US Preventive Services Task Force Final Recommendation Statement
” The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) found no studies that evaluated the direct benefit of screening for vitamin D deficiency in adults. The USPSTF found adequate evidence that treatment of asymptomatic vitamin D deficiency has no benefit on cancer, type 2 diabetes mellitus, risk for death in community-dwelling adults, and risk for fractures in persons not selected on the basis of being at high risk for fractures. The USPSTF found inadequate evidence on the benefit of treatment of asymptomatic vitamin D deficiency on other outcomes, including psychosocial and physical functioning. Although the evidence is adequate for a few limited outcomes, the overall evidence on the early treatment of asymptomatic, screen-detected vitamin D deficiency in adults to improve overall health outcomes is inadequate. ”
” There is an epidemic of vitamin D deficiency sweeping across our modern world, and it’s an epidemic of such depth and seriousness that it makes the H1N1 swine flu epidemic look like a case of the sniffles by comparison. Vitamin D deficiency is not only alarmingly widespread, it’s also a root cause of many other serious diseases such as cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis and heart disease.
Around 9 out of 10 people you know are deficient in vitamin D, which we get from the sun. Find out why, what that does to you, and what you can do about it, right now by watching this short, stunning animation.
Video published on 24 Apr 2014 by Ample Earth.
The video – created by VitaminDWiki, AmpleEarth and a long list of eminent doctors – summarises over 5,000 scientific studies and experiments about vitamin D. Including 1,200 clinical trials linking vitamin D deficiency to more than fifty mainstream health problems and diseases, including Cancer, Diabetes, Heart Disease, Osteoporosis, Multiple Sclerosis and Rickets.It shows that 9 out of 10 people are deficient in vitamin D, and includes a free, quick and simple test you can do on yourself to find out if you are deficient.
The video goes on to say that contrary to popular opinion, for most people it is very difficult to get enough vitamin D from food or spending time outside.
Eating 8 to 12 ounces per week of a variety of fish lower in mercury during pregnancy benefits fetal growth and development
Some Women and Young Children Should Eat More Fish
If you’re pregnant, you’ve no doubt been given a list of foods to avoid—undercooked meat, soft cheeses made from unpasteurized milk, and alcohol, to name a few. The good news is that there is a food you should have more of while pregnant and while breastfeeding: fish and shellfish. The latest science shows that eating fish low in mercury during pregnancy and in early childhood can help with growth and neurodevelopment. It can also be good for your health.
That’s why the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have issued draft revised advice encouraging pregnant women, those who might become pregnant, breastfeeding mothers and young children to eat more fish—and to eat a variety of fish lower in mercury.
It’s an important recommendation. An FDA analysis of data from U.S. pregnant women surveyed about seafood consumption showed that they ate far less fish than the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend. (The guidelines are the federal government’s most recent science-based advice for how to choose a healthy eating pattern.) In fact, 21 percent of the pregnant women surveyed said they ate no fish in the previous month. Of the women who ate fish in the previous month, 50 percent reported eating fewer than two ounces a week, and 75 percent reported eating fewer than four ounces per week.
“We’re updating our advice because the latest science strongly indicates that eating 8 to 12 ounces per week of a variety of fish lower in mercury during pregnancy benefits fetal growth and development,” says FDA’s Acting Chief Scientist Stephen Ostroff, M.D., noting that FDA reviewed research from the last decade.
Dr. Ostroff adds that 8 to 12 ounces is an excellent range to maximize the developmental benefits that fish can provide. “The science behind that recommendation was not available when we last issued fish consumption advice in 2004.”
The 2004 advice recommends eating up to 12 ounces of fish lower in mercury per week but doesn’t recommend a minimum amount to eat. The new draft advice does, recommending that women who might become pregnant along with pregnant and breastfeeding women eat at least eight ounces and up to 12 ounces weekly, which is two to three servings. This draft advice also extends to young children, although the amounts you serve them should be proportionally smaller.
Which Fish Should You Eat?
Fish and shellfish (collectively called “fish” for this advice) have high-quality protein, vitamins and minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids. Fish also are mostly low in saturated fat, and some have vitamin D. Eating fish during pregnancy, while breastfeeding, and in early childhood can be especially important for a child’s growth and development. Plus there is evidence that consuming fish can reduce your own risk of cardiac death.
The entire package of nutrients that fish provide may be needed to fully benefit fetal and child development. For this reason, consumers who avoid eating fish and instead take omega-3 supplements may be missing out on the full beneficial effect. Plus they miss out on other nutrients in fish that support overall health.
Eating a variety of fish helps ensure that most fish you eat will be lower in mercury. Most fish found in grocery stores are, in fact, lower in mercury, including many popular species such as shrimp, pollock, salmon, canned light tuna, tilapia, catfish and cod.
What about Mercury in Fish?
Fish do take in methylmercury (a form of mercury), and nearly all fish have traces of it. At high levels, methylmercury can be harmful, and developing fetuses can be especially sensitive to it. Young children may be sensitive as well. Some women may even limit or avoid fish because of this concern. That, however, is not what FDA and EPA recommend.
Eating a variety of fish, as FDA and EPA are recommending, will help ensure that most fish you eat will be lower in mercury. However, FDA and EPA are also recommending that women who might become pregnant, or who are pregnant or breastfeeding—along with young children—should try to avoid the four types of commercial fish with the highest levels of methylmercury: Tilefish from the Gulf of Mexico, shark, swordfish and king mackerel. This advice shouldn’t affect your eating patterns because these fish are not popular on the market.
