Monthly Archives: September 2005

Vitamin D News

Vitamin D News

Competency #17  Vitamin D

Reference:  Journal Clinical Nutrition Nov 2005 Special Supplement: First International Symposium on Vitamin D

There is stunning new information out on Vitamin D that most doctors don’t know.  This is the original source material.   Journal Clinical Nutrition Nov 2005 Special Supplement: First International Symposium on Vitamin D.

What diseases does Vit D have an impact on?

1.  Rickets.  As many as 80% of children in America in 1900 had rickets.  Bowed legs.  Short stature.  Knobby ribs.  Heavy industrial smog made the “Cream City” brick in Milwaukee black.  We have much cleaner air now.  We cured rickets with the public health intervention of putting Vit D in milk and now orange juice.   You get 100 U per 8 oz glass.  Research on actual levels shows wide variability.  That makes rickets the archetype of a Vit D deficiency disease.  But there are more.  Here’s why.

•Vit D binds to a nuclear protein in virtually every cell in your body and is a powerful stimulant for the cell to turn into what it was intended to be.  In the small bowel, Vit D makes cells mature into better Ca absorbers.  In the pancreas, it makes Islet cells mature into good insulin makers.  In the kidney, it inhibits renin secretion (yes. there is evidence based medicine that a tanning booth lowers blood pressure by lowering renin levels through Vit D)

2.  The Evidence shows:

•Multiple sclerosis rates in women taking a vitamin pill a day drop by 50%

•Colon cancer:  40%

•Prostate Cancer: 30%

•Breast Cancer: 25%

4.  In cell culture of lymphocytic leukemia, Vit D makes the cells mature into normal lymphocytes, ruining the cell culture.

5.  In 1 year old kids given 2000 units of Vit D a day – they drop their future risk of insulin dependent diabetes by 80%!

6.  Fibromyalgia: Professor of Nutrition from Georgetown Medical School states that 30 % – 50% of fibromyalgia aches and pains comes from low Vit D levels.

Are all these diseases part of what we might call “Vit D deficiency”?  They are the scourges of our modern society.  Which lives indoors and too far north to get adequate sunshine for 6 months every year.

Ask yourself: did you get 20 minutes of sunshine in the 6 hours of mid-day twice in the last week?

WWW: What Will Work for Me:  I repeat.  I am personally taking 2 400 U tablets extra a day in addition to my 400 units in my multivitamin.  I am a gardener.  I am out in the yard every day.  I started my extra pills this week and will take them for the next 6 months.   The sun doesn’t suddenly go down.  But it is a lot weaker and is effectively absent for the next 6 months.

The INPATIENT pharmacy at Aurora figured out how to order it.  Walgreen’s has it.  Outpost has a “Vegetarian” source for twice the price.   Walmart has it.  Ask for it!

Vitamin D Part I: Good News About D

Vitamin D Part One

Competency #17  Vitamin D

Reference:  Journal Clinical Nutrition Nov 2005 Special Supplement: First International Symposium on Vitamin D;  Clinical Nutrition Sept 2005.

There is stunning new information out on Vitamin D that most doctors don’t know.  This is original source material.   Journal Clinical Nutrition Nov 2005 Special Supplement: First International Symposium on Vitamin D.

We think of Vit D as being important for bones and Calcium.  That is how it was discovered, right here in Wisconsin at UW in Madison.  At that time, 80-90% of children living in major northern cities had some forms of rickets because of poor sunlight, long winters and horrible smog from industrial pollution.  Adding Vit D to milk has been one of the 20th centuries major health victories.

Fortified milk, fortified OJ and a few dark-meated fish are the ONLY food you get Vit D from.  Normally, your body makes if from sunlight exposure.  Here are the new facts you need to know (and there will be more next week on it too!):

1.  Living in Wisconsin, the sun gets too low starting around Oct 15th or so, for you to get any vitamin D from the sun.  For the next six months, you will only get it from what you eat.  Even if you are outside a lot, the angle of the sun is just too low.  All the UVB gets absorbed in the atmosphere.    During the summer, you will make 15-20,000 U of Vit D with 10-15 minutes of mid day sun exposure wearing t-shirt and shorts.  If you have average Caucasian skin (tans mostly, can burn) or if you are darker pigmented skin, you need up to five times the sun exposure.  And, as you age, your skin gets less efficient so that by age 70, you only make 25% as much as what you once did.  Older African Americans would conceivably need 4-5 hours of full sun a day to get the same amount of Vit D.  It doesn’t happen!  And in winter, it can’t.

