Tuesday, August 07, 2007

More D, Please

The following article is brought to us by Lavender Blue:

Sunshine Helps In The Fight Against Breast Cancer

I can't keep up with all these great studies rolling in about vitamin D. There are so many. Vitamin D is integral in:
  • Preserving bone
  • Supporting muscle strength
  • Preventing cancer
  • Decreasing heart disease risk
  • Decreasing diabetes risk
  • Boosting immunity
  • ... Related to boosting immunity: decreasing risk for autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis, lupus, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.

It's going to change our recommendation for vitamin D in the future, I can see that. Right now, the recommended Adequate Intake is between 200 and 400 IUs/day. I can see that being increased to 800 IUs in a few years. (The recommending body for nutrients, The Institute of Medicine, works slowly.) In the mean time, and I can't believe I'm doing this since I'm as white as all-purpose flour, I've begun to have quick, unprotected sun exposure. According to Reinhold Vieth of the University of Toronto (who wrote the excellent, doggedly researched, profusely cited review article, Vitamin D Supplementation, 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Concentrations, and Safety) all I'll need is about 15 or 20 minutes, tops:
"To offer some perspective here, an adult with white skin [pigmented skin takes longer to manufacture vitamin D], exposed to summer sunshine while wearing a bathing suit, generates about 250 µg (10,000 IUs) of vitamin D3 in 15 to 20 minutes; longer exposure generates no more vitamin D." - Reinhold Vieth, Vitamin D Insufficiency: No Recommended Dietary Allowance Exists For This Nutrient
Since that's not going to do the trick for me from November through February1:
I've added vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) oil-based supplements to my regimen. When I run out, 3 ounces of oily fish, e.g. sardines or salmon, provide between 300-400 IUs - the amount found in many supplements.
1 Linus Pauling Institute, Preventing Osteoporosis Through Diet And Lifestyle Photo of basking prairie dog compliments of Manitoba, Canada's Fortwhythe Alive Nature Center.

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