Ben Greenfield Podcast 122

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  • Podcast #122 from 11-most-important-factors-for-recovery-from-workouts/Introduction: Is too much Vitamin D toxic, why running is harder than biking, are apple seeds toxic, how can sugar cause accelerated aging, how do foods cause inflammation, how can inflammation be tested, why does the skin itch from pool workouts, good nutrition resources for kids, and Gymstick vs. TRX.Ben: Hey folks, Ben Greenfield here. Still podcasting to you from Thailand, which is why the audio might sound a little bit different portable microphone gives a little bit of an echo, but hopefully you can bear with me. Im doing two races down here. Thanks to you guys, I was one of the top fundraisers to help build a school here in Thailand so thank you, especially to those of you who donated to help raise money for that cause. The race went well and I will be competing in also the 70.3 Asia Pacific World Championships of Triathlon this weekend. Now of course this podcast isnt just designed for triathlon junkies. Its designed for anybody who wants to get fit and lose weight and weve got a lot of that in todays podcast. The featured topic is with some guys from a company called RestWise and theyre going to talk about how to really know if youre recovering from your workouts and what to do about it if you arent. And this is going to be good for anybody who exercises a lot to anybody who experiences chronic fatigue and is always tired and will also include people who really want to perform at the highest level possible. So be sure to tune in to that interview. There are some really good thought provoking questions this week as you may have been able to tell from the intro. So lets jump right in to this weeks Q and A.Ben: So remember, if you have a question, you can call to 8772099439. You can Skype to username pacificfit or you can email If you have the free Ben Greenfield Fitness iPhone app, which you can get at an iTunes store, thats another great way to ask me a question which you can do so from the app itself. So the first question for this week comes from several listeners. Lee was the first person to ask me this. Several listeners followed up.
  • Lee (and others) ask: I know you are a big proponent of Vitamin D and its ability to boost the immune system. What do you think of the new report by the Institute of Medicine?Ben answers: So this new report by the Institute of Medicine basically kind of edged the vitamin D guidelines up just a little bit. So 1997, they were advising 400 international units of vitamin D and they have revised that to brace yourselves 600 IU of vitamin D. Now for those of you who listen to this podcast, the interviews that Ive done on this podcast with very knowledgeable physicians we have had recommendations from 2000 IU a day all the way up to 10,000 IU a day. And that is obviously far over and above this new 600 IU a day measurement put out by the Institute of Medicine. The reason being, they claim, is that vitamin D toxicity can occur from taking an excessive amount of vitamin D supplements and that this could cause excessive buildup of calcium in your blood. So the question is whether or not this is true. First of all, the whole link here between vitamin D and calcium is that when you take vitamin D, were talking about taking a vitamin D capsule or pill the fat soluble vitamin that you can take its converted into something called calcidiol and calcidiol gets converted into calcitriol which is kind of the biologically active form of vitamin D. And its primary function is to act as a cytokine which means it defends the body against microbial invaders and then bumps up your immune system. And when its synthesized in the kidneys, calcitriol also asks as a hormone and it regulates the concentration of calcium and phosphate in the bloodstream so it can promote mineralization and bone growth and the idea is that too much calcitriol circulating around is going to cause too great a level of calcium in the bloodstream of whats called hyper calcemia. And that could result in some pretty serious health effects due to overdose of vitamin D. Now the issue with this is that this fear about vitamin D toxicity is pretty unwarranted. There is no evidence or a very large lack of evidence that supports the statements that are being made about the toxicity of moderate doses of vitamin D specifically to about 10,00 IU per day. And like anything, vitamin D can be toxic in excess but animal data show that toxicity occurs in rodents at 20,000 IU. In dogs, the oral dose that it takes to actually kill a dog is over 3 million IU. So basically youd have to take as a human if you were just a little over 100 lbs, thats a pretty small human youd have to take about 176 million international units of vitamin D to overdose to the point where it would cause toxicity and have a risk of killing you. So thats about 440,00 vitamin D
  • capsules in a typical 400 IU vitamin D capsule range thatyoure going to get at a health food store. So, this humantoxicity occurring at that level or the risk of human deathoccurring at this level is something thats really notsomething you have to worry about. Toxicity probably beginsto occur after daily consumption. Thats not sun exposurebut consumption of 40,000 IU of vitamin D a day. To putthat in perspective, I personally take about 3000 to 4000IUs. Most of my clients take in the range of 2000 to 5000 IUper day. And this is from cola calciferol which is the commonsupplementation form of vitamin D. Theres another form ofit, pharmacological form of vitamin D called ergo calciferol.Thats not the type of vitamin D you would find as likevitamin D3 as a capsule in your health food store. Ergocalciferol is not sold over the counter and it can be moretoxic in excess. But again, its an unfounded fear because youreally cant get your hands on it. So were not talking aboutnecessarily toxicity being an issue, but there are people whohave hypersensitivity to vitamin D. And for these people,taking many thousand units of vitamin D per day could be anissue. Theres a symptom or a condition called hyperparathyroidism and people with hyper parathyroidism canhave a lot of sensitivity to vitamin D intake and could raisetheir levels of calcium a lot higher than the average personcould by taking vitamin D supplements. So those peoplemight need to be careful, but there are some people whohave a syndrome that allows the tissue in the body thenormal tissue in the body to kind of subvert the kidneysnormal regulation of the production of that hormone I talkedabout called calciferol. So what can happen then is you canalso get excessive conversion of vitamin D in the calcitrioland you can get high blood calcium. Non-HodgkinsLymphoma would be one example of this, having acarcinoma of the lung would be another example where thiscan occur. But again, were talking about anomalies andpeople who are outside the norm when it comes to vitamin Dtoxicity. Ultimately like many of the recommendations thatare passed down by the Institute of Medicine or the FDA, theUSDA theyre typically playing it as safe as they possiblycan. And they have to because theres liability involved andyou kind of have to cover everybody with one blanketstatement but ultimately for the majority of people walkingaround the face of the planet, you can safely take manythousand units of vitamin D per day and not risk toxicity. Iam not a doctor. That is not medical advice. Im simplytelling you the way that I see it. So, I would not be throwingyour vitamin D capsules down the drain anytime soon or
  • bringing yourself down to that 600 IU of vitamin D. So, next question is from Listener Cynthia.Cynthia asks: I am training with a heart rate monitor, and when my heart rate is 135 BPM while running on flat terrain, it feels so much easier than when my heart rate is 135 BPM while biking on flat terrain. Am I actually exerting more effort to get my heart rate to 135 BPM while biking versus running, or is it just perceived effort?Ben answers: Well the short answer to that is that cycling is far more efficient than running. Not only do you use fewer muscles when you bicycle, but the power that youre putting into the