Also remember that most fish found in grocery stores are lower in mercury, and it is these fish that have health benefits for you and your children.
FDA and EPA continue to recommend that no more than six ounces of fish per week (of your 8 to 12 ounces weekly) should be white (albacore) tuna. Although canned light tuna is lower in mercury, albacore tuna has more of it. An easy way to follow this advice? Just vary the types of fish that you eat, per the overall recommendations.
And if you or someone you know goes fishing in a lake, stream, or river, follow local fish advisories. If local advice isn’t available, you should eat six ounces or less of these locally caught fish per week, and children should eat no more than one to three ounces per week. Then avoid eating other fish for the rest of the week.
The Bottom Line
“The science shows that eating fish has direct health benefits, so it’s important to get enough fish in your diet,” Ostroff says. “To obtain the health and nutrition benefits of fish, stick to the advice we’re offering, and have 8 to 12 ounces of fish lower in mercury per week as part of a balanced eating plan.”
This advice will be open for public comment, and FDA encourages feedback. See the notice of availability that published in the Federal Register for more information regarding how to submit comments.
Sources and More Information
New Advice: Some Women and Young Children Should Eat More Fish, FDA Consumer Updates, ucm397443, 06/10/2014.
FDA and EPA issue draft updated advice for fish consumption, FDA News Release, ucm397929, June 10, 2014.
Fish: What Pregnant Women and Parents Should Know, Draft Updated Advice by FDA and EPA, ucm393070, June 2014.
Environmental Protection Agency and Food and Drug Administration Advice About Eating Fish: Availability of Draft Update, FederalRegister, 2014-13584, 06/11/2014.
Your fertility is mostly determined by genetics, which influences how many eggs you are born with
Doctors believe that the number of eggs you have at birth determines the length of time you will remain fertile. At birth, women have about two million eggs in their ovaries. For every egg ovulated during your reproductive life, about 1,000 eggs undergo programmed cell death. Other things, such as smoking cigarettes and certain types of chemotherapy, can accelerate egg cell death and promote an earlier menopause.
Regular menstrual cycles are a sign of regular ovulation
Most women have regular cycles lasting between 24 and 35 days. This is usually a sign of regular, predictable ovulation. Women who do not ovulate regularly have irregular menstrual cycles. Those who do not ovulate at all may have a genetic condition called polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
Basal temperature charting does not predict ovulation
An older method of tracking ovulation involves taking your oral body temperature each morning before getting out of bed. This is called basal body temperature. This method is used to spot a rise in basal temperature, which is a sign that progesterone is being produced. The main problem with using this method is that your temperature rises after ovulation has already occurred. This makes it more difficult to time intercourse at an optimal time for conception. A better method is to use over-the-counter urine ovulation predictor test kits such as Clearblue Easy. These kits test for the hormone that prompts ovulation, which is called luteinizing hormone (LH).
Most women with blocked fallopian tubes are completely unaware they may have had a prior pelvic infection
About 10 percent of infertility cases are due to tubal disease, either complete blockage or pelvic scarring causing tubal malfunction. One major cause of tubal disease is a prior pelvic infection from a sexually transmitted disease such as chlamydia. These infections can cause so few symptoms that you may be completely unaware your tubes are affected.
In most cases, stress does not cause infertility
Except in rare cases of extreme physical or emotional distress, women will keep ovulating regularly. Conceiving while on vacation is likely less about relaxation than about coincidence and good timing of sex.
By age 44, most women are infertile, even if they are still ovulating regularly
Even with significant fertility treatment, rates of conception are very low after age 43. Most women who conceive in their mid-40’s with fertility treatment are using donated eggs from younger women.
Having fathered a pregnancy in the past does not guarantee fertility
Sperm counts can change quite a bit with time, so never assume that a prior pregnancy guarantees fertile sperm. Obtaining a semen analysis is the only way to be sure the sperm are still healthy!
For the most part, diet has little or nothing to do with fertility
Despite popular press, there is little scientific data showing that a particular diet or food promotes fertility. One limited study did suggest a Mediterranean diet with olive oil, fish and legumes may help promote fertility.
Vitamin D may improve results of fertility treatments
A recent study from the University of Southern California suggested that women who were undergoing fertility treatments, but had low vitamin D levels, might have lower rates of conception. This vitamin is also essential during pregnancy. At Pacific Fertility Center, we recommend our patients take 2,000-4,000 IU per day.
Being either underweight or overweight is clearly linked with lowered levels of fertility
The evidence in recent years is that obesity is clearly linked with a longer time to conception. Having a body mass index less than 18 or over 32 is associated with problems ovulating and conceiving, as well as problems during pregnancy.
A new government study shows the percentage of married couples having trouble conceiving has actually dropped slightly in recent years. The percentage of married women aged 15–44 who were infertile fell from 8.5% in 1982 to 6.0% in 2006–2010. Among married, nulliparous women aged 35–44, the percentage infertile declined from 44% in 1982 to 27% in 2006–2010, reflecting greater delays in childbearing over this period.
Vitamin D may reduce risk of uterine fibroids, according to NIH study
Fibroids, also known as uterine leiomyomata, are noncancerous tumors of the uterus. Fibroids often result in pain and bleeding in premenopausal women, and are the leading cause of hysterectomy in the United States.