July 20, 2017

Director's Letter  

Today I have decided to get all the exercise I will need this month. So, I am going to get up, head to the gym and do 15 different sessions of cardio interspersed with 15 different sessions of my weight machines. Then, I will take a yoga class to round out the day. 

Ridiculous - right? 

So then why do many research studies use what is called 'bolus' dosing or dosing at higher rates, but at intervals that are far apart. For example, if they want to test what 1,000 IU of vitamin D daily would do, instead of having subjects take 1,000 IU every day (because they can't economically monitor that), they give each subject 30,000 IU once a month and have them come into a central location and watch them take the dosage (or placebo). They do this to save money - both on supplements and the cost of monitoring subjects in a trial - and to increase compliance. 

The problem is that bolus dosing does not replicate daily dosing, as described in detail below. This is why the study that is all over the news and continues to be brought up as a reason why vitamin D is ineffective, Annual High-Dose Oral Vitamin D and Falls and Fractures in Older Women, should not be considered applicable. They gave their subjects 500,000 IU vitamin D - once a year, for three to five years. You can read below why they shouldn't have improved falls and fractures and instead it would have been a better study if they had given the treatment group 2,000 IU every day.

Carole Baggerly 
Director, GrassrootsHealth 
Moving Research into Practice NOW!
  If You Aren't Taking Your Vitamin D Daily - Then It May Not Be Working

Results from vitamin D trials have not all been positive. One important aspect to consider when looking at any vitamin D trial is the frequency of dosing. Were supplements given daily, weekly, monthly... yearly?  But does this work? Can 30,000 IU/month provide the same benefit as 1,000/day? Would one day of extreme sunbathing be the same as daily exposure of 20-30 minutes?  Understand the science behind how vitamin D works in your body.

Could omega-3 consumption lead to a longer life?  Researchers think yes - and the Omega-3 Index Test could be the best predictor for a long, healthy life.  Researchers used data from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Women's Health Initiative Memory Study which included 6,501 women aged 65-80 years old who were studied for 18 years (or until they died) starting in 1996.

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The Role of the Parent Compound Vitamin D with Respect to Metabolism and Function: Why Clinical Dose Intervals Can Affect Clinical Outcomes
Bruce W. Hollis and 
Carol L. Wagner
Medical University  of 
South Carolina
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism
December 2013

Vitamin D - Dosing Interval
Webinar with Bruce Hollis, PhD
Professor of Pediatrics, College of Medicine
Medical University 
of South Carolina
August 2014

How to Optimize Vitamin D Supplementation to Prevent Cancer, Based on Cellular Adaptation and Hydroxylase Enzymology
Reinhold Vieth, PhD
University of Toronto
Mount Sinai Hospital,  Toronto
Anticancer Research
September 2009

Red blood cell polyunsaturated fatty acids and mortality in the Women's Health Initiative Memory Study
William S. Harris et al.
Journal of Clinical Lipidology
January 2017

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