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Vitamin D deficiency soars in the U.S.
New research suggests that most Americans are lacking a crucial vitamin.
Three-quarters of U.S. teens and adults are deficient in vitamin D, the so-called "sunshine vitamin" whose deficits are increasingly blamed for everything from cancer and heart disease to diabetes, according to new researchWeb source:

Between 1988 and 1994, 45 percent of 18,883 people had 30 ng/mL or more of vitamin D, the blood level a growing number of doctors consider sufficient for overall health; a decade later, just 23 percent of 13,369 of those surveyed had at least that amount.

The slide was particularly striking among African Americans: just 3 percent of 3,149 blacks sampled in 2004 were found to have the recommended levels.

"We were anticipating that there would be some decline in overall vitamin D levels, but the magnitude of the decline in a relatively short time period was surprising," says study co-author Adit Ginde. Lack of vitamin D is linked to rickets (soft, weak bones) in children and thinning bones in the elderly, but scientists also believe it may play a role in heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

Ginde, who last month linked vitamin D deficiency to catching more colds, blames increasing use of sunscreen and long sleeves following skin cancer-prevention campaigns for the change. Using a sunscreen with as little as a 15-factor protection cuts the skin's vitamin D production by 99 percent, the study notes, and there are few sources of the vitamin in our diets. Some food sources are salmon, tuna, mackerel and vitamin D-fortified dairy products, such as milk.

IOM recommends that people get 200-600 International Units (IU) of vitamin D daily, but it's reviewing whether to increase that recommendation in the wake of new studies. An update is expected in May 2010. Ginde believes that whatever those recommendations turn out to be, blacks should take double the amount of vitamin D supplements, because they have more melanin or pigment in their skin that makes it harder for the body to absorb and use the sun's ultraviolet rays to synthesize vitamin D. He adds that people should also take greater amounts of vitamin D in the winter when there's less sunlight.
Source: By Jordan Lite, Scientific American, March 23, 2009
Dr. Iverson's Comment
Well, this must be Vitamin D theme week!   Never-the-less, this is very important information! You can see by this article that we are in a vitamin D deficiency epidemic! The majority of Americans are deficient and they are considering you okay if you have 33 ng/ml. No way Jose! In our clinic the healthy level is from 60-80 ng/ml. If you are in the thirties or forties, then you are still deficient! If this article held those tight criteria for health- we could guess that 90% of America would be deficient. On a note here, out of the hundreds of Vitamin D tests we have ran over the last several years there has been about 10% that come back in a good range. Now you are talking about people that care enough about their health to see a health promoting doctor. What about all of unhealthy average America? 
Well then what to do? Read the other two articles to get the full information and basically:
1) Get more sun…little by little day by day without getting burned.
2) Do not wear sunscreen unless you have to spend long time in the sun. 
3) Do not wash the entire body with soap
4) Get your vitamin D levels checked and take vitamin D according to your lab values
Just that simple-    D-D-D-D-DO   IT!
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