Negative Findings for Vitamin D?

There have been two reports this month that vitamin D had less than a positive effect on health.  It seems that a study on C-reactive protein as a marker for inflammation did not significantly reduce at higher levels of vitamin D.  A second was that vitamin D did not reduce the number of exacerbations in patients with COPD at higher levels of vitamin D.  Relation between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin d and C-reactive protein in asymptomatic adults (from the continuous national health and nutrition examination survey 2001 to 2006).  and   High doses of vitamin d to reduce exacerbations in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a randomized trial. 

The really interesting thing about both of these studies was that vitamin D did appear to help significantly until 25(OH)D reached about 20 ng/ml.  At levels higher than this there did not seem to be a significant improvement and even an increase in inflammation as assumed by C-reactive protein.  There are two things that come to mind when reading these reports.  First, I know from my own experience with vitamin D that inflammation does not significantly reduce until my 25(OH)D level is above 60 ng/ml for extended periods of time.  Second, there was no indication for controls on cofactors of vitamin D like magnesium, vitamin A, and age control for L-arginine levels.  Yes I know that most of you think that vitamin A is not a cofactor for vitamin D, but an antagonist.  The clearing of the liver from an overload of vitamin A with vitamin D deficiency is significant as the vitamin D level is increased.  However, if an adequate intake of vitamin A is not maintained, then the combination of vitamin A and vitamin D for genetic expression or cellular differentiation is lost.  The worry over two much vitamin A seems to be a reduction in the level of vitamin D.  The combination of action of these two cofactors needs to be maintained.  This is a similar case for magnesium and L-arginine.

The common headlines for these two reports were disturbing.  Such as, “Too Much Vitamin D Linked to Heart Risk” –eMaxHealth, and “Vitamin D want help most COPD patients” USA Today.  On the face of the headline, it is correct.  But what the reports actually say and what the headlines say for the casual reader are two different things.  Again, in both studies, there were positive effects found for levels improving to 20ng/ml.  In the COPD study, there were 30 patients out of a total of 182 studied that had fewer exacerbations.

In the study for c-reactive protein, it was found that there was some increase with vitamin D levels higher than 20 ng/ml.  It has been accepted that at higher levels of c-reactive protein that there is a stiffening of the artery walls and it has been assumed this was from inflammation.  A lot of assumption – What has been discovered in the last fifteen years is that nitric oxide has a significant relaxing effect on arterial walls.  There has even been a Nobel Prize awarded for this understandingDr. Joseph Prendergrast  (not the Nobel Prize recipient, but in his words – “an uncommon doctor’) has shown in treating thousands of diabetics for heart disease that L-arginine is extremely important in combination with vitamin D.  Typically a person will make about three to six grams of L-arginine per day.  As we age this number is significantly reduced.  Once the amount of nitric oxide is reduced because of reduced L-arginine, then the communication for the relaxation of arterial walls is also lost.  Was there a control for age and L-arginine production or nitric oxide levels?  Magnesium is also extremely important to heart health.  Heart arrhythmia can be linked directly to  low intakes of magnesium.  Were there any controls for magnesium?  This is a very serious issue for heart health as there is not even a standardize test that gives the clinician results to act on for magnesium.

Our medical researchers owe us better studies than what we are getting.  The human body does not turn on one nutrient or another.  It is always the combination that is important.  Increasing any one thing without consideration for what is happening to the levels of other needs in the body is just dumb.  Incompetence is only measured by the amount of money that can be generated or lost from a trusting mass market.  – Pandemic Survivor


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