Dr. Paul opens up about life before med school and some of the wisdom that was passed on to him from his grandfather.
Just published in the Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism, March 2014 is the article, “Prevalence of Risk of Deficiency and Inadequacy of 25-Hydroxy Vitamin D in US Children: NHANES 2003-2006”. (You can read it here… ) They found 10% of the US children had levels below 16ng/mL, and 4% more were between 16-20 ng/mL.
Recall that a 2009 Journal of Pediatrics study defined sufficient vitamin D levels as greater than 30 ng/mL, and found 70% of those ages 1-21 were deficient or insufficient. Review of the literature shows that less than 1% has optimal levels of 50-80 ng/mL.
A science daily article quoting Loyola University Health System that quoted the above article is titled “Fewer children at risk for deficient vitamin D”. This is a sad and misguided message. How did this happen? Well, it appears that the IOM has decided to change the definition of what level constitutes insufficient from 30 ng/mL to 20ng/mL. If those who were taking vitamin D supplements stop doing so, this will result in half the US population becoming even more deficient than they already are.
The bulk of the studies on vitamin D show huge cancer reductions, but most of the benefits happen as levels approach 50 ng/mL. I can find no good reason that the IOM would make recommendations that take us in the wrong direction. I can only assume that this small group of politically well-positioned doctors must have an agenda that differs from that of optimizing our health. Perhaps they are so removed from integrative medicine, the value of nutrition, preventative medicine that optimizes nutrients and minimizes toxins, that this IOM decision makes sense.
Saying vitamin D levels of 20 ng/mL are OK is like saying a blood pressure of 160/100 is ok. This way you can give fewer people the life saving vitamin D or the life saving blood pressure medicine.
Don’t be fooled by this ridiculous attempt to minimize the risk of low vitamin D status. I highly recommend you supplement to vitamin D levels of 50-80 ng/dL. The upper limits of vitamin D supplementation given by IOM can be found here. I have found 5000 IU daily safe for long term use by teens and adults. Infants over 1 years old can take 1,500 IU daily and once your child is 40 lbs(20Kg), they can start taking 2,000 IU. 5000 IU daily is safe in pregnancy and also results in better levels for infants.
We know that lower thyroid function during pregnancy is a serious cause of poor brain development, and even lower IQ. It is this reason that your prenatal should have iodine, as iodine is crucial in the formation of functional thyroid hormones. The study presented in Environmental Health Perspectives “Association between Maternal Serum Perfluoroalkyl Substances During Pregnancy and cord Thyroid Hormones: Taiwan Maternal and Infant Cohort Study“, showed the higher the mom’s perfluoroalkys, the lower her infant’s thyroid function was.
What are perfluoroalkyls? These are substances widely used in industry. The major human source of exposure is the paper wrappings used in fast food. These chemicals repel grease so the grease from the food doesn’t penetrate the paper that wraps the food.
Don’t eat fast food that is wrapped in anything, and you can avoid much of the exposure. With so many toxins that can damage your unborn child, like mercury which is found in high concentrations in fish, or BPA that is in plastics, it just makes sense to do all you can to avoid what you can avoid.
To the health of our next generation.