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Vitamin D3: Best...Supplement...Ever!

Posted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 12:10 pm
by kenobewan
Vitamin D3: Best...Supplement...Ever!

by Charles Poliquin
An osteopathic physician recently asked me, “What’s with all this hype over vitamin D3?” It was a good question. There have been countless supplements, especially in the field of bodybuilding, that have failed to live up to their promises. I remember when the next big things were AKG, vanadyl sulfate and boron (which, incidentally, is the primary ingredient in 20 Mule Team Borax!). But vitamin D3 is the real deal. Write this down:

“Vitamin D3 may be the single most important supplement we can take for our health.”

I’m serious! Fish oil also has amazing properties, but it takes a backseat to vitamin D3. Listen, I get a lot of feedback from the field. I hear from experts from all over the world. There is consensus among the best practitioners: They have verified over and over that just about everyone is deficient in vitamin D3 and that supplementation is essential.

The evidence is indisputable. The scientific literature is overwhelmed with data that confirm what all these experts have seen. I see the truth of it every day and have been teaching about the importance of vitamin D3 supplementation for some time now. The bottom line is that virtually every disease and adverse health condition is associated with low vitamin D3 levels. Consequently, many of these problems may be fixed with adequate vitamin D3 supplementation, or can be avoided by keeping vitamin D3 levels in the high normal range.

For a long time vitamin D3 was simply regarded as the anti-rickets and bone health vitamin – an underwhelming bit of knowledge. Because it was originally labeled as a vitamin, it was assumed that it wasn’t that important. Now it is more properly recognized as a prohormone that is essential to life. Even if it were only good for bone health, vitamin D3 still would be an important supplement, but the benefits go way beyond just bone health.

Let’s look at this in another way. What if a big pharmaceutical company made a revolutionary breakthrough and announced they had come across a compound so important that it could improve the lives of virtually everyone in the world? What if they told us that for less than 20 cents a day (or about 0.15 Euro) we could significantly reduce our risk for some of the most widespread diseases? What if they also announced that the side effects were actually good and that we would receive all these benefits without any real risk of adverse conditions? And that we wouldn’t even need governmental intervention to make it affordable? The answer is that this would be the biggest blockbuster drug ever to hit the market. Everyone would want a prescription and wouldn’t even mind paying for it themselves.

I’d like you to consider some of the research and benefits and make your own decision. Don’t just skim this; read through it and understand what’s being said in the research. The two best sources I’ve found have compiled a tremendous amount of research and information: (click on “research” on the left and you will be amazed) and (Dr. Michael Holick’s website). But to get you started, here are some excellent, peer-reviewed articles.

1. Rickets, bone density, osteoporosis, osteopenia, osteomalacia: Low levels of vitamin D contribute to osteopenia and fractures. JAMA. 2002;287:3127-3129.

2. Fetal brain development and maternal health: Med Hypotheses. 2010 Jan;74(1):71-5. Epub 2009 Aug 18.

3. Psoriasis: “Hyperproliferative skin disorders such as psoriasis might be responsive to treatment with vitamin D....” “[Treatment with vitamin D] …showed great improvement in reducing the severity and area of psoriatic lesions.” Holick, MF. High prevalence of vitamin D inadequacy and implications for health. Mayo Clinic Proceedings. 2006 Mar;81(3):353-73.

4. Cancer: “Both prospective and retrospective epidemiologic studies indicate that levels of 25-OH D below 20 ng [nanograms] per milliliter are associated with a 30 to 50% increased risk of incident colon, prostate, and breast cancer, along with higher mortality from these cancers....” “Vitamin D either directly or indirectly controls more than 200 genes, including genes responsible for the regulation of cellular proliferation, differentiation, apoptosis, and angiogenesis.” Holick MF. Vitamin D deficiency. N Engl J Med. 2007;357(3):266-81.

5. Blood sugar regulation and insulin resistance: “Vitamin D deficiency increased insulin resistance, decreased insulin production, and was associated with the metabolic syndrome.” Holick MF. Vitamin D deficiency. N Engl J Med. 2007;357(3):266-81.

6. Depression and other neurological concerns: “Several studies suggest an association between hypovitaminosis D and basic and executive cognitive functions, depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.” Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2009 Feb;11(1):12-9.

7. Multiple Sclerosis: “High circulating levels of vitamin D are associated with a lower risk of multiple sclerosis.” JAMA. 2006;296:2832.

8. Immune function: “When serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D fall below 20 ng per milliliter, the monocyte or macrophage is prevented from initiating this innate immune response” Holick MF. Vitamin D deficiency. N Engl J Med. 2007;357(3):266-81.

9. Cold, flu, and respiratory tract infection: shortened duration of symptoms in study of African women.

10. Symptoms associated with autoimmune conditions: Vitamin D deficiency affects the immune system’s capacity to self-regulate and can therefore lead to tissue damage via overproduction of potentially pathogenic cytokines.

