Άρθρο για τη βιταμίνη D στο περιοδικό Parents


Έπεσε στα χέρια μου ένα αντίτυπο του περιοδικού Parents, Φεβρουαρίου 2011, το οποίο μου άφησε πολύ καλή εντύπωση· από εδώ και πέρα, μάλλον θα είμαι συχνός αναγνώστης του. Από τα πολύ ενδιαφέροντα άρθρα που είχε, ξεχώρισα δύο: το ένα ήταν για τοξικά υλικά που χρησιμοποιούμε στην καθημερινότητά μας και μέσα στο σπίτι μας και το άλλο ήταν για τη βιταμίνη D!

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Αναπληρώνοντας Βιταμίνη D3

Ο ιστότοπος του Vitamin D Council, είναι από τους πιο αξιόλογους σε σχέση με πληροφόρηση για τη βιταμίνη D. Παραθέτω, στη συνέχεια του άρθρου, σε ελεύθερη μετάφραση, μια εξαιρετικά ενδιαφέρουσα εισαγωγική σειρά ερωτήσεων και απαντήσεων, από τον Ιούλιο του 2008. Είχε προηγηθεί, τον Απρίλιο του 2008, η δημοσίευση μιας ανοικτής επιστολής από διακεκριμένους καθηγητές Αμερικανικών Πανεπιστημίων, οι οποίοι καλούσαν σε δράση για τη διάδοση της επίδρασης της Βιταμίνης D, όχι μόνο στην οστεοπόρωση, όπως ήδη γνωρίζουμε, αλλά και σε μια σειρά άλλων, πολύ σοβαρών παθήσεων, όπως διαφόρων ειδών καρκίνου (πχ του παχέος εντέρου, του στήθους, των ωοθηκών κτλ), του διαβήτη τύπου Ι σε παιδιά, της σκλήρυνσης κατά πλάκας, αλλά και άλλων ασθενειών, ακόμα πχ και της γρίπης.

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New Vitamin D Recommendations: A bad joke?

On November 30, 2010, the Institute of Medicine’s Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) released their updated recommendations for vitamin D (and calcium), which has sent shockwaves of disappointment through natural health community.

According to the FNB, the new recommended daily allowance (RDA) for pregnant women and adults up to 70 years of age is the same as that for infants and children – a measly 600 IU‘s. This despite the overwhelming evidence showing that vitamin D is extremely important for a wide variety of health conditions besides bone health, and that most people need about ten times this amount or more.

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Vitamin D3: Drug industry’s best kept secret?

I don’t check site stats very often, so I only recently found that my recent post on Vitamin D3 had drawn quite a few hits on the first post (in Greek) on the subject. However, most hits came from countries where people are not very likely to speak Greek, therefore I decided to rewrite it in English. And here it is:

It looks like vitamin D3 and its attributes is one of the best kept secrets of our time. Why would I say that?

Research on vitamin D3′s effects has been increased over the past 15 years. However, although results have already been produced and advisories have been issued by various Universities and health organizations all over the world, as to the consequences of vitamin D deficiency, the issue still does not seem to receive any particular attention from mainstream channels…

Could this be related to the fact that sufficient levels of vitamin D3 allegedly decrease chances of 17 different kinds of cancer to appear, by 30% to 77%, depending on the case? And also that survival prognosis increases for patients already with cancer? After all, treating a sickness is much more profitable than curing or preventing it, isn’t it?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that D3 is a cure for cancer; I’m just saying that D3, or the lack thereof, seems to be somehow related to cancer… and many more health conditions, for that matter (Vitamin D Council):

Technically not a “vitamin,” vitamin D is in a class by itself. Its metabolic product, calcitriol, is actually a secosteroid hormone that targets over 2000 genes (about 10% of the human genome) in the human body. 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 D3, aka “the Sun vitamin”, is produced in our skin by exposure to sunlight and UVB radiation in particular. Vitamin D deficiency is more common in populations of northern geographic areas, where they don’t get much Sun. But not only there, since the modern way of life keeps us indoors most of the time and encourages us to avoid the Sun, or pack ourselves with UV sunscreen or sunblock in the summer, for fear of skin cancer. Ever wondered how come cancer seems to be getting almost as common as the common cold? Could this be connected to our societies getting less and less exposure to sunlight?

Levels of D3 in our body can be measured by a simple blood test, called serum 25(OH)D. According to a Harvard University research, 25(OH)D levels should be  around 50 ng/mL or more:

Vitamin D status by blood levels of 25(OH)D*

Vitamin D status 25(OH)D in nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL)
Deficient Less than 20 ng/mL
Insufficient 20 to 29 ng/mL
Sufficient 30 ng/mL or more
Potentially harmful More than 150 ng/mL
*25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (vitamin D precursor)
Source: Holick MF. “Vitamin D Deficiency,” New England Journal of Medicine (July 19, 2007), Vol. 357, No. 3, pp. 266–80.

Vitamin D is naturally present in very few foods, but it is also available as a dietary supplement. Currently suggested daily intake of Vitamin D3 is around 400IU, but that really should depend on where you live, the way you live and the amount of sunlight that you get. Most Americans and Europeans would seem to need at least 2000IU to maintain adequate levels of D3 in their blood (combined intake from food sources and dietary supplements, to make up for limited direct exposure to sunlight). People living further north (say, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Canada, etc) may even need 8000 or 10000 IU!

Here are some more external links:

Needless to say, medical advice should be obtained from your doctor before you start taking any food supplements, particularly if you’re pregnant of if you’re facing any health challenge. Also beware of D3 supplements containing Vitamin A and keep in mind that, along with serum 25(OH)D levels, you may also want to monitor PTH (Parathyroid Hormone) and Calcium

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Lack of Vitamin D linked to Parkinson’s disease risk

To further add to a previous post on Vitamin D3, here’s some more research results:

From Yahoo News:

Greater levels of vitamin D have been linked to a lower risk of Parkinson‘s disease in a study in Finland where low sunlight leads to a chronic lack of the nutrient, researchers said Monday.

Scientists from the National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland, first hypothesized that Parkinson’s “may be caused by a continuously inadequate vitamin D status leading to a chronic loss of dopaminergic neurons in the brain.”

After adjusting for potentially related factors, including physical activity and body mass index, those with the highest levels of vitamin D (top 25 percent of the group) were found to have a 67 percent lower risk of developing Parkinson’s disease than those with the lowest level of the vitamin (bottom 25 percent), the study said.

Some more external links:

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Βιταμίνη D3: το καλύτερα κρυμμένο μυστικό της φαρμακοβιομηχανίας;

Απ’ ό,τι φαίνεται, η βιταμίνη D και οι ιδιότητές της, αποτελούν ένα από τα καλύτερα κρυμμένα μυστικά της εποχής μας. Γιατί όμως το λέμε αυτό;

Ήταν ήδη γνωστό ότι η D έπαιζε σημαντικό ρόλο στην υγεία των οστών. Ωστόσο, όλο και περισσότερες έρευνες δείχνουν ότι, η στέρηση του οργανισμού από αυτή τη βιταμίνη, μέσω της παρεμπόδισης ενός βιολογικού μηχανισμού εκατομμυρίων ετών, έχει επιπτώσεις που πάνε πέρα από την υγεία των οστών και, μάλιστα, πολύ παραπέρα απ’ όσο θα μπορούσε να φανταστεί κανείς…

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