Sugar KillsWell, if you wanted to call me a Gary Taubes fanboy before, I guess you’ve got one more reason to now as here’s one more post about his writings.

Back in October 2010, I authored a post entitled Sugar – Public Enemy Number One. The main takeaway I intended for the article was to argue that if all the diet books and nutrition gurus in all the world would just agree on this *one* thing: elimination of refined sugars from the diet (including fruit juices, by the way) that would be the single most important contribution they could all make to our public health. This would result in vastly healthier people and dramatically lower health care costs.

Back in January when Gary took his show on the road to Seattle, he mentioned he was working on this big article for the New York Times about sugar. The summary was he was taking a look into the claims of Dr. Robert Lustig of UCSF who came out and said fructose was a toxin – in the concentrations consumed in the SAD (Standard American Diet). Now that Gary is a left coaster, he’s gotta make nice with the neighbors (he even got his new BFF Michael Pollan to say nice things about his new book – nice going :)). The net of all this is a ‘little’ piece in the New York Times called Is Sugar Toxic?. Of course, Gary doesn’t do ‘little’ so don’t expect a reader’s digest version, but you should expect a thorough and well reasoned article.

Of course, I want you to read it, but the summary is he thinks there’s something to the idea that sugar should be considered a toxin. One small step for man …

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Imagine my delight and surprise that today’s BET.com Daily News Blast prominently noted the importance of Vitamin D.

They cited the alarming statistic I wrote a post on back in January of 2010 that 97% of African-Americans are deficient in Vitamin D.

To read this article The 411 on Vitamin D, please visit the BET site and let them know you’re interested in raising awareness of this issue.

Who needs to see yet another vitamin D post from me? Seems like I covered it all before. You may be saying ‘I get it already.’ Well, this time, the focus is a little more specific – it’s about giving our mothers and children their best shot at a healthy delivery.

In the April journal of the Obstetrics and Gynecological Survey, there was an alert put out to all Obstetricians, Gynecologists and Family Physicians regarding the mounting evidence of a a strong association between some common complications related to pregnancy and child birth (preeclampsia, spontaneous preterm birth, gestational diabetes, and fetal growth restriction) and the mother’s vitamin D levels.

In fact, they highlight the “significant, intractable disparities” that exist in rates of major pregnancy outcomes between black and white women. Given, as I have noted before, that only THREE PERCENT (3%) of black people in the US have sufficient levels of circulating Vitamin D, it should not be surprising that these scientists believe there may be a connection. You may recall that this ‘sufficiently’ level is 30 ng/mL which is still not optimal (50 ng/mL). While we do not have broadly-collected data on this statistic, one would expect the percentage of black people in the optimal range to be very close to –0-.

There is a summary of this report available on PubMed. Also, our just slightly offbeat, but always on point Dr. Joseph Mercola has a very comprehensive write up on the topic entitled "How Sunshine Can Prevent Birth Defects". Here’s just a sample of the things Dr. Mercola covers in this eye-opening article:

  • Birth Defects
  • Vitamin D Deficiency and Brain Damage
  • Maternal Vitamin d Deficiency Causes Learning Disabilities
  • Dyslexia, Poor School Attendance, Low Apgar Scores And Low Birth Weight
  • African-Americans Are at a Much Higher Risk
  • Severe Vitamin D Deficiency More Than 20 Times More Common in Young Black Women

You don’t have to wait for all the studies to come in. Hopefully I’ve convinced you to alert all those who are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant need to get their Vitamin D in to the optimal range (remember, 50ng/mL).