11. Hypertension and congestive heart failure: “In a study of patients with hypertension who were exposed to ultraviolet B radiation three times a week for 3 months, 25-OH D levels increased by approximately 180% and blood pressure became normal.” “Vitamin D deficiency is associated with congestive heart failure.” Holick MF. Vitamin D deficiency. N Engl J Med. 2007;357(3):266-81.

12. Muscle mass and strength: “Vitamin D deficiency causes muscle weakness.” “Performance speed and proximal muscle strength were markedly improved when 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels increase from 4 to 16 ng per milliliter (10 to 40 nmol [nanomole] per liter) and continued to improve as the levels increase to more than 40ng per milliliter (100 nmol per liter). Holick MF. Vitamin D deficiency. N Engl J Med. 2007;357(3):266-81.

13. Weight Loss: “For every increase of 1 ng/mL in level of 25-OH D3, subjects ended up losing almost 0.2 kg more on their calorie-restricted diet.” Shalamar Sibley, prepublication report for the Endocrine Society’s 91st Annual Meeting.

14. And even longevity, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, thyroid conditions…

...and this just scratches the surface of the research!

Now the question becomes “How do I get my vitamin D3 to optimal levels?” This is the best part, since it’s very easy to fix vitamin D3 deficiency. There are a couple of different approaches that have been shown to work very well. One way is to just supplement with 5,000 IU of vitamin D3 every day and it’s likely your levels will be at least in the normal range within about three months, but remember, high normal is better than mid normal. Expect it to take another couple of months to reach high normal.

Another approach, which I prefer, is to supplement twice per week with about 30,000 to 100,000 IU of D3. Based on the research and clinical evidence, this method seems to accelerate the increase in blood levels of 25(OH) D3 (the marker that should be tested for). Although the kidneys still need to convert 25(OH) D3 into 1.25(OH)2 D3, the relevant lab value is 25(OH) D3. You should be shooting to get your levels between 80 and 100 ng/mL.

Now let’s go back to our “what if” scenario and ask the question again: What if there were one natural supplement that had been shown in scientific research to improve bone health, improve the development of babies’ brains, reduce the incidence of skin problems like psoriasis, prevent or remedy multiple sclerosis, reduce the risk of cancer, improve blood sugar levels and reduce insulin resistance, improve neurological conditions including depression and bipolar disorder, enhance immune defense against cold, flu and other infections, lower blood pressure and protect the heart, improve muscle function, increase the ability to lose bodyfat and even help people live longer? What if that compound existed and could be manufactured properly at a very affordable price? I’m happy to give you an answer that is not hypothetical and that you can believe: Vitamin D3 is, literally, the best supplement ever! ... spx?ID=230

Posted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 12:12 pm
by kenobewan
Women deficient in vitamin D accumulate fat in muscle and are weaker

by Charles Poliquin
A recent study at McGill University in Montreal, just showed that in adults, it is said vitamin D deficiency leads to fatty accumulation in muscle tissue, and lower levels of maximal strength.

Vitamin D levels were found to be strongly correlated to the percent of fat in muscle, with lower D levels resulting in higher fat content.

Scientific evidence has also pointed out that vitamin D deficiency may precipitate or exacerbate osteopenia, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, fractures, common cancers, autoimmune diseases, infectious diseases and cardiovascular diseases. Also, there is some evidence that vitamin D may lower the incidence of several types of cancer and type-1 diabetes.

The funding for the study came from a grant from the National Institutes of Health, the U.S, Department of the Army, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Dimensional Fund Advisors Canada Inc.

Read how Vitamin D3 may be the most important supplement you can take for your health!

Source: Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism Published online ahead of print, doi:doi:10.1210/jc.2009-2309 “Vitamin D Status and Its Relation to Muscle Mass and Muscle Fat in Young Women” Authors: V. Gilsanz, A. Kremer, A.O. Mo, T.A.L. Wren, R. Kremer ... spx?ID=275

Virtually all kidney disease patients on dialysis have..

Posted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 9:49 am
by kenobewan
Virtually all kidney disease patients on dialysis have vitamin D deficiency

(NaturalNews) Research abounds that adequate vitamin D is essential for good health ( Unfortunately, however, millions of Americans are not getting enough of this so-called "sunshine" vitamin. Now it turns out that one group in particular is almost universally lacking in vitamin D. According to a study slated for publication in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society Nephrology (CJASN), kidney disease patients who have low blood protein levels and who start dialysis during the winter are at extremely high risk of being seriously deficient in vitamin D.

Ishir Bhan, MD, of Massachusetts General Hospital, and his research team studied data from 908 U.S. dialysis patients in the Accelerated Mortality on Renal Replacement (ArMORR) cohort. The scientists' goal was to investigate routinely measured clinical and demographic characteristics to see if they could figure out which patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) on dialysis are at increased risk for vitamin D deficiency.

