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Lack of Sunlight Could Lead To Early Death

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the among-other-unpleasant-consequences dept.

Medicine 304

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "Members of this community may want to venture out of the basement more often, because Dr. Harald Dobnig and his team have found that vitamin D deficiency leads to increased mortality. These results still hold when they take into account such factors as exercise and heart disease. Low vitamin D status has 'other significant negative effects in terms of incidence of cancer, stroke, sudden cardiac death and death of heart failure,' Dr. Dobnig said. The evidence of ill effects from low vitamin D 'is just becoming overwhelming at this point.' Vitamin D3 is usually produced by exposure to the UV-B in sunlight, but in high latitudes, especially in the fall and winter, insufficient UV-B gets through the atmosphere to produce enough vitamin D3, even with hours of exposure. The researchers are recommending that people at risk for deficiency take 800 IU of vitamin D3 daily. Just don't go overboard — as a fat-soluble vitamin, D3 is more capable of causing adverse effects at unnaturally high dosages. The human body tops out at producing about 10,000 IU per day." According to the Wikipedia entry linked above, the D2 (ergocalciferol) version -- available as a vegan product -- works approximately as well to supply humans with their needed vitamin D.

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Worse in northern hemisphere (5, Funny)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 6 years ago | (#23913911)

.. since pollution decreases sunlight penetration, whereas down south we have cleaner air and a lovely big ozone hole.

Re:Worse in northern hemisphere (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23914409)

There are also fewer roads in the Southern Hemisphere, so less accidents with lorries at night.

Re:Worse in northern hemisphere (5, Funny)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914539)

There are also fewer roads in the Southern Hemisphere, so less accidents with lorries at night.
Particularly over the Pacific Ocean.

Re:Worse in northern hemisphere (2, Interesting)

Slacksoft (1066064) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914779)

...so we either go out into the big blue room to avoid dying sooner, but risk getting cancer that could kill us too. I for one would rather bath in the cool non-skin roasting rays of my flat panel monitor and just increase my intake of once a day vitamins!

I thought you fags should know... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23914873)

that I'm going to Wal-Mart later today to purchase a picture frame. And yes, it's probably made in China. And you know what? Not one person that I encounter while I'm there will have some misplaced moral problem with Wal-Mart. They will likely be blue-collar folks just trying to squeeze the most value out of their collapsing dollar, and not yuppies full of angst over their own success who have trouble reconciling their success with their belief that the world is a fair place (or can at least be made to be fair through enough legislation).

UVB CPF anyone? (4, Informative)

RockModeNick (617483) | more than 6 years ago | (#23913913)

This is EASY, people. It's not like they don't sell UVB 2% up to 10% daylight CPF screw in light bulbs at any decent pet store that carries reptiles.

Re:UVB CPF anyone? (5, Funny)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 6 years ago | (#23913923)

It's not like they don't sell UVB 2% up to 10% daylight CPF screw in light bulbs at any decent pet store that carries reptiles.
You cold blooded insensitive clod!

Re:UVB CPF anyone? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23914295)

You cold blooded insensitive clod!
That would be clod-blooded, I guess.

Re:UVB CPF anyone? (5, Funny)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914323)

You insensitive cold!

Re:UVB CPF anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23914111)

How much UVB that my 15" CRT radiate per hour?.

Sunlight (5, Interesting)

retech (1228598) | more than 6 years ago | (#23913917)

It would be nice to know the proper balance between too much and not enough. Given the fact that too much will cause cancer and an equally alarming rate.

Re:Sunlight (5, Informative)

icebike (68054) | more than 6 years ago | (#23913965)

Actually all the studies that address "too much" involved sever sunburns in teen years.

There is no peer reviewed study that suggests normal exposure to sun imposes a high mortality.

Yet the press, over-reacting as usual, have scared people out of the sun and created a sunscreen industry overnight by failing to actually read the studies that were done.

Cancer rates caused by sun exposure only show significant rise in direct relation to bad burns. Avoid the bad burns and you are fine.

60 thousand years of human existence can't be discounted overnight.

Go out and play. Get a tan. Drink some coffee. Have some beer with those salty chips. Lets see, did I forget any of the other discredited cancer scares?

Re:Sunlight (4, Informative)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 6 years ago | (#23913995)

Cancer is only one potential risk. The sun worshipers I've known still are wrinkled way beyond their years.

