A Brief Version -Vitamin D
Vitamin D deficiency (a brief version)
The risk of colon cancer, breast cancer, and other malignancies appears to rise in populations at latitudes far from the equator.
In 2005, a 13-year Harvard study of 2,399 men reported that those with high blood levels of both forms of vitamin D — 25(OH)D and 1,25(OH)2D — enjoyed a 45% lower risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer than those with below-average levels. And certain genetic variations in the vitamin D receptor appeared to enhance the protective effect of the vitamin.
(check: Vitamin D deficiency; Longer Version.)
-Vitamin D deficiency bad for the heart, bones, and rest of the body, reports the Harvard Heart Letter
What is Vitamin D?
Despite the original misnaming of vitamin D,(since it is actually a hormone) this term has continued to be used. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is essential for maintaining normal calcium metabolism. Vitamin D is unique in that it is made in the skin as a result of exposure to sunlight.-Michael F. Holick, PhD, MD Professor of Medicine
Synthesis and Metabolism of Vitamin D in the Regulation of Calcium, Phosphorus, and Bone Metabolism
It was not until 1919 that vitamin D was identified as the key anti-rachitic agent and became available for treating children and adults alike.
By 1969 the biologically active metabolite of vitamin D – 1,25(OH)2D – was identified.
Credit to Dr. Holick
Johns Hopkins Children’s Center experts say pediatricians should screen all children for risk factors and order blood tests for those found to be at high risk of Vitamin D Deficiency. – February 22, 2012
Who is at a Higher Risk of Vitamin D Deficiency, Where and When?
Besides health issues – The darker your skin is, the less Vitamin D you get from the sun because darker skin synthesizes less vitamin D from sun exposure than lighter skin. (In other words – Non White).
The farther from the equator (above 35 latitude) north or south you are, the more deficient you get. Fall & Winter, but most deficient in Winter Season. Estimate: Up to 90% of African Americans could be Vitamin D insufficient all year round.
Again: Greater skin pigmentation as well as living in higher latitudes (farther from the equator) is associated with lower vitamin D levels.
What are consequences of Vitamin D Deficiency?
Being “Vitamin D Deficient” may increase the risk of a host of chronic diseases, such as osteoporosis, heart disease, some cancers, and multiple sclerosis, as well as infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis and even the seasonal flu.-Harvard research on Vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin D deficiency rarely causes overt symptoms and often goes unnoticed, however, symptoms of bone pain and muscle weakness can mean you have a vitamin D deficiency. But even without symptoms, too little vitamin D can pose health risks. Low blood levels of the vitamin have been associated with the following:
– Increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease
– Cognitive impairment in older adults
– Severe asthma in children
Family Practice Doctor in Owego, NY.
97% Knowledge about Vitamin D has been learned in the last 15 years.
How do you know that you are Vitamin D deficient?
-Deficient: If your blood level is below 20ng/mL (or 50nmol/L).
-Inefficient: – If your blood level is Between 20ng/mL (50nmol/L) and 30ng/mL(75nmol/L)
What is considered a good level of Vitamin D in blood?
Between 30ng/mL(75nmol/L) and 100 ng/mL(250nmol/L), Ideal between 45ng/mL(112nmol/L) and 60ng/mL(150nmo/L).
When is too much Vitamin D dosage too much?
The dose of vitamin D is not as important as the level of 25-OH vitamin D that you achieve (*recommended range: between 30ng/mL(75nmol/L) and 100 ng/mL(250nmol/L); ideal between 45ng/mL(112nmol/L) and 60ng/mL(150nmo/L).
That’s because your individual metabolism will require a different amount of vitamin D than your friend or family member. This requirement might also change depending upon the time of year and where you happen to be at any given time, eg dead of winter in Alaska vs 2 week holiday in Hawaii.- Dr. Alvin B. Lin
Although toxicity is considered possible above 100 ng/ml, most cases of vitamin D toxicity occur at even higher levels than this, usually above 200 ng/ml.
If a test shows that a person’s vitamin D level is in the possibly-toxic range, the doctor will order further tests (including active vitamin D, calcium in urine and calcium blood levels) to determine if vitamin D toxicity is actually present.
(You should read product labels, and discuss doses with a qualified healthcare provider before starting therapy). “All things are poison and nothing is without poison, the dose alone permits something to be poisonous.”- Paracelsus.
Note: If you find this information beneficial, don’t seat on it, be your brother’s keeper, PASS IT ON.
HEALTH DISPARITIES BETWEEN WHITES AND BLACKS/Highly Pigmented skin
(Kidney Disease, Hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, Eye Disease, Coronary artery diseases, …..)
