Living in Community

We have just past the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere.  That means the days have stopped getting shorter and started getting longer.  In all cultures in the higher latitudes we find a time of celebration centered on this increase in light.  This increase in light has always been associated with an increase in ‘life’.  The start of winter or the beginning of a necessary fast because of the sparseness of the necessities to sustain life just calls for a coming together of members of the community to talk of hope and comfort in being together and knowing that a change has occurred that is a renewal of life.   Christians adopted this time of renewal to also celebrate a time of hope so as to not fall into worship of things other than God and so that Christians could come together with the larger community in celebration of the renewal of life.

May joy and happiness totally consume your life during this period of renewal and this celebration with family and friends.  We pray for the renewal of our institutions in empathy toward the individuals that they serve.

Joy, hope, peace and love calls for renewal
As we come together in community
Seeking the significance and comfort of others
In belief that the community is our best hope

No one wants to suffer the long hard periods
Of the beginning of the renewal in life alone
When our worst fear calls terror to heart
That the long periods of pain will continue

While huddled in community our fears dissolve
And slowly each day is longer and brighter
As the sun begins to bring this renewal of life
To all beings as joy and hope lock in syzygy

Original Verse by Mark Pegram

“Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.”  – John 1:3-5 NIV

Merry Christmas!  – Pandemic Survivor


Death Panels in US Health Care

During the present conversation on Health Care Reform legislation, there has been a lot of discussion about death panels.  It seems that proponents of the present legislation have claimed that these panels are just scare tactics by those that do not want the legislation to pass.  Here is an article from the New York Times discussing this issue. False ‘Death Panel’ has some Familiar Roots. Could it be that the real death panels are those groups that are appointed specifically as ‘non-biased’ for reporting to HHS, NIH, FDA, Department of Defense, and other government sponsoring bodies?  The NY Times article claims “There is nothing in any of the legislative proposals that would call for the creation of death panels or any other governmental body that would cut off care for the critically ill as a cost-cutting measure.”

A committee or Food and Nutrition Board was appointed in September, 2008 to discuss and report on Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin D and Calcium.  This committee is an arm of the Institute of Medicine and a sub-division of the National Academy of Sciences.  The NAS was formed specifically to keep political views from entering into scientific decisions.  From the Project Information for this FNB:  “The project is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (National Institutes of Health, Food and Drug Administration, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion), U.S. Department of Agriculture (Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, Agricultural Research Service), U.S. Department of Defense (Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center), and Health Canada.”

Dr. John Cannell, Vitamin D Council, was upset at the appointment of the members of this committee because he felt that the committee was biased because there was no one on the committee that been a leader in the ‘Vitamin D Revolution’.  That was reported in his January 21, 2009 newsletter.  Here is a feel for his upset from that newsletter:  “Are these statements the reason the IOM excluded these vitamin D experts?  Perhaps the IOM dislikes criticism more than it loves candor? When the new FNB vitamin D recommendations come out next summer, will those recommendations continue to “offend the most basic principles of pharmacology and toxicology?”  If any member of the new board disagrees with the consensus of the board, will that scientist be allowed to produce a minority opinion without risking the loss of research grants in the future? “  I agree somewhat with John’s statements but it is also necessary not to have biased viewpoints on the committee which will make their report stronger evidence of the effects of vitamin D on the human body.  This from their Conflicts of Interest Policy: “Finally, it is essential that the work of committees that are used by the institution in the development of reports not be compromised by issues of bias and lack of objectivity.”

They certainly would not want me on the committee having been pulled from the ‘jaws of death’ by vitamin D.  I am exceptionally and without shame biased!!  Dr. Cannell’s point is that there is no money to be made in the sale of vitamin D because it is one of the least expensive nutritional supplements on the market and it is free from sun exposure. Why not have some of the scientists on the committee that are the closest to the research?  After all, these researchers have already demonstrated their character and their lack of bias by risking their careers in objecting to current practices.  There are people in this esteemed list of doctors and scientist appointed to the committee that have done research on vitamin D so there is a body of knowledge that is inherent in this committee.  So the question – is there any bias on this committee?  List of committee members and a brief bio of their work.

