Today's Post: Tuesday, 3-20-2012
Most doctors know little about supplements including vitamins and minerals and are too busy to find out more unless they somehow get updated by their patients or other doctors who know more.
Some doctors have studied supplements and find they can get superior results with patients by using the indicated supplements. Since the supplements cost less than drugs and have virtually no side effects that harm quality of life, far more of their patients actually take the supplements than take many drugs.
The drug companies don’t like the competition from those supplements that do work but have none of the side effects most of their drugs do and the supplements cost less.
(Some drugs do important things and do them fast that supplements cannot do. And, for some things the drugs are the better choice. Then too some supplements may not be that effective.
But the drug companies appear to be deliberately misinforming doctors and the media and thus many of the rest of us about supplements that do work.)
So you may have seen headlines like “Vitamins are a waste of money or dangerous” AND “Vitamin E causes Prostate Cancer.”
But the truth is far different. Very different!
1. Most vitamins and minerals are beneficial and some are spectacularly beneficial.
There a few vitamins and minerals that do have side effects in doses that are too large. But if you know what level is safe on those few, those same vitamins and minerals can benefit you.
This makes the headline, “Vitamins are a waste of money or dangerous” false & I think deliberately misleading.
2. We know 4 things about vitamin E and prostate cancer. The headline as quoted, “Vitamin E causes Prostate Cancer" is completely false. And the other 3 things help prevent prostate cancer! (The study did not test real vitamin E but a poor artificial copy that was not real vitamin E!)
We covered that last week, on Tuesday, 3-13-2012
This week we cover one of the two vitamin supplements that are spectacularly beneficial. It's vitamin D3.
Many of you already know that vitamin D3 has recently been found to have a large list of very valuable benefits
In fact taking vitamin D3 is one of the two supplements that have been found to lower the death rate of people taking it.
(We will cover the other supplement found to lower the death rate of people taking it next Tuesday.)
The Vitamin D council in their email recently quoted a study that found a 6% lower death rate in people taking extra vitamin D3 and 2% for people taking that much D2, the less effective form. (Your body makes vitamin D3 from sunlight exposure also. And wild caught salmon and purified cod liver oil contain vitamin D3.)
Vitamin D3 helps prevent many cancers; is now thought to help prevent Alzheimer's disease; it helps prevent some autoimmune diseases: and it helps prevent or improve SAD -- the depression some people get in mid-winter from too little sunlight.
A recent Vitamin D council article had a study that found a larger amount of vitamin D3 turned off painful periods for the women they tested.
Based on that study, it appears that taking 3,000 to 5,000 iu a day of vitamin D3 would prevent women from having that problem to begin with!
Also of interest to women:
To prevent or help reverse osteoporsis and strengthen your bones:
Take at least 3,000 iu a day of vitamin D3; do NOT drink soft drinks; do weight bearing exercise several times each week; take magnesium; -- & eat a moderately high amount of foods high in calcium--or take 500 mg of calcium a day -- but only after your largest meal of the day.
New research found taking more calcium than that by itself may deposit calcium in your blood vessels and help cause heart disease. Worse, without the vitamin D3 and exercise and magnesium and not drinking soft drinks, even over 1,000 mg a day of calcium by itself was ineffective at strengthening bones.
Another had a study that found so much improvement in health and less disease that the people taking enough D3 had lower health care costs than people who did not!
One of the reasons for that is that so far so many people are severely deficient or deficient or lower than optimal in vitamin D3 levels..
Our ancestors evolved to be outside and exposed to the sun almost every day.
And, before about 50 to 100 years ago this was still true. Now most of us live and work inside and get very little sun exposure.
In midsummer, people would routinely get 20,000 to 30,000 iu of vitamin D3 from sun exposure each day. And, since even at midwinter many still got 3,000 iu a day, that seems to be the real minimum daily requirement for vitamin D3.
Vitamin D blood levels can be tested. Below 30 is clearly deficient.
Vitamin D levels of 30 to 49 are often seen in tests and above 30. So until now, many doctors didn't worry or suggest their patients do so with that level of test results.
But the most desirable health benefits don't show up until a blood level of 50 to 60.
So saying 38 was an OK blood level as a doctor did recently to someone I know is wrong. The "normal range" is 30 to 77.
But the desirable range for health is from 50 to 60 at least! And for some people, 61 to 99 may be better. (Some reseachers believe 61 to 99 is more desirable than 50 to 60. But they almost all agree that below 50 is undesirable.)
Most multivitamins have 400 iu of vitamin D. The better ones have 400 iu of vitamin D3.
You can also take 400 iu extracted from purified fish oil. You can take 1,000 iu capsules of vitamin D3. These cost less than $10 for 120 of the 400 from Solary or 100 of the 1,000 capsules from Carlson.
5,000 iu vitamin D3 capsules are also available and cost a bit more.
Some of the researchers take 10,000 iu a day of vitamin D3. To be on the conservative side I take 8200 iu a day; & my blood level is 82. I prefer not to take 10,000 or more. My test results show I don't need to.
Wikipedia says that you have to take 100,000 a day or more to run into problems with vitamin D3.
But unless you test out as quite deficient, below 30, or just broke a bone and want to get extra help healing, the evidence suggests that taking 3,000 to 8,000 iu or a bit more of vitamin D3 a day is enough for optimum health effects.
10,000 to 25,000 iu on a sustained basis looks to be safe. But for most people it's overkill. To me 25,000 iu a day or more begins to approach the 100,000 level enough, I suggest avoiding taking that much.
But the bottom line is that taking enough vitamin D3 to dramatically improve and protect your health is very inexpensive. And the benefits can enormous compared to not taking it.
Vitamin D3 by itself makes the headline, “Vitamins are a waste of money or dangerous” not only completely false but irresponsibly false!