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Jul 20, 2009

Vitamin D shines as heart attack fighter
 By Tom Spears, Canwest News Service
http://www.canada.com/health/Vitamin+shines+heart+attack+fighter/1021259/story.html

The Journal of the American College of Cardiology says people with low levels of the vitamin, which comes from sunshine and pills but not much else, are twice as likely to have a heart attack or stroke within five years compared to people with higher vitamin levels.

OTTAWA - Another study has emerged that says vitamin D is good for you - this time, for your heart.

The Journal of the American College of Cardiology says people with low levels of the vitamin, which comes from sunshine and pills but not much else, are twice as likely to have a heart attack or stroke within five years compared to people with higher vitamin levels.

This adds to evidence that people lacking vitamin D have a higher risk of various cancers and diabetes as well. But as well, it shows that the early studies promoting the value of this cheap vitamin are being confirmed by scientific follow-up - unlike the faded early promise of vitamins C and E.

"Vitamin D deficiency is an unrecognized, emerging cardiovascular risk factor, which should be screened for and treated," said the study's main author, cardiologist James O'Keefe of the Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City, Mo. "Vitamin D is easy to assess, and supplementation (with pills) is simple, safe and inexpensive."

The new evidence comes from the Framingham Heart Study. This is a famous study in a suburb of Boston that has followed thousands of ordinary people, beginning in the 1950s, to find links between their lifestyle and their cardiovascular health.

The story isn't over. "I think one always has to be careful in reporting on the results of clinical trials," said vitamin D researcher John White of McGill University.

He said different trials "may point in opposite directions. "Certainly the two major trials - this one and the one reported a year ago - certainly suggested that vitamin D deficiency is associated with cardiovascular problems later in life."

One potential objection, he noted, is that the heart attacks may not be caused by a lack of vitamin D. The people with the low vitamin levels may also smoke and wolf down too many cheeseburgers.

"They (studies) are a piece of evidence in an accumulating body of evidence, and as a stand-alone result, clinical trials are not in any way definitive." Which is exactly what the American Cancer Society said when a University of Toronto study found that women with breast cancer were more likely to die if they had low vitamin D levels.

The American Cancer Society held a news conference to publicize the findings, but cautioned that more study was needed.

Still, the past year has seen a flurry of studies from cancer institutes, cardiologists and university labs, all generally indicating that the vitamin protects against some cancers and heart disease, and may help fight infection. The Canadian Cancer Society recommends that all Canadian adults take 1,000 international units of the vitamin in fall and winter.

Even with a note of caution, said White, the direction seems clear so far, and important to Canadians: "That vitamin D deficiency - which in temperate (non-tropical) populations is quite widespread - is associated with cardiac problems."

© Copyright (c) Canwest News Service
Thorhallsson: Vitamin D: The Super Nutrient      PDF      Print      E-mail
WEDNESDAY, 04 MARCH 2009 14:43

When you hear about wheelchair-bound patients with kidney disease and associated bone disease getting up and walking again, you pay attention. Discovering that psoriasis can be improved and that malignant cancer cells can be destroyed, you want to know more. What made the difference? New research suggests that adequate amounts of active Vitamin D3 can improve health.

In a 2008 Journal of Alternative Therapies, Dr. Michael Holick, professor of medicine, physiology, and biophysics at Boston University Medical Center, discloses the results of many research studies on Vitamin D. This research suggests that both sun exposure and vitamin D supplementation is important for everyone regardless of their age, gender, race or geographical residence.
Although our general diet is deficient in vitamin D, the body has a tremendous potential to make vitamin D after sun exposure. The problem lies in the pervasive belief that sun exposure is dangerous most of the time. Dr. Holick states that it is well documented that most melanoma is found on the least sun-exposed areas of the body. Research shows that the more sun exposure that an individual has had as a child and adult, the least likely they are to die of cancer if a melanoma develops.

