Monday, January 5, 2009

The Vitamin D Debate

FROM MEDSTAR: If you're getting your Vitamin D level tested, prepare to be humbled - most of us are deficient. And the bad news doesn't end there. Bonnie Everhart has done her homework and wants to know if Vitamin D deficiency has affected her family's health history. Bonnie Everhart said,"My grandmother had a history of osteoporosis and my mother has a history of breast cancer."

It's a valid concern, as more research points to chronic health problems related to low vitamin D. Dr. Roberta Lee said,"Those populations that have Vitamin D deficiency actually have higher rates of these kinds of cancers, like breast cancer and prostate cancer." And there's more. Studies link Vitamin D to a range of conditions, from multiple sclerosis and diabetes to heart disease and high blood pressure.

Inadequate "D" can even start haunting you in the womb. Dr. Roberta Lee said,"Pregnant women who are Vitamin D deficient, especially in their late trimesters, have been shown nine years later to have children who have very low bone density."

But why are we all so low? It's partly due to geography. People in northern latitudes don't get enough sunlight to produce Vitamin D for at least a-third of the year. Add in cloud-cover, sunblock, and indoor work and you've lost many opportunities to make the sunshine vitamin. It's all the more reason to get tested.


Dr. Roberta lee said,"Ask your doctor to measure the 25 hydroxy Vitamin D level. That's the active d3 level. That's the one you want to find the answer to. If it's under the number of 20 nanograms per milliliter, then you are in a deficient zone."


While you can get Vitamin D from some foods like wild salmon and fortified milk, it isn't always enough. Dr. Roberta Lee said,"In truth, it's hard to eat enough foods if you're in a deficient state to actually make up for the loss." To bring your levels up, Dr. Lee says supplements are your best bet.


"Most of the time for an adult, somewhere between 1,000 to 2,000 international units on a daily basis of vitamin d3 is enough to have adequate replacement."But work with your doctor to boost your "D" because there's truth to the saying, "too much of a good thing." Dr. Roberta Lee said,"Vitamin D is fat soluble, so that means that it can accumulate in your body and it isn't regularly excreted, so you can become Vitamin D toxic."


That's why Bonnie's going to get hers checked. Bonnie Everhart said,"She just concluded that it's really important for us to know what my Vitamin D level, and if it's, you know, to work with it, whether I need supplements or I can cut down." A test that will shed light on the level of her sunshine vitamin.


Since Vitamin D is naturally produced by exposure to sunlight, the question is: why not just get out in the sun? If you live in a sunnier climate, 10 to 15 minutes of sun on your bare legs and arms, once a day, is probably going to give you enough u-v exposure to produce Vitamin D. but, this isn't a free pass to skip sunscreen - slather it on after your brief sun allotment is up.


FAST FACTS:
Currently, health experts say adults 19 to 50 should get 200 IU of vitamin D every day.
Vitamin D may play a role in many different conditions, like heart attacks, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and cancer.
Doctors may recommend a blood test to measure your 25-hydroxyvitamin D level.


I am sad to say I still haven't gotten the Vitamin D supplements I planned to get for my kids! I am wondering if D3 comes in a chewable form or liquid. And where in the world do I get it? Naturally Yours? Preckshots? Order it over the Internet? Not sure-but I need to find out A.S.A.P. On second thought, maybe I should get the kids tested. I have no idea how much they are getting from milk, cheese and other sources. Hmmm...

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

4 comments:

dayoub said...

The information on Vitamin D is very important but the disinformation is extensive. There is a substantial proportion of our population deficient. And the number of rickets in infancy and early childhood has increased substantially since 1999-2000 according to several surveys. I suggest the Vitamin Council's website for more information http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/

In pregnancy: Studies have shown deficiency in as many as 10% of white women and over 50% of black pregnant women and there is NO evidence that the prenatal doses of 400 IU will increase serum levels whatsoever. Numerous studies have shown that and one author suggests that all pregnant women get 4,000-6,000 IU per day. Signs of deficiency in mom include: gestational diabetes, back and pelvic pain, fatigue, poor labor (higher C-section rates) and poor weight gain. Obesity increases the risk of Vt D deficiency even further. The MAJOR source is sunshine. If you think you are getting enough from milk, think again. Some studies show a wide variability in the milk content,, some brands, especially skim milk have NO Vit D at all. Soy is worse, it contains aluminum which impairs Vit D metabolism and phytates which can inhibit calcium absorption.

