by THOMAS on Apr 3, 2012 • 11:30 pm
Historically, vitamin D’s role was thought to simply prevent rickets, osteomalacia and form strong and healthy bones. Relatively little was known about the actual pathways of vitamin D metabolism and the myriad of influences that it has over various functions in the body. We are finally coming to grips with the health consequences of vitamin D deficiency and the estimated future costs to the healthcare systems of the world.
Here are some impressive statistics with respect to vitamin D deficiency:
• The economic burden of vitamin D deficiency in 2004 was estimated at 40 to 56 BILLION annually and due in large part to
inadequate access to the sun, supplements, diet, and food fortification costs.
• Providing the population of the U.S. with 1000 IU of vitamin D daily for one year would reduce the country’s annual cost of
cancer treatment by $16 to $25 BILLION. Cancer rates in Europe would be reduced by 20% in females and 14% in males.
• 50% of post menopausal women diagnosed with osteoporosis had insufficient levels of Vitamin D (below 30 ng/ml)
Remember back in the 80′s we were being told of the dangers of excessive exposure to the sun? Medical practicioners and dermatologists alike made blanket statements about the dangers of too much sun exposure and had us slathering onn the sun screens and being especially protective of our children’s exposure. However at the same time there was no concern expressed about any potential deficiency that might result from LACK of exposure to the sun. At the same time there was little if any mention made of the importance of vitamin D period! This speaks volumes about the state of our health care system and the lack of understanding of health care practitioners with respect to nutritional requirements.
More and more studies are linking the symptoms associated with many disease processes with vitamin D deficiency. Here is a listing of some of the symptoms associated with vitamin D deficiency:
• Muscular weakness
• Feeling of heaviness in the legs
• Chronic musculoskeletal pain
• Fatigue or easy tiring
• Frequent infections
Children are particularly at risk as they are spending more time indoors and when they are outside they are covered with protective clothing and sunscreen. In study after study the evidence is clear that we are facing an epidemic of vitamin D deficiency in children and adolescents.
Human breast milk has very little naturally occurring vitamin D. A breast fed baby will get virtually no vitamin D unless the mother is supplementing at the level of at least 30 ng/ml. It is not uncommon to encounter babies with levels well below 20ng/ml, which places them in danger of rickets. This explains the rise in the incidence of rickets, particularly in infants who are breast fed exclusively. This could be easily resolved with adequate supplementation by the mother. Why is this NOT done??? In a study of women giving birth, 73% of the women were severely deficient in vitamin D, despite taking a “prenatal” multi with 400 IU of vitamin D! They should be taking 4000 IU of vitamin D in order to get good absorption. A New York study found 69% of paired infants and mothers were deficient. A Canadian study found 11% of women in their second trimester had adequate levels of vitamin D.
Obesity is another problem that negatively influences vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is a fat soluable vitamin. It is absorbed by, and store in fat cells. People who are obese have more fat cells and thus store more Vitamin D so there is less available for the kidneys and intestines and therefore less calcium available to maintain strong and healthy bones. We are now seeing for the first time and increase in osteomalacia associated with obesity.
More than half of Americans over 65 are vitamin D deficient, putting them at increased risk for bone fractures. The elderly are increasingly living as virtual shut ins and therefore getting little if any access to the sun. Low levels of Vitamin D in the elderly cause osteoporosis and make the existing conditions worse. The associated increased medical costs in the future could be staggering as we are already seeing an increase in the incidence of fractures and osteoporosis among our elderly population.
Others who may have Vitamin D deficiency include those who have had gastric bypass surgery as they now will have difficulty absorbing fat. Those with Crohn’s and cystic fibrosis are also at risk as they too have difficulty absorbing fat.
Now you can see why I emphasize the importance of having your Vitamin D levels checked and supplementing with a minimum of 2500IU but really more like 5000 IU per day! This is such an easy remedy and very inexpensive when you consider the health benefits and the health consequences of vitamin D deficiency. Let’s get with it out there folks. Biotics research has a wonderful vitamin D product that is liquid and emulsified.
Emulsification is very important for maximum and direct absorption into the body. Each drop is 2000 IU so 3-4 drops in the a.m. and p.m. assures that your are getting sufficient stores of this vital nutrient.