Vitamin D: The Sunshine Vitamin29th June 2010
This book is slim but effectively covers a wide-range of problems that can be helped by vitamin D. Rona, a Canadian doctor specialising in complementary and alternative medicine, has found the vast majority of his patients low on vitamin D, even in the summer, and says 70% of adults and children in the US need supplementation. (The proportion must be higher in the UK and Canada, which are both further north.) The importance of Vitamin D for health can't be stressed enough: it can apparently cure cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, bone density issues, acne, asthma, autism, arthritis, muscle pain, chronic pain, fatigue, depression and various autoimmune disorders.
Like all the other books on vitamin D, this one confirms that the benefits of ultraviolet light have been underestimated while the dangers have been grossly exaggerated. It's worth noting that, over a decade ago, several books were already lauding the much-overlooked benefits of sunshine, the best way to get vitamin D, although the further away from the equator, the less effective. (Those who react badly to Vitamin D and/or sunshine may have a rare disease called sarcoidosis.) Rona comes straight out and explains that few sunscreens actually have any protection while most have cancer-causing ingredients and also that most skin cancers are not dangerous although sunburn (not suntanning) is harmful. Washing within 48 hours (but not rinsing) can remove sun benefits.
Rona explains the current controversy about Vitamin D2 (from plants) and says either D2 or D3 (from animals) is effective. All the more recent books cover high-dose vitamin D therapy but the most they recommend is about 50,000iu per week or 10,000iu per day. This book is the only one that refers to even higher doses, commenting that John Cannell, physician and head of the Vitamin D Council, recommends doses as high as 50,000iu daily for quickly getting rid of a cold or flu (but not otherwise) but that Norm Shealy, another physician and author, has been taking 50,000iu per day for 18 months although he does quarterly blood tests. (Immediately after reading this, I was delighted to find that 50,000iu DAILY of vitamin D3 for several days was quickly very helpful indeed for a highly inflamed, swollen and painful foot that a relative had been suffering with for over a week.) Rona points out that fear of vitamin D toxicity is unwarranted and such unwarranted fear, bordering on hysteria, is rampant in the medical profession.
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