Posts Tagged ‘Sunshine’
Spring! The Sun is back for more than 12 hours daily! The sun crossed the equator at 0529 CDT. Vitamin D? Not so fast. This is Iowa and we are still too far north.
Your skin can make Vitamin D when exposed to strong enough sunlight. Strong enough sunlight happens when the sun is high enough in the sky that its UV rays are not blocked by the atmosphere. This happens at mid-day all year round in the tropics.
Iowa needs to wait another couple of weeks for our first moments of Vitamin D from the sun. Mid-day is around 1:10 to 1:25 pm CDT, depending on location. Southern Iowa will get enough sunlight several days before northern Iowa. Late June we will have 4-5 hours of opportunity.
Unfortunately, Vitamin D, Sunburn and Skin Cancer are often a package deal. You can encourage them all, or block them all with Sun-block.
Your safest move is to protect yourself from sunburn and skin cancer, and take your vitamin D3 tablets or gel-caps. A 25-hydroxy Vitamin D blood test will show if you have achieved the ideal range of 40-80 ng/ml.
You need to take control, but this is one area where naturally can have a significant downside.
Jay Ginther, MD
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.
Vitamin D3 has become a key part of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) treatment. MS is a disease more common in persons with low Vitamin D levels. MS sufferers treated with Vitamin D3 supplements maintain function longer. Now British researchers have confirmed evidence that MS is more common in those whose mothers had low Vitamin D levels while pregnant.
The Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry has published a meta-analysis of over 150,000 births in the UK looking for MS decades later. MS was significantly more common in individuals born in April and May, than in persons born in October and November. Looking at only those born further north increases the difference.
Vitamin D was the topic of a symposium attended by hundreds of clinicians at the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR) 2012 meeting. Vitamin D3, D2, 25-hydroxy, 1-25-dihydroxy, 24-25-dihydroxy, and differnt assays. All the variations lead to confusing research results as we try to understand Vitamin D and how it works.
Dr Neil Binkley, of the University of Wisconsin, gave the summary presentation about Vitamin D dosing and measurement of blood levels. He gave a plea for everyone to switch to Vitamin D3, now that it is cheaper than D2, and available in prescription level doses.
I have made Vitamin D3 in 50,000 unit capsules available to my patients for the last 3 years, dispensed by my office. Finally some pharmacies are carrying it as well.