Health and Nutrition

April 1, 2010

Higher Vitamin D Levels Linked to Lower Risk for Female Pelvic Floor

Filed under: Nutrition,Vitamin D — Doc Joe @ 11:29 pm

From Medscape Medical News:
Higher Vitamin D Levels Linked to Lower Risk for Female Pelvic Floor

Laurie Barclay, MD
April 1, 2010 – Higher vitamin D levels are linked to a lower risk for
female pelvic floor disorders, according to the results from the National
Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) reported in the April issue
of Obstetrics & Gynecology.
“Because vitamin D receptors are present in human muscle tissue, a direct
effect of vitamin D on muscle physiology is biologically plausible,”
Samuel S. Badalian, MD, PhD, and Paula F. Rosenbaum, PhD, from SUNY Upstate
Medical University and St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center in Syracuse, New
York. “Thus, it is not surprising that vitamin D deficiency has long been
clinically associated with impaired muscle strength and loss of muscle mass.
Given that vitamin D insufficiency or deficiency is epidemic among adults,
it is plausible that low vitamin D status contributes to the development of
poor muscle strength and can lead to different pelvic floor disorders such
as urinary/fecal incontinence and POP [pelvic organ prolapse].”
The goal of the study was to determine the rate of vitamin D deficiency in
women with pelvic floor disorders and to examine possible relationships
between vitamin D levels and pelvic floor disorders. This cross-sectional
analysis of 2005-2006 NHANES data included 1881 nonpregnant women older than
20 years in whom data on pelvic floor disorders as well as vitamin D
measurements were available. Insufficient vitamin D levels were defined as
those lower than 30 ng/mL. Data were analyzed regarding demographic factors,
pelvic floor disorders, and vitamin D levels, accounting for the multistage
sampling design. After controlling for known risk factors, the investigators
calculated odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) to determine
associations between vitamin D levels and pelvic floor disorders.
Nearly one quarter (23%) of women reported 1 or more pelvic floor disorders.
Regardless of age, women reporting at least 1 pelvic floor disorder and
those with urinary incontinence had significantly lower mean vitamin D
With increasing vitamin D levels, risks for 1 or more pelvic floor disorders
were significantly decreased in all women at least 20 years old (OR, 0.94;
95% CI, 0.88 – 0.99) and in the subset of women 50 years and older (OR,
0.92; 95% CI, 0.85 – 0.99), based on adjusted logistic regression models. In
women at least 50 years old with vitamin D levels of 30 ng/mL or higher (OR,
0.55; 95% CI, 0.34 – 0.91), the likelihood of urinary incontinence was
significantly reduced.
“Higher vitamin D levels are associated with a decreased risk of pelvic
floor disorders in women,” the study authors write. “The vitamin D
association was strongest among older women reporting urinary incontinence
in the NHANES survey. The pattern was similar for fecal incontinence
although not significant.”
Limitations of this study include drifts in the assay performance of vitamin
D levels with time, limited power regarding subtype analyses, and lack of
gynecologic examination to assess the severity of pelvic organ prolapse.
Contrary to expectation, vaginal bulge was reported more frequently among
those with higher vitamin D levels.
“Given the increase in the number of patients with pelvic floor disorders,
further evaluation of the role of vitamin D is warranted, particularly
future research to assess the relationship between vitamin D levels and
pelvic muscle strength in women of all ages and racial/ethnic groups,” the
study authors conclude. “Our findings suggest that treatment of vitamin D
insufficiency and deficiency in both premenopausal and postmenopausal women
could improve pelvic muscle strength, with a possible reduction in the
prevalence of pelvic floor disorders including urinary incontinence.”
The study authors have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.
Obstet Gynecol. 2010;115:795-803. Abstract

October 24, 2008

Avoid Flu Shots, Take Vitamin D Instead

Filed under: General Health,Supplements,Vitamin D — Doc Joe @ 6:28 pm

Another influenza season is beginning, and the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will strongly urge Americans to get a flu shot. In fact, the CDC mounts a well-orchestrated campaign each season to generate interest and demand for flu shots.

But a Group Health study found that flu shots do not protect elderly people against developing pneumonia — the primary cause of death resulting as a complication of the flu. Others have questioned whether there is any mortality benefit with influenza vaccination. Vaccination coverage among the elderly increased from 15 percent in 1980 to 65 percent now, but there has been no decrease in deaths from influenza or pneumonia. A systematic review of 51 studies involving 260,000 children age 6 to 23 months found no evidence that the flu vaccine is any more effective than a placebo.

