Just "D" Facts about Vitamin D

Benefits of Moderate UV Sunshine Exposure

Archive for February, 2008

Benefits of UV Light

Posted by D3forU on February 27, 2008

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Dr. Joe Pendergrass on Vitamin D

Posted by D3forU on February 27, 2008

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Vitamin D – The Most Powerful Anti-Oxidant

Posted by D3forU on February 27, 2008

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Vitamin D – The Miracle Drug ???

Posted by D3forU on February 27, 2008

 Interview with Dr Cannell, and other recommendations that up to 4000 IU per day for health is beneficial.

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Sunlight May Save Kids’ Sight

Posted by D3forU on February 23, 2008

Exposure to sunlight may boost kids’ dopamine levels, which reduces their chances of myopia, scientists say
Wednesday, 05 December 2007
Dani Cooper ABC
Exposure to sunlight could be a critical factor in stopping children from becoming short-sighted, Australian researchers have found.
The findings, presented to the Australasian Ophthalmic and Visual Sciences Meeting in Canberra this week, appear to overturn the long-held view that education and close work are the key drivers of myopia.
Instead they suggest the ability to develop myopia is strongly influenced by environmental factors.
They will also be a boon to public health officials in the region as myopia is reaching epidemic proportions across urban Asia.
Dr Ian Morgan, of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Vision Science, says there has been a dramatic escalation in myopia rates in East Asia during the past 30 years.
Morgan says 90% of conscription-aged males in Singapore are now myopic.
This compares with figures from the 1960s to the 70s when only 20-30% of 17-year-old males had myopia.
During the same period, rates of myopia in Australia have increased from about 15% to 20-25%.
Morgan says it has been suggested there may be an East Asian genetic susceptibility to environmental risk factors associated with intensive education and urbanisation.
But he says this can be discounted because those of South Asian, or Indian, ethnicity growing up in Singapore are as myopic as the Chinese and Malay populations.
“This phenomenon cannot plausibly be explained in terms of changes in gene pools,” the Australian National University researcher says.
“A gene pool doesn’t change that fast.”
Playing outside
Instead Morgan and colleague Dr Kathy Rose, of the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Sydney, have found the time children spend outdoors is the critical factor.
A comparison of children of Chinese origin living in Singapore and Sydney, which matched the subjects for age and parental myopia, shows the rate of myopia in Singaporean children is 10 times higher.
But Morgan says the Sydney-based children spend significantly more time in near-work activity, reading twice as many books per week.
The key difference in their weekly activities was in time spent outdoors with Sydney-based children outside almost four times longer than their Singapore counterparts.
“What children are doing in Australia at the moment seems to be right,” he says.
Dopamine
Morgan believes the exposure to sunlight cuts myopia rates by encouraging the release of dopamine.
Dopamine is known to inhibit eye growth and myopia is a condition caused by excessive eye growth.
Morgan says while they will begin experiments to assess this theory, the findings are concrete enough to inform public health policy.
“The findings provide a means of prevention and are enough to start authorities thinking about time outdoors as a public health strategy.”
Morgan says a prevention strategy is needed because severe myopia increases the risk of retinal detachment, which can lead to blindness.
He says Singapore faces the serious public health threat of having as much as 10% of its population developing a serious retinal problem later in life.

Source Link : http://www.abc.net.au/science/articl…m?topic=health

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Vitamin D Important for Brain Function

Posted by D3forU on February 23, 2008

(Ivanhoe Newswire) – Not only does vitamin D help build healthy bones, it may also help build strong minds.

In a new review of vitamin D researchers from Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute find there is plenty of evidence to suggest vitamin D is important in brain development and function. And they say people at high risk of not getting enough of it need supplements.

Scientists have recently become aware that vitamin D is good for more than just bones – evidence shows it protects against autoimmune diseases including multiple sclerosis and type I diabetes as well as some forms of cancer, especially colorectal and breast.

This review shows vitamin D can affect proteins in the brain known to be directly involved in learning, memory, motor control, and perhaps maternal and social behavior.

Vitamin D can only be found in a few foods such as fatty fish. It is also added to fortified milk. But we get most of our vitamin D from exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun. People with light skin absorb vitamin D six times more efficiently than those with dark skin which is why dark-skinned people in the Northern United States or European latitudes with little sun exposure are at risk for rickets, bone fractures, and possibly other diseases.

