MD and I have been subsumed by the whirlwind we’ve been in since our arrival in New York a couple of days ago. It seems as if we’ve trekked from first one meeting to the next without a break in between. I haven’t had time to post, and I’m woefully behind on answering and posting comments that have come in (about 80 at last count). If you’ve sent a comment and wondered why it has apparently vanished, now you know why. Don’t despair. I think I’ll have some down time this weekend so that I can catch up.
It’s been a while since I’ve been to New York in December, and I hadn’t remembered how short the days are and how dark and overcast as compared to Santa Barbara and Lake Tahoe, both places of almost constant sunshine. While contemplating this lack of sun I came across an article (actually a letter in response to an earlier article) in the journal Epidemiology and Infection that I found interesting and wanted to pass along. (Unfortunately there is no abstract for this article, so I’m not providing a link.)
Dr. John Aloia and his group at the Bone Mineral Research Center at Winthrop University Hospital in New York reported on a three-year study they had done on 208 African American postmenopausal women (a group at great risk of vitamin D deficiency) who were supplemented with either vitamin D or a placebo. For the first two years the active group received 800 IU daily, which was increased to 2,000 IU daily in the last year of the study. In the three years of the study 34 patients reported cold and flu symptoms, eight in the supplemented group and 26 in the placebo group (p<0.002). This showed that participants who got a placebo had a 300-percent greater risk of having a cold or flu, and that vitamin D supplementation provided a highly significant protective effect.
I’ve been planning a major post on vitamin D for over a year now, but it seems as if every time I turn around there is a new paper that I want to incorporate. I’m still planning the post, but for now (especially after experiencing first hand just how weak and watery the sunlight is in northern climes) I wanted to get this brief note up to encourage everyone to take vitamin D3 at least during the winter months. There is abundant evidence that vitamin D helps prevent cancer, heart disease, colds and flus, along with a host of other disorders…and even helps people lose weight. Vitamin D3 is the optimal form in which to take this supplement. I would recommend at least 5,000 IU per day.
We will soon have a 5,000 IU dose up for sale on our website, and lest you think this post is a cheesy attempt at selling supplements, let me assure you that no one ever got rich selling vitamin D3. It is dirt cheap. It’s just that the 5,000 IU dosages are difficult to find, and many people hate taking a handful of large capsules to get that amount, so we searched out a source to make available to our readers. We actually have the supplement in the warehouse, we just don’t have it up on the website yet. And I don’t have a clue how to get it there, but I’ll get someone who does to get it up as soon as I can.
Wherever you get it, just get it and start taking it. And don’t worry about vitamin D toxicity. An excellent review article in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition about a year ago showed that based on a large number of studies a dosage of 10,000 IU per day would not be toxic in the long run. So, if you only take one supplement this winter, make it vitamin D3.