When you look at bias you are always concerned about a scientist taking a strong viewpoint that could undermine his objectivity to the decision making process.  Also you do not want a scientist that will gain materially from the decision that is being made.  This last statement excludes everyone on the board.  Not only does everyone on the board stand to not profit from their decision, the decision could reduce funding to their research projects by as much as half of everything they do.  When it becomes knowledge that vitamin D is an essential hormone necessary to sustain life the amount of death from illness by chronic disease will be reduced by half and the medical industry including medical research will shrink accordingly.

This Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine on Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin D and Calcium, an arm of the National Academy of Sciences, is by definition a death panel.  Through their decisions they stand to significantly impact the centers of commerce and the flow of money throughout the world by improving the health of the world or holding to status quo.  Financial Times has already discussed the fact that the reason the vitamin D science has not come forward is because of the money. Read this article:  Why Governments are Selling Vitamin D Short – Sam Apple – published October 23, 2009 Financial Times:  and my comments from my post ‘A Major Newspaper Gets It”

Dr. Cannell you are absolutely correct about the possibility of bias and so the question is will the members of this committee recuse themselves?  Every member of this committee stands to lose. It is now a matter of character if the correct decisions are made.  Dr. A. Catherine Ross, Chairman of this FNB, has the lives of millions of people in the world in her hands as well as the weight of the economic future of the world.  The decisions of this committee will be the most powerful influence on health and economics that have been made in the history of the world since the death camps and declaration of war during World War II.  I do not envy this appointment.  My prayers are for you Dr. Ross and the committee.

Life, sometimes, is not easy in the sun.   – Pandemic Survivor

Millions Needlessly Die of Vitamin D3 Deficiency

Well, in my satire on the presidential declaration of a national emergency it seems that I got my numbers wrong about the amount of death from vitamin D deficiency.   I had used 400,000 deaths that is an extrapolation used in William Grants paper on what would happen if everyone in the US were to take 2000 IU of D3 per day.  “Reducing the Burden of Disease Through Adequate Intake of Vitamin D3.” Since Dr. Grant wrote this paper that used data from 2001 new research has come to light.

I received an email today from the John Cannell, Vitamin D Council, that said that William Faloon, Co-Founded of Life Extension Foundation, had written a new article with a retraction of his data from the letter of 2007. His new numbers that appeared in the January, 2009 issue of Life Extension Magazine shows that there could be well over a million deaths in the US every year from vitamin D deficiency.

So what are we to believe?  I always like to check my data from an independent source.  If we consider that vitamin D has the possibility of reducing all chronic disease by 40 percent what would that mean for America?  If you will recall my post on Health Care Reform Heal the People we found that the death rate in Mexico is 4.8 per 1000 per year and in the US the death rate is 8.4 per 1000 per year,  or 43% less deaths per year in Mexico.  CIA Fact Sheets: So you ask what the disparity of data is.  Do they have a better health care system?  The answer of course is that they are a sun-splashed country in the lower latitudes which means they most likely have higher vitamin D levels than the US.  And not only that,  but much of the population lives above 5000 ft which is above much of the atmospheric moisture and pollutions and this allows a higher incidence of UVB radiation to make vitamin D.  Also their winters are not as cold so more of the human body is exposed because they simply wear fewer clothes.

The death rate in the US of 8.4 minus the death rate of 4.8 is 3.6 per 1000 population per year.  If we take that most of this is from the difference in vitamin D levels then the US could reduce death by 3.6 times 307,000 thousand (307 million US population) per year.  This works out to 1,150,000 people per year.  If we say that there are more deaths because we have more cars and higher incidence of toxins because we are (were) a more industrialized nation, we would still have well over a million less deaths from vitamin D3 deficiency every year.  This would decimate the medical and medical insurance industries to say nothing of big pharma and over-the-counter goods sold at retail as remedies for whatever.  If the deaths are reduced by this much imagine how much less suffering and pain there would be from disease.

This is one heck of a survivor story as Mexico has significantly less death and suffering than the US because of vitamin D3.  I know the above may not be very scientific but it makes a lot of just plain common sense.  Imagine the millions of needless deaths in other countries because of this dread deficiency in a world with a population 6.7 billion people with a large portion living at the higher latitudes.

