Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

When it comes to raising vitamin D levels, anesthesiologists advise: Don't be wimpy!

Date:
August 21, 2014
Source:
Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins
Summary:
Enough observational studies: It's time for doctors to recommend steps to raise their patients' vitamin D levels. That's the message in a provocative editorial by anesthesiologists. There's already enough evidence to justify increasing vitamin D levels to improve health, according to the opinion piece.

Enough observational studies -- it's time for doctors to recommend steps to raise their patients' vitamin D levels. That's the message in a provocative editorial published in Anesthesia & Analgesia.

There's already enough evidence to justify increasing vitamin D levels to improve health, according to the opinion piece by Drs Michael F. Roizen of the Cleveland Clinic and Jeffrey D. Roizen of Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Meanwhile, they propose a randomized trial to conclusively determine whether vitamin D can reduce complication rates after surgery.

Don't Wait for Further Research -- Act Now to Increase Vitamin D Levels

The father-and-son coauthors write in response to the latest research paper reporting linking higher vitamin D levels to better health outcomes. In that study -- also published in Anesthesia & Analgesia -- Dr Alparslan Turan and colleagues of the Cleveland Clinic found that surgical patients with higher vitamin D had lower rates of death and complications after surgery.

While the observational study shows significant associations, it can't prove a cause-and-effect relationship. Dr Turan and coauthors suggest a cautious approach to further research, starting with more observational data on the relationship between preoperative vitamin D levels and postoperative outcomes.

But Drs Roizen and Roizen strongly disagree, writing: "What a wimpy conclusion." While acknowledging the limitations of observational studies, they point out that a long series of studies has linked vitamin D to "a cornucopia of improved health outcomes." These include "improved bone health, fewer falls, fewer bone fractures, reduced risk of heart attack and stroke, reduced risk of, and death from, colon, breast, and prostate cancer" -- among others.

They believe the research warrants moving forward with a formal study evaluating the benefits of vitamin D supplementation before surgery. Citing the storied history of advances in clinical care by anesthesiologists, Drs Roizen and Roizen write, "Let's continue to take bold steps to improve outcome….Let's determine whether vitamin D is just a fireman (showing up at every fire, but seldom causing them), or has some real fire power in improving perioperative outcomes.

They propose a randomized trial to determine whether giving vitamin D supplements for two or three weeks before scheduled surgery can decrease complication rates. Among the questions to be answered are what vitamin D levels have the most benefit with the lowest potential for harm -- recommendations range from 20 to 50 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL). Ideally, the study would include groups with vitamin D levels or 20, 35, and 50 ng/mL.

But patients shouldn't wait for the results of clinical trials before taking "reasonable" steps to ensure adequate vitamin D levels, Drs Roizen and Roizen believe. They recommend that patients ask their doctor what their vitamin D level is and whether they need more. For patients with vitamin D levels less than 50 ng/mL, they recommend taking supplements to get more vitamin D2 and D3. They note that it takes six weeks to achieve a steady-state vitamin D level.

The Roizens add that doctors aren't immune to low vitamin D. They have checked their own vitamin D levels, and believe that other physicians -- including anesthesiologists -- should consider doing so as well. They conclude, "No matter what you decide for yourself, let us be bold (and beneficial to the rest of medicine and our patients) as a specialty."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Michael F Roizen, Jeffrey D. Roizen. Vitamin D and Your Patients. Anesthesia & Analgesia, 2014; 119 (3): 503 DOI: 10.1213/ANE.0000000000000285

Cite This Page:

Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. "When it comes to raising vitamin D levels, anesthesiologists advise: Don't be wimpy!." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 August 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140821101532.htm>.
Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. (2014, August 21). When it comes to raising vitamin D levels, anesthesiologists advise: Don't be wimpy!. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140821101532.htm
Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins. "When it comes to raising vitamin D levels, anesthesiologists advise: Don't be wimpy!." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140821101532.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

US to Track Everyone Coming from Ebola Nations

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) Stepping up their vigilance against Ebola, federal authorities said Wednesday that everyone traveling into the US from Ebola-stricken nations will be monitored for symptoms for 21 days. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

Doctors Help Paralysed Man Walk Again, Patient in Disbelief

AFP (Oct. 22, 2014) Polish doctors describe how they helped a paralysed man walk again, with the patient in disbelief at the return of sensation to his legs. Duration: 1:04 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins