Upcoming presentations

Keeping your wits. Ten steps to prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Tuesday, September 18th, 6:00 p.m., Solana Beach Library.

Health benefits of wine and chocolate. Wednesday, September 19th 2:15 p.m. Rancho Penasquitos Library

In the news

Overdose on vitamin D? Not likely.

It’s rare to find an article about vitamin D that doesn’t mention the possibility of toxicity but that is extremely rare and should not be of concern to anyone taking a daily supplement. Even if one were to take ten times the recommended amount of 800 units per day it would take more than six months to show any signs of toxicity such as kidney damage.

A study of more than 70,000 patients at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics revealed only four persons with symptoms, including abnormal calcium deposits and kidney injury that resulted from high doses of vitamin D. Two of these patients were children whose parents gave them a dropperful of liquid vitamin D instead of one drop.  The third patient was taking 50,000 units per day; the history of the fourth patient was not complete.

Of the more than 780 persons whose blood levels of vitamin D were above normal none had any symptoms and the blood levels of calcium were within the normal range among all but seven.

Some supplement manufacturers recommend 2,000 to 3,000 units of vitamin D per day, a dosage that is entirely safe.  For persons over the age of about 60 some experts recommend an intake of 1,000 units per day. Older persons who fear skin cancer tend to avoid sun exposure. That helps to explain why more than half of the senior population, especially in the northern half of the United States have abnormally low blood levels of this important vitamin.  In addition to its bone-building benefits vitamin D is necessary for a healthy immune system and appears to play a role in the prevention of heart disease and cancer.



Ten ways to prevent dementia and Preventing dementia and Alzheimer’s disease: step 2.

#2 – Keep your blood sugar normal

Type 2 diabetes is a lifestyle-destroying disease that now affects about eleven percent of the U.S. population.  It is characterized by frequent and prolonged high levels of blood sugar that cause distortion of blood vessels. The inevitable result is damage to those parts of the body that have a rich network of blood vessels: the kidneys, the eyes, the heart and the feet. Type 2 diabetes is the main cause of kidney failure and will soon become the major cause of blindness among seniors. Diabetics have high rates of heart disease and stroke. Defective blood vessels fail to bring nutrients to the brain and cannot remove waste products. Brain cells die, the brain shrinks and the result is dementia, deteriorating memory, loss of cognitive skills and the inability to care for oneself.

A high intake of refined (white) flour and refined sugar including high-fructose corn syrup produces elevated levels of sugar in the blood. Sugar molecules attach themselves to protein molecules that are the building blocks of blood vessels. Just as one cannot build a decent-looking wall with bricks of varying shapes and sizes, one cannot form healthy blood vessels with distorted protein molecules.

The solution: stay away from refined grains and sugars. Replace them with whole grain foods along with plenty of fruits and vegetables.

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