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Vitamin D Controversy

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Paleobird View Post
    When I dared to express this very thing on "The Vitamin D Thread" on the Odds and Ends section I got royally jumped all over. I did a little digging into the Vitamin D Council. Every single one of their listed sponsors sells either vitamin D or Vitamin D testing kits. Why is it that we will rant about the evils of Big Pharma but when Big Vita (the gazillion $/yr supplement industry) tells us we are Deficient, GASP!, where is my debit card?
    Amen, sister! Guess I'm glad I haven't been jumped on yet. I got jumped a bit on another thread recently and it sure doesn't feel nice.
    The Paleo Periodical
    It's not a Diet. It's a lifestyle.

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    • #17
      It does seem likely to me that we evolved in the presence of high circulating levels of vitamin D. If I recall correctly, the other miracle vitamins that have been touted were usually based on retrospective human studies where they would say, for example, people who ate the most Vitamin E had the least Alzheimers....or something like that. Then suddenly everyone would be cramming vitamin E down their throats. I think there is just more evidence on a both a basic scientific level and from looking at the amounts of Vitamin D we would have if we lived in our natural environment, outdoors in the sun. The other difference with D is we can actually measure the deficiency in most people, where the wasn't really true with other vitamins.

      But for me, the real kicker is how I feel. There is a clear difference in my health if I am vitamin D sufficient.
      Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )

      http://www.krispin.com/lectin.html

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      • #18
        My story

        I have (mild) congestive heart failure and diabetes.

        About a year and a half ago, I lost a tooth. My body reabsorbed it. My CW doc said to take calcium, which I did. 1000 IU.

        After I joined MDA, Cillakat convinced me I should be taking vitamin D. I did (4000 IU) and stopped taking calcium. I am convinced that my skin, hair, respiration, etc. have improved. I have only had two mild colds this winter. No flu. Knock on wood.

        But I still craved dairy and ate far more than I should to lose weight. About two weeks ago, i thought I was coming down with a cold. Actually, I think I was coming down with one. So i started taking ~20,000 IU of D per day. The cold never happened. But, more importantly, no craving for dairy. Might sprinkle a tablespoon of good pastured cheese on a dish. Still put some cream in my coffee. But it is not half coffee/half cream. So, IMHO, I was getting more than enough calcium but not utilizing it because of not enough D.

        I have cut way back on supplements. But no way I will ever get as much sun as Grok did.
        Ancestral Health Info

        I design websites and blogs for a living. If you would like a blog or website designed by someone who understands Primal, see my web page.

        Primal Blueprint Explorer My blog for people who are not into the Grok thing. Since starting the blog, I have moved close to being Archevore instead of Primal. But Mark's Daily Apple is still the best source of information about living an ancestral lifestyle.

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        • #19
          Well for what it's worth I've had all the anecdotal benefits of Vit D that others claim, but who knows, it's not a study and I changed other things as well. Still - less sunburn, first year of no flu and no cavities, much less winter blues (and wow it has been brutal!) etc. I may have spent $15 on D pills in total. My 2c.
          If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/ and this (personal fave): http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

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          • #20
            I don't know how low mine had gotten, but the first time it got tested, after I'd been supplementing for six months or more, it was 28. If your levels stay high without supplements, OK! Not all of us can do that. But, I'm North of the 45th parallel in the rainy Pacific Northwest.

            If you don't trust the Vitamin D Council, try the Heart Scan Blog on vitamin D.

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            • #21
              I think supplementing can be a good idea, but I've watched a parade of supposedly crucial, critical vitamins pass by, fads that come and go like skinny jeans and mullets. Megadoses of vitamin C, A, E, now D & K2 (remember beta-carotene? B-12 shots? Oat bran? Calcium's still all over the place, but its star is fading...Viactiv chews'll never be as much fun as drinking a box of wine for the resveratrol!)

              I'm not opposed to any of them, but there's no urgency about, say, Vitamin E supplementation the way there is about Vitamin D, these days. Why?)