Even though more research needs to be done on the health risks of not getting enough vitamin D the authors recommend people with exceptionally low levels of it – especially nursing infants, the elderly, and African Americans – take supplements.

SOURCE: FASB Journal published online Dec. 13, 2007

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Skin Colour Linked to Vitamin D Deficiency

Posted by D3forU on February 23, 2008

Updated Tue. Dec. 18 2007 11:08 PM ET

CTV.ca News Staff

A new study has confirmed that people of colour — those of African and east Asian background — may be dangerously low in vitamin D — so low it surprised researchers.

Esteban Parra of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Toronto conducted his study last winter by testing the blood of students on the Mississauga campus at the University of Toronto from a variety of ethnic backgrounds.

Esteban Parra, of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Toronto, discusses the results of the study with CTV News on Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2007.Esteban Parra, Department of Anthropology at the University of Toronto, discusses results of the study with CTV News on Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2007.
Dr. Reinhold Veith, a nutritional researcher at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto says he was impressed with the study.Dr. Reinhold Veith, a nutritional researcher at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto says he was impressed with the study.

He asked 106 healthy young adults to report their ancestry and to keep a diary of everything they ate and all the supplements they took for a week. He then tested their blood for vitamin D, which are measured in 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OHD) levels.

Anything above 75 nanomoles per litre (nmol/L) of 25-OHD is considered optimal. Anything less than 25 nmol/L is considered seriously deficient, a level that would put one at risk of developing rickets, a condition in which the bones grow soft. A level between 25 and 50 nmol/L is considered insufficient but not yet low enough to lead to a deficiency.

His first surprise was just how many of the otherwise healthy students were seriously deficient in vitamin D during the winter months, when the number of daylight hours is shortened and when people are less likely to absorb sunlight through exposed skin.

“We found a very high prevalence of insufficiency,” Parra reports.

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Lung Cancer ‘Link to Lack of Sun’

Posted by D3forU on February 23, 2008

beach life

Some sun can be a good thing

Lack of sunlight may increase the risk of lung cancer, a study suggests. Researchers found lung cancer rates were highest in countries furthest from the equator, where exposure to sunlight is lowest.

It is thought vitamin D – generated by exposure to sunlight – can halt tumour growth by promoting the factors responsible for cell death in the body.

The University of California, San Diego study appears in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Experts warn that exposure to sunlight is still the major cause of skin cancer – a disease which is on the increase around the world.

Lung cancer kills more than one million people every year around the globe.

The researchers examined data from 111 countries across several continents.

Cell glue

They found smoking was most strongly associated with lung cancer rates – accounting for up to 85% of all cases.

But exposure to sunlight, especially UVB light, the principal source of vitamin D for the body, also seemed to have an impact.

We know that vitamin D is essential for good health, but the time in the sun needed to get enough vitamin D is much less than the time it takes to tan or burn
Dr Kat Arney
Cancer Research UK

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The Unsensored Family Guide to Vitamin D

Posted by D3forU on February 23, 2008

Live longer and healthier with 30 minutes of sushine” (Vitamin D)
by Bill Sardi

Link to the PDF Document

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Vitamin D Dose Study Adds Weight to Intake Increases

Posted by D3forU on February 23, 2008

By Stephen Daniells

12/12/2007 – Doses of vitamin D3 of 2,000 International Units (IU) – the current tolerable upper intake level (UL) in Europe and the US – are needed to ensure blood levels of the vitamin amongst post-menopausal African-American women, says a new study.

Over 200 women took part in the three year study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which adds to an ever-growing body of science suggesting an urgent need to review current daily intakes of the vitamin.

Vitamin D is produced in the skin on exposure to UVB radiation and can also be consumed in small amounts from the diet. However, increased skin pigmentation reduces the effect of UVB radiation meaning darker skinned people are more at risk of vitamin D deficiency.

Vitamin D deficiency can lead to a range of health problems, including rickets, poor tooth formation, convulsions, general ill health, and stunted growth. It has also been linked to an increased risk of certain cancers, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis.

Researchers from Winthrop University Hospital, Mineola, New York performed a dose-response experiment with 208 healthy African-American postmenopausal women. Half the women were assigned to the vitamin D intervention arm of the trial and received daily supplements of 800 IU D3 (20 micrograms) for two years, and 2,000 IU (50 micrograms) for the final year.

