Vitamin D and athletic performance.

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by Talker, Dec 14, 2009.

  1. Talker

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    I've been keeping an eye on vitamin D for a few years. There's some very strong studies about the benefits. Google "vitamin d benefits".

    One of the more interesting articles was the increase of athletic performance, reflexes, jumping height, etc. All of these increased with healthy doses of vitamin D. The old amounts of vitD requirements are being updated, in some cases calling for 10 to 20 times of the old amount (400IU).

    Then there are other studies showing greatly reduced cancer rates, diabetes, etc.

    Most of these studies have been recent, but others are relatively old but have been ignored.

    http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/newsletter/2007-mar.shtml

    One interesting area is the relation of vitD to the common cold, some doctors are saying that with a daily dose of 5000 IU they have not seen any of their patients come down with a cold/flu.

    The best way to test your levels is with a 25(OH)D test.
    The optimum levels are reported to be 50-80 ng/ml.

    Here's another site for athletic performance.
    http://www.tmuscle.com/free_online_...raining_performance_nutrition/d_is_for_doping
     
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  2. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    Vitamin D usually is made naturally in the body by a process where sunlight converts a cholesteral-like molecule into Vitamin D.
    Vitamin D deficiencies are becoming more common as more and more people intentionally avoid the sun, are using sunscreens or just stay inside working and playing on their electronic devices.
    Also, with the widespread availability of Vitamin D testing, it has become better appreciated just how many have suboptimal levels of Vitamin D.
    Vitamin D is not in many foods, although some is added to milk and it is plentiful in fish like salmon.
    But my whole family supplements their Vitamin D intake with a daily multivitamin and a calcium/Vitamin D tablet.
     
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  3. Talker

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    Usually in the summer around midday we can make 10,000 or so IU's of D, this is the natural amount made. Evolution had a good reason for making this amount.
    -
    If you had time to read the studies, there is a measurable increase in athletic performance.
    Not to mention huge declines in many major diseases (cancers, diabetes, cardiovascular).
    I take 8,000IU a day.
    People need more if their overweight, dark skin, older.
    It is very safe, some people have taken 50,000 IU a day for years. Everyone is different.
    Always good to take calcium, magnesium and zinc, they go together well.
     
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  4. El Diablo

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    One needs to remember that the fat soluble vitamins (A D E K) are stored in your body fat rather than readily excreted, so accumulation and toxicity can result from taking too much. High D levels can cause bone loss and kidney problems. Because of the fat storage and absence of a perfect equilibrium in going from fat to plasma, blood levels may not accurately reflect body levels.
     
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  5. OHBH

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    Somebody is making sense over here. Basically what my old nutrition professor said. Vitamins can't do everything for you, no pill is going to make everything better.
     
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  6. r2473

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    That's just crazy talk :)
     
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  7. Talker

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    Water won't make everything better either.
    I wouldn't listen to one old nutrition professor either.
    Check out the studies, use the internet, there's a lot of new information that even your doctor may not know about.

    Blood levels is the standard used always. You won't see any research done without stating blood levels.

    But you are right, too much of anything can be toxic, even water.

    High vit.D levels can cause bone loss if your calcium intake is VERY low.
    It's best taken with calcium, magnesium, zinc and evein vitamin K.
    There has never been a case of anyone dying from it however.
    You can get up to 20,000 IU a day around the equater and people do and have for thousands of years with no ill effect.

    Of course one pill won't help everything, but Vit. D does an amazing amout of things, don't ask me. Google "vitamin D benefits". Note the date on the articles too, it has been only lately that some solid science has been done.
     
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  8. Talker

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    Other vitamin D news.



    257,000 cancer deaths in 2007 in the United States were accounted for by inadequate vitamin D levels.


    Cancer deaths due to inadequate vitamin D levels

    The first San Diego speaker was Dr. William Grant. Since leaving NASA to begin a full-time career as a vitamin D researcher, Bill has published dozens of studies and has another dozen in the works. Using ecological studies (from Greek oikos: house + German -logie: study, or studying your own house) of UVB irradiance and cancer, Bill reported that 15 cancers (colon, esophageal, gallbladder, gastric, pancreatic, rectal, small intestinal, bladder, kidney, prostate, breast, endometrial, ovarian, Hodgkin's lymphoma, and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma) are associated with lower UVB light. He concluded that 257,000 cancer deaths in 2007 in the United States were accounted for by inadequate vitamin D levels. Of course the problem with ecological studies is that its easy to be vitamin D deficient in Miami, all you have to do is listen to your doctor's advice and stay out of the sun. Recently, a group from the Arizona Cancer Center found almost 80% of Arizonians had levels below 30 ng/mL. So much for sunny spots.

    Full report here.
    http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/newsletter/2008-may.shtml
     
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  9. WildVolley

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    I'm going to side with the pro-Vitamin D people. It would be nice to have better studies, but the correlations found so far are intriguing. And the overwhelming majority of people don't have hypersensitivity to vitamin D.

    It probably makes sense to supplement Vitamin D in the winter if you live much north of the latitude of Los Angeles (35North), as you probably aren't getting any from the sun. Vitamin D3 is inexpensive, too.

    I've started supplementing it and I play some without my shirt in the summer to naturally produce more. I still haven't had a blood test, but I'd be interested to see what my blood levels are.
     
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  10. Tennis_Monk

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    I am one of those that benefited from Vitamin D supplements. Until 07-08, i used to be extremely agile, fast, fit and etc in sports (tennis included). Towards late 08, i have developed some kind of problem. The only symptoms are that my knees feel energy less and even when i am not playing i feel nagging pain. Knees are like wheels and with it my sports performance took a nose dive.

    I often used to take Tylenol before i played sports. I originally thought this was some allergy related and did all sorts of analysis.in early 2009, a blood test was followed by a recommendation to use Vitamin D + calcium supplement. Fast forward 6 months and i am back to normal.
     
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  11. mary fierce

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    Data associating vitamin deficiency with an illness like cancer are notoriously problematic, since cancer often decreases appetite and thus various vitamin levels.
     
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  12. Talker

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    I haven't had mine tested either. Basically nothing is guaranteed but it seems to be a safe bet. I've checked out 100's of studies already.
    With most drugs, the more studies the more side effects found.
    Just the opposite here, only more benefits are being found.
    Some multi vitamins now have 2000 IU.

    Tennis_Monk:
    Always good to hear stories like that about my fellow tennis players.
    I got all my relations up to date on it too, I think their tired of me talking about it though. :)
     
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  13. WildVolley

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    Good point. But many of these studies are more general epidemiological studies that are looking at large populations and then trying to find statistical correlations. Correlation isn't causation, the quality of your data really matters, you might not be tracking relevant factors, etc. The studies seem to suggest that populations with lower Vitamin D blood levels have a higher incidence of cancer and heart disease. I'd hope that the researchers would attempt to control for the known cancer rate.

    So the relationship isn't proven (I'd prefer to see a matched identical twin study or something, a double-blind placebo study, or even a longer term supplementation tracking study) but it is probably worth getting an blood test if you think you might be low on Vitamin D.

    The anti-vitamin D crowd is driven by the dermatologists and the sun-block industry who freak out over any advice that people need some sunlight on their skin.
     
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  14. Talker

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    It does decrease appetite, and not really that much of a problem because vitamin D is not found in hardly any foods to a meaningful degree.

    You get vitamin D from sun (UVB) or supplements.
    With those who already have cancer, given meaningful amounts of vitamin D greatly increases survival rates.
    Little comes from the diet as opposed to a lot of other vitamins.
     
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  15. El Diablo

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    A larger percentage comes from diet in industrialized nations as a consequence of less sun exposure.
     
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  16. Soul

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    Another vitamin D3 fan here. Don't have much to add to what has already said, other than I've been taking between 6000 to 8000 ius of D3 a day for a couple years and feel great for it. That amount keeps my D3 testing level between 60 to 70 ng/ml year round. My tennis play has never been better.

    I just received a brief e-mail from Dr Cannell's vitamin D3 news letter the other day. Thought to post it here:

    The Vitamin D Newsletter

    December 19, 2009.



    Everyone should read the January editorial by Bill Faloon of Life Extension Foundation:

    Faloon B: Millions of Needless Deaths, Life Extension Magazine, January, 2009

    http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2009/jan2009_Millions-of-Needless-Deaths_01.htm


    Also, please note the new address below.

