Yukon Public Health Campaign Encourages Citizens to Make Sure They’re Getting Plenty of D

The Yukon territory in Canada is cold, dark, and sparsely populated—circumstances that require Yukon’s Health and Human Services to encourage residents to really go crazy on that D.

“How do you do the D?” asks the above ad, posted on Imgur, politely curious about Canadian citizens’ vitamin D intake but really their sex habits; another ad, via BuzzFeed Canada, shows an alarmed woman staring at a plate of fish, asking “Need a little help…with your daily D?” A third ad shows a man with his dog, wondering why he hasn’t grown out of his old cravings: “I’m in my 30s, who knew I needed to do the D?”

Source: Yukon Public Health Campaign Encourages Citizens to Make Sure They’re Getting Plenty of D

That’s one way to go viral 😉

Bless their hearts. They tried real hard. Instead they just looked like this:

The 20 Best Full-Fat Foods for Weight Loss

…now I can get fat 😀

It’s time to get fat.

Not around your waist, but on your plate: A new report from the Credit Suisse Research Institute found that more and more of us are choosing whole-fat foods over skim, lite, fat-free or other modern monikers of leanness. And while many health organizations like the American Heart Association still want us to cut down on fat—particularly saturated fat—this full-fat trend may be a healthy rebellion against those decades-old credos, according to recent studies.

Source: The 20 Best Full-Fat Foods for Weight Loss

The article fails to mention why fat is good in our diet: fat soluble vitamin uptake is greatly improved when consumed with fat.  So I don’t know why they listed protein as something that is improved by eating fat…

Be mindful of how much vitamin K there is in the suggested foods:

Genes Link Low Vitamin D with Multiple Sclerosis Risk

Researchers have found a possible genetic link between low vitamin D levels and multiple sclerosis; something that has long been suspected, but difficult to prove.

Source: Genes link low vitamin D with multiple sclerosis risk

The findings are interesting, given that lots of things are fortified with vitamin D (IE milk, cheese) because you need vitamin D to process calcium.  And there’s the fact that we can make our own vitamin D when exposed to sunlight.  You probably don’t need a vitamin D test

Keep in mind that the supplement suggested to be used in future studies is going to be clinical, not off the shelf.  If you are interested in better vitamin D intake, I’d advise sources other than supplements as there’s a lot of fraud in supplements.  Unless you’re lactose intolerant, milk is cheap and easily accessible.

You Probably Don’t Need a Vitamin D Test

A government health panel on Monday chose not to endorse widespread screening for vitamin D levels in healthy adults, despite research suggesting that a majority of Americans may be deficient in the vitamin.

Source: Vitamin D Screening Not Backed by Expert Panel

Lots of vitamin D news this week…  Unless you’re lactose intolerant, milk is fortified with vitamin D.  I really don’t see the need for supplements, especially considering how much fraud there is with supplements…  That’s besides the amount of time we need to be exposed to sunlight is 20 minutes on average based on complexion.

Sunlight and Body Heat Make Vitamin D Inside Your Skin

Many people don’t get enough vitamin D in their food. They still get enough vitamin D, because ultraviolet radiation creates it—usually.

Source: Sunlight and Body Heat Make Vitamin D Inside Your Skin

If you’re as fair-skinned as the average northern European, you only need about 20 minutes per day.  All you have to show is an area of skin about the size of your face.

Without vitamin D from sunlight exposure, lactose assists with the use of calcium. So, cultures with easy access to leafy greens plus sunlight or fish, calcium is taken care of and milk has no advantage. Cultures without access to leafy greens, sunlight or seafood need dairy either as a source of calcium, lactose, or both.  You can read more about it in a previous post.

Broken Ribs

I had a cycling accident yesterday, confirmed one rib broken and likely a few fractured.  The person behind me probably broke their collarbone. 😦

I think I can feel the rib float back and forth when I move the wrong way…  There’s nothing you can do for ribs – it takes time for things to solidify again.  So you want to increase calcium intake – most dairy products are fortified with calcium these days but for lactose intolerant or the spectrum of vegetarianism – tofu is the best non-fortified source of calcium, followed by sardines and sesame seeds.  Tahini time!  But the key to building your bones is not how much calcium you ingest – it’s how much you absorb.  Vitamin D aids calcium absorption – so if not out in the sunlight, start eating salmon, sardines, or tuna. The only option I’ve encountered is fortified soy milk for vegans/vegetarians – or supplements.  It is possible to get too much vitamin D, especially by overdoing supplements. Excess vitamin D can cause the body to absorb too much calcium and can lead to kidney damage.  What foods should be avoided?  Red meat, foods containing preservatives, and soft drinks with caffeine and other caffeinated beverages.

In light of medical care not being able to do much for you beyond a pain prescription, it is still worth a trip to the emergency unit.  It’s possible your lung can get punctured, leading to larger issues.  Internal bleeding is a serious concern, especially if on blood thinners.

24 Hours, Post Injury

Even typing is difficult.  It’s a constant game of figuring out what triggers horrific pain.  When the pain killers kick in, doing what they’re supposed to – allow you to breath, cough, and sneeze so you don’t develop pneumonia.  I had a brief discussion with an emergency doctor about Advil/Ibuprofen (see this post for details) – he acknowledged my concerns but said that for the amount and brief time period, it would be OK.  I’m aware of the risks of taking it long term and while on blood thinner, but I think I caught him wince at the idea of me getting through this without painkiller.

My arm is quite bandaged.  The road rash starts about mid-forearm, and goes over and a little past my shoulder.  There’s a section on the forearm that is still bleeding – it’s apparent through the bandage.  I was next to a retired nurse (there for her boyfriend) who winced at the sight of my forearm.  Once it was cleaned, it was obvious that a butterfly bandage, stitches/suture wouldn’t help – there was chunks missing.  Aside from bleeding on things, the road rash doesn’t bother me at all – it’s the rib and supporting musculature that reminds me what I can and can not do.