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VITAMIN D SEES THE LIGHT

Posted by D3forU on February 23, 2008

‘Sunshine’ nutrient may have key role in halting disease

By Suzanne Bohan STAFF WRITER
Article Launched: 01/20/2008 02:59:56 AM PST

Inside a laboratory at Stanford University, researchers are confidently pursuing evidence that vitamin D plays an important role in breast and prostate cancer prevention.
At Children’s Hospital Oakland, a famed scientist is convinced that widespread deficiency of vitamin D in the U.S. population leads to poor immune system and brain functioning, among other conditions.

Also, scientists at UC Davis this month were awarded $600,000 by the federal government to study the link between vitamin D and major diseases of the day.
For decades, most people paid little attention to vitamin D, called the “sunshine vitamin,” since sun rays absorbed by the skin synthesize the nutrient.

Vitamin D’s historic claim to fame has been its role in building and maintaining strong bones and teeth by regulating calcium levels.

But to their surprise, scientists in recent years discovered that vitamin D appears to play an under appreciated role in preventing just about every major disease afflicting Western societies, from cancer and cardiovascular disease to multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes.

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Vitamin D as Cancer Fighter?

Posted by D3forU on February 23, 2008

Big doses showed promising results
 
 
 
Vitamin D.
CREDIT: Dan Janisse / Windsor Star / Canwest News Service
Vitamin D.

Most vitamins have proven disappointing in the area of cancer prevention when subjected to rigorous scientific evaluation. There appears to be one important exception, however, and this edition of HealthWatch takes a look at one of last year’s hottest health topics.

Vitamin D has long been espoused as important in maintaining bone health, particularly in climates like ours, in which sunlight is scarce during winter. Last year, a landmark study on Vitamin D took a different slant by indicating that taking larger than usual amounts of it can actually prevent cancer. However, conclusions drawn were confusing as different organizations issued conflicting recommendations.

What exactly is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin found in fatty fish, egg yolks and milk, but sunshine is the main source for most people. Ultraviolet (UV) rays from sunlight trigger Vitamin D synthesis in the skin, while the liver and kidneys convert it to an active form.

Vitamin D maintains normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus and promotes calcium absorption from the intestine. In severe deficiency conditions, the bones become brittle and misshapen; milder deficiencies promote and worsen osteoporosis.

What about the connection to cancer?
For decades, population studies suggested a lower cancer incidence in regions with greater sun exposure, and that people with inadequate Vitamin D intake are at greater risk of developing cancer.

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Vitamin D Plays Role in Fighting Diseases

Posted by D3forU on February 23, 2008

By Suzanne Bohan, MediaNews
Article Last Updated: 01/21/2008 09:15:37 PM PST

For decades, most people paid little attention to vitamin D – called the “sunshine vitamin,” because sun rays absorbed by the skin synthesize the nutrient that regulates calcium and helps build strong bones and teeth.

But to their surprise, scientists are learning that vitamin D appears to play an under appreciated role in preventing just about every major disease, from cancer and cardiovascular disease to multiple sclerosis and Type 1 diabetes.

“There are so many things that vitamin D may do that are beneficial,” said Dr. David Feldman, a professor at Stanford University’s School of Medicine, who has studied the health effects of the nutrient for 25 years.

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Vitamin D Deficiency Explains Disparities Between Blacks and Whites

Posted by D3forU on February 23, 2008

By David Liu, Ph.D.
Jan 27, 2008 – 4:26:04 PM

SUNDAY JAN 27, 2008 (foodconsumer.org) — Vitamin D insufficiency among African-Americans in the southeastern United States may be responsible for the cancer disparities between blacks and whites, according to a new study published in the Jan 25, 2008 issue of Cancer Causes Control.

Studies found there are disparities in incidence and mortality of cancer between African-Americans and Caucasians and news media has attributed the disparities to the poor healthcare or treatments blacks receive.

The new study led by Egan KM at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Vanderbilt-Ingram in Nashville, IN and colleagues showed hypovitaminosis D prevalence was 45 percent among blacks compared to 11 percent among whites.

In the study, hypovitaminosis D was defined as serum 25(OH)D levels </=15 ng/ml.