The results showed that 79% of the patients in the study were vitamin D deficient. The strongest predictors of a lack of vitamin D were being African-American, female, the winter season, and low blood levels of the protein albumin. In fact, when all these factors came together, the result was that every single kidney disease patient was deficit in vitamin D.

Specifically, the researchers found that if black dialysis patients had low blood albumin levels during the winter season, the likelihood they would be vitamin D deficient increased from 90% to 100% for women and from 85% to 100% for men. Their white counterparts fared only slightly better, with their risk of vitamin D deficiency rising from 82% to 94% in women and from 66% to 92% in males.

"This research identifies risk factors for nutritional vitamin D deficiency in the dialysis population and may provide clues to its biology in this population," Dr. Bhan said in a statement to the media.

So what is going on here that makes ESRD patients on dialysis so vulnerable to vitamin D deficiency? The scientists pointed out in their media statement that although previous studies have suggested that patients on dialysis have an impaired ability to generate vitamin D when they are exposed to adequate sunlight, their study indicates that skin-based production of vitamin D is likely to be important in patients with ESRD.

Although the researchers did not discuss the issue in their paper, their findings raise a which-came-first type issue. Is it possible vitamin D is at least part of the cause of serious kidney disease, and not merely a byproduct of the illness? With a growing number of chronic and serious illnesses -- including heart disease ( and breast cancer ( -- now firmly linked to vitamin D deficiency, the idea that a lack of vitamin D could be a causative factor in ESRD would seem to be a possibility worthy of investigation. ... min_D.html

Posted: Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:43 am
by kenobewan
Exploring the Link Between Sunlight and Multiple Sclerosis

ScienceDaily (Mar. 22, 2010) — For more than 30 years, scientists have known that multiple sclerosis (MS) is much more common in higher latitudes than in the tropics. Because sunlight is more abundant near the equator, many researchers have wondered if the high levels of vitamin D engendered by sunlight could explain this unusual pattern of prevalence.

Vitamin D may reduce the symptoms of MS, says Hector DeLuca, Steenbock Research Professor of Biochemistry at University of Wisconsin-Madison, but in a study published in PNAS this week, he and first author Bryan Becklund suggest that the ultraviolet portion of sunlight may play a bigger role than vitamin D in controlling MS.

Multiple sclerosis is a painful neurological disease caused by a deterioration in the nerve's electrical conduction; an estimated 400,000 people have the disabling condition in the United States. In recent years, it's become clear the patients' immune systems are destroying the electrical insulation on the nerve fibers.

The ultraviolet (UV) portion of sunlight stimulates the body to produce vitamin D, and both vitamin D and UV can regulate the immune system and perhaps slow MS. But does the immune regulation result directly from the UV, indirectly from the creation of vitamin D, or both?

The study was designed to distinguish the role of vitamin D and UV light in explaining the high rate of MS away from the equator, says DeLuca, a world authority on vitamin D.

"Since the 1970s, a lot of people have believed that sunlight worked through vitamin D to reduce MS," says DeLuca. "It's true that large doses of the active form of vitamin D can block the disease in the animal model. That causes an unacceptably high level of calcium in the blood, but we know that people at the equator don't have this high blood calcium, even though they have a low incidence of MS. So it seems that something other than vitamin D could explain this geographic relationship."

Using mice that are genetically susceptible to MS-like disease, the researchers triggered the disease by injecting a protein from nerve fibers. The researchers then exposed the mice to moderate levels of UV radiation for a week. After they initiated disease by injecting the protein, they irradiated the mice every second or third day.

The UV exposure (equivalent to two hours of direct summer sun) did not change how many mice got the MS-like disease, but it did reduce the symptoms of MS, especially in the animals that were treated with UV every other day, DeLuca says.

The research group also found that although the UV exposure did increase the level of vitamin D, that effect, by itself, could not explain the reduced MS symptoms.

In some situations, radiation does reduce immune reactions, but it's not clear what role that might play in the current study. "We are looking to identify what compounds are produced in the skin that might play a role, but we honestly don't know what is going on," DeLuca says. "Somehow it makes the animal either tolerate what's going on, or have some reactive mechanism that blocks the autoimmune damage."

MS is a progressive neurological disease with few effective treatments, but DeLuca stresses that the study, however hopeful, may or may not lead to a new mode of treatment. "There are several ways this could go. If we can find out what the UV is producing, maybe we could give that as a medicine. In the short term, if we can define a specific wavelength of light that is active, and it does not overlap with the wavelengths that cause cancer, we could expose patients who have been diagnosed with MS to that wavelength."