Re:Sunlight (1)

RockModeNick (617483) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914015)

All those sound good to me, but the UVB bulbs still sound nice for the winter. I wonder if the UV spectrum light has any other side benefits other than vitamin D.

Re:Sunlight (2, Funny)

icebike (68054) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914073)

I wonder if the UV spectrum light has any other side benefits other than vitamin D.
You mean like Goggle Eyes?

Re:Sunlight (1)

retech (1228598) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914761)

It helps with circadian rhythm. A proper bulb/light source (read with the right spectrum output) helps many forms of sleep disorder and jet lag.

Re:Sunlight (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23914043)

60 thousand years of human existence can't be discounted overnight.

60 thousand years of short lifespans and high mortality rates.

Re:Sunlight (5, Interesting)

umghhh (965931) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914617)

I am not sure about 60thousand years - I studied once history of my family and got back to the end of 18th century. The records in this particular part of Europe end or should I say start then.

What I saw is that my grand grand born in XVIII century got married second time and had a kid in late 80ties of his life. He was a simple farm worker. The life span of others were similar. It changed when the area they lived got industrialized - life span of working men went down to 40 around end of XIX and beginning of XX century. It recovers significantly afterwards sign of reaction to bad working conditions (sick worker = not efficient worker). I suppose this varied a lot from place to place and time to time so talking about short lifespan and high mortality rates is not entirely correct.

Re:Sunlight (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914671)

I think infant/child mortality might have been high. And there was a high risk of women dying in child birth.

But once you made it past that, my guess is you'd live fairly long, maybe not as long as now, but the biblical 70 years (3 score and ten) wouldn't have been far off. The biblical upper limit of 120 years seems to hold even till today.

Re:Sunlight (4, Funny)

Oktober Sunset (838224) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914735)

I think for every generation the mortality rate turns out to be about 100%...

Re:Sunlight (4, Informative)

tgd (2822) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914939)

Don't fall for the error in statistics that cause human lifespans to seem short before modern times -- average lifespans were short because of massive infant mortality, not because people who survived to be adults didn't live to old ages.

There's no evidence to suggest people died earlier 5,000 or 50,000 years ago -- and there's strong counter evidence for that during historical periods of the last 3-5k years.

Re:Sunlight (5, Informative)

antiphoton (821735) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914141)

The problem with saying "60 thousand years of human existence can't be discounted overnight" is that life expectancy has greatly increased in recent centuries. Maybe skin cancer didn't matter back when you died in your 30's or 40's. Also, you can get your vitamin D from supplements. Not to mention the exposure of even 5 minutes in the sun per day matches the minimum vitamin D requirements to remain healthy. There is no need to go sunbake for hours on end, or not slip-slop-slap.

Re:Sunlight (4, Informative)

tanveer1979 (530624) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914407)

There was a study which said that Cancer will be disease of the future. Not because we are doing something to encourage cancer, but because other causes are being defeated. In olden times people used to die of typhoid, cholera etc., at a younger age. Cancer rarely got a foothold. Now with people living to 70s or 80s easily diseases like cancer are becoming more noticeable.

Re:Sunlight (2, Interesting)

IAR80 (598046) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914309)

Skin cancer rates have also to do with melanin production in the skin or better said the lack of. For example if you lived in uk all your life and so did all your ancestors for the past 100 generations you have probably not have evolved (damn it I used this word again) a very efficient melanin production mechanism compered to one of south European, Semitic or African ancestry. If you are in that situation and go 2 weeks a year to southern Spain and get totally sunburned every year, yes you have an increased risk of skin cancer compared to a local farmer who works in the sun every day.

Re:Sunlight (2, Informative)

Rhabarber (1020311) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914479)

This story is a dupe [slashdot.org] which is more than one year old. From the discussions in many mainstream media back then I remember some dermatologist advising full body sunlight exposure for 10 minutes every day (not more though).

The original publication is here [nih.gov] . Honestly I wonder why we did not see any follow up untill now.

In case you like to read: #18565885 [nih.gov] , 18424428 [nih.gov] and 17540555 [nih.gov]
(no open access, I'm afraid).

Re:Sunlight (4, Funny)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914487)

sever sunburns
I didn't realise it was possible to get such severe sunburn that your limbs fell off. Ouch.

Re:Sunlight (1)

MrMr (219533) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914723)

who mentioned limbs? Double ouch.

