Several years ago, my mother mentioned that my father had read a book on the history of Vitamin D and how the dosages were drastically reduced in the past because the hospitals were going out of business. While I’ve never read the book myself (I’ve been trying to track it down for years), it’s piqued my curiosity a great deal, so I’ve read a lot about it.
The information available online is tremendous and, like any other supplement, the war of words between the medical profession and the proponents of natural health cannot agree. While those supporting Vitamin D insist that everyone take at least 1000 mg a day, medical experts recommend less than half of that as a daily dosage. My father’s book (I WISH I could get a hold of it!) indicated that people were taking 5000 mg tablets at the time. Wha????
According to Dr. James Dowd, author of The Vitamin D Cure, adequate supplement of vitamin D will not only provide you with strong bones, but “…also decreases our risk of getting overweight and developing high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, cancer, and other health problems….”
Further, Dr. Soram Khalsh, writes the following in the Vitamin D Revolution:
“Breast tissue has Vitamin D receptors so if there is sufficient Vitamin D available, it can be activated in the breast. This activation sets up a series of events in the breast. The presence of activated Vitamin D is believed to help protect cells from cancer, help repair cells that may be mutating with cancer, and help slow the proliferation of cancer cells that may be present. Cancer cells can be more prone to die when Vitamin D helps to maintain the cells’ function of apoptosis. Activated Vitamin D is believed also to interfere with tumors building blood vessels to feed themselves, thus starving the tumors.”
Fights breast cancer. Well, I’ll be….
Investigate Magazine journalist, Ian Wishart, attributes the low levels of Vitamin D in New Zealand to the increased usage of sunscreen. Interestingly enough, the NZ Cancer Society has made millions of dollars from sunscreens through its subsidiary, Daffodil Enterprises Ltd. There is a financial statement for Daffodil Enterprises and a video interview with a cancer society representative on the link at the bottom of the page, if you are interested.
Ian further states that: “…New Zealand’s high rates of cancer, heart disease and other major illnesses may be directly linked to low vitamin D levels. Autism has rocketed up, allergies can be found in every second house, mental illness and depression have escalated hugely, and our rates of deadly melanoma…International studies have shown people who use sunscreens regularly are three times more likely to develop melanoma than people who don’t use sunscreens at all….”
While Macleans Magazine sloughs off these results based on medical authorities opinions like the Maine Medical Center Research Institute, a WebMD article cites examples from the Institute of Medicine’s recommended dosage chart which are in direct contradiction to the body’s requirement:
“Assuming that a person gets virtually no vitamin D from sunshine — and that this person gets adequate amounts of calcium — the IOM committee recommends getting the following amounts of vitamin D from diet or supplements (Note that the IOM’s upper limit is not a recommended intake, but what the IOM considers the highest safe level):
Infants age 0 to 6 months: adequate intake, 400 IU/day; maximum safe upper level of intake, 1,000 IU/day
Infants age 6 to 12 months: adequate intake, 400 IU/day; maximum safe upper level of intake, 1,500 IU/day
Age 1-3 years: adequate intake, 600 IU/day; maximum safe upper level of intake, 2,500 IU/day
Age 4-8 years: adequate intake, 600 IU/day; maximum safe upper level of intake, 3,000 IU/day
Age 9-70: adequate intake, 600 IU/day; maximum safe upper level of intake, 4,000 IU/day
Age 71+ years: adequate intake, 800 IU/day; maximum safe upper level of intake, 4,000 IU/day
That’s not enough, says Boston University vitamin D expert Michael Holick, MD, PhD, professor of medicine, physiology, and biophysics, Boston University Medical Center. Holick recommends a dose of 1,000 IU a day of vitamin D for both infants and adults — unless they’re getting plenty of safe sun exposure.
In 2008, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that breastfed infants receive 400 IU of vitamin D every day until they are weaned. This doubled the AAP’s previous recommendation.”
Dr. Holick, who has made his name evangelizing the need for Vitamin D, posts the following evidence on the website of The Vitamin D Society:
A summary of the health benefits and disease incidence prevention that could be achieved by raising the public’s vitamin D levels to 125 nmol/L:
- Rickets, reduced by 100%
- Osteomalacia, reduced by 100%
- Cancers, all combined, reduced by 75%
- Breast Cancer, reduced by 50%
- Ovarian Cancer, reduced by 25%
- Colon Cancer, reduced by 67%
- Non-Hodgkins, reduced by 30%
- Kidney Cancer, reduced by 67%
- Endometrial Cancer, reduced by 35%
- Type 1 Diabetes, reduced by 80%
- Type 2 Diabetes, reduced by 50%
- Fractures, all combined, reduced by 50%
- Falls, women reduced by 72%
- Multiple Sclerosis, reduced by 50%
- Heart Attack, men, reduced by 50%
- Peripheral Vascular Disease, reduced by 80%
- preeclampsia reduced by 50%
- Cesarean Section, reduced by 75%
Imagine that? What more can I say? I take 2000 mg a day. While you can overdose on Vitamin D, the WebMD article indicates that recent studies suggest that healthy adults can tolerate more than 10,000 IU of vitamin D per day. John Jacob Cannell, MD, executive director of The Vitamin D Council, notes that the skin makes 10,000 IU of vitamin D after 30 minutes of full-body sun exposure. He suggests that 10,000 IU of vitamin D is not toxic.”
In the end, you are your own vitamin control board. This is merely my opinion and not the law (but it should be:) All the articles I’ve referenced are linked below, in case you want to read more about it.
Finally, I will leave you with some vitamin D humour I found. Enjoy!!!