Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Prolong Life with Vitamin D

We’re living longer than ever according to reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A September, 2007 report revealed that US life expectancy is now nearly 78 years, up from less than 76 years just a decade ago. The higher figure reflects a continued reduction in deaths from heart disease, cancer, and stroke. Part of the reason may be better treatment, but prevention plays a significant part.

A new European study suggests that Vitamin D supplements could prolong your life. Released last month by researcher Philippe Autier, from the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France, and Sara Gandini, from the European Institute of Oncology in Milan, Italy, the results were from 18 trials involving more than 57,000 people.

Vitamin D intake varied from 300 to 2,000 international units. Those who took Vitamin D supplements had a 7 percent lower risk of dying during the trials than those who didn’t. Autier believes people should take Vitamin D supplements daily, in addition to getting a moderate amount of sun each day, since the skin uses sunlight to produce vitamin D.

I’d recommend a multivitamin supplement with between 500 and 1500 international units of Vitamin D.


Saul Ramirez said...

I live in the Northeast and work in a shipping department - so inside most of the time. I drive to and from work but I know I'm not getting much sun that way.

I do get outside some on weekends and I've been taking your Macula Complete, but am I getting enough vitamin D with this supplement to make up for what I'm missing?

Ellen Troyer, MT MA said...

Probably not, and we recently increased the amount of Vitamin D in Macula Complete from 800 IUs to 1200 IUs.

I know the Northeast is without a lot of sun during the winter months, but I stil suggest you try hard to go outside on your lunch hour for at least 10 minutes; weather permitting, sans sunscreen.

Vitamin D supplements are just that - supplemental. The vitamin D you produce yourself is still more effective.

The lay press has jumped all over touting the benefits of Vitamin D and some of the reports are questionable.

However, the "me too" researchers are now all over this subject, so no doubt the RDAs will be increased in 2008 or 2009.

I can promise you that the Food and Nutrition Board at the Institute of Medicine is being cautious about this subject, so I'm advising our customers to use caution when supplementing with extra Vitamin D.

Fed up in Georgia said...

Check your facts: there is statistically more heart disease, cancer and stroke than ever before. Type2 diabetes has become one of the major causes of heart disease, so disease prevention is not playing a significant role in life extension.

The biggest player in life expectancy increase is by-pass surgery, because it's a huge income source for the hospital industry and for surgeons.

As for cancer: most all research funds are still directed towards cancer detection and cancer treatment, not cancer prevention.

Hate to say it, but I'm beginning to believe that medicine has no real interest in disease prevention because it's not much of a profit center.

Tom Preston, MD said...

Bypass surgery is as much a societal issue as a healthcare issue.

Billions of government dollars are devoted to coronary-bypass surgery when health benefits for the elderly are being reduced and when approximately 50 million Americans lack health insurance or other means to pay for medical care.

As a society we must ask ourselves whether this distribution of resources is fair or appropriate.

If we could divert half of what we spend on just this one treatent into programs to help people stop smoking, improve dietary intake, reduce hypertension, and exercise more, the benefit would be greater than if we doubled our spending on treatment after the disease strikes.

Zinnov Research said...

It would seem, based on the exploding U.S. medical tourism industry, that mainstream medicine (particularly elective surgery) could go offshore the same way U.S. manufacturing did when U.S. cost of goods became completely unreasonable.

India, Thiland, Canada, Spain, Mexico, and Costa Rica are just a few of the countries with state-of-the-art medical facilities and well qualfied medical professionals who perform elective surgeries for about one tenth the U.S. cost.

Ellen Troyer, MT MA said...

I must be missing something. Does most elective surgery have much to do with life extension and disease prevention?

Harriet Horn said...

It has to do with the quality of life that good nutrition and exercise can extend.

My broker tells me that financially savvy people are having their hip replacements, knee replacements and coronary bypasses done outside the U.S., as well as LASIK, cataracts, face lifts, boob jobs, tummy tucks, and dental work.

The idea is to be looking and feeling good while we are doing what we like...longer.

Spencer Thornton, M.D. said...

The information on the reduction of deaths from heart disease and strokes comes from the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta. But I note that the CDC report is about deaths, not incidence, so Fed-Up in Georgia has a point.

Type2 Diabetes is related to the pandemic of obesity, so prevention should be aimed at the cause, and here prevention is key.

Unfortunately, Harriet Horn is right; many Americans are fed up with high medical costs and are going elsewhere. Does anybody have a solution?

Jeffrey Anshel, OD said...

Yes, think I'll start a "health resort" in Costa Rica. Who's going to sign up first? ;-)