Re:Sunlight (1)

Dekortage (697532) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914897)

Go out and play. Get a tan. Drink some coffee. Have some beer with those salty chips. Lets see, did I forget any of the other discredited cancer scares?

Yeah, charbroiled meat. I can't tell you how many times people tell me that eating charbroiled burgers, sausages, whatever, is going to give me cancer... particularly ironic when some of them smoke cigarettes.

Re:Sunlight (1)

NIckGorton (974753) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914957)

It would be nice to know the proper balance between too much and not enough. Given the fact that too much will cause cancer and an equally alarming rate.
Even if the rate of skin cancer was much higher though, it would still favor greater sun exposure since the cancer that sun exposure makes you vulnerable to is visually detectable while the cancer that sun exposure protects you from is often only detectable by more invasive means. For some reason people seem much more amenable to getting a good visual skin inspection than a camera on a stick up the butt.

That said, as an extremely pale physician (who can burn in bright flourescent light) with a family history of colon cancer and skin cancer... my choice is the safest route: I've been taking 800iu of Vitamin D daily for the past few years and happily wear my SPF 10^6.

Oh no! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23913919)

We'll all going to die!

Re:Oh no! (5, Funny)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 6 years ago | (#23913937)

We'll all going to die!
Scream a bit louder, then someone walking past the basement might hear you and let you out.

Re:Oh no! (1)

d4nowar (941785) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914293)

But what if mom hears?

first post (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23913921)

I like my darkness, dammit!

Re:first post (2, Funny)

umghhh (965931) | more than 6 years ago | (#23913957)

and outside one may get onto these creatures, they call them women, strangely they all wear clothes and behave differently than in documentaries that we like to watch between coding sessions.

I'm not a beach bum (1)

able1234au (995975) | more than 6 years ago | (#23913931)

This is just for my health

In other news: (1, Flamebait)

Frekko (749706) | more than 6 years ago | (#23913933)

Lack of vitamin C will give you scurvy!
Seriously, you only have to go to northern sweden/norway to see this in action. You'll find a combination of zombies and nutcases!

I suspect similar results in canda and russia :D

Re:In other news: (4, Funny)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914145)

Seriously, you only have to go to northern sweden/norway to see this in action. You'll find a combination of zombies and nutcases!

OK wise guy... now explain California!

Re:In other news: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23914335)

now explain California!
Overdose?

Re:In other news: (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23914645)

"OK wise guy... now explain California!"

Easy. It's even more dangerous to mix basement-dwelling troglodytes with sunshine-loving surface dwellers. They may not interact much, but when they do all sorts of horrible side-effects can occur (read George Wells' "The Time Machine" for examples).

Re:In other news: (1)

I cant believe its n (1103137) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914641)

No, actually I think it is a combination of blue balls and vodka.

In other news.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23913939)

Lack of causes . But be careful cause excess of causes

And the sun causes skin cancer. (3, Funny)

fyoder (857358) | more than 6 years ago | (#23913947)

I have this uneasy feeling that sooner or later, we're all going to die.

Re:And the sun causes skin cancer. (1)

MrMr (219533) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914731)

But if we grease up real good, we may look like baby corpses in the end.

News for nerds! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23913983)

For all you basement people if you're like me and have a lack of D3 then take some meds. I my case its not because I don't go out (I do.. but not much) but due to some rare disease.

Re:News for nerds! (1)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914009)

For all you basement people if you're like me and have a lack of D3 then take some meds. I my case its not because I don't go out (I do.. but not much) but due to some rare disease.
Albinism?

A technological solution (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23913999)

Time to add another UV tube to my growing collection of case mods.

Clearly wrong (5, Funny)

ianpm (787890) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914061)

If this were true, then Vampires would die young. But they're immortal. Thus this theory holds no water.

I should like, totally do science for a living.

that's the beauty of the natural world (5, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914433)

scientists try to scare us about global warming, but nature has a way to balance things out, we don't have to do anything to fight global warming:

with hotter temperatures, vampires get more sun, thus dying off. with less vampires to prey on pirates, pirate numbers explode, thus lowering global temperatures [venganza.org] . with global temperatures down, vampires get less sun, rebound in population, and begin keeping piurate populations in check again

see the beauty and wonder of the natural world?

Can't spell Napster without "arrr" (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914885)

If Pastafarianism's prediction about the correlation between pirates and climate is true, then why didn't global temperatures take a nose-dive in the fourth quarter of 1999 when the original Napster hit the Internet?

