Friday, April 01, 2011

One-Third of Americans Deficient in Vitamin D

Bonnie - If you read the media headlines, you could be easily mislead over the new report that "most Americans get enough vitamin D." How easy it is to manipulate data. What if most of the headlines were "one-third of Americans deficient in vitamin D"?

A new analysis by researchers from the National Center for Health Statistics from 2001 to 2006, shows that 67% of Americans age 1 or older had blood levels of vitamin D that fell between 50 to 125 nanomoles per liter, which is considered adequate. Another 24% were at risk for inadequate levels of vitamin D, with blood levels of 30 to 49 nmol/L; 8% were at risk of deficiency, which is defined as less than 30 nmol/L. Just 1% of the population has blood levels that were too high.

Any public health expert will tell you that if one-third of the American population have blood levels of a nutrient considered inadequate or deficient, it would be considered an epidemic. Given the importance of vitamin D for so many organ functions, one would think there would be a call-to-action. On the contrary, most media and public health officials were happy with the results survey.

Besides the fact that I believe the numbers of vitamin D-deficient Americans are much higher than this survey shows, it is yet another example of how incredible, economical preventative tools such as vitamin D supplementation are marginalized.

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