Skip to comments.The vitamin D miracle: Is it for real?
Posted on 12/06/2009 9:00:19 AM PST by STARWISE
The claims have been sensational. Martin Mittelstaedt checks up on the research behind the hype
In the summer of 1974, brothers Frank and Cedric Garland had a heretical brainwave.
The young epidemiologists were watching a presentation on death rates from cancer county by county across the United States.
As they sat in a lecture hall at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore looking at the colour-coded cancer maps, they noticed a striking pattern, with the map for colon cancer the most pronounced.
Counties with high death rates were red; those with low rates were blue. Oddly, the nation was almost neatly divided in half, red in the north and blue in the south. Why, they wondered, was the risk of dying from cancer greater in bucolic Maine than in highly polluted Southern California?
Exposure to sunshine varies dramatically depending on the latitude. What if that's what was behind the varying cancer rates?
Their hypothesis, painstakingly developed and published six years later in the International Journal of Epidemiology, was that sunlight has a powerful anti-cancer effect through its role in producing vitamin D in bare skin.
Those living at northern latitudes, they theorized, receive less sunlight and make less of the vitamin, which in turn increases their risk of dying from cancer.
Today, with vitamin D so much in the news, it's hard to believe that it took decades for the Garlands' hypothesis to gain traction in the mainstream medical community.
But the benefits of vitamin D are no longer restricted to cancer prevention:
Studies have linked a shortage of the compound to such serious, chronic ailments as multiple sclerosis, diabetes, heart disease, influenza and schizophrenia.
Rest @ link
(Excerpt) Read more at theglobeandmail.com ...
It's made a huge difference for me and my 92 yr old Mom. The recommended dose for adults by those who know its benefits is 5,000IU a day, especially in the gloomy winter, sunless northern climes. I up my dose a bit, if I'm out sloshing in bitter cold weather and around sick folks, especially with the swine flu still around. More and more docs are getting the picture and testing for Vit D levels.
I’m currently on 50,000 units 3 days a week. My level was 9. The stuff can be very toxic at those levels. One more week and I’ll be retested to see how much I’ve recovered. My kidneys are going south and they are the greatest contributor to the problem.
I take 4,000 IU of vitamin D daily.
~~Please forgive any duplicates. Thought this
was important to get out to all ......... ;)
I can personally attest to the incredible benefits
of Vit D3.
There is now also a study showing that Niacin (B3) helps treat and prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia.
This sounds like a Sunday afternoon paid radio program.
“and Bob...what about earwax? Funny you should ask Dave, vitamin D has been shown to completely eliminate earwax in 87% of adults....
“You know my mother in law has a problem with in-grown toenails, underarm itch, and and thinning eyebrows... Then this product is for her Dave,. You might want to get her a whole case of vitamin D because there is hard data to show substantial reported relief in all of those areas and more!”
I’ve heard varying figures myself. I don’t think there is a set amount that everyone has agreed upon.
GLOBAL WARMING WILL CURE CANCER???
That doctor on Fox this morning says it’s good for elderly people to take Vitamin D for inbalance.....he takes 2000 ICU’s a day.
The megadose is hurting your kidneys?
Did the doc directly link that thru tests?
Prayers that this chapter ends well for
you and leaves you in good health.
Same here. I was very ill 2 years ago with all sorts of autoimmune disorders. Things started to turn around for me 2 weeks after an endocrinologist put me on Vitamin D.
let me get this straight
you cook in sun to get skin melanoma and keel over from it
but its a good thing because the globules of vitamin d will fight the same cancer
how about some common sense
i know its crazy
That’s why you take the vitamin form.
Why is that so hard to believe? If the FDA can't regulate it and the drug companies can't make money off it, then it must not be real, right?
Or how about just 12 oz of milk everday?
No. Flip it. My kidneys aren't synthesizing Vitamin D. I have chronic kidney disease and it isn't uncommon to have the deficiency, my MD tells me.
I think the amount of Vitamin D needed is provided well before you start to get sunburn.
I’m in southern Arizona, so I don’t worry about vitamin D supplements. Sunscreen is more useful...
Over the years, the value and vital need
for sunlight has been marginalized. We
were told we had to stay out of the sun,
it was so dangerous, we’re all sheathed
in sunscreen, live and work indoors behind
tinted windows, drive cars with tinted windows
.. less and less sunlight hit naked skin, which
is how Vit D gets synthesized into our body.
