vitamin D

Vitamin D status and supplements seem to have become a societal preoccupation. Encouraging the latter’s use as a cure-all, the “magic bullet” commercialization of vitamins and supplements has created a multi-billion dollar industry. One that is often unchecked due to absent regulation and universally promotes these items whose mechanisms of action are poorly understood and of questionable value—let’s not forget that they also have the capacity to do harm. (1,2)

Hence, why it is important to write about a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) that set out to determine if vitamin D3 and Calcium supplementation in older women would reduce their...

A growing number of parents choose to opt out of giving children their daily dose of milk, and switching to alternatives like almond milk or cashew milk. Perhaps they may think the alternatives offer a bit more calcium than real milk — but this is misleading: Real milk contains both calcium and vitamin D (added in the 1930s due to Rickets — a vitamin D deficiency among children), and the presence of vitamin D helps absorb the calcium. 

There is this unsubstantiated, but widely believed, notion that vitamins and supplements are a panacea. In fact, a multi-billion dollar industry serves to support and perpetuate this often faulty, overly auspicious claim.

Here, I will tackle the true level of importance of the “sunshine” Vitamin D in staving off disease, preserving healthy bones and the actual hazards of deficiency and toxicity.

Why? Because, according to Britain’s leading testing laboratory, excessive exogenous ingestion to overdose levels of Vitamin D supplements purchased online reveal some people are taking 2,250 times the recommended dosages. Such endeavors...

An infant in France died after being given Vitamin D by his parents. Clearly, this is a tragedy. Yet how journalists are spinning this is a tragedy too. 

AOL leads with “French baby dies after taking product to treat Vitamin D deficiency” and their quote, "Investigations are under way to establish the precise cause of death and to see if it could be linked to Uvesterol D," said the French medical safety watchdog in a statement.” 

The BBC tells us “French baby death linked to vitamin dose” and from the headline you would think that the vitamin treatment was responsible. The...

For years, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the National Institutes of Health, and Health Canada have recommended that young (over 2 years old) children be given low-fat milk* — ostensibly to help fend off the development of overweight and obesity.

But a new report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition presents data that just may make these organizations think again.

In addition to providing protein, dairy milk is also the source of much of the vitamin D in young children's diets. A group of Canadian researchers wished to investigate whether consumption of whole versus low or reduced- fat milk seemed to affect the...

Combination vitamin/mineral supplements (VM) have been popular dietary adjuncts for many years, but as research has progressed, various health benefits have been touted for some individual nutrients — some of which haven't been traditionally included in the typical combo products. Researchers, led by Dr. Elizabeth D. Kantor from the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, found that while overall vitamin/mineral supplement use remained pretty stable (about half of participants said they used them) between 1999 and 2012, use of some individual supplements actually increased substantially, while that of combination products fell.

These researchers analyzed data from 7 repeated cycles of...

shutterstock_128257157 Contraceptive Pills via Shutterstock

Young women who take hormonal birth control pills that contain estrogen may have enhanced levels of vitamin D in their blood. However, if they decide to quit using them in order to become pregnant, those levels can drop — at least according to a recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Dr. Quaker Harmon from the National Institute of Environmental Health, Research...

 

shutterstock_119775310 Sun Worshipers Getting Their Vitamin D courtesy of Shutterstock

Vitamin D can (pick at least one):

  • prevent/cure cancer
  • prevent premature death
  • treat multiple sclerosis
  • prevent/treat rheumatoid arthritis

If this were a true/false exam, you'd do well to respond "false" by pretty much all of these propositions — and others besides. That's the bottom line of a recent review by Dr. G. Michael Allan...

Oh, the ole sun debate: Get too much and you risk getting skin cancer; get too little and you may lack vitamin D.  The struggle is real. So, how to find the balance?

 

shutterstock_284191004 Vitamin D the sunshine vitamin via Shutterstock

Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, is like every other vitamin in that it is essential for life. Among other functions, it allows the absorption of calcium from the gastrointestinal tract. Lack of vitamin D in babies and children leads to rickets, and in adults a deficiency causes osteomalacia a softening of the bones. It's been...