Ever notice that teens provide some of our most useful expressions?
For example “too much information!” has become a knee jerk response, crafted in the schoolyards of our nation, for when someone over shares personal stories.
But if you’re like me, this expression serves double duty, due to unlimited information overload that we all experience, courtesy of the internet.
Naturally we cope with “too much information” by referring to trusted experts who distill very detailed topics down to bite size pieces for us.
For example, I look to non profit groups, 3rd party watch dogs, and government bureaus for the ‘bottom line’ on many complex topics, as I believe they are impartial.
Nutrition labels are a great example. They are 4 square unbiased inches of distilled information, rendered from thousands of studies on nutrition, that we rely on to make smart dietary choices.
The Government Recommended Daily Allowance of Vitamin-D
Nutrition labels show the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI), which is the daily intake level of a nutrient that is considered to be sufficient to meet the requirements of 97–98% of healthy individuals in every demographic in the United States.
We simply assume the government has their facts straight and up to date, as we base our buying choices on these numbers. But do they?
Consider vitamin D: The American RDI is 400 IU. The government is telling you that 400 IUs are sufficient to meet your requirements. BUT, is this correct?
Pop Quiz : The government tells us 400 IUs is sufficient for optimal health. Is the government:
b) In the ballpark
c) Not even close!
Hopefully you guessed ‘C’ because the government is not even close!
What they’re not close to are the countless studies indicating we need and thrive off much more than 400 IU per day!
Because today our lifestyles prevent us from obtaining anywhere near the same amount of vitamin D that our ancestors thrived on.
Back in the (caveman) day, our ancestors were able to spread their genes to the next generation partly because (not despite) they got tens of thousands of IU everyday!
Since one hour of hot sun (minus sunscreen) can provide as much as 50000 IU, it’s probable our knuckle dragging forefathers would’ve gone the way of the dinosaur trying to live off 400 IU per day.
Spending our working lives primarily indoors, combined with compulsive use of sunscreen when we are outdoors, has led us to a chronic nationwide D deficiency- and serious conditions like osteoporosis (and many other health issues) are mushrooming because of it.
Did you see all the articles over the last year about how countless U.S. doctors, upon measuring patients’ blood, have found the vast majority of Americans are vitamin D deficient- by around 40%!
Dr. Michael Holick, accepted as a leading expert on vitamin D, said everyone should be “above 30 nanograms per milliliter, but currently in the United States, Caucasians average 18 to 22 nanograms” and because the darker a person’s skin, less vitamin D is formed, so “African-Americans average 13 to 15 nanograms.”
Dr. Holick maintains such low levels may well be responsible for the high incidence of several chronic diseases in the U.S.
For example, he said, in the Northeast, where sun exposure is reduced and vitamin D levels consequently are lower, cancer rates are higher than in the South. Likewise, rates of high blood pressure, heart disease, and prostate cancer are higher among dark-skinned Americans than among whites.
The rising incidence of Type 1 diabetes may be due, in part, to the very conservative government vitamin D RDIs along with the current and recent practice of protecting the young from sun exposure.
When newborn infants in Finland were given 2,000 international units a day, Type 1 diabetes fell by 88 percent, Dr. Holick said. The fact that newborns had such a beneficial response to 2000 IU per day strongly suggests that 400 IU a day for adults cannot be considered sufficient.
Studies show it is very hard to reach toxic levels of Vitamin-D
For example, healthy adults have taken 10,000 IU a day for six months or longer with no adverse effects. People with a serious vitamin D deficiency are often prescribed weekly doses of 50,000 IU until the problem is corrected. To minimize the risk of any long-term toxicity, these experts recommend that adults take a daily supplement of 1,000 to 2,000 IU.
So what are the health issues that arise from Vitamin-D deficiency?
Low blood levels of vitamin D have been associated with the following:
- Increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease
- Cognitive impairment in older adults
- Osteoporosis, as optimum D is necessary for proper calcium absorption and assimilation.
- Severe asthma in children
- Rickets -a disease in which the bone tissue doesn’t properly mineralize, leading to soft bones and skeletal deformities.
As well, research shows that optimum levels of vitamin D play a role in the prevention and treatment of a number of different conditions, including type 1 and type 2 diabetes, hypertension, glucose intolerance, and multiple sclerosis.
The Calcium Paradox & Osteoporosis
Did you know that despite the western diet being rich in calcium, we still suffer from some of the highest osteoporosis rates in the world!? This is know as the ‘Calcium Paradox’.
The answer to the paradox however, can be found at least partly in vitamin D, once it’s understood and accepted that high levels of vitamin D are crucial to help calcium absorb and reach the bones.
For the last few years, the caveman diet has been in vogue, because we know it enabled early man to escape the saber tooth tiger and evolve, so it must be good.
By that token, since anthropologists tell us there were no 9-5 office jobs and sunscreen back then, you may want to follow the caveman’s example and boost your vitamin D IUs well beyond the government recommended 400 per day.
Your ancestors will thank you!
The way you think, the way you behave, the way you eat, can influence your life by 30 to 50 years ~ Deepak Chopra
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Related Vitamin D & Osteoporosis Articles:
- What is the recommended daily calcium intake for women over 50?
- Vitamin D Reduces Fractures
- Low Vitamin D Puts 70% of Europeans at Risk of Osteoporosis