D deficient. The article claims that vitamin D is a steroid with hormone-like activity—so again, not a vitamin—and regulates more than 200 gene functions! There are two forms: vitamin D2 and D3. Vitamin D3 deficiency can contribute to obesity, diabetes, hypertension, depression, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and more.[5]

Hormone D deficiency may be caused by a combination of diet and lack of sunlight, depending on the person. You get the proper chemistry to make hormone D from Balance of Nature Fruits and Veggies and a healthy diet. Without a healthy diet, it’s like trying to make bread out of eggs.

Many people take vitamin D supplements if they are lacking hormone D. Well, vitamin D supplements are made from that radiated lanolin, sheep fat, or wool. It is not the same thing as what your body is going to make. Again, your body makes hormone D tailor-made for you; whereas, a vitamin D supplement is from radiated animal oil or fat.

When you have the proper nutrition levels, your body is going to be using the exact amount for your own needs, tailor-made for your cells.

When you have the right ingredients, you can make the right things. Who can make bread with just some eggshells, diatomaceous earth, and soda pop? You could probably figure out how to make something other than bread, but it wouldn’t be bread. You could eat it, but it wouldn’t be bread (and probably wouldn’t taste very good). When you don’t have the right ingredients, your body can’t make the right chemistry—including hormone D.

Dr. Howard says one reason we may not have enough hormone D is because we’re lathering up with all of this stuff to hide from the sun (which is your friend) because we don’t have the right chemistry in our bodies to prevent sunburns. And that’s because we don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables! That’s it! You are more protected when you eat your fruits and vegetables. We know it helps and heals!

Another reason we don’t have enough hormone D is statin drugs. We are practically drowning in America with anticholesterol drugs. Remember what hormone D is made from? Cholesterol! Cholesterol isn’t just an enemy. There are two types: HDL and LDL cholesterol, HDL being designated the “good” cholesterol and LDL, the “bad.” But guess what statin drugs are inhibiting? Cholesterol! So, you’re not getting the hormone D that you need when taking them.

Disease

Hormone D deficiency does not cause diseases. If anything, it could be a contributing factor, but it is not the sole reason. It’s all about correlation and causation. People have assumed certain diseases came from the lack of hormone D, because the people who had less hormone D in their system had more of these diseases. It had nothing to do with it! Let’s look at some examples, all from published scientific sources.

Dr. Howard often references a study of vitamin D (we’re calling it “vitamin D” because that’s what they’ll call it in these studies, but we all know it’s hormone D). Vitamin D supplements do not alter the outcome for myocardial infarction, stroke, cerebral vascular disease, bone fracture, cancer, or osteoarthritis. These claims were made on the basis that people with higher vitamin D had fewer heart attacks, people with higher vitamin D had fewer strokes, people with higher vitamin D had less brain-vascular diseases, and people with higher vitamin D had less cancer, bone fractures, and osteoarthritis (specifically knee arthritis).

When they did these studies and supplemented the people with vitamin D, guess what happened with these diseases? Nothing! If they took people with low vitamin D, supplemented them, and raised their vitamin D to the level of people who had this protective element they did not have the same protection from these diseases. Supplementing them to raise up the vitamin D did not reduce the risk of diseases.[6]

Because vitamin D is lower in these people who have these diseases they thought, “Oh, it must be because they have low vitamin D.” This is an example of correlation and causation.

Another great study showed that people who had more assistance in their older years had increased bone fracture and decreased vitamin D. Here’s why: People who have too much assistance and don’t have to get up to make their own meals, or get their own mail, or get up at all, don’t have to walk or move, so the calcium leaves the bones.

Gravitational stress keeps calcium in the bones. When you get up and stand, it tells the bone to keep that calcium because you need it. When you lay down and don’t get up anymore, the body starts saying, “I’m not using calcium; you guys can have it!” When that happens, if you try to stand up, you’ll break a bone due to osteoporosis, a decrease in bone mass (generally in the hips and spine). In the United States, about 54 million people have low bone mass or osteoporosis.[7]

So, the people who had assistance weren't getting up nor out as much. They were comparing people with the same type of physical ability—those who had assistance—and found they had higher rates of bone fractures and lower vitamin D levels.