Cancer Health Disparities-(National Cancer Institute-NCI)
Table 1. Overall Cancer Incidence and Death Rates
|American Indian/Alaska Native||297.6||160.4|
Statistics are for 2000-2004, age-adjusted to the 2000 U.S. standard million population, and represent the number of new cases of invasive cancer and deaths per year per 100,000 men and women.
Study after Study shows that there is a fundamental role vitamin D plays in disease and health:-
From the studies and medical research, it is clear that this Vitamin is crucial to our health, yet it is not being shared proportionally. The darker your skin is the less Vitamin D you get from the Sun, therefore one standardized supplement of vitamin D level added to milk can not suffice equally for both light and dark skinned people for all seasons.
With people of African descent (blacks) in USA likely to suffer and die at about twice the rate of Caucasians from complications related to Kidney Disease, Hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, Eye Disease, Coronary artery diseases, therefore, isn’t it logical that an explanation to such a huge disparity between these two Homosapien races living in the same environment has to be linked to a common factor that differentiates them; and in this case – what else is it – if not the skin color?
Since the rate at which Vitamin D is synthesized is related to the color of the skin, and Vitamin D is important for the normal development of bones, brain, lungs, immune system, and various other organ systems and that nearly every tissue in the human body possesses vitamin D receptors as Scientists are now finding out, could it then be, that these health disparities between Blacks and Whites in the northern hemisphere lie in Vitamin D deficiencies that are higher in blacks? Dr. Douglass Bibuld thinks so. Check Skin Color and Vitamin D
April 26, 2011
“Our study confirms that vitamin D represents one piece of the complex puzzle of race and blood pressure,” said lead author Kevin Fiscella, M.D., professor of Family Medicine at URMC. “And, since black-white differences in blood pressure represent thousands of excess deaths due to heart disease and stroke among blacks, we believe that simple interventions such as taking vitamin D supplements might have a positive impact on racial disparities.” – The University of Rochester Medical Center
Could the FDA’s one size fits all for all seasons mentality be putting all of us at risk especially those with dark skin?
Increased skin pigmentation can reduce cutaneous vitamin D3 production as much as 99.9%, which may explain, at least in part, the higher prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in the African American population . So, the question is this: “Why is there no milk fortified with a higher level of Vitamin D to meet the needs of those with dark skin?”
The milk industry put the range between 400 iu to 600 iu per quart (32-oz) as shown: M-I-92-13: Recommended Levels of Vitamins A & D in Milk Products. The FDA went for the lower value of 400 iu per quart (32-oz) as the standard.
“On which skin is this standard based, is it dark, medium or light skin and for which season?”
Could the FDA be putting all kids especially those with darker skin at a greater risk by giving them false hope that they are getting all the vitamin D they need as a supplement from the milk labeled Vitamin D fortified – with this one size fits all for all seasons mentality? While in reality – science has shown that this one size given by FDA is too small for those of African descent, and that the vitamin D from the sun received in summer is not the same amount received in winter.
Cutaneous cholecalciferol synthesis has not been considered in making recommendations for vitamin D intake. Our objective was to model the effects of sun exposure, vitamin D intake, and skin reflectance (pigmentation) on serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) in young adults with a wide range of skin reflectance and sun exposure.
Results (in nmol/L):
1. Light Skin, High Sun
2. Dark Skin, High Sun
3. Light Skin, Low Sun
4. Dark Skin, Low Sun
Note: Vitamin D for Dark Skin, High Sun in Summer is equal to that of Light Skin, Low Sun.
Vitamin D Intake Needed to Maintain Target Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Concentrations in Participants with Low Sun Exposure and Dark Skin Pigmentation Is Substantially Higher Than Current Recommendations1,2 – The Journal of Nutrition
Divide nmol/L by 2.5 to get ng/mL:
Note: Below 75nmol/L is inefficient; Below 50nmol/L is deficient. 100nmol/L=40ng/ml; 60noml/L =24ng/mL
Age-adjusted mean ± SE plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] concentrations in nmol/L according to season for white girls (36, 37, 27, and 55 subjects for winter, spring, summer, and autumn, respectively), black girls (18, 37, 36, and 31 subjects for winter, spring, summer. – credit to Department of Pediatrics, Georgia Prevention Institute
In the northern part of the United States and Canada, as well as in northwestern Europe, vitamin D production is virtually absent between October and March.-by Paul Lips
Objective: To evaluate whether vitamin D is associated with multiple sclerosis (MS) status and disease severity in African Americans
Conclusions: Levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D were lower in African Americans with MS than controls, an observation primarily explained by differences in climate and geography
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN) Research proves FDA wrong:
There is no evidence of adverse effects with serum 25(OH)D concentrations <140 nmol/L, which require a total vitamin D supply of 250 µg (10000 IU)/d to attain.