For the study, the researchers analyzed serum 25(OH)D levels using baseline blood samples from 395 Southern Community Cohort Study participants age 40 to 79 between 2002 and 2004.

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Vitamin D – a “D”Lightful Story

Posted by D3forU on February 23, 2008

Dr Michael Holick presents “a ‘D’Lightful Story”

The History of Vitamin D in Nature

Click HERE for the Video

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Tanning May REDUCE Risk of Melanoma

Posted by D3forU on February 23, 2008

“Guardian of the genome” protein found to underlie skin tanning

May also influence human fondness for sunshine

David E. Fisher (right) with Rutao CuiDavid E. Fisher (right) with Rutao Cui

A protein known as the “master watchman of the genome” for its ability to guard against cancer-causing DNA damage has been found to provide an entirely different level of cancer protection: By prompting the skin to tan in response to ultraviolet light from the sun, it deters the development of melanoma skin cancer, the fastest-increasing form of cancer in the world.

In a study in the March 9 issue of the journal Cell, researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute report that the protein, p53, is not only linked to skin tanning, but also may play a role in people’s seemingly universal desire to be in the sun — an activity that, by promoting tanning, can reduce one’s risk of melanoma.

“The number one risk factor for melanoma is an inability to tan; people who tan easily or have dark pigmentation are far less likely to develop the disease,” says the study’s senior author, David E. Fisher, MD, PhD, director of the Melanoma Program at Dana-Farber and a professor in pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Boston. “This study suggests that p53, one of the best-known tumor-suppressor proteins in our body, has a powerful role in protecting us against sun damage in the skin.”

In a study published last year, Fisher and his colleagues found that ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun causes skin cells called keratinocytes to make and secrete a hormone called α-MSH, which attaches to nearby skin cells called melanocytes and spurs them to produce skin-darkening pigment called melanin. The chain of events within keratinocytes that leads to α-MSH production, however, was a mystery.

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on the lighter side – Soak Up the Sun

Posted by D3forU on February 23, 2008

a view of the outdoor life

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Grab a Glass of Milk and Sit in the Sunshine

Posted by D3forU on February 23, 2008

The annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research held this month featured reports by two groups of scientists who used statistical analysis to determine whether vitamin D, which our bodies make from exposure to sunlight, can help protect against breast cancer.
Studies conducted by researchers in Toronto show that the risk reduction was most apparent among subjects exposed to the highest levels of vitamin D when they were young.The studies involved interviews with 576 patients who had been diagnosed with breast cancer and 1,135 women who had no cancer.
The scientists found significant reductions in breast cancer among those who had worked an outdoor job, had taken part in outdoor activities when young, or consumed cod liver oil or milk.Working an outdoor job between the ages of 10 and 19 resulted in an estimated 40 percent reduced risk of breast cancer.
Frequent outdoor activities between ages 10 to 29 lowered breast cancer risk by an estimated 35 percent.As far as dietary habits are concerned, the researchers also found that taking cod liver oil between ages 10 and 19 reduced breast cancer risk by about 25 percent, and consuming at least nine glasses of milk every week between the ages of 10 and 29 reduced the risk by 35 percent.

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Tanning Beds Help Vitamin D Deficiency

Posted by D3forU on February 23, 2008

By David Liu, Ph. D.
Feb 22, 2008 – 2:27:23 PM

(Foodconsumer.org) — Researchers at the University of Boston found that vitamin D deficiency was common among the elderly people during non-summer days and exposure to UV rays from a commercial tanning bed could effectively stimulate production of this essential vitamin that now is believed to provide a potent anti-cancer activity among others.

The study of 45 nursing home residents by Michael Holick, a heavy weight vitamin D researcher and senior author of the study, and colleagues showed the rate of 25(OH)D deficiency among the subjects raised to 49, 67, 74 and 78 percent in August, November, February and May, respectively. The participants took a vitamin D supplement containing 400 IU vitamin D2 during the study.

Vitamin D is naturally synthesized in the body while exposure to sunlight. Full exposure of both hands and the face for 15 to 20 minutes to the sun would render production of enough vitamin D3 in a person. Overexposure would not lead to overproduction of this vitamin.

In regions where exposure to the sunshine is not intense, people are more likely to develop a range of cancers including the colon, prostate, breast, and esophagus, according to Holick. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to increased risk of having hypertension, type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and other autoimmune disease and infectious disease including tuberculosis and influenza in addition to cancers.

