Vitamin D and the Foot

Vitamin D and the Foot

I have been doing my weekly update on research and views for a few years now and you start to see patterns in the research and the literature. One that really stood out like a sore thumb was vitamin D. At one stage a year or so ago, I was commenting at least weekly on something to do with vitamin D and the foot. I even got feedback that I was some sort of vitamin D junkie (I’m not). More lately its probably once a month or so, but that is still a lot compared with other topics. Its hard not to miss how much research has been regularly and recently added to the threads on Podiatry Arena on vitamin D and the diabetic foot and the thread on vitamin D and foot and ankle injuries. With that sheer volume of content and research one can not help but think that it might be important and relevant.

What is obvious from all that research is the frequent correlation between lower levels or a deficiency of vitamin D and wide range of foot and ankle problems (from diabetic foot ulcers to stress fractures to muscle strains to the outcome of trauma etc). There are strong correlations between low vitamin D and a whole range of general medical conditions. Even more recent is all the research showing strong correlations between getting COVID-19, the seriousness of COVID-19, the outcomes of COVID-19 and vitamin D.

It is from there that there is a divergence between the science and the pseudoscience. The research has clearly and strongly demonstrated the correlation with low vitamin D and a whole lot of problems. We all know that correlation is not causation, but those promoting pseudoscience or selling vitamins do not get or understand the difference. That science is generally not so strong on the causation which has not stopped the cranks promoting the pseudoscience. There is generally very little evidence that prospectively links vitamin D to a higher risk of problems. There is also limited research showing that taking vitamin D fixes the problems that a deficiency is correlated to. That general lack of prospective evidence does not mean that vitamin D is not important, it just means that we need to be cautious about claims made for it and that context needs to be acknowledged.

Of course, generally, if someone is deficient in vitamin D, they probably should be taking supplements to get that up to normal. What should not be done is promoting vitamin D as a treatment if vitamin D levels are normal. Take any more than the required amount and the body just tries to excrete it. Vitamin D toxicity from over-supplementation (rather than an overdose of sun) is a thing and carries risks.

The COVID-19 case is an interesting one to observe. I have seen vitamin D supplements advocated to help prevent catching the coronavirus, probably from those selling vitamin D. There is no evidence that will work, despite the high correlation between COVID-19 and the vitamin D deficiency. Of course those sick with COVID-19 and are deficient should be given supplements as it just makes sense. The line has to be drawn at claiming vitamin D as a treatment for it, which certainly has not stopped the cranks with no experience in treating COVID-19 from claiming. While, I have doubts that this is the case, but it could well be that COVID-19 increases the demand for vitamin D, so the infection causes the deficiency rather than the other way around. These types of conclusions or hypotheses can not be made or excluded based on the current state of the science.

This area also attracts more than its fair share of clueless cranks, especially those who talk about vitamins boosting the immune system. If you hear anyone talking about that, stop listening or (preferably) call them out for their dribble. The last thing I want to do is boost my immune system.

Yes, vitamin D is important for foot and ankle problems; and yes, getting out in the sun and taking supplements is important. Just stop listening to the cranks. The buzz about vitamin D is overblown.

Disclaimer: I take a low dose of vitamin D as I have one of the conditions that correlates to low levels of vitamin D.

Postscript:
The issue is so important that we did a PodChatLive on it with Farrah Jawad.

Advertisement:

Bestseller No. 1
Podiatry Student Handbook: (Second Edition)
  • Shi, Eric (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
SaleBestseller No. 2
Coding Companion for Podiatry 2021
  • OPTUM360 (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
Bestseller No. 3
Podiatry Axial/Sesamoid Weight Bearing Sponge - 13" x 8" x 4" Closed Cell
  • Closed Cell - 13" x 8" x 4"
  • Closed Cell Sponges are made from a lightweight, radiolucent, non-porous foam - entirely fluid resistant, easy to clean and extremely durable! Non-coated, premium charcoal grey color. 100% radiolucent artifact free imaging.
SaleBestseller No. 4
Bestseller No. 5
Funny Foot Whisperer Podiatry for Podiatrist T-Shirt
  • Funny Foot Whisperer quote for Podiatrist, Orthopedist and Chiropodist who loves to heal foot disorders. A Doctor of Podiatric Medicine loves funny podiatry quotes for birthday, christmas or father's day.
  • Medical students gift idea for future foot whisperer who love to care feet. A Funny gift for every passionate podiatrist and Chiropodist. A funny food doctor quote for men and women. Every legendary Podiatrist loves Podiatry Humor.
Bestseller No. 7
Duty Stainless Veterinary Clipper Toe Nipper pet Heavy Nail Podiatry Instrument Cutter Cutting Forceps toenail nippers Clippers Pets ingrown Professional Razor Supplies Cutters Thick toenails Curved
  • ► HEAVY DUTY TOE NAIL CLIPPERS: SurgicalOnline's 5.5" Double Barrel Spring heavy-duty toe nail clippers are designed for thick and tough fingernails and toenails. The podiatrist toenail clippers are ideal for both professionals and home use - for Men, Women, Seniors and even pets. Effortlessly and safely cut thick toenails, ingrown nails and hangnails with the razor sharp edge and double barrel spring clippers.
  • ► PREMIUM QUALITY STAINLESS STEEL: Forged from O.R. Grade Stainless Steel, the Podiatrist Toenail Clippers for the best product life and performance. The curved razor sharp edge ensures a precise smooth cut through thick nails with ease. Corrosion resistant, tarnish free with a locking safety clasp for ultimate portability and convenience. High quality curved blade design stays sharper longer for amazing results over many years!
SaleBestseller No. 8
Pocket Foot and Ankle Medicine and Surgery (Pocket Notebook Series)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 400 Pages - 07/18/2018 (Publication Date) - LWW (Publisher)
Bestseller No. 9
Professional Double Ended Nail Curette 1.5/2.5mm Dermal Ingrown Toenail Cleaner Scoop Chiropody Podiatry Tools
  • Manufactured from High Quality Medical Grade Stainless Steel
  • Nail Cleaning and Care Instruments
Bestseller No. 10
Podiatry
  • Medical Details
  • English (Publication Language)

