We all count on solid health advice from healthcare providers, governmental agencies and other respected sources to make “informed decisions”. The last couple of decades we have been advised not to salt our food, for fear of increasing blood pressure. Likewise, conventional wisdom has been to avoid sun exposure without adequate protection to lessen the risk of skin cancer. Both pieces of advice at face value appear solid and reasonable. The challenge though for all health consumers is to always ask the “Big Question”, if you take something away what is the consequence.
Over the last 2 to 3 decades we have all seen dramatic increases of breast, colon and prostate cancer, we have also seen increases in ADD/ADHD, autoimmune diseases, depression and a myriad of other health conditions. Though each of these conditions are complex and can have many triggers, one has to wonder the impact would have been if as a society we had maintained the “iodine and vitamin D levels” of past generations.
The National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES), discovered between NHANES I (1971–1974) and NHANES III (1988–1994) that Americans’ median urine iodine concentration decreased by 50 percent. This is important, since iodine is important to support the development of babies and children including IQ, thyroid and breast health and multiple disease protection. To compound the fact that largely due to the avoidance of iodized salt, the addition of bromides in bread and fluoride in drinking water that further compromise body iodine levels, iodine deficiency affects 4 times more people than just a couple decades ago.
Likewise, vitamin D levels have been dropping due to inside swelling and solar-phobia. Research shows that use of a sunscreen rated SPF 15 blocks 94% of the UVB rays with a SPF 30 blocking approximately 97% of UVB rays. It is no wonder that vitamin D levels, as measured by a simple blood test 25-OH vitamin D are generally way too low, the typical laboratory range is 20-100, yet most wellness oriented physicians recommend a level about 50. Using information from the NHANES a group of researchers concluded that having low levels of vitamin D 17.8 ng/mL was independently associated with an increase in all-cause mortality. Since excess sun exposure does increase skin cancer risk, supplementation recommendations are very common even amongst conventional allopathic physicians.
The bottom line:
When following global health advice such as stop salting your food, or use sea salt that often is not iodized or stay out of the sun without SPF sunscreen, ask the question, well then where am I going to get these life sustaining nutrients. Live life proactively and protect your health, it is the most prized of all possessions. The addition of iodine from Kelp or a product called Iodoral is a common approach to shore up iodine body stores. Likewise, a daily supplement of vitamin D3, can help make up for low levels due to indoor dwelling, living in the northern states or use of SPF sunscreen.