For the study, Holick and colleagues exposed 15 healthy adults aged 20 to 53 in a bathing suit three times per week from a commercial tanning bed that emitted five percent of its UV energy in the UVB ranging 290 to 320 nm. The 25(OH)D level in the blood was determined weekly for seven weeks.

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February is “Vitamin D Deficiency Month”

Posted by D3forU on February 23, 2008

MCLEAN, Va., Feb. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Today, the UV Foundation dubbed February “Vitamin D Deficiency Month” in a nationwide effort to raise awareness about vitamin D deficiency and its negative health effects. In addition to increasing the risk of many types of cancer and heart disease, vitamin D deficiency is also linked to many common wintertime complaints such as fatigue, depression and aches and pains.

A Harvard Medical School study published in the New England Journal of Medicine has reported that 60% of Americans are vitamin D deficient. This is particularly troublesome since vitamin D is proven to ward off many types of cancer including colon, prostate and breast cancer and is further shown to guard against heart disease, MS, and other chronic health problems.

Moderate exposure to sunlight or UV light is the absolute best way to help the body manufacture the vitamin D it needs. Unfortunately, during the bleak winter months it becomes harder to get the necessary amount of vitamin D. In fact, it is impossible to get the requisite amount in cities north of 37 degrees latitude for as many as 6 months out of the year. That includes cities like Richmond, VA, St. Louis, MO, and Sacramento, CA, and all cities farther north.

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Vitamins: D is for Disease-Free

Posted by D3forU on February 23, 2008

Vitamins: D for disease-free
By SANDI DOUGHTON The Seattle Times
Soaking up sunlight, even in winter, is the most efficient way to boost the vitamin D in your body.Dreary winters are infamous for inducing depression. But being starved for sunlight can do more than kick you into a psychic hole.
A growing body of evidence suggests it can raise your risk of cancer and increase susceptibility to heart attack, diabetes and multiple sclerosis.The reason is vitamin D, an essential nutrient produced in abundance by skin exposed to the sun’s rays. Long dismissed as being important mainly for strong bones, the so-called sunshine vitamin is now recognized as a key player throughout the body, including the immune system.
Increased use of sunscreen has turned a seasonal shortfall into a year-round condition for many people. A recent survey in Britain found 87 percent of adults tested during winter, and more than 60 percent in summer, had sub par vitamin D levels.
Doctors in many parts of the world report a resurgence of childhood rickets, soft bones caused by lack of vitamin D. Supplements offer a cheap and easy solution.But Bruce Hollis, a leading vitamin D researcher at the Medical University of South Carolina, and other researchers argue the recommended intake is too low to provide many health benefits.A Canadian medical organization advises that pregnant and nursing women take 10 times the amount suggested in the U.S.
“You’re more likely to live longer, and you’re less likely to die of serious chronic disease if you have adequate vitamin D on board,” said Michael Holick of Boston University School of Medicine. “It may well be the most important nutrient of the decade.”When Lisa Hill, 54, went to her doctor complaining of joint pain, she was surprised to get a diagnosis of vitamin D deficiency. “I had never heard of it,” she said.

Many doctors once scoffed at the notion of vitamin D deficiency, but testing has become more routine and is covered by most insurance.

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TIME mag – Top 10 Medical Breakthroughs 2007

Posted by D3forU on February 23, 2008

#10. Benefits of Vitamin D

Researchers have long known that the “sunshine vitamin” boosts bone strength by encouraging the body to absorb calcium. But a slew of new studies published in 2007 suggests that the vitamin has a lot of other benefits: Diets high in D may ward off diabetes, gum disease and multiple sclerosis — and maybe even cancer. Though some findings linking vitamin D and cancer showed questionable benefit, the news on colon cancer was promising. In one large trial, men in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study and women in the Nurses’ Health Study with the highest blood levels of vitamin D were half as likely to develop colon cancer as their peers with less circulating vitamin D. To squeeze the most value out of vitamin D, aim for taking a supplement with 1,000 IU daily.

Source Time Magazine

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Can Vitamin D Save Your Life?