Does this information change the common prescription to avoid excessive sun exposure? "If you have an early bout with MS, then you have to think about your options," says DeLuca. "Remember, this is just experimental work at this stage. Whether it can be translated into practical applications on MS remains to be seen." ... 153951.htm

Posted: Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:45 am
by kenobewan
Occupational Sunlight Exposure Reduces Kidney Cancer Risk in Men, Study Suggests

ScienceDaily (Mar. 8, 2010) — According to a new study, men employed in occupations with potential exposure to high levels of sunlight have a reduced risk of kidney cancer compared with men who were less likely to be exposed to sunlight at work. The study did not find an association between occupational sunlight exposure and kidney cancer risk in women.

Published early online in Cancer the study is the largest case-control study of kidney cancer to investigate the association with occupational sunlight exposure. The study, however, did not include information on non-occupational sunlight exposure and does not address directly whether sunlight exposure can help prevent kidney cancer.

Research suggests that vitamin D, which is obtained from sun exposure, some foods, and from supplements, may help prevent some cancers. Vitamin D is metabolized and most active within the kidneys. Because both the incidence of kidney cancer and the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency have increased over the past few decades, Sara Karami, PhD, of the National Cancer Institute in Rockville, MD, and her colleagues designed a study to explore whether occupational sunlight exposure is associated with kidney cancer risk.

The study included 1,097 patients with kidney cancer and 1,476 individuals without cancer from four Central and Eastern European countries. Demographic and lifetime occupational information was collected through in-person interviews and occupational sunlight exposure indices were estimated based on industry and job titles. The investigators observed a 24 percent to 38 percent reduction in kidney cancer risk with increasing occupational sunlight exposure among male participants in the study. No association between occupational sunlight exposure and kidney cancer risk was observed among females in the study.

The findings suggest that sunlight exposure may affect kidney cancer risk, although the authors have no explanation for the apparent differences in risk between men and women. They offer several hypotheses for the observed differences. Biological or behavioral differences between men and women may play a role. For example, hormonal differences may influence the body's response to sunlight exposure, females may have a higher tendency to use sunscreen on a regular basis, and men may be prone to working outdoors while shirtless. It is also possible that the observed gender differences in risk were due to confounding by other unmeasured kidney cancer risk factors, such as recreational sunlight exposure and physical activity levels.

While this study's findings raise the possibility of a link between sunlight exposure and kidney cancer risk, "they clearly need to be replicated in other populations and in studies that use better estimates of long-term ultraviolet exposure and vitamin D intake," said Dr. Karami. ... 081742.htm

Posted: Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:47 am
by kenobewan
Extra Vitamin D In Early Childhood Cuts Adult Diabetes Risk

ScienceDaily (Mar. 13, 2008) — Vitamin D supplements in early childhood may ward off the development of type 1 diabetes in later life, reveals a research review published ahead of print in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder, in which insulin producing beta cells in the pancreas are destroyed by the body's own immune system, starting in early infancy. The disease is most common among people of European descent, with around 2 million Europeans and North Americans affected.

Its incidence is rising at roughly 3% a year, and it is estimated that new cases will have risen 40% between 2000 and 2010.

A trawl of published evidence on vitamin D supplementation in children produced five suitable studies, the pooled data from which were re-analysed.

The results showed that children given additional vitamin D were around 30% less likely to develop type 1 diabetes compared with those not given the supplement.

And the higher and the more regular the dose, the lower was the likelihood of developing the disease, the evidence suggested.

Levels of vitamin D, and sunlight, from which the body manufactures the vitamin, have been implicated in the risks of developing various autoimmune disorders, including multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.

And there is a striking difference in the incidence of type 1 diabetes according to latitude and levels of sunlight exposure, with a child in Finland 400 times more likely to develop the disease than a child in Venezuela, say the authors.

Further evidence of vitamin D's role comes from the fact that pancreatic beta cells and immune cells carry receptors or docking bays for the active forms of the vitamin. ... 220006.htm

Posted: Tue Mar 23, 2010 8:50 am
by kenobewan
Lack Of Sunlight May Increase Lung Cancer Risk

ScienceDaily (Dec. 23, 2007) — Lack of sunlight may increase the risk of lung cancer, suggests a study of rates of the disease in over 100 countries. Lung cancer kills over a million people every year around the globe.

The researchers looked at the association between latitude, exposure to ultraviolet B (UVB) light, and rates of lung cancer according to age in 111 countries across several continents.

They took account of the amount of cloud cover and aerosol use, both of which absorb UVB light, and cigarette smoking, the primary cause of lung cancer

International databases, including those of the World Health Organization, and national health statistics were used.

Smoking was most strongly associated with lung cancer rates, accounting for between 75% and 85% of the cases.

But exposure to sunlight, especially UVB light, the principal source of vitamin D for the body, also seemed to have an impact, the findings showed.

The amount of UVB light increases with proximity to the equator. And the analyses showed that lung cancer rates were highest in those countries furthest away from the equator and lowest in those nearest.

Higher cloud cover and airborne aerosol levels were also associated with higher rates of the disease.

