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Study of blood tests in Tokyo finds 98% as having vitamin D deficiencies

42 Comments
By SoraNews24

According to a recent study by Jikei University School of Medicine, which was announced on June 5, a whopping 98 percent of physical examination results in Tokyo showed a lack of vitamin D.

Vitamin D is the one that helps the body to properly take in calcium, among other minerals, which leads to strong bones. It can be taken into the body in three ways: through the absorption of sunlight, through eating certain animal products such as oily fish, and through eating certain plant products such as mushrooms.

The actual range of foods that contain significant amounts of vitamin D are actually rather few and far between and include fish such as salmon, mackerel, and tuna or mushrooms like shiitake. As luck would have it, these are all rather common foods in Japanese cuisine.

▼ Even the 7-Eleven here can help you get your vitamin D fix.

Screen-Shot-2023-06-10-at-11.22.52.png

However, when Jikei University examined the blood tests of about 5,500 adult men and women from the year before the pandemic, they found that 98 percent of them had lower than the recommended levels of vitamin D. In particular, the type of vitamin D derived from mushrooms was lacking in blood samples.

The deficiencies appear to be more prevalent in younger people as well, which is causing the researchers to suspect a westernization of diets to be a contributing factor.

▼ Something’s wrong with kids today if they can’t get into some of this.

Screen-Shot-2023-06-10-at-11.23.02.png

If that’s the case, then it begs the question of why people in Western countries aren’t all walking around with rickets. One reason is that other countries tend to compensate by fortifying other more commonly consumed foods with the vitamin, such as North America which has a custom of putting vitamin D in milk.

On the other hand, Japanese milk is not normally fortified with vitamin D, except for a few specialty brands. So, while a Western diet may be gradually making its way into Japanese society, the appropriate countermeasures that such a diet requires have not.

This is still all just speculation though, and a lot of comments online seem to feel that a lack of sunlight is a more widespread problem than consumption of mushrooms among residents of Japan.

“I get my vitamin D by getting 20 minutes of sunlight a day. I just expose my palms to the sun to avoid getting sunburnt.”

“Mushrooms are great. They’re always cheap and with a little soy sauce and butter can be eaten with anything.”

“They want us to eat more mushrooms? No problem!”

“I happened to start taking vitamin D supplements recently and I have been feeling a lot better.”

“I eat lots of mushrooms and salmon, but I don’t think I get enough sunlight.”

“Cup Noodle Pro is fortified with vitamin D, so let’s all just eat that.”

“How about I just drink Milo?”

“Mario was right all along.”

“I just walk outside for 40 minutes a day and I get all the vitamin D I need.”

Researchers agree that the deficiency is partly due to a lack of exposure to sunlight in urban areas. But in general, most people get their vitamin D from a combination of all three sources, unless you enjoy sitting by a window with your palms up for 20 minutes a day.

▼ The Tokyo sun in summer is no joke and could kill you before generating the needed amount of vitamin D.

Screen-Shot-2023-06-10-at-11.23.12.png

And despite what people in the comments say, the data speaks for itself that eating more mushrooms would be the ideal way for people to balance out the sources of their regular vitamin D requirements. Luckily, the shiitake market in Japan is an embarrassment of riches in terms of options, with self-growing kits, crane games, and even shiitake mushroom snacks specifically designed to appeal to people who don’t like shiitake mushrooms.

Source: Kyodo, Hachima Kiko

Photos ©SoraNews24

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

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© SoraNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

42 Comments
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Egg and milk should have been enough to not be deficit in vit D. How are they not drinking any milk?

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Vitamin D Intake is no joke and not a trivial matter. Deficiency will prevent you from fighting infections and viruses amongst other things. During the recent pandemic peer reviewed studies showed how vitamin D deficiency can lead to worse outcomes.

3 ( +13 / -10 )

During the recent pandemic peer reviewed studies showed how vitamin D deficiency can lead to worse outcomes.