There is some evidence that flu shots cause Alzheimer’s disease, most likely as a result of combining mercury with aluminum and formaldehyde. Mercury in vaccines has also been implicated as a cause of autism. Three other serious adverse reactions to the flu vaccine are joint inflammation and arthritis, anaphylactic shock (and other life-threatening allergic reactions), and Guillain-Barré syndrome, a paralytic autoimmune disease.

One credible hypothesis that explains the seasonal nature of flu is that influenza is a vitamin D deficiency disease. Vitamin D levels in your blood fall to their lowest point during flu seasons. Unable to be protected by the body’s own antibiotics (antimicrobial peptides) that are released by vitamin D, a person with a low vitamin D blood level is more vulnerable to contracting colds, influenza, and other respiratory infections.

Studies show that children with rickets, a vitamin D-deficient skeletal disorder, suffer from frequent respiratory infections, and children exposed to sunlight are less likely to get a cold. The increased number of deaths that occur in winter, largely from pneumonia and cardiovascular diseases, are most likely due to vitamin D deficiency.

Sources: October 3, 2008 More…

October 18, 2008

Vitamin-D Deficiency Now Associated With Increased Mortality

Filed under: General Health,Supplements,Vitamin D — Doc Joe @ 6:32 pm

June 25, 2008 — Another study suggesting a link between low levels of vitamin D and cardiac risk has been published, this time showing that vitamin-D deficiency is associated with both cardiovascular mortality and all-cause mortality [1].

The study, published in the June 23, 2008 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, was conducted by a group led by Dr Harald Dobnig (Medical University of Graz, Austria).

They note that it has been estimated that 50% to 60% of people do not have satisfactory vitamin-D status, and this is probably related to factors such as urbanization, demographic shifts, decreased outdoor activity, air pollution and global dimming, and decreases in the cutaneous production of vitamin D with age.


October 3, 2008

Further Evidence Supports Vitamin-D-Deficiency Link to CHD

Filed under: General Health,Supplements,Vitamin D — Doc Joe @ 6:36 pm

June 11, 2008 — Further evidence that vitamin-D deficiency may increase the risk of heart disease has come from a new case-control study [1].

The study, published in the June 9, 2008 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, found that low levels of 25-dihydroxyvitamin-D (25[OH]D) were associated with a higher risk of myocardial infarction (MI) in a graded manner, even after researchers controlled for factors known to be associated with coronary artery disease.

The authors, led by Dr Edward Giovannucci (Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA), note that in most populations studied, the rate of cardiovascular death is elevated at higher latitudes, increases during the winter months, and is lower at high altitudes, a pattern consistent with an adverse effect of low levels of vitamin D, which are more prevalent at higher latitudes, during the winter, and at lower altitudes.

While alternative explanations for these observations are possible, they point out that a variety of plausible biological mechanisms support a role for vitamin D in heart disease. For example, the vitamin-D axis affects vascular smooth-muscle-cell proliferation, inflammation, vascular calcification, the renin-angiotensin system, and blood pressure.


August 22, 2008

Low Vitamin D Raises Women’s Hip Fracture Risk

Filed under: General Health,Supplements,Vitamin D — Doc Joe @ 6:23 pm

Too many Americans aren’t getting enough of the sun-sourced nutrient, researchers say

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

(HealthDay News) — Low levels of vitamin D can boost older women’s risk for hip fracture by more than 70 percent, University of Pittsburgh researchers report.

The finding adds weight to the recommendation that people maintain adequate intake of vitamin D, which is primarily made by the skin when it is exposed to sunlight.

The fracture-vitamin D link “has been observed for 15 years,” noted Dr. Michael F. Holick, director of the Vitamin D Skin and Bone Research Laboratory at Boston University. “The good news is it’s consistent, the higher your vitamin D status, the lower the risk of your developing a hip fracture.”

The new report appears in the Aug. 19 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

July 14, 2007

Calcium and Vitamin D Intake and Risk for Breast Cancer

Filed under: Cancer,General Health,Supplements,Vitamin D — Doc Joe @ 6:15 pm

Journal Watch General Medicine
June 14, 2007

Calcium and Vitamin D Intake and Risk for Breast Cancer

Jamaluddin Moloo, MD, MPH

Journal Watch. 2007;6(6) ©2007 Massachusetts Medical Society

Posted 07/13/2007

Higher calcium and vitamin D intake showed modest benefit in premenopausal women.

Animal experiments and observational human studies suggest that calcium and vitamin D may decrease risk for breast cancer. Researchers prospectively assessed this relation among 10,000 premenopausal and 20,000 postmenopausal women enrolled in the Women’s Health Study. Calcium and vitamin D intake was determined from self-reported questionnaires about food and vitamin supplement intake.