Hence, the need for supplementation.
If you’re in the tropics and get 10-15 mins
a day of sunlight on un-suncreened skin,
you’re getting what you need.
I’ve read (long ago) that bear liver is VERY high in vitamin D. Polar Bear liver is the highest.
In the same article I read that if you eat a Polar Bear liver, you can actually die of a vitamin D overdose.
Oh, I see. My goodness, I pray your
I take 500 MG of niacin (Niaspan) daily too.
I refused to take my cholesterol lowering medicine anymore and my doctor said if you won't take that, please take this niacin daily and he gave me a prescription.
Virol J. 2008 Feb 25;5:29.
Cannell JJ, Zasloff M, Garland CF, Scragg R, Giovannucci E.
Department of Psychiatry, Atascadero State Hospital, 10333 El Camino Real, Atascadero, CA 93423, USA.
The epidemiology of influenza swarms with incongruities, incongruities exhaustively detailed by the late British epidemiologist, Edgar Hope-Simpson. He was the first to propose a parsimonious theory explaining why influenza is, as Gregg said, "seemingly unmindful of traditional infectious disease behavioral patterns." Recent discoveries indicate vitamin D upregulates the endogenous antibiotics of innate immunity and suggest that the incongruities explored by Hope-Simpson may be secondary to the epidemiology of vitamin D deficiency. We identify - and attempt to explain - nine influenza conundrums: (1) Why is influenza both seasonal and ubiquitous and where is the virus between epidemics? (2) Why are the epidemics so explosive? (3) Why do they end so abruptly? (4) What explains the frequent coincidental timing of epidemics in countries of similar latitude? (5) Why is the serial interval obscure? (6) Why is the secondary attack rate so low? (7) Why did epidemics in previous ages spread so rapidly, despite the lack of modern transport? (8) Why does experimental inoculation of seronegative humans fail to cause illness in all the volunteers? (9) Why has influenza mortality of the aged not declined as their vaccination rates increased? We review recent discoveries about vitamin D's effects on innate immunity, human studies attempting sick-to-well transmission, naturalistic reports of human transmission, studies of serial interval, secondary attack rates, and relevant animal studies. We hypothesize that two factors explain the nine conundrums: vitamin D's seasonal and population effects on innate immunity, and the presence of a subpopulation of "good infectors." If true, our revision of Edgar Hope-Simpson's theory has profound implications for the prevention of influenza.
Thanks for this info - will pass it along.
Can you be specific on how Vit D has helped you and your 92 year old mother?
I wish the article would have discussed the autoimmune connection in more detail. Tropical countries have very few cases of severe allergies or autoimmune disorders. Up until now, that has been a big mystery. Now they know why, vitamin D.
I swim with my shirt off! Also, do work in the yard shirtless! Hah!
well i forgot the flame suit
but i am just to caffeinated
personally have changed to vit d from fish oil i hate the stuff
but vit D in pills has varoius buffers and usually all raw materials are from china and they can all choke on it
second you dont absorb enough through milk or there is some evidence that vit d in pill form is poorley digested
so i guess ia m ra ra ing for fish oil
This year in August we both started taking 10,000 iu a day. H1N1 went around in school and wife did not carry it home though most of the rest of the staff did. Then a different respiratory malady went around a month later. She didn't bring me that one either. My adult daughter started coming down with some kind of flu and wife induced her to take a megadose of D3-> 900 iu per pound of body weight per day. She did that for three days and was actually done with the ailment by the time she took the third dose. I can't say for sure that the D3 had an actual effect and that we were not merely lucky this year but we will continue with the regimen. I need it anyway because I work at night and seldom see the sun.
Living in the northeast, I take no Vit D supplements during the summer, but I do take cholecalciferol during the fall, winter and spring.
Niaspan is more dangerous than plain old niacin.
Niaspan, which is sustained release niacin, can cause liver damage. I’d switch to plain old niacin.
It isn’t uncommon for me to spend 3-4 hours outside during the afternoon...in Tucson, in summer. I primarily use sunscreen on my face, where I can burn and blister very easily.
I use the tan rule. If I tan without burning, it is OK. For an hour, I can handle most anything. Times longer than that deserve some help.
