March 18, 2009
Low Vitamin D Correlates With Poor Metabolic Profile In Youth
Not saying which direction the cause and effect runs. But adolescents who have less vitamin D in their blood are more likely to have higher blood pressure, higher blood sugar, and metabolic syndrome.
In the study, researchers analyzed 3,577 adolescents, 12 to 19 years old (51 percent boys), who participated in the nationally representative National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) conducted from 2001–2004.
After adjusting for age, sex, race/ethnicity, body mass index, socioeconomic status and physical activity, researchers found the adolescents with the lowest levels of vitamin D were:
• 2.36 times more likely to have high blood pressure;
• 2.54 times more likely to have high blood sugar; and
• 3.99 times more likely to have metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of cardiovascular disease and diabetes risk factors including elevated waist circumference, high blood pressure, elevated triglycerides, low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL or “good”) cholesterol and high fasting glucose levels. The presence of three or more of the factors increases a person’s risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
What's needed here is a double blind study to find out if vitamin D supplements would prevent the development of these bad indicators. If you have darker skin you are at greater risk of vitamin D deficiency since the skin synthesizes vitamin D in response to sunlight.
In whites, the average level of vitamin D was 28.0 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL); in blacks, 15.5 ng/mL; and in Mexican Americans, 21.5 ng/mL.
One in seven American adolescents are vitamin D deficient and more than half of black teens are deficient.
The study employs a new definition of vitamin D deficiency recommended by a group of scientists attending the 13th Workshop Consensus for Vitamin D Nutritional Guidelines in 2007. These experts collectively proposed that the minimum acceptable serum vitamin D level be raised from 11 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) to at least 20 ng/mL.
Using the newer criteria, the study finds more than half of African-American teens are vitamin D deficient. Girls had more than twice the risk of deficiency compared with boys. And overweight teens had nearly double the risk of their normal-weight counterparts.
The 25(OH)D status associated with least chronic illness is 60ng/ml (150nmol/l)
To get from 28ng/mL to above 60ng/ml requires a rise of 32ng/mL
Each 1000iu/daily extra raises 10 ng/mL so at least 3200iu/daily extra D3 is required for the average white adolescent.
For blacks starting from 15.5 ng/mL a rise of 44.5ng/mL is required that represents a minimum EXTRA daily intake of 4500iu.
And for Mexican Americans starting from 21.5 ng/mL 38.5ng/ml raise required so at least 3850iu/daily.
Using 5000iu vitamin D3 capsules you can easily average the dose over the week.
So 3200iu/d = 22400iu a week = 4 x 5000iu capsules one week and 5 the next to average 3200iu/daily over the fortnight.
For blacks 6 x 5000iu capsules each week would probably be about right.
If your child is not average size you may want to use the rule of thumb 1000iu daily for each 30lbs weight
Grassrootshealth.org have a useful set of Videos from Vitamin d experts that will bring you up to date with current thinking. They also sponsor postal 25(OH)D testing for $30 a time. It's a simple finger prick test and would be worth doing AFTER you have been using the above level of supplementing for 3 months or so to check that you have actually achieved a level above 60ng, if you've managed to get over 80ng then that's still fine. Adverse events have only been recorded above 200ng/ml 500nmol/l and it takes something over 30,000iu/daily for many months to achieve that level.
The Vitamin D videos can be found here
If you haven't time to watch them all you can find the slides used in those videos under the DOCUMENTAION. If you are used to the way science information is presented you will be able to get the basics of the presentations from the slides alone.
Anyone wanting to check their own 25(OH)D for $30 can find the tests under the D ACTION
Do bear in mind this is a charity and the rate being charged for the testing is subsidized (they are hoping to get some useful research from it) you are invited to donate more. The cheapest I've seen these tests elsewhere is $55 each if you pay for 4 from The Vitamin D Council another charity promoting vitamin d deficiency awareness.
The recent Medicare move to disallow payment for 25-OH-D tests for anything except checking for possible osteoporosis and some rare kidney problems gives a peek at the real situation.
This is their response to the research pouring in that D is important for dozens of ailments, from ADD to zits. Practically every cell in the body has D receptors.
“Vitamin D Deficiency Drains $9 billion from Canadian Health Care System” was a recent news item. Note that Canada has about the same population as California, and while California doesn’t have Single Payer, if state residents and health plans could save $9 billion that would boost the economy in a state budget facing a $40 billion deficit
Farmers and lifeguards, who make their D from sunlight, have an average of 100 ng/mL (remember, when the body makes D from UVB rays, it doesn’t exceed the serum level we evolved for, unlike when a person supplementing with pills can go higher).
Yes, governmental standards are outdated at 11 ng/mL, and even increasing to 20 ng/mL wouldn’t be enough because, ad Ted points out, only above 60 mg/mL do people avoid cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. See:
Then there is the fear mongering about Toxicity. Even as much as 30,000 IU a day isn’t toxic! See Dr. Heaney’s chart:
Back to Medicare’s new plan. Who was in the room when they hatched that “cost saving plan”? Saving $30 on a test only to pay out thousands for prescriptions for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, depression, insulin, etc. etc. seems like very false savings. I’m betting that these profiteers know full well how beneficial D is and don’t want Americans to have it.
Then there is the latest plan to put fluoride varnish on poor children’s teeth. Let’s see, which would be better, to make sure children are D replete or to paint neurotoxin on their teeth three times a year? See: http://www.minnesotamedicine.com/CurrentIssue/CommentaryDeinardMarch2009/tabid/2903/Default.aspx