During a mean follow-up of 10 years, the overall incidence of invasive breast cancer was 2.6% among premenopausal women and 3.6% among postmenopausal women. The hazard ratio for developing invasive breast cancer was 0.61 for premenopausal women at the highest versus lowest quintiles of calcium intake and 0.65 for vitamin D intake. No relation was found between calcium and vitamin D intake and risk for invasive breast cancer among postmenopausal women.

In this large, prospective study, a higher intake of calcium and vitamin D was associated with a lower risk for invasive breast cancer among premenopausal but not postmenopausal women. Although the hazard ratios appear relatively large, the absolute risk reduction was modest. Limitations of this study include ascertainment of calcium and vitamin D intake only once at baseline and the possibility that unmeasured confounding variables explain the findings in this nonrandomized assessment of diet.

June 16, 2007

Vitamin D Reduces Cancer Risk

Filed under: Cancer,General Health,Supplements,Vitamin D — Doc Joe @ 6:14 pm

Study Shows Risks of Several Types of Cancer Cut in Older Women

OMAHA, Neb. – Building hope for one pill to prevent many cancers, vitamin D cut the risk of several types of cancer by 60 percent overall for older women in the most rigorous study yet.

The new research strengthens the case made by some specialists that vitamin D may be a powerful cancer preventive and most people should get more of it. Experts remain split, though, on how much to take.

“The findings … are a breakthrough of great medical and public health importance,” declared Cedric Garland, a prominent vitamin D researcher at the University of California-San Diego. “No other method to prevent cancer has been identified that has such a powerful impact.”


August 19, 2006

Vitamin D deficiency and chronic low back pain in Saudi Arabia.

Filed under: General Health,Supplements,Vitamin D — Doc Joe @ 5:55 pm

Spine. 2003 Jan 15;28(2):177-9.

Vitamin D deficiency and chronic low back pain in Saudi Arabia.

Al Faraj S, Al Mutairi K.

Department of Medicine, Riyadh Armed Forces Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

STUDY DESIGN: Initial assessment involved 360 patients (90% women and 10% men) attending spinal and internal medicine clinics over a 6-year period who had experienced low back pain that had no obvious cause for more than 6 months. The patients ranged in age from 15 to 52 years. OBJECTIVES: To investigate the contribution of vitamin D deficiency as a cause for idiopathic chronic low back pain, to find a simple and sensitive test for screening patients with low back pain for vitamin D deficiency, and to determine the correlation between the vitamin deficiency and pain.

METHODS: A biochemical assay of serum calcium, phosphate, alkaline phosphatase, and 25-hydroxy vitamin D level was performed before and after treatment with vitamin D supplements.

RESULTS: Findings showed that 83% of the study patients (n = 299) had an abnormally low level of vitamin D before treatment with vitamin D supplements. After treatment, clinical improvement in symptoms was seen in all the groups that had a low level of vitamin D, and in 95% of all the patients (n = 341).

CONCLUSIONS: Vitamin D deficiency is a major contributor to chronic low back pain in areas where vitamin D deficiency is endemic. Screening for vitamin D deficiency and treatment with supplements should be mandatory in this setting. Measurement of serum 25-OH cholecalciferol is sensitive and specific for detection of vitamin D deficiency, and hence for presumed osteomalacia in patients with chronic low back pain.

Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Pain and Disability in Knee Osteoarthritis

Filed under: Arthritis,General Health,Supplements,Vitamin D — Doc Joe @ 5:53 pm

Jane Salodof MacNeil

Medscape Medical News 2004. © 2004 Medscape

Oct. 19, 2004 (San Antonio) — Results from a 30-month study of 221 elderly patients with osteoarthritis of the knee suggest that remedying a vitamin D deficiency can reduce disability and possibly pain as well.


October 29, 2005

Vitamin D deficiency, brittle bones abound

Filed under: Supplements,Vitamin D — Doc Joe @ 7:28 pm

Fri Oct 28, 2005 03:49 PM ET

By Matias A. Loewy

BUENOS AIRES (Reuters Health) – In all regions of the world, more than half of postmenopausal women with the crippling bone disease osteoporosis are vitamin D deficient, regardless of age, latitude or season, researchers from US, the Netherlands and UK said here last week at the 11th World Congress on the Menopause.

According to the investigators, “These results underscore the need to improve physician and patient awareness of the importance of adequate vitamin D supplementation in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis.”


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