Friday, December 14, 2007

Changing nutritional needs

I had a set of blood tests done a couple of weeks ago, and I am deficient! In potassium and Vitamin D. I hadn't put together my recent episodes of muscle cramping with the potassium, but that's probably why I've had the pain.

I have *no* idea what's up with the Vitamin D. I don't even know why my doc requested to check the level. But I have to take some high-powered heavy-duty one-a-week pill for 8 weeks and then have the level re-checked.

By coincidence (or maybe not) Vitamin D is in the news. Apparently a lot of us aren't getting enough sun for our bodies to make adequate Vitamin D. The doc in the article recommends sitting in the shade during the middle of the day, although he doesn't say for how long (an hour? ten minutes?).

Vitamin D, when absorbed through the skin from UV rays, has been found to help prevent various cancers, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.

“People are constantly saying ‘don’t expose yourself to the sun too much’ and ‘don’t go outside between 8am and 5pm’,” Dr Turnbull said.

“My research says the best time is in the middle of the day, if you sit in the shade.”

“In the middle of the day you get more radiation from vitamin D because the sun is directly overhead and has less atmosphere to pass through.”

By sitting in the shade, harmful UVA rays that were linked to skin cancer, DNA damage and immune suppression could be filtered out, Dr Turnbull said.

“In the US, between 50,000 and 60,000 people die each year because of issues relating to not getting enough sun exposure,” he said.

I also wonder about that last line. What exactly are "issues relating to not getting enough sun exposure?" And what do you suppose dermatologists and oncologists who treat skin cancer think?


TedHutchinson said...

“In the US, between 50,000 and 60,000 people die each year because of issues relating to not getting enough sun exposure,”
The issues referred to are those conditions which occur more often in those with low vitamin d status. These are
Type 1 and 2 diabetes
· Multiple sclerosis
· Rheumatoid arthritis
· Osteoarthritis
· Periodontal disease
· Increased susceptibility to infection
· Osteoporosis
· Low birth weight infants
· Low seizure threshold
· Cancers: breast, prostate, colon, pancreas, ovary,
· Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
· Hypertension
· Myocardial infarction
· Stroke,
· Wheezing in childhood
· Falls in the elderly
· Muscle strength in the elderly
Dermatologists don't think otherwise they wouldn't sleep at night for worrying about the excess number of deaths they are responsible for.
For every single person who dies from those cancers that may be related to too much sun exposure 60 will die from cancers that thrive in vitamin D depleted bodies.
If Dermatologists thought they would ensure those people they advised to stay out of the sun, obtained as much vitamin d3 daily as their bodies actaully require.
Circulating Vitamin D3 and 25-hydroxyvitamin D in Humans: shows us that to maximise our 25(OH)D levels we need around 130nmol/l of vitamin D3. Each 400iu of vitamin d raises status by 9nmol/l.
Hopefully you have a good doctor who has prescribed 50,000iu Cholecalciferol.

Kai Jones said...

Thanks for the information. My scrip seems to be what you suggest.