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Monday Musings: Vitamin D, Toxic Strawberries, New PUFAs Coming Soon

Posted By Mark Sisson On December 6, 2010 @ 9:45 am In Health,Sun Exposure | 36 Comments

A quick look at Google Trends [7] shows a clear, undeniable trend: that of regular folks armed with curiosity, questions, and Internet connections taking their health into their own hands and searching for information on “vitamin D.” Search traffic for the keywords is at an all-time high, having steadily increased for years. But just as people are discovering importance of getting enough vitamin D, either through sunshine or supplementation, out comes the official paltry new vitamin D guidelines [8].

As far as I’m concerned, vitamin D deficiency is one the biggest health issues in this country. I’ve written extensively on the topic here [9], here [10], here [11] and here [12]. I’ll continue to get sunlight when it’s available and supplement when it’s not. And I’m sure my fellow paleo bloggers will do the same. (As mentioned yesterday [13], Dr. Davis does a good job explaining exactly how paltry the new recommendations are [14].) This is a perfect example of why we distance ourselves from CW [15]. What do you say? Has the latest report changed how you view vitamin D?

Next on the musings list, California strawberry lovers may want to consider – if they haven’t already – sourcing organic, local, or homegrown berries from now on. State regulators just approved [16] the usage of methyl iodide, a potent pesticide, in place of methyl bromide, which wasn’t too shabby in the first place. Methyl iodide is applied directly to the soil, and it’s water-soluble, meaning there’s a darn good chance it makes its way into the water table where it can be enjoyed by everyone. There’s also the fact that it contains an iodine atom, which, as you know, is the mineral our thyroid glands use for production of thyroid hormone. After the Chernobyl disaster, area thyroid glands took up highly toxic radio-iodide because it looked an awful lot like normal, awesome iodine, and the result was widespread incidence of thyroid cancer. Now, methyl iodide isn’t as toxic as radio-iodide, but, as this paper (PDF [17]) comparing the toxicities of methyl iodide and methyl bromide to each other shows, all of methyl iodide’s toxic effects happen via the thyroid.

Last, for those of you who yearn for the soothing, nourishing taste of vegetable oil but fear its oxidative potential, scientists at UCLA have just devised a method [18] for stabilizing PUFAs. Replacing the fragile, defenseless hydrogen atoms with deuterium (an isotope of hydrogen with an extra neutron) atoms seems to remove the oxidative potential of the polyunsaturated fatty acids while preserving their function in the body. Hmm. Even if I trusted their claim that these new fats would act just like normal PUFAs [19], only without the oxidation, I’d still pass. Heck, the main problem is that we get too much total omega-6 [20] in our diets, oxidized or deuterium-stabilized. No thanks.

Should we change our stance of vitamin D? Does methyl iodide warrant planting your own strawberries? Are you going to start whipping up batches of deuterium-enhanced mayo? Let me know in the comment board and Grok on! [21]


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[7] Google Trends: http://www.google.com/trends?q=vitamin+d&ctab=0&geo=all&date=all&sort=0

[8] official paltry new vitamin D guidelines: http://www.iom.edu/Reports/2010/Dietary-Reference-Intakes-for-Calcium-and-Vitamin-D/Press-Release.aspx

[9] here: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/deconstructing-vitamin-d/

[10] here: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/vitamin-d-sun-exposure-supplementation-and-doses/

[11] here: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/vitamin-d-confounding-factors/

[12] here: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/vitamin-d-loose-ends/

[13] mentioned yesterday: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/weekend-link-love-120/

[14] does a good job explaining exactly how paltry the new recommendations are: http://heartscanblog.blogspot.com/2010/11/what-institute-of-medicine-should-have.html

[15] CW: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/the-definitive-guide-to-conventional-wisdom/

[16] just approved: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/12/02/BAOQ1GKKKN.DTL

[17] PDF: http://archive.panna.org/files/ToxicityComparison_MeI_v_MeBr_0.pdf

[18] scientists at UCLA have just devised a method: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101202124620.htm

[19] PUFAs: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/polyunsaturated-fat/

[20] omega-6: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/nuts-omega-6-fats/

[21] Grok on!: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/what-does-it-mean-to-grok-on/

[22] 7-Day Course on the Primal Blueprint Fundamentals for Lifelong Health: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/subscribe-to-blog/

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