The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    The science of vitamin D

    NutraIngredients.com has a review.

    Here are the highlights.

    2 forms of vitamin D

    • Vitamin D refers to two biologically inactive precursors.
      • D2: Also known as ergocalciferol.
      • D3: Also known as cholecalciferol, which is produced in the skin on exposure to UVB radiation and is more bioactive than D2
    • Both D3 and D2 precursors are metabolized in the liver and kidneys to form 25- hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) — the non-active ‘storage’ form — and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25(OH)2D) — the biologically active form.
    • While our bodies manufacture vitamin D on exposure to sunshine, the levels in some northern countries are so weak during the winter months that our body makes no vitamin D at all.
      • Actually, the levels can be low along the equator too.
    • As a result, dietary supplements and fortified foods are seen by many as the best way to raise intake of vitamin D.

    The bottom line?

    Science supports maintaining adequate levels. Vitamin D deficiency in adults reported to precipitate or exacerbate the following conditions.

    • Osteopenia
    • Osteoporosis
    • Muscle weakness
    • Fractures
    • Autoimmune diseases
    • Infectious diseases
    • Cardiovascular diseases

    There’s also evidence that vitamin D may reduce the incidence of several types of cancer and type-1 diabetes.

    4/1/10 21:17 JR

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