Vitamin D’s list of Health Benefits – Issue 24

Dear Health-Conscious Friend,

Many folks know vitamin D plays an important role in fighting inflammation in your body. It also works with calcium to keep your bones healthy and strong.

But a new study suggests people in certain regions may be able to add “cancer warrior” to vitamin D’s list of health benefits!

Read on to find out which folks may benefit most from boosting their vitamin D intake…

…you’ll also discover why some doctors turn a deaf ear to patient complaints about side effects of prescription medications…

All this and MORE is in today’s Monday Edition of Health News Weekly™!

“Sunshine Vitamin” Linked to Reduced Cancer
Risk in Colder Climates

Layne Lowery

A new report suggests thousands of breast and colon cancer incidents could be prevented each year if people in colder climates raised their vitamin D levels.

Sunlight helps your skin produce vitamin D. In Northern climates—where cold winters limit people’s sun exposure—folks who get less sun exposure tend to have lower levels of this critical vitamin.

A number of studies have suggested vitamin D may be important in reducing cancer risk. For the new study, researchers at the University of California used data on average wintertime blood levels of vitamin D. They compared these data with rates of breast and colon cancers in 15 countries.

According to a report in the journal Nutrition Reviews, the research group found that cancer incidents tended to fall as average vitamin D levels rose!

The protective effect against colon cancer seemed to begin when blood levels of vitamin D reached 22 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL); for breast cancer, that number was 32 ng/mL.

The average late-winter vitamin D level among Americans is 15 to 18 ng/mL, according to the researchers.

The researchers said that if Americans could maintain a vitamin D level of at least 55 ng/mL—a staggering 60,000 cases of colon cancer and 85,000 cases of breast cancer could possibly be prevented every year!

“This could be best achieved with a combination of diet, supplements and short intervals—10 or 15 minutes a day—in the sun,” lead study author Dr. Cedric F. Garland, a cancer prevention specialist at the University of California San Diego, said in a statement.

Garland and his colleagues recommend a combination of modest sun exposure and 2,000 IU of vitamin D per day—the tolerable upper intake level set by U.S. health officials.

Take 2 Pills… and DON’T Call Me in the Morning!

Roz Roscoe, Staff Writer

Patients say doctors are often quick to dismiss concerns about experiencing adverse drug effects, a new study shows.

Dr. Beatrice A. Golomb and her colleagues at the University of California at San Diego surveyed 650 patients taking cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins.

A whopping 47% of patients with muscle problems or cognitive problems said their doctors dismissed the possibility that their symptoms were statin-related. And 51% of patients with nerve pain in their arms and legs said doctors denied a possible connection with statins!

According to a Reuters report, Dr. Golomb said “this seems to occur even for the best-supported adverse effects of the most widely prescribed class of drugs…” She suggested doctors would benefit from better education about adverse drug effects.

Many folks are aware that statin drugs such as Lipitor® and Zocor® carry risks of liver damage and muscle problems. Statins have also been tied to memory loss… mood swings… and inability to concentrate.

Doctors can’t afford to ignore potential drug side effects because muscle problems can progress to a rare—but potentially fatal condition called rhabdomyolysis.

This disease causes damaged muscle fibers to leak toxins into your system. In extreme cases it can cause acute renal failure!

The researchers found that in the most cases, the patient—not the doctor—initiated the discussion about adverse drug reactions. Dr. Golomb said they were “surprised” at how frequently patients said doctors dismissed their concerns.

Patients should be aware of the potential side effects for any medication they’re taking, she said. And those who find their doctors dismiss their concerns should probably look elsewhere for medical care, she added.

Fast Fact

The fragrant herb rosemary not only makes your food taste great—it can also help you digest fats! Rosemary has both anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. It is commonly used as a food preservative and even helps prevent fats in meat from turning rancid. Rosemary also has antioxidant properties too! So try adding more rosemary to your favorite recipes—for more tasty foods and overall improved health.

Agent Orange Exposure Raises
High Blood Pressure Risk!

Haley Whiten, Contributing Editor

U.S. veterans exposed to Agent Orange during the Vietnam War may face an increased risk of high blood pressure, an expert panel reported.

A group of researchers at the U.S. Institute of Medicine published its conclusions in a report issued every two years to assess the health effects of exposure to Agent Orange other chemical herbicides used by the U.S. military in Vietnam.

The panel issued its conclusions after reviewing about 350 epidemiological and animal studies. These findings add hypertension to a list of health problems associated with Agent Orange exposure—including several rare cancers… Type II diabetes… and birth defects in the children of the exposed veterans.

The findings may help veterans qualify for government-paid medical services for these conditions.

According to a Reuters Health report, the panel said recent studies of Vietnam veterans exposed to Agent Orange and the other herbicides showed increased incidents of high blood pressure. The University of Kentucky’s Hollie Swanson and other members of the panel said the evidence for both of the links is limited or suggestive, but still persuasive.

“It’s important to know what things might be associated with Agent Orange exposure, given the number of people exposed. Many of them are in their 60s now, late 50s,” panel member Richard Fenske of the University of Washington said in a telephone interview with Reuters. “They’re getting to a stage in their lives where certain kinds of diseases may become evident that may not have been evident in youth,” Fenske added.

The Department of Veterans Affairs must now decide if it will formally recognize the link between Agent Orange exposure and this condition, according to Jerry Manar, an official with the group Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States.

Manar said the report could “help hundreds of thousands of veterans get treatment in VA medical centers for hypertension and associated heart disease and strokes.”

Health E-Hints

New Plate Takes the Guesswork
Out of Portion Control!

If you’re concerned about weight management—but hate to count calories and weigh foods—then you just might LOVE the solution one British company has developed. The Diet Plate® offers an inexpensive solution to portion control.

The company The Diet Plate Ltd. sells plates and bowls with pictures of food boundaries baked into the earthenware pottery. Just put your food on a plate—and make sure you stay within the boundaries shown for carbohydrates and proteins—and that’s IT! All the calorie counting is done for you.

Study results published in the June 25 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine show The Diet Plate’s cereal bowl and plate helped older, obese patients with diabetes lose weight—and even decrease their use of glucose-controlling medications!

The plates come in versions with different portions for men, women and children. Remember that even though the portion control is clearly mapped out for you—you’ll still have to supply the willpower to stick to eating the recommended food amounts!

For more details, visit .