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First the scary stuff

By Staff | Jul 10, 2009

An interested reader just passed along some information about the flu vaccination that may interest you. Here is the website: www.nvic.org and/or www.mercola.com. Search for the video on the swine flu vaccine. Very troubling, to say the least.

On to brighter things

Over the past few months, I have written several articles on the importance of vitamin D, and have been recommending 1,000 2000 IU of cholecalciferol per day to help restore bone health. I may need to revise these recommendations upward because of emerging science that shows the critical need for more vitamin D than we are getting in our diets and sunlight.

For example, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently doubled their recommendations to 400 IU daily for infants, children, and adolescents, saying that “because of vitamin D deficiencies in the maternal diet, which affect the vitamin D in a mother’s milk, it is important that breast-fed infants receive supplements of vitamin D.”

Vitamin D deficiency is present in three out of five diabetics. Vitamin D may reduce the risk of falls in the elderly (falls are one of the most common sources of disability and death in the elderly).

Many of my customers are saying that their doctors recommend huge doses of calcium to help prevent or treat osteoporosis or osteopenia. However, according to an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (November 2005) intake of calcium levels above 800 milligrams daily is probably unnecessary provided that vitamin D status is adequate. According to the study, in the presence of higher vitamin D levels, there appears to be no benefit for achieving calcium intake above 800 mg/d (the levels of calcium in the blood).

Vitamin D deficiency affects bowel health. According to a study presented at the American College of Gastroenterology, a vitamin D deficiency can make inflammatory bowel disease more severe and worsen the quality of life for affected individuals.

Vitamin D supplementation may make arthritic knees function better. Vitamin D deficiency is linked to sudden cardiac death, rectal cancer, high blood pressure, and insulin resistance. People afflicted with Parkinson’s disease often have low vitamin D status. Vitamin D supplementation can reduce the risk of breast and colon cancer.

Where I am most interested in vitamin D, however, is in the brain. Studies link certain forms of depression with low vitamin D, as well as slower thinking in elderly adults. There also seems to be a connection between vitamin D and bipolar disorders. According to a 2009 article published in Current Psychiatry Report, low Vitamin D status is associated with the pathology of cognition and mental illness including depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.

Someone I know and love may be suffering from bipolar. I am going to recommend 5000 IU of vitamin D for a three-month trial to see if they notice a difference in mood. I’ll keep you posted.

Carol is a certified lifestyle educator at the offices of Dr. Alan Gruning in Fort Myers. She owns the Island Nutrition Center on Sanibel. She can be reached at 472-4499.