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Vitamin D
Old 05-01-2007, 07:47 PM   #1
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Vitamin D

Seems that new research points out the importance of vitamine D, and that avoiding sunlight may cause more problems that it prevents.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servl...andHealth/home
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Re: Vitamin D
Old 05-01-2007, 08:03 PM   #2
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Re: Vitamin D

The funny thing about supplements is one day they say it is the miracle pill then a few years down the road its not so good. Sometimes I wonder how our ancestors made it without all these pills
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Re: Vitamin D
Old 05-01-2007, 08:30 PM   #3
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Re: Vitamin D

Quote:
Originally Posted by AzDreamer
Seems that new research points out the importance of vitamine D, and that avoiding sunlight may cause more problems that it prevents.
The submarine force has a persistent problem with kidney stones.

Once the hatches slam shut and everyone puts away their Hawaiian Tropic sunscreen, their bodies stop making vitamin D. A side effect is that a person's bones start releasing calcium, so the body starts flushing the "excess" calcium. Of course submariners are imbibing large quantities of diuretics (coffee) so the kidneys are working overtime. Unfortunately that calcium can pile up in the process...

There was an attempt to install sunlight-spectrum lighting in the 1990s instead of the traditional fluorescent bulbs. Never heard how that worked out.
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Re: Vitamin D
Old 05-01-2007, 08:35 PM   #4
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Re: Vitamin D

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
The submarine force has a persistent problem with kidney stones.

Once the hatches slam shut and everyone puts away their Hawaiian Tropic sunscreen, their bodies stop making vitamin D. A side effect is that a person's bones start releasing calcium, so the body starts flushing the "excess" calcium. Of course submariners are imbibing large quantities of diuretics (coffee) so the kidneys are working overtime. Unfortunately that calcium can pile up in the process...

There was an attempt to install sunlight-spectrum lighting in the 1990s instead of the traditional fluorescent bulbs. Never heard how that worked out.
I learn something every day. 8)
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Re: Vitamin D
Old 05-02-2007, 03:28 AM   #5
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Re: Vitamin D

This is a very good article and an important topic. Please read it. I had already read previous evidence but this is amazing. And they even partially understand the mechanism (something always good to look for in a study). These findings should be on the front pages of newspapers.
Quote:
Sometimes I wonder how our ancestors made it without all these pills
Our ancestors spent time outside in the sun, which is the best way to receive and absorb Vitamin D. Most people now work and entertain themselves inside. Also, our ancestors who did got insufficient sun often did not live long enough to develop cancer or other chronic diseases that might be tied to lack of Vitamin D.

This also explains why there are so many more cancers in northern latitudes, something that scientists have not understood.

I would be interested in specific sunlight and vitamin D recommendations. The article says minimum 10 to 15 minutes direct summer sunlight for caucasians, more in winter, and much more if your skin is darker (I think the guidelines are for caucasian canadians). And apparently, former guidelines may be too low, anyway.

Kramer

Quote:
But perhaps the biggest bombshell about vitamin D's effects is about to go off. In June, U.S. researchers will announce the first direct link between cancer prevention and the sunshine vitamin. Their results are nothing short of astounding.

A four-year clinical trial involving 1,200 women found those taking the vitamin had about a 60-per-cent reduction in cancer incidence, compared with those who didn't take it, a drop so large — twice the impact on cancer attributed to smoking — it almost looks like a typographical error.

And in an era of pricey medical advances, the reduction seems even more remarkable because it was achieved with an over-the-counter supplement costing pennies a day.

One of the researchers who made the discovery, professor of medicine Robert Heaney of Creighton University in Nebraska, says vitamin D deficiency is showing up in so many illnesses besides cancer that nearly all disease figures in Canada and the U.S. will need to be re-evaluated. "We don't really know what the status of chronic disease is in the North American population," he said, "until we normalize vitamin D status."
Quote:
Researchers suspect vitamin D plays such a crucial role in diseases as unrelated as cancer and osteoporosis because the chemical originated in the early days of animal evolution as a way for cells to signal that they were being exposed to daylight.

Even though living things have evolved since then, almost all cells, even those deep in our bodies, have kept this primitive light-signalling system.

In the body, vitamin D is converted into a steroid hormone, and genes responding to it play a crucial role in fixing damaged cells and maintaining good cell health. "There is no better anti-cancer agent than activated vitamin D. I mean, it does everything you'd want," said Dr. Cannell of the Vitamin D Council.

Some may view the sunshine-vitamin story as too good to be true, particularly given that the number of previous claims of vitamin cure-alls that subsequently flopped. "The floor of modern medicine is littered with the claims of vitamins that didn't turn out," Dr. Cannell allowed.

But the big difference is that vitamin D, unlike other vitamins, is turned into a hormone, making it far more biologically active. As well, it is "operating independently in hundreds of tissues in your body," Dr. Cannell said.

Referring to Linus Pauling, the famous U.S. advocate of vitamin C use as a cure for many illnesses, he said: "Basically, Linus Pauling was right, but he was off by one letter."
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Re: Vitamin D
Old 05-02-2007, 07:08 AM   #6
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Re: Vitamin D

Quote:
Originally Posted by kramer
This is a very good article and an important topic. Please read it. I had already read previous evidence but this is amazing. And they even partially understand the mechanism (something always good to look for in a study). These findings should be on the front pages of newspapers. Our ancestors spent time outside in the sun, which is the best way to receive and absorb Vitamin D. Most people now work and entertain themselves inside. Also, our ancestors who did got insufficient sun often did not live long enough to develop cancer or other chronic diseases that might be tied to lack of Vitamin D.