Which should make much clearer the important role of the relative success of the Japanese population at keeping the pandemic controlled in spite of the deficiencies. Also helps debunking the claim of antiscientific groups telling you that vitamin D can replace the vaccine. In reality the levels of vitamin D and immunity are not so clearly correlated, there is a study where people with a genetic predisposition to have lower levels of vitamin D were compared with normal people to see if they had higher risk from covid, no relationship was found.

https://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1003605

-4 ( +12 / -16 )

This is consequence of the lack of vitamin D fortification of food in Japan, the surprising part is not that people are deficient, but that it has not been solved already.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Lacking so much vitamins and deficiencies thaf they die easily. Oups what did I say wrong because Japanese having among the highest life expectancy in the world....

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

Jonathan

Doesn’t work like that, it’s complex and involves many factors including general health condition. Sadly this article and report neglects to say how deficient these people were, a small amount is negligible towards ones well being.

1 ( +10 / -9 )

“I get my vitamin D by getting 20 minutes of sunlight a day. I just expose my palms to the sun to avoid getting sunburnt.”

Exactly!

Plenty of sun to go around

>  The Tokyo sun in summer is no joke and could kill you before generating the needed amount of vitamin D.

Can’t comment about Planet Tokyo and its extreme weather but on Planet Kobe I was out on my bicycle in shorts and a t-shirt, mid morning, I am still alive…

6 ( +10 / -4 )

I take vit D every day.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

There are so many factors in the body, some people may require more, some less, people have very wide range of values for the actual requirement of vitamins, not just D.

"Recommended" means nothing when natural selection does the job much better. Lowest mortality rate during the pandemic, undisputable data that Japanese diet - obviously not perfect, but it - works. Sure, you can say data was rigged, whatever.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

there is a study where people with a genetic predisposition to have lower levels of vitamin D were compared with normal people to see if they had higher risk from covid, no relationship was found.

Dude does a quick google search and posts a link to a study he hasn't read and wouldn't understand if he did. I love this website!!!

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Get out of your house and into the sun.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

I get slightly depressed if I don't get enough sunshine every week. I think that relates back to sufficient Vitamin D levels. People in northern latitudes have more trouble in winter, since the sun isn't as strong then.

I've never read any study saying that overdosing on vitamin D is possible. The RDA amounts are just guesses based on old military studies for what levels people had who seemed healthy. As usual, too much or too little is bad, but 15-30 minutes with face and arms exposed to the sun 3x a week seems sufficient for minimal levels. 5x a week and you're golden. So, instead of eating lunch at your desk, eat outside in full sun of you can't get sun any other way. Maybe have a walking meeting outdoors in the morning during summer to avoid the heat of the day. Lots of ways other than taking a pill to get it. I though taking a pill didn't absorb much without some other substances available for the absorption to work. Maybe that's not for Vitamin D? Just easier for me to get in the sun instead. There's a tiny green space literally across the street from our home with a table and chairs for anyone to use. Parents bring their toddlers there daily to play. We meet all the neighbors that way.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Do it like the Europeans - sunbathe in the nude at least a few days every year.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Lacking so much vitamins and deficiencies thaf they die easily. Oups what did I say wrong because Japanese having among the highest life expectancy in the world....

I wonder how well the younger generation will do, especially those who eat highly processed foods and stay mainly indoors or go out covered head to toe with a parasol.

Regarding mushrooms, my understanding is that they contain vitamin D only is they were exposed to sunlight. Apparently, you can put them in the sun after they are picked.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I've never read any study saying that overdosing on vitamin D is possible. The RDA amounts are just guesses based on old military studies for what levels people had who seemed healthy.

There are a few cases, but they really went out of their way to increase their vitD: taking massive doses daily for years plus high sun exposure. The effects were however reversed after reducing intake. I agree the RDA is meaningless, people should take at least 10X that amount if they get no sun exposure. A few minutes of sun exposure will provide more than that.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Vitamin D Intake is no joke and not a trivial matter. Deficiency will prevent you from fighting infections and viruses amongst other things. During the recent pandemic peer reviewed studies showed how vitamin D deficiency can lead to worse outcomes.

Indeed, many lives could have been saved if they informed people about vitD's many benefits. VitD's important benefits against Covid19 was known very early during the pandemic, and this has since been supported by many peer reviewed studies: https://c19early.org/dmeta.html.