How much supplemental vitamin D should an individual consume daily? Dr. Holick provides guidelines – “It’s estimated that if you take 1000 IU of vitamin D per day, which most experts recommend everybody, both children and adults, be on, you reduce your risk of developing colorectal, breast, prostate, and ovarian cancer by 50%.” Vitamin D supplementation has also been shown to reduce the incidence of both forms of diabetes and heart disease.

Research employing even higher doses has had very positive outcomes. Dr. Holick explains that adequate amounts of vitamin D can enhance immunity. He states, “A study in postmenopausal women who took 2000 IU of vitamin D3 a day had a 90% reduction in upper respiratory tract infections compared to women who took 400 IU of vitamin D3 a day.”

Vitamin D has anti-inflammatory properties as well and this is the mechanism that reduces diseases of the heart and blood vessels. Adequate vitamin D can reduce the incidence of high blood pressure. Dr. Holick warns that vitamin D is not a cure-all for everything, but he maintains that compelling evidence suggests that there are many serious chronic diseases that are strongly associated with a lack of vitamin D.

We have addressed vitamin D in previous columns, but the above information deserves to be presented again. Some of this sounds familiar, but perhaps a reminder about the importance of naturally occurring vitamin D will help us to reconsider spending more time outdoors during the safe hours. There are many reasons to be out in nature, hopefully this information will encourage us all to do this more often.

Maryann Thorhallsson, PhD, ARNP, is a Professional Life Coach, and a Nursing Professor at BCU. Dr. Thorhallsson holds certifications in nutrition, yoga and QiGong and has written wellness columns since 1990.
 

Low vitamin D linked to asthma exacerbations.
By: Zoler, Mitchel L.
Publication: Pediatric News
Date: Tuesday, July 1 2008

PHILADELPHIA -- Children with asthma and on treatment with inhaled
corticosteroids who had insufficient blood levels of vitamin D had an
increased risk of asthma exacerbations during 4 years of follow-up in a
study with 305 children.

The results are only suggestive, because the study wasn't designedto assess
the impact of vitamin D levels on asthma. But the findings warrant further
study into a possible role that vitamin D might play in modifying the effect
of inhaled corticosteroid in children with asthma.

The results suggest that boosting blood vitamin D levels might improve
responsiveness to inhaled corticosteroids in asthmatic children, Dr.
Augusto A. Litonjua said while presenting a poster at the annual meeting of
the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology.

The study included the 305 children with asthma who were enrolled in the
inhaled-budesonide group of the Childhood Asthma Management Program. The
study was designed to assess the safety and efficacy of inhaled budesonide
(Pulmicort), compared with treatment with nedocromil (Tilade) or placebo. 
Vitamin D Needed To Cut Cancer Risk, Researchers Say

ScienceDaily (Dec. 28, 2005) —

Taking 1,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D3 daily appears to lower an individual's risk of developing certain cancers – including colon, breast, and ovarian cancer – by up to 50 percent, according to cancer prevention specialists at the Moores Cancer Center at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Medical Center. The researchers call for prompt public health action to increase intake of vitamin D3 as an inexpensive tool for prevention of diseases that claim millions of lives each year.

Previous studies by these researchers, including a paper in the December 2005 Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, showed the link between vitamin D deficiency and higher rates of colon cancer. The new paper, to be published on-line December 27, 2005 and printed in the February 2006 issue of The American Journal of Public Health, associates the same risks to breast and ovarian cancers, and underscores the researchers' call to action.
"For example, breast cancer will strike one in eight American women in their lifetime. Early detection using mammography reduces mortality rates by approximately 20 percent. But use of vitamin D might prevent this cancer in the first place," said co-author Cedric F. Garland, a professor with UCSD's Moores Cancer Center and the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at the UCSD School of Medicine.

In the paper, the authors conclude: "The high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency, combined with the discovery of increased risks of certain types of cancer in those who are deficient, suggest that vitamin D deficiency may account for several thousand premature deaths from colon, breast, ovarian and other cancers annually."

