Posts Tagged ‘vitamin D’

Vitamin D fights off colds, obesity, cancer … really? The newest miracle vitamin.

Monday, March 16th, 2009

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

OK, I think this vitamin D craze is getting a little out of hand.  Every few days there’s some sort of study indicating it helps something new.  The latest I’ve seen is that eating less of the stuff was associated with fatter teens.  Eat more? You might have fewer colds.

I type “vitamin D” in Google news. Low levels are linked to mental decline, poor bone health, more cancer, and in teens, an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease and hypertension.

Have we found the miracle drug?

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Sun, cancer and vitamin D: American Academy of Dermatology releases position statement

Monday, December 8th, 2008

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

The benefits of vitamin D are many.  Fighting off rickets, osteoporosis, cancers, type 2 diabetes and heart disease are just a few.  Used to, everyone got enough vitamin D from sunshine.  But, now, there is a problem.  Skin cancers, including the deadly melanoma, are on the rise, and UV sunlight is a major risk factor.  We don’t know how much sun we can get, if any, without an increased risk.  We are also not sure how much vitamin D is ideal, but the trend is for more.

What is a person to do?

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Autism is higher in rainy counties of Washington, Oregon and California. Are you kidding?

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

This new study, relating autism to increased precipitation, is a classic “scare of the day” news story.  You will see it everywhere.  Some people will latch onto it as a factual cause of autism, but you will never hear if it is disproven.  Don’t get me wrong.  The researchers should publish it.  It is interesting, but it is a starting point and nothing more.

We know little about causes or risk factors for autism.  So you have to start somewhere looking for clues.  The researchers started with a hypothesis that there could be some environmental trigger.  They scoured state records in Washington, Oregon and northern California, looking for autistic children 6 to 12 years old.  Then they looked at where the child was living and how much precipitation that area got when the child was under age 3. They found that more autistic children grew up on the rainy side of the states. (In case you didn’t know, it rains a lot on the coastal side of these areas, but much less east of the mountain range in the middle.)

But what does that really mean? Rain causes autism?  Nature is against us?  A few years back researchers found that more men with prostate cancer had undergone a vasectomy.  Later studies found it was just a coincidence.  So why do cross-sectional studies like this in the first place?

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Doctors should encourage breastfeeding. Best for mother, baby. All groups agree.

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

Want to give your baby the best?  Feed him/her only mother’s milk for the first 12 months.  An added incentive is it helps the mother’s health, also.  I thought everybody knew breastfeeding was the ideal until a woman asked me if the new report from the Annals of Internal Medicine , which reiterates this, was accurate.  October’s Annals updates previous recommendations by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force that health-care providers should do all they can to actively support breast feeding.

Why do they feel the need to call for more support?

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Double recommended dose of vitamin D for kids, says American Academy of Pediatrics

Monday, October 13th, 2008

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

The new miracle vitamin is D.  I have read study after study lately touting the positive effects (decrease cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, heart disease, etc.)  of an adequate amount.  The problem is that no one knows how much is adequate.  Most agree that current recommendations are too low.  You can get it from the sun, but at the increased risk of skin cancer.  It is very difficult to get enough in your diet, even with added supplementation in food, such as milk.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAD) agrees that kids need more and has changed its daily recommendations from 200 IU to 400 IU.  Why do they think more is needed?

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“Sun kills!” “Sun provides vitamin D!” How much is too much? The controversy.

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

by James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

If you ask most dermatologists how much sun should you get, they’ll probably say “none.” In fact, a dermatology professor at a medical school was fired a few years back after publicly touting sun exposure for vitamin D a little too much.

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