William Faloon sent this article to all Congressmen and Senators:

While you are basking in the sun write your Congressman, The President, and the Secretary of Health and tell your friends.    – Pandemic Survivor

Individual Health Versus Institutional Health

I certainly hope that you enjoyed my satirical post on the president declaring a national emergency for vitamin D deficiency.  Of course this is what needs to happen, whether it will ever happen or not is another question.  Because a sudden improvement in health would so drastically reshape the economy of the world maybe moving carefully is prudent.  On the other hand, living with disease that causes pain and suffering is sad when there very well could be a simple solution.

It most likely would take longer for the insurance companies to start to fail than what I suggested in the satire.  At first, it is most likely that they would see a significant windfall profit as the cost of reduced disease states shrinks.  Then when state insurance and federal insurance controls kicked in on profitability then jobs would start to be lost.  But you know,  I believe these jobs should never have been created in the first place if we had been following the science of medicine instead of the greed of institutions.

Specialization in institutions leads to efficiency in performing task of the corporate body but leads to evil when the overall moral compass fails.  In the US the moral compass of the nation is contained in the leadership of the three branches of government.  When that compass is lost then the country as a whole will start to fail.  We typically have leadership at the top that is trained in how to handle money and to be the most profitable in the course of action without greater consideration for the ethics of the action.

When the science of vitamin D was coming forward in the 1930’s into the late 1970’s was the time for our moral compass to kick in with compassion for the suffering of the ill.  However, what kicked in was the greed of institutions to be wealthy.  As Dr. John Cannell, Vitamin D Council, says the ‘science was ignored’.  The building of large profitable institutions based on a large population of sick people was not ignored.  Is there one corporate medical body that can stay profitable on a shrinking population of disease?  Leaders of our corporations will tell you that growth is the only way to sustain a company in today’s modern paradigm of business.  Imagine a 25 to 50 percent reduction in the largest sector of our economy.

The moral compass of our country is held in the body politic by the people and not by any branch of government.  Our politicians have become too aglow with being reelected to make decisions that best fit the people because the money is from profitability of institutions which in turn give it to politicians for reelection.  However, it is the responsibility of the president when all else fails to act to stem the suffering of the people.  This responsibility has been given to the Secretary of Health and Human Services.  When we find principles stated like Secretary Leavitt’s of the Bush White House – ‘markets before mandates’ more important than to ‘value life’ then suffering of the population is the result.

In any case we the people sharing our stories of overcoming disease without the institutions can make a significant reduction in suffering.  Send me your stories of recovering from illness from vitamin D and we will help others toward the understanding of health from the sun.

Because vitamin D is so cheap and so clearly reduces all-cause mortality, I can say this with great certainty: Vitamin D represents the single most cost-effective medical intervention in the United States. ~ Dr. Greg Plotnikoff, Medical Director, Penny George Institute for Health and Healing, Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis.

Dr. John Cannell’s point of keeping your serum vitamin D, 25(OH)D, level above 50 ng/ml when it causes no harm and has the possibility of making you well is where the medical profession should be.  A normal range has long been from 20 ng/ml to 100 ng/ml and now all that is being suggested is that the lower end of the range be increased to prevent disease and death.  But in the backs of the minds of the leaders of our institutions is the ‘health’ of the largest sector in our economy.

Be well and healthy and let the sun shine on you.       – Pandemic Survivor

President Declares National Emergency for Vitamin D Deficiency

During the White House transition in January 2009, one of President Barack Obama’s medical advisors found a letter from the Co-Founder of the Life Extension Foundation, William Faloon to President George Bush from September 2007.   This excerpt from the letter: “There is significant legal precedent for the federal government taking affirmative action when the preponderance of scientific evidence shows that correcting a widespread deficiency of a nutrient (such as adding iodine to salt and folic acid to cereals) would lead to significant reductions in human suffering and death. “   The letter asked that a National Emergency be declared for Vitamin D deficiency because of the several hundred thousands of deaths that are happening every year due to this dread deficiency.  After reviewing the thousands of medical peer review papers published on chronic disease and vitamin D the President immediately issues an order that citizens should take 5,000 IU of D3 per day with a maximum intake of 10,000 IU per day and children would take 35 IU per lb of body weight.  He had seven billion dollars appropriated for the government to provide the first year’s supply of vitamin D3 to show good faith that this action could be taken by all regardless of their means.

