Vitamin D as Effective as Drugs for Hypertension

A friend, retired pharmacist, sent me a note about a study that was just done in Europe on hypertension (high blood pressure).  What they found is very exciting.  Vitamin D was effective in reducing blood pressure as drugs.  “Vitamin D ‘as good as drugs’ in Reducing High Blood Pressure.”   Of course there have been many other studies showing the same thing.  I do not know why this is not the first course of action in medical treatment for high blood pressure.  From a nutritional standpoint, there are two things that significantly drive blood pressure either through restriction of you arteries or an effect on your renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) which regulates arterial constriction and water balance in the body through the kidneys.

  1. Vitamin D Deficiency
  2. Eating too much fruit and sugar

It seems like the pathway of sugar effects on high blood pressure is totally ignored by the medical profession.  The fructose that is consumed in eating too much fruit and sugar is converted to uric acid in the liver and results in high blood pressure.  Again, why this fructose-uric acid pathway for high blood pressure is ignored is unknown to me.  Here is a summary PDF from the Cleveland Clinic on the topic.   If this is an issue then you should control your sugar and fruit intake so that you are consuming no more than fifteen grams of fructose per day or thirty grams of sugar.  A can of soft drink will generate just as much uric acid in your body as a can of beer.  So think about that the next time you give you six year old a can of soft drink.

As I was leaving a clients office five years ago on a bright sunny summer day, I made the remark, “I think I will just go home and soak up some of this wonderful sunshine.”

My client inquired, “Are you into this vitamin D thing?”  Well needless to say it was over an hour before I got out of his office.  It turned out that he had had a life-long problem with high blood pressure.  He had tried to control it with diet and drugs and was not effective.  He tried ten thousand IU’s of vitamin D per day.  His blood pressure came into normal control in just weeks.  He tried this not because his doctor told him to but because a friend had suggested it.

Of course the issue with high blood pressure is the strokes that occur and the heart attacks from too high blood pressure.  Relaxation of arterial walls is very important in controlling blood pressure.  So first, reduce your sugar intake.  Then take enough vitamin D or spend time in the sun so that you serum 25(OH)D is above 60 ng/ml.  Also things that generate nitric oxide to help your arteries relax like niacin and l-arginine are a good idea.

The next time you are relaxing in the sun, do not drink a beer or a soft drink if you have high blood pressure.  – Pandemic Survivor

Resources for Vitamin D and Hypertension:

From Henry Lahore and Vitamin D Wiki

From Dr. John Cannell and the Vitamin D Council


Vitamin D for Your Dog – A Beagle’s Happy Days

We have had three dogs during our thirty plus years of marriage.  Our second dog was a beagle named Maggie (Maggie May or Sister Mary Margaret or Flange).  She was a wonderful spirit, and was hard headed as most beagles.  She loved to howl at almost anything and took great pride in scaring off the mailman and all delivery trucks.  At the age of four, she had a ruptured disc.  During the early nineties, this was considered a death penalty for a dog.  We took her to the veterinary school at NC State University.  There she had one of the first back surgeries for dogs ever.   Of course now it is common practice to do surgery on dogs with a ruptured disc.

She did very well after the surgery and made a great companion for our daughters.  However, when she reached the age of ten, she started to have a lot of pain and did not display any joy in life.  Our vet suggested that we should put her down.  I had just discovered the benefits of vitamin D at the time and so we started to supplement with vitamin D3.  We also had gotten a mixed breed dog that we named Sophie (Sophie May, Sophia Maria, black and spotty pretty princess puppy, or Peggy Sue).  It was a rebirth for Maggie as she played like she was a puppy again.  She lived with great joy for another five good years after we started the supplementation.

Her heart failed suddenly as she was flying across the yard to see my wife that just returned home.  It was like one of the chambers of the heart just stopped functioning.  We had to put her down, but she did enjoy five years because of the vitamins.  Old age comes to everyone and eventually death, regardless of how healthy we live.

Dogs, just like their human companions have learned to live inside without sunshine.  This is a problem as we do not get enough vitamin D.  We either have to supplement or determine a course of action that will allow us to get enough UVB rays.  So how much vitamin D is enough for dogs.  We treated Maggie just like she had a human physiology and gave her between 20 to 40 IU per pound of body weight per day (at twenty pounds this was 400 to 800 IU per day).  She thrived at this level of supplementation.  We also gave her sulfur supplements as chondroitin sulfate, and glucosamine sulfate.

