Vitamin D and Cortisol: (VERY SIMILAR)

Vitamin D and Cortisol: (VERY SIMILAR)

Explore the fascinating connection between Vitamin D and cortisol. Learn how chronic stress affects Vitamin D absorption, the role of cholesterol, and the impact on the immune system. Discover holistic approaches to balance cortisol levels and boost Vitamin D.

Vitamin D and cortisol

So there’s a lot of very interesting information relating to vitamin d and cortisol , that relationship .

Under stress , especially chronic stress , what happens is the vitamin d gets less absorbed in your gut .

How high cortisol can cause vitamin D deficiency

How high cortisol can cause vitamin D deficiency high stress

So anytime you have high stress , your vitamin d level goes down .

That’s one thing that happens , but there’s something else as well .

The building block of vitamin d is the same building block as the stress hormone cortisol , and that building block is cholesterol .

They’re both made out of cholesterol .

In fact , even vitamin d as itself is really considered for many reasons more of a hormone than a vitamin , especially the steroid hormones in the family of cortisol .

The chemistry of cortisol , which is stress hormone , is very similar to vitamin d as well , but they’re both made from cholesterol .

So as you go through stress , the cholesterol is allocated as a precursor to build more of that stress hormone and away from other things like vitamin d .

This is another reason why people end up with low vitamin d when they have high levels of stress .

And very unfortunately , the cortisol tends to paralyze the immune system .

It lowers the white blood cell

It lowers the white blood cell .

It makes you more susceptible to getting infections and especially viral infections .

Not to mention compound on top of that , a low vitamin d level that’s so important with your immune system in immune protection and even controlling an overactive immune system .

And then another interesting thing about this is when you go through a lot of stress , a lot of times that can be the trigger of an autoimmune disease .

Whether it’s MS , rheumatoid arthritis , Hashimoto’s , Graves’ disease , type 1 diabetes .

All of these conditions can be triggered by some type of stress .

So then once you get the autoimmune disease , what is the treatment ?

The treatment is prednisone .

What is prednisone ?

It’s a synthetic form of cortisol .

So that’s interesting that this stress might have triggered it , but then now you need prednisone as a treatment to get rid of inflammation .

So , apparently , cortisol is a anti inflammatory .

And if you have too much of it in your body , then why would someone even have , inflammation in the first place ?

 hormone in the bloodstream

And it probably my guess is that when you have a lot of certain hormone in the bloodstream , that can create a bit of a resistance .

Just like insulin resistance , you can have that cortisol resistance .

That’s just my guess , but it could also have something to do with vitamin d since vitamin d is a very potent and powerful anti inflammatory .

Fact , vitamin d is what I always recommend for autoimmune conditions .

There’s a lot of research on that .

But the problem is you can’t just use the the smaller amounts .

The RDAs , for vitamin D is what , like 600 IU .

prevent bone loss

That was all based on research for your bone to prevent bone loss , but not necessarily to have this therapeutic effect on autoimmune inflammatory conditions .

For those conditions , you need a lot more .

You might need 10 , 20 , 30 , 40 , 50,000 IUs of vitamin d to create the effects , especially with other barriers from absorbing vitamin d .

You have genetic barriers .

It’s called a polymorphism where you have this gene that doesn’t allow you to , convert vitamin d into the active form .

It doesn’t allow you to absorb vitamin d and the vitamin d receptor .

When I did some DNA testing with , I think , took 20 over 20 people .

It wasn’t a lot , but it was 20 people .

A 100% of those people all had at least one gene that was inhibiting either the conversion to the active form of vitamin d or just the activation of the vitamin d receptor .

not absorbing enough vitamin d .

So in other words , from that , it just led me to the idea that a lot of people are just not absorbing enough vitamin d .

Another reason is is if you’re older , you don’t absorb , as much vitamin d .

If your skin is is darker , you’re not gonna absorb as much vitamin d from the sun anyway .

And not to mention people aren’t out in the sun very much .

And you have the wintertime .

Then you have also insulin resistance can block the absorption of vitamin d .

And so there’s a lot of barriers .

The cards are stacked against you with vitamin d .

So an average person has high cortisol and low vitamin d , but they both have similar properties in what they can do , especially when we get into the area of inflammation and autoimmune conditions and other conditions too , like even , type 2 diabetes , which is not an autoimmune .

adrenal concerns .

And even with adrenal concerns .

Adrenal problems , whether someone has too much adrenal hormone or not enough , vitamin d is gonna be important .

There’s an interesting paper I read that if you give someone vitamin d that has high levels of cortisol , it can help bring it down , which is interesting .

So I think , the more stress someone has , the more vitamin d they need to counter maybe this reallocation of the cholesterol problem because they don’t have enough precursors , especially if they’re on a low fat diet .

And also especially if someone goes through menopause , because what happens in menopause is you have this , loss of ovarian function .

And now we have this backup organ from the adrenals , which now has to make up for these loss hormones .

And if there’s a bit of stress in this process where the adrenals are weak , then cortisol is going to be stressed .

And so is vitamin d .

How to increase vitamin D

And I think the solution is not just adding vitamin d , but also adding cholesterol , making sure that you have enough fat , maybe consume more breastfed butter , or meats , things like that .

How to increase vitamin D

Another little side note about , vitamin d is when you get it tested , they always test the inactive form because that’s more stable .

It’s more difficult and not as reliable to check the active form .

So they check the inactive form , which doesn’t really tell you what’s happening inside the cells as well .

You have to be able to take all the information and and look at it .

