Archive for the ‘Nutrition’ Category

Vitamin D is necessary in order to absorb Calcium from your diet.  Your skin can make some Vitamin D from the Mid-day Sun, but only in the “summer”.  The sun is high enough above the horizon at mid-day only 5 months of the year in Iowa.  Over half of Iowans are low on Vitamin D as summer ends in September.  7 out of 8 Iowans are low by mid April when we can first get a few minutes a day of Vitamin D.  That’s the Good News.

The Bad News is that Sun Block blocks Vitamin D production in skin.  You need to risk Sunburn and Skin Cancer “naturally” if you want to make your Vitamin D “naturally”.  Plus you need to expose enough skin (determined by your age and personal genetics) to make enough Vitamin D.

Foods naturally high in Vitamin D3 include “yummy” Seal Blubber and Cod Liver Oil.  Most Fish Oil does not have much D3.  Vitamin D2 from plants (like mushrooms) is much less long lasting than  D3, so we are talking pounds of mushrooms daily.

Your easiest and safest move is to take extra Vitamin D3.  The amount of D3 in your multiple vitamins and minerals, calcium supplements, and milk combined are very rarely enough.  Most of us need 2,000 to 5000 units of additional D3 daily.

Test for 25-hydroxy Vitamin D Level to tell if you are taking enough to get between 40 and 80 ng/ml in your blood.

Help to Take Control Naturally by getting enough Vitamin D.

Jay Ginther, MD

Calcium is responsible for the stiffness and strength in bones. Calcium is what we measure when we measure Bone Mineral Density. Without sufficient calcium intake you cannot have strong bones.

Most people can absorb 500-600 mg Calcium at a time, if taken with food containing Protein.  This only works if your Vitamin D level is high enough.

You need to consume 400-500 mg  in each of 3 meals to  reliably get 1200-1500 mg every day. This is necessary because most people  will pee and poop and sweat out at least 1000 mg of calcium daily.

Calcium is best absorbed when eaten in foods.

You can Take Control Naturally with diet alone.

Milk, Cheese, and Yogurt are all high in Calcium, but amounts can vary.  Check the label to see how many ounces are needed to make at least 200 mg.  (Check “serving size” and remember that “20%” is 200 mg when dealing with calcium.)

Some vegetables are high in Calcium.  One cup of cooked Collards, Black-eyed Peas, or 1.25 cups cooked or finely chopped Kale or Okra each have 200 mg.  4 cups of chopped Broccoli is 200 mg.  Of course you can eat these raw, if you prefer.

If you do not get enough calcium in your diet alone, Calcium Supplements are needed.

Jay Ginther, MD

Determining the correct 25-hydroxy Vitamin D level is still a work in progress.  In the 8 years I have been attending meetings, we have made considerable progress.  NOF 2007 was the first time any society proposed an intake above 400 IU daily and a 25-hydroxy Vit D level of more than 20 ng/ml.

At the 2015 U. Wisconsin “Bare Bones Symposium” the latest recommendations were discussed.  I have summarized them here.

Take Vitamin D3.  D3 is Cholecalciferol (what we make in sunshine).  Vitamin D2 is Ergocalciferol (what plants make and use).  D3 works much better in people than D2 becuse it is the right stuff.   It lasts 5 times longer and the assay is more accurate.

Test for 25-hydroxy Vitamin D level and aim for between 40 and 80 ng/ml.  At 40 ng/ml over 98% of people can absorb and utilize Calcium fully.  You want to have some margin of safety since lab test results vary by at least 20%.  If you are seriously deficient, we give 50,000 IU of D3 every M, W, F based on your level and size, to correct the level quickly.

If you do not want to test your level, and you are the “average person” of 154# or 70 kg, you should take 3800 IU daily.  This should achieve the 40 ng/ml level – eventually.  If you are very deficient, this could take a year or more.  If you are larger than the old average, or you have digestive issues, you will need more.

Finally, some cancer researchers believe that 70 ng/ml is better for preventing and treating cancers.  If they are right, you should go for the higher level.  If they are wrong, you have done no harm by going for the higher level.

Take Control of your Bone Health.  Take enough D3.

Jay Ginther, MD

Kids Learn About Bone Health

June 4, 2015 @ 9:45 pm
posted by Dr Ginther

The Imaginarium (Children’s Science Museum) at the Grout Museum in Waterloo, IA is teaching bone health this summer.  Good choices for bone health during growing years are the best way to avoid future problems and osteoporosis.

“The Bone Zone” is a special exhibit from Purdue University Department of Nutrition now through 5 September.  Interactive exhibits teach interesting facts about bone, and guide participants to healthy choices for bone health.  The target audience is K-8, but adults learn a few things too.

You can learn about Calcium content of foods.  Fortuneteller “Madame Ulna” will tell your bone future based on activity choices.  You can compare the strength of a human femur to equally strong wood, concrete and steel.

Cedar Valley Bone Health, Cedar Valley Orthopedics, and Cedar Valley Medical Specialists, PC sponsored the exhibit.  As sponsors we brought our kids and grandkids to a special opening.  “The Bone Zone” is really cool.

Take your kids and grandkids to the Grout Imaginarium this summer.  They’ll have a great time, and great bones.

Jay Ginther, MD