Vitamin D Deficiency is Major Health Risk
Vitamin D Deficiency is a Major Health Risk
The one thing that nearly all chronic, degenerative conditions have in common is chronic, unchecked inflammation.
The Heart of Inflammation
C-reactive protein (CRP) is elevated when there is inflammation somewhere in the body, and chronic inflammation is a risk factor for a number of conditions including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer.
Researchers have shown that simple and cheap (natural) vitamin D (cholecalciferol) lowers C-reactive protein (CRP), even in critically ill patients. Another marker of inflammation (IL-6) was reduced even more.
“C-reactive protein, a marker for inflammation, may predict a person’s risk for stroke and heart attack.” – NEJM, 1997, 336:973-979
In Dr. Kilmer McCully’s book The Heart Revolution (recommended reading) he describes in detail how cholesterol alone is not an accurate predictor of heart disease, but that oxidized cholesterol & vascular inflammation together, greatly increase the risk.
Vitamin D’s anti-inflammatory actions have long been suspected. Compounds similar to vitamin D have been shown to significantly reduce inflammation when given to patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.
Vitamin D: A Neglected Nutrient
Your vitamin D supplement should be “derived from fish liver oil.” It will be “Cholecalsiferol,” the natural form, not “Ergocalciferol,” the synthesized form. This is not the same as Omega 3 fish oil capsules (which are also essential for good health).
Remember: It only takes about 20 minutes of sun exposure to bare skin to produce 10,000 units of vitamin D, but in (our) non-tropical latitudes, UVB rays don’t even penetrate through the atmosphere from mid-September to mid-May, leaving only about 4 months when sunlight exposure of the skin will stimulate the production of vitamin D.
We don’t have to worry about too much UVB. We get way TOO LITTLE.
And… People with dark skin require as much as six times the amount of ultraviolet B (UVB) light to produce the same amount of vitamin D found in lighter-skinned people.
While 20% to 30% of UVB radiation is transmitted through light skin, only 5% is transmitted through deeply pigmented skin. So, if it takes about 20 minutes of sun exposure to light skin to produce 10,000 units of vitamin D, it will take 80 minutes to 2 hours of bare skin exposed to sunlight every day for people with dark skin to produce adequate vitamin D.
“Lithocholic acid is probably the most toxic compound that your body naturally makes, so you have to have a way to get rid of it,” laboratory animals given doses of vitamin D and then given lithocholic acid do not get colon cancer.
“Colon cancer patients also have high concentrations of lithocholic acid. The surprise from this study is that the vitamin D receptor, which we normally think of as mediating calcium, also has another role, which is to detoxify lithocholic acid,” – David Mangelsdorf, a professor of pharmacology and a researcher at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at the University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas
Vitamin D Is Not a Vitamin but a Steroid Hormone Precursor, Journal of Pediatrics
August 2000; 137: 153-157.
Diet and Sunlight Linked to Breast Cancer
As for the role of sunlight, researchers found an association between latitude and breast cancer suggesting that higher UV-B exposure was protective. UV-B rays spur the production of vitamin D in the body, it is likely the vitamin is behind the association found in this study.
January 1, 2002;94:272-281
Whereas sunburn increases the risk of skin cancer, if you get regular sun exposure, but don't get sunburned, you will have a decreased risk of skin cancer
An Enlightened Approach
"Your overall well-being depends in part on developing an appropriate relationship with the sun. The notion that we have to protect ourselves from the sun all the time is misguided and unhealthy." says Michael Holick, M.D., PhD, a full Professor of medicine, dermatology, and physiology at the Boston University School of Medicine. He is the author of The UV Advantage, a book about vitamin D that is written for the general public. This book is essential for those who follow the "experts’" advice to stay out of the sun.
Dr. Holick gives some ominous warnings that Americans’ irrational fear of the sun is causing thousands upon thousands of premature deaths each year. He supports his warnings with clear-cut evidence from numerous epidemiological studies.
Study findings show that:
• 27,500 American women die prematurely every year from breast cancer caused by vitamin D deficiency, and according to Dr. Holick’s calculations 55 American women die prematurely every year from breast cancer caused by underexposure to sunlight for every one woman who dies prematurely from overexposure to sunlight.
• 37,000 men die prematurely each year from prostate cancer. This means that 55 to 60 men may die prematurely from underexposure to sunlight for every one that dies prematurely due to overexposure.
• You are three times less likely to die of colon cancer if you have healthy levels of vitamin D.
The best source of vitamin D is a moderate amount of sun exposure on bare skin each day.
“Even a weak sunscreen (SPF 8) blocks out most (at least 88 percent) of the sun’s UVB rays – the ones that trigger our bodies to make vitamin D, so that “all-sunscreen, all the time” rule is actually causing vitamin D deficiency.
