Vitamin D doesn’t work – Oh really?

Blogs-contributors, Fighting Cancer — By on November 25, 2008 at 8:22 am

I was wondering what to write about so had a browse around the CancerDirectory site. The first thing that caught my eye was a report boldly headlining the fact that vitamin D had been tested over a period of seven years and had not been found to be protective against breast cancer. This study was published by the National Cancer Institute. So that appears to be the authoritative statement on vitamin D.

For many people – myself included when I first started researching all the options that were proposed as potential cures for cancer – this kind of study – and the treatment of it in the newspapers – seems to carry an awful lot of weight. Answer that! a voice in your head says. There’s a study that’s scientific and it disproves the value of vitamin D. Simple!

Unfortunately life – and truth – are rarely simple. But there is one pattern that seems to be fairly consistent and this is a very good example of it. Almost every study that ‘disproves’ the value of taking vitamin and mineral supplements does so by testing small quantities of the item. In this case, the women seeking a protective effect from vitamin D were only taking 400iu. if you look up the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) – or ‘Reference Intakes’ as they are now known as – you will find that the figure is 400iu. So the study has shown that the standard recommended allowance of vitamin D is useless.

Actually, this is in agreement with what the vitamin/mineral advocates have been saying for decades. They have said that the official RDA figures for all the vitamins and minerals have been set very low – indeed unhealthily low. Everyone making claims for the value of vitamin D – in fact – says that an average daily intake should be in the region of 2,000 iu minimum and 4-6,000iu may be preferable.

Now, it is very difficult to get 2,000iu of vitamin D from food sources such as cod liver oil.  The best source of vitamin D is sunlight. Exposure to sunlight of course varies according to lattitude and season. You won’t get much vitamin D in New York in winter – certainly not as much as you will get in Florida in the summer. Half an hour on the beach in Florida will allow you to absorb 10,000 iu of vitamin D. And do you feel sick from over-dosing? Of course not. You feel great.

As I said earlier the vitamin crowd don’t pay a great deal of respect to RDA figures. And, belatedly, it seems that doctors are catching up as I found at this link where the medical author argued for a minimum of 1,000iu vitamin D – http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/541149

So the next time you see a study debunking this or that mineral or vitamin look a little closer and ask: How much of the vitamin were they testing? and How does that compare with what vitamin advocates are saying?

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