Power of Vitamin D by Sarfraz Zaidi, MD
Short and sweet
Vitamin D is actually a hormone produced in the skin by exposure to the sun and found in very limited quantities in food. The current RDA for vitamin D is woefully inadequate, and the medical profession seldom tests serum vitamin D levels when treating patients.
In Power of Vitamin D, Dr. Sarfraz Zaidi has provided readers all they need to know to find out their serum vitamin D level and to supplement safely and effectively. By referencing numerous studies, Zaidi demonstrates how low vitamin D status has been shown to be a contributing factor in diseases such as cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, kidney disease, infectious diseases, chronic pain, low energy and depression.
Introductory chapters describe what vitamin D is, why it is important for optimum health, misconceptions, how it is produced by the body, and natural sources of vitamin D. The bulk of the book is comprised of chapters describing how inadequate vitamin D levels contribute to the diseases listed above.
Power of Vitamin D was written for the lay audience, so individuals with no scientific background will welcome its straightforward simplicity. Those looking for detailed explanations of the biomechanics of vitamin D’s effects will be disappointed. Some chapters are very short (one is 1 page) and there is some overlap and repetition. Zaidi also makes no mention–pro or con–of the nutritional co-factors that some recommend when supplementing with vitamin D, such as vitamin A, magnesium, and vitamin K2.
Another issue I have with the book is that Zaidi provides numerous, impressive case studies of patient recoveries, which he attributes to vitamin D supplementation. They are quite remarkable until you read that Zaidi also counsels his patients to adopt a low-carb diet and “eliminate all cereals, oatmeal, bread of any color or type, rice of any color or type, corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, sugar, milk, commercial fruit juices, soy, corn syrup, fructose syrup, ice cream and other desserts.”
The concluding chapters describe which blood test is appropriate for determining serum vitamin D, how to properly interpret the tests (knowing the difference between ng/ml and nmol/L), and supplemental doses for raising and maintaining vitamin D levels.
In 2007 I was very sick, obese, had little energy, and was going through a horrific menopause. Walking up a flight of stairs left me weak and breathless, and I was falling into walls. I am eternally grateful to a gynecologist who took it upon herself to test my vitamin D level, which was 13.1 ng/mL. Daily sunbathing and supplementation helped restore my health and return my zest for life.
If you’ve never had your vitamin D status tested and want a simple book explaining its importance, I recommend Power of Vitamin D. It will provide you with the information you need to get tested properly and to add vitamin D supplements to improve your health. I consider vitamin D to be one of the easiest and most important nutrients that offers the greatest health benefits.
Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from the publisher.
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