Is Vitamin D the New Vitamin E?

Is Vitamin D the New Vitamin E?
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The Institute of Medicine’s conservative position on vitamin D is understandable, given the history of hyped vitamin supplements (vitamin A, beta carotene, folic acid, vitamin C, vitamin E) that turned out worthless—or worse.

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It’s understandable that the Institute of Medicine chose to act conservatively when bumping up their vitamin D recommendation. An editorial in the American Journal of Epidemiology said it best. Thirty years ago, vitamin A was all the rage, expecting that if we gave beta carotene to people, it would prevent cancer. But instead, it caused even more.

Next came the Bs, and I talked about this in one of my previous videos; folic acid supplements, vitamin B9, has since been linked to cancer, as well. Next came vitamin C, which was another big flop. In 1993, it was vitamin E—until it came out that it was shortening people’s lifespans. So when people proclaim vitamin D the new wonder pill, we are right to be skeptical. Maybe vitamin D is the new vitamin A, the new folic acid, the new vitamin C, the new vitamin E—worthless, or worse.

Critics of the new recommendations, though, felt that by conservatively choosing a target blood level sufficient only to avoid gross skeletal abnormalities was akin to setting the RDA for vitamin C at just the minimum level necessary to avoid scurvy. I’m sure a spoonful of orange juice worth of vitamin C would be enough to avoid the overt vitamin C deficiency disease scurvy, but no one considers that enough vitamin C for optimum health.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

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It’s understandable that the Institute of Medicine chose to act conservatively when bumping up their vitamin D recommendation. An editorial in the American Journal of Epidemiology said it best. Thirty years ago, vitamin A was all the rage, expecting that if we gave beta carotene to people, it would prevent cancer. But instead, it caused even more.

Next came the Bs, and I talked about this in one of my previous videos; folic acid supplements, vitamin B9, has since been linked to cancer, as well. Next came vitamin C, which was another big flop. In 1993, it was vitamin E—until it came out that it was shortening people’s lifespans. So when people proclaim vitamin D the new wonder pill, we are right to be skeptical. Maybe vitamin D is the new vitamin A, the new folic acid, the new vitamin C, the new vitamin E—worthless, or worse.

Critics of the new recommendations, though, felt that by conservatively choosing a target blood level sufficient only to avoid gross skeletal abnormalities was akin to setting the RDA for vitamin C at just the minimum level necessary to avoid scurvy. I’m sure a spoonful of orange juice worth of vitamin C would be enough to avoid the overt vitamin C deficiency disease scurvy, but no one considers that enough vitamin C for optimum health.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Nota del Doctor

This is the third video in a nine-part series on vitamin D. Be sure to check out yesterday’s video: Evolutionary Argument for Optimal Vitamin D Level.

For more context, check out my associated blog posts: Vitamin D: Shedding some light on the new recommendationsAçai to Zucchini: antioxidant food rankingsEating To Extend Our Lifespan; and Vitamin D from Mushrooms, Sun, or Supplements?.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

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