In men, the prevalence of smoking was associated with higher lung cancer rates, while greater exposure to UVB light was associated with lower rates.

Among women, cigarette smoking, total cloud cover, and airborne aerosols were associated with higher rates of lung cancer, while greater exposure to UVB light was associated with lower rates.

The associations for a protective role for UVB light persisted after adjusting for smoking.

The link between cancer and sunlight is chemically plausible, say the authors, because laboratory research has shown that vitamin D can halt tumour growth by promoting the factors responsible for cell death in the body.

“Although cigarette smoking is the main cause of lung cancer, greater UVB exposure may reduce the incidence of the disease,” they conclude. ... 235735.htm

Posted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:58 am
by kenobewan
Vitamin D deficiency may be bigger than statistics indicate

A new report from Statistics Canada says 10 percent of Canadians don't get enough vitamin D but experts think the problem is much larger.

"If we look for the optimum level of vitamin D for health, 60 percent – or more – of the population is below that," says Dr. David Hanley, an endocrinologist at the U of C.

Dr. Hanley says the discrepancy exists because old standards were used by Statistics Canada.

Vitamin D is important because it's been linked to reducing the risk of multiple sclerosis and various types of cancer.

Canadians have always struggled to get enough of the vitamin because the country's latitude doesn't allow for enough sun year round.

Most people living in Alberta need supplements because our bodies are unable to make enough vitamin D.

Without sufficient vitamin D, children can develop rickets. In adults, it leads to a softening of bones. ... algaryHome

Posted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 12:01 pm
by kenobewan
Study urges vitamin D supplement for infants

Most babies should take a daily vitamin D supplement, a new study shows.
That will be a big change for most parents — and even many pediatricians.

Only 1% to 13% of infants under 1 year now get a vitamin D supplement, available in inexpensive drops, according to a study published online today in Pediatrics.

Those drops are needed, the study says, because only 5% to 37% of American infants met the standard for vitamin D set by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2008: 400 international units a day.

Vitamin D strengthens bone and the immune system and also appears to prevent type 1 diabetes, heart disease and cancer, the paper says.

Few breast-fed babies — 5% to 13%, depending on their age — received the recommended amount of vitamin D, researchers estimated. Although breast milk is the perfect food in every other way, it's often low in vitamin D, says pediatrician Nicolas Stettler, a spokesman for the pediatrics academy who wasn't involved in the study. Because humans originated in equatorial areas with year-round sunshine, babies in the distant past wouldn't have needed to get vitamin D from breast milk, he says.

Yet many formula-fed infants don't get enough, either. Babies need to drink about 32 ounces of fortified formula a day to get 400 international units of vitamin D, says study author Cria Perrine of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Babies younger than 6 months can rarely drink that much. A supplement can give babies all they need.

Many mothers also are vitamin D-deficient.

A second study in Pediatrics reports that 58% of newborns and 36% of mothers were deficient in vitamin D, according to blood tests. Although taking prenatal vitamins helped, more than 30% of moms who took them were still deficient. Getting lots of sunlight helped raise vitamin D levels in moms, but not in their newborns.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends babies get no direct sunlight in their first six months, to prevent skin damage and cancer. After 6 months, the academy says, babies should wear sunscreen, hats and protective clothing in the sun.

Relatively few pediatricians today talk about vitamin D with parents, says Wendy Sue Swanson, a pediatrician at Seattle Children's Hospital who wasn't involved in the new research. That may be because the pediatrics academy's previous vitamin D recommendation — 200 international units a day, set in 2003 — was easier to meet, Swanson says. ... 2_ST_N.htm

Posted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 12:05 pm
by kenobewan
Lower vitamin D, higher risk of death

Low levels of vitamin D may raise a person's risk of premature death, a study by Johns Hopkins researchers shows.

The research follows other recent studies showing low levels of vitamin D are linked to certain cancers, diabetes, and bone and immune system problems, but this is the first research to connect vitamin D deficiency to a higher risk of death, says study author Erin Michos, assistant professor of cardiology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore.

The study appears in this week's Archives of Internal Medicine.

Michos and her colleagues analyzed data from a large government observational survey of more than 13,000 people who represented a realistic, diverse swath of U.S. adults ages 20 and up. Participants' vitamin D levels were collected by blood test from 1988 through 1994.

By 2000, Michos says, 1,807 deaths had occurred, 777 from cardiovascular disease. The researchers divided the total population into four groups based on vitamin D levels. One group included people with the lowest vitamin D levels, 17.8 ng/mL (nanograms/milliliter) or less.

A normal vitamin D test result for both children and adults is 30 ng/mL or higher. Under 20 ng/mL is considered deficient, and results between 20 and 30 ng/mL are labeled insufficient, says Catherine Gordon, director of the bone health program at Children's Hospital Boston.

