|What is Vitamin D?
|Quiz #468 Results
|Answer to Quiz #468- March 8, 2015
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Gary Elder Barbara H. Lang
Owen Blevins Ellen Zyroff
Ida Sanchez Angel Esparza
Nelsen Spickard Tynan Peterson
Roger Lipsett Liz Haigney Lynch
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Ellen Welker Cindy Costigan
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How Ida Solved the Puzzle
This is one of the weirdest quizzes and I almost called quits. I ran over all
types of variations for photo therapy, light therapy, fluorescent, green,
etc. The guy in the picture looked like Lenin, but I wasn't sure.
In the end, I have not found a reliable source of the picture and its origins.
The closest I can come up with is a NatGeo from 1977.
(natgeofound.tumblr.com/post/48043261031/children) in Murmansk. For
this specific pic, even someone on Reddit said that Lenin's pic was
photoshopped later and it did not appear in the original.
Anyway, every time I tried looking for light therapy in children, I was
flooded with pics of blue light on newborns, a routine procedure done for
jaundice at birth, so, after reading a wikipedia article on Light Therapy, I
got finally hit with a Eureka moment and googled "light therapy in children
-jaundice" and similar pictures started to appear. One of them with the
same oriental rug, stated that it was in Russia in the communist era.
Adding "russian" to the search led me to find the image on reddit, but not
much info other than what others said. Nat Geo was the one providing
little more info on it, still not much.
Still trying to understand the 3rd question.....
|Are You Getting Enough Vitamin D?
|WHAT IS VITAMIN D?
The "sunshine" vitamin is a hot topic. You may have recently found out
that you are deficient or know someone who is. It's shocking for most
people when they have never had a problem before and believe nothing
has changed to make it a problem now. The truth is that a lot has
changed, and vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency is now a global
public-health problem affecting an estimated 1 billion people worldwide.
The most well-known consequences to not having enough vitamin D are
rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. These are far from the only
problems associated with a vitamin D deficiency. The consequences are
numerous and include skeletal diseases, metabolic disorders, cancer,
cardiovascular disease, autoimmune diseases, infections, cognitive
disorders, and/or mortality. The majority of our knowledge about vitamin
D has been discovered over the past 15 years, and with the growing issue
of deficiencies, more health connections with vitamin D levels are being
made. Correcting vitamin D deficiency is not as simple as taking a pill or
getting more sun. Read more...
VITAMIN D DEFICIENCY
There are currently two sets of guidelines for vitamin D intake. Typically,
vitamin guidelines are established by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in
the form of recommended dietary allowances (RDA) or adequate intakes
(AI). The RDA is the average daily intake sufficient to meet the nutrient
requirements of nearly all (97%-98%) healthy individuals. The Endocrine
Society put together a task force to review the research and come up with
a set of guidelines for "people who are at risk for deficiency."
By the turn of the 20th century, 90% of the children living in New York,
Boston, and Leyden in the Netherlands were afflicted with rickets, a
bone-deforming disease. The first observation of this disease was in the
mid-1600s by Whistler and Glissen, who reported that children living in
industrialized cities in Great Britain had short stature and deformities of
the skeleton, especially of the lower legs. It wasn't until 1889 that the
discovery that "sunbathing" was important for preventing rickets came
WHAT DOES VITAMIN D DO FOR YOUR HEALTH?
Since then, many other health benefits of vitamin D have been discovered.
These include the following:
Skeletal disease: Anyone taking calcium knows that you need to take it
with vitamin D. It's needed because vitamin D promotes calcium
absorption in the gut and maintains blood calcium levels to enable normal
mineralization of bone and prevent abnormally low blood calcium levels
that can then lead to tetany. Adequate vitamin D levels can prevent bones
from becoming thin, brittle, or malformed. It is linked with the prevention
of osteomalacia, osteopenia, and osteoporosis.
Cancer: The link between the sun and cancer is typically not seen as a
positive one because of the connection with skin cancer. UV-B radiation
from the sun is said to be the most important environmental risk factor
for nonmelanoma skin cancer. Because the sun is the primary source of
vitamin D, researchers are looking to see what role it plays in skin cancer.
Some believe that enough sun exposure to keep your vitamin D levels up
while protecting your skin from damage is beneficial to skin cancer
survival. There has also been research to show the protective effect that
vitamin D has with the development of other cancers, including colon,
breast, and prostate cancer. Read more...
Cardiovascular disease: Vitamin D deficiency is associated with an
increased prevalence of hypertension, hyperlipidemia, peripheral vascular
disease, coronary artery disease, myocardial infarction, heart failure, and
stroke. The anti-inflammatory effects of vitamin D may be the reason for
this. Research is being done to determine exactly how this works and
Infections: Do you tend to get more respiratory infections in the winter?
Vitamin D deficiency could be the cause. Observational studies have
shown an association between low vitamin D status and an increased risk
of both upper and lower respiratory tract infections. The role of vitamin D
in reducing the risk of hospital-acquired infections, such as pneumonia,
bacteremias, urinary tract infections, and surgical site infections is also
Depression: The association between lack of sunlight and depressive
disorders was first noted 2,000 years ago. Vitamin D plays a role in
regulating adrenaline, noradrenaline, and dopamine production in the brain
through vitamin D receptors in the adrenal cortex, as well as protecting
against the depletion of serotonin and dopamine. This is the possible link
with vitamin D's role in depression. The research is new in this area, and
only the associations have been shown so far. Vitamin D deficiency has
been associated with an 8%-14% increase in depression. Research is also
finding a relationship with low vitamin D levels and increased risk of
suicide. Read more...
