Saturday, June 12, 2010

Headlines can be misleading

I have been reading about a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). In the study, they gave older women a 500,000IU oral dose of vitamin D3(cholecalciferol) once a year for 5 years. They concluded that it had no benefit. This only seems to prove that we need to get vitamin D daily. A once a year mega dose won't help. Some of the related headlines about this study are misleading so anyone researching the many articles on vitamin D should read the whole story and not just the headlines such as "Study: Megadoses of Vitamin D offer no benefit" when the truth is that ONCE A YEAR Megadoses offer no benefit.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A reader asks

A reader asked about an article he read: "I read this and it angers me. Please correct me if I am wrong since I am just learning. But relying on dairy for our vitamin D these days is just silly."

No you are correct. She is correct when she says that milk is the #1 source of D in our diets because it is. The statement is correct even though she doesn't say it's not enough. Milk is a wonderful source of calcium and we can reasonably get enough from it. The problem lies with the recommended daily allowance for vitamin D. The govt is slow in raising it even though we now know that 4000IU or more a day is probably what a lot of us need. That is 10 times the current RDA!!!

The govt doesn't seem to know much about vitamin D and hasn't since milk was fortified years ago Under FD Roosevelt but with only enough to prevent rickets in children. They still have no idea about how much we really need to be healthy. Then there is the fear about toxicity. If you take 500,000IU in one dose, you would not get toxicity. If you take 500,000 every day for 6 months, you might have a problem.

Think of your vitamin D like a gas tank. Once it's depleted, OTC doses are only going to maintain the current low level. The doc cranks you up with 50 thousand IU once a week for 6 or 8 weeks just to get the tank level up. Then you've got to experiment to figure out how much you need to take daily to maintain the level. That's why you need to work with your doctor and get the blood checks. If your level drops drastically, the only way to refill it is prescription doses over a period of time.

Wait til you see the latest article I found. Over the counter D3 supplements may not contain the amounts listed on the label. I only found 1 study so far though. The vitamin industry isn't regulated the way drugs are. Prices would skyrocket if they were. No wonder I run into stories of folks having difficulty reaching and maintaining the proper blood serum level. For me, I think it is best to combine what I get from diet, reasonable sun exposure and supplements. Also why it's important to have regular blood screens for D level. Really the only way to know if you're getting enough.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

OTC D3

Here is a study that concluded some Vitamin D supplements you buy do not contain the amount listed on the label. It is the only study on this I have found so far.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Cedric Garland, DPH

Vitamin D role in preventing cancer.
Courtesy of Grassroots Health

Sunday, June 6, 2010

How much vitamin D in milk?

The label on my milk jug lists 100IU of vitamin d. I was shocked to find this 1992 study and hope the process of fortification has improved since then. Even at 100IU, I would need to drink 10 glasses a day just to get 1000IU. Another example of why I need to take Vitamin D3 supplements.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Obesity link

More studies are finding a link between obesity and vitamin d deficiency! One study even showed people living at higher latitudes or lower altitudes(further from the sun)seem to weigh more. It is even more important then, for those living in these areas, to get tested and take supplements if found to be deficient.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Eat first!

Interesting article says study shows vitamin d blood levels are improved by taking vitamin d supplements with meals.

Vitamin D from foods?

People often tell me that I should just drink more milk. The belief that we can get enough vitamin d from diet prevails. Unless we eat oily fish like mackerel or salmon at least 3 times a week or drink 8-10 glasses of milk a day, we can not get nearly enough vitamin d from diet alone. Read more, link above.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Get Tested!

So many people are spending a lot more time indoors these days. During our time spent outdoors, we are warned to cover our skin and wear sunscreen. We need sunlight to shine upon our skin in order to make the vitamin D our bodies need yet we must be cautious not to let our skin burn. More or less exposure time is needed depending on how close to the equator we live. Most of us will not be able to get enough in the winter. I worry about my parents who spend little to no time outside all year. Our best bet is to get a blood test, know our vitamin D level for summer AND winter. We can take enough Vitamin D supplements to maintain a healthy level. Go on and get tested!