2013 April 28 by Randall Neustaedter OMD
Headaches occur more frequently in people who live at higher latitudes. The theory has been proposed that lower levels of vitamin D from reduced sun exposure at these locations may be the cause. A study was undertaken in Sweden to investigate the relationship between vitamin D blood levels and frequency of headaches.
Almost 13,000 study participants completed a questionnaire regarding the frequency, duration, and intensity of headaches. Their vitamin D blood levels were also tested. Results showed that those participants with low vitamin D levels reported significantly more non-migraine headaches. This association proved true when the possible confounding factors of physical exercise and alcohol consumption were considered Migraine headaches did not show any association with vitamin D status.
Treatment of headaches
Certainly on the basis of this study anyone who has headaches should ensure that their vitamin D status is adequate (a blood level of 50-100 ng/ml). This usually requires a supplement of 5,000 IU of vitamin D3 per day for adults and 2,000 IU per day for children.
Other excellent programs that prevent and treat recurrent headaches include acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, and neurotransmitter evaluation and support with targeted nutritional supplements. Adequate sleep and stress reduction techniques are also important components of a holistic approach to managing headaches.
Kjærgaard , M, Eggen AE, Mathiesen EB, Jorde R. Association Between Headache and Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D; the Tromsø Study: Tromsø 6. Headache 2012; 52:1499.
2013 February 22 by Randall Neustaedter OMD
The power of vitamin D
I am sure you are all aware that vitamin D supplementation is essential for your health unless you are outside in the sun on a regular basis with plenty of skin exposure to sunlight while swimming or working during the summer. For everyone else, and for most of the year, it is important to take a vitamin D supplement in the range of 5,000-10,000 IU per day for adults and 1,000-2,000 IU per day for children depending on weight. Vitamin D blood levels should be in the range of 50-100 ng/ml. Anything below 50 is low. Most medical labs place the lower limit of the normal vitamin D range around 30, which is too low. If your doctor tells you that your vitamin D level is fine, then find out the number. Most people are deficient in vitamin D.
Adequate vitamin D is necessary for healthy bones, and prevention of heart disease, cancer, asthma, autism, obesity, ear infections, multiple sclerosis, and headaches. Name a disease and vitamin D probably has a role in its prevention and treatment. For this reason vitamin D is probably the most important supplement you and your children should take, starting at birth. And maintaining adequate vitamin D levels during pregnancy has also been shown to prevent respiratory illness and allergies in children and increase IQ.
What about vitamin K?
Vitamin K is also necessary for healthy bones, a healthy cardiovascular system, and a balanced immune system. In fact vitamin K is important to ensure that calcium is deposited in the right place, bones, and not in arteries. Vitamin D absorption also depends on adequate levels of vitamin K. Taking 100-300 mcg of vitamin K2 per day for adults is recommended. Vitamin K1 comes from green vegetables, but most people will not be getting enough. Many supplements contain both K1 and K2, and some vitamin D supplements include vitamin K.
Take vitamin D 5,000-10,000 IU per day.
Take vitamin K2 100-300 mcg per day.
2012 September 25 by Randall Neustaedter OMD
A study of 1,800 mother-infant pairs evaluated the blood levels of vitamin D in pregnant women and then looked at the mental scores of their babies at 14 months of age. The babies of mothers who had a vitamin D level greater than 30 ng/mL during their pregnancy had significantly higher scores on the mental and psychomotor scales of a commonly used developmental assessment test.
This study conducted in Spain shows another remarkable effect of maintaining adequate vitamin D levels during pregnancy. Other studies have shown significant benefits for immune function in infants whose mothers have a vitamin D level of at least 70 ng/mL.
I recommend that all pregnant women have their blood tested during early pregnancy and take enough vitamin D to raise their levels to at least 70 ng/mL. This may require supplementation in the range of 5,000-10,000 IU of vitamin D each day.
Morales E, Guxens M, Llop S, et al. Circulating 25-Hydroxyvitamin D3 in Pregnancy and Infant Neuropsychological Development. Pediatrics. 2012 Sep 17.