I get commissions for purchases made through links on this website. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

‘Grounding’ or ‘Earthing’ is still bollocks

It is disappointing to feel the need to write about ‘Grounding’ or ‘Earthing’ again. I have done it before here and here. Many others have done the same as it is great fodder for skeptical writers. ‘Grounding’ or ‘Earthing’ is still bollocks and made up pseudoscience nonsense. What is disappointing is those who have the benefit of allegedly developing the critical thinking skills that are supposed to come with getting a degree from a University fail to see through the nonsensical claims and blindly share it with no clue what is wrong with it. We have to do better.

The promoters and sellers of products for ‘Grounding’ or ‘Earthing’ claim that we can connect with the Earths negative surface charge by being barefoot in order to balance your internal circuitry and restore a lost electrical charge to help things like improving blood flow, reducing inflammation, reducing pain, treat cardiovascular disease and allow for better sleep. The claim is that free radicals in our bodies which are lacking an unpaired valence electron, need to get those electrons from the Earth to balance out and restore our health. Spending time indoors and in shoes is claimed to break this link with the Earth and have those negative consequences for our health. Going barefoot on the Earth or sleeping on a mattress that is connected to the earth or grounded (that you can buy from the promoters) is claimed to restore our health.

I did my best originally to learn what I could about it and have the book from from 2010: Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever! (the second edition is from 2014). The book claims that shoes are the most dangerous invention in the history of humanity. This most important health discovery ever has been there for over ten years now and they still have not been awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine yet for it. That should be the first red flag.

Any physicist will easily point out that the claims are totally bunk and the mechanism of balancing “electrons” is impossible (it would have to break some of the basic laws of physics if it was possible!). Electrons are electrons – there is nothing special about the electrons that are in the Earth. The experiments demonstrated by the promoters (mostly in YouTube video’s rather than scientific peer reviewed journals) using voltmeters are meaningless and do not actually show what they think they show.

Any anecdotes that it works or helps make you feel better, then think placebo, natural history or wishful thinking.

There is nothing wrong with being barefoot and ‘connecting with nature’. We all like that sensation of walking barefoot on soft grass. Just don’t make up bullshit to justify it. Just do it and enjoy it (and watch out for what you are stepping on).

Come on, we have to do better. Stop falling for it.

Advertisement:

Bestseller No. 1
Podiatry Student Handbook: (Second Edition)
  • Shi, Eric (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
SaleBestseller No. 2
Coding Companion for Podiatry 2021
  • OPTUM360 (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
Bestseller No. 3
Podiatry Axial/Sesamoid Weight Bearing Sponge - 13" x 8" x 4" Closed Cell
  • Closed Cell - 13" x 8" x 4"
  • Closed Cell Sponges are made from a lightweight, radiolucent, non-porous foam - entirely fluid resistant, easy to clean and extremely durable! Non-coated, premium charcoal grey color. 100% radiolucent artifact free imaging.
SaleBestseller No. 4
Bestseller No. 5
Funny Foot Whisperer Podiatry for Podiatrist T-Shirt
  • Funny Foot Whisperer quote for Podiatrist, Orthopedist and Chiropodist who loves to heal foot disorders. A Doctor of Podiatric Medicine loves funny podiatry quotes for birthday, christmas or father's day.
  • Medical students gift idea for future foot whisperer who love to care feet. A Funny gift for every passionate podiatrist and Chiropodist. A funny food doctor quote for men and women. Every legendary Podiatrist loves Podiatry Humor.
Bestseller No. 7
Duty Stainless Veterinary Clipper Toe Nipper pet Heavy Nail Podiatry Instrument Cutter Cutting Forceps toenail nippers Clippers Pets ingrown Professional Razor Supplies Cutters Thick toenails Curved
  • ► HEAVY DUTY TOE NAIL CLIPPERS: SurgicalOnline's 5.5" Double Barrel Spring heavy-duty toe nail clippers are designed for thick and tough fingernails and toenails. The podiatrist toenail clippers are ideal for both professionals and home use - for Men, Women, Seniors and even pets. Effortlessly and safely cut thick toenails, ingrown nails and hangnails with the razor sharp edge and double barrel spring clippers.
  • ► PREMIUM QUALITY STAINLESS STEEL: Forged from O.R. Grade Stainless Steel, the Podiatrist Toenail Clippers for the best product life and performance. The curved razor sharp edge ensures a precise smooth cut through thick nails with ease. Corrosion resistant, tarnish free with a locking safety clasp for ultimate portability and convenience. High quality curved blade design stays sharper longer for amazing results over many years!
SaleBestseller No. 8
Pocket Foot and Ankle Medicine and Surgery (Pocket Notebook Series)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 400 Pages - 07/18/2018 (Publication Date) - LWW (Publisher)
Bestseller No. 9
Professional Double Ended Nail Curette 1.5/2.5mm Dermal Ingrown Toenail Cleaner Scoop Chiropody Podiatry Tools
  • Manufactured from High Quality Medical Grade Stainless Steel
  • Nail Cleaning and Care Instruments
Bestseller No. 10
Podiatry
  • Medical Details
  • English (Publication Language)

I get commissions for purchases made through links on this website. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases