Posted Tue, Nov 3, 2009

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that an adequate amount of vitamin D should be obtained from a healthy diet that includes foods naturally rich in vitamin D, foods/beverages fortified with vitamin D, and/or vitamin D supplements. Vitamin D should not be obtained from unprotected exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation.
Epidemiologic studies suggest an association between low serum vitamin D levels and increased risk of certain types of cancers, neurologic disease, autoimmune disease and cardiovascular disease. And there is the rub. The would-be gurus suggest that every ailment known to man can be caused by low vitamin D levels. Newsflash: No one knows what adequate levels of vitamin D, let alone low levels are. And no one knows how to treat it.
After surviving the doctor induced epidemic of Candidiasis in the 1970’s and the hypoglycemia epidemic of the 1990’s we are now entering the hypovitaminosis D epidemic of the 21st century. It is so easy to diagnose this as a causative agent of any complaint. A vitamin D level is obtained and even if it falls into the acceptable levels published by authoritative laboratories doctors can conclude that the levels are in the low normal range and these also need to be treated. The error in this teleologic thinking is that most or all of the studies take people with a specific disease and then look at vitamin D levels instead of looking at people with presumably low levels of vitamin D and record what diseases they actually have. This is the classic cart-before-the-horse science that leads to erroneous conclusions. Most suggested therapies revolve around an intake of 1000 IU per day which is probably a homeopathic dose and incapable of treating actual deficiency. A more sensible solution might be 50,000 IU weekly for 1 month then repeating the dose monthly.
All of this ignores vitamin D toxicity which includes nausea, vomiting, poor appetite, constipation, weakness, and weight loss.
The spurious concept that everyone who has a symptom needs vitamin D is a result of the equally spurious belief that every symptom has a definable cause. Just like life, symptoms evolve. They may get better. They may get worse. What is worst is to take a remedy for an imagined disease.

Edward Lack
Edward Lack MD is a board certified dermatologist and a board certified dermatologic cosmetic surgeon. He is President and Medical Director of MetropolitanMD, a multispecialty cosmetic surgery center in Chicago,which is unique in having a double board certified cosmetic dermatologic surgeon, a double board certified facial plastic surgeon, and a double board certified cosmetic plastic surgeon. Dr. Lack is also the Past President of The American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery.

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