Thursday , June 8 2023

GIFFORD-JONES: What can a psychiatrist say about vitamin D?


Come winter, how much do we need vitamin D? How long do you have to spend in the sunlight to get adequate quantities? How Does Obesity Affect Dose? How many diseases can be prevented by adequate amounts of this vitamin? And what can a psychiatrist tell us about this vital vitamin?

Years ago we reported that Dr. Catherine Gordon, a pediatric professor at the Harvard Medical School, tested adolescent levels of vitamin D between 11 and 18 years of age. She found that 14% of these teenagers had vitamin D deficiency. Today, about 30% of adults are low in D.

Dr Glenn Braunstein, professor of medicine at the University of California, said her research was a wake-up call. She has shown that not only is the home or elderly in health care homes that are receiving sunburn.

In the 19th century, a large number of children suffered from rickets because of the lack of sunlight. To address this problem, children with rickets were taken for long journeys on what was called the "Boston Floating Hospital" to expose them to the health benefits of the sun.

Today we know that adequate amounts of vitamin D in the gut are needed to absorb calcium and keep the bones strong. Vitamin D also acts on bone cells to release calcium and maintain the normal blood levels of this important mineral.

Maybe a lack of vitamin D to protect against infections? You would expect to receive this response from an infectious disease expert, not a psychiatrist. But Dr. John Campbell, a US psychiatrist, noted that when the 2005 flu epidemic hit Criminal Insane Hospital, the infection relieved patients taking vitamin D!

Another researcher, Dr. Mitsuyoshi Urasima, professor of Epidemiology in Japan, wrote in the American Journal of Nutrition that patients who received 1200 IU D were less likely to develop influenza than those who did not receive them.

Dr. Jo Ann Manson, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, reports strong evidence that high levels of vitamin D in blood protect against colon cancer.

A large US study designed to measure the health benefits of vitamin D and fish oil supplements found that omega-3 oil can reduce the chances of a heart attack. However, the benefits of vitamin D seem to stem from a decrease in the risk of death from cancer. The study also found that neither fish oil nor vitamin D reduced the chances of having a stroke or getting cancer.

To get another opinion, we interviewed Dr. Andrew Saul, chief editor of the Orthomolecular News Service, a global vitamin authority. Saul says that colon cancer is clearly linked to vitamin D deficiency. He adds that insufficient vitamin D levels are also associated with ovarian cancer. And research by the National Library of Medicine shows that there are 300 articles on how vitamin D helps fight prostate and breast cancer.

Dr. Michael Holick of the University of Boston, an authority on vitamin D, believes vitamin D is the greatest strength in its role in fighting cancer. He says studies show that people living in larger latitudes who have a lower sun exposure have an increased risk of dying from almost all types of cancer, especially breast, colon, prostate and skin cancer.

Since we've been approaching the winter, I asked Dr. Saul about the seasonal affection, a condition that people feel "psychologically down" during the winter months. Saul says vitamin D acts as a mood stabilizer. He recommends vitamin D to fight this disorder.

In Saul's book, written by Dr. Abram Hoffer, "Orthomolecular Medicine for All", he says that lack of vitamin D is also associated with psoriasis that can be treated with current vitamin D and that a D deficiency is also related to diabetes, heart failure and hypertension.

But not most of us get enough vitamin D from the sun? We have a few, but not as much as you think. It depends on where you live. For example, if you live at an altitude over 35 degrees north, including Boston, Philadelphia and all of Canada, sunlight production of vitamin D will cease from October to the end of February. Because of the sun's rays, you could sit out naked all day and not get enough sunlight to produce vitamin D!

What is the right dose? The answer is not easy because there is a debate. Obese people need more vitamin D as fat keeps them, which makes it less available to the body. Dr. Saul claims that 10,000 IU per day are safe. Others suggest a dose between 1,000 and 3,000 IU daily. So, check with your doctor.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The column is not a medical counseling and does not have the purpose of diagnosing, treating, preventing or curing the disease. Contact your doctor. The information provided is for informational purposes only and is the sole opinion of the author. See For comments; [email protected]

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