Posts Tagged ‘vitamin D’« Older Entries |
Monday, December 12th, 2016
According to a 2012 study, nearly 50% of the worldwide population is deficient in “Vitamin D” ( 25-hydroxy-Vitamin D or calcidiol), which is technically not a vitamin at all, but is a “pre-hormone”, a biologically inactive glandular secretory product, having little or no biologic activity, that is converted to an active hormone.
Vitamin D is produced in the skin through direct UV light from the sun. Through complex enzymatic processes, it is converted into its usable form.
So why are so many people deficient in it? The authors of that 2012 study attributed deficiency to lifestyle -ie reduced outdoor activities- and environmental effects that reduce exposure to sunlight (like air pollution). Access is another limiting factor, those living north of the latitude of Boston,MA (~40 N) don’t get enough UV light exposure from the sun for vitamin D synthesis through the months of November to early March.
So how else can you get Vitamin D? It can also be consumed in the diet, although very few foods naturally contain vitamin D- fatty fish (mackerel, salmon, sardines), fish liver oils, and eggs from hens that have been fed vitamin D or milk that has been fortified with it. Or, you can supplement with it.
Once consumed or synthesized, vitamin D enters the circulation and is transported to the liver where it is converted to form 25-hydroxyvitamin D (calcidiol; 25-hydroxyvitamin D). This is the major circulating form of vitamin D and a useful indicator of vitamin D nutritional status. This is the form of Vitamin D that is tested in blood tests.
Once active Vitamin D is in our systems, it plays many valuable roles (see Clinical Benefits below) and deficiency can result in a host of symptoms, including muscle weakness and pain, fatigue, painful menses, bone malformation, osteoporosis, chronic illness, diabetes, hypertension, autoimmune diseases and cancer.
To find out if you have adequate Vitamin D levels, make an appointment to come in today. Too often the vague symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency go ignored.
From Nair & Maseeh’s 2012 article in the Journal of Pharmacology & Pharmacotherapeutics
Clinical Benefits of Vitamin D:
Cancer: Vitamin D decreases cell proliferation and increases cell differentiation, stops the growth of new blood vessels, and has significant anti-inflammatory effects. While it may be too soon to say Vitamin D alone is a cancer fighter, we do know it has a role in preventing cell changes that too often contribute to cancer development.
Heart disease & Type 2 diabetes: there is growing evidence that the protective effect of vitamin D on the heart could be via the renin–angiotensin hormone system, through the suppression of inflammation, or directly on the cells of the heart and blood-vessel walls, playing a role in preventing heart disease, hypertension and blood pressure & insulin regulation.
Obesity Low concentrations of circulating vitamin D are common with obesity and may represent a potential mechanism explaining the elevated risk of certain cancers and cardiovascular outcomes.
Depression A Norwegian trial of overweight subjects showed that those receiving a high dose of vitamin D had a significant improvement in depressive symptom scale scores after 1 year versus those receiving placebo.
Cognitive impairment Low levels of 25(OH)D may be especially harmful to executive functions. In an Italian population-based study, low levels of vitamin D were associated with substantial cognitive decline in the elderly population studied during a 6-year period.
Parkinson’s disease Parkinson’s disease is a major cause of disability in the elderly population. Unfortunately, risk factors for this disease are relatively unknown. Recently, it has been suggested that chronically inadequate vitamin D intake may play a significant role in the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease.
Fractures and falls Vitamin D is known to help the body absorb calcium, and many studies have shown an association between low vitamin D concentrations and an increased risk of fractures and falls in older adults.Supplementation with about 800 IU of vitamin D per day reduced hip and nonspinal fractures by about 20%. USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University have examined the best trials of vitamin D versus placebo for falls. Their conclusion is that “fall risk reduction begins at 700 IU and increases progressively with higher doses”
Autoimmune diseases deficiency can contribute to autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS), type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and autoimmune thyroid disease.
Influenza in the winter months vitamin D deficiency may be the seasonal stimulus that triggers influenza outbreaks in the winter
Pelvic floor disorders The frequency of Pelvic floor disorders, including urinary and fecal incontinence, is increasing with age. Pelvic floor disorders have been linked to osteoporosis and low BMD and remain one of the most common reasons for gynaecologic surgery, with a failure rate of 30%. Subnormal levels of 25(OH)D are common among women, and lower levels are associated with a higher likelihood of pelvic floor disorders.
Age-related macular regeneration High vitamin D blood levels appear to be associated with a decreased risk for the development of early age-related macular degeneration (AMD) among women younger than 75 years
Schedule Today to have your Vitamin D levels checked today:
Nair, R., Maseeh,A. “Vitamin D: The “sunshine” vitamin”. J Pharmacol Pharmacother. 2012 Apr-Jun; 3(2): 118–126.
OSU. Linus Pauling Institute. Micronutrient Center: Vitamin D
Monday, November 10th, 2014
We often hear questions concerning the ‘new and improved’ recommendations for Vitamin D and Calcium intake (from the Institute of Medicine) . While the Institute’s recommendations about Calcium seem to be agreed upon by most, the recommendations released for Vitamin D have caused quite a stir in groups of health care providers across the country.
