The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Update on vitamin D

    Researchers from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston have published a detailed review.

    Their interest relates to the needs of vitamin D in the breastfeeding mother and her infant and child, but they also present a detailed and well-referenced review.

    Some historical perspective
    Mid-1600s

    • Rickets is identified as a major health problem for young children as people begin to leave rural farming communities for urban areas.
    • The exodus brought about lifestyle and environmental changes that limited sunlight exposure.
    • Rickets is characterized by deformities of the skeleton, coupled with generalized muscle weakness.

    Early 19th century

    • Rickets was epidemic in northern Europe and in industrialized northern regions of the United States.

    1822

    • Dr. Andrew Sniadecki reported that lack of sun exposure could be the cause of rickets.

    Mid-1800s

    • Fish liver oils discovered to heal rickets.

    1920s

    • Vitamin D identified, and the link was made to rickets.

    Today

    • Vitamin D effects organ systems throughout the body down to the cellular level.
    • What was once thought to be a simple hormone affecting only bone and calcium metabolism, is recognized to be much more.
    • It’s a complex hormone that regulates calcium and the integrity of the immune system.
    • Vitamin D deficiency is linked to inflammatory and certain diseases such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, tuberculosis, diabetes, and various cancers, to name a few.

    The bottom line?
    The authors conclude, “As new evidence points to serious consequences of chronic vitamin D deprivation,… we must establish normative guidelines for safe and effective vitamin D supplementation during lactation in both the lactating woman and her infant that address modern-day lifestyles. It is clear that at least in part, vitamin D does make the world go ‘round.” The latest vitamin D dosing recommendations from the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) are summarized here.

    12/21/08 21:31 JR

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