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Vitamin D Deficiency & the Return of Rickets

From the Show: Naturally Savvy
Summary: Rickets was eradicated back in the early 1900s, but is now making a comeback. Why?
Air Date: 3/25/15
Duration: 10
Host: Andrea Donsky, RHN and Lisa Davis, MPH
Guest Bio: Vinnie Tortorich
Vinnie TortorichVinnie Tortorich is an author, radio and podcast host, fitness trainer, and model. For over 20 years, Vinnie has been Hollywood's go-to guy for celebrities and athletes looking to get fit fast. In 2012, he started the Angriest Trainer podcast with co-host Anna Vocino, who was best known for the self-improvised show Free Radio on Comedy Central. In July 2013, Vinnie released his second book called Fitness Confidential. The book was written with Dean Lorey and covers Vinnie's career as a personal trainer, as well as his "no sugar, no grains" approach to eating healthily. He is also the creator of Pure Vitamin Club, “the world’s best multivitamin supplement.”
  • Book Title: Fitness Confidential
  • Guest Twitter Account: @VinnieTortorich
Vitamin D Deficiency & the Return of Rickets
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Rickets was eradicated back in the early 1900s, but is now making a comeback.

Why is that?

One of the major factors that contributed to the downturn in the condition was that diets improved and people were getting the nutrients they needed, including the very essential nutrient, vitamin D.

Also known as the "sunshine vitamin," vitamin D is integral in helping your body absorb calcium and magnesium.

When one of those factors is missing, your body will start to draw that necessary calcium directly from your bones and cause your bones to become very weak. This, ultimately, can result in Rickets.

So, in our very advanced, very industrialized society, why is it that people are deficient in vitamin D?

According to author and fitness expert, Vinnie Tortorich, deficiency is a result of a number of things.

Number one, people (kids included) are staying inside more to watch TV and play with computers or other devices. Kids don't go outside to play nearly as much as 30 years ago.

Two, everyone is slathering on sunscreen. Of course, there are benefits to sun protection, including the prevention of skin cancer. But, to be so strict to the point that you become vitamin D deficient, that's not healthy either.

What dose should you be taking to maintain healthy vitamin D levels?

First and foremost, says Tortorich, if you're questioning your vitamin D levels, tet a blood test. This is truly the only way you will be able to determine if you're deficient. If your levels are low, typically, the doctor will put you on a regimen, starting with a very high dosage and then decreasing once your levels start to rise.

How much time do you need to spend in the sun to maintain healthy vitamin D levels?

It really depends on your skin tone.

Fair-skinned people might be OK with just 10 minutes. But, people with olive-toned skin might have to stay out double that. African Americans may have to get 10 times the exposure to get the appropriate amount. 

The important thing to remember is that no one person is the same, and that to get an accurate assessment, a blood test is necessary.

In the accompanying audio segment, Vinnie Tortorich discusses the return of Rickets, vitamin D deficiency, and ways you can get your levels back up to normal.


Sylvia Anderson

Originally from Minnesota, Sylvia moved to California for the sun, sand and warm temperatures. She graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in English and Communications, both of which she has put to good use in her work with RadioMD as Senior Editor.

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