The NYTimes.com Health Blog released yet another confusing blog post. I’ve personally stopped reading the NYTimes blog because everything I’ve read from it confuses me. The blog makes ignorant statements that make me feel relatively intelligent. But then, I second guess myself thinking, “I must be wrong – the writer can’t be all that ignorant. Hence, my confusion sets in.
But this time, I read a NYTblog post because it was tweeted out by Harvard. http://twitter.com/HarvardResearch/statuses/9069274668
I’ll quote and summarize the substance of the long post and you tell me If I’m a genius or an idiot. I simply can’t tell.
Some research suggests that such a wonder treatment already exists. It’s vitamin D, a nutrient that the body makes from sunlight and that is also found in fish and fortified milk.
According to the lab company Quest Diagnostics, orders for vitamin D tests surged more than 50 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009, up from the same quarter a year earlier. And in 2008, consumers bought $235 million worth of vitamin D supplements, up from $40 million in 2001, according to Nutrition Business Journal.
But don’t start gobbling down vitamin D supplements just yet. The excitement about their health potential is still far ahead of the science.
And since most of the data on vitamin D comes from observational research, it may be that high doses of the nutrient don’t really make people healthier, but that healthy people simply do the sorts of things that happen to raise vitamin D.
“People may have high vitamin D levels because they exercise a lot and are getting ultraviolet-light exposure from exercising outdoors,” Dr. Manson said. “Or they may have high vitamin D because they are health-conscious and take supplements. But they also have a healthy diet, don’t smoke and do a lot of the other things that keep you healthy.”
Vitamin D is found throughout the body and acts as a signaling mechanism to turn cells on and off. Right now, the recommended dose from food and supplements is about 400 international units a day for most people, but most experts agree that is probably too low. The Institute of Medicine is reviewing guidelines for vitamin D and is expected to raise the recommended daily dose.
The well-known Women’s Health Initiative study, for instance, tracked women taking 400 units of vitamin D and 1,000 milligrams of calcium. The study found no overall benefit from the supplements, although women who consistently took their pills had a lower risk of hip fracture.
The study found no overall benefit from the supplements, although women who consistently took their pills had a lower risk of hip fracture. (umm, isn’t that a health benefit? Or am I an idiot?)
Maybe I should ask Dr. Soram Khalsa to explain it for me. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-soram-khalsa/vitamin-d-for-swine-flu-p_b_310235.html … I’m taking his Vitamin D