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.

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Well, it’s always a good time to think about vitamin D, but since we’re heading into November fast, its now that those great vitamin D levels of the summer (that is, if you actually got out into the sun this summer) start waning. Vitamin D is used in a myriad of mechanisms throughout the body. Since you’re been paying attention to this blog, you know how important it is.

The ‘new’ things in this post aren’t all that different than what you’ve been hearing me harp on for months now, but I did come across a few things I hadn’t seen:

Keep that 25 (OH) Vitamin D level above 40ng/ml. You can thank me later.

Another take on Autism

August 10, 2010

Vitamin D CouncilIn a previous post, I referenced a great interview by Sean Croxton of Underground Wellness. While I learned a lot from the podcast and think the work Julie Matthews is doing is vital, I was surprised there was no mention of my favorite topic – Vitamin D – and it’s correlation with the incidence of Autism and the severity of its effects.

To round out this topic, from my perspective, it would be worthwhile to consider the work of the Vitamin D council who have a section of their web site specific to issues related to the Autism spectrum. Their most recent update on the connection between Autism and Vitamin D cites three Swedish papers that provide further evidence of the connection. There’s also an audio interview (links directly to the .mp3 file) from the healthychild.com site.

Also, search for “Vitamin D” and “autism” together in your favorite search engine and you’ll find many more references to this correlation.

… and many more …

Well, they hockey team I grew up rooting for growing up in Chicago (I was joking that I was a fan so long ago, it was before the Espositos went to the Bruins) has won the Stanley Cup for the first time in almost 50 years.

Fitting now that I post about their being the first ‘Vitamin D’ team to win a championship.

The Chicago Blackhawks are the First Vitamin D Team in Modern Professional Sports Historyfrom the Vitamin D council ont he subject.

Wonder if Dr. Joseph Mercola had anything to do with this (having his practice in Chicago, and all).

No doubt will inspire others.

By the way, if you want to see the clinical evidence, take a look:

Athletic performance and vitamin D
CONCLUSIONS: Vitamin D may improve athletic performance in vitamin D-deficient athletes. Peak athletic performance may occur when 25(OH)D levels approach those obtained by natural, full-body, summer sun exposure, which is *at least* 40ng/mL

At the risk of changing my ‘Health Man’ blog into the ‘Vitamin D’ blog, I come to you – once again – with more vital information about Vitamin D.

In a previous post, I make reference to mindboggling degree of Vitamin D deficiency among African-Americans – 97% are deficient. While we focus on African-Americans due to the relatively large population of Americans of African descent, these issues should be of concern for all people living in temperate climates with melanin-rich skin pigment.

Little did I know that in February of 2005, the Vitamin D council offered a publication titled: Racial differences in vitamin D status. In a very brief six pages, it wallops you with fact after fact, study after study that strongly correlates the much higher incidence of mortality and morbidity among African-Americans with their relatively poor Vitamin D status.

In the hopes of piquing your interest in reading this, here area a few stunners:

  • Blacks are about ten times (not 10%) more likely to be vitamin D deficient than are whites.
  • Vitamin D deficiency in African American mothers may explain the fact that black babies are more than twice as likely as whites to have low-birth-weights.
  • Breast milk of black women often has undetectable levels of vitamin D.
  • Fourteen diseases/conditions that have a higher incidence among African-Americans (eg, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, obesity) also correlate with Vitamin D deficiency

This will take so little of your time to read. I hope it leads you to take ACTION.

Vitamin D Council Newsletter, February 12, 2005, “Racial Opportunities”

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).

Here’s an innovative idea: let’s say you have one of those myriad ideas about how to keep people healthy that does not involve a new molecule (pharma) or zapping a patient with neutron gamma rays (medical devices). The oft-repeated lament is “Nobody’s gonna fund that, there’s no money in it!”

But if it’s dirt cheap and so helpful, you ought to be able to convince some large number of people (how presumably have been helped) to chip in to fund the research, huh?

Well, that’s the big idea at Grassroots Health (http://grassrootshealth.net). As far as I can tell, their only (first?) area of interest is in Vitamin D sufficiency (http://grassrootshealth.net/daction). They essentially have people sign up for $60/year. By signing up, members agree to participate in an observational study tracking circulating Vitamin D concentrations (25(OH)D) against a bunch of health conditions. The long-term plan is to build up enough cash to do a clinical trial of a to-be-determined design.

Could be the start of a new model – and give the disaffected throngs a way to push their priorities and note be dictated to by the medical-industrial complex.