For more on the power of condoms, watch this TED talk given by Thailand’s “Mr. Condom”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EL9TBKSdHXU
Most individuals are aware that vitamin D is necessary for a healthy, strong skeleton. But you may not be aware that vitamin D is also necessary for a healthy brain. One way to aid in preventing dementia is to make sure that your body is optimized for vitamin D.
Vitamin D helps to regulate the immune system by suppressing inflammation.
Recent research has shown that dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s Disease, is associated with an inflammatory response. That is, Alzheimer’s Disease [AD] is an autoimmune disease where the immune system overreacts to normal cells by viewing those normal cells as invaders and activating the immune response to fight and destroy those cells.
This could also explain why AD is more prevalent in women than in men since women are more susceptible to many types of autoimmune diseases than are men.
As it happens, vitamin D moderates the immune system and has been shown to be effective in lowering the risk of contracting autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and autoimmune thyroid disease.
Two different research studies (one at Tufts University and the other at Brigham and Women’s Hospital) were published in 2022 that showed the vitamin D supplementation had a positive effect on brain health. Both studies showed a reduced incidence of AD in those individuals who took vitamin D supplements.
Karen Costenbader, senior author of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital study, recommends that women 55 and older and men 50 and older take 2000 IU/day of vitamin D supplementation.
Kyla Shea, an author of the Tufts’ study, is much more conservative in her recommendation of 600 IU/day up to age 70 and then 800 IU/day for those who are older than 70.
Frankly, I think Shea’s recommendations are far too low. Only individuals who have extremely low blood levels of vitamin D will show any improvement at 600 or 800 IU/day of vitamin D supplementation.
Extensive research has shown that supplementation up to 10,000 IU/day is safe. To maintain optimal blood levels of vitamin D (25 OHD) between 40 and 60 ng/ml (100 -150 nmol/l), recent research has shown that daily intake of vitamin D must be in excess of 5000 IU/day. If an individual is overweight or obese, they will need at least 10,000 IU/day.
Vitamin D receptors are present on nearly all cells in our bodies. Therefore, sub-optimal levels of vitamin D are associated with a wide variety of health problems including autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular function, cancers, musculo-skeletal issues, and, as has now been shown, dementia.
During the summer months, I take 2000 IU/day of supplemental vitamin D which I gradually increase to 5000 IU/day during the winter months. But after reading these articles, and, given my age, I plan to increase my baseline intake to 5000 IU/day rising to 7000 IU/day during the winter months.
Vitamin D supplementation is an easy, relatively inexpensive way to optimize your health and protect your brain.
In the Northern Hemisphere, we are now moving into the Fall and Winter Seasons. This period of time is also when Vitamin D deprivation increases unless individuals increase their daily intake of Vitamin D3 supplementation.
Please listen to this Mentza conversation to learn more about the relationship between autoimmune diseases and Vitamin D deprivation.
In the US, there is a positive correlation between the development of vaccines for different diseases and an increase in life expectancy. This positive correlation holds from the development of the polio vaccine to Covid. But Covid vaccine resistance has ended this positive trend.
Watch Vaccines & LIfe Expectancy to learn more.
On June 24, 2022, the United States Supreme Court decided 6 to 3 that women (and others who can become pregnant) no longer had control of their bodies and their reproductive decisions.
Vitamin D supplementation is still necessary in the Summer if you live in the Temperate Zone.
Vitamin D and the Immune System
Vitamin D is required for a properly-functioning immune system.
Individuals with deficient levels of Vitamin D have a higher probability of developing diseases related to a poorly-functioning immune system.
The level of Vitamin D, specifically 25-(OH)D3, needed is much higher than was realized 20 years ago when Michael Casparian, MD, and I wrote an article on Vitamin D. At that time, the optimal level of 25-(OH)D3 in a person’s blood was considered to be 30 – 40 ng/mL. However, new research has now shown that to achieve an optimal level that enables the immune system to fight off pathogens such as Covid-19, the level of 25-(OH)D3 must be at least 50 ng/mL.
The winter months in the Northern Hemisphere are when flu and Covid cases spike. January and February could be really bad months for Covid.
This is because it is impossible to achieve and maintain optimal levels of 25-(OH) D3 during the winter months in the Northern Hemisphere as the angle of the sun prevents UVB radiation from penetrating the ozone layer to activate pro-hormone D in bare, exposed skin. Sun-bathing in the winter in Chicago would be uncomfortable and useless for increasing your Vitamin D levels.
Eating several servings per day of oily fish like sardines will help raise your Vitamin D levels somewhat, but that is really the only food you could eat that would raise Vitamin D levels. The amount of Vitamin D3 you can get from other food sources is too tiny to help.
The best course of action during the winter months is to take a Vitamin D supplement that does NOT include calcium. Optimized Vitamin D levels maintain appropriate calcium regulation without taking supplemental calcium. Milk actually doesn’t do most bodies good. Excess calcium can create its own health problems such as weaker bones or kidney stones.
If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, it is highly probable that your levels of 25-(OH)D3 are far below the optimal level of 50 ng/mL. During the Pandemic, I have been taking 4000 IU/day of Vitamin D3. I will increase this to 6000 IU/day during January and February. I am also fully vaccinated with Pfizer, including a booster shot. And I wear a mask indoors or in crowds outdoors.
The Omicron variant is much more infectious than the Delta variant. As of this writing, we do not know how it compares in terms of disease and death, but it is best practice to do all we can to avoid any illness, however ‘mild’ it may be. A ‘mild’ case can still be debilitating.
Actions to take to minimize the possibility becoming ill with Covid or the Flu:
- Get vaccinated (and boosted).
- Wear a mask indoors and in crowds outdoors.
- Take a daily supplement of Vitamin D3.
The Being a Woman Playlist from Dr. Anth Talks is focused on the biological, cultural, and social needs of women.
Between March 2, 2021 and April 19, 2021, I published 15 short videos on my Dr. Anth Talks Channel. Each week, 2 short videos are published on topics related to being human in a complex world.
Check out the past videos and make sure not to miss any in the future by subscribing to my Dr. Anth Talks Channel.