Posted by D3forU on February 23, 2008

New studies highlight the importance of the forgotten vitamin.

by Mariana Gosnell

For years doctors believed that vitamin D, sometimes called the “sunshine vitamin” because sunlight triggers the body to produce it, was important primarily in preventing rickets (a softening of the bones) in children. Once milk became fortified with vitamin D, rickets pretty much disappeared, and the problem of vitamin D deficiency seemed to have been solved. But according to Michael F. Holick, director of the Vitamin D, Skin, and Bone Research Laboratory at Boston University Medical Center, who has spent 30 years studying the vitamin, “rickets can be considered the tip of the vitamin D–deficiency iceberg.”

Today a lack of the vitamin has been linked to a host of other maladies, including cancers of the colon, prostate, and breast; tuberculosis; schizophrenia; multiple sclerosis; hip fractures; and chronic pain. How can one vitamin play a role in so many diverse illnesses? The answer seems to lie in the fact that most tissues and cells in the human body (and not just those in the intestine and bone that help fix calcium) have receptors for vitamin D, suggesting that the vitamin is needed for overall optimal health. In addition, some cells carry enzymes for converting the circulating form of vitamin D to the active form, making it available in high concentrations to the tissues locally.

A recent laboratory experiment at Boston University revealed that by activating the circulating form of the vitamin, prostate cells could regulate their own growth and possibly prevent the rise of cancer. Directly or indirectly, Holick points out, “the active form of vitamin D controls up to 200 different genes,” including ones responsible for cell proliferation, differentiation, and death.

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MSNBC Video – Sunshine May Lengthen Your Life

Posted by D3forU on February 23, 2008

A little more sunshine might help you live longer, according to a study published on Monday suggesting that for some people health benefits from the sun outweigh the risk of skin cancer.

Link to the Video

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Lack of Sun Could Put Your Health in Danger

Posted by D3forU on February 23, 2008

SEATTLE — The Northwest’s dreary winters are infamous for inducing depression. But being starved for sunlight can do more than kick you into a psychic hole.
A growing body of evidence suggests it can raise your risk of cancer, increase susceptibility to heart attack, diabetes and other disorders, and at least partly account for the region’s sky-high rates of multiple sclerosis.

The reason is vitamin D, an essential nutrient produced in abundance by skin exposed to the sun’s rays. Long dismissed as being important mainly for strong bones, the so-called sunshine vitamin is now recognized as a key player throughout the body, including the immune system.

Experts say vitamin D deficiency is much more common than previously believed — especially in northern climes like Washington, where solar radiation from October to March is too puny to maintain healthy levels.

“You’re in a dark, gloomy place,” said Bruce Hollis, a leading vitamin D researcher at the Medical University of South Carolina. “In the winter, you could stand outside naked for five hours and nothing is going to happen.”

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We Need to Spend More Time in the Sun

Posted by D3forU on February 23, 2008

BOSTON — Life on our planet requires sunlight to survive. And most organisms work hard to get it. Jungle reptiles often compete with each other to find the highest, warmest surfaces for sunbathing. Rain-forest plants race to fill rare, sunny openings in the thick canopy left by fallen trees. And some flowers even bend their stems to follow the sun’s movement across the sky.

Humans also need sensible sun exposure. But unlike the rest of life on earth, we actively work to avoid the sun.

In recent years, several dubious groups have launched smear campaigns against the sun, blurring the line between overexposure — a very real threat to our health — and any exposure at all. The sunscreen industry constantly warns the public to “cover up” before venturing outside. Store shelves are flooded with products promising increasingly higher sun-protecting factors (SPF). And the latest children’s swim trunks cover more skin than a nun’s habit.

This frantic obscuration has hurt us in an unexpected area: nutrition. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 180 million Americans — 60 percent of the population — are not getting enough Vitamin D.

Though certain foods contain trace amounts, it’s virtually impossible to get enough vitamin D through diet alone. The National Institute of Health lists sunlight as “the most important source of vitamin D.” Our bodies produce the aptly named “sunshine vitamin” when ultraviolet (UV) rays reach our skin. To produce the amount that most experts now agree is the minimum daily requirement (about 1,000 to 2,000 international units), one would need to expose 25 percent of one’s body for around 10 minutes at least two to three times a week during spring, summer and early fall.

We don’t even come close.

