Vitamin D Hype?

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Recently, I was at an acupuncture conference and one of the topics of discussion over lunch was the “epidemic” of vitamin D deficiency. One doctor said he knew a physician in Phoenix who tested all his patient’s vitamin D levels and half of them showed up being deficient. I expressed my opinion that vitamin D is the latest fad and that it is over- rated.

 

The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology Metabolism published a study where they measured the serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels of 93 adults living in Honolulu who had an average of 11 hours/week (no sunscreen used) of total body exposure to sun. The results found that 51% of this population had low vitamin D status and that was using 30ng/ml as a cutoff.

 

If 50% of those living in Hawaii and Phoenix are low in vitamin D just think what percentage of those living further north are “deficient.” I feel that the majority of people with “low vitamin D” levels are not adversely affected. In addition, prudence needs to used when administering large doses of vitamin D in an attempt to raise a patients vitamin D levels as vitamin D can be toxic.

 

Terry Pfau, DO, HMD