2012 May 30 by Randall Neustaedter OMD
A recent study of vitamin D levels in pregnant women has revealed a remarkable finding. Children born to women with a lower vitamin D level during pregnancy have increased body fat later in childhood compared to those children whose mothers have a higher vitamin D level.
A maternal vitamin D level less than 50 nmol/L was associated with increased fat mass in children at 4 and 6 years of age. Children in the study had an 8 percent reduction in fat mass if their mothers had a vitamin D level of 50-75 nmol/L. The mother’s own levels of fat (body mass index) did not have any effect on the study results. The authors suggest that vitamin D insufficiency during pregnancy may program the child to gain excess fat later in life. Other studies have also confirmed an association between vitamin D intake and fat mass in adults.
This study adds to the growing body of evidence that has found higher levels of health in children born to mothers with adequate vitamin D stores during pregnancy. A higher vitamin D level during pregnancy is associated with less respiratory problems in babies, and a higher cord blood vitamin D level also correlates with less allergies and respiratory infections.
Pregnant women should have their vitamin D levels checked repeatedly during pregnancy and take a vitamin D supplement to maintain blood levels between 75 and 100 nmol/L.
Sarah R Crozier, Nicholas C Harvey, Hazel M Inskip, Keith M Godfrey, Cyrus Cooper, Siân M Robinson, and the SWS Study Group. Maternal vitamin D status in pregnancy is associated with adiposity in the offspring: findings from the Southampton Women’s Survey. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2012, doi: 10.3945/ajcn.112.037473 July 2012.
2012 May 14 by Randall Neustaedter OMD
A study that correlated exposure to sunlight with cancer risk found that people exposed to more sunlight had a significantly lower risk of many types of cancer (Lin, 2012). This study followed more than 450,000 white, non-Hispanic subjects aged 50-71 years from diverse geographic areas in the US. Researchers correlated the calculated ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure in these different areas with the incidence of a variety of cancers. The diverse sites included six states (California, Florida, Louisiana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina), and the metropolitan areas of Atlanta and Detroit. They followed these subjects over a period of nine years in the study and eliminated other known risk factors for cancer such as smoking, body mass index, and physical activity. This was the first prospective study (participants were actively observed for the duration of the study) to look at the relationship of sunlight to cancer.
Less sun more cancer
A total of 75,000 participants in the study contracted cancer. The study found that 12 types of cancer were reduced in those subjects exposed to more sunlight. These included cancers of the lungs, prostate, pancreas, colon, thyroid and many other types. As expected, melanoma and other skin cancers occurred more often in the participants exposed to more sunlight. The incidence of cancers of female organs including the ovaries, breast, and uterus were not reduced in this study, possibly because men spend more time outdoors than women. This confirmed a previous study that showed a decreased incidence of cancer in men but not women in relation to sun exposure (Grant, 2012).
Cancer prevention formula: sunlight, vitamin D, and antioxidants
This research confirms the protective effect of Vitamin D for many types of cancer. No other known factors in sun exposure would account for these findings. This provides more evidence that sun exposure is protective and that the routine use of sunscreens is counterproductive. Sunscreen should be used to prevent sunburn during prolonged exposure to bright sun at midday. And only zinc oxide sunscreens are safe. Eating organic fresh fruits and vegetables rich in antioxidants will also help prevent sunburn and protect you from skin cancer. Sun exposure and ultraviolet radiation promote health and prevent cancer. Similarly, in parts of the world and times of the year with limited sun exposure taking a vitamin D supplement in adequate amounts is beneficial to the immune system, promotes bone growth, prevents cardiovascular disease, and reduces the incidence of cancer.
Grant WB. An ecological study of cancer mortality rates in California, 1950–64, with respect to solar UVB and smoking indices. Dermatoendocrinol., epub April 2012
Lin SW, Wheeler DC, Park Y, Cahoon EK, Hollenbeck AR, Michal Freedman D, Abnet CC. Prospective study of ultraviolet radiation exposure and risk of cancer in the U.S. Int J Cancer. 2012 Apr 26. doi: 10.1002/ijc.27619.