All Posts tagged Vitamin D

Vitamin D update

This meta-analysis supports a strong connection between low vitamin D and hypertension.

At the 2013 European Human Genetics conference in Paris, France, researchers discussed the largest study to ever examine a link between hypertension and vitamin D deficiency.  Dr. Vimal Karani Santhanakrishnan of the University College London said the results demonstrated “a significant link; for every 10% increase in 25(OH)D concentrations, there was a 8.1% decrease in the risk of developing hypertension.” The conclusion: “Our study strongly suggests that some cases of cardiovascular disease could be prevented through vitamin D supplements or food fortification.”

Santhanakrishnan, V. K. (2013, June). Genetic research clarifies link between hypertension and Vitamin D deficiency. Presented at 2013 European Human Genetics Conference, Paris, France.  https://www.eshg.org/474.0.html

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Vitamin D Update

Annals of Neurology and the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. Both research papers suggest that battling deficiencies in elderly populations and people with multiple sclerosis could help to improve health and quality of life with vitamin D3.

In the first study, published in Annals of Neurology, researchers from Johns Hopkins University reveal that low blood levels of vitamin D are associated with an increased number of brain lesions and signs of a more active disease state in people with MS.
Low levels of vitamin D could be responsible for more severe multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms and an increased risk of death in the elderly.

Some 2,362 brain MRI scans from 496 people were studied. Researchers found that each 10 ng/ml increase in 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels was associated with a 15% lower risk of new T2 lesions and a 32% lower risk of a gadolinium-enhancing lesion. Each 10ng/ml higher vitamin D level was also associated with lower disability.
“Lower levels of vitamin D are associated with more inflammation and lesions in the brain. If we are able to prove that through our currently-enrolling trial, it will change the way people with multiple sclerosis are treated.”

The second study, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, suggests that low levels of D, in combination with high levels of parathyroid hormone (PTH), are associated with increased mortality in African American and Caucasian older adults. Researchers looked at 2,638 well-functioning blacks and whites (49% male, 39% black) aged 71-80 years with measured 25(OH)D and PTH. “We observed vitamin D insufficiency in one-third of our study participants. This was associated with a 50% increase in the mortality rate in older adults.”

The good news is it’s easy to improve vitamin D status either through increased skin exposure to sunlight or through diet or supplements.

Annals of Neurology 72(2):234-240, 2012
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism; Published online ahead of print.

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Vitamin K update

A study from Greece: For one year, a cohort of postmenopausal women drank milk. Some of the group drank milk fortified with calcium and vitamin D. Others drank milk further fortified with vitamins K1 and K2. Bone Mineral Density (BMD) increased in both groups. But only subjects in the K group had “significant” BMD increases in the lower spine. Vitamin K boosts levels of a protein your body requires to utilize calcium in bones.

Why drink the milk? Take supplements of calcium and vitamins D and K, you’re likely to get similar results. But using the K1 and K2 forms of the vitamin is essential. K3 is synthetic. It won’t produce the same benefits. Almost all of our K intake is K1. The primary sources are leafy green vegetables, broccoli, tomatoes, avocados, olive oil, whole wheat, and butter.

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Vitamin D for older women

Older women with low levels of vitamin D, may be more likely to gain weight, a new study indicates.

Researchers from the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, OR said their findings are significant since most women aged 65 and older do not have enough vitamin D in their blood.

The researchers followed more than 4,600 women aged 65 and older over the course of nearly five years. The study found the women with low levels of vitamin D gained about two more pounds during that time than those with normal levels of the vitamin.

Low levels of vitamin D were found in 78% of the women. These women generally weighed several pounds more to begin with. In the group of women that did gain weight, those with insufficient vitamin D levels gained 18.5 pounds over five years. In comparison, the women with normal vitamin D levels gained 16.4 pounds during that time frame.

The author said “Nearly 80% of women in our study had insufficient levels of vitamin D”. Older women may need higher doses of vitamin D to keep their bones strong and prevent fractures.

