Vitamin D in the milk

76 posts in this topic

I've mentioned it elsewhere on the forum before now, but Vitamin D deficiency may be linked to autism in kids.

 

 

The evidence for such a link is circumstantial, and autism experts describe the hypothesis as speculative. But Dr. Cannell, founder of the Vitamin D Council, a non-profit advocacy group, says autism rates have skyrocketed in lockstep with medical advice given to the public since the late 1980s to avoid all exposure to bright sunshine.

High rates of autism in Somali immigrant families in Minnesota may be due to lack of vitamin D from equatorial people in a northern climate who generally cover themselves almost entirely.

 

I predict that Vitamin D will be hyped as the next "wonder vitamin."

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Thanks all for the replies. To the many people who said 'take a walk outside' or 'go for 30 minutes in the sun', I usually do :) , but it just can't solve the problem in the fall/winter! Vitamin D is produced when UVB light interacts with our body. In the winter season, the sun is lower, and thus must go through more atmosphere before reaching us, and this filters out the UVB component in the light. I could stay half an hour in the sun during the winter. even bathe in the snow in a bikini (as some of my fellow countrywomen do during the carnival!), I won't produce much vitamin D. As for the oily fish (or egg yolk) it's a good source, I agree, but I just don't eat oily fish (or plenty of eggs) *every day*. As for the hype, yes, many scientific studies based on large populational groups have shown many positive effects on health lately, and the Canadian Cancer Society is now recommending a daily intake of 1000 IU a day, way more than you can get if you live in northern countries, even if you eat plenty of eggs...

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June 2007

 

 

“We’re recommending 1,000 IUs daily because the current evidence suggests this amount will help reduce cancer risk with the least potential for harm,” says Logan. “More research is needed to clearly define the amount of Vitamin D that will maximize health benefits.”

based on 2008 report

 

 

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) brought together a working group to review the evidence on vitamin D and cancer. In their 2008 report, they concluded that:

 

there is a relationship between low vitamin D and colorectal cancer

there is limited evidence for breast cancer

there is no evidence for prostate cancer

This is from the Canadian Cancer Society. As is this:

 

 

A few minutes a day of unprotected sun exposure is usually all that is needed for some people to get enough vitamin D.

 

 

UV rays can get through clouds, fog and haze

People may need supplements but not everyone. I take my milk without :rolleyes:

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UV rays can get through clouds, fog and haze

"UV rays" is a bit too generic: yes, UVA pass through clouds and glass - but UVB is what you need to make vitamin D and this part of the spectrum is filtered out in the winter.

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Compare the difference of how average Americans go out to their garage, get in their car, drive to work or drive to a restaurant where they then sit inside, and eating mainly processed foods on a daily basis, to the Germans (or us expats living over here), walking to the U-bahn or riding our bikes to work every day, walking to the store, sitting outside in a cafe, going on walks on a regular basis, eating lots of fresh seasonal veg and fruits. I would say the average person living in Germany is outside a lot, on a regular, daily basis and the average American spends their entire day inside, thus rarely getting any sun at all.

 

As others have pointed out, one does get Vitamin D from other food sources too, so no real need to add it to the milk.

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According to Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ernährung, a study found that vitamin D levels vary considerably in the population in Germany depending on the seasons. In summer the average natural vitamin D supply is good except for older people and subgroups of migrants, but in winter the UVB radiation is too low in these latitudes for the organism to produce vitamin D. The quoted statement says however that a targeted vitamin D supplementation of risk groups makes more sense than the enrichment of food.

 

More facts from Swiss Diabetics Society. According to this, an accidental vitamin D overdosage of milk which killed infants led to the prohibition of vitamin D addition to food (with the exception of margarine) in Germany. This source also points out that people with certain conditions (liver, kidney, thyroid dysfunctions) shouldn't take vitamin D supplements without consulting a doctor.

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Fish oil supplements are supposed to be really good for you, but they make a lot of people burp, and those burps are fishy. Ewwww.

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fish (cod)liver oil is a good source.

 

When I was a child, taking cod liver oil was a form of punishment.

