I questioned whether I should add yet another boring post on the benefits of vitamin D on “x” disease. I know–we all get it by now and we are all supplementing with reasonable levels of vitamin D. If you are not, then there is something seriously wrong with your reading abilities, or you feel that slathering on baby oil mixed with iodine while sunbathing next to the pool here in AZ in July is getting you the levels you need.
But what about our children? We all grew up without vitamin D supplementation and we turned out just fine, right? Sure–if you consider massive increases in obesity, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and cancer “fine.”
The is unquestionably some as-yet-to-be-determined factor or factors playing a role in the low levels of vitamin D in our population’s collective bloodstreams. Obesity, UVA penetration through glass and breaking down the formation of vitamin D (think driving in the summer with your AC on and windows up), air pollution and sunscreen may all be factors.
This particular study finds that low levels of vitamin D correlate with many cardiovascular disease risk factors (waist circumference, HDL levels, insulin levels and blood pressure). Those with the lowest levels were 71% more likely to have these risks factors. That’s very substantial AND very scary given that this study was done in 12-19 year olds.
Personally, I make sure that my son gets, on top of rational sun exposure, around 800-1000 IU of vitamin D per day. This is considered a very safe level of supplementation. It also makes it easier–whenever I take mine, he knows that it’s time for him to take his.