Why D-ficient is D-pressing your in-D-pendence
A search for athletes named Dee turns up a mixed bag: There’s Dee Virgil Fondy, who played from 1951 to 1958 and was the last player to bat at Ebbets Field. Dee Hardison, a defensive lineman for the Buffalo Bills, New York Giants, San Diego Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs in the 1970s and 1980s. And “Dee” Brown, who spent 12 seasons in the NBA and won the league’s Slam Dunk Contest in 1991 with a “no-look” slam dunk.
Their strengths were muscle and moxie. Something Dee definitely contributes — vitamin D, that is. A study out of Trinity College Dublin reveals that just as regular exercise is essential for maintaining muscle mass and function as you age, so is sufficient vitamin D.
The researchers tested blood levels of D in 4,157 folks 60-plus and then assessed their grip strength and tested balance, agility, gait speed and ability to rise from a chair without using their hands. They found that those with the lowest blood level of vitamin D — below 30 nmol/L, the level signaling deficiency and onset of bone disease — had twice the muscle weakness and three times the difficulty with muscle performance as folks with a level of 50 or more.
For major-league performance as you age, get an annual blood test to determine what supplementation you need to achieve a level of 50 to 80. Until then, if you’re over 50, take 2,000 IU of D2 or D3 daily. You can also get vitamin D from foods, such as salmon, most cultivated mushrooms and D-fortified cereals and soymilk.
The kid-friendly way to obtain donated breast milk
In 2013, actress and vegan Alicia Silverstone created a special breast milk sharing program for mothers who avoid eating animal products. She was inspired to launch Kind Mama Milk Share after another vegan mom, unable to breastfeed, was frustrated in her search for donor breast milk from other vegans. “There’s no reason why they shouldn’t be able to give their babies the most amazing start in life with clean, mean, glorious breast milk,” Silverstone wrote on her website.
But being vegan/vegetarian is just one of the reasons more new mothers are turning to mom-to-mom donated breast milk instead of regulated milk banks, according to new research presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics 2019 National Conference & Exhibition. Other reasons?
1) The higher cost of milk bank products.
2) Concerns about quality. These are misplaced, since it’s mom-to-mom milk that isn’t screened and may be contaminated with medications, harmful chemicals, or bacteria and viruses.
3) They aren’t able to obtain a prescription for breast milk. One is required for donor milk from a bank.
Unfortunately, according to the survey presented at the APA conference, over 50 percent of moms don’t have safety concerns about using mom-to-mom donor milk, and almost 80 percent didn’t think about asking about the milk donor’s past and current health status and medications, or if the milk was screened for contamination.
The best move: If you need to use donor breast milk, contact your doctor or hospital and the Human Milk Banking Association of North America to locate a quality-controlled supplier.
Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of “The Dr. Oz Show,” and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into “The Dr. Oz Show” or visit www.sharecare.com.