Let’s say , for for example , someone has a problem with the receptor absorbing vitamin d , whether they have a genetic problem with the receptor or let’s say they have a viral infection .

Certain viruses , trick the vitamin d receptor to downgrading them .

It’s a whole survival mechanism , which is pretty sneaky and pretty evil .

And the solution to that is to take more vitamin d to overcome that .

But the point is that you can’t always put all your eggs in that one basket , like testing someone’s blood level for vitamin d , especially if they have some of these other problems .

genetic test just to see if that's one issue as well .

And maybe you wanna do a genetic test just to see if that’s one issue as well .

How to balance cortisol and vitamin D

Especially if you’re going through stress and especially if you have vitamin d deficiency symptoms .

I want to give you several things to improve .

The situation of low vitamin d and high cortisol .

Number 1 , take more vitamin d

Get it from the sun , eat fatty fish , or just take a good vitamin , d three supplement .

And probably minimally , take about 10,000 IUs .

But if you have a problem , you might need to take more .

Now number 2 Magnesium is essential for vitamin d to work as well .


Magnesium also helps lower cortisol .

So make sure you also at the same time , either consume magnesium foods , which are in the leafy greens , spinach , it’s in almonds as well , but make sure you you have , like , maybe some cheese with that spinach or with your almonds just to get the calcium to prevent the , oxalates that could be an issue with those two things .

Especially if you’re on keto , people consume a lot of these foods that are high in oxalates , chocolate , spinach , almonds .

You can start to do other leafy greens and salads and dark green vegetables , but believe it or not , it’s it’s not as easy as you might think to get magnesium .

But the point is that more magnesium will help , vitamin d work , and it’ll also help cortisol be lowered .

Magnesium glycinate is the one that I like .

Number 3 , zinc .

The vitamin d receptor needs zinc as an essential thing to allow that vitamin d receptor to work and absorb vitamin d .

So we need zinc , and we need magnesium .

Without those 2 , you’re not gonna be able to absorb as much vitamin d .

Another , key factor is to maybe take some adaptogens .


I like Ashwagandha, but there’s other ones as well .

But adaptogens help to bring cortisol to a normal level .

They’re interesting because whether you have too much cortisol or not enough cortisol to help balance that , they increase your tolerance for stress .

They also will help with , adrenaline too .

It’ll help balance adrenaline .

Of course , exercise would be at the top of the list .

Long walks , hikes , things like that , very important to reduce stress and cortisol especially .

Just make sure you don’t overtrain .


And , of course , the next one is gonna be sleep .

Sleep helps lower cortisol , and that will help you retain more vitamin d as well .

You’ll never be able to bring your cortisol levels down without also fixing your sleep .

But of course , magnesium will help that .

Zinc will help that .

Exercise long walks will help that .

And vitamin D will help that as well , especially if you have a circadian rhythm , problem , whether it’s from jet lag or your sleep cycles are off or whatever .

Another one that you might not know about is sea salt .

When you are sodium deficient , Cortisol tends to go a little higher .

So sometimes , especially when you’re on the ketogenic diet , you may need a little bit more sea salt in the diet , and that can help you sleep faster and better and give you more quality of sleep , but it can also reduce stress as well .

And so there’s other ways of ending up with not enough sodium as well .

Drinking a lot of water

Drinking a lot of water , that you’re diluting the salt , and just not putting on the food .

Getting more sun .

That spectrum infrared can come in .

It penetrates the body .

It’s a great antioxidant .

And is it melatonin good for sleep as well ? It can be .

Next one is vitamin b 1 .

That can help reduce stress and cortisol anxiety and nervous tension , from a different angle .

I always like b one as the stress reducer .

It works like within 3 minutes .

Nutritional yeast

Nutritional yeast has a good amount of b1 , but make sure you have a b1 that is from a natural source .

And just as a side note , what creates a deficiency of b1 is consuming a lot of refined sugar and refined carbohydrate .

The more you do for that , the more b1 is needed .

The same thing with stress .

The more stress you have , the more vitamin d you need , and the more cortisol or stress you have , also the more cholesterol you might need to build , not just your adrenal hormones , but the vitamin d as well .

But the remedy is called AHCC , and this remedy does a lot of things .

But one of the things that it does , it has a very unique effect on calming down the sympathetic nervous system and also improving your parasympathetic .

And that’s why it’s really good for sleep .

You take this right before bed , and that can help you greatly .

Get the complete list 

But that being said , I do have a an a very long list of all of the actions that you can do and all the things you can take to lower cortisol , which goes way beyond what I just gave you right here .

If you want a free copy of that , it’s a 1 page summary .

you can download it right here.

key Points:

  • When you’re under chronic stress, vitamin D is less absorbed in your gut.
  • The building block for vitamin D is the same building block for cortisol. That building block is cholesterol. But, when you go through stress, your cholesterol is used to build more cortisol than vitamin D.
  • However, you need plenty of vitamin D when you go through stress. Many people aren’t getting the vitamin D they need. The more stress someone has, the more vitamin D they need.
  • In my opinion, the solution isn’t just increasing vitamin D but also cholesterol—making sure you have plenty of fat in your diet.

The best ways to balance vitamin D and cortisol:

  1. Get more vitamin D
  2. Get plenty of magnesium
  3. Consume more zinc
  4. Take adaptogens
  5. Exercise
  6. Get quality sleep
  7. Consume sea salt
  8. Get more sun
  9. Consume vitamin B1
  10. Take AHCC before bed


Dr. Berg

I am a health educator specializing in weight loss through nutritional and natural methods such as the keto diet plan and intermittent fasting

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