Get out of your house and into the sun.

Yes, this has many benefits, not just vitD.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Dude does a quick google search and posts a link to a study he hasn't read and wouldn't understand if he did. I love this website!!!

Pretending to know what other people understand or not is not an argument, is just something to write when you get refuted by an actual argument but still want to say something even if it is completely product of your imagination. What part of the description of the report is wrong?

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

So 12 years of strontium exposure from Fukushima, which has serious effects on bones, plus vitamin D deficiency, osteoporosis will be very very common.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Indeed, many lives could have been saved if they informed people about vitD's many benefits. VitD's important benefits against Covid19 was known very early during the pandemic, and this has since been supported by many peer reviewed studies:

If there are studies that can actually pass pre and pot peer review why choose one that comes from a source well known to follow invalid methods, misrepresent evidence and hide reports that clearly contradict what the author wants to say?

Actual reports and meta-analysis make a point to discuss how vitamin D level are only poorly correlated (except on cases with huge deficiencies that already have other related health problems) because the many confounding factors that come with the Vit D levels, when comparing between groups it is very difficult to make proper cohorts with every other factor actually equalized.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Put down the sun parasols for 10 minutes a day and get some sun on your skin.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Many years ago, I heard that exposing mushrooms to UV, particularly that in sunlight, is an effective way of enhancing the amount of Vitamin D2.

I did that a few times last summer, and I plan to continue doing it. But I found the mushrooms developed a rather nasty smell after sun exposure...

1 ( +4 / -3 )

At least three different studies have shown that all the draconian COVID "measures" have done far more harm than good.

And this is just one example of that. All of that "stay home" nonsense led to so many people not getting enough sun -- and thus, not enough Vitamin D.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

At least three different studies have shown that all the draconian COVID "measures" have done far more harm than good.

Yet you never produce them, which clearly indicates the studies do not support how you represent them.

Stay Home" was supposed to protect us from the virus, but ended up contributing to Vitamin D deficiencies that likely just make things worse.

Absolutely nothing about "staying home" requires people to have lower vitamin D levels. This study was done before the pandemic, it surely can't be used to prove the claim you are making. Guides were even published letting people know how to keep a healthy lifestyle during lockdowns.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Guides were even published letting people know how to keep a healthy lifestyle during lockdowns.

Plain hearsay.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

North America which has a custom of putting vitamin D in milk.

> This is still all just speculation though, and a lot of comments online seem to feel that a lack of sunlight is a more widespread problem than consumption of mushrooms among residents of Japan.

The process of adding vitamin D to milk was in the 20s 30s in the USA and the 70s in Canada by states provinces and later legally required by the federal governments.

As one would expect the first to add were northern states and even some local provincial orders (before 1970)

These are the places with less sunlight especially during the short daylight of winter.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Guides were even published letting people know how to keep a healthy lifestyle during lockdowns.

Did they include information about the importance of vitamin D, sun exposure, and zinc for fighting off Covid?

VitD's important benefits against Covid19 was known very early during the pandemic, and this has since been supported by many peer reviewed studies: https://c19early.org/dmeta.html

A long list of studies! Thanks.

I saw Campbell give a nice description of this paper:

Protective Effect of Vitamin D Supplementation on COVID-19-Related Intensive Care Hospitalization and Mortality: Definitive Evidence from Meta-Analysis and Trial Sequential Analysis

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9864223/

Their conclusion: The results of the meta-analyses and respective TSAs suggest a definitive association between the protective role of vitamin D and ICU hospitalization.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

And no, the sun does not provide enough VD unless you're outside every day in the sun.

VitD is fat soluble, so daily intake is not required, whether from supplement or sun exposure.

20 minutes or so of direct sunlight exposure (to face, arms) during summer is comparable to taking a high dose in supplement form. During winter, it depends on the location (latitude).

I mainly take vitD supplements every few days during winter, and whenever I don't get significant sun exposure during summer (eg rainy season).

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Plain hearsay

That is not what hearsay means, just repeating the accusation and failing to explain how this is the case obviously means you don't even know what the fallacy means.

