Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Vitamin D-the Miracle Vitamin

Vitamin D may be the new asprin. It is now associated with lowering the risk for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and some cancers.

The most recent news on vitamin D deficiency comes from a report in the American Journal of Hypertension, which suggests that low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels are associated with increased blood pressure. This inverse relationship was strongest in people over 50, compared with younger study participants.

Ethnic differences in the average levels of serum vitamin D are linked to the increased hypertension commonly seen in non-Hispanic blacks who consistently have the lowest levels of serum vitamin D, with Mexican Americans just slightly higher.

This study suggests a need to elevate vitamin D levels by increasing sun exposure or vitamin D supplementation in these at-risk communities.

This includes the elderly who spend very little time in the sun.


Dr. Lucia said...

Even weak sunscreens block our body's ability to generate vitamin D by 95%, yet the whole world seems shocked to learn that overuse of sunscreen actually causes far more cancer than it prevents.

This doesn't mean you should ever fry yourself on the beach like our generation did during the Coppertone Tan era.

15 minutes of daily sun exposure, sans sunscreen, on as much skin as you can expose without offending your neighbors seems to be reasonable.

Spencer Thornton, M.D. said...

Like everything else, the ad industry has overdone the promotion of sunscreens.
Why promote the common sense advice to limit the time of exposure? That doesn't make money for manufacturers.
My advice: if you work outside, wear a hat and light protective clothing (some actually act as sunscreen, and keep you cool).

Anonymous said...

The sun's rays must make contact with bare skin to produce Vitamin D. Therefore, nude is a better choice than a hat and light protective clothing for at least 10 or 15 minutes a day.

Has anyone ever done any research on the incidence of all types of cancer in folks who regularly attend nudists colonies with lots of outdoor events?

lightly bronzed said...

Everything is such a Catch-22 these days! I was watching the Today Show last week and they had a dermatologist speaking on the importance of wearing sunscreen everyday and everywhere. They're telling us about the dangers of sun exposure (understandable), but leaving out the information that we need SOME exposure for our health. I’m sure this is so people don’t go overboard and fry themselves thinking its good for them, but informing us of the benefits would be nice. Isn’t it true that there are other benefits to sun exposure? I heard that it can also increase levels of serotonin…is this because of increased levels of vitamin D?