Multiple sclerosis: Evidence continues to accumulate supporting the role
of vitamin D and the prevention and treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS).
It begins with the vitamin D levels in pregnant women. Numerous studies
have linked the occurrence of MS with birth month. There is a high
prevalence of MS in high-latitude areas. The lack of sunlight exposure
appears to be a significant predictor, and research is ongoing in this area.
Tuberculosis: Individuals with tuberculosis (TB) have been shown to
have lower vitamin D levels than healthy people. Supplementation has
shown to improve symptoms in these individuals. Further studies are
needed to determine the cause and appropriate intervention.
Reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes: Research has shown that those
with blood vitamin D levels over 25 ng/mL had a 43% reduced risk of
developing type 2 diabetes compared with those with levels under 14
Decreasing inflammation: Many of the health benefits associated with
vitamin D may come from its role in decreasing inflammation. Research
has shown a decrease in levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of
inflammation, with increased levels of vitamin D to just below 21 ng/mL.
Reducing risk of allergies in children and adolescents: A nationwide
study of over 6,000 individuals showed that allergic sensitization was
more common in those with vitamin D levels under 15 ng/mL versus
those with levels 30 ng/mL or more.
Sleep apnea: There is some evidence that vitamin D deficiency may
increase the risk of obstructive sleep apnea brought on by inflammatory
rhinitis and/or tonsillar hypertrophy. More research needs to be done to
Decreasing dental cavities: A review of 24 controlled clinical trials
encompassing 2,827 children found a 47% reduced risk of cavities with
vitamin D supplementation.
Possibly helping with erectile dysfunction (ED): It is not clear if
increasing your serum vitamin D levels can help with ED. Many men
diagnosed with ED are diagnosed with cardiovascular disease (CVD)
within a few years. Vitamin D deficiency is linked with CVD, so if you
are deficient in vitamin D, some researchers believe that treating this could
reduce your risk of ED. Read more...
WHAT CAUSES VITAMIN D DEFICIENCY?
Limited exposure to the sun
You may look out your window and see the sun shining and think that
you are safe from this deficiency, but that is not always the case. Even in
sunny climates there is an increased prevalence of vitamin D deficiency.
We have all heard about the dangers of skin cancer and the need for
sunscreen to protect us from this disease. This knowledge and the
preventive actions we take have significantly decreased our vitamin D
levels. Sunscreen protects so well against UV-B rays that an SPF of 30
decreases vitamin D synthesis in the skin by more than 95%. On top of
this, we tend to spend more time indoors. One study found that it took
Caucasians exposure of more than 30% of their body every day in the
summer to make the optimal amounts of vitamin D.
Melanin is what gives skin its color. Lighter skin has less melanin than
darker skin. Melanin is able to absorb UV-B radiation from the sun and
reduce the skin's capacity to produce vitamin D3 by 95%-99%. People
with a naturally dark skin tone have natural sun protection and require at
least three to five times longer exposures to make the same amount of
vitamin D as a person with a white skin tone. African Americans have a
population mean serum 25(OH)D level of 16 ng/mL, whereas white
Americans have a level of 26 ng/mL. Read more...
Being overweight or obese may put you at risk for a vitamin D deficiency.
A study done on 2,187 overweight and obese subjects found that those
with a BMI above 40 had 18% lower serum vitamin D levels than those
with a BMI under 40. Another study compared the vitamin D levels of
154 obese subjects to those of 148 nonobese subjects and found that the
obese subjects' vitamin D levels were 23% lower. While diet and
decreased sun exposure may have some impact on this, there appears to
be an increased need that cannot be met without a supplement. One study
tested the blood levels of vitamin D after sun exposure in both obese and
nonobese subjects. Both saw an initial rise in vitamin D levels after similar
exposures, but 24 hours later, there was 57% less vitamin D in the blood
of the obese subjects. Both groups had a similar capacity of the skin to
produce the vitamin. The difference was seen in the release of vitamin D
from the skin into the circulation. It is believed that the fat under the skin
holds onto the fat-soluble vitamin instead of releasing it, but more
research needs to be done to confirm this.
People with one of the fat malabsorption syndromes (for example,
Crohn's disease, celiac disease) and people who have had bariatric surgery
are often unable to absorb enough of the fat-soluble vitamin D.
It has been shown that as we age our body has a decreased ability to
synthesize vitamin D from exposure to the sun. There can be as much as
25% reduced production over the age of 70. While this can have an
impact, it doesn't cause as much of a deficiency as the other risk factors.
Medications and medical conditions
A wide variety of medications, including antifungal medications,
anticonvulsants, glucocorticoids, and medications to treat AIDS/HIV can
enhance the breakdown of vitamin D and lead to low levels. There is also
a loss of vitamin D for those with chronic kidney disease, primary
hyperparathyroidism, chronic granuloma-forming disorders, and some
lymphomas. Read more...
Continue Reading about Vitimin D Definiciency and Treatment
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