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Vitamin D, Nutrition and Health

Show Summary - March 2, 2009

Guest: Alan Kadish, ND

Alan Kadish, ND (Medford, OR), "The Misunderstood Vitamin D"

Dr. Kadish, a Naturopathic Physician from Medford, Oregon, had a lot to teach us about vitamin D. Most important was a 2004 study that concluded that standards for Vitamin D intake which had been around since the 1940's were based on flawed math and were incorrect.

There are two primary forms of vitamin D, according to Dr. Kadish, labeled as "D2" and "D3" (there are six forms altogether). D2 is sold as a prescription and is very expensive whereas D3 is sold over-the-counter and is very inexpensive. As it turns out, D3 is absorbed more easily and is highly preferable.

Dr. Kadish stated that most people in the Pacific Northwest have vitamin D deficiency because it is formed in the skin from ultraviolet rays, which is why it is called the "sunshine vitamin." If you live in an area with lots of overcast, or if you work in an office and don't get outside much, you are probably among the 37 to 54 percent of the population who are vitamin D deficient.

Vitamin D serves many functions in the body and may be a hormone rather than a vitamin. It is important to bone growth and health because it aids in the absorption of calcium. Very high levels of vitamin D have been shown to lower the rate of cancer cells in the body and reduce the frequency and severity of colds. In menopausal women, vitamin D can decrease symptoms such as hot flashes, mood swings and loss of energy. It can also help mitigate the effects of type 2 diabetes. The vitamin also affects sleep and mood, including seasonal affective disorder.

There are two blood tests for vitamin D, the "125" and the "025." Dr. Kadish recommends the 025. Blood levels of 20 to 32 are considered "not deficient." However, Dr. Kadish recommends a level of over 50. For people battling a major illness, it may be helpful to build your level up to 70 or more (over 100 is probably too high).

A dosage of 4,000 to 10,000 IU (International Units) per day is considered safe and it may take sixc to eight eight weeks to build up to the desired level. D2 us usually prescribed at a dosage of 50,000 IU per day but it is not absorbed nearly as well.

Dr, Kadish suggests that you don't take any vitamin D without first ascertaining your blood level. The test should cost about $40 to $50. Most physicians have negotiated a favorable price with the laboratory and use the 025 test. LabCorps seems to have the most accurate test.

There was also a brief discussion of hemp seeds as a dietary supplement. Hemp is high in protein (and very low in THC), contains all essential amino acids and is easily digestible and non-allergenic.

For more about vitamin D

For more about hemp

Categories: Diet and nutrition; health and wellness