In the study, people who had low vitamin D levels — 17.8 ng/mL or lower — were 26% more likely to be dead at the end of the study than those with higher vitamin D levels, Michos says.

"We took into account 30 different variables — including age, weight, diabetes, cholesterol, high blood pressure, whether they exercise, smoking — and we found that low vitamin D levels, independent of all these other risk factors for heart disease, predicted an increased risk of dying from any other cause. So we found a new risk factor for death," Michos says.

Michos says the results lead her to suspect that low vitamin D is related to heart disease deaths, but that theory has to be tested in further studies.

"We also need to prove if we give additional vitamin D, will it prevent a heart attack?" Michos says.

Says Jeffrey Blumberg, professor of nutrition science and policy at Tufts University in Boston: "This is an interesting report that confirms and extends previous work."

But the study has limitations, he says. For instance, it cannot answer why there was an increase in death linked to low D levels: "This issue certainly warrants further study." ... eath_N.htm

Posted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 9:12 am
by kenobewan
Why levels of Vitamin D are lower in the north

Living in the north of the UK may lead to low Vitamin D levels, according to new research.

One in four post-menopausal Caucasian women in Scotland are Vitamin D deficient in the winter, compared to none in the south.

The new research also shows that 60 per cent of Asian women living in the south of England were Vitamin D deficient in winter.

‘Results show clear differences in Vitamin D status between the north and south and marked ethnic differences,’ says the study.

Adequate Vitamin D levels are vital for good health. It helps the body absorb calcium for stronger bones, and too little can lead to osteoporosis in adults and rickets in children.

The main source is sunlight, and the body manufactures it in the skin after exposure to specific wavelengths of ultraviolet light. In the UK that wavelength is not of sufficient intensity to produce Vitamin D between October and April, so levels need to be topped up by sun exposure in summer, or through diet.

Oily fish, eggs, liver and fortified foods such as margarine, breakfast cereals and powdered milk are good sources. However, there are no dietary recommendations for Vitamin D intakes in the UK.

‘We may need to bring in recommendations for dietary intake of Vitamin D, to complement the current sunlight exposure levels,’ says Aberdeen University’s Dr Helen Macdonald, who conducted the study.

‘And the recommendation of ten minutes of sunlight exposure a day may need to be changed for those with darker skin or in higher latitudes.’
Dr Macdonald looked at sunlight exposure and Vitamin D levels in women aged under 65 in Aberdeen and Surrey. The women wore ultraviolet B light-sensitive badges to measure sunlight, and Vitamin D levels were measured at three-monthly intervals over a 15-month period.

Results show that total ultraviolet exposure was lower in Aberdeen, where the number of women with Vitamin D deficiency was higher.

Deficiency in the north was 25 to 27 per cent in winter and spring, and 4.2 per cent in summer.

In Surrey, no Caucasian women had deficiency at any time of the year. But the results also show low levels of sun exposure and high levels of vitamin deficiency in Asian women in Surrey. Possible reasons include wearing of traditional clothing and a lack of exposure to sunlight. ... north.html

Posted: Sat Apr 03, 2010 9:37 am
by kenobewan
Muscle Soreness, Exercise Injuries and Vitamin D

April 19, 2009

When doctors don't know the cause of a patient's problem, they often give it a fancy name so you will believe they are giving you a useful diagnosis. A perfect example of this is "idiopathic inflammatory myopathy", which means you have chronic muscle soreness and your doctor doesn't know why. Researchers recently reviewed the effects of exercise on people with chronic muscle soreness and found that exercise is beneficial (Current Opinion in Rheumatology, 04/07/09):
• The muscles of many of subjects with this condition did not get a sufficient oxygen supply
• Exercise increases endurance-type fibers after a 12-week exercise program
• Creatine supplements plus an exercise program are more beneficial than exercise alone
• Intensive resistance training improves muscle strength and endurance
• Exercise reduces muscle soreness and possibly even muscle inflammation

I am now convinced that a leading cause of muscle soreness and slow-healing injuries is lack of vitamin D. All my life, I have suffered a series of baffling injures that usually occur in the winter and heal in the summer. For the entire winter of 2007-8, I was unable to exercise because of a non-healing hamstring injury and diffuse muscle soreness. Eventually I found that my vitamin D 3 level was 22 nmol/L (normal is greater than 75). I took the prescribed treatment of 50,000 IU of vitamin D twice a week and my muscles became so sore that I couldn't even walk. In the summer, the hamstring injury healed and the soreness disappeared. This winter I went to Florida and was able to train on my bicycle better than ever. In March I went back to wintery Maryland and the non-healing hamstring injury and soreness reappeared. This time I improved within 24 hours of taking 2000 IU of vitamin D twice a day. From my experience, I conclude that:
• my muscle soreness and non-healing injuries are caused by or worsened by low levels of vitamin D
• very high doses (50,000 IU) may increase muscle soreness
• lower doses of vitamin D (2000 to 4000/day) or daily sunlight exposure cured my muscle soreness and helped to heal my injuries

Dr. John Cannell of the Vitamin D Council quotes 14 studies that show that athletic performance improves in the summer months when sunshine is abundant, or with ultraviolet light exposure in winter. ... -mar.shtml

If your muscles feel sore or you keep on being injured when you exercise, get a blood test called D3. If it is below 75 nmol/L, your problems may be caused by lack of vitamin D and be cured by getting some sunshine or taking at least 2000 IU each day of the very inexpensive vitamin D3.

