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AlgaeCal Blog

New Vitamin D Study Says It Does Not Reduce Risk of Falls

A new vitamin D study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), has revealed that vitamin D does not reduce your risk of falling.¹ In fact, it may increase it! At least that’s what it seems like on the surface… What The Study Found When It Came to Falls This one-year, double-blind, randomized clinical trial, conducted in Zurich, Switzerland, included 200 men and women. There were three study groups with monthly treatments of vitamin D3: The high-dose group received 60,000 IU/month of vitamin D3. The middle-dose group received 24,000 IU/month of vitamin D3, plus 300 mcg of pre-formed calcidiol. (This is the form of vitamin D3 after activation in the liver. This makes it 5 times more potent than D3, but still not in its final hormonally active form) The low-dose group received 24,000 IU/month of vitamin D3.…

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How to Boost Your Vitamin D This Winter

When you’re starting to get the sniffles and you feel a cold coming on, most people reach for vitamin C. But did you know there’s a vitamin that works even better for your immune health? It’s vitamin D. Vitamin D, also known as the ‘sunshine vitamin’ plays a critical role in the health of your immune system. And a lack of it may be why more people get sick during the dark, winter months.  Why You Should Be Taking Vitamin D for Immunity Vitamin D is best known for its role in promoting calcium homeostasis and bone health. [1] But vitamin D, which is actually a hormone and not a vitamin when active, enables your body to produce over 200 antimicrobial peptides. Antimicrobial peptides fight against bacteria, viruses and fungi, making them indispensable for your immune system. In fact, a…

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Summer Can Be Your Best Ally: The Sun for Vitamin D

Did you know that if you get enough sun exposure in the summer your body will store vitamin D from the sun to get you through the winter? Pretty incredible isn’t it! But with August fast approaching and your summer days getting shorter, your window for optimal vitamin D storage is shrinking. Now if you’re worried about having to spend hours in the sun, you don’t have to be. The human body is able to produce as much as 10,000 IU to 20,000 IU of vitamin D in just 20 minutes. The catch is that you have to be outside to reap these benefits. Getting sun through an office window or a solarium is not the same at all. Glass blocks the UVB rays while the UVA rays pass right through. In short, you’re receiving the more damaging rays without…

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Dark December Is Dangerous For This Deficiency

The festive season has finally arrived! – and so have the shortest and darkest days of the year (for those of us in the Northern hemisphere). And though it’s a time of holiday cheer, there is a very easy to pinpoint reason why you might not be feeling up to all the parties: December vitamin D deficiency. This twelfth month is unlike all others, as so many cultures take time to gather with friends and family to celebrate. And there is a spirit of giving and an affinity even with common strangers that is unique to December. What is also special to this time is the Winter Solstice, where for thousands of years we’ve observed the shortest day of the year. Right now we in the north are at our furthest distance from the sun. And that means we are…

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Sun, The Key To Your Ideal Weight?

Can The Sun Make You Slim? It’s well known that vitamin D is important for fighting depression, strengthening bones, and boosting immunity. But if that’s not enough of a resume for one single letter, recent evidence suggests that vitamin D can also affect your weight. Though it can be had for free, 77 percent of Americans are vitamin-D deficient, according to a recent study reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine. (1) Interestingly, a similar number of Americans are also overweight. Cause or coincidence? Read on, then decide. Is Made in the Shade Worth the Weight? As you know, Vitamin D is produced in your body when sun exposure is adequate. We can get a smattering of D from other sources such as salmon, tuna and eggs.  But hide in the shade from the super doses the sun provides, and science…

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Vitamin D Reduces Stress Fractures In Adolescent Girls

Study conducted at the Children’s Hospital Boston showed some surprising results when Kendrin R. Sonneville, Sc.D., R.D and his colleagues examined the relation between risk of stress fractures in growing girls and their intake of calcium, Vitamin D and/or dairy products. (4) Stress fractures usually occur due to overuse of a particular bone or set of bones. In other words, they arise out of repeated strain on a bone. Stress fractures are incomplete fractures and occur when muscles become fatigued due to overuse/repeat movement without adequate rest and recovery. These muscles are unable to absorb shock of the movement and transfer the repeat stress overload to the bones which develop microscopic cracks or fractures. They most commonly occur in the lower leg and feet. High impact physical activities such as running on hard surfaces, tennis, squash, basketball put one to…

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Low Vitamin D Levels Puts 70% Europeans at Increased Risk of Osteoporosis

A study on menopausal women in Europe has scientists reveal that as high as 70% of women in this category have low Vitamin D levels. The dip in percentage is very significant and has shocked the European medical fraternity.  This especially so because the percentage is seeing a steady dip without a reversing trend despite increased awareness among women in the last decade over the importance of Vitamin D and it’s bearing on bone health. As per the experts, a good level to be aimed at by menopausal women would be over 30 ng/ml (or nanograms per millilitre). This is also corroborated by the recommendation made by the Office of Dietary Supplements on Vitamin D. They clearly state that persons are potentially at risk for inadequacy at levels ranging from 12–20 ng/mL and that all people are sufficient at levels…

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Caveat For Vitamin D Levels in Spine Surgery Patients

A recent study conducted by the orthopaedic surgeons at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found that those spinal fusion surgery patients who were deficient in Vitamin D before the surgery had a long recovery phase. Spinal fusion surgery is a major surgery that is usually recommended to remove the spinal canal of bone and tissue material obstructing/narrowing the canal or squeezing the spinal cord. The surgery lasts several hours and is also prescribed to correct fractures of the spine and treat herniated discs, tumors etc. (1) The findings of the Washington University School of Medicine were presented in the 26th Annual Meeting of the North American Spine Society. The study had examined 313 spinal fusion surgery patients and found that more than 50% of them had low Vitamin D levels that made the recovery phase for…

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Study: High Level of Vitamin D For Optimum Bone Health

Vitamin D is a prohormone of the secosteroid type. It acts as a precursor to what makes a hormone or is a hormone prototype, if you will. Usually exposure to sunlight helps our body (skin in particular) to synthesize Vitamin D. The epidermal layers of Stratum basale and Stratum Spinosum produce maximum amount of a particular type of a pre-vitamin D3. It is fat-soluble in nature. So how is Vitamin D and bone health related? Vitamin D is metabolised by the liver and the kidneys and is converted to a hormone called Calcitonin. Calcitrol ensures that there is enough calcium in the blood to help form bones, teeth and maintain bone density. When ultra-violet rays shine on our skin, a cholesterol-like substance gets converted to Vitamin D and absorbed into the blood. Vitamin D is required for the metabolisation of…

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IOF Addresses the Importance of Vitamin D for Bone Health

Vitamin D for Bone Health IOF General Secretary, Bess Dawson-Hughes, discusses IOF position on Vitamin D for adults, and makes important recommendations for vitamin D nutrition from an evidence-based perspective. Video Transcription Vitamin D is important for fracture prevention in a couple of respects. First, it improves muscle strength in the lower extremities and lowers risks of falling. Second, it improves bone strength, and therefore lowers your risk of having a fracture, should you fall. We get Vitamin D from a couple of sources; the most important source is sun exposure. Sun exposure to the skin increases the body’s production of Vitamin D. The other way we get it is through either the diet or through supplementation. The diet is not rich in Vitamin D. Vitamin D is present in salmon and other oily fish, there’s a little bit in…

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