Vitamin D

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Vitamin D

Postby Melody » Tue Nov 08, 2005 4:11 pm

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Vitamin D Intake Vital for Bone Health
By Ed Edelson
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Nov. 8 (HealthDay News) -- A new Icelandic study bolsters recommendations that vitamin D supplementation should be increased to help promote bone health and ward off diseases like osteoporosis, American experts say.

"Our data suggest that vitamin D sufficiency is more important that high calcium intake," said Dr. Gunnar Sigurdsson, professor of endocrinology and metabolism at Landspitali-University Hospital in Reykjavik. "You need less calcium for normal homeostatis (balance) if your vitamin D (or sunshine) is good. But still you need some calcium in your diet."

Calcium is important for reducing osteoporosis-linked bone loss in older people, and vitamin D -- which the body makes naturally through exposure to sunlight -- plays a vital role in helping the body absorb that calcium. Supplements can also be used to raise vitamin D levels.

The Icelandic study analyzed levels of parathyroid hormone (PTH), which regulates blood levels of calcium, in 2,310 healthy people on the basis of both vitamin D and calcium intake.

The researchers found that levels of that hormone depended more on vitamin D than on calcium.

"Our results suggest that vitamin D sufficiency can ensure ideal serum PTH values even when the calcium intake level is less that 800 milligrams a day, while high calcium intake (greater than 1,200 milligrams a day) is not sufficient to maintain ideal serum PTH, as long as vitamin D status is insufficient," the researchers wrote.

The study results appear in the Nov. 9 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The findings add "to the current opinion that recommendations for vitamin D intake should be adjusted upward," said Susan Harris, a nutritional epidemiologist at the Tufts University Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging.

Current recommendations call for 300 to 600 International Units of vitamin D a day, with the amount increasing with age. "Quite a few people advocate as much as 1,000 International Units a day, with 1,000 to 1,200 milligrams of calcium," Harris said.

One of those advocating much higher levels of vitamin D intake is Dr. Robert P. Heaney, an endocrinologist who holds the title of university professor at Creighton University, in Omaha, Neb.

"I am concerned about the elderly and infirm," Heaney said. "They don't make as much vitamin D as other people and they have a higher requirement for it. We need to consider giving everyone enough so that the vulnerable get as much as they need. I think we could do that without endangering people who get above-the-normal blood level range, but that is not a universal consensus."

Vitamin D is an unusual nutrient, Heaney noted, because people get very little of it from food. "My best estimate is that the body uses 4,000 International Units a day," he said. "We get about a tenth of that by mouth. The other 90 percent comes from the skin, created by exposure to sunlight."

And exposure to sunlight can vary widely, affected by not only the weather but also social influences, Heaney said. For example, vitamin D deficiency is common in Saudi Arabia, he said, because men and women cover most of their bodies with flowing robes.

And there is still a lot to be learned about vitamin D, Heaney said. "Vitamin D is probably more important than most of us realized until recently," he said. "But we have studied it in the context of vitamin deficiency. We have to do a better job of nailing down the optimum daily requirements."

More information

Osteoporosis, which increases the risk of fractures in the elderly, is explained by the National Institutes of Health. ... 29005.html
John was diagnosed Jan 2005. On lipitor 20mg .On Copaxone since July 4,2005. Vitamin D3 2000iu-4000iu (depending on sunshine months)June 10 2005(RX::Dr. O'Connor) Omega 3 as well Turmeric since April 2005. Q10 60mg. 1500mg liquid Glucosamine Nov 2005.
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Postby Dunmann » Wed Nov 09, 2005 7:19 am

I've read many many articles about the importance of vitamin D and I currently take 4000 IU per day in a liquid form (better absorption than tablets). I have two young children (15 month twins) and I am aware of the increased chances of MS with offspring. I am obviously trying to do everything possible (within reason) to minimize this chance.

My question is this: does anyone know what amounts of supplemental vitamin D is suggested for young children? Is anyone in the same situation? I have read that too much vitamin D can be harmful and toxic… something I don’t want with my children.

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Postby Melody » Wed Nov 09, 2005 9:27 am

My grandson takes a Multi vitamin and it has 400iu per day and I know the doctor sanctions those. So I'd say that level must be safe. Call the pharmacy they should know more. It is a question I have pondered as well I am way more less inclined to slap on sunscreen then I was when my kids were small. That does not mean we let him get burnt but I do expose him to the sun and encourage him to move into the shade when he has had enough. He is 5 by the way.

Pediatric Nutrition Basics
Children were once at great risk of rickets, a bone disease that could cause bowing of a child's legs, swelling of their wrists and ankles, and failure to thrive or poor weight gain.
With the introduction of Vitamin D supplementation of infant formula and milk, rickets was soon considered a rare disease. However, cases of rickets continue to be reported in the United States as most children no longer receive vitamins with Vitamin D.

In addition to supplements, children can receive Vitamin D from exposure to sunlight, which stimulates Vitamin D production in the skin. Because dark skinned children and those that aren't exposed to enough sunlight have always been thought to be at risk of rickets, it has always been recommended that they receive Vitamin D supplements if they weren't drinking formula (infants) or Vitamin D fortified milk (older children), but it wasn't thought that most other kids needed extra Vitamin D.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, in its clinical report, Prevention of Rickets and Vitamin D Deficiency: New Guidelines for Vitamin D Intake, now recommends that all children, beginning in the first two months of life, receive at least 200 IU of Vitamin D each day.

Sunlight and Vitamin D
If children can make Vitamin D when being exposed to the sun, what is wrong with just letting him play outside each day?
Direct exposure to sunlight is known to increase a child's risk of getting skin cancer, so sun exposure without sunscreen is being discouraged more and more. The AAP goes so far as to say that infants under 6 months of age should have no direct sun exposure. And sunscreen decreases the body's ability to make Vitamin D.

Plus, it was never really known how much sun exposure was enough and some parts of the world do not get enough sunlight each day to prevent rickets.

Who needs Vitamin D supplements?
Everyone does, but most infants and children will get enough Vitamin D from drinking infant formula or milk fortified with Vitamin D as long as they are drinking at least 500ml (about 17 ounces) each day.
Children who are exclusively breastfeeding or toddlers who aren't drinking much milk will also need Vitamin D supplements. Just because children don't get enough Vitamin D from breastfeeding is not a reason to supplement with formula or to not breastfeed, it just means that you should give your child a vitamin with Vitamin D.

Older children and teens who don't get regular sun exposure and who don't drink at least 17 ounces of milk will also need extra Vitamin D.

How to get Vitamin D supplements?
Like I have said, most children can get Vitamin D from drinking a Vitamin D fortified infant formula or milk. Both cow's milk and many brands of soy milk are fortified with Vitamin D and are good choices for older children. Breastfeeding infants and older children not drinking milk can get their extra Vitamin D from a daily vitamin.
There are no vitamins with just Vitamin D in, so you will have to give a multivitamin for now. Good choices for infants include:

Gerber Vitamin Drops
Poly-Vi-Sol Drops
Tri-Vi-Sol Drops
Vi-Daylin ADC or Multivitamin Drops
Older children can just take a tablet or chewable children's multivitamin.
Talk to your Peditrician if you aren't sure if your child needs extra Vitamin D or if you are unsure how to give him extra vitamins.
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John was diagnosed Jan 2005. On lipitor 20mg .On Copaxone since July 4,2005. Vitamin D3 2000iu-4000iu (depending on sunshine months)June 10 2005(RX::Dr. O'Connor) Omega 3 as well Turmeric since April 2005. Q10 60mg. 1500mg liquid Glucosamine Nov 2005.
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