Vitamin D and Me
Although selling drugs has been the family business [Your father and sister are pharmacists, bozo! – ed] I’ve avoided taking medications over the years, especially over the counter meds. With the exception of sinus tablets (which work, but knock me out), they just never seem to have much effect on me.
Then this happened. I went to my doctor for a regular checkup and mentioned in an off-the-cuff manner that I have wondered for years if I don’t suffer from SADS. I was thinking in terms of feeling sluggish, like I just don’t want to work out (or do anything but “veg-out”). A week later, I get in the mail a lab report (from my blood test) that says I’m deficient in vitamin D, and he prescribes a huge dose for three weeks, followed by a 1000
mg. IU (thanks for the correction, Ted) dose daily. The latter is an OTC medication, found at your nearest grocery store, most likely.
Vitamin D is what your body manufactures from sunlight. Considering that I spend most days in the winter driving to work in the dark, working in a windowless office and then returning home in the dark, I’ve gone days without seeing any sun at all (and thank God for the weekends). So, yeah, I was probably deficient.
I think my doctor prescribed it for me because of articles like this.
Why do we care? Vitamin D is essential for regulating blood calcium levels and for promoting calcium absorption to maintain strong bones. It also regulates certain immune functions and can decrease the proliferation of normal and cancerous cells.
…and like this
Vitamin D is more than more important than thought and it can prevent a range of diseases including cancers. But a new study cautions that just because you live in a Southern state like Arizona does not mean you would get enough vitamin D through exposure to the sun.
The emphasis is mine. It didn’t take much effort to find linkages like this:
Dreary Northern winters are infamous for inducing depression. But being starved for sunlight can do more than kick you into a psychic hole. A growing body of evidence suggests it can raise your risk of cancer, increase susceptibility to heart attack, diabetes and other disorders, and at least partly account for the region’s sky-high rates of multiple sclerosis.
Vitamin D is taking on the aura of a miracle drug – good for what ails ya. That’s never a good sign. It’s a sign that something is being over-hyped.
Much to my surprise, it’s having a positive effect in the one area where an observable difference could be noticed. That winter blah feeling has been really non-existent for me this year. Oh, I think I got that flu that was going around (or at least a very bad cold), but the mood stuff, slight as it was, and the sluggishness were just not a factor.
I’m not one to go around espousing the virtues of OTC meds. For me, vitamin and mineral supplements were just so much advertising baloney that most people convinced themselves they needed. Their effects were minimal and, much like the description of the Earth in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, mostly harmless. Maybe I was hasty. Maybe this one actually does something beneficial, at least, for me.