The study also found that residents of the northeastern United States, and individuals with higher skin pigmentation were at an increased risk of vitamin D deficiency. This is because solar UVB is needed for the human body to make vitamin D. The increased skin pigmentation of African-Americans reduces their ability to synthesize vitamin D.ght it might be helpful to pass it on to all of you

"African-American women who develop breast cancer are more likely to die from the disease than White women of the same age," said Garland. "Survival rates are worse among African-Americans for colon, prostate and ovarian cancers as well." Even after adjustments that removed the effect of socioeconomic status and access to care, blacks were shown to have substantially poorer survival rates, a difference that the authors link with the decreased ability of blacks to make Vitamin D.

The findings are based upon an extensive systematic review of scientific papers on the relationship of blood serum levels or oral intake of vitamin D with risk of certain types of cancers published worldwide between January 1966 and December 2004. Sixty-three observational studies of vitamin D status in relation to cancer risk, including 30 of colon cancer, 13 of breast cancer, 26 of prostate cancer and seven of ovarian cancer, were assessed.

This complex analysis of virtually every observational study written on the subject, called a systematic review, paints a clearer picture than any single study and is recognized by scientists as an important tool for establishing a consensus of findings.

"A preponderance of evidence, from the best observational studies the medical world has to offer, gathered over 25 years, has led to the conclusion that public health action is needed," Garland said. "Primary prevention of these cancers has largely been neglected, but we now have proof that the incidence of colon, breast, and ovarian cancer can be reduced dramatically by increasing the public's intake of vitamin D."

Since the safety of daily intake of vitamin D3 in the recommended range has been thoroughly assessed and confirmed by the National Academy of Sciences, and the benefits found so far in observational studies are considerable, expanded use of vitamin D as a public health measure should not be delayed, according to the authors.

They recommend intake of 1,000 IU/day of vitamin D, half the safe upper intake established by the National Academy of Sciences. Garland said that while this study looked at all forms of vitamin D – intake through diet or supplements, and photosynthesis through modest sun exposure – as a practical matter, the majority of people will most easily achieve the target levels by eating foods containing vitamin D and taking supplements, which the authors estimated would cost about five cents per day.

"Many people are deficient in vitamin D. A glass of milk, for example, has only 100 IU. Other foods, such as orange juice, yogurt and cheese, are now beginning to be fortified, but you have to work fairly hard to reach 1,000 IU a day," he explained. "Sun exposure has its own concerns and limitations. We recommend no more than 15 minutes of exposure daily over 40 percent of the body, other than the face, which should be protected from the sun. Dark-skinned people, however, may need more exposure to produce adequate amounts of vitamin D, and some fair-skinned people shouldn't try to get any vitamin D from the sun. The easiest and most reliable way of getting the appropriate amount is from food and a daily supplement."

###
Co-authors on the study are Cedric F. Garland, Edward D. Gorham, Sharif B. Mohr, and Frank C. Garland, affiliated with the Moores Cancer Center and the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at UCSD School of Medicine ; Martin Lipkin, Strang Cancer Prevention Center, New York; Harold L. Newmark, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey and The Cancer Institute of New Jersey; and Michael F. Holick, Department of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine.

Osteomalacia, Osteoporosis and Vitamin D3
By Bob Livingston • May 8th, 2009 •
Category: Bob Livingston, Conservative Politics, Health, Personal Liberty Articles, Privacy
http://www.personalliberty.com/bob-livingston/osteomalacia-osteoporosis-and-vitamin-d3/
Each month I try to think of what information my subscribers need most, as most of my readers are in the 50 to 90 age group. Of course we all need health and wealth, which is the basic theme of The Bob Livingston Letter.

And one cause of poor health among people in this age group is Vitamin D deficiency.

I have been so mesmerized, excited and overpowered with the benefits of vitamin D3 and sunshine that I have accumulated a small library on the subject.

