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Old 03-10-2010, 11:37 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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A Cook says you can't get enough D from food

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Old 03-10-2010, 01:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: A Cook says you can't get enough D from food

Cooking corner: Sunshine is the best source of vitamin D

Helen Taylor Smith

guest columnist

Published: 01:45PM March 9th, 2010



Good health is not just about recipes and cooking, for eating food without thought to the nutrients your body needs can lead to serious health problems.
For that reason, I have chosen to make you aware of the importance of vitamin D and the knowledge that not enough can be obtained from your daily food consumption.
Scientists and nutrition experts from various countries are of the consensus that about two-thirds of the world population does not get enough vitamin D on a daily basis. Three hundred thirty-four experts who researched vitamin D from 23 countries agreed that insufficient vitamin D is a serious public health problem.
Those scientists and nutrition researchers meet every three years, either in North America or Europe, to discuss their findings.
For those of us in the Pacific Northwest, estimates of nearly 60 percent of our population are affected due to our limited sunshine. That’s the best source of vitamin D, but we don’t get the bright sun on a daily basis, even in the summer months, that’s needed to absorb enough UV rays. If we did, no more than 15 to 20 minutes of sun exposure about three times per week on bare skin would be needed to provide up to 10,000 international units a day from solar radiation.
The body will only absorb and synthesize the amount of vitamin D from the sun that it requires. It will stop when that time is reached.
Research indicates that vitamin D deficiency is implicated in heart disease, stroke, hypertension, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, depression, chronic pain, osteoarthritis, prevention and treatment of osteoporosis, periodontal disease, calcium and other degradations of aging.
Dr. Reinhold Vieth, professor of Nutritional Sciences, Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at the University of Toronto, said people who live far from the equator may be affected with a wide range of physical problems due to not being able to absorb enough UV rays to maintain high vitamin D levels.
One cannot get enough vitamin D from food intake per day, so obtaining it from supplements may be necessary. Cholecalciferol vitamin D3 is the supplement to take; no prescription is required.
Tanning beds are a potential option for people who live in northern climates, but Dr. Michael Holick of Boston University advises people to be certain the tanning salon bed puts out only UVB rays with medium pressure lamps that won’t provide much of a tan but plenty of vitamin D.
Just the opposite is true with high-pressure lamps. They won’t make any vitamin D but will give a tan.
Holick suggests limiting the time spent to 30 to 50 percent of regular times, in order to use the tanning bed for better protection.
Seasonal Affective Disorder lights won’t help to produce vitamin D, because they don’t emit UVB rays. Holick said people who have cystic fibrosis, Crohn’s disease or those who have had intestinal bypass surgery have difficulty absorbing vitamin D even in supplements, so a Sperti lamp or tanning bed as described above may work best for them.
Dr. Robert Heaney, professor at Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha, Neb., said if vitamin D is not present, dietary calcium may not be efficiently absorbed. Vitamin D controls the levels of calcium in the blood, so if there’s insufficient calcium, it may be taken from bone, which could cause severe problems that affect people of all ages.
Testing for vitamin D deficiency is most important. The only blood test is 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D), and both children and adult test levels should be above 50 ng/mi year-round for optimal daily health. Below that level, the body uses up vitamin D as fast as it’s made, or as fast you supplement with it.
Just how much vitamin D is needed is a controversial question. It can depend on age, sex, degree of sun exposure, latitude, time of day and year and light, or darkness of skin. Also, each person converts vitamin D3 supplements into biologically active D differently.
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition ran an editorial endorsed by 14 vitamin D experts from eight countries who all made a plea for higher intakes of vitamin D, suggesting 1000 IU per day is optimal for most people. Some suggest even higher intakes.
But get the blood test done first, and follow your health practitioner’s guidance.
Taking care of your health should be your No. 1 priority. For more information, visit www.vitamindcouncil.org.
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