Vitamin D is back in the news, with recent studies showing that fewer people need Vitamin D supplements, according to new FDA guidelnes. I disagree with these new guidelines because they're based on a study I find sorely lacking:
For example, there was unfortunately no examination of Vitamin D and bone health in this study. Also, the effect of higher vitamin D levels on boosting immunity in such a way as to counteract autoimmune disorders was neither mentioned, nor investigated.
The studies also purport that lower levels of Vitamin D did not affect overall mortality in a totally mixed and kidney disease population. They even mention that Vitamin D was associated with kidney disease and some cancers.
Such studies with no regard for the complex underlying way a supplement acts on the human body (and specifically immune system and bones) can only serve to confuse physicians and the general population. Until I see careful studies of people with different illnesses, and studies that contradict what has been shown in the immune system, I will continue to consider the new lower vitamin D levels recommended as insufficient for certain individuals with disorders of the immune system.
What's worse, this kind of study and the headline stories about the supposed conclusion of this meta-analysis in the press could harm hundreds of thousands of people who actually do need more vitamin D because of the condition they have or the condition of their immune system. For example, another recent study showed that people with pneumonia had better survival if they had higher Vitamin D levels, and that the benefits depend on the type of Vitamin D taken (Vitamin D3 possibly being superior to D2).
We will keep you up to date exploring the many aspects emerging on this important vitamin, Vitamin D, as it relates to the skin and the immune system.
To your health,
-Dr. Alan M. Dattner, MD
Holistic Dermatology & Integrative Medicine
New York, NY