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UPCOMING EVENTS, BLOG AND NEW BOOKS
Vitamin D status in newborns and risk of MS in later life
Dec 01, 2016

American Academy of Neurology - MINNEAPOLIS

Babies born with low levels of vitamin D may be more likely to develop multiple sclerosis (MS) later in life than babies with higher levels of vitamin D, according to a study published in the November 30, 2016, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

"More research is needed to confirm these results, but our results may provide important information to the ongoing debate about vitamin D for pregnant women," said study author Nete Munk Nielsen, MD, MSc, PhD, of the State Serum Institute in Copenhagen, Denmark.

In Denmark, dried blood spots samples from newborn screening tests are stored in the Danish National Biobank. Researchers identified everyone in Denmark who was born since April 30, 1981, had onset of MS by 2012 and whose dried blood spots samples were included in the biobank. The blood from those 521 people was then compared to that of 972 people of the same sex and birthday who did not have MS. In this study, newborns with levels of vitamin D less than 30 nanomoles per liter (nmol/L) were considered born with deficient levels. Levels of 30 to less than 50 nmol/L were considered insufficient and levels higher than or equal to 50 nmol/L were considered sufficient.

The study participants were divided into five groups based on vitamin D level, with the bottom group having levels of less than 21 nmol/L and the top group with levels higher than or equal to 49 nmol/L. There were 136 people with MS and 193 people without MS in the bottom group. In the top group, there were 89 people with MS and 198 people without the disease. Those in the top group appeared to be 47 percent less likely to develop MS later in life than those in the bottom group.

full story . . .
Sensible Sun Exposure May Reduce Melanoma Risk, Study Finds
Nov 25, 2016

A recent study outlined both the risks and benefits of sun exposure. Authors say that sensible sun exposure (without getting sun burn) may actually decrease a person's risk of getting melanoma.

Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from being out in the sun is a leading cause of skin cancer in the United States, prompting many people to lather on sunscreen, seek shade or stay indoors altogether. However, a recent study published in the Journal of Dermo-Endocrinology outlined both the risks and benefits of sunlight. Sensible exposure to sunlight is a key proponent to a healthy lifestyle, noted the authors.

“Advising the public to stay out of sunshine is not a smart thing from a public health standpoint, in my opinion,” David G. Hoel, Ph.D., professor at the Medical University of South Carolina and author of the study said in an interview with CURE.

The study cited the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which stated that 32 percent of Americans have a vitamin D insufficiency. Vitamin D is made in the skin when exposed to sunlight and having high enough levels has been shown to have many health benefits, including improved survival rates for breast cancer.

Authors on the study also said that getting the proper amount of sunlight may actually decrease an individual’s risk for getting melanoma.

full story . . .
Oxford County Public Health and Vitamin D Society advocate for vitamin D supplements during the winter months
Nov 24, 2016

Now that more seasonal weather has arrived in Oxford, November is bringing on the grey skies and gloomy days.

But as local residents begin to cover up for the winter, donning those toques and mittens, they’re losing more than just the warmth of the summer.

They’re also losing the chance to soak up vitamin D from the sun.

“Across the board dietitians recommend supplementing for all Canadians during the fall and winter months,” said Katie Neil, a registered dietitian and Oxford County Public Health’s nutritionist.

“That’s basically because it’s impossible to make it through our skin the way that we rely on that function through the summer months.”

Sure, the sun comes out on occasion through the frigid winter, but Canadians don’t leave much skin exposed when temps are below freezing.

“It usually only takes 20 to 30 minutes of exposure, really just on your hands even and your face and neck (to get enough vitamin D),” Neil said. That’s why most people get enough of the nutrient through the summer.”

full story . . .
Are We Getting Too Little Sunlight?
Nov 23, 2016

Researchers say concerns over melanoma may be prompting people to stay out of the sunlight, causing vitamin D deficiencies.

It’s the time of year when most of us yearn for long, sunny days.

