Vitamin D Should Be Renamed Hormone H
Science & Technology: Renaming Vitamin D
Vitamin D Should Be Renamed Hormone Health (H)
One of the main reasons there hasn't been more attention paid to the myriad health benefits of vitamin D by the American public is that the use of the word "vitamin" is misleading and scientifically inaccurate. Changing the name from "vitamin D" to "hormone H (Health)" would be scientifically correct-vitamin D actually is a secosteroid hormone, not a vitamin-and it would alert the public to the biological importance of vitamin D/hormone H (Health).
Vitamin D was misnamed because it was discovered at the same time as vitamins A, B and C and, at that time, was thought to be a vitamin. Renaming it hormone H (Health) would reflect the incontrovertible fact that maintaining an optimal blood level, i.e., greater than 125 nmol/L, of this secosteroid hormone is essential to achieving optimal health and well-being.
Ten years ago there was only a trickle of scientific articles regarding vitamin D being published, and there was virtually no coverage of the subject by the mainstream media-therefore, it didn't really matter what this life-saving substance was called. However, about five years ago a change took place, and the work of pioneer vitamin D researchers-such as Hector DeLuca, Lois Matsuoka, Michael Holick, Reinhard Veith, Robert Heaney, Bruce Hollis, Edward Giovanucci, Beth Dawson-Hughes, the Garland brothers and William Grant-began to appear in scientific journals.
About the same time, some of the more knowledgeable journalists writing for major publications (such as Jane Brody of The New York Times) began covering vitamin D/hormone H (Health).
Today, as more mainstream publications pick up on the myriad benefits of vitamin D/hormone H (Health), it is hard to keep up with all of the articles being published. To illustrate that point, simply look at two recent articles about vitamin D/hormone H (Health)-one was published in Scientific American (as you might expect) and the other in Psychology Today (which was unexpected). In addition, the Internet has made it possible for anyone to search for information about vitamin D/hormone H (Health).
A recent study showed that the worldwide average vitamin D (25-OH-D) blood level was 54 nmol/L. Many experts now believe that a level greater than 125 nmol/L should be maintained (and we have long recommended a level greater than 150 nmol/L). Therefore, the average person's blood level of vitamin D currently is at 43 percent or 36 percent of the optimal levels of 125 nmol/L and 150 nmol/L, respectively. Is it any wonder that there is a worldwide pandemic regarding the diseases-including cancer, coronary heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and multiple sclerosis-thought to be mediated by vitamin D?
Furthermore, a growing body of research suggests that vitamin D/hormone H (Health) is the key to optimal cellular signaling and plays a major role in neurotransmission, which indicates that an optimal level of vitamin D/hormone H (Health) is necessary for cells to communicate effectively with each other. However, there is a growing awareness that vitamin D/hormone H (Health) supplements are not the answer to resolving the vitamin D/hormone H (Health) insufficiency problem that exists worldwide.
Vitamin D/Hormone H Supplements. Increasing vitamin D/hormone H (Health) levels from 50 nmol/L to 120 nmol/L requires taking a daily 1,000 IU supplement for 365 days or taking a daily 2,000 IU supplement for 183 days. To go from 50 nmol/L to 150 nmol/L, it takes 456 days of daily 1,000 IU supplement use or 228 days of daily 2,000 IU supplement use. (Note: In the United States, 2,000 IU is the highest supplement level that can be purchased without a prescription.)
Controlled Ultraviolet Radiation Exposure (CURE). However, it only takes 12 eight- or nine- minute sessions of CURE in a sunbed equipped with either traditional, new-era or HID/high-pressure sunlamps to raise levels from 50 nmol/L to 120 nmol/L, and 17 eight- or nine-minute sessions to go from 50 nmol/L to 150 nmol/L. Therefore, it should be obvious that sunbeds are the ideal source of vitamin D/hormone H (Health)-effective energy.
A recent Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology article, titled "Sunbeds And Cod Liver Oil As Vitamin D Sources," shows that the scientific community is beginning to recognize that sunbeds are part of the solution-not part of the problem. The authors (Porojinicu, et al) stated that moderate and non-erythemogenic UV exposures in a commercial sunbed twice per week increased the serum 25-OH-D3 level significantly and that, on average, the level was raised from 65 nmol/L to 92 nmol/L after only seven exposures.
Importantly, the study authors concluded that raising winter levels to summer levels in the Nordic countries would lead to an average annual 25-OH-D3 level that is 22 nmol/L higher than at present.
"This might be achieved by moderate sunbed exposure during the winter," they said. "According to the estimations of Giovannucci and co-workers, this would reduce the total number of cancer deaths by 29 percent in the United States, corresponding to a reduction of the annual number of cancer deaths in Norway by 3,000 from the total level of 11,000. This reduction is more than 10 times the number of cutaneous malignant melanoma (CMM) deaths in Norway-which is about 250 per year. Taking into account that moderate and regular sunbed exposure in the winter might not necessarily lead to any increase in the number of CMM deaths, one should reconsider the restrictive attitude towards sunbed use."
In summary, there is a paradigm shift underway regarding the importance of maintaining an optimal level of vitamin D/hormone H (Health) year-round. There also is a growing awareness that there is no better place to accomplish this objective than in the controlled and consistent environment of a commercial indoor tanning salon. Moreover, it is time to call this miracle substance by its correct name-hormone H (Health).
25-OH-D/H 50 nmol/L to 120 nmol/L nmol/L 50 nmol/L to 120 nmol/L nmol/L
Cumulative Days Cumulative IUs Cumulative Days Cumulative IUs
1,000 IU Daily 365 365,000 456 456,000
2,000 IU Daily 183 365,000 228 456,000
25-OH-D/H 50 to 120 nmol/L Session Time Time to 120 nmol/L 50 to 150 nmol/L Session Time Time to 150 nmol/L
(Sessions) (Minutes) (Minutes) (Hours) (Sessions) (Minutes) (Minutes) (Hours)
Traditional Sunlamp 12 8.2 98 1.6 17 8.2 139 2.3
New Era Sunlamp 12 9.0 108 1.8 17 9.0 153 2.6
Patricia E. Reykdal owns and operates four tanning salons in Tucson, Ariz. Her husband, Donald L. Smith, is director of research of the Non-Ionizing Radiation Research Institute. Together, they have written more than 250 articles promoting sensible, moderate and controlled exposure to ultraviolet radiation.
Article featured in:
Looking Fit - Tan Responsibly - Tan Today - National Tanning Training Institute