Poverty or lack of D to blame for illnesses?

[A] study commissioned by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) in Scotland and the Scottish Government claims the country’s inhabitants do get healthy levels of sunlight.

…The researchers said their findings indicated that average blood levels of vitamin D in adults living in Scotland are safely above the level thought to be beneficial.

According to the researchers, the study gives added credence to other documented links between vitamin D levels and wealth, with those from deprived areas and with the lowest incomes exhibiting lower levels of the vitamin.

While it is true that the wealthy can have better access to foods with more vitamin D and are able to take holidays to sunny countries quite frequently, vitamin D as a supplement is surprisingly cheap to even out this disparity.

I do not believe, however, that the Scottish as a whole get usable sun even though their skin colour is adapted for less sunshine. The definition of adequate levels must certainly be poor. Rich people can get illnesses treated better and faster than the poor, off-NHS, but they are not totally immune from the diseases that affect the impoverished.

[Source: Herald Scotland]

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New study predicts better markers of health and less death in vitamin D replete HIV+s

Although the odds of death were not associated with the baseline vitamin D level, they “decreased significantly by 46% for a 2-fold higher level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D,” Dr. Viard reported.

…”Similarly, CRP [C-reactive protein] was higher in cases than in controls at the latest sample for AIDS-events and death, and it was also higher at baseline for people who were going to die.  CD14 levels were higher in cases and in controls for AIDS events and death.”

…CD4 counts increased by 7.00% per year for people deficient in vitamin D and by 11.14% per year for people nondeficient in vitamin D (both   P < .01), but not at all for patients who were severely deficient.

…Asked for perspective on these findings, session cochair Andrea Antinori, MD, from the National Institute for Infectious Disease in Rome, Italy, who was not involved with the study, told  Medscape Medical News that he found the results interesting because “probably we don’t have much information about the role of vitamin D, and more interestingly, not only its role in bone mineral density and fracture in the long term but even in immune activation inflammatory pathways” that can increase other risks, for example, for cardiovascular disease.

In other words, remaining haziness on vitamin D’s immune-enhancing functions makes it hard to discern if AIDS is exclusively or at all caused by HIV.

[Source: Medscape]

VitDleaks?

While holed up in London’s Ecuador embassy, it seems Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is using a lamp to create some vitamin D.

One can only hope that he was attracted to the idea from a certain London-authored book!…

[Source: Reuters: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/08/20/us-wikileaks-assange-embassy-idUSBRE87J0LP20120820]

Vitamin D consumers don’t need to worry about kidney stones

Taking vitamin D does not increase the risk for kidney stones, the study found. People’s age, gender and weight, however, may play a role in developing the condition.

…The new study used data on more than 2,000 adults of all ages. After following the participants for 19 months, researchers found that only 13 people reported being diagnosed with a kidney stone during that time

…Men also are at greater risk for kidney stones than women, the study found. But vitamin D users are not, it suggested.

As a comment, I’ve been taking high dose D for about seven years now and have never had an episode of kidney stones.

[Source: WebMD]

1 in 4 black men will develop prostate cancer – Prostate Cancer UK

One in four black men will develop prostate cancer in their lifetime – double the figure for all men.

…The chance of developing prostate cancer in a lifetime is one in eight for all men, rising to one in four for black men.

Genetics or environment, or genetics and environment? Read my book.

[Source: Daily Mail. Prostate Cancer UK]

An unsavoury blow to vitamin D today

Prof Ian Reid, lead study author, from the University of Auckland, said the findings [of a new meta-analysis of all vitamin D studies to date] showed that healthy adults did not need to take vitamin D supplements.

“Our data suggest that the targeting of low-dose vitamin D supplements only to individuals who are likely to be deficient could free up substantial resources that could be better used elsewhere in healthcare.”

This study of studies relies on data from “inception to July 8, 2012… of vitamin D (D3 or D2, but not vitamin D metabolites) on bone mineral density.” The major problem with that is historical low-dose trials, mostly with D2. It also talks nothing of other diseases and the various barriers most people having in making vitamin D.

This media blow to vitamin D activism is an indirect victory to Big Pharma.

[Source: BBC News, contains link to meta-analysis]

Redheads better adapted for sun-shunning lifestyles

If you’re a redhead and have the misfortune of being made fun of for that, it might be worth pointing out that you’re a wonderful product of evolution!

Fair skin and red hair first appeared around the time people settled in Europe 50,000 years ago and still remains a dominant gene in southern Europeans today, even if they can catch a tan.

Known as V6OL allele, the gene made skin lighter as humans were getting less vitamin D from no longer being in the harsh African sun.

[Source: Daily Mail]