News

The highs and lows of Vitamin D – again.

Not for the first time it has hit the headlines – two new studies telling us something surprising.  One study followed participants in a trial over two consecutive winters.  It was to establish how the two Vitamin Ds (D2 and D3) behaved if given in low doses (600IU).  Until now guidelines tell us they are equivalent in terms of nutritional value. In fact the study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that the D3 version was doubly effective in increasing levels in the body.  We know Vitamin D protects against age-related diseases, increases production of helpful chemicals for the brain – and it looks after our bones.  D3 is the variety found in animal derived cholecalciferol – from fish and eggs (and D3 supplements). The dose required was actually quite low. However, it is the D2 variety which is derived from plant sources like mushrooms which is added to bread and suchlike.  Sounds like it may not be doing much good. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 6 July 2017; doi: AJCN/2016/138693

The second study published in J Invest Dermatology looked at the effect of high dose Vitamin D3 (200,000IU) when taken within an hour of being sunburnt.  They found it reduced skin redness and the presence of pro-inflammatory cells was also reduced.  In addition they had up-regulation of genes related to skin repair.  The conclusion was that a single high dose of Vit D3 was safe and may help to alleviate sunburn. J Invest Dermatol 2017 May 30;[EPub Ahead of Print], JF Scott, LM Das, S Ahsanuddin, Y Qiu, AM Binko, ZP Traylor, SM Debanne, KD Cooper, R Boxer, KQ Lu

I wonder if you remember the Swedish study which demonstrated a protective effect of tanning from sunlight in folk who had had melanoma skin cancer?  Looks like sun exposure (avoid burning) is more beneficial than we think. As usual all studies suggest further study………

Enjoy your summer holidays!

Rob Lawson

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