Posted: Sun Apr 04, 2010 6:17 pm
by kenobewan
Vitamin D Levels Low in Minority Children

ATLANTA—Almost 75 percent of healthy, low-income, minority children were low in vitamin D status in a recent study published in Pediatrics (2010 Mar 29). The researchers from Emory University also found age and season were significant predictors of vitamin D deficiency, and most children get their vitamin D through fortified milk.

The goals of the study were to determine the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency among minority children in a southern U,S. city, to examine differences in serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels between non-Hispanic black and Hispanic children, and to determine dietary sources of vitamin D. Therefore, 290 low-income, minority children (mean age: 2.5 ± 1.2 years) were recruited during well-child clinic visits in Atlanta. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and calcium levels were measured and dietary information was assessed.

The mean 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 level was 26.2 ± 7.6 ng/mL, whereas 25-hydroxyvitamin D2 was not detected. Overall, 22.3 percent of children had deficient serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 levels (20 ng/mL), 73.6 percent had less-than-optimal serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels (30 ng/mL), and 1.4 percent had low serum calcium levels (9 mg/dL).

A significantly larger proportion of non-Hispanic black children, compared with Hispanic children, had vitamin D deficiency (26 percent vs. 18 percent; P<0.05).

Age and season of recruitment were significantly associated with vitamin D deficiency and low serum calcium levels. Older children (3 years) were less likely to have vitamin D deficiency (P<0.001). Study enrollment during spring and summer reduced the likelihood of vitamin D deficiency by 20 percent P<0.01).

Fortified milk provided most dietary vitamin D (62 percent), with Hispanic children reporting greater intake.

http://www.naturalproductsmarketplace.c ... ldren.aspx

Posted: Mon Apr 05, 2010 10:05 am
by kenobewan
Trial results show vitamin D helps prevent flu

Vitamin D3 supplements may be as effective as flu vaccine at reducing the risk of flu during the winter, particularly in school children, a new Japanese study suggests.

The study showed among school children taking 1200 IU per day of vitamin D3 supplements, 10.8 percent of children had influenza A compared to 18.6 percent of controls. This means that vitamin D3 reduced the risk of the flu by 48 percent, which could be comparable to the efficacy of flu vaccine.

The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was conducted by Mitsuyoshi Urashima, MD, PhD, from Jikei University School of Medicine, Minato-ku, in Tokyo, Japan and published online in the March 10, 2010 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

For the trial, Urashima and colleagues compared 167 children taking 1200 IU per day of vitamin D3 supplements with 167 children who did not take the supplement to evaluate the difference in the incidence of influenza A between Dec 2008 and March 2009.

Vitamin D is important for innate immunity against microbes and viruses because vitamin D helps produce antibacterial peptides which fight viruses and microbes and prevent infections including flu, according to Dr. John Cannell, MD, one of the most knowledgeable vitamin D experts and director of vitamin D Council, a non-profit organization that aims to educate the public about the importance of the sunshine vitamin.

However, trials on the effect of vitamin D on risk of flu are rare.

"To our knowledge, no rigorously designed clinical trials have evaluated the relation between vitamin D and physician diagnosed seasonal influenza," Urashima and colleagues write in their report.

According to the researchers, vitamin D supplement was particularly effective in children who had not been taking other vitamin D supplements and in those who started nursery school after age 3 years. The reduction in the flu risk among those groups was 67 percent!

In addition, vitamin D supplements help prevent asthma attacks. Of children with diagnosed asthma, 2 children taking vitamin D supplementation experienced asthma attacks compared to 12 children in the placebo group. The risk for asthma attacks in the vitamin D group was reduced by 83 percent.

Dr. Cannell says in his newsletter last year that two physicians, one in Wisconsin and the other in Georgia, reported to him that few of their patients/residents who maintained a high level of serum vitamin D acquired swine flu last year while many of other patients and medical workers who did not take vitamin D to maintain high vitamin D levels got swine flu and other flu viruses.

Epidemiological studies have revealed a strong association between vitamin D deficiency and high incidence of flu. The new trial adds to a growing body of evidence to demonstrate that this vitamin D helps prevent infections.

Recently, Carsten Geisler and colleagues at the University of Copenhagen have confirmed that vitamin D plays an important role in activating immune defenses against infectious diseases like flu.

