A survivor of the vitamin D pandemic tried to comment to my July 14, 2009 post on Genetics, Epigenetics, and Vitamin D. In my earlier post I had the comments turned off because I did not want to take the time to respond. I now know that this was a mistake. Sorry about that Rich. I have now turned on the comments. Here is what Rich Blumenthal had to say in an email:
Hi Mark –
I see you responded to my comment on your recent blog about the IOM. I wish I could be a fly on the wall while they deliberate.
I was reading your blog of July 14, 2009 on Genetics, Epigenetics, and Vitmain D. I was trying to respond. For some reason it didn’t allow me to do that. Here’s what I wanted to say.
You wrote: “I propose that vitamin D3 is the ‘master switch’ of epigenetics from nutrients. It acts like a shepherd in allowing the body’s various hormones to act for your health. Genes that need to be on get turned on and genes that need to be off get turned off.”
This statement is profound, life-altering, and so stunning that if people truly could grasp the message it would change the world. We have 23,000 genes and the active form of vitamin D is known to switch about 10% of them to a better, healthier state. In the world of steroid hormones, how many genes they affect determines how effective they are, and 1,25(OH)2D is believed to be the hormone with the most impact. This statement is supported by hundreds of cohort studies, ecological studies, and randomized clinical trials that provide irrefutable evidence of vitamin D’s therapeutic and strong preventive effects.
I’d like to recommend all your readers take two hours of their busy lives to watch a Nova episide that will help them understand how “switches” can turn on or off sections of DNA. The name of the episode is “What Darwin Never Knew” and it can be seen in its entirety for free here:
The video basically shows how altered DNA becomes the underlying cause for visible evolutionary changes. They don’t mention vitamin D specifically but they do imply that the switches are more significant than the genes themselves, and that steroid hormones are the agents that flip those switches. I really do believe that epigenetics needs to be included with a serious study of vitamin D to understand its profound impact on health and longevity. Nova has made it relatively easy to understand, but be forewarned: If you are often stumped on the science questions in the TV show “Are you smarter than a fifth grader?” some of the chemistry and biology will be a little intimidating. But even if you don’t grasp everything, you will still get a good overview of how the switches work. Add the knowledge contained in your excellent July 14, 2009 blog, along with some of John Cannell’s writing on the subject, and I think you will experience the same “aha moment” that I did.
Let me make this claim: Anyone watching the Nova segment in its entirety along with reading many articles on vitamin D, thinks about it, truly learns it and understands the subtleties, details and nuances, will become privy to one of the greatest secrets of all time. Your life will never be the same. In making this discovery you are bringing the world one step closer to enlightenment. I know this is a big claim but I strongly feel that the world desperately needs to move in the direction where people know how to prevent serious disease.
Thank You Rich – Pandemic Survivor