Do You Need Taining-Wheels If You Are Already Capable of Riding the Bicycle

“Here is the takeaway from this vitamin D story, together with my earlier post about antioxidants: Inflammatory conditions, such as heart disease, infection or autoimmune disease are often associated with reduced levels of certain biomarkers in the blood, such as antioxidant vitamins or hormones. Our natural instinct is to conclude that these are “deficiencies” that need to be corrected. While that may sometimes be the case, particularly in extreme cases, you should keep in mind the direct supplementation with additional vitamin or hormone may actually be counterproductive–by shutting down or impairing your body’s own ability to mount it’s own defense against oxidative stress and inflammation.

Rather than taking hormone and vitamin supplements, it is more effective to stimulate your body to strengthen its own defense and detoxification systems. I’m not against all supplementation — for example, I believe that ingestion of phytochemical-rich vegetables and herbs is useful as a hormetic stimulus. But I think we have to overcome the simplistic notion that if X is a good thing, we should consume more of X.

The body is more than a repository for chemicals — it is a self-regulating organism with hundreds of complex and dynamic feedback loops, evolved to enable us to adapt to changing circumstances and meet many challenges. We should take care that what we ingest is used to build up our natural capacities, not subvert them.” —Todd Becker