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New review covers some of the biggest questions in vitamin D

Posted on: August 30, 2013   by  John Cannell, MD


Dr. Arash Hossein-Nezhad, currently a scholar at Boston University has teamed up with senior author Professor Michael Holick to write a spectacular in depth review about vitamin D for the highly respected journal, Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Hossein-Nezhad A, Holick MF. Vitamin d for health: a global perspective. Mayo Clin Proc. 2013 Jul;88(7):720-55.

The publication covers so many things we currently know about vitamin D, it makes a compelling case for a spectacular role of vitamin D in human health. Here were some highlights and questions answered:

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9 Responses to New review covers some of the biggest questions in vitamin D

  1. fredglass

    Re: Difference between sun exposure & Vit. D supplements/food.

    My experience with approximately 3 to 4 days of 1 hour full body exposure per week and 5K i.u./day reveals a distinct difference. When I feel a cold/flue coming on one or two extra doses of 10K Vit.D3 will always abort any illness. Getting extra sun exposure doesn’t do the trick.

    My reasoning is that since all or most physiological pathways are very complex there are bound to be differences in the amounts & types of vitamin D which arrive at their usable destinations.
    Fred Glass

  2. samueledelstein

    Oral intake of vitamin D is associated with atherosclerosis! Oral intake of vitamin D may cause intoxicaion! Mother nature wanted us to get the vitamin from sun exposure. One may stay nacked 1 month in the sun and will not get vitamin D intoxication!!! Anyone who think differently does not really understand the physiology of vitamin D!!!!!!

  3. fredglass

    Samuel Edelstein, your comments are too dogmatic for any reasonable response.

  4. [email protected]

    While I agree with Samuel (above) that sun exposure is great, it is not always possible to obtain adequate sun exposure. For example, those living in latitudes further away from the equator cannot obtain enough UVB all year round to maintain adequate serum levels throughout the year. People required to working or studying inside during the day have limited time in the sun – including young children who are required to cover up when they go outside at schools in Australia! For most people, it is far more difficult to take too much oral vitamin D than we have been led to believe – toxic levels appear to be rare in those supplementing orally and there is more of a problem with inadequate supplementation which does not raise serum levels to a replete level. Would like to hear the association between atherosclerosis and oral intake of oral vitamin D – can you provide more information on that please? References to scientific studies would be great.

  5. Rita and Misty

    Salutations and greetings,

    Regarding oral supplementation of D, daily dosage is secondary to vitamin D blood serum level. In other words, the only thing that matters is your 25(OH)D level, and you need to take whatever daily dose gets you to between 50 ng/ml–80 ng/ml.

    BTW–Here is an interesting j.a. “Vitamin D deficiency is associated with subclinical carotid atherosclerosis: the Northern Manhattan Study” (if you want healthy arteries, make certain you have an optimal vitamin D blood level)

    Regarding sunshine–it is SO necessary and for so much more than vitamin D production. For example, sunshine increases melatonin and serotonin levels, among other benefits. Please do read the below article on Sunshine. It is my all time favorite.

    BTW–Once your 25(OH)D level is raised to optimal, you won’t burn…you just won’t. And, I have a theory that it is only when your body has an optimal vitamin D blood serum level that it may utilize sunshine for its other multitude of benefits. So, I suggest supplementing to an optimal level, and sunning yourself as well, and appropriately.

    I am happy to share the following. I aim to keep my 25(OH)D level at the higher end of optimal. I rarely get sick. On the rare occasion when I do get sick, I take 50,000 to 100,000 iu D3 for 3 days (did anyone faint?). I immediately get better. Always.

    Oral supplementation helps my mood, BUT not as much as sunshine. Sunning myself perks me up. Always.

    Be well,

  6. Rita and Misty
  7. Michael

    Hello all,

    Well, here in Seattle the sun is glorious all summer and absent almost all winter, plus we are are at a higher latitude than Montreal Canada.

    I purposefully sit in the noon day sun at least once a week all summer for 1/2 hour each side and also walk shirtless in shorts at least 4 time a week in less-than-noon-time sun.

    Yes, I have champion freckles, but I am not very tanned or brown.

    When I bathe daily I usually just rinse with plain water. Every two weeks give myself a real scrub-down with a rough towel. What a difference! The rough towel rubs off almost all my “tan” including also diminishing the freckle intensity.

    We are now on a soap free bathing jag, for science. I used to go soap free when younger for convenience and also a little bit because of the idea that “only very modern man uses soap”. You know, in the vein that “only modern man eats processed food, eats/drinks chemicals concoctions that have flavor or color, has epidurals, nose jobs, etc” It gives me direct insight into the natural “tanning” process cycle.


  8. Stan

    With natural Synthesis from the sun you not only get all the biological benefits as with the ingested form their is at least 12 of these biological benefits missing.
    One of the crucial benefits is the nitric oxide from sunshine which not many people seem to realise the importance of this.I have used sunbeds for 31 years now and i am very fit and still visit the gym each day,practice martial arts in the evening. Not bad for a 60 year old who trains with teenagers.I am never ill and never been of work.I put a lot of this down to my life style and the 25Ohd reading of mine being 99ng/ml. I also take 5,000iu daily to elevate my serum levels to this figure.

  9. allometric24

    In my opinion high intake of vit D 3 might enhance absorption of calcium which has been shown in some studies to increase CVD risk. It also seems probable that this likely increased risk could be entirely mitigated by adequate intake of Vit K2 (MK-7), a component not easy to obtain in the usual Western diet.
    Have a look at http://www.vitamink2.org – or just take 200 mcg of MK-7 daily.

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