Vitamin D Testing – O Canada

Not often do you find a true ‘elephant in the room’ but I believe that Canada’s effort to reduce the amount of vitamin D testing is a rogue elephant.  Of course it may be more like ‘hidden in plain’ site as the majority of people are not aware of the benefits of vitamin D.  Ontario Ministry claims that it has nothing to do with the cost in their desire to go back to 2004 testing levels.  The medical practitioners are very upset with the proposal by the Ontario Ministry of Health.  Here is the article in the Globe and Mail – “Ontario considers curbing vitamin D testing.”

I believe that the truth is a major concern for reducing the amount of total services.  Income will be lost when people become vitamin D replete and disease is reduced.  Let’s take one minor example.  Last year the Canadian health authorities encourage parents to increase the amount of vitamin D per day for children.  There were a grand total of 10 pediatric deaths (as of May 1, 2010) in Canada during last year’s flu season.  That is for everyone under eighteen years of age.  Less than sixty percent of that population had the flu shot.  The US pediatric deaths for the 2009-2010 flu season was 281.  The population of Canada is about 35MM and the population for the US is about 300MM or a per capita pediatric death rate for the US that is 3.5 times higher than Canada.  Is it because of less vaccination and more supplementation with vitamin D or both?

I do truly believe that the Ministry is earnest about its statement that the testing for vitamin D has nothing to do with the cost.  I do believe that it has everything to do with the lost income from a healthier population.  Given that in August, Oxford University reported that there were 2,776 genes that interact with vitamin D, why would you not want to test.  Genetic Influence of Vitamin D.  The report states that there are over 200 genes that affect directly- heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

It is going to be really interesting later this year when the Institute of Medicine’s Food and Nutrition Board finally issue their long awaited report on vitamin D and calcium. What will the recommendations be and how will that report be treated?  In the last fifty years there have been 25,000 peer reviewed medical journal articles about vitamin D and disease.  If the reports states there is not enough research then there is a large gray wrinkly animal just waiting to stump on you. The researchers are basically saying that everyone should have the serum level of vitamin D of people that live in a sunny country.  Why are the skeptics calling these MEGA-doses of vitamin D?  I don’t know about you, but I feel really good when traveling in sunny countries.

In most of North America we have reach a season where the sun no longer provides an adequate amount of vitamin D.  That is if you are not afraid of getting cancer and you go into the sun.  Have your serum 25(OH)D tested and try to maintain it at the level of a sunny country or 54 to 90 ng/ml.   – Pandemic Survivor

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Bone Fractures Suspected with Anti-Osteoporosis Drug

What do bone fractures, damaged jawbones, and esophageal cancer have in common?  It is possible that they may be caused by the anti-osteoporosis drug, bisphosphonates.  The FDA has just released a warning that you should review the usage of these drugs with you health care provider.  Here is the FDA warning and information

Here is a comprehensive article on the issues at Food Consumer.

You know, this is not really news.  There have always been concerns about the effectiveness of bisphospohonates.  Typically the increase in bone density over a year is less than three percent.  I have a friend that was taking the bisphosphonates.  I suggested to her that she may want to start supplementing with vitamin D.  It would not only help her bone density but would simulate her endocrine system in many ways.  She talked with her health care provider and stopped taking the anti-osteoporosis drug and starting taking 5000 IU of D3 per day.  After a year she reported that her bone density had increased by 23%.  So you are asking is there any science to support such an increase.

Paul Stitt, (now deceased, is a champion of the Vitamin D Revolution and we honor him) Natural Ovens in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, sponsored a study for supplementing the diet of nursing home patients with 5000 IU of vitamin D per day in their bread.  He could not get the study accomplished in the US because of the 2000 IU maximum and had the study done in Romania.  Endocrinologist Veronica Mocanu of the University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Iasi, Romania did the work.  She reported at the 2005 Experimental Biology Meeting in San Diego that the vitamin D deficient patients achieved a healthy level of vitamin D.  What was also amazing is that she reported the bone density increase for their hips at 28 percent.  Here is an article by Janet Raloff that is archived at Direct MS on this presentation: I find  it extremely interesting that just after the report, Merck petitioned the FDA to add vitamin D to their popular osteoporosis drug, Fosamax, spring of 2006.  Now we see on all the biphsophonate commercials to be sure to get enough vitamin D and calcium – huh?

Mocanu has finally had the research paper published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2009.  Here is the link; Long-term effects of giving nursing home residents bread fortified with 125 µg (5000 IU) vitamin D3 per daily serving

The medical profession has done us a real disservice in promoting these drugs when all that we needed was some sunshine.  By taking the drug, it appears that the side effects are worse than the ‘supposed’ treatment.  How many other chronic diseases are results of sun phobia?

Go talk to your health care provided now if you are taking biphosphonates!  – Pandemic Survivor