Minneapolis Star Tribune Profiles Expert on Vitamin D Deficiency
The Minneapolis Star Tribune on Sunday profiled Greg Plotnikoff, medical director of the Institute for Health and Healing medical clinic at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis. Vitamin D deficiency is particularly common among the elderly, obese and dark-skinned people living in the North. It also has been linked to 17 cancers, autoimmune diseases, heart disease, depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
After finding a study showing that immigrant women were more likely than others to have a vitamin D deficiency, Plotnikoff conducted research on 150 of his patients at University of Minnesota's community health clinic who were experiencing pain. According to his research, 93% of the patients were vitamin D deficient and five had levels too low to measure. His findings were published in 2003 in Mayo Clinic Proceedings and were the first in the U.S. to link vitamin D deficiency with chronic pain in a wide range of patients, according to the Star Tribune.
Plotnikoff said that vitamin D deficiency is a simple and inexpensive condition to address. He recommends "safe sunning" and that most people take vitamin D supplements. He said, "The majority of physicians still believe that in the 21st century, Americans could not possibly be vitamin D deficient. We are an advanced society. No one could be deficient" (Marcotty, Minneapolis Star Tribune, 9/22).