Re:Clearly wrong (5, Funny)

TuringTest (533084) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914515)

This may shock you:

vampires are dead!

Vitamin D and auto-immune diseases (3, Informative)

Kingston (1256054) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914079)

Low levels of vitamin D have been implicated in the susceptibility and severity of attack in patients who have auto-immune diseases. Multiple Sclerosis [msrc.co.uk] and Rheumatoid Arthritis [webmd.com] are two of the diseases that seem to show a link. Coversely, patients suffering from Sarcoidosis ( another auto-immune disease ) where the body produces too much vitamin D, may benefit from staying out of the sun and cutting vitamin D [netprints.org] out of their diet.

This just in... (5, Funny)

Pinchiukas (828697) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914093)

you should live a healthy life if you don't want to die early.

Re:This just in... (2, Funny)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914505)

But if living an unhealthy life makes you die young, and only the good die young, isn't it good to live an unhealthy life?

Re:This just in... (1)

I cant believe its n (1103137) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914697)

No, an unhealthy life does not guarantee you dying young and since not all the good die young, it just follows that it CAN be good to live an unhealthy life.

Milk as subsitute? (2, Interesting)

BountyX (1227176) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914099)

does vitamin d in milk contain the same sub-elements as that found in UV? If not, would milk be a viable alternative to UV exposure at all?

Re:Milk as subsitute? (5, Funny)

iamapizza (1312801) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914127)

Only if you're Gisele Bundchen and pour it all over yourself.

Crash course in Vitamin D (5, Informative)

Sapphon (214287) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914351)

Vitamin D is produced by the skin in response to certain wavelengths of ultraviolet light, and as such is not a true vitamin (since vitamins are substances we can't naturally produce -- it's a hormone). Vitamin D is also found in certain fats (e.g. cod-liver oil).

This basic form of Vitamin D gets processed by the liver into an second form (25-hydroxyvitamin D3), and then by the kidneys into the active form 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3, which tells your body how much calcium to draw out of your food. If you don't have enough calcium in your diet, but enough Vitamin D, the body can even draw the calcium out of your bones. Calcium is also required for the correct transmission of brain signals, so too little vitamin D can also lead to seizures.

To veer back to the OP's question: whether the synthetic vitamin D additive to milk products (as opposed to the vitamin D we used to create in foods in the 1920's and 1930's using mecury lamp ultraviolet radiation) is Vitamin D or Vitamin D3 is pretty much irrelevant for our body, but I believe it is the latter, yes.

Aside: Did you know we can cure cancer with Vitamin D? Sadly, the dosis required is lethal to humans... they're working on it.

Re:Crash course in Vitamin D (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23914791)

When this was discussed a year ago [slashdot.org] I was desperate enough to try it. I had severe constant back pain from a squashed vertebrae (that happened from lifting a garbage bag out of the container under the sink) that was worsened from playing very gentle soccer on a sandy beach. It astonished me that I hurt my back just from the soccer and I was pretty desperate for a solution. After reading the article, I knew that my vitamin D intake was low because (1) I am allergic to fish, (2) I don't drink milk, (3) I'm half way to a century, (4) I'm a basement-loving geek.

I started taking fish oil (containing both vitamin A and D -- they work together) and immediately reduced my pain levels. Since then I have tried a combination of mostly synthetic D + fish oil (did not work as well, yet got the symptoms of over consumption) and eventually found the lowest level that took away all pain -- about 1,500 IU per day or about double what the article suggests.

In addition to the risk factor we geeks share for being outside less than average, vitamin D absorption declines with age and the average slashgeek seems to be in their forties or fifties.

Increasing my intake of vitamin D has saved my life, and especially the quality of my life. Frankly, I'm surprised the medical profession let this information out.

And now back to the vampire and sunburn jokes...

Re:Milk as subsitute? (1)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914499)

Only if the cow doesn't live in a basement as well.
But more seriously, lots of milk brands add vitamin D to their product.

Re:Milk as subsitute? (1)

maglor_83 (856254) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914553)

I don't think I've ever seen milk with vitamin D. Not that I've looked for it or anything. Why would they add it? Or maybe Australia is sunny enough that nobody worries about it?

Re:Milk as subsitute? (1)

will_die (586523) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914623)

Here is an article [accessmylibrary.com] that talks about Vit D malnutrian in Australia.
  They and New Zealand do not fortify milk, butter, etc.

Re:Milk as subsitute? (1)

mdekato (1106547) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914759)

Vitamin A & D, found in milk, comes in a bottle and is added after milk has been separated, pastuerized and homogenized. Funny I never thought my high school job at the dairy would provide material for discussion.

Re:Milk as subsitute? (2, Informative)

JazzHarper (745403) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914861)

Milk doesn't provide enough to make a significant contribution. In the US, almost all milk sold commercially has been fortified with 400 IU of D3 per quart.

Your skin will make up to 10,000 IU per day, *if* you get 10-15 minutes of direct sunlight. Your body's ability to do that diminishes with age.

In April, my doctor had me take a 25-hydroxy D3 test (which Blue Cross refused to pay for, BTW), and found that my level was 19.5 ng/mL. Recent studies show that 32 ng/mL is a minimum threshold for good health (Hollis, J Nutr. 2005 Feb; 135(2); 317-22). He prescribed a series of 50,000 IU capsules, one every 4 days.

I might point out that I'm a cyclist--I get plenty of sun in the summer--but I am over 50.

Also, good luck trying to find 50,000 IU D3 capsules in any store.

Anyway, here are some interesting articles:
http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/ [vitamindcouncil.org]

For the conspiracy-minded among you, there has been a proposal on the table to increase the MDI, but the pharmaceutical companies don't want the recommendation adopted until they have developed some patentable analogues.

What? I haven't had any vitamin D and I'm just... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23914107)

Oh wait, what's this... a loud bang on the door, which swings open to reveal - hmmm strange: my mother holding a meat cleaver in her hand. And that crazed look on her face, most unlike her. I certainly hope - oh wait, what's this now? She's charging at me, raising the knife, cursing her womb - and there goes my head.

I was so close to being able to afford GTA IV.

Rainy Ireland and vitamin D (1)

ma11achy (150206) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914113)


I could make money from this....

1) Show article to constantly rained upon and miserably wet Irish population
2) Go catch some fish (Vit D) and sell it
3) Profit!!!!

4) Get rained on

Bullshit (1, Insightful)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914121)

There's plenty enough light coming through even in winter. It's just that you usually don't really get exposed to much of it while sitting in a frickin' cubicle during the decidedly short days in winter.

I do not trust studies that tell me I have to take stuff to be healthy. Going out an hour a day is enough to produce enough vitamin D. We need so little of it to properly function. The true problem lies in the fact that we just are either too lazy to get out or have built our society around a schedule that doesn't allow for it.

This dude, in my opinion, is in the pockets of the pharmaceutic industry, trying to sell us more stupid medicine we don't really need.

Re:Bullshit (2, Informative)

zoney_ie (740061) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914203)

We sometimes have entire months here in Ireland with little direct sunshine (I think last year some places had an entire 80 day block with rain each day, and that was in the lousy summer we had last year).

In any case, it's not a matter of the amount of light in winter. It is to do with UVB rays, and these don't reach us in the winter due to the sun being low in the horizon and refraction from the rays passing through more atmosphere. Not only that, but even past the height of winter, these rays only reach us when the sun is higher in the sky (the middle of the day).

Re:Bullshit (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914445)

Going out for an hour a day in the summer yes, but in the winter, UVB is rarefied at higher latitudes. UVB availability has little to do with how much visible light there is. There can be tons of UVB and very little visible (cloudy day in the middle of summer) and tons of visible, but practically no UVB (clear blue day in December).

Weston Price (1)

jrushton (806560) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914541)

If you are not aware of the work of Weston Price into nutrition and the effects of following the dangerous path we currently walk as a society you should be! His book is available from the Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation.

As for Vitamin D, try eating shrimp (and other sea foods) and the organ meats of animals (liver, kidney, etc. which were all commonly eaten in the recent past). These are the best sources, and they are available all year round.

The links between criminality and nutrition are absolutely fascinating. Things are not as they are meant to be. Things we call food are often no such thing.

Re:Bullshit (1)

ZarathustraDK (1291688) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914593)

This dude, in my opinion, is in the pockets of the pharmaceutic industry, trying to sell us more stupid medicine we don't really need.
Pfizer has patented sunlight? Oh noes!

Re:Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23914643)

There's plenty enough light coming through even in winter. It's just that you usually don't really get exposed to much of it while sitting in a frickin' cubicle during the decidedly short days in winter.

