We all know that in addition to finding it in your diet, vitamin D is synthesized in the skin from sun exposure. This interesting fact makes vitamin D is a tricky nutrient to study, since the concentration of vitamin D status in the body fluctuates as the seasons change. But do other factors impact vitamin D status?
Entries filed under 'Eric Ciappio'
We know of the importance of maintaining proper nutrition to help support healthy aging. We know of the relationship that nutrients have with key components of aging, like bone health, heart health, and eye health. But when we think of the potential benefits of nutrition, most people would not list “maintaining your hearing” as one of them. Maybe it’s time to change that.
Vitamin D is notoriously difficult to get in the diet. Excluding fortified sources such as dairy, the major naturally occurring source of vitamin D is seafood. Swordfish, salmon, and tuna are excellent sources of vitamin D, with one serving of these fish containing anywhere from 39-142 %DV. Sadly, in the real world, we just don’t eat a lot of fish: Americans only eat half a serving of seafood per day on average. Vitamin D status is a reflection of vitamin D intake, so this begs the question: how does fish consumption affect not only vitamin D intake, but also vitamin D status?
In nutrition we depend on large clinical trials to answer important questions about the efficacy of nutrients. These studies are often designed to answer a single question – does vitamin D reduce fracture incidence? Do antioxidants prevent the progression of eye disease? When we try to answer questions other than what a study was designed to answer, it feels like we’re trying to put a square peg into a round hole. Sure, we can get it to fit, but does that mean it’s the right fit?
In writing for TalkingNutrition, I routinely post blogs that say “if only this researcher did XYZ, they might have seen an effect!” (where XYZ is normally recruiting subjects with low nutrient status at baseline). It brings me great joy when I get to see a similar study to the one I just wrote the “if only!” blog about that actually did what I had wished for and then sees a positive effect. And it’s particularly exciting for me when both examples happen in the same week.