    John Cannell, MD

    The Vitamin D Council

    1241 Johnson Ave. # 134

    San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
     
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  17. EikelBeiter

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    how much would 2000 iu be in micrograms miligrams? Supplements around here don't use iu's.
     
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  18. Talker

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    40 IU = 1 mcg (microgram)
    so 2000IU = 50 mcg.
     
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  19. Talker

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    I've read it, the evidence is astounding and increasing daily.

    Here's the latest from the life extension foundation, a not for profit organization.

    http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2009/dec2009_So-Many-Needless-Cancer-Deaths_01.htm
     
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  20. EikelBeiter

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    hmm, the softgels I can buy are 5 mcg each. It would feel like taking an overdose if I have to shove down 10 softgels down my throat every day :)
     
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  21. MNPlayer

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    Here's a quote from that article:
    "Suzanne Somers Exposes the Cancer Establishment’s Failings"

    I was skeptical before. But with experts like Suzanne Somers on the case, I'm sold.
     
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  22. El Diablo

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    The vitamin D council website seems to be missing something -- a council. He lists other scientists who do research in Vit D but what is the "council"? There is of course a way to send money (Paypal accepted).
     
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  23. Kevin T

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    Don't worry, everyone. Next year there will be a new "super vitamin" and "super food". I'm going with Vitamin K (since I'm Kevin). I mean, it's involved in blood clotting so who knows what else it's capable of! My new "super food" is the lowly rutabaga. You'll start to see rutabaga shakes, bars, concentrated pills, a la acai/pomegranates/blueberries/etc. Just like my old mentor in grad school used to say..."the reason there's a new diet every year is because the last one didn't work". You could apply the same logic to vitamins/minerals/super foods.
     
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  24. jswinf

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    How about Kale or Kumquats or special-K or sourKraut or...? Actually kale is a monsterly-nutritious food, but it's hard to figure out what to do with it.
     
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  25. WildVolley

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    It's fine to be skeptical, but there is a real problem with vitamins as potential cures - that is they are not patentable.

    The pharmaceutical companies spend hundreds of millions testing new drugs for FDA approval in the US. Does that mean that they are better than very inexpensive vitamins? No. Vitamins are less studied because they are inexpensive and publicly available. Expensive studies can't be recovered in terms of higher profits if they favorably show the effects of vitamins.

    All we have to go on is available information and personal judgment. I'm willing to supplement D3 because it is inexpensive and potentially helpful. During the summer I don't supplement because there's plenty of sun in Southern California.

    In the end, most people aren't great at judging whether a food or vegetable is good for their health. Most nutritionists still believe that getting nine servings of vegetables and fruit a day prolongs life and helps with health, yet most people don't even make an effort.

    On the other hand, people often feel great on Meth, but the evidence it destroys your body is all too visible.
     
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  26. Talker

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    Do you have a link to your source?
     
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  27. El Diablo

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    The notion that compounds that are not patentable are kept from us is enticing but unsupported by the evidence. Lithium carbonate is found in nature and could not be patented but has been available from drug companies for over 40 years for bipolar disorder (though some believe it might have come to market a little quicker had it been patentable.) Digoxin, an extract of the foxglove plant, similarly occurs in nature but has been a mainstay of cardiac treatment since long before any of us was born.
     
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  28. Talker

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    I guess you didn't read the article, it has little to do with vitamins.

    This is a more broadbased article about the ingrained cancer establishment and ways to improve it.
     
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  29. r2473

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    #29
  30. MNPlayer

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    I would feel better about these things if all the "information" which people have posted here was not produced by folks selling vitamins ("non-profit" or not).
     
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  31. Talker

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    There are always exceptions, many cardiac doctors are recommending COQ-10 to patients now, as well as omega 3's found in fish oils.
    This is good, a move in the right direction.
     
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  32. Talker

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    I had a some links, some from prestigeous journals, some from Harvard medical. There are now so many I can't keep up.
    They are coming in from everywhere around the world and saying the same thing.

    I completely understand any skeptism, it took me over a year of reading reports to finally be convinced.
    My problem was that everyone claims something to be great and it flops.
    It has happened so many times.
    So, just keep in touch with it.
    The cost is ridiculously low, I bought 100 (5,000IU) pills for five dollars.
     
