Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Important Vitamin D Update

from mercola.com

"A meta-analysis of 18 randomized controlled trials has found that
supplemental vitamin D significantly reduces mortality from all causes.

The analysis emphasizes the medical, ethical, and legal implications
of promptly diagnosing and adequately treating vitamin D deficiency.

Not only are such deficiencies common, but vitamin D deficiency is
implicated in most of the diseases of civilization. Vitamin D's final
metabolic product targets more than 200 human genes in a wide variety of
tissues. One of the most important genes vitamin D up-regulates is for
cathelicidin, a naturally occurring broad-spectrum antibiotic.

Since vitamin D deficiency is both endemic and is associated with
numerous diseases, it is one of the most important medical problems in
modern society. Treatment of vitamin D deficiency in otherwise healthy
patients must be individualized due to the numerous factors affecting
vitamin D levels. Steps should be taken to keep patients with chronic
diseases associated with vitamin D deficiency, especially internal cancers,
in the higher normal range of vitamin D blood levels.

Read More About This Important Vitamin D Update Now

a.. Alternative Medicine Review March 2008

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

Before I start this comment, please let me strongly emphasize
that if you have not yet viewed my one hour FREE lecture on Vitamin D,
please schedule time to do so. Do it with your family as they all need this

One hour may seem like a long time, but I have studied this
issue for hundreds of hours and personally interviewed the leading vitamin D
experts in the world, and have condensed the most important points for you
in this video.

I don't know ANY single physical factor that could improve your
health more than reviewing, understanding and finally applying this
information. Especially important will be to get your blood levels tested so
you can obtain all the thousands of well documented benefits.

In my view, one of the most impressive vitamin D researchers is
Dr. Cannell. Although he isn't a hard core scientist, like most of the
other experts, and is a practicing physician, he has done an absolutely
masterful job of reviewing and compiling the research and coming up with
powerful observations and recommendations.

Without a doubt, he has been my most important mentor in this
area and that is why I feel the article he published earlier this year is
such an important one, and if you have any interest in this area I would
strongly encourage you to carefully review his article. If you actually
care to see what Dr. Cannell looks and sounds like here is a previous video
I have posted on the site.

Benefits FAR More Than Your Bones

The number of diseases found to be impacted by your vitamin D
levels is rising rapidly. As Dr. Cannell points out in his meta-analysis,
vitamin D appears to reduce your risk of dying from virtually ANY disease.

And it's no wonder, really, when you consider what vitamin D
really is.

It's not "just a vitamin," but rather the only known substrate
for a potent, pleiotropic (meaning it produces multiple effects), repair and
maintenance seco-steroid hormone that serves multiple gene-regulatory
functions in your body.

Just one example of an important gene that vitamin D
up-regulates is your ability to fight infections. It produces over 200 anti
microbial peptides, the most important of which is cathelicidin, a naturally
occurring broad-spectrum antibiotic.

And, when you consider the fact that you only have 30,000 genes
in your body, and vitamin D has been shown to influence more than 2,000 of
them, the bigger picture of its true impact on your health can be easily
understood. It may, in fact, have literally thousands of health benefits! So
it's likely we're just beginning to scratch the surface of its true
potential for reversing the modern disease state.

It's absolutely tragic that dermatologists and sunscreen
manufacturers have done such a thorough job of scaring people out of the
sun - your optimal source for natural vitamin D. Dr. Cannell believes, and
I agree, that this is one of the major influences that has contributed to
the vitamin D epidemic we're now facing, and also the autism increases we
have seen.

Their widely dispersed message to avoid the sun as much as
possible, combined with an overall cultural trend of spending more time
indoors during both work and leisure time, has greatly contributed to the
widespread vitamin D deficiency seen today -- which in turn is fueling an
astonishingly diverse array of common chronic diseases, including:

Heart disease

Rheumatoid arthritis

Diabetes 1 and 2
Multiple Sclerosis
Crohn's disease

Cold & Flu
Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Signs of aging

Hearing loss

Muscle pain
Periodontal disease

Macular degeneration
Reduced C-section risk

Pre eclampsia

Cystic fibrosis

Alzheimer's disease

Researchers have calculated that simply increasing levels of
vitamin D3 could prevent diseases that claim nearly 1 million lives
throughout the world each year!

Where You Live Impacts Your Vitamin D Levels, and Your Disease

The evidence is very clear that the farther away from the
equator you live, the higher your risk of dying from cancer becomes, for
example. In other words, those who live in higher latitudes have
significantly higher cancer rates than those living in lower latitudes;
directly correlating to the amount of available sunshine you have in your

For example, according to Dr. William Grant -- one of the top
vitamin D researchers in the world - the cancer rate in Iceland is 90 per
100,000 people per year. Those in the tropics, meanwhile, have rates of 25
per 100,000!

And, he points out, the majority of cancer deaths in the United
States are from vitamin-D-sensitive cancers. An estimated 150,000 cases of
cancer could be prevented in the United States alone by increasing vitamin D
levels throughout the population.

Are You Vitamin D Deficient, and if so, What Should You Do About

I still firmly believe that the best way to raise your vitamin D
level is not with supplements, but by exposing your bare skin to sunshine.
However, getting sun exposure is not always practical or even feasible,
depending on where you live.

During the winter, or during other times of the year when sun
exposure is not a possibility for you, then supplementation with vitamin D3
(cholecalciferol) is an option that should be seriously considered.

I have often warned my readers to use extreme caution when
taking oral vitamin D supplements in order to avoid overdosing. However,
more and more research is showing that my fears of toxicity may have been
overly cautious.

That said, the way to proceed is to get your vitamin D levels
tested before you begin, and then at regular intervals so that you can tell
when you reach the optimal level, because the amount of vitamin D required
(whether from sun exposure or supplementation) to reach this level is
different for everyone.

It's thought that 85 percent of the American public is deficient
in vitamin D and over 95 percent of African American or deeply pigmented
individuals. And, in the United States, the late winter average vitamin D is
only about 15-18 ng/ml, which is considered a VERY SERIOUS deficiency state.

You can find out what your levels are by asking your doctor for
a blood test called a 25(OH)D, also called 25-hydroxyvitamin D. (Please
note, there are two types of vitamin D tests, and this one is the one you
want.) There are also two primary labs in the U.S. and you ONLY want to use
Lab Corp, NOT Quest, to perform this test.

The OPTIMAL value of vitamin D that you're looking for has
recently been raised to 50-65 ng/ml, with even higher recommended levels
required for more serious disease prevention.

This is one case where keeping on top of the rapid discoveries
can be truly challenging.

I've already amended my recommendations for optimal vitamin D
levels, the use of cod liver oil for vitamin D supplementation, and guidance
on what labs to use to ensure accurate test results, and I'm sure there will
be further updates and revisions as we move forward. So make sure you
continue to read future updates."

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