This also explains why there are so many more cancers in northern latitudes, something that scientists have not understood.

I would be interested in specific sunlight and vitamin D recommendations. The article says minimum 10 to 15 minutes direct summer sunlight for caucasians, more in winter, and much more if your skin is darker (I think the guidelines are for caucasian canadians). And apparently, former guidelines may be too low, anyway.

Kramer
You are dead on about that Kramer. I have been slathering on the sunscreen for years. I will still use it for prolonged exposure (e.g. water sports, golf) but not for routine daily use when just briefly walking around. I would also like to know how much supplement is effective.
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Re: Vitamin D
Old 05-02-2007, 07:49 AM   #7
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Re: Vitamin D

This is very interesting to me and timely too. I just had a bone scan and my doctor said that I show "osteopenia"...thinning of the bones and a step away from osteoporosis. I just switched from drinking regular milk to a organic milk that tastes so much better and I was really enjoying it, however, no vitamin D. The article says that a person would need 3 liters for cancer protection and that just isn't gonna happen. Maybe I can continue with my good tasting organic milk and just enjoy the sun more without all that sticky sunscreen...I hate that stuff.
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Re: Vitamin D
Old 05-02-2007, 08:28 AM   #8
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Re: Vitamin D

As soon as I learned that sunscreens are rated on UV B, but that UV A is also potentially dangerous I figured the hell with sunscreen. I just limit my sun exposure to what doesn’t burn me with no sunscreen.

So I bought some titanium dioxide to use when I play tennis, since I would likely get burned badly. In summer I wear a hat to protect my face and baldspot.

For the past few years I have been doing some limited sunbathing. It is hard to get enough sunny and warm days with little wind to get it in, but I usually manage at least 4 days a week from mid June to early September. It is very pleasurable!

I would like to rely on the sun exclusively, but it can't happen at my latitude so I will look into supplements for late fall and winter into early spring. Since Vitamin D can be toxic, I hope some guidance will be forthcoming.

Ha
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Re: Vitamin D
Old 05-02-2007, 08:33 AM   #9
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Re: Vitamin D

Oh, boy.

Doing the type of population-based research necessary to seriously support the claims implied by this newspaper article is like chasing windmills. There are so many variables that are uncontrollable or, even worse, unknown at present. People always shake their heads when exaggerated claims are disproven (remember vitamin E and heart disease?), but are so quick to jump on the bandwagon at the first hint of an association.

My take: it's an interesting and biologically plausible association; if it has some validity it will be for a small subset of cancers. It is derived from a study methodology which brought you many debunked theories in the past (estrogens preventing heart disease, for example).

A vitamin pill and a little more sunshine for gray climates is probably next to harmless, so bask away (but don't overdo it).

This, too, shall either pass or take its place as just one of the millions of pieces in the larger cancer puzzle.

I know, I'm being a stick in the mud; jaded; party-pooper. It's my job .
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Re: Vitamin D
Old 05-02-2007, 09:09 AM   #10
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Re: Vitamin D

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa
Oh, boy.

Doing the type of population-based research necessary to seriously support the claims implied by this newspaper article is like chasing windmills. There are so many variables that are uncontrollable or, even worse, unknown at present.
Rich, thanks for your comments. Doesn't this suggest a mid-size clinical study rather than just epidemiological studies? And if as you say the effect is limited to a few cancers, it must be a pretty big effect on those few to get an overall 60% reduction.

"But perhaps the biggest bombshell about vitamin D's effects is about to go off. In June, U.S. researchers will announce the first direct link between cancer prevention and the sunshine vitamin. Their results are nothing short of astounding.

A four-year clinical trial involving 1,200 women found those taking the vitamin had about a 60-per-cent reduction in cancer incidence, compared with those who didn't take it, a drop so large — twice the impact on cancer attributed to smoking — it almost looks like a typographical error."


Has this study been released? Or leaked? How does the journalist know what is going to be released in June?

Ha

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Re: Vitamin D
Old 05-02-2007, 09:52 AM   #11
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Re: Vitamin D

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaHa
Rich, thanks for your comments. Doesn't this suggest a mid-size clinical study rather than just epidemiological studies? And if as you say the effect is limited to a few cancers, it must be a pretty big effect on those few to get an overall 60% reduction.
I have not see the study reported in the post. The ideal study would be a randomized controlled trial with blinding. This is all but impossible to do from a practical study. The alternative is a prospective cohort study (like Framingham) which is not as powerful, but has some merit and is more do-able.

I'll give it a good look when it is published.
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Re: Vitamin D
Old 05-02-2007, 10:07 AM   #12
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Re: Vitamin D

it's no wonder i'm confused. just minutes before reading this, i read "that elderly people who reported higher calcium and vitamin D intake were much more likely to have greater volumes of brain lesions -- regions of damage that can increase risk of cognitive impairment. ... In one model ... only vitamin D remained significantly positively associated with brain lesion volume." so is it good or bad?

i'd venture to guess that we'd all be better served if "preliminary" research were not disseminated to the general public.
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Re: Vitamin D
Old 05-02-2007, 10:52 AM   #13
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Re: Vitamin D

Thanks for a little grounding Rich. Argh. Here I am reacting to this as if it is gospel while at the same time I am reading Voodoo Science. Is this one of those "studies" that has been leaked to the press before it has been published in a reputable peer reviewed journal?
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