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  33. WildVolley

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    It's not difficult these days to do a google search and get descriptions of research by scientists and physicians and there are a number of peer-reviewed nutritional journals.

    The potential conflict of interest problem with vitamin sellers is not unique. It exists for the pharmaceutical manufacturers and for doctors. It's actually disheartening to look at the studies and see how little effect some of the best selling pharmaceuticals (e.g., statins) have on disease. Doctors make more money by convincing you more treatment is needed.

    One of my favorite vitamin D researchers is Dr. Hollick from Boston University, but critics will note that he has taken money from the tanning industry. On the other hand, many of his critics have taken money from the sun block industry.

    As Ronald Reagan said, "trust but verify." Or in this case, you pay your money and take your chances.:)
     
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  34. Talker

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    Kevin, I understand where your coming from, there has been so many scams for the self interest of making money.
    William Faloon has sent a letter to the president to go on the air for a half an hour to declare a national emergency. All of this about the damage of low vitamin D and disease related to it.
    In every article he writes he has numerous references to the research to back it up, from respected sources. I've followed this guy for years, he only wants to end a lot of needless suffering.

    I'm only asking to keep yourself open on the issue.
     
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  35. MNPlayer

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    If you have read the original research in the medical journals and arrived at your conclusions based on that, I definately respect that. Most people just swallow the marketing.

    Usually what happens with these things is that a study finds some effect related to a vitamin or whatever under some fairly narrow circumstances, and the people selling that product exaggerate the study or misinterpret it far beyond all reason.

    Or, because journalists usually have little scientific training, the media encourages these massive shifts in public opinion (i.e. margarine is good, margarine is bad, etc). Reality is a little more subtle.
     
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  36. Soul

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    Just making the Dr blog rounds this evening and saw Dr Eades had a link to a new small weight loss study with vitamin D3 called "Can you tan your self thin?". it can be seen at.

    http://twitter.com/DrEades

    And talking about heart disease specialists, Dr Davis a cardiologist with a successful track record of stopping plaque growth in his patients uses vitamin D3 as one of his main tools for fighting heart disease.
    Here are the doctors latest blog writings on the sunshine vitamin.

    http://heartscanblog.blogspot.com/search/label/vitamin D
     
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  37. MNPlayer

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    You can't really compare pharmaceuticals to vitamins or other supplement products. Although there is a conflict of interest just as you say, new drugs must also pass a fairly rigorous standard set by the FDA for efficacy and safety. It usually takes years to get a new drug on the market, and the claims that can be made about it are narrowly constrained.

    Supplement manufacturers make all kinds of fishy claims about their products and are barely regulated at all. They have sold some pretty dangerous stuff (i.e. ephedra) under this regime, just because it's "natural".
     
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  38. Talker

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    I can't say your wrong, all I can really do is ask to keep an open mind.
    As of now the medical community are considering upping the level required based on the research, at least in the USA. What this means is that the research is convincing.
     
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  39. MNPlayer

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    Do you have a reference for this? I would be curious what kind of change they are talking about. I assume you mean the RDA numbers...
     
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  40. Talker

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    Last edited: Dec 21, 2009
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  41. Soul

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    Yeah, I liked it. Thanks for the article link. I don't normally read LE's articles, but know that one of my favorite doctors writes there from time to time.
     
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  42. Kevin T

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    I'm always open but always skeptical. This is my field and I"ve been researching and teaching nutrition for nearly 10 years now. I don't get that excited about a hanful of studies...but I do get excited about dozens of well-done, placebo-controlled, double blind studies. I eat well, so I haven't taken vitamins in years. It's hard to link specific nutrients to cancer rates/etc. because it's so multi-factorial. The one thing I DO KNOW is that any time you megadose one vitamin or mineral, you are diminishing the activity/effectiveness of another (possible multiple) vitamin/mineral. The human body likes balance.

    Many studies looking at entire populations note that decreased sun exposure/decreased vitamin D=increased rates of heart disease and colon cancer. Less sunlight= usually colder = tend to eat high fat/high animal product/high dairy/low fruit and veg diets with limited activity. People in warmer climates tend to eat less total fat/dairy/animal products/more fruit and veg/more activity. More studies are coming out and the recs will likely be increased. Definitely promising but I'm not holding my breath.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2009
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  43. Talker

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    Sounds like a great profession, interesting too.