I do not trust studies that tell me I have to take stuff to be healthy. Going out an hour a day is enough to produce enough vitamin D. We need so little of it to properly function. The true problem lies in the fact that we just are either too lazy to get out or have built our society around a schedule that doesn't allow for it.

This dude, in my opinion, is in the pockets of the pharmaceutic industry, trying to sell us more stupid medicine we don't really need.

Then you have clearly never ever been near the arctic circle. Most of scandinavia has for example little to no sunlight at all during winter months. Even if you live in areas south of arctic circle, the sun will still be so low in the sky that you dont even feel it. The lower the sun is the weaker it is.

Re:Bullshit (4, Funny)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914719)

Going out an hour a day is enough to produce enough vitamin D.

But we don't wants to, Master. It burnss us. Don't make uss go away from preciouss...

*huggles his monitor*

Matrix blunder (1)

elguillelmo (1242866) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914123)

This is gonna be an inconvenience when mankind decides to clog the skies to prevent environmentally friendly intelligent machines from getting their energy from the sun!

Confounding (3, Insightful)

fadunk (721585) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914143)

The article acknowledges its own shortcomings: Vitamin D levels could possibly be used as a measurement of sunlight exposure in people not taking supplements and not conscientiously eating the proper foods. So when someone's chronically ill or massively overweight and doesn't go outside to exercise, their vitamin D levels will be decreased. Those people already have an increased 8 year mortality regardless of how much vitamin D they consume or have in their diet. It's like the studies "linking" coffee to lung cancer years ago: once it was realized that lots of people smoke when they drink coffee, those studies looked ridiculous. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confounding_variable [wikipedia.org]

Makes sense (2, Interesting)

Amiralul (1164423) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914163)

Well, that would explain the lower population number in Norway, for instance, where Wikipedia says that they are only 4.7 millions inhabitants in such a beautiful country.

If your vitamin D level gets down during winter and you catch a rainy summer, you're doomed!

decisions decisions (3, Funny)

uxbn_kuribo (1146975) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914169)

deathmatch and early death, or exercising and long life... the choice is clear *starts up HL2*

I knew having red hair would benefit me one day! (1)

nowhere.elysium (924845) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914193)

Haha! You guys may well be screwed, but us ginger-haired folks are sorted: we've evolved in such a manner that we produce our own vitamin D...

Re:I knew having red hair would benefit me one day (1)

Tolkien (664315) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914729)

[citation needed] please! I'm auburn too. :)

Skin cancer vs. lung cancer (3, Funny)

Jeff Jungblut (744824) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914201)

I always stand in the sun when I smoke. Do I break even?

Super nerd solution gets the girls! (1)

rhynobabel (1180283) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914233)

Is it just me or is there a suspiciously low volume of comments so far for this particular topic.....methinks we /. readers should get out more and risk the blinding light. Recently I installed a bank of sun lamps emitting the D3 production wavelength over a beach lounger in a sandpit located pretty much right next to my scourge of an office chair, that are programed to flip on when I visit a beach in Second Life. I switch chairs (I know, I know....but I have to actually move my body for this step), strip to my Copacabana banana-hanger, lather-up any translucent body parts, grab my wireless lotion-proof keyboard and I'm livin' longer baby! A bunch of old monitors (hooded....it really is pretty bright) arrayed around me keeps the babes in view....but they still never seem to talk to me and I can't figure out why... And my boss is pissed about all the sand, "blah blah you track it everywhere around the CO blah-blah blah it's getting into the switches and Litespan multiplexers blah blah". Ok I must take your leave and head over to the virtual beach now, since the really freaky-hot avatars are roaming about at this hour...

In related news... (1)

Octopus (19153) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914243)

Neckbeards have been linked to throat cancer.

Time to shave, you lazy bastards.

By the way, you smell like old hot dog water.

Increased mortality (2, Funny)

sctprog (240708) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914247)

Last I checked the mortality rate was 100%

Well... (1)

Gr33n3gg (1256070) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914261)

...I guess mom was right.

Careful with too much Vit D (5, Informative)

Critical_ (25211) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914283)

Disclaimer: IAAJD (I am a junior doctor) but this is NOT medical advice. Please consult your physician for your specific situation.

Vitamin D supplements come in two forms: ergocalciferol and cholecalciferol. Studies suggest that cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) increases serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OH-D) more efficiently than does ergocalciferol (vitamin D2). Milk in the United States has been fortified with vitamin D3 (the natural form made through sunlight) since the 1940. This was mandated and reduced the incidence rate of juvenile rickets by 85% in the United States.

