Recommendations from the Vitamin D Council

The Vitamin D Council is a California non-profit that promotes education about the health benefits of Vitamin D, and advocates for wider use of supplementation, at a much higher dose than the current RDA, to ward off a variety of diseases, including several types of cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

Here are some highlights from the Council’s home page, as accessed by us 10/22/2009:

Current research has implicated vitamin D deficiency as a major factor in the pathology of at least 17 varieties of cancer as well as heart disease, stroke, hypertension, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, depression, chronic pain, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, muscle wasting, birth defects, periodontal disease, and more.

Vitamin D’s influence on key biological functions vital to one’s health and well-being mandates that vitamin D no longer be ignored by the health care industry nor by individuals striving to achieve and maintain a greater state of health.

Sunshine and Your Health

If well adults and adolescents regularly avoid sunlight exposure, research indicates a necessity to supplement with at least 5,000 units (IU) of vitamin D daily. To obtain this amount from milk one would need to consume 50 glasses. With a multivitamin more than 10 tablets would be necessary. Neither is advisable.

The skin produces approximately 10,000 IU vitamin D in response 20–30 minutes summer sun exposure—50 times more than the US government’s recommendation of 200 IU per day!

On this website, we also noted with interest a letter from a Wisconsin doctor/long-term care facility manager on the apparent protective value of Vitamin D during a spike in the state’s swine flu rate in June 2009. The doctor had mandated Vitamin D supplementation for the long-term care facility’s residents, whereas staff at the facility were under no such requirement. During the June swine flu peak, less than 1% of the facility residents developed swine flu, while at least 7% of the staff did–a significant variation in outcomes.

We’ll stay tuned to the Vitamin D Council’s website, which seems to us a useful clearinghouse of information on a supplement that holds a great deal of promise, if we’re to judge by the flood of positive new research results coming out in just the past few years. On the practical side, we also note that Vitamin D supplementation is inexpensive; that blood levels of the vitamin are easily monitored; and that overdose is rare (though we certainly recommend checking with your doctor if you plan to supplement at the levels advocated by the Vitamin D Council).

SEE ALSO THE NYBC ENTRY:

D3 – 2500IU (This format provides a convenient way to supplement for those wishing to follow the recommendations of the Vitamin D Council; other strengths are also available at NYBC.)

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