any of a group of organic compounds that are essential for normal growth and nutrition and are required in small quantities in the diet because they cannot be synthesized by the body
Vitamin D Supplementation – Be Careful, Researchers Warn
Very high blood levels of vitamin D confer no additional benefit, researchers from Johns Hopkins reported in the American Journal of Medicine. In fact, when they combined the results of their present and previous studies, they found that raising vitamin D levels in “healthy people” with already normal levels may be potentially harmful.
Healthy people and health care professionals have been bombarded with stories from health websites and the media about the hazards of low vitamin D levels, urging people to take supplements to protect against hardening of the arteries, hypertension, diabetes, weak bones, and a range of other illnesses.
Study leader Muhammad Amer, M.D., M.H.S., said:
“Healthy people have been popping these pills, but they should not continue taking vitamin D supplements unchecked. At a certain point, more vitamin D no longer confers any survival benefit, so taking these expensive supplements is at best a waste of money.”
Some people definitely do benefit from higher vitamin D blood levels and should be considered for supplements, they include:
- elderly women
- patients with kidney disease
- postmenopausal women
- very obese people
In this study, Dr. Amer and Dr. Rehan Qayyum reviewed data from over 10,000 participants in NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) from 2001 to 2004. They then matched the data they had gathered with those contained in the National Death Index through the end of 2006.
When they examined details on deaths from all causes and specifically cardiovascular disease, they found that people whose blood levels were at the top range of what the Institute of Medicine considers “adequate” (21 nanograms per milliliter of 25-Hydroxyvitamin D) had a 50% lower risk of dying prematurely.
However, as blood levels of vitamin D rose above 21 nanograms per milliliters, that protective effective seemed to wear off.
The main source of vitamin D is skin exposure to direct sunlight. Vitamin D can be found naturally in a small number of foods, including salmon, sardines and mackerel (oily fish). Commercially sold milk, fat spreads and some breakfast cereals are fortified with vitamin D.
Many people are starting to wonder whether they should be slapping on so much sunscreen when going outdoors if sunlight is the main source of vitamin D, Dr. Amer explained. The problem is, no set amount of supplementation can raise vitamin D levels to 21 nanograms per milliliter because we do not all process vitamins in the same way.
Amer and Qayyum found that if blood vitamin D levels are increased, the result is lower levels of CRP (c-reactive protein), a popular marker for cardiovascular inflammation.
Potential health risks of consuming vitamin D
The Upper Level limit recommended for vitamin D is 4,000 IU per day. However, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has suggested that vitamin D toxicity is unlikely at daily intakes below 10,000 IU per day.
Excessive consumption of vitamin D (hypervitaminosis D) can lead to over calcification of bones and hardening of blood vessels, kidney, lungs, and heart. The most common symptoms of hypervitaminosis D are headache and nausea but can also include loss of appetite, dry mouth, a metallic taste, vomiting, constipation, and diarrhea.
It is best to get your required Vitamin D from natural sources. When choosing supplements, choose your brand carefully as the FDA does not monitor safety or purity of supplements. If you want to buy Vitamin D supplements, then there is an excellent selection on online with thousands of customer reviews.
It is the total diet or overall eating pattern that is most important in disease prevention and achieving good health. It is better to eat a diet with a variety than to concentrate on one individual nutrient as the key to good health.
However, excessive vitamin D levels may be bad for you – any vitamin D levels above 21 nanograms per milliliter were found to be linked to an increase in CRP, which is associated with the hardening of blood vessels and a greater risk of developing cardiovascular problems.
The team has also found a link between excess vitamin D and raised levels of homocysteine, which can increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Dr. Amer urges people to check with their doctors before considering vitamin D supplements – ideally, they should have their vitamin D blood levels checked.
Even if your doctor recommends supplementation for you, you should beware when reading the labels. A report published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that many OTC vitamin D supplements have less of the vitamin than their labels claim (OTC means “over-the-counter”, non-prescription).
“Most healthy people are unlikely to find that supplementation prevents cardiovascular diseases or extends their lives,” and there is no consensus among doctors on what is the right level of vitamin D in the blood for healthy people.
There are a lot of myths out there and not enough data
Vitamin E supplements ‘raise risk of prostate cancer by 20%… and have NO health benefits’
- Vitamin E and selenium supplements do not benefit health, say scientists
- Claim large doses of both can raise risk of prostate cancer by 17 per cent
- This can rise to 91 per cent in men with high levels of selenium in body
- Vitamin E, found in nuts and spinach, is taken to boost immune system
Men should not take high doses of vitamin E or selenium supplements because they have no health benefits and increase the risk of prostate cancer by up to a fifth, scientists have claimed.
Vitamin E, naturally found in nuts, spinach and broccoli, is taken to boost the body’s immune system and the mineral selenium, found in fish and meat, is taken to ward off heart disease.
But US researchers claim large doses of both can increase the risk of prostate cancer by 17 per cent.
