Vitamin D STORY
October 26, 2009 (The American Academy of Pediatrics)
AAP News for pediatricians and other child health professionals
Study finds 1 in 5 U.S. children is vitamin D deficient
An analysis of U.S. data showed that at least one in five children ages 1 to 11 may be vitamin D deficient, including almost 90% of black and 80% of Hispanic children. Researchers said the study, released online in the journal Pediatrics, adds to growing evidence showing vitamin D deficiency in people of all ages, which could contribute to serious health problems. Google/The Associated Press (10/26).
Inadequate level of vitamin D is prevalent. About 36 percents of healthy young adult in the US. is vitamin D deficient, 57 percents of general medicine inpatients, and it goes up to 93 percents in patients with chronic musculoskeleton pain.
Have you ever wonder how did the USDA arrive at the RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance)level for nutrients including vitamins?
The RDA levels is based on Estimated Average Requirements (EAR), which satisfy about 50% of the population, plus adding approxmimately 20% more. However, it is the level that prevent rickets in children, not necessarily the level the body needed to be WELL. How scientists arrived at the recommended level is unknown. The best guess currently is that it was an " unequivocally safe" level. The toxic level was believed to be 2000 I.U. per day based on vitamin D toxicity reported in 1948. The paper reported toxicity in patients received 150,000 I.U. or more of vitamin D per day and all recovered. Vitamin D was even removed out of cod liver oil because the level was considered toxic! There was a study using 40,000 I.U. of vitamin D for a month with no side effects. It is not recommended to take that high a dose. It was done to prove the point of the safety windows. About 4000 I.U. of vitamin D is required each day for your body's metabolic maintenance. I have been taking 5000 I.U. for many months so far. I was told by my surgeon that low vitamin D is linked to breast cancer so I should have my vitamin D level checked since a mammogram found abnormal calcifications. I found my level to be very low. I did not recall in my nutrition training regarding any correlation between vitamin D and cancer. Studies have shown 50% reduction of breast, prostrate, and colorectal cancer among those with the highest vitamin D level (see link)
Vitamin D was also found to stimulate tumor suppressing protein that inhibits growth of breast cancer cells (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090204172437.htm). Vitamin D has antitumors effect in varieties of tumor types. Vitamin D was shown to reduce incidence of childhood leukemia and all leukemia patients were found to have vitamin D deficiency. Of course, I am not saying that vitamin D is a cure all but pretty good evidence for cancer prevention for a simple, low cost, safe, and effective. Something for us to do while waiting for the practice of food processing to change.
Active form of vitamin D also has effect on obesity-related issues such as high blood pressure. Researcher from University of Minnesota found in a preliminary clinical study that higher vitamin D level is a predictor of higher fat loss especially the abdominal area.
Contraindications and precautions: Primary hyperparathyroidism, tuberculosis, lymphoma, and sarcoidosis.
Toxicity symptoms are headache, dizziness, dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite.
So folks! Get your family supplemented. For children 1-3, 1000I.U. per day, 3 and above 2000 I.U. per day, adults $4000-6000 I.U. per day.
Nitikul Solomon, MD, FAAP, ABIHM :)