VITAMIN D DEFICIENCY
Our great grandparents had rickets. Once we fortified our food with vitamin D we thought we had the problem solved. Hah! Vitamin D deficiency is still very common in kids and also adults. A deficiency in pregnancy results in growth retardation, skeletal deformities, and hip fractures in old age.Deficiency also causes bone weakening, bone pain, muscle weakness and increases the risk of fractures.
Most cell in the body have vitamin. D receptor that can convert circulating vitamin D to 1.25di OH vitamin D. This vitamin plays a role in many chronic illnesses including cancers, autoimmune disease, infections, and heart disease.
HOW DO WE GET VITAMIN D
Sunlight, diet, and supplements are sources for vitamin D. Sunlight coverts cholesterol to vitamin D. Fortified foods offer a minimum amount of vitamin D. Ironically, Europeans do not fortify their foods. Oily fish are a great source of vitamin. D. Vitamin supplements are another source with vitamin D2 and D3 available. Two kinds of vitamin D. Vitamin D2 is made from yeast and Vitamin D3 is made from lanolin.
The liver to 25 OH vitamin D then metabolizes the vitamin D that is made. This is then destroyed by the kidney. Calcium and phosphorus are absorbed better with high levels of vitamin. D. In fact, only 10% of the calcium ingested is absorbed if there is a deficiency of vitamin D. A level of 150mg indicates too much, this is very rare.
Over one billion people are deficient. 40-100% of all Europeans are deficient. as are 50% of women with osteoporosis taking who are taking osteoporosis medication. Fifty percent of Hispanics and blacks are also deficient as are one third of healthy college students. People close to the equator who soak a lot of sunlight have great levels of vitamin D.
Ironically, in the Middle East, people hide and shield themselves from the sun, and as a result have low vitamin D levels. At risk are even pregnant women who take their vitamins, eat fish, and drink milk. Seventy five percent of these pregnant woman and 89% of their offspring are deficient in vitamin D.
93% of patients admitted to an emergency department with muscle aches and bone pain have a vitamin D deficiency. They often are diagnosed with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and depression.
One third of women between 60-70 have osteoporosis and after 80, 2/3 of them have osteoporosis. Half of women who have osteoporosis will get a fracture in their lifetime.
OTHER ACTIONS OF VITAMIN D
Besides maintaining strong bones, skeletal muscle also requires vitamin D to function. Muscle weakness occurs if there is a deficiency. Seniors have decreased muscle strength because of low levels of Vitamin D and consequently have more falls. A dose of 800 IU of vitamin D3 could prevent manyof these problems
Vitamin D decreases cell proliferation in both normal and cancer cells and makes the cells more mature.
Toronto doctor Goodman reported that 83% of the breast cancer patients who had adequate Vitamin D when the cancer was discovered were alive 10 years later, while only 69% of patiients who had deficient levels of Vitamin D on discovery of their breast cancer survived 10 years. This 14% drop in survival is very significant.
Vitamin D increases insulin production and also helps the heart muscle to contract better.
WHERE TO LIVE?
Living at higher latitudes increases the risks of disease by 30-50%. Living in upper United States result in more lymphomas, colon and pancreatic cancers, and prostate cancers. Increase sun exposure and higher vitamin D levels result in a decrease in deadly cancers. Vitamin D prevents blood vessel proliferation and can reduce the ability of cancerous cells to survive.
Type 1 diabetes; multiple sclerosis and Crohn’s disease risks are all decreased by 50% in people living at lower altitudes as Florida.
High blood pressure and heart disease rates decrease in lower latitudes. Even heart disease patients have vitamin D deficiencies. One also sees a reduction in rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis in warmer and sunnier states.
HOW MUCH VITAMIN D IS NEEDED?
Without adequate sun exposure, 800-1000IU of vitamin D3 is needed. D3 is three times more effective than vitamin D2, which is found in your common vitamins. Either take 1000 IU of vitamin D3 or 3000 IU of vitamin D2. In pregnancy 4000 IU of vitamin DE3 is advised. Overdose of vitamin D is very hard. A dose of 10,000 IU of vitamin D3 for 5 straight months caused no problems.
SENSIBLE SUN EXPOSURE
Vitamin D is stored in body fat and is released in the winter when vitamin D3 can’t be produced. Exposure to areas of the arms and legs for 5-20 minutes between 10 am and 3 pm should result in plenty of vitamin D. The skin can make a lot of vitamin D3 even in the aged, thus reducing the risk of fractures.
Vitamin D deficiency is very very common. A deficiency predicts bone and muscle weakness, and an increase risk for cancers and other chronic diseases. Taking 1100 IU of vitamin D3 reduced the risk of cancer by 75%. Kids need at least 800 IU.
Enjoy your sun and take supplements of vitamin D3 to maintain a healthy body and strong heart and reduce your cancer risk. Also go south in the winter for a while and don’t put your sun tan lotion on for the first 20 minutes of sun exposure.
Blame it all on Henry Ford and the invention of the car. We haven’t been our sunny selves since.