Summer is just around the corner (well, we hope it is!) so we’re all thinking sun, sand and beach – but should we be? the Vitamin D debate has reignited again plus there’s been quite a number of articles concerning the natural health industry. Lets have a look…
For years we, in Australia have been told to cover up whenever we go out in the sun and figures show that between 30 to 40% of Australians are Vitamin D deficient. This seems to be largely due to the amount of time we spend indoors – depending on where you are & the time of day, we may need either a few minutes a day, up to a few hours a week of direct sun to produce enough vitamin D. Naturally some Doctors are reluctant to actually recommend this, though one would hope that the public aren’t stupid enough to think it’s ok to lie for hours on end in the sun around midday with no protection!
Early morning sun or sun later in the day is not really effective, & you need direct sunlight for the process to work efficiently. There unfortunately is not much supply of Vitamin D in food, the best source being oily fish (like Salmon), but now of course there are great, and quality, D3 supplements (I recommend practitioner only) where you can top up your level & this is what Doctors are saying to do – I say combine both – get away from your desk & out in the sun each lunch break – get to the beach at the weekend, but still wear your sunscreen (especially on the face), or bathe in half sun half shade and you’ll be right!!
You may have seen the report last week stating that in a survey of 39,000 women, where over a period of 18 years, it was found that just approx 1% of them actually had a higher rate of mortality than those not on vitamin supplements. This was heavily reported in the Australian media and was said in a very general way seeming to be very biased against taking vitamins – I wonder who makes the decision to lead with this biased headline and why? Even the researchers said that they were not sure that the reason was in fact due to the supplements and with 39,000 people there HAS to be many many contributing factors that they would be unaware of – all leading to a most un-conclusive conclusion! It is known that chemical based pharmaceutical medications are high on the list of killers, whether it be misdiagnosis or bad reactions etc. This headline is very rarely promoted! The researchers say that we should just have a well balanced diet – the problem is that most people just don’t – look at the obesity rates around the (western) world, the rise in diabetes, increase in heart disease & strokes these have ALL dramatically increased. Our food is often depleted of valuable nutrients/vitamins due to overuse of the soils, not to mention pesticides & other harmful toxins.
This kind of ties in with a similar story which got some publicity here where a journalist in the US spent 5 months taking 22 different vitamin pills – he had his Doctor check him out before and after and it was found that his level of Vitamin D had increased plus he had put on 5 kilo’s and that was about it! The report had a professor from a local University saying that it shows the efficacy of supplements is ‘questionable’ – Why?? No mention is made of anything to do with the journalist in question e.g his state of health, fitness level or activity etc. If he is in good health he may well have no no real need to supplement. These surveys make sweeping statements based on very little evidence – I have to wonder who is behind them financially. Natural medicine (and man-made chemical medicines) need to be taken with the correct advice from a healthcare practitioner (either a GP or Naturopath), I agree there is no point taking supplements if you are not deficient, however you need to be aware of your diet & conditions which may well benefit from natural supplementation.
On the lighter side…here’s some other tidbits of information,
10% – the amount of muscle loss men have (between 25/50) if they DON’T lift weights!
20% – the possible reduction in calorie intake by eating fruit as opposed to drinking it!
58% – the increase in likelihood of a child being obese in later life if born by C-Section (unless your a child of Victoria Beckham!)
Hundreds – of calories – thats much your daily intake can increase by… by trying to eat 5-6 small meals a day, most people don’t, they just eat more! – Snack sensibly and healthily & EXERCISE & you should be fine!
Last but not least – SLEEP! An Australian Psychologist has surveyed 60,000 Australians, asking about levels of happiness and sleep patterns – he concludes that the happiest people are ones who get over 7 hours sleep, with the 33-44 age bracket being the least content, he says due to raising kids & pursuing work careers, and happiest being 60+ – again..as usual..this would depend on so many other factors, but I think youth simply plays a big part, when I was in my 20’s I could easily get by on less sleep as you get older you have no choice but to sleep longer – otherwise you simply don’t get through the day!
…So that’s how Ian ‘C’s it for this month!