Jokingly, I asked if I could stitch myself and the nurse replied “Suture self”. 😀

What Happened, and How to Avoid it in the Future

I got dropped from the group, and ended up paired with another rider.  I’d never seen or met this rider before, and saw that they chatted with others casually so figured things were fine.  What I came to learn is that this person could hold speed/pace with a partner, but on their own – their speed ebbed and flowed constantly.  Consequently, I blinked and my front wheel overlapped with their back wheel by roughly six inches.  They swerved to miss a decent pothole and I ended up going down.  The person behind me wasn’t part of our ride, and was trying to hang on.  I don’t think they hit me (or my bike) at all – sympathetic bail?  More likely they couldn’t avoid both me and my bike.

This isn’t to scare anyone about group riding.  Quite the opposite.  You won’t feel comfortable in a group if you don’t experience it.  And like most other sports or activities, you don’t get better by training on your own.  Situations like these happen, and part of making sure they don’t happen is experience and knowledge to know when to give someone more space than others.  The cycling draft is effective for more than a few feet/a meter off someones rear wheel (see Win Tunnel: Drafting on youtube), but admittedly I dislike that much space in case of a surge which might leave you “gap-ed”.  Like swimming, it can be a lot of work to get back into that draft, but the benefits are real.


Should Pregnant Women Eat More Tuna?

As part of a sweeping review of nutrition recommendations, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee recently reiterated the current seafood guidelines: Americans should eat a wide variety of seafood. The report also acknowledges the risk of mercury exposure from certain kinds of seafoods, and notes that women who are pregnant, nursing or may become pregnant should avoid certain kinds — tilefish, shark, swordfish and king mackerel — because of their high mercury content.

The panel withheld a recommendation about tuna, second only to shrimp in popularity in the United States. Current guidelines from the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency warn pregnant and nursing women to limit tuna consumption to six ounces per week.

Source: Should Pregnant Women Eat More Tuna?

From reading the article, it does seem like a promotion for tuna/seafood.  Flaxseeds and walnuts are a far better source, and have a better shelf life.  Iodine?  That’s what in common table salt, for sake of the fact that most diets are iodine deficient.  Vitamin B12 is the most difficult to source of the B vitamins, depending on your diet (IE vegan).

What Vitamins to Take, What to Skip, and How to Know the Difference

Wandering into any conversation about vitamins and other health supplements is wandering into a thicket of hyperbole and half-truths. We’re here to cut through some of the bullshit in the $28 billion supplements industry.

The biggest fallacy we need to let go of is that all vitamins are good, and more vitamins is always better. Vitamins are potent chemicals packed in potent pills.

…It’s also worth noting, the quality of supplement products varies greatly from brand to brand. Not only can the amount of active ingredient differ from the label, but adulterants can also be sneaked in. If you’re wondering if your (expensive) brand is up to snuff, Consumer Labs regularly publishes tests comparing the quality of different brands. Pro tip: More expensive is not always better.

Source: What Vitamins to Take, What to Skip, and How to Know the Difference

The article doesn’t mention potassium or magnesium.  I prefer to source such things from plants/etc, rather than pills personally.

Milk May Do a Body More Harm Than Good

Contrary to popular belief, drinking large amounts of milk each day does not lower a person’s risk of bone fractures and instead may be associated with a higher rate of death, according to a new study. This is counter-intuitive to what has long been championed by some doctors and nutritionists: A diet rich in milk products can build strong bones and reduce the likelihood of fractures for those at risk for age-related bone loss.


The article stresses at the end that this is correlation, not causation.  But they did say that eating yogurt or inferior curdled milk-based products such as cottage cheese did give the “positive benefits associated with milk,” without any of the excruciating bone fractures and premature death.

You do not need to eat dairy foods to get the calcium you need in your meal plan. Calcium is provided by a wide variety of foods, and in order to get 1,000 milligrams per day (the Dietary Reference Intake, or DRI for women and men 19-50 years of age), you could eat sardines, scallops or sesame seeds.  There’s plant sources but being spinach and such, the vitamin K content is a concern.  Lots of processed foods are calcium fortified because the food sources aren’t part of the typical diet, but the value is debatable.  For more information on calcium see this page.

For more information on vitamin D and how it functions, see this post.

My multivitamin has 150% my daily value of Vitamin D. Does this mean I actually absorb 150% of my DV?

Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin. Meaning, any excess vitamin in your diet can be stored in fat and released at a later date when your body needs it. Unlike water soluble vitamins like C, the body doesn’t get rid of Vitamin D once the concentration is high enough. So it is possible to ‘overdose’ on Vitamin D.  And it can be toxic as it builds up in your fat.

Although it is named a vitamin, what is actually given to you in the supplements is a pro-hormone – something that will be acted on by your body (liver and kidneys specifically) to form an active hormone that then affects other bodily systems.  The supplements specifically contain vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) and D3 (cholecalciferol).  These are hydroxylated (-OH group added to the molecule)- first in the kidney, then in the liver to form the active vitamin 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D.

Cholecalciferol is also synthesised in your skin when it is exposed to UV light (sunlight), which is why people who do not get a lot of sunlight are prone to rickets. The body has a negative feedback mechanism to prevent excessive vitamin D synthesis, which mainly involves blocking the liver hydroxylation step.  So although you are taking 150% of your recommended dosage (plus UV/sun light), you should be safe from the effects of excessive intake!

Disclaimer: Please don’t take any of this as medical advice! If you are worried, speak to your doctor for blood tests to check your vitamin D and calcium levels.  It’s worth looking into if concerned with pancreatic cancer