Knowing that the sun’s ultraviolet rays can harm our skin, however, means that some of us may avoid sun exposure — something that one professional says could be even more harmful to our health.

David G. Hoel, Ph.D., a professor at the Medical University of South Carolina, told Healthline that the risks of sun exposure are only related to sunburn or excessive sun exposure.

“The message of sun avoidance advocated by our government, and some within the medical community, should be changed immediately to a recommendation of regular nonburning sun exposure for most Americans," Hotel added. "The sun is essential for life and should be diligently pursued in moderation, not avoided.”

 

full story . . .
Vitamin D is underestimated, researcher says
Nov 23, 2016

ANAHEIM, Calif. – John J. Cannell, MD, medical director of the Vitamin D Council, illustrated the importance of vitamin D and lack of a consensus on its significance across all areas of medicine here at the Ocular Nutrition Society meeting.

The society held its meeting prior to the American Academy of Optometry meeting.

“[Cannell] is interested in the big picture, what is going on around him and how we can improve the lives of everyone around us,” Stuart Richer, president of the Ocular Nutrition Society, said in the introduction.

 Vitamin D is a steroid hormone that is made by a cholesterol molecule and works by going to the genes and regulating them, Cannell explained.

“There are about 3,000 vitamin D receptors in your body making proteins because a vitamin D receptor told them to, or not making them because that’s what they’ve been told,” Cannell said.

Vitamin D is a hormone just like testosterone or cortisol, he said.

“You have to grasp the seriousness of this: Steroid hormones do a lot of things. They help with brain and eye health and athletic performance and many other processes, and it’s an important thing to know,” he continued.

full story . . .
Children With Autism Benefits From Vitamin D, Study Suggests Sunlight Best Defense For D Deficiency
Nov 23, 2016

The most effective yet neglected source of Vitamin D is natural sunlight exposure. One of its effective benefits is helping the children with autism prevent Vitamin D Deficiency, which could worsen their situation.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a serious mental condition from early childhood that controls the child's social interaction, both verbal and nonverbal communication. It also includes repetitive behaviours and intellectual ability. Children with autism are also associated with health issues and one of them could be Vitamin D Deficiency. Bone pain and muscle weakness are associated with Vitamin D Deficiency.

An Egyptian Research team conducted a study of 109 children with autism disorder. Half of them received vitamin D3 supplement for four months and the other half took a placebo. As a result, children who received vitamin D3 supplement improved the symptoms of autism such as hyperactivity and social isolation. While others with placebo intake didn't show a sight of improvement.

full story . . .
 
Events  
6th international conference - VITAMIN D DEFICIENCY, NUTRITION AND HUMAN HEALTH
Mar 16, 2017        

6th international conference

VITAMIN D DEFICIENCY, NUTRITION AND HUMAN HEALTH

March 16-17, 2017,  Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

For details, please contact: Dr. Afrozul Haq, President of the Conference, Abu Dhabi, UAE

+971505450046 Email: haq2000@gmail.com

 

event details
20th Vitamin D Workshop
Mar 28, 2017        

20th Vitamin D Workshop

2017
 

Orlando, FL - March 28-31, 2017

event details
Blog  
Putting the Risk of Vitamin D Toxicity into Perspective
Mar 31, 2016

by Samantha Kimball, PhD, MLT

Vitamin D is unique among nutrients. Vitamin D is actually more of a hormone than a vitamin. Vitamin D is used by nearly every cell in the body. It can be obtained naturally from the sun or by ingesting it. It was named a “vitamin” when it was discovered that many people were deficient and it could be obtained from their diet, this happened because they were not getting enough from sun exposure. This is more prevalent today than ever.

