Vitamin D Update

Anyone who has been following this newsletter for a while will recognize that I am back to one of my favorite topics, vitamin D. The truth is that studies on the benefits of vitamin D never cease to amaze me.

Here I’ll cover two interesting studies. The first one (Nutr Cancer 2005; 51: 32-6) looked at 15 men previously treated for prostate cancer who experienced a recurrence. They were each given 2,000 IU of vitamin D a day for 10 months with no other treatment. Three of these patients experienced a drop in PSA – the blood marker used to monitor prostate cancer progression – while the others experienced an average 75% slowdown in its rate of growth. Quite an impressive finding!

While this is a small study and definitive conclusions cannot be drawn from it, to me it’s enough of an indication to include vitamin D, a completely non-toxic substance, in any type of
treatment strategy for prostate cancer. Not only will it not interfere with other treatments but with vitamin D you only get added benefits!

Considering all that we are learning about this vitamin and its health-enhancing and anticancer effects, I feel that maintaining an adequate status of vitamin D and correcting any possible deficiency is an essential step in maintaining health for everyone.

In the second study (Brain Res Bull. 2005 Mar 15; 65 (2): 141-8) Australian researchers discovered that maternal vitamin D deficiency permanently damages the brains of baby rats.

Unfortunately, supplementing vitamin D to the babies does not reverse the damage.

Although this is a rat study, its conclusions are very likely to apply to humans as well and the authors noted that vitamin D deficiency is very common in young women – an unfortunate consequence of modern society’s sun phobia. In addition, prenatal vitamins do not contain nearly enough vitamin D to correct possible deficiencies.

According to the authors, appropriate sun exposure or supplementation at effective doses could help prevent an as-yet-undetermined percentage of neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders in children.

If you wish to learn more on vitamin D and its benefits, you can search my website for articles I have written in the past about it. You can also go to for extensive information on vitamin D and regular research updates. The fact is that, while excessive exposure to the sun has its dangers, it only takes a few minutes of daily sun exposure (without sun block) to provide all the vitamin D we need.

Diet is simply not an adequate source of this important vitamin, and most over-the-counter supplements have been designed with insufficient vitamin D because of old misconceptions concerning potential vitamin D toxicity. It seems now that supplementation in the range of 1,000 to 2,000 IU per day is a good starting point but several times this amount may be needed to correct a deficiency.

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