The vitamin D3 excitement grows exponentially for seniors. I myself am in that age range. I have good seasoning like fine whiskey! I didn’t say that I drink it, just age like it—to perfection!

Increasing numbers of adults are developing a vitamin D deficiency-related bone condition known as osteomalacia (pronounced os-tee-oh-muh-lay-sha), sometimes called "adult rickets." This condition, characterized by vague bone and muscle aches, is frequently misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia or arthritis. This is a typical diagnosis of "conventional" or "orthodox" doctors. I just saw this happen and the patient (or victim) wouldn’t touch vitamin D3 and had to go on disability.

Activated vitamin D or vitamin D3 or sunshine is directly related to bone health and muscle health. It is in fact its main job.

Osteomalacia refers to bone pain with muscle ache. Osteomalacia is a condition in which the bones don’t harden properly during the building or rebuilding phase. Vitamin D3 deficiency is the most common cause of osteomalacia.

Yes, even seniors are always building bone and unhardened bone produces complaints of muscle achiness and weakness. Winter months produce this more when there is little or no sunshine.

Vitamin D3 deficiency affects seniors most simply because few of us get any sunshine or enough sunshine, including me. So my wife and I take large daily doses (10,000 units) of vitamin D3 almost without fail. If we slack anything else, we take vitamin D3 in tablets or liquid.

The rule is to take large doses daily. You should take it on and on. As with any natural nutrient, it will take a while to get D3 solidly in your system, say two months. Then we have to keep it there by continuing to supplement. It may take longer for some. Remember that you acquired this sunshine deficiency over a long period of time.

If vitamin D3 deficiency continues it will weaken your bones and predispose you to fractures, especially of the lower spine, hip and wrist. In fact some researchers suspect that carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by vitamin D3 deficiency. And most importantly, a D3 deficiency causes instability of balance. Seniors fall more than younger people, a whole lot more. Of course when they do, they break their bones, as you well know.

Osteoporosis

All seniors know what osteoporosis is. Osteoporosis is a basic deficiency of vitamin D3 which compromises the bone regrowth and remodeling process—which goes on until death. Vitamin D3 deficiency inhibits efficient absorption of calcium from the diet. Calcium enters the bloodstream and with the help of vitamin D3 is deposited in the bones. If this pattern doesn’t happen because of D3 deficiency, the bones become riddled with holes and become porous, brittle and weak. This is osteoporosis and can be verified with a bone density test.

The result of osteoporosis is death. How many seniors over the centuries have broken a bone, developed pneumonia and died? This was all needless, according to vitamin D research.

Our strongest impression is that you should take your daily units of vitamin D3 above all else.

Normally I wouldn’t include specific product names and links in my editorial articles, but I get so many questions as to which exact products I use that I thought I should do so here. I recommend you take Advanced D3 from Health Resources™.
 
 
 Thorhallsson: Vitamin D: The Super Nutrient      PDF      Print      E-mail
WEDNESDAY, 04 MARCH 2009 14:43

When you hear about wheelchair-bound patients with kidney disease and associated bone disease getting up and walking again, you pay attention. Discovering that psoriasis can be improved and that malignant cancer cells can be destroyed, you want to know more. What made the difference? New research suggests that adequate amounts of active Vitamin D3 can improve health.

In a 2008 Journal of Alternative Therapies, Dr. Michael Holick, professor of medicine, physiology, and biophysics at Boston University Medical Center, discloses the results of many research studies on Vitamin D. This research suggests that both sun exposure and vitamin D supplementation is important for everyone regardless of their age, gender, race or geographical residence.
Although our general diet is deficient in vitamin D, the body has a tremendous potential to make vitamin D after sun exposure. The problem lies in the pervasive belief that sun exposure is dangerous most of the time. Dr. Holick states that it is well documented that most melanoma is found on the least sun-exposed areas of the body. Research shows that the more sun exposure that an individual has had as a child and adult, the least likely they are to die of cancer if a melanoma develops.

