All Vitamin D Brands are not Equal!

Bare with me, I will get to the vitamin D, but first the story. In July, 2010, I fell when descending stairs in an unfamiliar house. It was really a sort of a stupid thing as I was talking to another person as I descended the stairs. The stair was wide enough so that we were almost side by side. I was totally engrossed in our converstation. Thinking that I was on the bottom step, I took a large step forward to find that I was two steps ups. This resulted in a forward lunge. Let me also say that I had been working hard for the three hours prior. I had lost a singificant amount of body fluid from perspiration, almost seven pounds of weight ( I had weighed before starting this job because I was interested in how much fluid loss would occur under severe heat and work conditions. During the three hours, I had drank three twenty ounce bottles of water). This combination of muscles on the verge of cramping and a clumsy fall resulted in a nasty muscle pull and perhaps an injured spine.

Of course I did not know which at the time. I thought that I had totlly destroyed my back again. After a few days of trying to resolve the pain, I went to my neurosurgeon. After an MRI, it was discovered that I had ‘no change in the appearance of my spine.’ The doc left me alone in the room prior to his arrival with the MRI on the computer screen. It so happened that the 2005 MRI was also on the screen. When comparing the two images, It was apparent that the thickness of my vertebral disc in the lumbar region was twice what it was in 2005. No change was a statement saying that my back had actually improved, but since we know that ‘you cannot grow cartilage,’ we will just not comment on the improvement. Let me be very specific here as the statement of no change was from the radiologist that had read the MRI and not my neurosurgeon. The neurosurgeon was in disblief and amazed.

The spacing between the L4-L5 had not improved and it was apparent that there had been more distortion of the vertibra (hammer shaped). The surgeon felt that the pain I was experiencing was a direct result of this issue. I felt that he was partially right, but what I was experiencing for pain was not like what I had felt before. The pain would initiate in my hip and then descend the leg. Now neural pathways are tricky and to try to pin point the origins of pain is difficult at best. I had decided that my pain was originating from a strained piriformis muscle. This muscle is under the glut muscle and the nerve bundle that recombines and descends the leg goes through the middle of this muscle. Muscle relaxants would make the pain completely go away.

The pain and numbness got much better six months later but was still going on which was not a good thing. I continued to deal with it through the spring until my physical the thrird week in April. I was shooked to see that my serum vitamin D level was 42 ng/ml. I had been taking 10,000 of D3 per day since June of 2005. How was it that my vitamin D level had dropped from an average of 85 ng/ml to 42 ng/ml. It was apparent that the vitamin D3 that I was now using was not the same as before.

I had switched to Pharmassure’s brand that I could purchase from the local drug store. It is apparent that this brand does not have the required 5.000 IU of D3 in the product as described on the label. I had been using the Bio-Tech Pharmacal brand for the 5 years prior with good results. It is obvious to me that the lack of qualily control on such a tiny amount of vitamin D is a very real issue. It could be that one bottle or lot was bad and the rest of Pharmassure’s product is fine. However, you can bet that I will never use this brand again. This is a similar story that was reported by Dr. Davis that writes the Heart Scan Blog. In that case his patients had switched from Vitamin Shoppe brand to Walgreen’s Nature Made brand and it was like the Nature Made product had no vitamin D. For you in trying to maintain an adequate vitamin D level, YOU MUST HAVE YOUR SERUM LEVEL TESTED!

I wonder now if the large range of vitamin D3 intake to achieve an adequate serum level that was reported by the study at Grass Roots Health may partially be due to the fact that all brands that claim 5,000 IU may not be 5,000 IU. I had been part of this test through the spring of 2010, but had not had my serum level tested for over a year. Anytime you change brands or habits, like how much you sun bath or change diet in like how much liver you eat ( more vitamin A an antagonist of vitamin D), you should have your serum level tested.

I took fifty thousand IU of D3 per day for two weeks to get my serum level back up and am now taking 10,000 IU of Bio-Tech Pharmacal’s vitamin D3 per day. Interestly enough, the pain in my leg has gone and my hip seems to be healed. I now have over six thousand hours of studying vitamin D, it is obvious that the single most important thing that you can do in this new medical paradigm is to have your serum level tested! – Pandemic Survivor


Children – How Much Vitamin D

Children and vitamin D will be the discussion for the next several decades as we try to discover the true importance of how sunshine interacts with growth and disease states.  We have spent the last fifty years figuring out ways to keep children from going into the sun.  The sun, we were told is going to be very bad for your skin and will lead to skin cancer if you get burned as a child.  We were also told even if you do not burn that too much exposure to sun is not a good thing.  We have never been told that low or no exposure to sun is a not good and even a very bad thing because of infections and chronic disease.

Growing up in the fifties and sixties, there were never any of my friends that had trouble with their backs unless they had hurt themselves in some fashion.  Spine issues were minor of course except for the few cases of spina bifida or scoliosis.  I truly believe that both of these diseases are from the mother being vitamin D deficient in combination with other nutrients like folic acid for spina bfida.  Now it is impossible to talk with a teenager that does not know someone their age that has had back surgery.  This is just the beginning of a host of chronic diseases for children of the 1980’s, 90’s, 10’s that will result in mass illness of many forms.

