by Jim Healthy
December 21, 2010
is a noted health reporter and author.
During his 35-year
writing career, Jim has helped break the news about the
biggest healing discoveries of the past 30 years,
including glucosamine-chondroitin, fish oil, omega-3
foods, and olive oil, as well as the inflammatory
effects of eating refined carbs
and processed food
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Most democracies adhere to the rule of
"innocent until proven guilty."
But when it comes to
vitamin D, this
tenet has just been reversed.
"The onus is on the people who
propose extra calcium and vitamin D to show it is safe before
they push it on people," announced Christopher Gallagher MD, of
the Creighton University School of Medicine in Omaha, Nebraska.
Dr. Gallagher is echoing the
recent pronouncement from The
Institute of Medicine's (IOM) Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) stating
that calcium and vitamin D supplements are unnecessary and
This is in direct contradiction to
numerous research studies showing
that lower blood concentrations of vitamin D increase the risk
of hip fractures in menopausal women by up to 70%.
This was no small study, either. It involved 40,000 participants.
And it is widely known that vitamin D and calcium work
synergistically to improve bone health.
What's even more troubling is that the mainstream media is jumping
all over the story concluding that, "vitamin D is now dangerous."
Not a single one...
Thousands of studies over the past decade show that that higher
doses of vitamin D are protective for,
Indeed, low levels of vitamin D actually
increase the risk of dying from all causes by 150%, according to
findings published in Nutrition Research.
"In addition, a large meta-analysis
involving 13,331 men and women published in 2010 known as the
Third National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES
III) confirm that vitamin D supplementation is associated with
These results grabbed headlines around
the world when they were published.
guidelines are way too low
If you want to optimize your vitamin D levels - and not just for the
bone benefits - supplementing is crucial. But it's nearly impossible
to significantly raise your vitamin D levels when supplementing at
the FNB's meager 600 IU/day.
Citing just two of the hundreds of recently published studies on
Japanese researchers (Urashima,
et. al.) gave 1,200 IU/day of vitamin D3 to Japanese
10-year-olds in a randomized controlled trial for six
months. They found the vitamin D dramatically reduced the
incidence of influenza A and asthma attacks compared to the
Likewise, a randomized
controlled study of adults conducted by Professor Joan
Lappe at Creighton University showed dramatic
improvements in the health of internal organs when more than
double the FNB's new recommendations were administered.
An extremely biased
and narrow-minded report
Obviously, the FNB committee did not read the recent medical
literature or consult today's leading vitamin D researchers.
However, it did read a number of previously written opinions from
such luminaries as Professor Robert Heaney of Creighton and
Harvard University's Dr. Walter Willett at Harvard, one of
the most respected nutritionist in the world.
But incredibly, these opinions were excluded from the new FNB
recommendations. And the FNB committee never explained why.
vitamin D should you take?
According to Dr. Heaney:
"There is an impressive body of
scientific evidence supporting levels higher than the IOM panel
is currently recommending, and for reasons that are not entirely
clear, the panel has discounted that evidence.
"The public needs to know (this) evidence exists so that they
can make up their own minds. It's helpful in making those
decisions, to know that intakes higher than the IOM recommends
are safe. For me, that makes the decision easy. Even if the
evidence for a higher intake were uncertain (and I don't believe
it is), intakes 2-5 times the IOM recommendations would carry a
good chance for benefit at essentially no cost and no risk."
So why the new lower
The news of vitamin D's protective benefits have caused sales to
soar, growing faster than any supplement, according to
The Nutrition Business Journal.
Sales rose 82% from 2008 to 2009, reaching $430 million.
Is the drug
industry green with envy - or afraid of the competition?
One leading vitamin D authority estimates that higher doses would
reduce US cancer costs alone by $50 billion per year - and I don't
believe the drug industry wants to see that happen.
Big Pharma and
Big Government have been trying to
confiscate our vitamins for decades. Bad news such as this bogus
vitamin D story usually precedes a big legislative push.
So keep your eyes open - and your pen