    Just wanted to add that though it's called vitamin D it is not a vitamin, it ends up being a powerful hormone.

    And true that the body likes balance, at least the balance that has been the norm for thousands of years.
    The norm being that evolution has set up a system to produce plenty of vitamin D which has been cut short.

    Our ancient ancestors moved from around the equator where sun is plentiful, generating up to 20,000 IU a day.
    This is where it seems evolution set up the need for vitamin D. And when we moved away from the equator the skin became whiter and was able to absorb more of this vitamin easier from the sun. Apparantly there was a good reason for this.

    Dark skinned people have a tough time in northern climates getting this vitamin from the sun, proven from blood tests, and their cancer rates and other problem areas are much higher.
    All the evidence is interlinked and fitting together nicely, very little or none contradicting evidence.

    This is the imbalance we have now, vitamin D levels are too low as compared to the levels of 1000's of years past. At least that's the theory out there now.

    We can wait for 10 years to see what happens to be sure.
    That's up to the individual and I have no problem with that, I'm on the bandwagon myself.
     
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  44. Kevin T

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    It's actually a "prohormone" with no hormonal activity until conversion to active hormone 1, 25-D. Man has been living in cold climates for tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of years (depending on whose fossil record you believe) which is plenty of time for genetic adaptation. Man's life expectancy was also much shorter then, only ~35-40 years as late as 1800. Chronic diseases/most cancers/heart disease generally don't talk hold by then. There is zero comparison. That's the problem with bogus diet plans like the Paleo diet (not to mention the fact that archaeological evidence shows that early man did eat a number of high carb foods and did suffer from the same dental carries we do)...we were kicking the bucket far earlier because of a much harder/stressful life, not because of chronic disease. The human body also reaches equillibrium at ~20 minutes UV sunlight exposure (light-skinned people). After that, any D produced is basically degraded/broken down.

    If you and the longevity institute want a lifespan increasing diet, go with calorie restriction. Lab rats fed low kcal/low macro and micronutrient diets live much longer than normally fed or overfed rats.

    We've been here before. Anyone remember the Vitamin E craze? Selenium? Vitamin C? As I said, the Vitamin D research looks promising and I have no doubt the DRI/RDI/RDA/whatever you want to use will be increased.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2009
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  45. ollinger

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    Actually, we were "kicking the bucket" earlier back then not so much because life was harder, but because of infection, which commonly killed children and young adults as well as the elders. Antibiotics didn't exist until the middle of the 20th century.
     
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  46. ollinger

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    Ah, the vitamin E craze. Every double blind study I'm aware of has shown no longevity, anti-cancer, or anti-heart disease effect, and at least one study showed a SHORTER longevity in the 400 IU vitamin E group, most likely because of a bleeding diathesis.
     
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  47. Kevin T

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    True, but I don't think megadoses of D were going to cure TB, pneumonia, smallpox, influenza, typhoid. And I would say poor hygiene, access to clean water, malnutrition/undernutrition, back-breaking labor, poor sewage management and inadequate shelter and heat would all qualify as "life was harder". At least by my metro-sexual standards. :)
     
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  48. Kevin T

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    Yep. And Selenium was going to make us skinnier and cure diabetes. And megadoses of Vitamin C were going to cure the common cold. :)
     
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  49. Soul

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    Woo, hold de horses, early man had dental problems? I saw recently the information on Egyptian mummies being found to have aortic atherosclerosis, and dental issues but then again Egyptians 1000 years ago ate a diet similar to what we eat today. Egyptians grew grains, ate breads and honey, along with dried fruits, etc.

    The Weston Price Foundation has found malocclusion and other dental issues to be rare in hunter gather societies - the paleo diet. Dr Guyenet has a nice summery of the data that is out there on dental issues concerning paleo cultures verses grain eating at:

    http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2009/12/malocclusion-disease-of-civilization.html
     
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  50. Kevin T

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    The Weston Price Foundation has been debunked a million times. They have zero credibility in the academic/research community. Part of my graduate training involved nutritional anthropology and I have a BS in anthropology. Carbs from berries, fruits, roots and tubers have been found in numerous fire pits/sites related to hunter-gatherer man.

    Just one example from the American Dental Association.

    http://jada.ada.org/cgi/content/abstract/99/4/642
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2009
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