If you are lucky enough to live near the equator, where you can synthesize vitamin D year-round, and you spend a minimal amount of time unprotected in the sun and fully exposed (15 minutes in a bathing suit) each day, you probably get enough vitamin D from that ball of life in the sky. However, we Canadians are not so lucky. Our northern climate means that in the winter the sun isn’t powerful enough for our bodies to make vitamin D at all and in the summer months, when it is possible to make vitamin D, most people wear sunscreen which blocks the sun and the production of vitamin D. With our extremely limited ability to obtain vitamin D naturally we need to supplement.

There is a continuous debate among vitamin D experts about how much vitamin D you need to take to be healthy. Opinions and comments like “Vitamin D has health benefits,” but “you shouldn’t take too much because it is just too risky!” are confusing and often portrayed in parallel in the media. What is missing is a little perspective.

full post . . .
How much vitamin D should I take?
Jan 14, 2016

This is the most common question for vitamin D. Recommending, calculating or finding the right dose of vitamin D intake for anyone is difficult. That’s because it’s complicated!

Why? Because everyone is different. Different weights, genetics, skin colour, diets, UV exposure etc. What research has shown us is that the same D3 supplementation dose given to a group of people will result in a wide range of vitamin D blood levels as determined through 25(OH)D testing.

Here is a chart published by GrassrootsHealth which shows vitamin D levels by D3 supplementation dose taken. You can see that the same dose provides a huge variation in vitamin D blood levels. How can anyone really predict where you will fall in this chart?

Recently a new Canadian research paper1 was published in the peer reviewed journal Nutrients, by a group of researchers from the University of Alberta (Veuglers 2015). They used a dual approach and a review of 108 published estimates of vitamin D supplementation to determine the optimal vitamin D dose that minimizes the risk for both a low and high vitamin D blood level.

full post . . .
The vitamin D debate is not likely to disappear
Dec 04, 2015

by Samantha Kimball, PhD, MLT

 There seems to be a line drawn in the sand with respect to the debate concerning what the optimal levels of vitamin D are for health, and neither side wants to budge. On one side of the line of the current debate are those who support the recommendations officially set by government agencies.  However, most of the researchers who actively study vitamin D consider the latest official advice to be inadequate.  

There has been contention about the vitamin D recommendations made by the Institute of Medicine (IOM, which advises both Health Canada and the United States Food and Drug Administration).  The IOM released its updated report for vitamin D and calcium in 2010. Yet several groups of vitamin D experts suggest that people should achieve ‘optimal’ levels of vitamin D status, levels that are considerably higher than the ones the IOM recommendations are based on. The IOM’s Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of 600 IU/d was calculated to achieve adequate vitamin D status which was determined to be serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels [25(OH)D] of 50 nmol/L in 97.5% of the population. On the other hand, the Endocrine Society, Osteoporosis Canada, American Geriatrics society and the European Vitamin D Association all recommend target 25(OH)D levels of at least 75 nmol/L. The Vitamin D Society, Grassroots Health and the Vitamin D Council recommend that 25(OH)D levels be maintained above 100 nmol/L which require intakes well above the RDA and even above the tolerable upper level of intake (UL) in overweight and obese individuals. Why would the subject matter experts disagree with the IOM so openly?

full post . . .
Books  

Susan Rex Ryan
Defend Your Life

Defend Your Life has three main sections. The first addresses the fundamentals of vitamin D3 and its awesome benefits as well as minimal risk. The second highlights select diseases and conditions about which vitamin D3 may offer protection. The third includes the author's personal vitamin D3 story, including her theory about adequate vitamin D3 levels and how you can 'Defend Your Life'.

Reading this book will help you understand how adequate amounts of vitamin D3 are essential to enhancing your quality of life.


Ian Wishart
Vitamin D: Is This the Miracle Vitamin?

In this compelling new book,award-winning investigative journalist and bestselling author Ian Wishart brings together the most up to date science on vitamin D and how it could well save your life. Cancer? Up to a 77% reduction in risk of developing it if you take this vitamin. Heart disease? The same kind of reduction. Did you know that autism, mental illness and multiple sclerosis all appear to be caused by a lack of vitamin D during pregnancy?

