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It was indeed a great opportunity to meet Dr MichaeSo his strong recommendation is to take 50000 IU once in every two weeks for life long😢, irrespective of your diet(non vegetarians too).l F holicks , who is termed as the father of vitamin D here in Chennai over the weekend.He has spent over 40 years in research involving vitamin D and had published more than 700 articles in various Journals.

He is currently the head of Dept of endocrinology in Boston university and holds close to 60 honorarium chairs to his credentials.

This week’s write up is dedicated to him in a way to thank him for educating me and the others about this fascinating compound vitamin D.

I learnt certain key features about vitamin D and wish to share it with you.

D-ficient

1)Across the race, country, culture , social strata , age , sex, BMI, religion one thing is very common and that is vitamin D deficiency. It’s close to 80-90 percent insufficient across populations.

2)Currently routine testing vitamin D is not recommended even in developed nations as the cost of testing is very expensive compared to the treatment

In Indian scenario vitamin D test costs 2000 INR , but yearly supplement of vitamin D can be met with just 300 INR.

3)Vitamin D is not available in milk (even breast milk) unless fortified.

4)Due to some misinterpretation vitamin D fortification was stopped in Europe 40 years back (they mistook Edwards syndrome for vitamin D toxicity due to fortification forcing the federal government to ban it across Europe).

5)vitamin D fortification in milk and edible oil has been approved both by FDA and Indian government recently.

6) recent study in JAMA(Journal of American medical association) by Jia Guo Zhoa showed no difference in reduction in fracture in patients taking vitamin D and others taking none. That triggered huge controversy, but now it’s proved that , that particular study didn’t take adequate vitamin D dosage (they supplemented with a mere 400 IU/day).

7) 11 AM – 2 PM is the best time for getting vitamin D , as the UV-B is at its best.. 10AM -3 PM is still good.

8)Early morning walks in sun is very good for your health but it doesn’t suffice your vitamin D requirement.

9)Not only bones, but muscles , heart,brain, teeth,nerves and pancreas (to produce insulin and prevent diabetes) need vitamin D. Recent studies even reports lower incidence of breast and other cancer in women taking vitamin D supplements.

10)Traditionally family physicians in US ask the parents if they notice sweating over the forehead in the night. That seems to be classical and first sign of deficiency. Bone pain, fatigability and growth pains in children is classical of this disease.

11)Taking calcium leads to renal stone is completely a myth. Calcium citrate actually binds oxalate thereby preventing renal stones. Hence calcium citrate supplements after food can never cause renal stones.

12)Sunscreen with more than SPF 30 blocks all the UV-B required to synthesize vitamin D

13)Macrophages (cells that fight infection) also needs vitamin D , so when adequate it prevents flu, cold, asthma ( this was an interesting observation made with the incidence of these disease more during winter when the sun in very little in northern hemisphere).

14)The best source of vitamin D for vegetarians is sun dried mushrooms and for non vegetarians is oily fish (salmon and mackerel).

15)pollution and low altitude both have negative effect in vitamin D synthesis through sunlight.

16)Bathing after the sun exposure doesnt washes of the synthesised vitamin.

17)Blood levels 30-100IU is normal, anything above 150 is toxic, which is unlikely with sunlight and very rarely with supplements.

18)Earlier it was recommended to take vitamin D in empty stomach and with fatty foods, but currently there is no such recommendation. Anytime is fine.

19)Fracture, bone deformities, diabetes, multiple sclerosis,both rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, CCA, hypertension,peripheral vascular disease, schizophrenia, dementia and depression have all been associated with vitamin D deficiency.

20)Over exposure to sunlight to synthesize vitamin D in countries like Australia and new Zealand have reported higher incidence of squamous cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma.

An app titled dminder.info developed by Dr Holicks (Android and iOS) helps in calculating the duration required based on the latitude and logitude.

So his strong recommendation is to take 50000 IU once in every two weeks for life long😢, irrespective of your diet(non vegetarians too).