Vitamin D3 makes a guest appearance on Martha Stewart (with help from Dr Andrew Weill)

Hope we won’t be regarded as too frivolous if we admit that yesterday evening we turned to our TIVO and took in the day’s Martha Stewart Show, which featured nutrition and integrative medicine guru Dr Andrew Weill. What struck us most about Dr. Weill’s segment was his answer to a question from a female audience member on strategies for preventing osteoporosis. Dr. Weill’s answer: women should start supplementing with calcium and Vitamin D3 by the time they leave adolescence. The benefits to bone health of calcium plus D3, and–just as significantly–new findings on Vitamin D3’s role in reducing cancer rates, are now so well documented that this supplement regimen has become a “no-brainer” even for younger women.

It was nice to see a current view on D3 presented so clearly to a mass audience. (Although we have put some effort into finding and interpreting the latest news on this very interesting vitamin, we are quite aware that this Blog does not reach a public of millions!)  But we also reflected, once more, that the new evidence about Vitamin D3 also ought to be of special interest to people with HIV.  As highlighted in the media earlier this month, many people with HIV who are entering middle age are facing health issues such as osteoporosis and cancers that are more usually associated with later life. And while there has not been so much research specifically on HIV and D3, the science may already be compelling enough to make this supplement a priority in regimens.  After all, we are talking about a very low-cost supplement with negligible risks of side effect. If the results of such supplementation are reduced osteoporosis and reduced cancer risk in people with HIV as they grow older, then it might just be time to take a cue from Martha Stewart and her guest Dr Weill…


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