What do people who have a lower risk of heart attack, stroke, cancer, bone fractures, and arthritis have in common? They exercise! They do more for themselves, they go out more, they walk more, they get out! They get more sunshine! Now, if there’s some weak point in the heart that's going to give anyways, it’s going to give, but generally, people who exercise more have fewer heart attacks. People who exercise more have less osteoporosis as well. Walking is especially beneficial. If you keep walking, you’ll drive calcium into the bone and help reverse osteoporosis.

Why You Need It

Hormone D is required for a lot of different functions in your body, not just for your bones. It is a very important hormone that catalyzes reactions in all the cells of your body. Having it is important, but the line that’s been drawn of how much you need is questionable. The reason the level’s been set so high is because vitamin D supplements are less efficient than what your body makes on its own. If you’re going to throw junk in there, let’s say you use 10 to 50 percent of it, you have to have a higher level; whereas, if your body made it, 100 percent of it can be used or stored.

Hormone D is important for many things; it can prevent cancer. And not everybody is as low in it as we think.

As mentioned, hormone D is made when cholesterol is at the surface of the skin. When cholesterol is at the surface of your skin and the sun hits it, it turns into the first step of hormone D, then it goes to the liver, finishes, and the hormone is released or stored. A hormone mitigates or helps functions within the cells’ other functions. They don’t have a function of their own, but they help other functions. That is what hormone D does.

How It Works

Inside some of the cells, there’s something called a “VDR”, which stands for vitamin D receptor. All your cells have them, some more than others. The brain, bones, and lining of your gut all have them. These VDRs recognize the chemistry as it comes through so they can attach to it in that cell. When it hits that cell, it tells the cell’s DNA, which is where all the blueprints are to make things. It tells the cell to make certain proteins. This process helps us be healthy in many ways.

In cod liver oil, the fish already gets enough sunshine, and the fish stores it in its liver so we're just eating it from the liver of that codfish. Salmon is a pretty good source of hormone D, but again it’s because it gets sunshine and stores it in its liver. There’s very little hormone D in anything else.

Just like other hormones, hormone D is very important in many functions of the body, all over the body. We always thought it was just to build stronger bones, right? No! For every aspect of cellular function, hormone D is an important factor. But where do we get it from? The sun. Guess how the sun makes it? Cholesterol! Cholesterol is at the skin level, the sun hits it, and then it changes it to a chemical, and then that goes to the liver and finishes changing, and then you have this hormone.

The Last Ray

We see that what has been designated as vitamin D isn’t actually a vitamin at all, but a hormone involved in many important bodily processes. Unlike vitamins, our body can produce it. Hormone D is produced when the skin is exposed to sunlight. The sunlight interacts with cholesterol which then goes to the liver. Hormone D is either sent to where it is needed or stored for when it is needed.

The right diet can help hormone D levels. Not only can a healthy diet help protect your body from damage from the sun’s UV rays, but it can give your body the chemistry it needs to get to produce hormone D. A poor diet lacking in fruits and vegetables and a lack of sunlight can lead to a hormone D deficiency. This can contribute to health problems such as depression, obesity, diabetes, and more. So be sure to soak up the sun and get that hormone D!


[1] Mingyong Zhang et al., “‘English Disease’: Historical Notes on Rickets, the Bone-Lung Link and Child Neglect Issues,” Nutrients (MDPI, November 15, 2016), https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5133108/.

[2] “Vitamin D,” Wikipedia, August 8, 2020, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_D.

[3] Suzanne Carere, “Age-Old Children's Disease Back in Force,” TheStar.com, July 25, 2007, https://web.archive.org/web/20080517044348/http://www.thestar.com/printArticle/239341.

[4] Rathish Nair and Arun Maseeh, “Vitamin D: The ‘Sunshine’ Vitamin,” Journal of pharmacology & pharmacotherapeutics (Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd, 2012), https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3356951/.

[5] Zahid Naeem, “Vitamin D Deficiency- An Ignored Epidemic,” International Journal of Health Sciences (Qassim, January 2010), https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3068797/.

[6] Michigan State University, “Vitamin D May Not Help Your Heart,” ScienceDaily (June 19, 2019), https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/06/190619130303.htm.

[7] Amy Norton, “Vitamin D Alone Doesn't Prevent Bone Fractures, Study Shows,” UPI (HealthDay, December 20, 2019), https://www.upi.com/Health_News/2019/12/20/Vitamin-D-alone-doesnt-prevent-bone-fractures-study-shows/7801576873113/.