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Serious Vitamin D Deficiency in the U.S.A.

An article published in the journal Pediatrics shows that children in the USA are acutely deficient in D vitamin. The study found that that 70% of U.S. children have insufficient levels in vitamin D.

The researchers collected data over 3 years, on more than 6,000 children throughout the U.S. 9% were found to be very deficient, while 61% were deficient in D vitamin. Converting that to the U.S. population means that 7,600,000 children are acutely deficient, and 50,800,000 have vitamin D deficiency.

Vitamin D deficiency leads to a higher risk for osteoporosis, bone and heart disease, metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, high blood sugar or blood glucose concentrations and cancer. Sources for D vitamin are milk, yogurt and other dairy products, fish and vitamin supplements, however the best source of vitamin D is sunlight. About 20 minutes per day, between 10am and 2pm is the optimum for a pale skinned person, somewhat longer for darker skinned people.

Low levels of D vitamin were found in obese children. Vitamin D is associated with obesity, but it is uncertain whether inadequate vitamin D causes obesity or the other way around. Research has shown that people who have higher levels of vitamin D when starting a low-calorie diet may be more successful in losing weight, loss of abdominal fat.

Not unexpectadly, for something we get from sunshine, they found som activities were associated with lower vitamin D levels. These included:

  • four hours a day of using computers
  • watching TV
  • playing video games

Also older teens had lower levels than younger children, due to more indoor activity.

African Americans and Hispanic Americans, having darker skin, which naturally results in their bodies not absorbing vitamin D as easily, also had lower values.

Vitamin D plays an important part in preventing cancer. Researchers have determine that 75 % of deaths from breast cancer and colon cancer could be prevented with adequate intake of vitamin D and calcium.

These are otherwise hard diseases to prevent.

Screening for cancer can now catch cancer at an earlier, more easily treated stage through a simple blood test. Screening for cancer by measuring vitamin D levels in the blood, testing for a metabolite serum 25 hydoxy-vitamin-d, will do this.

Scientists are calling for a standard vitamin D intake of 2000 IU/day to achieve a blood serum level of 40-60 ng/ml.

To find out if you have sufficient D vitamin you should ask your doctor for a simple blood test.

Alternatively, if all the bad news above causes anxiety, go for a 20-minute brisk walk in the sun. That is the best preventative medicine there is, against the conditions and cancers listed above.

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