Archive for the ‘Vitamin D’ Category
Many individuals do not get enough calcium in their diets alone, especially as they get older and absorb calcium less well. Most people who take precautions against sunburn and skin cancer do not get enough vitamin D. Vitamin D needs increase as we get older, naturally making and utilizing vitamin D less well.
We have over 100 posts on these subjects under the Calcium and Vitamin D categories. Some specifically address the problems of Calcium Carbonate absorption in some individuals and recommend calcium citrate or another readily absorbable calcium supplement.
NOF has an excellent summary at https://www.nof.org/calcium-vitamin-d-supplement-facts/.
The NOF recommendations are for maintenance of good bone health. Those with fractures and/or osteoporosis by DXA/VFA/TBS often need to play catch-up and require higher doses.
A complete bone health evaluation and discussion with your health care professional can individualize your situation.
Jay Ginther, MD
A Bone Healthy Diet is the best way to maximize nutrition for bone health. Dietary supplements taken with foods can often work, but nutrients in food are best. Some nutrients, like calcium, should be spread over several meals to be properly absorbed, especially as we get older.
Start with a Bone Healthy Diet. Quickly review your calcium, vitamin D, and other nutrients at the end of your meal. Add supplements if you need to.
Taking full supplements at the beginning of each meal often results in more than you need, which is not better and is sometimes worse than the right amount.
Get a complete bone health evaluation and discuss your personal needs with your health care provider.
NOF has a printable guide at https://cdn.nof.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Healthy-Bone-Brochure_FINAL.pdf
The calcium and vitamin D intakes recommended in the guide are for maintenance of good bone health. Those with fractures and/or osteoporosis by DXA/VFA/TBS often need to play catch-up and require higher doses.
Jay Ginther, MD
Today I ran across mention of an old observational study of seasonal colds and flu in northern (temperate zone) and southern (tropics) India. Colds and flu had no seasonality in southern India where vitamin D from sunshine is equally available all year.
Colds and flu were seasonal in northern India closely following the months when vitamin D is not readily available from the sun which is too low on the horizon to produce vitamin D. There is not direct evidence that lower vitamin D levels allow more colds and flu, but it seems reasonable.
We have long known that vitamin D is involved in human immune system function as well as bone health. e.g. A National Institute of Health study found that persons with monohydroxy-vitamin D levels over 33ng/ml have half the risk of colorectal cancer as those with less than 12 ng/ml.
Vitamin D toxicity is possible but very rare according to the Mayo Clinic, requiring doses of 50,000 IU (1250 mcg) daily for months.
My experience in Iowa is that most persons not taking at least 1000-2000 IU (25-50 mcg) daily have vitamin D levels below 20ng/ml December through April. That is also cold and flu season.
I take 5000 IU (125 mcg) daily to keep my level at 50-60 ng/ml. That can’t hurt and it might help prevent viral infections. Over age 65, I have started working from home and am setting up TeleMedicine capabilities because of COVID-19 guidelines.
Follow your state’s health department guidelines. And extra vitamin D could help. If you have not taken any in the past, up to 5000 IU (125 mcg) daily should be safe until you have a chance to check your level.
Jay Ginther, MD
I was asked about treatments for Fibromyalgia. Pain clinics have injections and pharmaceuticals that often help, but not always enough. I approach from a different angle.
Fibromyalgia is a collection of many different maladies that are magnifying each other. They are very difficult to untangle. Treating all aspects of the pain is the key to success.
I have actually “cured” fibromyalgia only 4 times, but usually I can decrease the pain enough that other measures will work better than before.
The key is understanding that pain often is nerves misbehaving, magnifying the intensity of unpleasant stimuli. This is neuropathy or neuralgia. These conditions are made much worse by nutritional deficits.
B1, B6, B12 and Folate are key nutrients for nerve function. Controlling diabetes is also important. Low calcium, potassium or magnesium cause cramping and pain. These should ALL be checked.
Vitamin D is often overlooked as essential for nerve function. Low vitamin D will cause depression, malaise, nerve malfunction and increased pain. I aim for a vitamin D level of 70 ng/ml – higher than needed for bone health, but completely safe. If your level is very low you may need megadoses, well above 5000 IU daily.
Take Control Naturally with Vitamin D3, as well as B1, B6, B12, Folate, Calcium, Potassium and Magnesium.
Jay Ginther, MD