To prevent the most of diseases, both chronic and infectious, vitamin D is a necessity.  So then the question arises how much vitamin D should we get and how should we maintain a healthy exposure to the sun.  Let me first say that exposure to the sun is still a growing science and we do not know all of the biochemical activity that is happening when we expose ourselves to the sun.  Our relationship to the sun has changed forever with the development of sunscreens and sun block.   Only with a consistent effort to redevelop this relationship will health be achieved.   I maintain that the best approach is to just use common sense.  The best common sense approach is to maintain a vitamin D level as if it is summer all year round.  If you read the medical research while using common sense you will discover that is really what the researchers that are proponents of vitamin D are saying.  From your personal perspective you do not get colds in the summertime and the reason is sun exposure.  By maintaining your level of vitamin D in the winter time to the summer level you will most likely not get colds then either.  I have not had a cold since 2004 when I started this effort.

Babies with colds and congestion?- mothers tell me your experience.  I suspect that your child will have significantly less issues if enough vitamin D is made available.

How much vitamin D does it take to achieve this summertime level?  From all that I have read a good rule of thumb is to get about 40 IU of D3 from all sources for each pound of body weight.  So it does not make any difference if you are a ten pound baby or a two hundred pound senior citizen.  For the baby this would give it 400 IU’s per day and for the two hundred pound senior citizen that would be 8000 IU per day.  This level of vitamin D intake or production in the skin should maintain your vitamin D level above 60 ng/ml, which is the bottom of the range for vitamin D for person living in a sunny country.  Work done by Grant and Holick have shown the 25(OH)D level for sunny country people to be 54 ng/ml to 90 ng/ml.

Of course the only way to know if your serum level of vitamin D is above sixty is to test!

If your total level of intake or production is not 40 IU of D3 per pound of body weight and you do not test to maintain your level above 60 ng/ml  then expect disease states.  – Pandemic Survivor

Color My World Ultra Violet B

“As time goes on, I realize just what you mean to me…..color my world with hope…”  Chicago 1970.

This is a familiar song lyric made popular by the band Chicago.  Our relationship with the sun has forever changed with the introduction of sun screen and staying inside during the highest incidence of ultra violet B in the summertime because of the introduction of air condition and electronic entertainment.  It is a ‘love song’ being song now by many in the world of vitamin D research.  However, what I have discovered in writing this blog is that the researchers seem to be talking only to each other.  What is the point of this?  Until the medical profession embraces the idea that most chronic disease is created by not having enough vitamin D and this embracing is sanctioned by governments, we will continue in a state of severe disease.

The recent release by the Institution of Medicine findings through the Food and Nutrition Board on vitamin D and Calcium has been a major setback for moving forward in resolving disease states.  Even though they qualified the findings as pertaining to bone health only, the statements that there was not enough research to support higher amounts to stop disease gave medical institutions and government time.  Why is this time needed?

On April 27, Natural News published this article by Dr. John Cannell, Vitamin D Council, describing the need of the medical industry for time to develop vitamin D analogs.  Betrayal of a Nation: Why U.S. health authorities are keeping you deficient and who stands to gain.  He references an article that I wrote in December, Conflict of Interest at Nation Academy of Science, about the conflict of interest with members of the FNB for vitamin D.

The egregious violations of the National Academy of Science (IOM is a division) rules can only be allowed to occur by the sponsors.  The only answer is that both the government of Canada and the government of the US (primary sponsors) stand to gain significantly by maintaining an unhealthy population.  These governments did not only allow it to occur, but most likely sanctioned the results.  There is no greater institution of science than the National Academy in the minds of the public.  However, politics has entered this arena with the thought that a healthy population would lead to a significant reduction in the health care economy.  (I am not big into conspiracy theories, but here institutions are moving together with what they perceive is best for them without empathy for the individuals they serve.) If you had to make the decision between a healthy population and a healthy economy, which would you chose.  A thirty percent reduction in the healthcare economy from a healthy population would mean a five percent reduction in the total economy.  What would happen with all these additional unemployed people?  There is no simple answer.

With that many more people unemployed in the current economy would the economy of the world collapse?  Here is the fear by our leaders.  There will be no proclamation by the President or by Health and Human Services.  Yes the greed of the medical institutions, in particular medical insurance is driving the decision making process.  Our government leaders are allowing this to occur, not from lack of knowledge, but from fear of total collapse.  It has taken us seventy years to reach this point.  Read how the government was involved with vitamin D misadventure through the courts at my post Vitamin D for Profits – 1923 to 1946  Will it take us another seventy years to reach a healthy understanding of our relationship with the sun?

Moving institutions is a daunting task, especially when there are significantly large amounts of money involved.  My hope is that people of science will stop considering only their individual incomes, the incomes of the institutions that employ them, and start considering the individuals they serve.  If not, by definition, they are practicing institutional evil.  Until these institutions start to move, our hope is the individual doctors that have embraced the science like my hero Dr. Joseph Prendergast, M. D., Endocrine Metabolic Medical Center.  Dr. Prendergast has treated upwards of four thousand people with vitamin D.  His take on vitamin D from you tube from 2007:

Of course, my personal physician, Dr. Mark Perini, is my hero because he was willing to listen to me, watched me healed and has fully embraced vitamin D science.  His practice has even purchased its own vitamin D testing equipment.  The point of this is that the message of the researchers is reaching our doctors and soon, whether sanctioned by government or not, we will move toward health through doctor peer pressure from amazing results.  Researchers, you are my hero as well, keep up the great work.  Keep reaching the doctors in any way that you can.

Color my world with ultra violet B – Pandemic Survivor