How much supplemental vitamin D should an individual consume daily? Dr. Holick provides guidelines – “It’s estimated that if you take 1000 IU of vitamin D per day, which most experts recommend everybody, both children and adults, be on, you reduce your risk of developing colorectal, breast, prostate, and ovarian cancer by 50%.” Vitamin D supplementation has also been shown to reduce the incidence of both forms of diabetes and heart disease.

Research employing even higher doses has had very positive outcomes. Dr. Holick explains that adequate amounts of vitamin D can enhance immunity. He states, “A study in postmenopausal women who took 2000 IU of vitamin D3 a day had a 90% reduction in upper respiratory tract infections compared to women who took 400 IU of vitamin D3 a day.”

Vitamin D has anti-inflammatory properties as well and this is the mechanism that reduces diseases of the heart and blood vessels. Adequate vitamin D can reduce the incidence of high blood pressure. Dr. Holick warns that vitamin D is not a cure-all for everything, but he maintains that compelling evidence suggests that there are many serious chronic diseases that are strongly associated with a lack of vitamin D.

We have addressed vitamin D in previous columns, but the above information deserves to be presented again. Some of this sounds familiar, but perhaps a reminder about the importance of naturally occurring vitamin D will help us to reconsider spending more time outdoors during the safe hours. There are many reasons to be out in nature, hopefully this information will encourage us all to do this more often.

Maryann Thorhallsson, PhD, ARNP, is a Professional Life Coach, and a Nursing Professor at BCU. Dr. Thorhallsson holds certifications in nutrition, yoga and QiGong and has written wellness columns since 1990.
 
Vitamin D Needed To Cut Cancer Risk, Researchers Say

ScienceDaily (Dec. 28, 2005) —

Taking 1,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D3 daily appears to lower an individual's risk of developing certain cancers – including colon, breast, and ovarian cancer – by up to 50 percent, according to cancer prevention specialists at the Moores Cancer Center at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Medical Center. The researchers call for prompt public health action to increase intake of vitamin D3 as an inexpensive tool for prevention of diseases that claim millions of lives each year.

Previous studies by these researchers, including a paper in the December 2005 Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, showed the link between vitamin D deficiency and higher rates of colon cancer. The new paper, to be published on-line December 27, 2005 and printed in the February 2006 issue of The American Journal of Public Health, associates the same risks to breast and ovarian cancers, and underscores the researchers' call to action.
"For example, breast cancer will strike one in eight American women in their lifetime. Early detection using mammography reduces mortality rates by approximately 20 percent. But use of vitamin D might prevent this cancer in the first place," said co-author Cedric F. Garland, a professor with UCSD's Moores Cancer Center and the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at the UCSD School of Medicine.

In the paper, the authors conclude: "The high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency, combined with the discovery of increased risks of certain types of cancer in those who are deficient, suggest that vitamin D deficiency may account for several thousand premature deaths from colon, breast, ovarian and other cancers annually."

The study also found that residents of the northeastern United States, and individuals with higher skin pigmentation were at an increased risk of vitamin D deficiency. This is because solar UVB is needed for the human body to make vitamin D. The increased skin pigmentation of African-Americans reduces their ability to synthesize vitamin D.ght it might be helpful to pass it on to all of you

"African-American women who develop breast cancer are more likely to die from the disease than White women of the same age," said Garland. "Survival rates are worse among African-Americans for colon, prostate and ovarian cancers as well." Even after adjustments that removed the effect of socioeconomic status and access to care, blacks were shown to have substantially poorer survival rates, a difference that the authors link with the decreased ability of blacks to make Vitamin D.

The findings are based upon an extensive systematic review of scientific papers on the relationship of blood serum levels or oral intake of vitamin D with risk of certain types of cancers published worldwide between January 1966 and December 2004. Sixty-three observational studies of vitamin D status in relation to cancer risk, including 30 of colon cancer, 13 of breast cancer, 26 of prostate cancer and seven of ovarian cancer, were assessed.

