Consumers need a nutritional model for the city's residents that takes into consideration their lifestyles as well as their diets. What you don't often hear about, particular in most mainstream media that goes to the general consumer, is how vitamins A and D work together in balance to build healthy brain neurotransmitters. Did you know that a single dose of vitamin A and D working together in balance functions as a type of hormonal imprinting in certain regions of the brain?
Did you know that vitamin A and D help your immune function if taken in balance and in the correct dosage adjusted just for you? Different people have various genes that may respond differently to dosages. It's not a situation where one size fits all.
What you do hear in the newspapers are generalized reports of studies on vitamin D, for example, but little about vitamin A. And when you visit various health food stores in Sacramento, how many clerks inform you in the store that by taking beta carotenes as vitamin A that maybe 50 percent of you may not even be converting the betacarotene into vitamin A?
Take too much of any vitamin and it can become toxic. So how do you find a balance measured just for you? A blood test helps you find what the optimum levels of various nutrients might be.
What the mainstream media may have never told you about how vitamin D and A balance one another can be found in an excellent article in the February/March 2011 issue of Townsend Letter (magazine) by Stephen Levine, PhD, founder of Allergy Research Group. Dr. Levine is internationally recognized as one of the foremost innovative leaders and researchers in nutritional supplement formulation. He also is known worldwide as a coauthor with Dr. Parris Kidd of the book, Antioxidant Adaptation: Its Role in Free Radical Pathology. That book is considered a leading resource on vitamins.
What you should know about vitamin D and A that you may not find in general mainstream media consumer magazines for the general public is is how vitamin A and D balance each other. Check out the article in the latest issue of Townsend Letter by Dr. Levine, "A Marriage Made on Earth: How Vitamin D and Vitamin A Balance Each Other." townsendletter.com/FebMarch2011/FebMarch
According to that article, high doses of vitamin D are not necessarily so safe. Check out the study published in the July 2010 issue of Osteoporosis International. This prestigious collaboration among Harvard, Tufts, and the Univ. of Zurich looked at data on vitamin D's impact on falls, fractures, colon cancer, and cardiovascular health.
Although 1,000 IU daily was safe, if you have too much vitamin D in your blood from supplements, foods, or oils, those fat-soluble vitamins can build up in your blood. They'll build up silently as fat stores until the place where they build up in your body gets full. Then the vitamin D spills into your blood at toxic levels that can take months to reverse.
You need safe levels with the correct ratio of other fat-soluble nutrients such as vitamins A, K, and E. How do you find out what the correct ratios are of vitamin A to vitamin D for optimal health? It takes a blood test for vitamin D and A levels and interpretation of the test by someone who knows what the correct ratios are. Not all doctors are trained in this type of interpretation.
Vitamin D can become a weapon instead of a tool for balance if you get too much and the stores of this fat-soluble vitamin builds up and then spills into your blood in toxic dosages. Vitamin D works together with vitamins A, D, K, and E. You need regular monitoring with blood tests to see whether your fat-soluble vitamins are really balanced or causing toxic build ups. Too much of one vitamin pulls the other vitamin out of your body.
People have genetic variations in how much they're absorbing and how much of a vitamin they need for optimal health. The high doses you read about when it comes to vitamin D have not yet been proven safe. You need only modest doses. The main problem is with long-term use toxicity if the fat stores become saturated and the excess vitamin D runs into your blood. It can cause fractures.
For example, high dose vitamin D may increase the fracture risk of older women. Check out the study that revealed women over age 70 taking vitamin D in a single annual high dose had higher rates of falls and fractures compared to women taking a placebo. The study was published in the May 2010 issue of JAMA. See, "Annual high-dose oral vitamin D and falls and fractures in older women: a randomized controlled trial." JAMA, May 12, 2010.
High doses of vitamin D does not reduce, but on the contrary, increases the risk of fractures. More research also needs to be done with older women who take vitamin D along with calcium, magnesium, vitamin K-2 (MK-7), vitamin E (all parts), and vitamin A. There's a need to find out what you as an individual with your particular genetic makeup need as an optimal, modest dose of vitamin D or any other vitamin that's needed for balance.
How do you know whether you're converting any carotenes you take in supplements into vitamin A? Are you getting your vitamin A from eggs, full-fat milk, butter, and liver? Or are you avoiding eggs because you think it raises cholesterol when many studies point to eggs not raising cholesterol in most people. How do your individual genes respond to eggs, for example, or liver?
Do you have a vitamin K (MK-7) from natto deficiency? But if you have a vitamin K deficiency from not absorbing the vitamin K from your kale or spinach or other foods, for example, that vitamin K deficiency also will affect the functions of any vitamin D in your body (or food you eat).
Are you getting vitamin K from grass-fed cows? Probably not, since most cows in the USA are fed grain, not grass, to fatten them. Or do you buy butter from pasture-fed cows? On the other hand, do you avoid butter and get your fats from olive or coconut oil instead or rice bran oil? From where are you getting your vitamin K?
Carotenes are not a safe substitute for vitamin A in supplements. When carotenes aren't converted to vitamin A in numerous people, you may even raise your risk of getting cancer because the protective function of vitamin A is stopped. That's why vitamin A and D must work together.
Vitamin A can increase your risk of fracture when you get too much vitamin A and not enough of vitamin D. Those fractures may be caused by a high vitamin A intake and a low vitamin D intake. So keep A and D in balance to avoid the risk of fractures. High vitamin A intake might lead to an increased re-absorption of bone. So balance both nutrients--D and A.
You need just the right amounts of vitamins D and A working together along with K and E for optimum health of your teeth and bones. So don't isolate one nutrient from another. You need a balance of them all.