Official government recommendations on vitamin D intake are far too low for optimal health, the director of the Sunlight, Nutrition, and Health Research Center has warned.
See our previous blog about Vitamin D on MerchantCircle -
“The current dietary guideline, approximately 400 IU/day, was based on the amount of vitamin D in a spoonful of cod liver oil, which prevented rickets,” William B. Grant Ph.D said.
William B. Grant, Ph.D.: “Vitamin D has been a natural part of man’s experience forever, and 90% of vitamin D is derived from solar ultraviolet-B (UVB) irradiance. The health effects of vitamin D can be and have been determined from a variety of studies including ecological, observational (case-control and cohort), and cross-sectional studies.”
Vitamin D helps both to prevent and to treat chronic diseases including many types of cancer, cardiovascular disease (coronary heart disease, stroke, etc.), congestive heart failure, diabetes mellitus (types 1 and 2), osteoporosis, falls, and fractures. It is also effective against infectious diseases including both bacteria and viral infections: bacterial vaginosis, pneumonia, dental caries, periodontal disease, tuberculosis, sepsis/septicemia, Epstein-Barr virus, and influenza type A such as A/H1N1 influenza. The autoimmune diseases include asthma, type 1 diabetes mellitus, multiple sclerosis, and perhaps rheumatoid arthritis.
Pregnancy outcomes are also adversely affected by low serum D levels. 40% of primary Cesarean-section deliveries in the United States are linked to low D levels (9% of births in the United States involve primary C-section), and preeclampsia is also linked to low serum levels of D. In regards to cancer, vitamin D helps cells fit into the organs properly or commit suicide (apoptosis), and also reduces angiogenesis (new blood vessel growth) around tumors and reduces metastasis. For metabolic diseases, the mechanisms include increased insulin sensitivity and insulin production. For infectious diseases, vitamin D induces production of cathelicidin and defensins, which have antimicrobial and antiendotoxin activities.
Quality Supplements represent an efficient way to obtain sufficient vitamin D. African-Americans should consider taking 3000 International Units (IU) per day while White-Americans should consider taking 2000 IU/day. The current dietary guideline, approximately 400 IU/day, was based on the amount of vitamin D in a spoonful of cod liver oil, which prevented rickets.
Several studies have examined how much mortality rates and economic burdens of disease could be lowered if the population had more vitamin D. These studies were for Western Europe, Canada, the Netherlands, and the United States. They generally found that mortality rates could be reduced by about 15%.
During pregnancy and lactation, women should be taking about 6000 IU/day. The current US “Adequate Intake” recommendation is a mere 200 IU/day. Bruce W. Hollis and Carol L. Wagner, Medical University of South Carolina, recently completed a randomized controlled trial vitamin D supplementation for pregnant and nursing women and found that even 2000 IU/day was inadequate, and that there were no adverse effects with 6000 IU/day.
For the text of a Vitamin D Scientists’ Call to Action, go to – http://www.grassrootshealth.net