The arrival of the winter, so how much vitamin D do we need? How much time do you have to spend sunlight to get enough quantity? How does obesity affect the dose? How many diseases can be prevented by adequate amounts of this vitamin? And what can the psychiatrist tell us about this vital vitamin?
Years ago, I reported that Dr. Catherine Gordon, a professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, studied vitamin D levels in teens from 11 to 18 years of age. She found that 14% of these adolescents are deficient in vitamin D. Today, about 30% of adults have a low level of D.
Dr. Glen Braunstein, a professor of medicine at the University of California, said her study was a wake-up call. This has shown that not only the house is connected but also the elderly in the homes for the elderly who receive insufficient sunlight.
In the 19th century, a large number of children suffered from rickets due to lack of sunlight. To resolve this problem, children with rickets were taken for long trips to what is called the "Boston Floating Hospital" to expose them to the health benefits of the sun.
Today we know that enough vitamin D is needed in the gut to absorb calcium and maintain healthy bones. Vitamin D also works on bone cells to release calcium and maintain normal blood levels of this important mineral.
Can the lack of vitamin D protect against infection? You would expect this response from an infectious disease expert rather than from a psychiatrist. But Dr. John Campbell, a US psychiatrist, noted that when the 2005 flu epidemic hit the hospital for a criminal instinct, the infection suppresses those patients who take vitamin D!
Another researcher, Dr. Mitsuioshi Urasima, a professor of epidemiology in Japan, reported in the American Journal of Nutrition that patients who received 1,200 IU D were less likely to develop flu than those who did not receive it.
Dr. Joe Mannson, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, reports that high levels of vitamin D in the blood protect against colon cancer.
A major study in the US designed to assess the health benefits of vitamin D and fish oil supplements has found that omega-3 oil can reduce the likelihood of a heart attack. However, the benefits of vitamin D seem to come from reducing the risk of death from cancer. The study also did not find that fish oil or vitamin D reduced the likelihood of stroke or cancer.
To get another opinion, I interviewed Dr. Andrew Saul, editor-in-chief of the Orthomolecular News Service, a worldwide body for vitamins. Saul says that colon cancer is clearly linked to vitamin D deficiency. He adds that inadequate levels of vitamin D are also associated with ovarian cancer. And this study by the National Library of Medicine reveals that there are 300 articles on how vitamin D helps fight prostate cancer and breast cancer.
Dr. Michael Hollick of the University of Boston, a body of vitamin D, believes that the greatest strength of vitamin D is its role in the fight against cancer. He says studies show that people living in larger latitudes receiving less sun exposure have an increased risk of dying from almost all cancers, especially breast, colon, prostate and skin cancer.
As we approach the winter, I asked Dr. Saul about the seasonal affective disorder – a condition where people feel "psychologically down" during the winter months. Saul says vitamin D acts as a mood stabilizer. He recommends vitamin D to fight this disease.
In Saul, author of Dr. Abram Hofer, "Orthomolecular Medicine for All," he reports that vitamin D deficiency is also associated with psoriasis that can be treated with vitamin D locally and that the D-deficiency is also associated with diabetes, heart failure and hypertension.
But most of us do not get enough vitamin D from the sun? We get some, but not as much as you think. It depends on where you live. For example, if you live at a latitude over 35 degrees north, including Boston, Philadelphia and the whole of Canada, production of vitamin D from sunlight will cease from October to the end of February. Thanks to the angle of the sun's rays, you can stay naked all day and not get enough sun to produce vitamin D!
What is the right dose? The answer is not easy as there is some debate. Obese people need more vitamin D, as fat keeps on it, making it less accessible to the body. Dr. Saul claims 10,000 IU daily are safe. Others recommend doses of 1000 to 3000 IU daily. So consult your doctor.
EDITOR NOTE: The column does not represent medical advice and is not intended for diagnosis, treatment, prophylaxis or treatment of diseases. Please contact your doctor. The information provided is for information purposes only and is the views of the author only. See Docgiff.com. For comments; [email protected]