Journal of Women’s Health.

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Low Vitamin D Status Could Boost Children’s Allergy Risk

Low vitamin D levels could increase the likelihood of children developing allergies, researchers from the Department of Medicine at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago concluded after studying the blood tests of 6,500 people. Lead researcher Michal Melamed, MD, MHS, assistant professor of medicine and epidemiology and population health said: “It is one link in the puzzle, or a first step. It is not the definitive study to show this link but one of the first large studies that shows that this association exists. There are many other reasons to make sure that children and adolescents receive the daily recommended intake of vitamin D—including, importantly, bone health.” Melamed and her team examined serum vitamin D levels in blood collected from a nationally representative sample of more than 3,100 children and adolescents and 3,400 adults in 2005-2006. The study defined children and adolescents as participants aged one to 21. The samples were derived from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a program of studies designed to assess the health and nutritional status of adults and children across the U.S. One of the blood tests assessed was sensitivity to 17 different allergens by measuring levels of Immunoglobulin E (IgE), a protein made when the immune system responds to allergens. No link was found between vitamin D levels and allergies in adults. But, for children and adolescents, low vitamin D levels could be linked to sensitivity to 11 of the 17 allergens tested. Those included both environmental allergens, such as ragweed, oak, dog, and cockroach, and food allergens such as peanuts. Children who had vitamin D deficiency—defined as fewer than 15 nanograms of vitamin D per milliliter of blood—were 2.4 times as likely to have a peanut allergy than were children with sufficient levels of vitamin D—defined as more than 30 nanograms of vitamin D per milliliter of blood.

I recommend children take 1000-2000 IU of vitamin D daily. 

Order D3 from Metagenics @ www.DrJeffreyTucker.meta-ehealth.com

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Vitamin D update – up to 8,000 IUs needed daily

Don’t let anyone downplay the ability of vitamin D to prevent cancer, a new study appearing in the journal Anticancer Research lays out the simple, powerful truth about vitamin D that I’ve been teaching for years: A typical adults needs 4,000 – 8,000 IUs of vitamin D each day to prevent cancer, MS and type-1 diabetes, not the ridiculously low 400 – 800 IUs recommended by the U.S. government. The new research was conducted by scientists at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Creighton University School of Medicine in Omaha.

This research establishes the relationship between vitamin D dosage and circulating vitamin D levels in the blood.  Vitamin D turns out to be one of the simplest, safest and most affordable ways to prevent degenerative disease and sharply reduce long-term health care costs. Up to 8,000 IUs needed daily “We found that daily intakes of vitamin D by adults in the range of 4,000 to 8,000 IU [international units] are needed to maintain blood levels of vitamin D metabolites in the range needed to reduce by about half the risk of several diseases — breast cancer, colon cancer, multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes,” said Dr. Cedric Garland. 

 90% vitamin D deficiency rate across U.S. population

I personally take Iso D3 5,000 IU daily from Metagenic.  Order @ www.DrJeffreyTucker.meta-ehealth.com

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Vitamin D Update From the Annual Congress of the European League Against Rheumatism

June 16-19, 2010 in Rome, Italy — vitamin D deficiency is a common feature in patients with a range of painful rheumatic and related autoimmune disorders. What is less clear, however, is the amount of vitamin D supplementation that would benefit these patients.

Here are highlights from three recent studies:

  1. Researchers in the UK assessed levels of vitamin D in patients with either inflammatory joint diseases (ie, rheumatoid arthritis, RA), osteoporosis, or unexplained muscle pain (ie, myalgia) — 30 subjects in each group — compared with a control group of 90 patients with chronic back pain [Kelly et al. 2010]. Within all 180 patients (two-thirds female) the median vitamin D level was 15 ng/mL and 58% were below the normal range (defined as 20-58 ng/mL by these authors). The median vitamin D level in control patients (with back pain) was 20 ng/mL compared with statistically significant lower medians of 14 ng/mL in the RA group, 12 ng/mL in the osteoporosis group, and 12 ng/mL in the myalgia group. The authors expressed surprise that vitamin D deficiencies also were evident in persons with diffuse muscle pain but suggested that patients in all groups would benefit from vitamin D supplementation. Note: Why patients with back pain were chosen as a control group is unclear, as other research has already found such patients to be vitamin D insufficient (ie, <30 ng/mL) overall.
  2. A second study, conducted by Italian researchers, focused on 1,191 patients (85% female) with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) to determine a correlation between vitamin D deficiency and several clinical measures of disease activity [Idolazzi et al. 2010]. They found that levels of 25(OH)D were deficient (<20 ng/mL) in 52% of the patients not taking a vitamin D supplement and in one third of those taking supplements (?800 IU/day). In non-supplemented patients low levels of 25(OH)D significantly correlated with worse scores on 3 measures of disease activity: Health Assessment Questionnaire Disability Index, Mobility Activities of Daily Living Score, and Number of Swollen Joints Count. Significantly lower 25(OH)D levels were found in patients with active disease compared with those in disease remission and in those who were not responding to treatment compared with patients with a good response. Therefore, vitamin D sufficiency appears to be directly related to the course of rheumatoid arthritis and response to treatment; however, the authors conclude that further research is needed to assess the benefits of vitamin D supplementation in these patients.
  3. Another reported study from Italian researchers evaluated the impact of vitamin D supplementation in patients with either inflammatory autoimmune disease (IAD; rheumatoid arthritis, spondyloarthritis, or connective tissue diseases; n=43) and noninflammatory autoimmune disease (NIAD; osteoarthritis or osteoporosis; n=57) [Sainaghi et al. 2010]. Mean 25(OH)D levels between the two groups at outset were equivalently deficient — 12.6±7.5 ng/mL IAD group, 13.1±8.8 ng/mL NIAD group. Following daily supplementation with 800 to 1000 IU of vitamin D3 for 6 months, only 29% of all patients reached 25(OH)D levels ?30 ng/mL considered to be sufficient and there were no significant differences observed between the IAD and NIAD groups. The authors conclude that, while the amount of supplementation was not adequate to normalize 25(OH)D levels in their patients the response to vitamin D (or lack thereof) did not appear to be influenced by the presence of an inflammatory autoimmune condition.

COMMENTARY: A separate presentation at EULAR 2010, based on a large multinational survey of women with RA, reported that among the 75% who were taking analgesic medications more than 7 in 10 (72%) still experienced daily pain [Strand et al. 2010]. Two-thirds of the respondents said that they constantly look for new ideas to address pain. Therefore, the studies above are of great importance because they demonstrate that painful inflammatory and noninflammatory rheumatologic or bone conditions are generally accompanied by vitamin D deficiencies. Based on prior research, it is not surprising that daily supplementation of 800 to 1000 IU of vitamin D3 was inadequate to significantly raise 25(OH)D to more normal levels. It is disappointing that none of the 3 research teams proceeded to the next step of testing more ample vitamin D supplementation and assessing outcomes on pain relief and/or disease moderation.

REFERENCES: 
Idolazzi L, Bagnato G, Bianchi G, et al. Vitamin D deficiency in rheumatoid arthritis: prevalence, determinants, and associations with disease activity. A cross-sectional study. Ann Rheum Dis. 2010;69(Suppl 3):516. Abstract SAT0093.
Kelly C, Scott K, Bell G, et al. Vitamin D levels in a spectrum of rheumatic disease. Ann Rheum Dis. 2010;69(Suppl 3:481. Abstract FRI0509.
Sainaghi PP, Bellan M, Carda S, et al. Response to vitamin D supplementation in inflammatory autoimmune diseases: a retrospective study. Ann Rheum Dis. 2010;69(Suppl 3):652. Abstract SAT0506.
Strand V, Emery P, Fleming S, Coke E. The impact of rheumatoid arthritis on women: focus on pain, productivity, and relationships. Ann Rheum Dis 2010;69(Suppl 3):748. Abstract OP0002-PARE.

