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Sunshine and Vitamin D



GENERAL
--Vit D3 = the active form
--Vit D is not a vitamin, but rather is a prohormone that your body makes from cholesterol
--Vit D binds to receptors throughout your body on almost every cell type
--90% of your vitamin D is synthesized in the skin
--in societies where full body cover is used year round --> more incidence of rickets and osteomalacia
--good for your heart (HOW????)
--for pregnant mothers: U of Pittsburgh School of Health Sci found vit D deficiency is one of the most common reasons for preeclampsia, which is the leading cause of premature delivery and maternal and fetal illness and death worldwide (conservatively estimated to contribute to 76,000 deaths/year)
--if you have cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, MS or any other autoimmune disease, one of the MOST important aspects of your treatment is to optimize your vitamin D
--up to 90% of US senior citizens and 70% of the general public are probably deficient
--studies show kids, elders and women have lowest levels in US
--vit D deficiency is epidemic in adults with darker skin incl people from Africa, Middle East, India, those who always wear sun protection and those who don't go outside
--people with dark skin make a lot less Vit D than those with lighter skin, and so need more sun to get the same benefit
--1/2 of African American females of childbearing age are deficient
--60% of pts with type 2 diabetes have vitamin D deficiency

CANCER
--vitamin D deficiency doubles your risk of cancer, especially: breast, colon, lung, prostate
--other cancers are also linked to low vit D: endometrial, melanoma
--2007, the Candian Cancer Society is recommending vitamin D for all adults, based on a study that showed women 55 and older given calcium and vit D had a 60% lower risk of ALL cancers than those who received placebo

SKIN CANCER
--omega 3 fat deficiency is a far more significant risk factor for melanoma than sun exposure
--sun exposure increases incidence of basal cell carcinoma, which has a very low death rate (less than .05% of people who develop non-melanoma skin cancer die from the disease)
--there is little/no evidence that sun exposure causes melanoma, the most dangerous kind of skin cancer
--there is evidence that sun exposure decreases your risk of melanoma

VITAMIN D'S ACTIONS ON CANCER
--increases apoptosis of mutated cells
--reduces spread and reproduction of mutated cells (metastases)
--causes cells to differentiate
--reduces angiogenesis

MOORE'S CANCER CENTER FINDINGS
--research at UCSD (U. Ca. San Diego) finds an inverse relationship between serum vitamin D and the risk of colorectal and breast cancers
--an estimated 600,000 cancer cases (breast & colorectal) annually could be prevented by increasing vitamin D levels
--that breaks down to ~150,000 cases/year in the US
--they used satellite measurements of sunshine and cloud cover in same countries where blood serum levels of vitamin D3 were taken
--evaluated serum vit D in 15 countries during winter when sunlight is minimal
--estimated serum vit D levels in 177 countries based on those findings
--the beneficial effect began in the range of 24-34 ng/ml of vit D in serum
--late winter AVERAGE vit D level in US is 15-18 ng/ml

IMMUNOLOGICAL VITAMIN D EFFECTS
--causes T cells to migrate to the uppermost layer of the skin (may explain effectiveness against skin cancer)
--increases production of antimicrobial peptides
--increases blood levels of lymphocytes

PERSONAL HEALTH ADVICE
--avoid getting sunburned, it is of no benefit and possible harm
--consume foods rich in antioxidants, especially berries, as they actually limit your risk of sunburn (goji berries, raspberries, black and blue berries)
--use aloe vera on skin if burned, it provides antioxidants topically
--SUNBATHE regularly for short bits of time and get lots of skin in the sun
--avoid supplementation if you have sunshine: it is the preferable source

SUNBATHING TIPS
--sunbathing is the very best source of vitamin D because your body naturally limits the amount of D in your system
--after 20 mins, a caucasian has converted all the D they are going to, all they need
--sterol=7-dehydrocholesterol--sunshine-->pre-vit-D--more-sunshine-->lumisterol or tachysterol (biologically inert)
--UVB exposure is what does the trick
--frequent, short periods of exposure are best
--avoid burning by eating antioxidants and being conscious of exposure time/intensity
--avoid skipping a lot of days between exposure, as it increases cancer risk
--minimum effective is 3 x 20 minute sessions per week (noon to 3pm)
--may need longer if you're sunbathing when sunlight is less intense
--build tolerance to sun gradually
--get lots of skin out there, hands and face are not enough
--you can tell you've gotten enough when the skin turns faintly pink
--if you're very white sunbathe early in the morning or late in the afternoon at first
--optimal to sunbathe when it's cool (64 F or lower) to avoid overheating
--light skinned people get all the vitamin D they need in 20 minutes of exposure
--dark skinned people may need to stay outside for up to 2 hours to get the same amount
--benefits of UVB outweigh risks 15:1 (William B Grant, SUNARC)

