Thursday, June 19, 2008

Gotta Love That Vitamin D

The positive news just keeps coming in on vitamin D. I'll never forget my first introduction back in 2004 to the radically greater importance of vitamin D than I ever imagined. I was 44 at the time and had grown up in sunshine-rich environments, so vitamin D wasn't something I thought was particularly interesting (way more interesting to learn about unusual herbs and extracts)!

It was Elliot Freeman, R.Ph., of Chicago, who first introduced me to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine linking vitamin D deficiencies to peripheral myopathy or non-specific musculo-skeletal pain in wheelchair-bound and bed-ridden hospital patients. For literally pennies a day, these patients were treated for 4-6 weeks and 4 of 5 patients fully recovered!

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute researchers just announced in the Journal of Clinical Oncology that colorectal cancer patients with abundant vitamin D were less likely to die after diagnosis than those with low vitamin D levels. It was previously known that higher levels of vitamin D reduced the risk of developing colon or rectal cancer by an astounding 50%.

However, Dana-Farber and Harvard School of Public Health researchers were loathe to recommend supplemetation before more studies are done. Their press release mentioned standard daily requirements being between 200 and 600 IU of vitamin D, depending on age.

It's not like the news on vitamin D and the need for higher levels hasn't been plastered all over the news for the last year or so (and the study with wheelchair and bedridden patients who literally got up and walked with a month and a half of supplemental vitamin D was published in 2000)!

My advice? Get your vitamin D levels checked and, according to Dr. Rodier, if your levels are below 75, you are at greater risk for a whole host of health problems. Talk to your physician or nurse practitioner about your vitamin D levels at your next appointment! And, drop a line with what you learn!

No comments: