The Sunshine Hormone
This page is intended for informational purposes ony. It is not my intent to make any type of recommendations. I am sharing information with colleagues which I learned from a conference on Vitamin D presented primarily for physicians. Vitamin D is actually a steroid hormone, it is important that supplementation is monitored by a physician. A simple blood test can identify Vitman D levels and supplementation can be done accordingly.
My interest in vitamin D comes from working with folks with osteoporosis and the association between vitamin D deficiency and low bone mass. It is speculated that some people diagnosed with osteoporosis actually have osteomalacia and taking osteoporosis drugs may be to the detriment of the patient as these drugs do not treat the root cause. Osteomalacia - better known as adult rickets - is caused by vitamin D deficiency and in these patients what is needed is vitamin D supplementation.The dexa scan used to diagnose osteoporosis cannot differentiate between osteomalacia and osteoporosis.
A vast majority of our cells have vitamin D receptors which has a significant impact on what physical therapists are trying to achieve when helping a patient regain strength and functional mobility. The following two diagrams show a remarkable improvement in function achieved by supplementation with vitamin D alone:
Full article here: Am J Clin Nutr 2004;80:752 8.
from Vit. D conference
Vitamin D is actually a hormone - or more accurately a prohormone
the upper limit of 2,000 IU is erroneous.
A single MED of UVB radiation (about 10 minutes exposed to a midsummer noon day sun) to a light skinned individual will release approximately 10,000 IU Vitamin D3 into the circulation within 24 hours. Dark skin may require 10 times amount of exposure.
- ergocalciferol is less potent(about 30% as effective) than D3 -
Head, neck and arm exposure not enough. Trunk and leg exposure more effective.
Need at least 80nmol/L serum 25(oh)D. Which is at the low end of normal. Optimum levels are 125 nmol/L or 50ng/ml - (55ng/ml for cancer prevention)
IU daily increases serum 25-OH vitamin D by about 10 ng/ml
case of hypercalcemia with doses of <10,000 IU daily
exact long-term safe dose of vitamin D is not entirely known; all
known cases of vitamin D toxicity with hypercalcemia have involved
intake of or over 1,000 micrograms (40,000 IU)/day
in Vitamin D deficient disorders coincides with recommendation to
avoid sun exposure. Sun exposure has no relation to lethal cancer
incidence. There is a direct correlation between sun exposure and
prevention of lethal cancers. As distance from the equator increases,
cancer incidence rises. An inverse correlation between cancer death
rates and sunlight exposure has been found for the following cancers:
breast, colon, rectum, prostate, stomach, bladder, non-hodgkins lymphoma,
ovary, lung, pancreas, uterus, kidney, esophagus, multiple myeloma.
Further research needs to be done to substantiate the correlation between the below listed disorders/disease. Some have a very strong correlation due to the amount of research others are not conclusive.
25(OH)D levels are associated with better lower extremity function
in ambulatory women.
216 patients 65 and older with previous stroke followed for 2 years. No falls if 25(OH)D >20 ng/ml, incidence of hip fractures increased as serum levels of 25(OH)D decreased. Sato Y et al. Stroke 2001;3261673-7
Study showed increase in dental health with 4,000 IU/day.
High doses eliminates colds and flus.
91% reduction in Multiple Sclerosis risk if serum 25(OH)D is > 100nmol/L
Vitamin D more important than calcium! Focus on Vitamin D deficiency - allows calcium supplement to be absorbed. Calcium absorption 65% greater with 25(OH)D values of 32 ng/ml vs 20 ng/ml. PTH values rise at levels below 30 ng/ml and are often above normal at levels <20ng/ml
The brain has Vit. D receptors - seasonal affective disorder - Studies show Vit. D subjects improved in all depression outcome measures.
Mood & Worse Cognitive Performance in the Elderly" - Washington
University School of Medicine, Alzheimer's Disease Research Center.
Vit. D deficiency was associated with low mood & with impairment
on 2 of 4 measures of cognitive performance.
enhances mood in healthy subjects - Allen TG, Psychopharmacology (1998)
Low prenatal Vit. D risk factor for schizophrenia
Increase in Autism rates coincide with recommendations to avoid sun exposure. Vit. D deficiency coincides with risk of autism. http://www.vitamindcouncil.com/health/autism/ for detailed information. This is not valid evidence but suggests that it may play a role at least in some types of autism.
McClung, M.D., F.A.C.E., F.A.C.P.
Neil Buist, M.D. - Professor emeritus, Departments of Pediatrics and Molecular and Medical Genetics, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR
John Cannell, M.D. - Psychiatrist - Atascadero State Hospital, Executive Director of Vitamin D Council, Atascadero, CA
Lappe, R.N., Ph.D., F.A.A.N. Professor of Medicine, endowed Chair
in nursing, Creighton University Medical Center, Omaha, NE irst to
report the effects of vitamin D on all cancer incidences.
Downloads from the conference as well as a few others:
New article added 237Kb - Diagnosis and Treatment of Vitamin D Deficiency
8.1 Mb - PowerPoint presentation in pdf format by Bruce W. Hollis, PhD - Professor of Pediatrics, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Director of Pediatric Nutritional Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC. Considered world expert on Vitamin D, studied Vitamin D for 30 years and has 150 publications on Vitamin D
232Kb - Publication by Bruce W. Hollis
This is recommended reading unfortunately I cannot post my copy, it must be purchased. Vitamin D Deficiency, Michael F. Holick, M.D., Ph.D. N Engl J Med 2007;357:266-81.
2.58 Mb - Vitamin D newsletter for physicians UPDATED 03-13-2008
Mb Vitamin D Finds Its Place
In The Sun; Evidence for Cancer Prevention by Joan Lappe, R.N., Ph.D.,
F.A.A.N. Professor of Medicine, endowed Chair in nursing,
Creighton University Medical Center, Omaha, NE First to
report the effects of vitamin D on all cancer incidences.
Two Articles regarding Vitamin D and high blood pressure by the American Heart Association: