Monday, January 16, 2012
A marvelous article by Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.
Topping off the growing stack of great stuff that vitamin D-3 does for you is this good news: Keeping your levels up dramatically lowers your risk for PDQ (Pee Doesn't Quit).
Medically, it's called urinary incontinence. You probably call it "Oh no." Turns out there's one thing many of the 10 million women struggling with it share: low levels of D-3. It makes them (you?) a whopping 170 percent more likely to leak than those with a healthy level of D-3. Why? The vitamin may help muscle tone in your sphincter, the muscle that stops dribbles. (By the way, men leak, too; it's just a better-kept secret. We don't know yet whether low D affects guys.)
The Department of Defense should be so lucky as to have such a simple way to prevent leaks.
How to be sure you're not D-ficient? A simple blood test. We like to see D-3 levels between 50 and 80. If you're low (up to 75 percent of folks are, especially in winter), take 1,000 IU of D-3 a day; 1,200 after age 60. Include what's in your multivitamin and combo calcium-D-3-magnesium pill. Don't go over 2,000 IU unless your doc says to. Too much can harm bones and kidneys.
Also, take 900 mg of DHA omega-3s daily. These healthy fats help you absorb vitamin D-3 (and do good things for your heart and brain). However, it's not easy to get enough DHA from food.
Bonus: While helping to keep you dry (what a relief), D-3 also protects you against asthma, dementia and the flu!