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There's a great video on Ted.com in which Nina Jablonski, an anthropologist from the US, talks about the correlation between skin color and UV absorption. She also suggests that more people may be getting insufficient levels of UVB than they realize.

 

Very interesting, and worth a watch.

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I think for some people a few minutes in the sun every day isn't really enough.

 

I was having a lot of problems with my joints after the birth of my son last year which became really bad in November and just got worse over the winter. I was having a load of other problems but all the doctors kept saying that your body needs time to recover after a birth and pregnancy puts a huge strain on everything etc.

 

I only noticed recently that everything got a little better when I was back in Australia for 3 months and even though it got worse again when I came back to Germany over the summer, by October again this year everything was worse than ever.

 

I read about vitamin D and asked my doctor to do a blood test. He was a bit reluctant because he assured me there's enough sun in Germany and it's not very common. We rang a week later for my test results and they said my level was fine and I had no problem.

 

I asked for a copy of the test results and it turns out my 25OH level is 11. The doctor has since said this is 'a little low' and I'm on prescription vitamin D.

 

I eat an egg nearly every morning for breakfast, and in the summer I walked 5 km to and from my gym 6 days a week.

I normally don't go out in the sun much because we have a really bad history of skin cancer in my family, but I would have thought the hour or so I walked around outside with no sunscreen was more than enough.

 

I'm a little confused why they don't test vitamin D levels more in adults because as far as I'm aware they give all newborns a supplement for their first year. I was a bit reluctant to give the supplement to my son but I will definitely be giving it to my next baby.

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There are very strong correlations between vitamin D deficiency and the chances of contracting Multiple Sclerosis. Highest numbers of sufferers live in the high Northern Hemispheres and the lowest numbers are found around the Equator. Scotland has the highest number of cases in the UK. I really do believe that we should all be given Vitamin D as a matter of course, especially since Western diets are often based on processed food not rich in natural vitamins and minerals. I take a supplement and try to eat oily fish often. I also aim to spend 20 mins a day in the summer without sunscreen.

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Nicole,, if you have a link to the report that states they think lack of Vit. D leads to MS, I would love to read it. This is the 1st time I have ever heard that. I do know that northern countries have a problem, but it is more industrialized countries problem and not just limited to those with no sun. So, Australia suffers from a lot of MS as do residents of Florida. But those in Portugal and Spain, or Africa don't.

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http://www.mssociety.org.uk/news_events/news/press_releases/vit_d_and_genes.html

 

I dont know if its true, but it seems like a decent place to start looking for published info :)

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Well, here's a timely article:

NY Times: supplements not needed!

 

Anyway, Nicole would have flunked elementary logic. Highest MS numbers in the north; least amount of sun in north; ergo, little sun produces MS. Not.

 

And countrychick, how did you conclude the problem was Vitamin D? Why not rheumatism due to the cold, damp climate (esp. if you are used to Australia?!). Or why not the physical/hormonal changes resulting from pregnancy? Ask around: lots of women experience significant changes. And as far as I know, the German supplementing of infants for Vit. D has to do with the fact that they're not getting it at all in their (breastmilk) diet and don't get enough sun at that early age. It doesn't extend to the older population.

 

Anyway, the craze for supplementing food in the U.S. is all about marketing, not about health. How long will it take my compatriots to figure something like this out? We are the kings of capitalism, you'd think the population would have developed a greater ability to sniff it out.

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I don't think white flour is fortified either, if I'm not mistaken (which I may well be).

The flour isn't fortified here and there are no plans to change this.

 

 

This source also points out that people with certain conditions (liver, kidney, thyroid dysfunctions) shouldn't take vitamin D supplements without consulting a doctor.

Those with thyroid conditions would be very wise to get their Vitamin D levels checked when having their check-up. Vitamin D is needed to get the thyroid hormones to work and so thyroid patients really need to have this checked. My levels were terrible and I'm on prescription Vitamin D now.

Not everyone with low thyroid function will have this and some may even have issues with supplementation, so check with your endocrinologist first.

 

As for fish oil, you can find brands that don't repeat on you. I take fish oil as I have to limit my seafish consumption due to the thyroid issue, again after discussion with my doctor.

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