2.  Fortified Milk and fortified orange juice are the only sources left.  If you don’t drink 1/2 gallon of milk a day, you don’t get 400 units, the current minimum.  If you are lactose intolerant, you get none.  You only have OJ left as a food source.

3.  Vit D has been found to have huge numbers of effects outside of bone and calcium metabolism.  Here is why.

•Vit D is present in every living cell on this planet.  It is the signal to mature into the cell you were meant to be…much more than just bone modeling.

•For starters, our current recommended dose of 400u a day for most adults and 600u a day for seniors is likely AN ORDER OF MAGNITUDE TOO LOW.   This month’s newsletter, “Environmental Nutrition” cites studies showing no adverse effects with 10,000 units a day.

•Frail elderly, with a chief complaint of frequent falling (a major health risk for 80 year olds), given 2000 units a day, drop their incidence of falls by 50% over control groups, and can walk twice the distance.  If you have elderly parents, they need to start on orally supplemented Vit D today!  Mine have.

4.  Does a Vit Pill have enough?   NO!  It only has 400 units.  You need it for everything else, but it is very low in D.  That will be raised within the next year or so, but for now, we are way too low.  The new food guidelines didn’t have time to put in new recommendations, so they could only add a little comment at the end that said that we probably need more.

Next week:  the effects of Vit D on breast cancer, prostate cancer, diabetes, hypertension, fibromyalgia…. (does that leave anyone out?)

This week, go you your local Aurora Pharmacy and ask if they have pure Vit D.  They can order it.  Sinai’s pharmacy has it.  Have them call Sinai to find out where they can get it.  Outpost Natural Foods has it.  Walgreens, so far, hasn’t had it when I’ve explored.  It costs about 2-4 cents a tab.

WWW: What will work for me:  I get out in the sun for 20-30 minutes twice a week all summer.   I love it.  Not enough to burn.  I wear a hat.  I just started taking 2 tabs a day along with my vitamin pill.  I’m spending all day indoors these days as work gears up in the fall.

Olive Oil

Olive Oil

Competency # 13 FATS

Reference: Nature 2005 Sep 1; 437 (7055): 45-6

Olive Oil is the foundation of the Mediterranean Diet which was recently widely publicized for its lower rates of dementia, heart disease, stroke and some types of cancer.  35-40 % of calories in the Med Diet are from Olive Oil, so its not just a minor player.  The rest of Mediterranean Diet consists of an abundance of vegetables of many kinds, small amounts of meat (often fish) and a little bit of wine.  Vegetable oils as a rule have lots of different ingredients in them, omega fatty acids for one, which play a direct role in lowering LDLs and raising HDLs.  It’s not certain which of the ingredients of olive oil play what role in its healthy effects.

But, here is another reason to keep olive oil on your table and drizzle a little on your dinner. Extra virgin oil, in other words, the first pressing, has a newly identified chemical.  It has an anti-inflammatory effect very similar in potency to ibuprofen.  This chemical is called oleocanthal.  It was found by pure serendipity.  Researchers noticed a slight tingling feeling in the back of their throat when they sampled pure extra virgin olive oil.  The same feeling was noted when taking liquid ibuprofen.  The chemical was isolated using that sensation as a guide.

Published in Nature on Sept 1st of this last week, Oleocanthal is a potent inhibitor of cox 1 and cox 2 enzymes, the same that ibuprofen and other non-steroidals depend on. And, it’s in olive oil.  Now, to get pain relief like taking 2 ibuprofen, you would have to drink over a cup of olive oil, so it’s not a good pain reliever. But there are hundreds of other minor components in olive oil that have not yet been identified as to their biological effect.  It may be in the total sum of all of them.  That’s why eating whole foods is always better than an “extract”.

Think about switching your cooking oil from corn oil to olive oil.  Try to get some of it every day!

WWW:  What Will Work for me.  I’m trying to add olive oil to my diet.  More salad dinners instead of meat, potato vegetables.  Meal salads can be a great way of getting olive oil.  And first pass, extra virgin.  It’s got all the antioxidants.