The lives of every single person, including you, will be affected by the information in this book. With more than 300 scientific trials and studies cited, this book is a reference guide not just for the general reader but for medical professionals alike.


 more books...

PRESS RELEASES
 
SCIENTIFIC ADVISORS

Study Urges Public Health to Embrace Sunlight Benefits

NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Distribution

TORONTO, Ont (November 29, 2016) – Just days after research warned Canadians that vitamin D deficiency was costing Canadian healthcare $12.5B annually by leading to a higher risk of developing life-threatening illnesses, a new study from the US is supporting the Canadian research and challenging conventional sun exposure advice. The study calls for public health organizations to re-evaluate their current message of sun avoidance and to promote non-burning sun exposure for vitamin D and other health benefits.

The recently published study, written by one of the most qualified and diverse groups of researchers in the fields of pigment cell research, photobiology, melanoma research, dermatology and vitamin D, “The Risks and Benefits of Sun Exposure 2016” by David G. Hoel, Marianne Berwick, Frank R. de Gruijl and Michael F. Holick, has found that insufficient sun exposure is an emerging public health risk. 

full press release

Study finds boosting vitamin D could save 23,000 Canadians lives, $12.5 billion in healthcare spending

NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Distribution

Researchers urge national health policy changes to battle Canadian vitamin D deficiency

TORONTO, Ont (November 21, 2016) –  Increasing vitamin D intake could spare 23,000 Canadians premature deaths annually and save Canada $12.5 billion in healthcare spending and associated costs, says a new study on vitamin D deficiency.

The study, published by Dermato-Endocrinology examines the devastating medical and financial toll Canadians suffer because they don’t get enough vitamin D.

“This research really should act as a wake-up call for policy-makers in Canada,” said study co-author Dr. William Grant, a researcher with the Sunlight, Nutrition and Health Research Center in San Francisco, CA. “Thousands of lives and billions of dollars could be saved by bringing in policy changes that promote messaging around safe sun exposure, vitamin D supplement use and eating foods fortified with vitamin D.”

full press release

Vitamin D Day kicks off Vitamin D Awareness Month

NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Distribution

TORONTO, Ont (October 27, 2016) –  With Canadian Vitamin D levels dropping year after year, the Vitamin D Society is kicking off its 8th Annual Vitamin D Awareness Month with Vitamin D Day on Nov 2nd to help spread the message across the country.

The Vitamin D Society is using the month to bring vitamin D deficiency to light for Canadians who may not understand the affects that a lack of vitamin D can have on the human body.

 

“Vitamin D deficiency can lead to a higher risk of serious diseases, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis and others,” says Dr. Gerry Schwalfenberg, Scientific Advisor for the Vitamin D Society and an Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of Alberta. “The month of November is crucial for Canadians because it is the start of our vitamin D winter. The low angle of the sun means that sunlight no longer produces vitamin D in our skin, therefore it’s important to examine your vitamin D levels to ensure your body isn’t at risk.”

 

full press release
 
Dr. Reinhold Vieth

Professor, University of Toronto, Departments of Nutritional Sciences and Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology.


Click to View Dr. Michael Holick, Ph.D., M.D.

Professor of Medicine, Physiology and Biophysics; Director of the General Clinical Research Unit; and Director of the Bone Health Care Clinic and the Director of the Heliotherapy, Light, and Skin Research Center at Boston University Medical Center.


Click to View Carole Baggerly

"Director, GrassrootsHealth, a Public Health Promotion Organization
leading D*action, the world's largest ongoing vitamin D intervention
project.
www.grassrootshealth.net"

 


 more advisors...

Converter Tool

In Canada Vitamin D 25(OH)D levels are measured in nmol/L. In the U.S. it is measured as ng/ml. To convert:

Enter nmol/L: ng/ml
Enter ng/ml: nmol/L