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The Old Man and The ‘D’

Posted by wmagnus On October - 2 - 2009

As children our mothers told us to finish our milk because it would make us big and strong. It turns out that the vitamin D enriched creamy goodness many thoughtlessly poor over cereal every morning doesn’t just build strong bones. 2009 has been a banner year for vitamin D related research and has seen the publication of numerous studies revealing that vitamin D isn’t only essential for building bones but serves in a variety of ways to help age against the machine.

Vitamin D is a nutrient and prohormone that occurs in a variety of forms. We can take in vitamin D from food or dietary supplements, or make our own with judicious sun exposure. Regardless of how we get our vitamin D, the vitamin isn’t useful to the body until it can be put through a series of metabolic steps to activate it. These additional steps take the precursor forms of vitamin D and make them biologically active.

It is our understanding of that biological activity that has expanded so much this year:

The list goes on and on. It’s all current research and more is forthcoming.

With the mounting evidence the question becomes just how much vitamin D should one supplement. Most of the supplementation studies use 700 to 1000 IU of vitamin D daily. Is this optimal? We don’t know that for sure yet, but it is a place to start.

2 Responses to “The Old Man and The ‘D’”

  1. Dannie says:

    Thank you for the great site. It’s nice to be able to get straight forward information about so many of the health questions and myths that abound today.

    I’m wondering if you have any information about the supplement 5-HTP? I’ve done some research on it myself, but most of the sources seem to come from companies or individuals that have a financial stake in selling this supplement.

    Any information you may have would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you,

  2. bmagnus says:

    Hi Dannie, and thanks for reading! As for 5-HTP, I think it depends what you want to use it for. Most of the weight loss studies pair it with prescription medication. The most rigorous studies on 5-HTP for depression were inconclusive. Hope this is helpful!