Olive Oil

Olive Oil

Competency # 13 FATS

Reference: Nature 2005 Sep 1; 437 (7055): 45-6

Olive Oil is the foundation of the Mediterranean Diet which was recently widely publicized for its lower rates of dementia, heart disease, stroke and some types of cancer.  35-40 % of calories in the Med Diet are from Olive Oil, so its not just a minor player.  The rest of Mediterranean Diet consists of an abundance of vegetables of many kinds, small amounts of meat (often fish) and a little bit of wine.  Vegetable oils as a rule have lots of different ingredients in them, omega fatty acids for one, which play a direct role in lowering LDLs and raising HDLs.  It’s not certain which of the ingredients of olive oil play what role in its healthy effects.

But, here is another reason to keep olive oil on your table and drizzle a little on your dinner. Extra virgin oil, in other words, the first pressing, has a newly identified chemical.  It has an anti-inflammatory effect very similar in potency to ibuprofen.  This chemical is called oleocanthal.  It was found by pure serendipity.  Researchers noticed a slight tingling feeling in the back of their throat when they sampled pure extra virgin olive oil.  The same feeling was noted when taking liquid ibuprofen.  The chemical was isolated using that sensation as a guide.

Published in Nature on Sept 1st of this last week, Oleocanthal is a potent inhibitor of cox 1 and cox 2 enzymes, the same that ibuprofen and other non-steroidals depend on. And, it’s in olive oil.  Now, to get pain relief like taking 2 ibuprofen, you would have to drink over a cup of olive oil, so it’s not a good pain reliever. But there are hundreds of other minor components in olive oil that have not yet been identified as to their biological effect.  It may be in the total sum of all of them.  That’s why eating whole foods is always better than an “extract”.

Think about switching your cooking oil from corn oil to olive oil.  Try to get some of it every day!

WWW:  What Will Work for me.  I’m trying to add olive oil to my diet.  More salad dinners instead of meat, potato vegetables.  Meal salads can be a great way of getting olive oil.  And first pass, extra virgin.  It’s got all the antioxidants.

Exercise

Exercise

Competency # 4   ACTIVITY

Reference:  Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2005 Jun;14(6):1496-501

Exercise:  I’m determined to have exercise be part of my day.   Here are the reasons you should too!

1.  Exercise, 30 minutes a day has a remarkable effect on your life expectancy.  The graph of benefit takes off when you hit 20 miles of walking a week.  You get some benefit with ANY exercise, but there is an elbow in the curve at 3 miles a day where after your benefit just takes off.  One hour of brisk walking a day gets you to 20 miles a week.

2.  We all know that smoking is really awful for your life expectancy.   The research risks also show that  “a day without exercise is as bad as a day with smoking.”  That has been quantified in the literature.

3.  Part of the Mediterranean “Diet” is lifestyle:  They walk.  Ditto for the Okinawa Miracle.  The Centenarians on Okinawa will tell you, “They walk everywhere”.  If you want to live to be a healthy 100, you start exercising regularly when you are young.

4.Cancer Risk: is also improved.  Within the last 6 months there have been several articles in the peer literature showing that people with exercise live longer.  The specific risk with breast cancer was recently reviewed in study of 1500 women with breast cancer from China.  It showed an almost doubling of survival for women with breast cancer who exercised regularly and were slender.

5.  Finally, you can lower your blood lipids and reduce the “inflammatory markers” in your system, by daily exercise.  Within one day, you see benefit.

And, from the American Council of Exercise, here are the top 6 Myths about Exercise that 1500 surveyed Health Care Professionals believe.

1.  Women who lift weights will get bulky muscles

2.  Spot reducing of weight is possible (my thighs)

3.  No pain, no gain.  (lots of exercise can be fun)

4.  Exercise requires a healthy time commitment.   (Wrong.  It often takes longer to take the elevator at work)

5.  If you exercise, you can eat whatever you want.   (We are always capable of eating more than we need)

6.  There is a magic bullet out there somewhere. (Well, except for love, there’s exercise) With gas prices so high, bike to work.

WWW:  We know that there is no threshold below which exercise isn’t helpful.  In fact, there is evidence that standing while working consumes more calories than sitting.  I’m trying to stand more when I talk on the phone.  I’m trying to park farther instead of closer.  And the dog just adores me when I walk her around the block.  Any exercise I can add…. Every single day.  Help me, I need encouragement.