Clearing Up the Confusion: “Vitamin D Milk”
The current recommendation for vitamin D intake for adults is 200-400 IUs per day (depending on age) according to The Institute of Medicine, however, many nutrition experts believe adults should get 1,000-2,000 IUs of vitamin D per day for overall health and to help prevent chronic disease.
In Michigan, it’s estimated that 98 percent of adults are vitamin D deficient. In the U.S., it’s estimated that 9 percent of children and teens are vitamin D deficient and 61 percent are vitamin D insufficient.-December 27, 2011 by Karen
February 22, 2012
As study after study shows the fundamental role vitamin D plays in disease and health, vitamin D deficiency — which often develops insidiously in childhood — should be on every parent’s and pediatrician’s radar, say physicians from the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. ….
Hopkins experts say pediatricians should screen all children for risk factors and order blood tests for those found to be at high risk. Children at risk for vitamin D deficiency include:
- those with vitamin D-poor diets
- breast-fed infants because breast milk contains minimal vitamin D
- obese children
- those with darker skin because darker skin synthesizes less vitamin D from sun exposure than lighter skin
- those with certain medical conditions, including cystic fibrosis, type 1 and type 2 diabetes and certain gastrointestinal disorders, such as inflammatory bowel disease, which can interfere with food absorption
Several large-scale studies have found that vitamin D deficiency is widespread —one in 10 U.S. children are estimated to be deficient — and that 60 percent of children may have suboptimal levels of vitamin D.
Prolonged and untreated vitamin D deficiency can affect multiple organs and functions, including bone growth and density, metabolism, heart and immunity, but it rarely causes overt symptoms and often goes unnoticed.
Slideshow: The Truth About Vitamin D
For Vitamin D deficiency treatment – Which Is Better: Vitamin D2 or D3?
Course of the rise in serum 25OHD after a single oral dose of 50,000 IU of either cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) or ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) to two groups of 10 normal men each. Error bars are 1 sem. The zero-change line incorporates a correction for the seasonal rise in 25OHD occurring at the time this study was performed. (To convert from nmol/liter to ng/ml, multiply by 0.4.) [Copyright Robert P. Heaney, 2004. *Permission of use granted.]Credits to Creighton University (L.A.G.A., R.P.H.), Omaha, Nebraska 68131; and Medical University of South Carolina (B.W.H.), Charleston, South Carolina 29425.
In conclusion, ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) and cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) are not bioequivalent and should not be considered interchangeable. Health professionals should encourage use of cholecalciferol over ergocalciferol in all patients without severe renal failure, either as a general supplement or as a treatment for vitamin D deficiency.
The investigators concluded that ergocalciferol potency is less than 30% of that of cholecalciferol and that it has a markedly shorter duration of action.
Vitamin D status also influences insulin secretion. Vitamin D deficiency results in a decreased insulin response to glucose, which is corrected by 1,25-(OH)2D (152). Treatment of a vitamin D-deficient patient with vitamin D improved glucose tolerance and β-cell function (153).
Inadequate vitamin D status has been implicated as a factor contributing to syndrome X, i.e., insulin resistance, obesity, hypertension, glucose intolerance, and dyslipidemia, but response to vitamin D treatment has been variable (154).
Vitamin D is also involved in other endocrine organs such as the pituitary and the testis, but deleterious effects of vitamin D deficiency are not established for these organs.-Paul Lips
Other reasons to consider increasing vitamin D nutrition by Reinhold Vieth
Epidemiologic studies show that higher serum 25(OH)D concentrations or environmental ultraviolet light exposure are associated with lower rates of breast, ovarian, prostate, and colorectal cancers (93–100).
There is impressive circumstantial evidence that multiple sclerosis is more prevalent in populations having lower concentrations of vitamin D or ultraviolet exposure (98, 101), and there are suggestions that vitamin D intake ranging from 32.5 to 95 µg (1300 to 3800 IU)/d helps prevent the disease (101).
Type 1 diabetes is another disease that varies with geography—a child in Finland is about 400 times more likely to develop it than a child in Venezuela.
- –Other reasons to consider for increasing vitamin D nutrition
- -Vitamin D Deficiency and Secondary Hyperparathyroidism in the Elderly: Consequences for Bone Loss and Fractures and Therapeutic Implications
Good source: Everything you wanted to know about Vitamin D
Note: * my own insert added.