Here we are in December approximately 10 months after the first supply of supplements were distributed to the population.  There is extreme joy as there have been at least 400,000 less deaths during this period for a sixteen percent reduction in total death and elimination of any signs of colds or the flu.  Because of the better health of Americans doctor’s visits have decreased by 30 percent and hospitalization census has decreased by 25%.  There has also been a reduction of 600 billion dollars in the health care segment that normally comes in at 16 percent of the economy at around 2.25 trillion dollars.

This all but ensures that President Obama has kept his campaign promises of change that we could believe in as the just general amount of everyday pain and suffering has been significantly reduced.  This has resulted in a significant increase in the amount of productive days and helped to sling shot us from the verge of economic depression.  With the retraction of the mark to market rule in mid-April and the re-installation of rules to prevent everyday deposit accounts from being used for risky investment that stability of the economy is all but insured.

The changes to the health care insurance legislation became easy as most insurance companies decided to turn their business over to the government because of bankruptcy due to the improved health.  With the improvement in the economy, it has allowed the government to get out of the car and banking business and provide health insurance coverage to all Americans.  Also Health and Human Services decided to end commercials for prescription drugs because of the unnecessary stress on the government run health system.

The development of the swine flu in Mexico in April at first threw fear into the population with the thought that there may be need for a National Emergency to be declared in late August or possibly October as the swine flu was to begin to spike.  This was not necessary because the population’s level of innate immunity was raised to such a point through the implementation of vitamin D that the swine flu became the swine flew.

The government plans to continue the supply of vitamin D to Americans because it only takes $25 per individual for a year.  This $25 per capita has been the most significant stimulus to the economy ever.

Ah, living easy in the sun  – Pandemic Survivor

Sunday Morning Musings

This week there on the ever present drugs ads (there were no people in bathtubs this time) was the story that bone density improvement drugs could reduce breast cancer.  How outrages is this claim when vitamin D and calcium is significantly more effective in treating bone density issues than any drug on the market.  To try to pick up a new market for some drug that should not even be used is just criminal.  Billions of dollars in fines is just not sending the drug industry an adequate message.

This is to not even consider that Dr. Cedric Garland has shown that vitamin D could reduce breast cancer by a whopping 75%.  “Breast Cancer Going Rogue”

The first thing that should happen is that all commercials for prescription meds should be removed from modern media.  Of course I am sure that the US is the only country in the world that has this made readily available because the drug companies are buying their way into government policy by campaign contributions and other ways that we do not even want to think about.

If we cannot get the hands of our policy and lawmakers out of the pockets of the drug and medical insurance companies long enough to stop drug commercials, then it should be law that if a nutritional change gives the same or more significant impact that the drug cannot be advertized.  This would mean there would be no bone density drugs on the market.  Vitamin D and calcium have been shown to give an improvement in bone density of 3 to 28 percent in one year where bone density drugs are about 2-3 percent per year if you take your calcium and vitamin D with them.  This is not to mention the impact on breast cancer of vitamin D.

On another front that I was reminded of in my last post is the comment that all medicine and test that have been done in the last fifty years or more in the US have been done on a vitamin D deficient population.  Considering the metabolic effect of vitamin D on the body’s processes, this is a very scary issue.  I would suspect that the majority of drugs that we use to treat chronic disease could be eliminated or reduced significantly.  How would this affect the medical economy?  It is obviously to a very large extent considering former HHS Secretary Levitt’s number-four principle of ‘markets before mandates’.  We would not want to do anything that would kill the cash cow even at the deaths of millions of Americans.  Last on his list of nine principles was to ‘value life’.  Don’t make me take my hand out of that pocket or I will kill you!