Discovery: Men should not take high doses of vitamin E (pictured) or selenium supplements because they have no health benefits and increase the risk of prostate cancer by up to a fifth, U.S. researchers have claimed
This can rise to as much as 91 per cent if a man already has high levels of selenium before taking supplements.
The warning centres on high-dose supplements, with researchers saying there appear to be no risks from taking a standard multivitamin.
Source: Vitamin E, naturally found in spinach, left, and nuts, right, is taken to boost the body’s immune system
Neither selenium nor vitamin E supplementation confers any known benefits, only risks.’
The study looked in detail at a past trial, carried out to test whether extra vitamin E and selenium could help prevent prostate cancer.
But instead, researchers discovered more cases of prostate cancer among men taking 400 international units (IU) of vitamin E daily than those taking a placebo.
This is the equivalent of 363mg a day, which is 30 times the recommended daily amount.
Men with low levels of selenium were the most affected by extra vitamin E – with the supplements raising their prostate cancer risk by 63 per cent.
Dr Kristal said: ‘Many people think that dietary supplements are helpful or at the least, innocuous. This is not true.
‘We know from several other studies that some high-dose dietary supplements – that is, supplements that provide far more than the daily recommended intakes of micronutrients – increase cancer risk.’
More than 35,000 healthy men in their 50s and older took part in the initial trial, which began in 2001. Further investigation of this data, published yesterday in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, revealed the latest findings.
In the UK, the recommended daily amount of vitamin E is 12mg, and most multivitamin pills contain between 15mg and 30mg.
However, the UK Expert Group on Vitamins and Minerals says the upper ‘safe’ limit is between 700 and 800mg a day – twice as much as taken in the trial.
Dr Matthew Hobbs, deputy director of research at Prostate Cancer UK, said more studies were needed, but added: ‘If men are concerned about their prostate cancer risk, rather than worrying about selenium and vitamin E supplements, they should talk to a GP.’
American’s consume the most vitamins and supplements and we are “some” of the most “unhealthy” if not the “most” unhealthy people in the world .
The only natural vitamins are those found in foods .
The body absorbs nutrients from pills poorly. [ A scientific fact]
I checked on it . In the U. S. we still have some of the richest [class one soil] in the whole world in the California valleys were we get a lot of our produce . So the reasoning that the food is nutrient depleted and that you need pills holds no water .
Most people take vitamins to 1] boost their immune system or 2] to give them energy [ makes no sense] they don’t do either.
There are foods that greatly boosts one’s immune system like garlic, onions, yogurt ,[ grass fed] whole milk, but pills [ supplements of nutrients found in foods or vitamins ] won’t . Foods and Herbs will !!! .
As for taking vitamins for energy , not true at all, nutrients in food [ carbs , protein , fat ] gives you energy , not vitamin .
There are fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and water-soluble vitamins B, and C .
Fat soluble vitamins are not excreted daily as the water-soluble vitamins .
Fat soluble vitamins can be dangerous to take because they are not excreted daily as water-soluble vitamins are which can lead to a toxicity in the liver . As well as other health problems [ arterial calcification , A – fib , fatty liver disease] .
“ Food for Thought”
Just because something is good for you doesn’t mean more is better ie ; food , exercise , alcohol, sleep etc !
[ If anything , the “Fat” soluble vitamins [ A, D, E,] are more dangerous than beneficial ] .
Think about this , vitamins have nothing too do with all the health problems . People are dying from The Big “3” so to speak ie; [ Heart attacks, Cancer, Diabetes] because ” THEY DON’T KNOW HOW TO EAT RIGHT ” !!!..
1] Heart attacks = are from a high animal fat [ saturated ] diet[ red and pork meats ] and eating too much “refined’ carbs, too may calories taken in and not being burned up . This forms Plaque , [ clogged arteries] vitamins have nothing to do with it .
2] Cancer = is caused by chemicals in the food and water , plain and simple . Vitamins won’t help or have nothing to do with it . You have to detoxify your body of the chemicals with lots of spring or well water, lots of “leafy” greens as well as fruits .
3] Diabetes = is caused by consuming way too much sugar [ table] candy , doughnuts , pastries , pop the American diet . This causes the Pancreas to kick out insulin to cut the sugar, the pancreas can’t keep up and burns out, that is why diabetics get insulin shots . They call it “Sugar” diabetes . Again , vitamins have nothing to do with all the above big “3” diseases mentioned . As well as all the skeletal ,disk problems, arthritis, gout, kidney problems etc !!!
Again , all the above health problems are because PEOPLE DON’T KNOW HOW TO EAT RIGHT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. , not because of vitamin deficiency’s . DO YOU UNDERSTAND?
It’s just like in the old west when someone would go around from town to town with his card table and bottle of “elixir” touting that it will cure any ailments people have . It’s the same with pills , supplements .
Is there a use for vitamins ? yes, like in cases of extreme emergency’s like intravenous feeding during surgery , severely malnourished or the like , but for the average person they will do nothing , Americans being the prime example .