Hello My Friends
Welcome To The Vitality Project!
As a professional health coach concerned with the health and well-being of my clients it is my intention to improve your well-being and longevity by using the principles of nutrition, fitness, diet, lifestyle dynamics, and anti-aging medicine.
There has been a great deal of information published in the media regarding the use of vitamin-D and the risk of developing disease like osteoporosis, cancer and heart disease. The question still remains is weather we need to take vitamin-D supplements to reduce the risk of disease.
New research published in the Journal, The Lancet researchers conducted a meta-analysis study, where they pooled the results of various studies and collectively analyzed these results. The analysis included 23 different studies which involved 4082 woman (92% female) who had an average age of 59. The researchers measured the blood concentrations of vitamin-D, bone mineral content of various sites and the average daily dosages of vitamin-D taken by the subjects.
The researchers found that after the meta-analysis was performed, there was a small benefit of vitamin-D supplementation on bone density in the hip but not in the spine, forearm or total body. Although this study is rather interesting with the references it makes to vitamin-D supplementation and bone mineral density, there are a few problems with it.
Firstly, the dosage range of vitamin-D supplementation that was used by the subjects varied greatly between studies with at least 10 studies where the subjects used a daily dosage of 800 IU or less. This is a problem because if the dosage of vitamin-D was not adequate, there would be much less influence upon bone mineral density.
Secondly, the researchers only measured bone mineral density and not fracture risk. The effects upon vitamin-D and fracture risk are not the same as the effects of vitamin-D and bone mineral density. The more important information relates to weather the use of vitamin-D can decreased the risk of fracture.
Thirdly, the researchers measured a concept which can be misleading at best. For example, vitamin-D influences the blood levels of calcium by effecting it’s absorption from the gut and influencing it’s excretion from the kidney. It would have made much more sense if the researchers had studied the effects of calcium and vitamin-D upon fracture risks because these nutrients work in tandem and not separately to affect bone metabolism. As previously reported in the scientific literature, vitamin-D and calcium supplements can positively affect the risk of fracture.
Fourthly, the average age of the subjects was 59 years of age. Although these subjects were older female white adults and their risk for fracture was higher, in comparison woman over the age of 70 have a much higher fracture risk.
Vitamin-D is relatively scarce in our food supply as the best sources remain oily fish and fish liver oils. The recommended amounts necessary for good health range from 600-800 IU per day (ages 51->70). In the most vulnerable sector of our society are white females over the age of 65. These people are much more likely to have a vitamin-D deficiency based upon less tie spent outdoors or inadequate vitamin-D intake. Older adults suffering from gastro-intestinal disease, malabsorption or chronic medication use are also a greater risk of developing a vitamin-D deficiency.
It would also seem very likely that the same group of people would have issues with the amounts of necessary calcium required to maintain strong bones. This is exactly the case when most senior folk are not able to get adequate amounts of calcium from their diet. Even in people who have normal calcium intakes, if there is an inadequate amount of vitamin-D being ingested through the diet, the effects of calcium upon bone density and subsequent fracture risk will be minimized.
The effects of vitamin-D upon the risk of cancer, immune dysfunction and heart disease cannot be under-estimated.
Some media such as the CBC have recently indicated that nutritional supplements are worthless and lack scientific evidence of safety or effectiveness.
I beg to differ and such is the case with Vitamin-D….it remains as one of the most common nutrients humans are deficient in.
There is also ample evidence that Vitamin-D is safe, cheap and effective at keeping us healthy.
It’s time we started paying attention to it!
Remember….the quality of life is the measurement of successful living regardless of your age.
Dr. Kevin. J. McLaughlin
Clinical Director: The Vitality Project