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Vitamin D qualified cancer health claim submission being readied

3 commentsBy Shane Starling , 20-Jan-2011
Last updated the 01-Aug-2011 at 11:14 GMT

Vitamin D qualified cancer health claim submission being readied

A vitamin D qualified health claim will soon be submitted to the Food and Drug Administration even as concerns grow about the recent vitamin D scientific update issued by the Institute of Medicine (IOM).

The Alliance for Natural Health-USA (ANH-USA) announced this week that it was on the verge of submitting a dossier under the qualified health claims system.

It has enlisted Jonathan Emord, the attorney the group worked with in a 2010 court case that saw qualified selenium health claims altered, and who has been involved in several other cases including Pearson v Shalala in 1999 which was influential in the qualified health claims system being established in the first place.

The claims are likely to link vitamin D consumption with reduced rates of certain types of cancer, and reference more than 6000 studies that appear in the scientific literature.

Alliance for Natural Health is having scientific experts evaluate the evidence, presently,” Emord told NutraIngredients-USA.com.

“If the scientists deem the evidence credible in support of Vitamin D/Cancer risk reductions, then appropriate claims will be created and a petition will be filed. Based on some 6,000 published peer reviewed articles on the association, we fully expect that the scientific evaluation will find a credible basis for one or more Vitamin D site specific cancer risk reduction claims.”

IOM on vitamin D

But in making its announcement the ANH-USA pointed to issues it has with the recent IOM report on Vitamin D, which it said had set, “ridiculously low daily vitamin D allowances for most people.”

The group publicized comments made by Dr Walt Willett, along with Professor Heike A. Bischoff-Ferrari, the director of the Centre on Aging and Mobility at the University of Zurich, which were also critical of the IOM’s recommendations.

The comments, which can be found here , were published by the Harvard School of Public Health, and highlight incongruity between the vitamin D levels in the randomized controlled trials (RCTs) studied by the IOM and the body’s final recommendations.

"With the IOM recommendation of 600 to 800IU of vitamin D, most healthy adults will reach 50nmol/l (20ng/ml) 25(OH)D but not optimal bone health with respect to hip bone density or fracture reduction," the two academics wrote.

But they acknowledged that, “In support of a greater safety margin in research and supplementation strategies, the IOM doubled the safe upper limit from 2000IU to 4000IU of vitamin D per day, which is appropriate.”

The ANH-USA agreed the IOM vitamin D daily dosage was too low to prevent the risk of bone fractures.

The IOM’s report was based almost solely on the effect of vitamin D on bone health; other health benefits were largely ignored. Now Dr Willett says they didn’t even get the bone science right.”

In 2008, vitamin D was added to the calcium-osteoporosis unqualified health claim.

3 comments (Comments are now closed)

Vitamin D from the Sun For Older People Isn't Ideal

I am 48 years old. I went out in the sun for 4 months last spring, when the angle of the sun was appropriately high for my latitude in Northern California, and I stayed out till my skin turned just pink, which, even for my light skin, took one hour on each side to achieve. After 4 months, I found that I was only able to maintain a vitamin D level of 56 ng/ml.

The lab test that my insurance plan covers (Kaiser) is known to have a 21% error. My level of 56 was actually ~45 ng/ml. That equates to about 4,500 IU's a day of D3 from sun exposure. I had suffered for years with increasing pain, stiffness, migraines, painful bladder, and increasingly weak leg, arm, and back muscles. I took 14,000 IU's of vitamin D3 supplements for one year (along with calcium, magnesium, boron, zinc, and vitamin K)to get my level from 17 ng/ml to ~100 ng/ml. The reason that I got my level tested at the 4-month mark was because almost every symptom had slowly crept back, and I knew that something was wrong.

It took 6 months of taking 14,000 IU's of D3 supplements to get back to where I was in my recovery before I made the mistake of trying to rely only on the sun.

I have since read that there are other beneficial substances that are produced by the skin with sun exposure other than vitamin D, so I do not avoid the sun, but I will never rely only on the sun again for vitamin D. The setback last year in terms of the symptoms that returned was not only painful, it was very depressing.

I have read that, as one's skin ages, the skin has less ability to convert D3 with sun exposure. I have also read that smog reduces the UVB rays that are responsible for the D3 conversion in the skin. In my area, we have very clean air, so it is likely that it is my aging skin that is the issue.

I find it irresponsible of doctors to make blanket statements about topics such as vitamin D when in reality, they have no experience dealing with the reality of the disabling pain that a vitamin D deficiency can cause. Terribly irresponsible. Some of the things that people have told me that their doctors have told them are so blatantly wrong, it's not even funny. One friend decided not to get a vitamin D test for her 2 and 5 year old sons, who are Indian, with dark skin, who need more vitamin D than any of us. Her doctor told her, "why do you want a vitamin D test when your son does not have bent legs?" This indicates that the doctor would only give a vitamin D test to a child with rickets. Why in the world wait for a child to get rickets? Another friend told me that her grown son was told by his doctor, "Why do you want a vitamin D test, those are only for women."

This irresponsible behavior from doctors and institutinos like the ION needs to stop.

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Posted by Larissa Clark
27 January 2011 | 21h07

Sunlight vs supplementation

Not everyone can process sunlight to active vitamin D. We that are hypothyroid have a hard time converting sunlight to active D. Also people who are overweight are conversion challenged. There is a place for supplements, as in the above examples, and also for those who live in areas with little sunshine for most of the year.

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Posted by Chris Allen
24 January 2011 | 23h26

Test sunlight NOT supplements

Sunlight (UVB), whether from direct exposure or from tanning lamps, causes the body to produce 18-25,000 International Units of D3 (I refuse to call it a "vitamin") in 15-20 minutes.
Supplemental Vitamin D3 has no certainties of purity or consistency, let alone unscrupulous "manufacturers" of the item. As well, too few people realize that it only takes a tiny amount of Vitamin A to corrupt a large amount of D3.
Doctors and their bosses, the pharmaceutical conglomerates, have known for a long time about the efficacy of D3 to human health but have vilified the item because they can not continue to earn billions upon billions of dollars if the population was to cease being as unhealthy due to D3 deficiency.

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Posted by Mori Goldlits, Toronto Canada
20 January 2011 | 23h39

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