“My first recommendation for assuring sufficient vitamin D is to get enough non-winter sunshine without the use of sunscreen to make your skin turn faintly pink.” At that point apply sunscreen.
“Each day that you don’t get enough sun to turn slightly pink, you should take 2,000 – 3,000 units of vitamin D in supplement form (from fish liver oil).”
“it looks like additional sunlight exposure and/or vitamin D supplementation starting in childhood may significantly reduce the risk of lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and even Type 1 diabetes.” – Jonathan Wright, M.D.
Vitamin D supplements are very inexpensive – literally, a few dollars for a months supply.
“We – not our Stone Age ancestors – are the Cave People.”
Most people spend less than 20 minutes/day outside and even then, covered with clothing, there is almost no (critically important) skin exposure to the sunlight.
For these reasons, it's impossible for most people to get enough vitamin D from the sun alone. In fact, for many elderly people the vitamin D deficiency problem is compounded because our skin becomes less effective in producing vitamin D as we age. Dr. Wright recommends as much as 4,000 IU for those over 40.
Note: Whereas it is impossible to get too much vitamin D from sunlight exposure, it is possible to get too much vitamin D when taking supplemental vitamin D. Current research shows that it would be necessary to take 10,000 IU’s of vitamin D daily for several months for the average person to get too much of the vitamin.
Exposure of our skin to sunlight is necessary for our bodies to produce vitamin D
Vitamin D does far more than maintain normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus which promotes optimized bone health. Lack of vitamin D has also been associated with the following conditions:
• Colon, breast, prostate, ovarian, bone (and other) cancers
• Cardiovascular Disease
• High blood pressure
• Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)
• Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
• Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBS)
• Infertility and PMS
• Fatigue, Depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder
• Autoimmune Disorders
• Rheumatoid arthritis & Multiple sclerosis
• Metabolic Syndrome (high blood pressure, elevated triglycerides, and insulin resistance)
• Osteoporosis & Periodontal Disease
Sun Exposure Decreases Risk of MS
Children and adolescents who had high sun exposure had a decreased risk of multiple sclerosis (MS) later in life. Researchers concluded that insufficient exposure to ultraviolet radiation or vitamin D might therefore increase the risk of MS. British Medical Journal
, August 9, 2003; 327:316
British researchers confirm: exposure to sunlight helps prevent prostate cancer
. Men with the lowest exposure were found to have a three times greater incidence of prostate cancer than did men with a high lifetime exposure. The researchers suggest that vitamin D may be involved. - The Lancet
, August 25, 2001
show this inverse correlation; mostly reproductive and digestive cancers. The strongest inverse correlation is with breast, colon, and ovarian cancer. Other cancers apparently affected by sunlight include tumors of the bladder, uterus, esophagus, rectum, and stomach. Cancer
In a study that analyzed the relation of vitamin D levels to insulin sensitivity in a group of adults with normal glucose-tolerance, those with the lowest levels of D were more prone to develop symptoms of type 2 diabetes, including weaker pancreatic function and greater insulin resistance.
A University of California, San Francisco, study that showed how vitamin D may cut the risk of heart disease in older women by as much as one-third, primarily due to the ability of vitamin D to prevent the buildup of calcium deposits in the arteries.
Congestive Heart Failure
(CHF) occurs when the expansion and contraction of heart muscle cells is impaired, reducing the heart's ability to pump blood throughout the body. Because previous research on animals has demonstrated the possibility that low levels of vitamin D may play a role in heart failure, researchers at the Department of Nutrition Science, University of Bonn, Germany, designed their study to examine the effect of vitamin D on human hearts.
Over a period of five months, fasting blood samples were collected from 54 CHF patients. Their samples were compared to similar samples taken from a group of 34 healthy subjects that did not have CHF.
When the 54 congestive heart failure (CHF) patients was compared to a group of 34 healthy subjects without CHF, researchers found that the CHF patients had vitamin D levels significantly lower than the healthy group, and those with the lowest vitamin D levels tended to have the most severe symptoms of CHF.
People Who Should Not Take Supplemental Vitamin D
Some patients with sarcoidosis, tuberculosis, or lymphoma become hypercalcemic in response to any increase in vitamin D. For these persons, it may be wise to avoid any dietary or environmental sources of vitamin D, unless they are carefully monitored with serum calcium and 25(OH)D levels.
Health comes from within.
“Food may be the most powerful drug you will ever take. Hormones are hundreds of times stronger than drugs. Every time you eat, you start a hormonal cascade. Either you control it, or for the next four to six hours it controls you.
“Furthermore, many of the chronic diseases associated with aging--heart disease, arthritis, and cancer, for example--are strongly connected with (hormonal) imbalances.” – Barry Sears, Ph.D. from Enter the Zone (recommended reading).
Go outside and play!
I wish you success. You will be your own success story!
Dr. David Pellington
Pain Relief and Wellness Solutions
7193 Industrial Boulevard
Covington, GA 30014
A large number of teenage girls apparently aren’t getting enough vitamin D, according to a study published in the Archives of Disease in Childhood. In fact, researchers found that 73% of the girls participating in the study were vitamin D deficient. Archives of Disease in Childhood
Sunlight Actually Prevents Cancer Deaths
from a range of cancers of the reproductive and digestive systems were approximately twice as high in New England as in the southwest, despite a diet that varies little between regions. Cancer
March 2002; 94:1867-75
Breathe in the Sunshine (COPD)
Despite the risk of skin cancer from excessive exposure (burning), sun exposure is vital to our health. Vitamin D deficiencies have been linked to diseases including cancer, diabetes, hypertension, multiple sclerosis and osteoporosis. Now a study based on data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey links vitamin D deficiency with increased risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the umbrella term for emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
Researchers at the University of Auckland (New Zealand) reviewed data concerning the lung health and blood levels of vitamin D of 14,000 Americans who took part in the survey from 1988 to 1994. After adjusting for other factors, the study showed that people with the highest level of vitamin D in their blood had substantially better lung health than those with the least amount of vitamin D. Amazingly, the difference in lung health between the levels of vitamin D was greater than that seen between former smokers and people who had never smoked.
How Vitamin D Protects Your Heart British Journal of Nutrition
October 2005; 94(4): 483-492
Results showed a significant association between low levels of vitamin D and an elevated risk of tooth loss due to periodontal disease
. Tufts University (USDA Human Nutrition Research Center). "Association Between Serum Concentrations of 25-Hydroxyvitamin D3 and Periodontal Disease in the US Population" American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 80, No. 1, July 2004, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).
"Higher 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Concentrations are Associated with Better Lower-Extremity Function in both Active and Inactive Persons Aged 60 y" American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
, Vol. 80, No. 3, September 2004, ajcn.org
Vitamin D Urged for Breastfed, Dark-Skinned Infants Texas Medicine
RDA for Vitamin D Too Low for Those with Little Sunlight Exposure
J Intern Med
2000; 247: 260-268
Vitamin D for Inflammatory Bowel Disease Journal of Nutrition
Postmenopausal Women Need Vitamins D and K for Healthy Bones European Journal of Clinical Nutrition
August 2000; 54, 626-631.
Vitamin D and Bone Mineral Density American Journal Clinical Nutrition
December 2002 76:1446-1453
"Vitamin D May Cut Women's Heart Disease Death Risk" Reuters Health
"Vitamin D Treats Congestive Heart Failure"
Dr. Joseph Mercola, 3/5/03, mercola.com
"Low Vitamin D Status: A Contributing Factor in the Pathogenesis of Congestive Heart Failure?"
Journal of the American College of Cardiology
, 2003 Jan 1;41(1):105-12
Vitamin D Reduces Colon Cancer JAMA
December 10, 2003, Lancet November 18, 1989
"Vitamin D Intake and Incidence of Multiple Sclerosis" Neurology
, Vol. 62, No. 1, 1/13/04, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
"Vitamin D Cuts MS Risk"
BBC News, 1/13/04, bbc.co.uk
"Vitamin D Supplementation in the Fight Against Multiple Sclerosis"
Ashton F. Embry, DIRECT-MS, direct-ms.org
"Multiple Sclerosis: Decreased Relapse Rate Through Dietary Supplementation With Calcium, Magnesium and Vitamin D" Medical Hypotheses
, Vol. 21, No. 2, October 1986, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
"The Essential Nutrient You Need More Of - And How To Get It Absolutely Free"
Jonathan V. Wright, M.D., Nutrition and Healing, 11/1/03, wrightnewsletter.com
"Vitamin D May Lower Prostate Cancer Risk"
Jeanie Lerche Davis, WebMD Medical News, 2/18/05, my.webmd.com
"Vitamin D supplementation, 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Concentrations, and Safety"
Reinhold Vieth, M.D., American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
, Vol. 69, No. 5, May 1999, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
Sun Exposure (UVB) Protects Against 16 Types of Cancer
, Chapuy MC, Chapuy P, Meunier PJ. Calcium and vitamin D supplements: effects on calcium metabolism in elderly people. Am J Clin Nutr
Cardiovascular Problems Due to Lack of Vitamin D
, Diabetes Care
March 2006; 29(3): 722-724
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