The Health & Longevity Newsletter features information about nutrition and health-related topics that you won't get in the mainstream media. I'm always on the lookout for information that not only is interesting, but will be of the most benefit to you, the reader.
In this Issue:
— Time to Replenish your Vitamin D Levels
— The Pitfalls of "Ask Your Doctor..."
— Content 2.0 Debuts!
Spring is Here!
Time to Replenish your Vitamin D Levels
Unless you've been taking deliberate steps to maintain your blood levels of vitamin D, this is the time of year when your vitamin D levels are at their lowest. "Deliberate steps" would mean that you've been taking 2,000 to 10,000IU of vitamin D daily in the form of supplements. Otherwise, you are most certainly deficient in this critical nutrient. It has recently been discovered that the RDA set by the government many years ago of 200-600IU per day is woefully inadequate.
Now that the sun's rays will soon be strong enough to produce vitamin D naturally, I'm encouraging people to get out in the midday sunshine at least 2 hours a week. That's the minimum amount most people need for good health.
Recent warnings about the dangers of skin cancer have made people so afraid of sun exposure that it's created a massive epidemic of vitamin D deficiency instead. Just how widespread is this deficiency?
How Common is Vitamin D Deficiency?
A number of recent studies have shown that vitamin D deficiencies are at epidemic levels, based on new minimum blood levels that are recommended. The current standard for minimum blood levels of vitamin D is set at 50 ng/ml (nanograms per millileter).
The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism published a study in the March 2010 issue that found that 59 percent of the population is vitamin D deficient. In addition, nearly 25 percent of the study subjects were found to have extremely low levels of vitamin D.
As many as 90 percent of all black children may be deficient in vitamin D, according to a new analysis conducted by researchers from Harvard Medical School, the University of Colorado-Denver and Massachusetts General Hospital, and published in the journal Pediatrics.
The Life Extension Foundation analyzed results from 13,892 blood tests in members who had their blood levels of vitamin D evaluated from March 2008 to September 2009.
The startling findings looked like this:
- 38% of test results for vitamin D were less than 30 ng/ml (the previous minimum threshold).
- 69% of test results were less than or equal to 40 ng/ml, and
- 85% of test results were less than or equal to 50 ng/ml, now recognized as the minimum acceptable level.
The Whitaker Wellness Center, the largest alternative medical clinic in America, tests nearly every patient for their vitamin D levels when they are admitted. And guess what they find? Roughly 95% of new patients have deficient vitamin D levels.
Most hospitals in America — and most doctors practicing medicine — don't even test for vitamin D levels. Why not? Because doctors are nutritionally illiterate. Medical schools do not teach nutrition; they teach doctors how to treat symptoms with drugs. On average, doctors get about 2 weeks of nutritional training. They are so absorbed with more lucrative therapies like drugs, surgeries and toxic chemotherapy treatments that they have completely overlooked the simplest and most powerful tool for health and healing: nutrition.
Dark-skinned and Overweight People Need More Vitamin D African-Americans and other dark-skinned races need significantly more UV exposure to produce adequate vitamin D. This is because the higher melanin content in darker skin reduces the skin's ability to produce vitamin D from sunlight. A typical person with very deep skin pigmentation has sun protection that’s similar to a sunscreen with a SPF of 15-30.
Also, if you’re overweight, some of the vitamin D gets stored in your fat and can’t get out. So people who are overweight need higher dosages of vitamin D than average people.
In light of all the evidence indicating widespread deficiencies of vitamin D, you'd be safe in assuming that you are probably in that group, unless you have been very conscious about supplementing. What should you do?
Take Steps Now
to Alleviate Vitamin D Deficiency
Get out there and get some reasonable sun exposure — 20 to 30 minutes of midday exposure over a significant exposed area of your body. Don't let the fearmongers deprive you of this vital nutrient!
Now, I know that some people are concerned about the aging effect of sunshine. Moderate, reasonable exposure will not have a very significant effect on this, but if you simply won't or can't get adequate sun exposure for vitamin D formation, take vitamin D3 supplements. I've got a great source for vitamin D and other natural healthcare products that I promote on my website. You'll find a link to them on any of my pages on vitamin D, accessible through this link:
Vitamin D Facts
"Ask your doctor
if this medication is right for you."
You hear this pitch in drug ads all the time. Trouble is, in many cases the only way your doctor can answer the question is by having you try the drug. And, as the latest research reveals, what's "right" for the smiling folks in a TV commercial may be just plain wrong for you.
You see, each of us responds uniquely to any given medication. "Your liver and kidney function, overall health, treatment for other conditions, and genetics all play a role in how a drug affects you," says Martha Gerrity, MD, PhD, clinical evidence specialist at the Center for Evidence-Based Policy at Oregon Health & Sciences University.
The chances of your having a good response are simply not in your favor. To get a prescription medication on the market, all you have to do is prove that it's better, on average, than a sugar pill. A drug that works 20 percent of the time, for instance, may be considered effective — even though it does nothing for 80 percent of patients. That doesn't even factor in the hazards of side effects.
So before you put your trust
in the latest vaccine or prescription "cure,"
recognize that the drug companies are primarily interested
selling more drugs and increasing their profits,
not in looking out for your health.
Content 2.0 Now Active at
Many of the pages on my website now have the capability to accept reader submissions. We call it Content 2.0, reflecting the fact that you will be contributing to the content of my website. You are welcome to share your knowledge and experience with my other visitors, or ask questions about general or specific topics.
Do you have any experience improving your health or treating a health problem using diet, superfoods or nutritional supplements? Do you have a nutritional guru or book you'd like to recommend? Tell us your story! Your submission will get its own page on my website, for all to see.
Just pick any page that has a topic you'd like to contribute to; most, but not all, of them have comment submissions enabled. Submission forms are always located at the bottom of the pages that they're located on. I look forward to getting your comments soon!
You could start by asking me a question about antioxidants, health, or nutrition in general at my About Me page.
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That's all for this month!
I hope you enjoyed reading my newsletter,
and found the information useful.
Have a great month!