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I don’t care what you read about vitamin D last week

Vitamin D will reduce the risk of Cancer. Vitamin D effects the cell membrane.

34 ng ml is the minimum for colon cancer

Breast cancer prevent 48-61.

32 is the minimum overall.

Ovarian cancer – 30 is the minimum.

MS – 48 ng ml is the minimum.

Serum target should be 60 – don’t go lower than that.

I take 5,000 I.U. per day. Get yours checked more regularly.

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Dec. 1, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The following was released today by the Vitamin D Council:

After 13 years of silence, the quasi governmental agency, the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) Food and Nutrition Board (FNB), yesterday recommended that a three – pound premature infant can take virtually the same amount of vitamin D as a 300 pound pregnant woman.  While that 400 IU/day dose is close to adequate for infants, 600 IU/day in pregnant women will do nothing to help the three childhood epidemics most closely associated with gestational and early childhood vitamin D deficiencies: asthma, auto-immune disorders, and, as recently reported in the largest pediatric journal in the world, autism (1).  Professor Bruce Hollis of the Medical University of South Carolina has shown pregnant and lactating women need at least 5,000 IU/day, not 600.

The FNB also reported that vitamin D toxicity might occur at an intake of 10,000 IU/day (250 micrograms), although they could produce no reproducible evidence that 10,000 IU/day has ever caused toxicity in humans and only one poorly conducted study indicating 20,000 IU/day may cause mild elevations in serum calcium but not clinical toxicity.

Viewed with different measure, this FNB report recommends that an infant should take 10 micrograms/day (400 IU) and the pregnant women 15 micrograms/day (600 IU).  As a single 30 minutes dose of summer sunshine gives adults more than 10,000 IU (250 micrograms), the FNB is apparently also warning that natural vitamin D input – as occurred from the sun before the widespread use of sunscreen – is dangerous.  That is, the FNB is implying that God does not know what she is doing.  

Disturbingly, this FNB committee focused on bone health, just like they did 14 years ago.  They ignored the thousands of studies from the last ten years that showed higher doses of vitamin D helps: heart health, brain health, breast health, prostate health, pancreatic health, muscle health, nerve health, eye health, immune health, colon health, liver health, mood health, skin health, and especially fetal health.  Tens of millions of pregnant women and their breast-feeding infants are severely vitamin D deficient, resulting in a great increase in the medieval disease, rickets.  The FNB report seems to reason that if so many pregnant women have low vitamin D blood levels then it must be OK because such low levels are so common.  However, such circular logic simply represents the cave man existence of most modern day pregnant women.  

Hence, if you want to optimize your vitamin D levels – not just optimize the bone effect – supplementing is crucial.  But it is almost impossible to significantly raise your vitamin D levels when supplementing at only 600 IU/day (15 micrograms).  Pregnant women taking 400 IU/day have the same blood levels as pregnant women not taking vitamin D; that is, 400 IU is a meaninglessly small dose for pregnant women.  Even taking 2,000 IU/day of vitamin D will only increase the vitamin D levels of most pregnant women by about 10 points, depending mainly on their weight.  Professor Bruce Hollis has shown that 2,000 IU/day does not raise vitamin D to healthy or natural levels in either pregnant or lactating women.  Therefore supplementing with higher amounts — like 5000 IU/day — is crucial for those women who want their fetus to enjoy optimal vitamin D levels, and the future health benefits that go along with it.

For example, taking only two of the hundreds of recently published studies, Professor Urashima and colleagues in Japan gave 1,200 IU/day of vitamin D3 for six months to Japanese 10 year-olds in a randomized controlled trial.  They found vitamin D dramatically reduced the incidence of influenza A as well as the episodes of asthma attacks in the treated kids while the placebo group was not so fortunate.  If Dr. Urashima had followed the newest FNB recommendations, it is unlikely that 400 IU/day treatment arm would have done much of anything and some of the treated young teenagers may have come to serious harm without the vitamin D.  Likewise, a randomized controlled prevention trial of adults by Professor Joan Lappe and colleagues at Creighton University, which showed dramatic improvements in the health of internal organs, used more than twice the FNB’s new adult recommendations.

