Archive for the ‘Vitamin D’ Category

Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow today.  Six more weeks of winter.  But NINE more weeks before we can get ANY Vitamin D from the sun in Iowa.  Here the sun is high enough off the horizon only 5 months of the year.  Even in the summer very few Iowans make enough of their own Vitamin D.

In all of 2013 I saw fewer than ten patients with good vitamin D levels from only:  Multiple Vitamins & Minerals, Calcium Plus D Supplements, “Vitamin D Enriched” Milk, and Sunshine combined.  Every other patient needed an additional 1000 IU to over 5000 IU Vitamin D3 supplements daily.

Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics

January 27, 2014 @ 7:05 am
posted by Dr Ginther

Mark Twain and others have said:  ”There are Lies, there are Damn Lies, and then there are Statistics”.  That is the danger when we use Statistics (Meta-Analyses) as a basis for “Evidence-Based” Medicine.  A recent meta-analysis looking at Vitamin D has reached a gaggle of questionable conclusions.  The news media have swallowed it hook, line and sinker, and want you to do so as well.

This meta-analysis re-analyzed 40 old studies which were not designed to track actual 25-hydroxy Vitamin D levels, and used doses of Vitamin D that we now know are too low to be effective.  They looked for diseases which were not specifically tracked, but might be mentioned as incidental findings.  None of these studies individually showed a “statistically significant” finding.  But if you combine enough different studies, the numbers become large enough that “statistical significance” can happen.

Low Vitamin D Levels and Cancer

January 10, 2014 @ 8:16 pm
posted by Dr Ginther

Several years ago researchers discovered that women with breast cancer had much lower blood levels of Vitamin D than women without breast cancer.  Another study showed that, among women being treated for breast cancer, those with low Vitamin D levels were only half as likely to survive.  Patients with other cancers show similar patterns.

Now we have a study which points out that this does not prove that low Vitamin D causes cancer.  True.  The new theory is that cancer causes low Vitamin D levels.  However, there is no proof of that either, and I find it hard to believe.  What does this all mean?

Are We Cabbages?

October 20, 2013 @ 8:32 pm
posted by Dr. Ginther

A patient recently insisted on Vitamin D2 instead of D3.  She told me that she always uses plant sources because they are “more natural”.  Indeed Vitamin D2 (Ergocalciferol) is more natural if you are a cabbage or other plant.  But all humans naturally make and use Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol).  Why not D2?  Did God make a mistake designing humans to make and use D3?

Activated Vitamin D3 is a hormone used by our bodies in well over a hundred different functions including absorption of calcium from food, nerve functioning, and our immune system.  Vitamin D2 is similar enough to D3 that we can also use it.  However, we need much higher doses, and the waste products of D2 build up in our bodies.