Improving Insulin Sensitivity

I read an article in the Wilmington Star News online that says that vitamin D is more effective than one of the major meds for controlling blood sugar.  I am surprised that a pharmacist was willing to actually state the truth.  I say congratulations for a job well done.  Before we get into that let me tell you about a friend that I know that struggled with type two diabetes.

I had told him about the research on vitamin D and diabetes and he was excited to try and keep his serum level up as a means to achieve better health.  After he started to supplement with vitamin D he said that he did not ‘sense’ the extreme up and downs in his blood sugar.  He also said that this helped him to better control his appetite and he lost thirty pounds over a six month period.  He got off all the meds for type 2 diabetes.  Now his fasting blood sugar is normal.  I am not saying that taking the vitamin D healed his type 2 diabetes.  I am sure that the loss of the weight had a significant impact.  In any case we have another survivor of a significant chronic disease and better he did it without staying on pharmaceuticals.

Okay so here is the story for the Star News online where this pharmacist says that vitamin D is five times better than one of the meds known as the ‘gold standard’ for treating insulin sensitivity.  I find this most amazing!  “A ‘D’ once a day will keep the doctor away”

If your doctor does not believe that vitamin D will have this kind of effect then I would suggest that you have him read the research that the pharmacist refers to.  Also a really good paper is one by Dr. Heaney of Creighton University where he describes blood sugar being blunted and insulin response improves once your blood serum 25(OH)D is above 32 ng/ml (80 nmol/l).  The name of the paper is ‘The Vitamin D requirement in health and disease’ as published in J Steroid Biochem Mol. Bio.  Oct. 2005.

Taking a lot of vitamin D if you have type 2 diabetes is not going to do that much good if you choose to keep eating sugary and starchy foods.  Even the best attempt at good health cannot overcome emotional eating.  (you know I am overweight and love to eat lots of cheeseburgers and my lipids and blood sugar are excellent and they were not before vitamin D – I should ‘practice what I preach’ ) You may ( I am beginning this techniques myself) want to try the new emotional control techniques using motion that are being used like EFT (emotional freedom technique ).

Eat Healthy and go into the sun!                   – Pandemic Survivor

How Much Vitamin D? How Much is Safe?

This question keeps coming up for good reason.  It is so convoluted how the medical profession has treated vitamin D over the last hundred years because all types were called the same thing.  First was finding the marker for vitamin D that told the story about how it affects chronic disease or the storage form 25(OH)D, twenty-five hydroxyvitaminD, or calcidiol.  Typically and historically the industry has tried to use the steroid form or 1,25(OH)2D or one, twenty-five dihydroxyvitaminD or cacitriol to treat and the body’s mechanisms do not handle this real will.  Second there was the problem with toxicity because they were using too much of the steroid and with the issue of over irradiation when the pharmaceutical industry processes D2.  Typically the type that your body makes naturally, D3, when processed from lamb’s wool and fat does not require radiation.  Here is the blog where I talk about the serum level of the storage form and testing.

So as not to confuse you further, please consider only taking D3 or cholecalciferol as a supplement as this is what the body makes naturally.  If your doctor prescribes D2, ask him if it would be okay to take an equivalent amount of D3.  D2, unfortunately, is the only type that you can get prescription.  However, you can buy equivalent amount of 50,000 IU of D3 in a capsule thanks to the efforts of the Vitamin D Council.  Thank you Dr. John Cannell!!!  Just search the web for 50,000 IU of D3 and you will find several sources.

Now everybody cannot take the same amount and expect the same results.  I always thought this was just wrong for other pharmaceuticals.  Two aspirin for example for a 250 lb person will give a different effect than for a 100 lb person.

Everybody processes vitamin D differently so the only way that you can tell if you are getting enough is to have a serum test done.  On the serum test you will only be concerned with your 25(OH)D.

So where should this level be? Let’s look at three practicing doctors because this is the best method for understanding what they have discovered in their practices.  This is really how the art of medicine is practice anyway through trial and error in practice.

Dr. Elizabeth Vaughan from Greensboro, NC has a practice in integrated medicine.  She has been a practicing physician since 1979.  She also writes articles for one of the local health magazines, Natural Triad.  She is board certified and is a fourth generation physicians on both sides of the family.  I will not bore you with all of her credentials but if you want to read them they are here:

In her article for Natural Triad, “Lumpy, Bumpy, Painful Breast”, she stated that a serum 25(OH)D of 40 ng/ml is a minimum and that 70 ng/ml is the best protection.

Dr. William Davis is a practicing cardiologist in Milwaukee and writes the Heart Scan Blog.  If you have concerns about your heart this is a must read.  Here is what he has to say about vitamin D in his blog ‘A Healthy Level of Vitamin D’.   He agrees with Dr. Vaughn that 60 to 70 ng/ml is the right level of 25(OH)D.

Dr. John Cannell of the Vitamin D Council is a practicing psychiatrist and here is what he has to say after studying  papers and in discussion with other doctors about cancer.  In his January 2008 newsletter about the possibility of treating cancer he says that your serum 25(OH)D should be above 60 ng/ml.

So there you have it with three practicing physicians all saying to get the best benefit that you really should be above 60 ng/ml with 25(OH)D.  The amount of D3 that will you need to take to reach this level will be different for everyone and the only way that you know you have achieved this level is to test.  Start with about 1000 IU of D3 per 25 lbs of body weight per day and then have your serum tested after three months.  Your supplementation will by necessity be different in the summer and winter.  Before taking anything be sure to consult with your doctor about any preexisting conditions and treatment protocols that you have.  Most likely he will say that there will be no effect.  If he tells you that you will turn your organ to stones show him the NIH material Vitamin D Fact Sheet that says that a serum level of 25(OH)D (Table 1) of 200 ng/ml or less on a consistent basis is safe.  So there is a safety factor of three and if you consider animal studies from the NIH info at less than or equal to 400 ng/ml as safe then you have a safety factor of 6+.

In love, life and the pursuit of wellness always go into the sun!!!  – Pandemic Survivor

Sunday Morning Musings

I have just got up and there are rays of morning sun just dancing through fall color to draw bright streaks on the many trees that surround a peaceful creek below my house.  What joy this image of seeming pleasure brings.  It is calling for a long walk through the woods this afternoon down by the reservoir.

I am grateful for the healing that I have received over the last several years.  It is like I hit the lottery.  I know that many of you are looking for healing and know that there is hope and do not despair.

It has been a week of more job losses and people are excited about a couple of shootings that are more about our humanness than anything else.  I am saddened by the 6 to 8 thousand people that died this week from medical errors in the US.  We are human and we do err.  Only in forgiveness can we continue to live in community and it is this community that I desire.

It is difficult to know if the swine flu or the H1N1 virus as it is officially called is going to be an actor or just a reason to flash another news alert across the screen.  From what I can see of the numbers the deaths so far this year are within statistical variation for the flu.  This seems to be the case for the Southern Hemisphere where the peak of the season has passed.  I had a friend at a coffee shop tell me yesterday that he was off to get a flu shoot at the local community college as he had heard there were six thousand available.  I think his time may be better spent in a tanning booth with enough UVB to generate a healthy amount of cholecalciferol.

My daughter called last night in extreme distress as she opened the conversation using one of my made up explicatives.  A “cauldron of BS” she exclaims to her mother.  Of course this is a significant step up from “crap a maggot” although this lesser statement of angst seems grosser.  So she had done as I had suggested and installed the new virus protection engine on the internet security program that we use.  Only she had forgotten to disconnect from the internet during installation and she was attacked immediately with her firewall down.  It also seems that she had not been diligent about back up but I am sure that she will not have significant loss as she truly is a person of means.  Just another reminder of how dangerous this world can be.  Human attack or machine attack always there lurking waiting for a time when we least expect it.

Do we withdraw from a ‘life of the ages’?  Absolutely not!  Whichever founding father that said when you give up freedom for security you end up with neither was right on target.  Go and dance in community and enjoy life.  Know that danger is there but do not worry as one greater than we is drawing near.

Happiness is truly a choice.  – Pandemic Survivor

Tell Me Your Story

It was my intent in writing this blog that we could get the message out by having everyday folk talk about their experiences with vitamin D and whether it helped or not.  I realize that I have spent much time in talking about the various diseases and how vitamin D may impact them.  But you know it is the stories that happen to just everyday people that others most understand as they may recognize it as a story similar to their own.

Here is my email address:  vitamindmark@gmail.com

We learn nothing except what other people witness to us.  This is true whether it is some scientist reporting on his latest research, a witness in a trial, or a neighbor telling us about his experience with his child and how that worked.  It is these anecdotal stories that most convince us and send us into our perspective on the ‘truth’.  There may be an exception to this understanding like when you put your finger into a candle flame and you know not to do that again.  However, most do not have the means to do critical research and interpret it, so listening to the stories of others is important.

Your story does not have to be long.  Just a few words telling us what happened and what your belief is about how it happened.  Since Dr. Cannell has given us permission to use his newsletters I particularly like this one from the April 2008 Newsletter by Dr. John Cannell at the Vitamin D Council.

Dear Dr. Cannell: I have been taking 10,000 IU vitamin D per day for over three years and my arthritis and prostate cancer are gone (at least my PSA returned to normal) and I am paddling my canoe and starting to run again and feel much stronger now. I had my 80 birthday this July. Thank you for your website and newsletter. I think I’d literally be dead without it.

I was startled to learn as I read this story that he turned 80.  What a great story on the healing power of a single nutrient.

Your story does not have to be this drastic.  Just something simple like the one that I had from a reader recently in how statin drugs had caused him much problems:

WOW!  I am impressed with your discussion on Vitamin D and health in general.  My pet peeve is statin drugs (it almost killed me)  and the damage they cause.  I ponder the relationship between cholosterol, neuropathy, obesity, and diabetes. William (not his real name) I certainly hope that he read my article on ‘Thinking About Cholesterol’. More importantly I hope that he read the Heart Scan Blog that I sent people to in that post.  Dr. William Davis, a cardiologist in Milwaukee, is having great success in treating heart disease with diet.

I will protect your identity and location.  If the location is important because of latitude then I will simply use that latitude or a similar city on that latitude.  What I am saying is that you can remain completely anonymous if you choose.

You see if Dr. Cannell and Dr. Davis had not told us their stories about their work and the success then where would we be.  Be brave and tell others: vitamindmark@gmail.com

So anyway, tell me your story and we will try to help others understand what your beliefs are and how that may help them.  My email address is: vitamindmark@gmail.com .

Be Healthy and tell your story  – Pandemic Survivor