Wednesday, February 4, 2009

HIV and Vitamin D Deficiency.

Vitamin D deficiency results in impaired bone mineralization, leading to diseases such as osteomalacia (bone softening) and osteoporosis. Vitamin D also plays an important role in maintaining organ systems. The Canadian Food Guide recommends a minimum of 200 IU daily for healthy individuals, with the upper daily tolerance around 2000 IU. The only significant natural dietary sources are oily fish and egg yolks, but it is not possible to intake enough through these foods alone. 15-20 minutes sun exposure, twice weekly will produce enough Vitamin D as it is synthesized through the skin, or a daily supplement can be taken.

Are you getting enough vitamin D through your diet and supplement program? Your doctor can test you to see if you’re deficient or not. Is vitamin D deficiency a concern to you? Do you take a vitamin D supplement already? If not, would you consider supplementing or not, and why do you feel that way?

Health Canada, Vitamin D.


Mistermuggs said...

Hi, I just recently began taking Vitamin D at 2000 U.I. a day. I feel better knowing that I am getting the recommended daily allowance, and that I am preventing any bone problems from happening to me in the future.

BCPWA Treatment Information Program said...

Just remember that 2000 I.U.'s is the upper daily limit. You may want to take a bit less if you have: oily fish or fish oil pills in your diet, Vitamin D enriched foods such as dairy products, or spend more than an hour a week in the sun. It's a great idea to be making sure you get enough Vitamin D, as it will prevent bone problems in the future! Thanks for your input.

Anonymous said...

I have seen a tremendous number of articles published on the subject of vitamin D in the last few years. Vitamin D deficiency seems to be associated with a huge variety of health problems (not only bones). There are vitamin D receptors on muscle tissue, brain cells, immune system cells (white blood cells) and elsewhere. I think it would be safe to assume that everyone in Canada - regardless of HIV status - is likely deficient in this vitamin, simply because of our geography. I started taking vitamin D supplements several years ago, just during the winter months. Now I take it all year long in addition to my daily multi (total of 1400 I.U.'s a day through supplements) and try to eat sardines, herring and eggs regularly (though not every day).
I have noticed one major difference since taking extra D: (and I know that anecdotal stories don't count for much but it is my personal experience): I've had significantly less "colds" as a result. Previously, I would get the usual 3 or 4 a year. In the last 48 months I've had one !!!
I don't know if that's connected to the extra D but I'll keep taking it anyway.
As for your comment "your doctor can test you to see if you're deficient" - good luck. Neither my GP nor any of my specialists have a clue what this is all about or that there is even a test - LOL (I'm not kidding)
I think this subject merits further investigation and perhaps a feature article in your newsletter

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