              I think supplements are valuable to put us back into balance, post-SAD. But indefinitely, in megadoses? Probably not necessary for most people. But who knows?

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              • #22
                Supplements are not a public service. They are a gazillion dollar a year Industry. They make money when you buy supplements regardless of the price of one bottle.

                But we are all deficient in vitamin D.
                How do you know that?
                Because this study said so.
                And who paid for that study?
                Um, the people who are selling Vitamin D.

                Why does this not bother people?

                And as for the argument that people in northern latitudes will always need supplementation. I seem to remember a bunch of folks a while back called the Vikings. They lived way up north and kicked some serious tail, all with no Vitamin D capsules.

                I'm not now nor was I ever saying that vitamin D deficiency does not exist in some people some times. I'm just saying that is has been made a catch all self diagnosis for every conceivable malady. Most Vitamin D deficiency could easily be cured by people getting out from behind their computers and getting outside more often.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Paleobird View Post
                  Most Vitamin D deficiency could easily be cured by people getting out from behind their computers and getting outside more often.
                  See - that's a statement with even less evidence than the studies you are dissing. And - you don't live in the NE, do you? because getting outdoors regularly ain't that easy in winter, and you don't get all that much sun when you do. BTW my sister was diagnosed with "fibromyalgia" - a made up disease with no known cause or cure - totally cured with a megadose of D and regular sups at 2,000 IU. The disadvantages of dosing with D? I haven't really seen or heard of any yet. I mean, I like your skepticism but you've got no evidence to back your skepticism other than the fact that you've been burned in the past by B and E. And anecdotally, D seems to be good for me and my immediate family, with almost no cost and zero side effects.
                  If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/ and this (personal fave): http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

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                  • #24
                    Paleobird, I absolutely share your skepticism about the supplement industry and supplementation in general. I specifically detest the "nutrient-chasing" mentality of conventional medical thought that fitmom mentions. I'll only consider supplementing things that have a reason to be deficient even in the face of an ideal diet, like magnesium (b/c our soils are so deficient that even a perfect diet can't supply enough to make up my lifelong overuse of it to feed my lifelong sugar habit). D is one of those things b/c of our sun phobia. I think about Vikings a lot, too - they, and other Northern peoples, consumed vast quantities of fat soluble vitamins (A, D, K) via oily animals of the sea, and they were outside a great deal more than we are. Anyone who is not very fair is at an even greater risk of deficiency at northern latitudes.

                    This is only tentative anecdotal evidence, but my husband started taking D a few weeks ago, and within two weeks, the eczema he's had for decades is nearly gone. He's off of it now to see if it comes back. The D was the only change he made. We like experimenting with ourselves, lol.

                    I personally intend to continue increasing my family's un"protected" outdoor skin time forever - but keep my mind open to D supplementation when we don't succeed.
                    5'4" 39yo mother to five sweeties & married to their AMAZING DaddyGrok
                    Current Weight: 175lb__________________________________Goal: 135lb
                    Deadlift: 240lb________________________________________Back Squat: 165lb
                    Bench: 130lb__________________________________________Pre ss: 85lb
                    ***Winning a 20-year war against binge eating disorder***

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                    • #25
                      I live in the Northeast U.S., I'm dark-skinned, I have an office job, and even in the summer I don't feel comfortable wearing revealing clothing. I was severely deficient in Vitamin D a few years ago, and that was the same year that I was really sick and depressed for at least five months. Yes, correlation, not causation, but since taking Vitamin D I haven't gotten sick like I used to during those 'dark ages,' and my depression never gets so bad.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Paleobird View Post
                        Supplements are not a public service. They are a gazillion dollar a year Industry. They make money when you buy supplements regardless of the price of one bottle.

                        But we are all deficient in vitamin D.
                        How do you know that?
                        Because this study said so.
                        And who paid for that study?
                        Um, the people who are selling Vitamin D.

                        Why does this not bother people?