They explained the role vitamin D plays in the immune responses as follows:

First when the naive T cell recognizes foreign invaders like bacteria or viruses with T cell receptor (TCR), it sends activating signals (1) to the vitamin D receptor gene. The VDR gene then starts producing DVR protein, which binds vitamin D in the T cell (3) and becomes activated. Then the vitamin D bound and activated DVR gets into the cell nucleus and activates the gene for PLC-gamma1 (5), which in turn produces PLC-gamma1 protein (6) and "the T cells can get started".

Here are some basics about vitamin D:

Vitamin D deficiency: Vitamin D deficiency is common, particularly in those who stay indoors all the time and people with dark skin. This condition is more common in the winter and in people who live in the Northern hemisphere. Normally, exposure to sunlight at noon time for 15 to 20 minutes would trigger production of sufficient vitamin D. According to Dr. John Cannell, the normal range of 25(OH)D should be 50 to 80 ng per mL blood.

Vitamin D deficiency symptoms: Unlike vitamin C, vitamin D deficiency does not result in obvious symptoms. Some people with the condition may experience bone pain and muscle weakness. Because of this, vitamin D deficiency is determined by the measured serum level of this vitamin.

Consequences of vitamin D deficiency: It has been clear that vitamin D deficiency plays an important role in many diseases including heart disease, hypertension, arthritis, chronic pain, depression, inflammatory bowel disease, obesity, premenstrual syndrome, muscular weakness, fibromyalgia, Crohns disease, multiple sclerosis, autoimmune illness, and cancer, according to Vitamin D Council. If you suffer one or more diseases listed here, you are likely vitamin D deficient.

Vitamin D foods: Only a few foods contain vitamin D. Oily or fatty fish like salmon is a good source of vitamin D. Cod liver oil produced today contains some, but not much vitamin D. In addition, cod liver oil contains high levels of vitamin A, which can sabotage the work of vitamin D, making it a less reliable source. Vitamin D is supplemented in some foods and beverages such as milk, orange juice, cereal and others. However, the level in the fortified foods is generally very low; one needs to drink 20 glasses of milk to get sufficient amounts of vitamin D.

Vitamin D levels and overdose: It is recognized that up to 10,000 IU per day is safe. Dr. Cannell says one needs at least 5,000 IU per day from all sources to meet his physiological needs. ... 00923.html

Posted: Mon Apr 05, 2010 10:07 am
by kenobewan
Vitamin D levels should be maintained

Lately, the public has been receiving information about vitamin D and its connection to health. Researchers and policymakers agree that the Recommended daily allowance for vitamin D needs to be reassessed, as one half of the population is thought to be vitamin D deficient. This includes older adults, people at northern and southern latitudes, dark skinned individuals, children, pregnant women and exclusively breastfed babies. Also at risk are individuals with fat malabsorption disease such as IBS, Crohn’s disease, celiac disease and cystic fibrosis.

Because this vitamin promotes calcium absorption and bone mineralization it is very important that we get enough. If we don’t, our bones will become soft and weak over time, setting the stage for osteoporosis later in life. While this may not seem like something that you need to be concerned about, I urge you to think again.

Physical activity, calcium and vitamin D intake are now known to be major contributors to bone health for individuals of all ages. Even though bone disease often strikes late in life, the importance of beginning prevention at a very young age and continuing it throughout life is now well understood.

One of the big problems in regard to adequate intake is that vitamin D is not prevalent in foods. Good sources of D include fortified milk, cereal, breads and margarine, egg yolks and fatty fish sources such as salmon, mackerel, sardines and herring.

According to studies from the American Dietetic Association, milk consumption in America is low. This is due in part to sugared beverages displacing milk’s place in the diet.

Vitamin D is produced naturally when skin is exposed to sunlight. This presents a problem in the Upper Peninsula because we are bundled up most of the time. In addition we spend a great amount of time indoors. In order to synthesize Vitamin D through sunlight it is recommended that skin is exposed to the sun for at least 15 to 20 minutes, without block, at least three times per week. This goes against the recommendation for sunscreen but a short time in the sun with maximal skin exposure is necessary. However, be careful to avoid extended exposure to sunlight without sunscreen.

Supplementation of vitamin D3 is advised as the current recommendations are inadequate. The Office of Dietary Supplements suggests that in addition to food, 800 to 1,000 IU of vitamin D3 should taken daily during the winter months. If sun exposure is minimal, continued supplementation in the summer is also a good way to prevent deficiency.

In addition to its role in bone health, researchers are discovering hopeful connections between vitamin D status and chronic disease such as type 1 diabetes, cancer, heart disease, depression and multiple sclerosis.

The best way to determine if your vitamin D stores are low is to have your level tested. This is done through a simple blood test that can be administered at NMU’s health center or through your family physician’s office.