Vitamin D – Another victim of modern life

If you haven’t already done so, be sure to read The Vitamin D Newsletter reprinted over at The Heart Scan Blog.

Some highlights.

 

Lack of vitamin D correlated with numerous cancers

Dr. William Grant reported that 15 cancers (colon, esophageal, gallbladder, gastric, pancreatic, rectal, small intestinal, bladder, kidney, prostate, breast, endometrial, ovarian, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma) are associated with lower UVB light. He concluded that 257,000 cancer deaths in 2007 in the USA were accounted for by inadequate vitamin D levels.

Professor Robert Heaney and Joanne Lappe’s randomized controlled trial [showed] that increasing baseline levels from 29 to 38 ng/ml reduced the risk of getting cancer by around 70%.

 

Type-1 Diabetes correlated to latitude and UV light

Cedric Garland began by showing the incidence of type-1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis by latitude. I had no idea that the latitudinal data was so strong for type 1 diabetes in children. This disease is almost nonexistent around the equator.

 

Ideally we need blood 25(OH)D levels of about 50 ng/ml

Hollis and Binkley’s crucial discovery was that the body doesn’t start storing the parent compound, cholecalciferol, until 25(OH)D levels reach about 50 ng/ml. They showed, using basic steroid pharmacology, that 50 ng/ml should be considered the lower limit of adequate 25(OH)D levels.

 

D is key in DNA

[Robert Heaney] covered calcium absorption, osteoporosis, risk of falling, muscle function, death and disability of the aged, TB, influenza, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, cancer, multiple sclerosis, and gum disease. How can one vitamin be involved in so many diseases? Simple said Dr. Heaney, “vitamin D is the key that unlocks the DNA library.”

 

In modern times, pregnant women need high levels of supplementation to maintain healthy levels for herself and her baby

… when pregnant women keep their levels where we think prehistoric human levels were, about 50 ng/ml, breast milk becomes a rich source of vitamin D. First [doctors Carol Wagner and Bruce Hollis] gave 2,000 IU per day, then 4,000 IU per day and finally 6400 IU of D3 per day to lactating women. Only at 6400 of D3/day did the women maintain both their own 25(OH)D levels and the levels of their breast feeding babies above 50 ng/ml. On 6400 IU/day, the vitamin D activity of the breast milk went from about 80 to 800 IU/L. Quite a discovery, and another reason for all of us to keep our levels above 50 ng/ml.

 

Most of us could use about 2000 IU per day, but some of us need more…

Then Professor Heaney addressed a public health question. How much would we have to give all Americans to get 98% of people above 32 ng/ml without causing toxicity in anybody? The answer: 2,000 IU per day. Of course 32 ng/ml is not adequate but it would be a great first step. Furthermore, of the people left out, a high percentage would be African Americans. In fact, Dr. Talwar recently reported that 40% of African American women fail to achieve a level of 30 ng/ml even after taking 2,000 IU/day for a year.

Note: Natural sources of Vitamin D include many cold water oily fish.

The easiest way to get your vitamin D is to follow grandma’s advice: take Cod Liver Oil.

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