I have been working to move Alaskans to better health and lower medical costs by giving them information on how to avoid disease.
Most people are unable to get enough vitamin D from their food. US residents get 90% of their Vitamin D from skin exposure when the sun is at least 45° above the horizon. Alaska is the only Arctic state and has the least amount of usable sunlight for vitamin D production of any state. Lifestyle, mosquitos and cold temperatures further limit Alaskans’ own production of the pre-hormone Vitamin D. Multiple studies and randomized control trials have shown:
- 80% of breast cancer risk can be avoided in women if they get and keep their blood level of Vitamin D above 60ng/ml (generally requires 5,000-15,000 IU/day) Read more about breast cancer from the Vitamin D Council
- 50% of diabetes risk can be avoided by keeping blood levels above 50ng/ml, as compared with the Alaskan average of about 22ng/ml (generally requires 5,000-10,000 IU/day)
- 50% of preterm births could be avoided by having all pregnant mothers keep their blood level above 40ng/ml. (This would save Alaskans $37 million in health costs per year.)
- Daily or weekly dose of Vitamin D is much superior to mega monthly dose. Cost per person for these benefits is less than $20/year for 5,000 IU/day.
Read more about the effects of Vitamin D here: Vitamin D Studies and Disease Prevention