Thanks. My doctor put me on it so I'll discuss it with him before changing.
Doctor put me on Niacin as it helps bring up good cholesterol. Raised my good stuff 20 points...(if one is not aware of the bodys reaction to Niacin, its intense itching and flushing unless taken with a FULL glass of water. There is now on the market a non-flushing Niacin. much nicer to take
Sounds reasonable. People that are of a pure Celtic type (the people with red hair and freckles) are the most vulnerable to skin damage; it is an individual issue. I am—like most Americans—a mutt with Celtic, central Euro and Semitic genes, so I can take more sun than the redheads.
Non-flushing isn’t as effective....and has other problems.
My doctor takes 2000-4000 IU of D3, so that's what I take. She said there is no agreement about the proper dosage, but only the geltabs should be taken -- not the solid pills.
3 ways to get more vitamin D
Getting enough of this nutrient could help lower your risk of death
Over the past few years, research has shown that getting enough vitamin D can reduce the risk of several medical conditions, including osteoporosis, gum disease, diabetes, arthritis, multiple sclerosis and YES, even certain cancers.
Now, vitamin D appears to be associated with a lower risk of death, according to a meta-analysis of 18 previously published studies in the September 10 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.
Here are three things you can do to ensure youre getting enough.
1. Incorporate vitamin D-rich food
* Wild salmon 3 oz = 420 IU
* Atlantic mackerel 3 oz = 320 IU
* Sardines 1 can = 250 IU
* Shrimp 3 oz = 150 IU
* Skim and 1% low-fat milk 1 cup = 100 IU
* Shittake mushrooms 4 items = 260 IU
* Fortified yogurts like Dannon Light & Fit 1 cup = 80 IU
* Fortified cereals:Multigrain Cheerios 1 cup = 40 IU; Post Bran Flakes 1 cup = 40 IU; Kashi Vive 1¼ cup = 80
I think it is very important to distinguish between vitamin D and Vitamin D3. As I understand it, vitamin D is a goldy Locks vitamin, but D3 can be taken in higher doses without being toxic.
My Doctor has me on a once a week dosage of 50,000 IU, he thinks that it is more affective if it is taken this way rather than lower dosages each day. There is less chance of hit and miss dosages and it seems to help absorb calcium better.
Dear Grandma, Have mercy on the neighbors and put your shirt back on.
FYI: Melanoma most frequently occurs in none sun exposed areas. The truck driver that hangs his left arm out of the window gets almost no vitamin d benefit after the arm becomes very tan. Black people need 10-20 times as much sun exposure
in north america as do white people in order to get the same
amount of d. It takes 48 hours to get the d3 on your skin absorbed into the blood stream. If you bathe with soap the d goes down the drain.
Bottom line is that in my nearly 50 years of near perfect health and observing many around me who are perpetually sick or otherwise in some sort of health crisis, I have drawn the following conclusions.
Those who nervously sit at home and obsess over health tend to be sicker than those who live an active lifestyle and partake in all that life has to offer. Case in point, pop star Michael Jackson with his silly surgical masks and aversion to germs of all types. Where did that get him? In an early grave with a boatload of wacky stories for the supermarket tabloids to report on.
Meanwhile, you have millions of people people living long and healthy lives who spend plenty of time outdoors (without sunscreen!), knock back a few beers from time to time, drink coffee by the gallon, light up a cigar or pipe now and then, have eggs and bacon for breakfast, don't wash their hands 19 times a day and aren't afraid to pick up and eat a tasty morsel of food if they accidently drop it on the ground. They also never wore a surgical mask in their life unless maybe they had to strip some lead paint off their wall with an electric sander.
Basically all I'm trying to say is quit worrying and start living. (And yes, I do believe you should get your vitamin D the natural way, not in pill form, so get out in that yard and rake some leaves already.)
Polar bear (and seal, and husky) liver is indeed toxic.
The toxin, however, is Vitamin A, not D.
Thanks for the ping. I’m seeing nice results from taking vit. supplements. I’ve added the B Vit family, and it helps too - I could feel it when I stopped it (tastes yukky going down). But worth it.
A friends’ hubby was diagnosed with Lewy Body disease (mental disorder) and one of the factoids from his tests was he was horribly depleted of Vit B12, and that alone can cause dementia, she was told. Important for seniors to take it.