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The Spy Who Loved D (or To D or Not to D—Redux)

Posted on 07 December 2012

On the occasion of the silver-screen James Bond's 50th anniversary, I have been contemplating the enduring appeal of the ultra suave and debonair British superspy. Now, a half-century and six Bond actors later, the series (and the Ian Fleming franchise) is one of the longest running in history. Why? Because of the character's universal appeal to the masses (as a sex symbol to women and a hero/role model to men). The mere mention of, "Bond. James Bond" sends a tingle up my spine. To commemorate 007's recent Golden Anniversary and the debut of the newest Bond film, "Skyfall," I think it's opportune to revisit another topic of lasting, universal interest—Vitamin D. And it's important for a lot of reasons over-and-above the obvious bone protection attributes. Recent research published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that people who are vitamin D deficient had a significantly increased risk of developing bladder cancer. That (and the fact that November 2 was Vitamin D Day) inspired me to revisit the topic and spread awareness on vitamin D and the vitamin D deficiency. Our press is rife with the preventive power of Vitamin D against the flu, breast cancer, osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis, depression, arthritis, and now bladder cancer. Yet there is controversy still about how much is enough. My response? To paraphrase a frequently quoted line from another famous (non-Bond) film, "Show me the data." What's Your Level?  When we are figuring out if you have enough, we measure in your blood 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D]. I happen to agree with the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) and believe you should have a level of:
  • 75 nmol/L or higher
  • 30 ng/mL or higher
We are in the midst of an epidemic of low Vitamin D levels, yet the bad news is that conventional physicians rarely check them. Demand your "25-OH-Vitamin-D" level now to see if you're getting enough from sun, food sources and/or supplements. How much should I take?  Our government's National Institute of Health set the RDA goal at 600 IU/day, which is low, in my opinion. NOF has a higher goal range of: 400-800 IU/day for those < 50, and 800-1000 IU/day in those > 50. 10-20 min of sunshine per day gets you 10,000-20,000 IU. From nutritional sources such as mild, egg yolks, and oily fish (salmon, tuna - you know, the ones that contain mercury), you get about 100 IU per serving or less. I generally recommend 1000-2000 IU/day. Ergo, you need a supplement. How much is too much?  From my review of the data, I believe you can safely take up to 10,000 IU/day especially in the Bay Area of California where we have dense cloud cover much of the year. Toxic symptoms are kidney stones and kidney problems, both thought to be related to high blood calcium levels. NOF suggests that you can only become toxic if you are using a prescription form of Vitamin D, and supplements are relatively safe. Which supplement? There are two types: D2 (ergocalciferol) and D3 (cholecalciferol). Old data suggested D3 was superior but recent research suggests they are equally good. By the way, if you want to know which 007 film and Bond portrayer are my favorites, I have the same answer: My personal research suggests they are equally good. Sending you love, light, and happiness, Dr. Sara PS: Just a reminder that my inner circle—Get Vital/Stay Vital—is the most affordable way to work with me. Link here to learn more http://www.saragottfriedmd.com/innercircle/ Sources: Amaral AFS, et al. Plasma 25-Hydroxyvitamin D3 and bladder cancer risk according to tumor stage and FGFR3 status: A mechanism-based epidemiological study. Journal of the National Cancer Institute. October 29, 2012. "November 2nd is Vitamin D Day; Vitamin D Council Takes Action to Help Spread Awareness," http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/november-2nd-is-vitamin-d-day-vitamin-d-council-takes-action-to-help-spread-awareness-/ "Calcium and Vitamin D: What You Need to Know," http://www.nof.org/articles/10 "Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Vitamin D," http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/

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