Did they include information about the importance of vitamin D, sun exposure, and zinc for fighting off Covid?

Nutrition, excersice, etc. are part of the recommendations for a healthy lifestyle, blindly assuming they are somehow different from what they have always been do not make any sense.

Your claims are becoming more shrill and fallacial by the day. Just quit while you're so far behind.

Yet you fail every time to disprove anything you disagree with, that clearly indicates who is against the science in general, but also in this specific case.

I saw Campbell give a nice description of this paper:

You left a very important part of the study

The TSA of the protective role of vitamin D in mortality risk showed that the z-curve was inside the alpha boundaries, indicating that the positive results need further studies. 

This is part of what is the problem with vitamin D studies, confounding factors also affect the outcomes so even a proper compilation the effects tend to drop importantly because of the necessary adjustments to avoid the variables.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Not surprising since many/most Japanese (esp females) act like sunlight is equal to life threatening radiation. They do everything imaginable to avoid/prevent direct sunlight at any costs. ;-(

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

White skin is highly valued for Asian women. Doesn’t explain why men have to care.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Rodney

Today 02:13 pm JST

White skin is highly valued for Asian women. Doesn’t explain why men have to care.

> JDoe

Today 01:53 pm JST

Not surprising since many/most Japanese (esp females) act like sunlight is equal to life threatening radiation. They do everything imaginable to avoid/prevent direct sunlight at any costs.

Answer: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melanoma

Considering, my father, uncle, aunt, sister in law, have all had skin cancer 3 with Melanoma 1 with a non lethal type.

You go out and you have light skin, put UV protection.

20 minutes in the Sun with my complexion and we are talking hospital for severe burns.

I have never had a tan in my life only sunburn.

The Sun's UV is not what it was 100 years ago, to be exact it significantly increased From the late 60s until stabilizing in the late 90s where it more or less remains at that level today.

The above is information from: the CDC, EPA, Japan meteorological agency and NASA.

So no Sun screen is not a good idea.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

proxyToday 11:09 am JST

Put down the sun parasols for 10 minutes a day and get some sun on your skin.

Exactly! Unbelievable how many people I speak with who are afraid of the sun's rays hitting their skin.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I eat eggs, 2-3 eggs, daily, run or jog in the morning sun for at least 30 minutes everyday… Guess I might be among those 98%…

1 ( +1 / -0 )

And I wonder what Shiitake sellers sponsored this study.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

‘Mushrooms like shiitake’? Does that include mushrooms like enoki, maitake, eringi and…mushrooms? If so I get plenty of them.

Sunshine; at least 40 minutes a day taking the dog out (unless it’s raining, when there’s little sunshine anyway).

Plus regular bouts in the garden and on the allotment.

Haven’t measured it, but I imagine I’m getting more than enough vitamin D. Even with UV protection.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

After effects of Japan's stay at home push during Covid.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

After effects of Japan's stay at home push during Covid.

So you think measures that allowed the prevention of unnecessary deaths can have effects that go back in time? that would be deeply irrationsl.

However, when Jikei University examined the blood tests of about 5,500 adult men and women from the year before the pandemic...

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

What a strange statement. Where do you come up with this?

By your comment, that claims the effects of the article you are commenting were a consequence of the measures used against covid, even when they are from the year before the pandemic.

Oh good, you corrected yourself.

No, that would still be your claim that something done against covid had an effect on the year before the pandemic began, that is not a rational proposition.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Researchers agree that the deficiency is partly due to a lack of exposure to sunlight in urban areas.

Government mismanagement.

Nutrition, excersice, etc. are part of the recommendations for a healthy lifestyle, blindly assuming they are somehow different from what they have always been do not make any sense.

This entire sentence does not make sense other than as an example of hearsay and a non sequitur.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

This entire sentence does not make sense other than as an example of hearsay and a non sequitur.

Again, you keep calling anything that disproves what you want to impose hearsay, but you never argue how this is the case, at this point is has become obvious this is only the excuse you try to use to avoid addressing the argument based only on not being able to understand it, which obviously is not even an argument.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

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