And on the swine flew it is bye-bye birdie.  According to the CDC Update the percentage of medical visits for influenza like illness has dropped to about 2-1/2 percent or about normal for this time of year down from over 8 percent.  This is just like the experience of the southern hemisphere countries that are currently just entering their summer.  So are we just trying to sell vaccine?  Let’s hope that we continue to mirror these southern hemisphere countries and there is no second spike.

I am pleased to report another survivor story of a lady that started to take 5000 IU of vitamin D3 per day almost two years ago.  She told me that all of her aches and pains are gone.  She is about 70.  This seems to be a regular comment on pain from people that become replete in vitamin D. You just get well. –Pandemic Survivor

Deficiency Disease

It originally started in our understanding that disease was caused by something that was ‘wrong’ with our bodies and not because of something that we withheld from our bodies.  It was then found that if we did not get vitamin C that scurvy would develop.  Later it was found that we could go blind if we did not get enough vitamin A, beriberi from lack of thiamin (B1) and so on.

If we think about deficiencies and what is the order of importance then I would think that we would consider air or oxygen first in the hierarchy.  It only takes minutes to be without oxygen that our bodies start to die.  Next would be water.  It usually takes about 3 to 4 days without water to die.  With food, depending on how much stores the person has, we typically can go from 12 to 40 days.

So given that we get most of our required nutrients in our diet; it is difficult to tell which vitamin or mineral would cause us death if withheld in this hierarchy of nutrient need.  I suspect that it would be minerals and most likely either calcium or magnesium or potassium or salt.  Of course not getting enough vitamin D would be slow painful suffering.  Imagine people in solitary confinement how painful it would be for them if they were never allowed to be exposed to the sun or other UV source and only were given bread and water.  They would either go crazy or die from some deficiency disease or both.

So what are the things that we unknowingly deprive ourselves from that leads to disease and death.  In general if we eat our vegetables and meats and fats we should get enough of most things so that we do not have to take any supplements.  But let’s examine for a moment things that medical research is saying that we do not get enough.

Certainly items that are required for fortification by law are vitamin D and iodine.  We have talked extensively about vitamin D in the blog and will continue to do so.  Iodine will need more review as I have only mentioned it in passing a couple of times.  The others are magnesium which results in suddenly death even in young people and one estimate puts these sudden deaths due to magnesium deficiency at 8 million in the US from 1940 through 1994 or about forty thousand per year. This is a small number compared to the estimated deaths of 350,000 per year cause by vitamin D deficiency and this may be a conservative number.

Thinking about all of the people on thyroid meds, I will stop here and tell you a short ‘survivor story’ about a lady that was iodine deficient as related by Joyce Meyers on one of her ministry programs.  It seems that a lady had a baby and was having a difficult time in recovering her emotional control.  Several different doctors had diagnosed her with postpartum depression.  She was treated accordingly without any success.  She went to a doctor that was also trained in nutritional arts and during the challenge test for iodine her problems immediately went away.  I can imagine that cases of postpartum depression are related to nutritional deficiencies caused by the stress of pregnancy on depletion of nutrient stores.

Our salts are inversed as we typically get about 7 to 10 grams of sodium salt and about 1.5 grams of potassium salt.  These should be reversed for good health.  We need about 3 to 4 times as much potassium as we do sodium.

The other thing that we do not get enough of is vitamin C.  Primates and guinea pigs are the only animals that do not make their own vitamin C.  If we take goats or dogs and consider the amount of vitamin C that they make each day then the average human (whatever that is) would need to have about 8 to 16 grams per day to have a similar amount for body processes.

So what we will do is look at each one of these and try to help you determine what the needs are.  Certainly one of the things that has confounded scientific understanding over the years as recent research has shown is that all test and practice of modern medicine has been on a population of vitamin D deficient people.  This has been particularly true of all medical and drug studies done in a sun deprived US population in the last fifty years.  Was this by design for profit our just ignoring the facts as some have suggested.

Iodine, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin C are the main characters in the modern American diet that does not provide an adequate supply for our needs.  And of course vitamin D and I will continue to rant about this until everyone is free of the burden of this extreme failure of our ‘medical system’.

In the mean time, live easy in the sun!  –  Pandemic Survivor