This complex analysis of virtually every observational study written on the subject, called a systematic review, paints a clearer picture than any single study and is recognized by scientists as an important tool for establishing a consensus of findings.

"A preponderance of evidence, from the best observational studies the medical world has to offer, gathered over 25 years, has led to the conclusion that public health action is needed," Garland said. "Primary prevention of these cancers has largely been neglected, but we now have proof that the incidence of colon, breast, and ovarian cancer can be reduced dramatically by increasing the public's intake of vitamin D."

Since the safety of daily intake of vitamin D3 in the recommended range has been thoroughly assessed and confirmed by the National Academy of Sciences, and the benefits found so far in observational studies are considerable, expanded use of vitamin D as a public health measure should not be delayed, according to the authors.

They recommend intake of 1,000 IU/day of vitamin D, half the safe upper intake established by the National Academy of Sciences. Garland said that while this study looked at all forms of vitamin D – intake through diet or supplements, and photosynthesis through modest sun exposure – as a practical matter, the majority of people will most easily achieve the target levels by eating foods containing vitamin D and taking supplements, which the authors estimated would cost about five cents per day.

"Many people are deficient in vitamin D. A glass of milk, for example, has only 100 IU. Other foods, such as orange juice, yogurt and cheese, are now beginning to be fortified, but you have to work fairly hard to reach 1,000 IU a day," he explained. "Sun exposure has its own concerns and limitations. We recommend no more than 15 minutes of exposure daily over 40 percent of the body, other than the face, which should be protected from the sun. Dark-skinned people, however, may need more exposure to produce adequate amounts of vitamin D, and some fair-skinned people shouldn't try to get any vitamin D from the sun. The easiest and most reliable way of getting the appropriate amount is from food and a daily supplement."

###
Co-authors on the study are Cedric F. Garland, Edward D. Gorham, Sharif B. Mohr, and Frank C. Garland, affiliated with the Moores Cancer Center and the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at UCSD School of Medicine ; Martin Lipkin, Strang Cancer Prevention Center, New York; Harold L. Newmark, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey and The Cancer Institute of New Jersey; and Michael F. Holick, Department of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine.
More on aortic valve disease and vitamin D
http://heartscanblog.blogspot.com/2007/08/more-on-aortic-valve-disease-and.html
Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I hope I'm not getting my hopes up prematurely, but I believe that I've seen it once again: Dramatic reversal of aortic valve disease.

This 64-year old man came to me because of a heart scan score of 212. Jack proved to have small LDL, lipoprotein(a), and pre-diabetes. But there was a wrench in the works: Because of a new murmur, we obtain an echocardiogram that revealed a mildly stiff ("stenotic") aortic valve, one of the heart valves within the heart that can develop abnormal stiffness with time.

You can think of aortic valve disease as something like arthritis--a phenomenon of "wear and tear" that progresses over time, but doesn't just go away. In fact, the usual history is that, once detected, we expect it to get worse over the next few years. The stiff aortic valve eventually causes symptoms like chest pains, breathlessness, lightheadedness, and in very severe cases, passing out. For this reason, when symptoms appear, most cardiologists recommend surgical aortic valve replacement with a mechanical or a bio-prosthetic ("pig") valve.
Now, Jack's first aortic valve area (the parameter we follow by echocardiogram representing the effective area of the valve opening when viewed end on) was 1.6 cm2. A year later: 1.4 cm2. One year later again: 1.1 cm2.

In other words, progressive deterioration and a shrinking valve area. Most people begin to develop symptoms when they drop below 1.0 cm2.

Resigned to a new valve sometime in the next year or two, Jack underwent yet another echocardiogram: Valve area 1.8 cm2.

Is this for real? I had Jack come into the office. Lo and behold, to my shock and amazement, the prominent heart murmur he had all along was now barely audible.