Infancy: the newborn's only source is what they got from mom....a deficient mom = deficient baby. Since the AAP suggests no direct sunlight, the best way to get Vit D, other means are important. I frankly suggest a few minutes of sunshine each day for infants. A recent study from Boston (Gordon, 2008) surveyed 380 infants who were randomly chosen and health: 40% had suboptimal Vit D levels, 12.1% deficient levels.. Of those with Vit D deficiency, 30% had demineralized bones and 7.5% had frank rickets! This is shocking......and these are the health babies!

Kelly and Barnes (2008) just published a series of cases of rickets misdiagnosed as child abuse, multiple fractures.

Once again several studies have challenged the AAP's contention of adequacy of 400 IU of Vit D for infants, and they just doubled the recommendation this year. Several authors are now recommending 1,000 IU D3 in infancy and 2,000 IU daily in childhood (don't be intimidated by these high numbers, 1 microgram=40 units, so 200 IU is only 5 micrograms.)

Vid D deficiency has been linked in children to: asthma, autoimmunity, diabetes, neurodevelopmental disorders, recurrent infections, seizures, weakness, fractures, slipped epiphysis, scoliosis, to name a few.

ADULTS: where do i begin! Three points.
1)A study in Omaha 2007 (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19098606/) showed that modest Vit D3 supplementation in post menopausal women reduced cancer by 60-70%, including breast cancer. Several papers confirm reduction in other cancers, especially colorectal. It is hard to believe that Oncologists and internists don't insist every elderly take Vid D supplementation.
2) Numerous studies show low Vit D is linked to heart failure
3) Cannell published data that showed in a randomized trial, those taking 2,000 IU Vit D3 daily virtually eliminated influenza infections. Many believe that influenza is not really a very communicable disease and results from falling D levels during the wintertime...makes sense)

As an adult, we take 50,000 IU per week in a once a week capsule form, Vitamin D3 (D2 is not that good). This gives us an average of 7,000 IU per day. There is NO reliable evidence that doses under 10,000 IU per day can cause any toxicity. I do not take any during the April-September months IF i get sunshine, 15 minutes per day, DIRECT.

Why the rising rates in Vit D deficiency?
1) children spend less time outside, adults also
2) sunscreen use is at an all time high
3) breastfeeding rates are also at record highs for modern times and there is very little Vit D in breast milk (a black mom who breatsfeeds will have a Vit D deficient baby 85% of the time)
4) rising amount of fluoride in water supply, impairs Vit D and bon metabolism.
5) increasing amount of aluminum in vaccines at KNOWN TOXIC LEVELS that impair bone metabolism (>60 mcg/kg)

Great report, keep on the story, this can have major impact on our health, but as usual, health officials are too slow, too conservative and in some instances, just flat out wrong abut Vit D and its role in human health

dmayoub

Anonymous said...

hello Jen! Good topic. I have MS and have read a lot about Vitamin D deficiency and its relation to MS. I have one daughter, 3 yrs., and I give her a daily supplement of 250iu as a safeguard against possible MS as it runs genetically in our family. I take 4,000iu on the days I don't go to the tanning bed where I go for only 5 minutes which is the equivalent of 12-15 in the sun. I had my levels tested and they were normal with the 4,000 iu's so I know I am deficient!

Yes you can get the chewables from Naturally Yours! I think they are around $14 per bottle but to me the benefits so surpass the costs. They are on the far wall of the vitamin section just past the fish oils.

L.J. :o))

newsanchormom.com said...

Thanks! I went to Walgreens today and the pharmacist acted like I was crazy when I asked about liquid or chewable Vit D

Terri said...

Being a tanning salon owner I have been educated on Vit. D and the positive effects of tanning! I was happy to see a little positive light shed on tanning. Here are a few websites to help you understand what Vit D can do for you and your family.

http://www.tanningtruth.com
http://www.sunlightandhealth.org
http://www.uvfoundation.org
http://www.vitamindcouncil.com/

 
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