Calcitriol is the most active metabolite of vitamin D. It can frequently cause hypercalcemia and/or hypercalciuria, necessitating close monitoring and adjustment of calcium intake and calcitriol dose. Therefore, it isn't recommended that calcitriol be given for vitamin D supplementation in osteoporosis. However, calcitriol or other vitamin D analogs are an important component of therapy for secondary hyperparathyroidism in chronic kidney disease.

Now to the meat and potatoes of this post. The intake at which the dose of vitamin D becomes toxic is not clear. In 1997, the National Academy of Sciences defined the Safe Upper Limit for vitamin D as 2000 IU/day. Newer data however indicate that higher doses are safe at least over a several-month period. Doses as high as 10,000 IU per day for up to five months were not associated with toxicity. It is important to inquire about additional dietary supplements (some of which contain vitamin D) that patients may be taking before prescribing extra vitamin D. Excessive vitamin D, especially combined with calcium supplementation may cause hypercalcemia, hypercalciuria, and kidney stones.

So be careful and only take the amounts listed on your supplement bottles and inquire with your doctor before starting anything. We have a mentality here in the United States that more is better. When it comes to the human body moderation is key.

As a side note, I also don't really understand the significance of Vitamin D's fat solubility making it any more or less dangerous in higher dosages.

Re:Careful with too much Vit D (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23914315)

Disclaimer: IAAJD (I am a junior doctor) but this is NOT medical advice.

When was the last time anyone was sued for giving crappy advice on Slashdot? As if someone is going to point the finger and say "but G0ggle3y35 on slashdot said I should eat plutonium pellets" and blame them for their cancer. And besides you gave good advice so stand up and be proud of it, mate!

IANAJD (a bit beyond that now), but IANAOBSOS (I am not afraid of being sued on slashdot).

Fat soluble vs. water soluble (3, Informative)

PontifexPrimus (576159) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914383)

Do correct me if I'm wrong, but I seem to remember that the problem with lipophilic substances is that they can lead to poisoning easier because they tend to accumulate in the fatty tissues of the body and cannot be excreted easily; an excess of water soluble vitamins on the other hand would be flushed out the next time you urinate.
Disclaimer: I'm not even a little bit of a doctor, so this might be completely wrong or misremembered... :)

Re:Fat soluble vs. water soluble (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23914427)

OP is correct. fat soluble vitamins such as A, E are stored in cells and can be very toxic. water soluble vitamins, although easily flushed from the body, can still cause several diseases. there is no significant difference in how easy or difficult a vitamin builds up concentration. it comes down to the bodies ability to metabolize substances.

there are far tighter levels on water soluble vitamin overdose levels than fat soluble. it also logically follows that fatter people can take more into their cells than a skinnier person. this isn't a factor with water soluble vitamins. good on the OP for being astute to the error in the summary.

wikipedia overdose link [wikipedia.org]

Re:Careful with too much Vit D (1)

NovaHorizon (1300173) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914509)

Well, I'm glad SOMEONE pointed out that we added Vitamin D3 to milk back in the 40's to deal with the issue of not getting enough sunlight. It means I don't have to worry about my non existent mod rating keeping people from seeing me say it.

So.. now on the pushed side of it.. why not.. say... to compete with even further lack of sunlight.. oh I don't know...

DRINK MORE MILK

Hey.. that solution for a few problems has been out for a while even.

Also.. I wonder if the scientists for this study failed the week in high school history when talking about the industrial revolution? Why else repeat a study on low Vitamin D being an issue 60+ years later?

Re:Careful with too much Vit D (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23914685)

I'm the OP.

There are several reasons to repeat the study. The issue in the 1940's was rickets but today we're seeing an increasing number of diseases such as "cancer, stroke, sudden cardiac death and death of heart failure" with Vitamin D playing a factor. We would be arrogant as doctors to assume we know everything so this deserves further investigation. Furthermore, the ill effects of years of media scare stories of the sun's "harmful rays" has lead people to put on sunscreen when they reluctantly go out.