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The Latest Word on Vitamin D

Posted by D3forU on February 23, 2008



SEE WHY MOST OF US ARE MISSING AN ADEQUATE DAILY DOSE

Over the past few years, vitamin D has gained long overdue respect for the vast health benefits it provides, yet many of us continue to fall short of adequate intake of this vital nutrient. Why? Though it’s important to use it, sunscreen is one culprit because it blocks the skin’s ability to make vitamin D during sun exposure. And adding to the shortfall is the fact that we need even more of this vitamin than previously thought.

So while the need for vitamin D is higher than ever, the general population’s compliance with the valid advice to stay out of the sun or apply sunscreen when outside has inadvertently contributed to 65 to 85 percent of American adults having a vitamin D deficiency.

In fact, diet and sun sources of vitamin D are so inadequate that Robert P. Heaney, MD, a bone-mineral specialist and professor at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., urges all adults to supplement with 1,000 to 2,000 IU of vitamin D per day.

What’s the big deal if you run a bit low on vitamin D? Well, for starters, a vitamin D shortfall puts your bone health in danger and increases your risk of rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, cardiovascular disease, glucose intolerance, high blood pressure, multiple sclerosis, and type 2 diabetes.

And vitamin D is under appreciated for its crucial role in preventing osteoporosis, says Heaney. “This vitamin is necessary for the efficient absorption of calcium, which is the principal bone mineral,” he says. “If you’re going to get enough calcium in your body and keep it there, you have to have enough vitamin D.”

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Vitamin D – Boning Up on the Sunshine Vitamin

Posted by D3forU on February 23, 2008

Tourists soak up the sun while walking along Patong Beach in Phuket, Thailand, in December 2005. Recent studies indicate that vitamin D, which is produced naturally in the body through exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, can extend and improve people’s lives.
(David Longstreath/Associated Press)

Imagine incorporating an inexpensive, single supplement into your life that forces you to get a little sunshine and promises to strengthen your bones, thwart different forms of cancer, stave off multiple sclerosis and autoimmune disorders and fight infections.

New research into the preventive benefits of vitamin D has raised hopes that the sunshine vitamin, which is produced naturally in the body through exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, could extend and improve people’s lives.

In September 2007, an analysis of 18 randomized controlled trials involving people over the age of 50 found that people who took at least 500 international units (IU) of vitamin D daily had a seven per cent lower risk of death compared with those given a placebo.

Lead researcher Dr. Philippe Autier said it was not clear how the supplements lowered risks of mortality, but he suggested that Vitamin D may block cancer cell proliferation or improve blood vessel and immune system functions. The study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, reviewed research involving 57,311 participants.

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Exposure to lamps that emit UVB is an excellent source for producing vitamin D3

Posted by D3forU on February 23, 2008

Effects of vitamin D and skin’s physiology

Boston, MA— Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have found that previtamin D3 production varies depending on several factors including skin type and weather conditions. The study will appear in the March 2008 issue of the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.

Excessive exposure to sunlight does not result in Vitamin D intoxification because previtamin D3 and vitamin D3 are photolyzed to several photoproducts. During the winter at altitudes above ~35 degrees, there is minimal if any previtamin D3 production in the skin. Increased skin pigmentation, application of a sunscreen, aging and clothing have a dramatic effect on previtamin D3 production in the skin. It has been speculated that people living at higher altitudes may be able to more efficiently produce vitamin D3 in their skin because there is less ozone to absorb the UVB photons.

Forty-five nursing home residents who were taking a multivitamin that contained 400 IU of vitamin D2 showed a dramatic decline in their 25(OH)D levels from the end of summer to the beginning of the following summer. Forty-nine percent, 67 percent, 74 percent, and 78 percent of the nursing home residents were vitamin D deficient in August, November, February, and May respectively.

Fifteen healthy adults aged 20-53 received exposure three times per week from a commercial tanning bed that emitted five percent of its UV energy in the UVB range 290-320 nm to most of their body while in a bathing suit. 25(OH)D levels were determined weekly for a total of seven weeks.

Exposure of 7-dehydrocholesterol to tanning bed irradiation revealed -1 percent production of previtamin D after one minute and a linear increase to -10 percent at 10 minutes. After one week, there was a 50 percent increase in 25 (OH)D levels that continued to increase over a period of five weeks to -150 percent above baseline levels. The blood levels of 25 (OH)D plateaued after five weeks and were sustained out to seven weeks.

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