I'm quite excited. However, it remains too early to get carried away. I've now seen this in a handful of people, all with aortic valve disease.

Aortic valve stenosis is generally regarded as a progressive disease that must eventually be corrected with surgery--period. The only other strategy that has proven to be of any benefit is Crestor 40 mg per day, an intolerable dose in my experience.

If the vitamin D effect on aortic valve disease proves consistent in future, even in a percentage of people, then hallelujah! We will be tracking this experience in future

Vitamin D and Octogenarians
http://www.healthcentral.com/heart-disease/c/1435/17681/vitamin
Related: Heart Disease, More Tags>Heart Healthy Lifestyle, vitamin D, octogenarians, Fewer Tags>More Topics >

Roger practically bounced in his chair, vibrating with energy.

"I haven't felt like this in years! I can work around the yard all day and still have energy left over. It must be the vitamin D!" Roger's wife rolled her eyes, though with a twinkle and a little smile.

At age 84, Roger started out with pretty good health, despite a prosthetic valve and bypass surgery 5 years earlier. He looked 70, perhaps younger.

But just two months earlier, Roger had appeared sapped, spent and without interest in life, having lost even the enjoyment of his seven great grandchildren.

I've seen this effect now in about 20 octogenarians, dramatic restoration of youthfulness and vigor, a virtual reawakening for some.

Most of the octogenarians experiencing this effect are taking between 4000-8000 units per day to achieve a target blood level of 50 ng/ml. In my cardiology practice and in our heart disease reversal program, all patients have vitamin D blood levels checked. Before vitamin D supplementation, most people 80 years and older start with 25-OH-vitamin D3 levels of 10 ng/ml or less-profound deficiency. The average dose of vitamin D to raise levels to the target of 50 ng/ml tends to be higher in this age group, since by age 80, most people have essentially lost the capacity to convert 7-hydrocholesterol to active vitamin D3 in the skin. (One recent patient, a 78-year old, came to my office sporting a deep brown, leather-like tan. When I told him we'd be checking a vitamin D level, he remarked, "Oh, don't bother, doc. Look at me!" referring to his deep tan. His blood level of 25-OH-vitamin D3: 7 ng/ml-profound deficiency.)

 Now having witnessed numerous "re-births" of octogenarians multiple times, I believe the effect is real. It is an enormously gratifying experience to see someone's interest in life re-ignited. Unfortunately, my observations are too informal to qualify as a study. (I'm not even sure how to quantify this effect. I suppose some sort of muscle and coordination testing might yield quantifiable measures.)

The benefits of vitamin D are not, of course, confined to octogenarians. But the 80-year old plus community just seem to demonstrate more dramatic results, since they've fallen farther down an age-related decline of muscle strength, coordination, and vigor. Thus, they serve as a very graphic model for this effect. Younger people can also obtain the same benefits, though they might not be as visible.

 I'm not the only one who has observed the wonderful effects of vitamin D. Studies have shown that vitamin D replacement:

    * Improves mental function and memory
    * Improves coordination
    * Reduces falls and fractures, including feared hip fractures
    * Reverses winter "blues" (a very important effect in my Wisconsin neighborhood!)

Add this list to the other newly-recognized benefits of vitamin D replacement: reduced blood pressure, reduced blood sugar, increased bone density, improvement in arthritis, reduced inflammatory responses, reduced cancer risk (colon, breast, bladder, prostate), enhanced immune responses, and among the most exciting (to me): reduced risk for heart attack and heart disease. (I will be reporting my experiences with vitamin D and heart disease to the medical community in spring, 2008.)

Vitamin D3 already handles Alzheimer's Disease and has been here for us, all along.  Further, it is one of the least expensive vitamin supplements on the planet.  At full retail, a year's supply of vitamin D3 will cost you less than $60 where I buy mine, on line here: https://secure.bio-tech-pharm.com/catalog.aspx?cat_id=2



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Posted: Jul 20, 2009 7:41am

 

 
 
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