                        And as for the argument that people in northern latitudes will always need supplementation. I seem to remember a bunch of folks a while back called the Vikings. They lived way up north and kicked some serious tail, all with no Vitamin D capsules.

                        I'm not now nor was I ever saying that vitamin D deficiency does not exist in some people some times. I'm just saying that is has been made a catch all self diagnosis for every conceivable malady. Most Vitamin D deficiency could easily be cured by people getting out from behind their computers and getting outside more often.
                        Looking at things with a suspicious or critical eye is one thing. But, you seem to be summarily dismissing studies based on the people doing them or paying for them and the motives you are projecting on to them, not the actual studies or study design or results. My vet has a vested interest in the services they promote and offer that ALSO happen to offer some benefit to my pets....I don't not vaccinate or not spay/neuter because my vet is obviously biased to have me do these things so they can line their greedy little pockets. </sarcasm>
                        Heather and the hounds - Make a Fast Friend, Adopt a Greyhound!

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                        • #27
                          In my field, we talk about the relative cost of false positives versus false negatives (action versus inaction, in this case). On the one hand, you might waste $15 on a little bottle of placebo pills. On the other hand, it might boost your immune system, brain function, bone health, etc. as claimed, or it might only do one of those things. No one has convinced me there is any real downside to taking D.
                          I will be interested to see more studies too but what's out there is enough to convince me to take action.
                          If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/ and this (personal fave): http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

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                          • #28
                            Whatever makes you happy

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Paleobird View Post
                              And as for the argument that people in northern latitudes will always need supplementation. I seem to remember a bunch of folks a while back called the Vikings. They lived way up north and kicked some serious tail, all with no Vitamin D capsules.

                              I'm not now nor was I ever saying that vitamin D deficiency does not exist in some people some times. I'm just saying that is has been made a catch all self diagnosis for every conceivable malady. Most Vitamin D deficiency could easily be cured by people getting out from behind their computers and getting outside more often.

                              http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18767337
                              Vitamin D and living in northern latitudes--an endemic risk area for vitamin D deficiency.

                              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                              http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...2004May20.html

                              Pediatricians scattered around the country have been surprised to see children suffering from rickets, a bone disorder caused by vitamin D deficiency that had been largely relegated to a bygone era. A few doctors have come across adults who were disabled by severe muscle weakness and pain, sometimes for years, until they were treated for undiagnosed vitamin D deficiency. And recent studies suggest low vitamin D may be putting the elderly at higher risk for the bone-thinning disease osteoporosis and life-threatening falls and fractures.

                              But beyond bone and muscle problems, some evidence suggests a dearth of vitamin D may be associated with an array of more serious illnesses, including many forms of cancer, high blood pressure, depression, and immune-system disorders such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes.
                              ***
                              "Imagine you're a space alien looking down on Earth. You have these humans who evolved in the Horn of Africa, as nudists living around the equator. They would have been getting lots of vitamin D through their skin. Then they suddenly . . . move north and put on lots of clothes and block out most of their capacity to make vitamin D," said Reinhold Vieth, a University of Toronto vitamin D researcher. "For me it's a no-brainer. We're not getting enough."
                              ***
                              "All along the northern United States, where we have long winters, a lot of snow, not much sunshine all winter, there is endemic vitamin D deficiency," said Paresh Dandona of the State University of New York at Buffalo, who treated six patients disabled by misdiagnosed vitamin D deficiencies.

                              A number of studies have found what could be disturbingly low levels of vitamin D in many populations, including children, the elderly and women. One federal study of women nationwide found that perhaps nearly half of African American women of childbearing age may be vitamin D deficient.

                              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                              http://www.health.harvard.edu/newswe...-vitamin-d.htm
                              Except during the summer months, the skin makes little if any vitamin D from the sun at latitudes above 37 degrees north (in the United States, the shaded region in the map) or below 37 degrees south of the equator. People who live in these areas are at relatively greater risk for vitamin D deficiency.

                              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~

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                              • #30
                                too much of anything is a bad thing
                                Get on my Level
                                http://malpaz.wordpress.com/

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