The actual IOM report is quite dense and a total of 990 pages long. (If you have a free weekend, take a gander for yourself.) To be honest, I did NOT comb through all 100 of the research articles that the IOM used to make its recommendations. But here are the basic recommendations:
Raise the suggested daily intake from 400 to 600 IUs of Vitamin D. The other half of the research is focused on the suggested Calcium supplement intakes (Not taking into account food-based Calcium, how you prepare that food and what types of foods…). At the end of it all, the researchers are saying that the recommended intake is 600 IUs (800 in the elderly, 400 in wee ones), but the upper tolerable limit, where “the risk of harm increases,” is 4,000 IU per day. I feel that the intake recommendations are overly conservative, and quite limiting in light of the potential benefits that Vitamin D can offer.
The IOM is also recommending that threshold for Vitamin D testing be at the 20 ng/ml level. We generally like to see the levels around 80 ng/mls, but most people in the Northwest clock in around 20-30 on an initial screen.
Many of the studies quoted and used to formulate the new recommendations are based in toxicity studies. It looks like the toxicity studies that they used for adults all included doses of Vit D of 100,000 to 150,000 IUs of Vitamin D a day for anywhere from 3-4 weeks to several years… increasing the blood levels to anywhere from 150 to the 1000’s. This is way too high and clearly excessive supplementation!
Other studies used are based off of cases of accidental over-fortification, which is very different than the supplemental Vitamin D that our patients have come to know and love.
Another interesting article on the topic came from a Huffington Post contributor, from Dr. David Katz, whose work I generally enjoy and whose articles seem to have a natural-based-bent to them.
“Calcium and vitamin D are important nutrients. As with all nutrients, enough is good — too little or too much is bad. The IOM invokes the precautionary principle to offer recommendations that are reasonable, and willfully conservative. But a relative absence of evidence means that guidance is as much about judgment as science.”
I think at the end of it all, what I am falling back on is that checking patients’ blood levels, like any therapy we initiate, is key.
Clearly, 5,000 to 10,000 IUs of Vitamin D for extended periods of time (YEARS and YEARS) or in the presence of naturally high blood levels is likely too much (although, the data to support or negate has yet to be generated sufficiently).
However, across the upper latitudes (Oregon, Washington, Canada, Norway, Sweden, etc..) providers have found 1000 to 4000 IU daily as a maintenance dose (and, of course, using higher/lower doses when clinically indicated) does not result in unusually elevated blood levels.
The key, then is making sure that you are supplementing under the care of a provider who evaluates your Vitamin D blood levels as indicated and supports you in making informed decisions to optimize your health.
Getting your Vitamin D levels checked should be part of every person’s winter health regimen. If you haven’t been tested this year, call the clinic today at (503) 287-4970, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for an appointment.
Image courtesy: SeanMcGrath
Tuesday, September 21st, 2010
Tags: alternative cancer prevention, Diet, endometrial cancer, natural cancer prevention, naturopathic cancer prevention, Nutrition, vitamin D
Posted in Health News Headlines | Comments Off on Vitamin D Protects Against Obesity-Induced Endometrial Cancer, Study Suggests
Thursday, September 16th, 2010
Tags: alternative flu prevention, Diet, flu shot, natural flu prevention, Nutrition, vaccine, vitamin D
Posted in Health News Headlines | Comments Off on Vitamin D proven far better than vaccines at preventing influenza infections
Thursday, September 2nd, 2010
Tags: Cardiovascular disease, Diet, Heart disease, heart failure, natural heart disease prevention, Nutrition, Supplements, vitamin D
Posted in Health News Headlines | Comments Off on Vitamin D Is A Prognostic Marker In Heart Failure
Monday, August 30th, 2010
Tags: autoimmune diseases, Chron's disease, Chronic Illness, Diabetes, Diet, leukemia, multiple sclerosis, natural cancer prevention, Nutrition, rheumatoid arthritis, sunshine, vitamin D
Posted in Health News Headlines | Comments Off on Vitamin D really does prevent cancer, autoimmune diseases
Thursday, August 26th, 2010
Tuesday, August 24th, 2010
Tags: Alzheimer's, Cancer, Cardiovascular disease, Chronic Illness, dementia, Diabetes, Diet, Heart disease, Nutrition, Parkinson's, RA, rheumatoid arthritis, vitamin D
Posted in Health News Headlines | Comments Off on Vitamin D Found to Influence Over 200 Genes, Highlighting Links to Disease
Tuesday, August 24th, 2010
Tags: alternative cancer prevention, autoimmune diseases, Cancer, Diabetes, multiple sclerosis, natural cancer prevention, sun, Supplements, VDR, vitamin D, vitamin D deficiency, vitamin D receptor
Posted in Health News Headlines | Comments Off on Vitamin D Linked To Autoimmune And Cancer Disease Genes, Underscoring Risks Of Deficiency
Sunday, August 15th, 2010
Tags: alternative breast cancer prevention, Breast cancer, natural breast cancer prevention, naturopathic breast cancer prevention, supplementation, vitamin D
Posted in Health News Headlines | Comments Off on Even a low-dose vitamin D pill cuts breast cancer risk by 24 percent
Wednesday, August 11th, 2010
Study shows that there is an inverse relationship between 25-OH-D levels and risk of relapse in MS patients.
Tags: alternative MS treatment, MS, MS relapse, multiple sclerosis, natural MS treatment, vitamin D
Posted in Health News Headlines | Comments Off on Higher 25-hydroxyvitamin D is associated with lower relapse risk in multiple sclerosis.
Monday, August 9th, 2010
Tuesday, July 27th, 2010
Friday, July 16th, 2010
Tags: baby, MS, multiple sclerosis, newborn, pregnancy, sun, vitamin D
Posted in Health News Headlines | Comments Off on Lack of sunlight exposure causes mothers to give birth to babies with multiple sclerosis