When The Leaves are Falling Vitamin D Levels are Falling

Look for the New Revised Edition of The Vitamin D Cure in bookstores and online in June 2012! It has 15 new recipes and an all new 2 week menu along with revised chapters on the immune system, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. It will make a great Holiday gift for your loved ones.

When The Leaves are Falling Vitamin D’s are Falling

When the leaves change colors the availability of ultraviolet light (UVB) to make vitamin D disappears till next spring. Your vitamin D level begins to fall along with all the leaves on the deciduous trees. Ten weeks after peak fall colors your vitamin D level is about half what it was at the end of summer. For me hear in Michigan (42° N) that is about Christmas time or New Year’s. For those of you who live in the southern part of the United States or below 35° N your vitamin D may never fall by half because your winter is not 10 weeks long. The only sources of vitamin D during winter are fat stores and supplements.

Nature intended for us to burn most of our fat stores over the winter due to less food availability. Our Western lifestyles have us typically eating more food through the end of year holidays. So rather than liberating stored vitamin D by burning fat, we are increasing fat volume and retaining vitamin D in fat. If there were ever an appropriate use of fasting it would be from Thanksgiving through Easter. We should eat less in these winter months not more. Try fasting one day a week or consider doing a “cleanse” once a month during the winter.

Moderate to intense physical activity also stimulates fat burning and will liberate vitamin D from storage in fat. Routine physical activity that breaks a sweat has been shown in CDC data to translate into significantly higher vitamin D levels. So follow the diet in the Vitamin D Cure year round and establish a daily routine of moderate physical activity.

Recipe of the Month
Remember our recipes are courtesy of Chef Kelly . Kelly has provided 15 new recipes for the upcoming revised edition of The Vitamin D Cure due out in November 2011. Look for it in bookstores and on Amazon.

This month’s recipe is one of my favorites.

Broiled Spiced Salmon with Roasted Winter Squash & Fennel (replay)
Serves 4

For the vegetables:
• 1-1 ½ pound butternut squash, peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, halved crosswise, then cut lengthwise into 3/4-inch-wide wedges
• 1 fennel bulb, trimmed, cut lengthwise into 1-inch-wide wedges
• 1 large onion, root end left intact, then cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch-wide wedges
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon chili powder
• 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

For the Salmon:
• 4 Salmon fillets (4-6 oz. each)
• 1 Tbsp. reserved spice mixture from vegetables
• Salt & Pepper
• Olive oil

1. Position rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 450°F.
2. Combine squash, fennel, and onion on heavy large rimmed baking sheet. Add oil and toss to coat. Mix all spices in small bowl to blend, reserve 1 Tbsp. for Salmon. Sprinkle spice mixture over vegetables and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and generous amount of pepper.
3. Roast until vegetables are tender and browned, turning once, about 45 minutes. Turn oven to broil.
4. For the salmon, foil line and spray a broil pan with nonstick spray.
5. Place salmon fillets on pan and drizzle with oil, season with salt and pepper and evenly sprinkle 4 fillets with reserved spice mixture.
6. Broil for 5 to 7 minutes or until fish flakes easily.
7. Serve over top roasted vegetables.

Vitamin D in the News

The Endocrine Society published their guidelines for vitamin D testing and replacement in July 2011. These recommendations are very different from those of the Institute of Medicine. Let’s take a look at these more reasonable guidelines for screening and replacement.

Here are some key differences between IOM recommendations and Endocrine Society guidelines:

1. Normal vitamin D is ≥ 30 ng/mL or 75 nmol/L and ≤ 100 ng/mL or 250 nmol/L. (IOM – normal vitamin D ≥ 20 ng/mL)
2. Individuals with a variety of medical problems or in high risk groups should have their vitamin D levels measured and brought to normal. African Americans, Latinos, Asians, pregnant women, breast fed infants, and elderly are all among the groups in which measurement should be performed. (IOM – Testing only in patients with bone disease)
3. Recommended vitamin D supplementation amounts are more robust: 400-1000 IU daily for infants, 600-1000 IU daily for children, and 1500-2000 IU daily for adults and pregnant women. Although any size dose required, to maintain a normal level is appropriate. (IOM –400 IU for infants, 600 IU for children and adults, 800 IU for adults over 70)
4. Upper Limit of Safety was raised to 2000 IU for infants, 4000 IU for children and 10,000 IU for adults, (IOM – Upper safety limit 1000-1500 IU for infants, 2500-3000 IU for children and 4000 IU for adults)
5. Vitamin D levels should be measured no more frequently than every 3 months.

These are consistent with the recommendations The Vitamin D Cure presented in 2008. The book recommends weight based dosing rather than flat dosing because it is more accurate and requires less monitoring to reach normal.

The Vitamin D Cure details a complete lifestyle that maximizes vitamin D levels and vitamin D function beyond simple supplementation. Supplementation alone is not enough you need a lifestyle that puts vitamin D to work.

See my mini webpage on the new American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine website.

Vitamin D Success Story
Please share your successes at success@thevitamindcure.com or online at Amazon. Your success story has a powerful impact on motivating others to change their lifestyle.

Dear Dr. Dowd,

You have changed my life and we haven’t even met.

I am almost crying tears of relief as I write this. I have suffered with chronic pain and fatigue for 25 years now. I have tried every supplement and spent over $5000 trying natural treatments and seeing the doctor but nothing has helped. I have had some things that help me for a while but nothing lasts and I always slip back into a pain flare or I am so exhausted I can’t function.

Lately I have been having terrible pain flares again so I have been on the hunt for the solution. The other day I saw your book and when I saw the subtitle about healing my pain I grabbed a copy , raced home and have been reading and implementing it ever since. I have been following a paleo diet for years now and that has brought me a lot of relief but it wasn’t quite enough. It wasn’t the complete picture. Vitamin D was the missing link.

I have been on 8-10,000 I.U. for 4 days now and am having amazing results. My ankle pain is nearly gone; my stiffness is going away; my leg muscles have more strength, coordination and endurance. I am so excited and have so much energy. I was up at 2 am washing laundry and doing dishes. (I will take a nap I promise) I just can’t tell you how grateful I am for your book and for how you have changed my life already.

I am so looking forward to walking and getting rid of the excess weight that I have gained since being Vitamin D deficient. Living in Maine it is no surprise that I am deficient but I am just shocked that no Doctor has ever suggested this to me before. I was even tested last summer and my level was only 32 in August so I know I was low but until reading your book I never realized how important this is for health.

Again, thank you for changing my life

Sincerely, Debbie
Bowdoinham, Maine