Not often do you find a true ‘elephant in the room’ but I believe that Canada’s effort to reduce the amount of vitamin D testing is a rogue elephant. Of course it may be more like ‘hidden in plain’ site as the majority of people are not aware of the benefits of vitamin D. Ontario Ministry claims that it has nothing to do with the cost in their desire to go back to 2004 testing levels. The medical practitioners are very upset with the proposal by the Ontario Ministry of Health. Here is the article in the Globe and Mail – “Ontario considers curbing vitamin D testing.”
I believe that the truth is a major concern for reducing the amount of total services. Income will be lost when people become vitamin D replete and disease is reduced. Let’s take one minor example. Last year the Canadian health authorities encourage parents to increase the amount of vitamin D per day for children. There were a grand total of 10 pediatric deaths (as of May 1, 2010) in Canada during last year’s flu season. That is for everyone under eighteen years of age. Less than sixty percent of that population had the flu shot. The US pediatric deaths for the 2009-2010 flu season was 281. The population of Canada is about 35MM and the population for the US is about 300MM or a per capita pediatric death rate for the US that is 3.5 times higher than Canada. Is it because of less vaccination and more supplementation with vitamin D or both?
I do truly believe that the Ministry is earnest about its statement that the testing for vitamin D has nothing to do with the cost. I do believe that it has everything to do with the lost income from a healthier population. Given that in August, Oxford University reported that there were 2,776 genes that interact with vitamin D, why would you not want to test. Genetic Influence of Vitamin D. The report states that there are over 200 genes that affect directly- heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.
It is going to be really interesting later this year when the Institute of Medicine’s Food and Nutrition Board finally issue their long awaited report on vitamin D and calcium. What will the recommendations be and how will that report be treated? In the last fifty years there have been 25,000 peer reviewed medical journal articles about vitamin D and disease. If the reports states there is not enough research then there is a large gray wrinkly animal just waiting to stump on you. The researchers are basically saying that everyone should have the serum level of vitamin D of people that live in a sunny country. Why are the skeptics calling these MEGA-doses of vitamin D? I don’t know about you, but I feel really good when traveling in sunny countries.
In most of North America we have reach a season where the sun no longer provides an adequate amount of vitamin D. That is if you are not afraid of getting cancer and you go into the sun. Have your serum 25(OH)D tested and try to maintain it at the level of a sunny country or 54 to 90 ng/ml. – Pandemic Survivor