The article mentions that nearly half the elderly population in the United States has low Vitamin D. This isn't surprising because they rarely go out due to the ravages of aging. Children, though, as also being seen with increasingly low levels of Vitamin D--probably having a lot to do with parents insisting children not play outside due to safety issues and also caking them over with sunscreen. Until these issues are publicized and new protocols issued on the standard of care, these studies will be necessary. Going outside isn't the only solution but its far better than just drinking more milk. We must start focusing very heavily on easily modifiable variables so we can prevent diseases in tomorrow's aging population.

Minor disagreement (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914951)

"Children, though, as also being seen with increasingly low levels of Vitamin D--probably having a lot to do with parents insisting children not play outside due to safety issues"

I would wager that videogames and TV are the primary reason. Kids just don't play outside as much anymore even in safe areas. It's a shame.

Bill Hicks Was Murdered, George Carlin Too? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23914331)

I believe Bill Hicks was murdered, via a cancer sprinkle.

Those who speak out now either die of heart attack (via poisoning), fast-moving cancer, or some accidental type of method, never the lone gunman anymore.

Sure, lots of people will say, But Hicks smoked his ass off! Fuck that, the guy was at his peak, ready to bloom in America and his life was cut short by a cancer sprinkle from the powers that be. Wheres your proof? Watch his videos, audio, everything from the guy, absorb through your eyes and ears, breathe his stuff, youll see he was a lone preacher in the wilderness, trying to open our hearts to the reality of our present dictatorship. Friends, there is no land of the free, we are all slaves.

Bill Hicks:

They dont want the voice of reason spoken folks, cos otherwise wed be free. Otherwise, we wouldnt believe their fucking horseshit lies, nor the fucking propaganda machine of the mainstream media and buy their horseshit products that we dont fucking need and become a third world consumer fucking plantation which is what were becoming. Fuck them. They are liars and murderers.

Where are voices of reason like this in todays media? Nowhere. The guy making a comment about GB hating black people and Rosie on The View telling people to Google gulf of T.. was as close as it got. It wouldn't surprise me if George Carlin was murdered too (heart attacks/failures and fast acting cancer are both black ops methods used by corrupt rogue governments), had he been speaking out too much about Iraq recently and where America is headed?

When a person speaks out to the people and for the people in a voice they can understand, they dont end up well soon after, this is fact. At the very least they are pulled from a show, or the show cancelled. If they are vocal enough and well respected enough not to be smeared or jailed, the shadows swirl around them.

Vote for Wesley Snipes and send a message: fuck your taxes we are not slaves.

To the death! (1)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914367)

You will prise my warm AMD only from my cold dead fingers! How dare anyone suggest I get out more.

Re:To the death! (1)

dogganos (901230) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914625)

You're right my friend. Enough with this 'do-this-don't-do-that', 'live healthy' etc etc, blah, blah. As someone sarcastically remarked, 'if you want to live a hundred years, quit all the things that make you want to live a hundred years...'

Your terms are acceptable ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23914771)

You will prise my warm AMD only from my cold dead fingers! How dare anyone suggest I get out more.

Your terms are acceptable !

Whassat? (5, Funny)

John Pfeiffer (454131) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914371)

Sun...light?

Now you're just making stuff up!

I used to believe you, Slashdot. But now you're all 'sun' this, and 'outside' that, like all those other nutbags! Screw you guys! Go ahead, go outside, see if I care! Maybe you'll get eaten by one of those 'wild animal' things you people are always going on about. Like a..uh..what was it...beer? Bar? Oh, right... A bear! Maybe you'll get eaten by a bear! It'd serve you right!

This post was brought to you by the latter hours of a horrible caffeine bender which failed to see anything accomplished. Enjoy!

I'm told this study means nothing (4, Funny)

MLS100 (1073958) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914413)

My MD said it's nothing to worry about because I'll usually make the saving throw for death from vitamin deficiency due to my high stamina as an ogre.

Err, wait that was my DM...

Still, he does play a Cleric.

Legal Ramifications (1)

gurutc (613652) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914535)

If this is true, what do they do about inmate populations in jails and prisons? Incarcerated persons often get no direct sunlight exposure. It will be interesting to see if changes are made.

People took this to heart (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23914547)

My local grocery was completely out of decent-sized capsules of the stuff in the last few days.

Not me... (1)

V!NCENT (1105021) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914741)

I am posting this from my backyard. Laptop + Wi-Fi FTW.

Vitamin D deficiency leads to increased mortality? (1)

jayhawk88 (160512) | more than 6 years ago | (#23914795)

That's odd, I was always under the impression that the mortality rate was 100%.

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