HISTORICAL USE OF SUNLIGHT AS TREATMENT FOR DISEASE
--tuberculosis is currently causing more deaths worldwide than any other single infectious disease.
--Auguste Rollier, Switzerland, used sunlight in 1903 to treat TB and was so successful that hospitals adopted his methods worldwide. After WWII he treated 2,167 people and 1,746 completely recovered.
--TB study in Indonesia: 10,000 units of vit D daily led to 100% cure rate.
--sunlight also proven effective against ANTHRAX, CHOLERA, E.COLI, DYSENTERY, INFLUENZA, STAPHYLOCOCCUS, STREPTOCOCCUS

FOOD SOURCES OF VITAMIN D
--eggs
--organ meats
--animal fat !!!
--cod liver oil (also has omega 3's)
--fish

SUPPLEMENTATION
--BEWARE OF OD-ING ON VIT D
--if you cannot get enough sunshine, consider supplementation and monitor blood levels of vitamin D carefully: overdosing is easy to do
--overdose causes: vomiting, constipation, weight loss, kidney failure, calcification of the arteries
--vitamin D is fat soluble, and so if over-supplemented is not quickly eliminated
--if too much vitamin D, vitamin A helps protect you from excess
--cells have two receptors for vitamin A for every D receptor (NOT beta carotene)
--best dietary source of vit A is beef liver, 4-6 oz/week
--or supplement 50,000 units 1-2 times/week
--there are two types of vit D supplements: D2 and D3
--you want the active form, D3, which converts 500% faster than D2
--the kidney was thought to do all D conversions but in fact many tissues do it but only supply themselves
--vitamin D3 prevents bone fractures, D2 does not
--vitamin D2 has a shorter shelf life
--vitamin D2 metabolites bind poorly
--vitamin D2 first produced in the 1920's, the process has been patented and licensed to drug companies for use in presciption vitamins SO avoid prescription vit D it is D2
--AVOID pasteurized milk products, the D that is added is D2 which "should no longer be regarded as a nutrient appropriate for supplemnetation of fortification of food"
--IF YOU SUPPLEMENT: you must monitor your D levels with regular blood tests to reach the correct level and avoid overshooting
--National Academy of Sciences upper limit recommendation is 2,000 IU/day
--Mercola says if long winter and no sun (Portland) you could go 4,000 IU/day

TESTING FOR VIT D LEVELS
--a non-fasting blood test
--25-hydroxyvitamin D = 25(OH)D is level you want to measure
--1,25(OH)D is the wrong test for overall vit D status

VITAMIN D LEVELS
--the beneficial effect for cancer prevention begins at 24-34 ng/ml of vit D in serum
--late winter AVERAGE vit D level in US is 15-18 ng/ml
--healthy range is 45-55 ng/ml
--OPTIMAL is 50-55 ng/ml (115-128nmol/l)
--top end of that range is super-optimal
--at 52 ng/ml a woman has 50% lower risk of breast cancer than those under 13 ng/ml
--NEVER below 32 ng/ml
--below 20 ng/ml is a serious deficiency state

DIETARY FATS: OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDS AND SKIN CANCER
--ancestral diets were around the ratio of 1:1, omega 6 to 3
--SAD diet is more like 20 or even 50: 1
--strive for at least 3:1
--cut out omega 6's: avoid these oils: corn, soy, canola, safflower, sunflower
--increase intake of omega 3's: flaxseed oil, walnut oil, seafood
--omega 3's inhibit skin cancer, omega 6's encourage it

BIBLIOGRAPHY ON FILE

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
rinku
Jul. 4th, 2008 04:46 am (UTC)
"--good for your heart (HOW????)"

I've heard it's because of cholesterol, and that the statin drugs work by simulating (ineffectively) vitamin D's cholesterol-lowering effects.
liveonearth
Jul. 4th, 2008 04:56 am (UTC)
REALLY! That's interesting. Thanx.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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