Finally, the FNB committee consulted with 14 vitamin D experts and – after reading these 14 different reports – the FNB decided to suppress their reports.  Many of these 14 consultants are either famous vitamin D researchers, like Professor Robert Heaney at Creighton, or in the case of Professor Walter Willett at Harvard, the single best-known nutritionist in the world.  So, the FNB will not tell us what Professors Heaney and Willett thought of their new report?  Why not?  Yesterday, the Vitamin D Council directed our attorney to file a federal Freedom of Information (FOI) request to the IOM’s FNB for the release of these 14 reports.

I, my family, most of my friends, hundreds of patients, and thousands of  readers of the Vitamin D Council newsletter, have been taking 5,000 IU/day for up to eight years. Not only have they reported no significant side-effects, indeed, they have reported greatly improved health in multiple organ systems.  My advice: especially for pregnant women, continue taking 5,000 IU/day until your (OH)D] is between 50 ng/ml and 80 ng/ml (the vitamin D blood levels obtained by humans who live and work in the sun and the mid-point of the current reference ranges at all American laboratories).  Gestational vitamin D deficiency is not only associated with rickets, but a significantly increased risk of neonatal pneumonia (2), a doubled risk for preeclampsia (3), a tripled risk for gestational diabetes (4), and a quadrupled risk for primary cesarean section (5).

Yesterday, the FNB failed millions of pregnant women whose as yet unborn babies will pay the price.  Let us hope the FNB will comply with the spirit of “transparency” by quickly responding to our freedom of Information requests.

John Cannell, MD

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Vitamin D Helps Parkinson’s Disease

High blood levels of vitamin D may reduce the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease by 67%, compared with low levels of the sunshine vitamin, says a new study from Finland.

Researchers from the National Institute for Health and Welfare in Helsinki analyzed data from 3,173 Finnish men and women aged between 50 and 79. Over an impressive 29 years of follow-up, the researchers documented 50 cases of Parkinson’s disease.

The study is reported to be the first longitudinal analysis of vitamin D status and the risk of Parkinson’s disease.

Writing in the Archives of Neurology, the authors note that the exact mechanism is unknown, but postulated that vitamin D may be exerting a benefit through antioxidant activities, regulation of calcium levels, detoxification, modulation of the immune system and enhanced conduction of electricity through neurons.

“Our results are in line with the hypothesis that low vitamin D status predicts the development of Parkinson[‘s] disease,” the researchers wrote. “Because of the small number of cases and the possibility of residual confounding, large cohort studies are needed. In intervention trials focusing on effects of vitamin D supplements, the incidence of Parkinson[‘s] disease merits follow up.”

In an accompanying editorial, Marian Leslie Evatt, MD, MS, from Emory University in Atlanta described the study as “the first promising human data to suggest that inadequate vitamin D status is associated with the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.”

Evatt cautioned however that “further work is needed in both basic and clinical arenas to elucidate the exact role, mechanisms and optimum concentration of vitamin D in Parkinson’s disease.”

Previous studies have shown that the part of the brain affected most by Parkinson’s, the substantia nigra, contains high levels of the vitamin D receptor, which suggests vitamin D may be important for normal functions of these cells.

The study involved the measurement of vitamin D levels in over 3,000 people. The data showed that people with the lowest levels of vitamin D were three times more likely to develop Parkinson’s, compared to the group with the highest levels.

In the editorial, Evatt added that “it seems prudent to confirm the findings presented in this issue and investigate whether the apparent dose-response relationship observed in the current study maintains its slope, levels off or becomes negative with higher 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations.”

“In the interim, data from interventional studies of fractures and falls appear to justify optimizing vitamin D levels to greater than 30 to 40 nanograms per milliliter,” she concluded.

Archives of Neurology 57(7):808-811, 2010

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