Toxicity has long been a problem with dogs with vitamin D and it has to do with manufacturing errors in making dog food.  There was recently a case in Spain where there was too much vitamin D put in the dog food by Mercandona. The typical type of error is in the units for vitamin D.  The toxicity level in which half of dogs will die or LD 50 is 88 mg/kg (40mg/lb) in a single dose.  Clinical symptoms of vitamin D toxicity in dogs have been found as low as 3 mg/kg or 1.3 mg/lb.  But you just said 40 IU per pound per day was the correct amount?  Here is the error issue.  Forty IU for vitamin D3 is equivalent to one microgram.  Yes that’s right, micrograms and not milligrams.  Let’s take Maggie as our example.  She weighed approximately twenty pounds.  We were giving her 400 to 800 IU per day.  At 1.3 mg/lb would have been 40,000 IU/mg x 1.3mg/lb x 20 lbs = 1,040,000 IU.  This toxic amount was enough vitamin D at the rate of 800 IU per day to last for 1,040,000/ 800 = 1300 days or three and half years.  You can see how easy it is to get the units confused and also know that 800 IU per day is a significantly safe level.  If you drink the amount of water in one day that you would normally consume in three years – well?!

Love your pet and keep them healthy by supplementing with vitamin D and sulfur.  – Pandemic Survivor

Sleep Apnea: Seeking Resolution

This week Tonya commented on my post about sleep apnea.  How to Heal Sleep Apnea – Eliminate the CPAP.  I believe there are so many sufferers of sleep apnea that is just from vitamin D deficiency that I have decided to highlight her comment.  Sleep apnea is failure of the CNS due either to trauma or nutritional deficiency.  The diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea is misnamed.  Sleep apnea is all central or related to the CNS.  It is typical for obese people to have low vitamin D and sleep apnea can result.  As Dr. Gominak says, if you can breathe when awake, then you can breathe when you are asleep if your CNS is healthy.  If you wear a CPAP of a Bi-PAP, then take action with your neurologist or doctor that is treating you to have your vitamin D issue corrected.  Have them read Dr. Gominak’s webpage on vitamin D Vitamin D Hormone and watch her lecture of sleep apnea and vitamin D and magnesium Video Lecture on Sleep and Vitamin D and Magnesium.

Tonya is a perfect example as what has been described by Dr. John Cannell as Vitamin D Deficiency Syndrome – that is several diseases that can be linked to vitamin D deficiency.  Please join with me in praying for Tonya’s well being.  She writes:

I am 42 ,4.10 I’m not obese, I’m actually petite. I have been diagnosed with everything under the sun, ms, fibromyalgia, blood disorders,depression,the list goes on and on. I’ve been in and out of hospitals ,drs, specialists, and the medication list. well that;s another list on its own. i run a business and I’m single, I used to be the center of attention very outgoing full of energy. my life is down to this. I finally was told I should have the sleep study done. I have central severe sleep apnea. 115 times an hour, I stop breathing. along w possible heart disease. my chest hurts all the time. I’ve had two pulmonary embolisms. 13 years ago in my lungs….Life seems like such a struggle anymore just to do daily things in my home. I really want a life again. my friends ,family etc..I just got this bi-pap machine and it gives me even more anxiety.. is there not anything I can do naturally to cure myself of all of this nonsense? I sure would and could do a lot for myself and many people around me. I have had my fair share of trauma events, illnesses, and lifestyle explosions, and I just want to have a happy, healthy normal life..I’m going to try my hardest to figure out how to change this viscous circle the way our natural bodies should be. any feedback would be great.


I am so very sorry for your pain.  I know the difficulty of dealing with the medical profession when they do not have an answer.  Whatever you decide to do you should keep your doctor fully informed.  He may not agree with you, but most do not have a clue about nutrition.  I would suggest that you find a doctor of osteopathy or his credentials will say DO after his name.  Most of them have had training in nutrition.  If not then a nutritionist that is fully aware of the benefits of vitamin D and magnesium.  You are going to have to take personal responsibility for a lot of education in nutrition.  Suggest that you get the newsletters from Mike Adams and Dr. Mercola –  just google them.  Important is the Vitamin D Council newsletter by Dr. John Cannell.  Also since you mentioned heart disease then I would suggest Dr. William Davis blog – The Heart Scan Blog.

Central sleep apnea is a very serious disease.  In your note you said you stopped breathing 115 times per minute.  I assume you mean 115 times per hour. (I corrected you comment) Anything greater than 40 times per hour is consider severe(some doctors use a lower number). Since it is central it most likely originates from the nerves in your cervical disc or your neck.  Suggest you consider gentle neck exercises to help the nutrients get to your disc.  Be very careful as any impact on you head or sudden movement of you neck could make the condition worse.  I would hope your neurologist suggested a physical therapist.  I would also talk to him about a home cervical traction system for your neck.  You should also watch the video that was linked on the post that you read.  Dr. Gominak has become very schooled in treating sleep apnea, but none is probably as severe as what you have.  Stick with the BiPAP as this is necessary until your neck heals.  You need the oxygen while you sleep.

The key with your neck is to get the cartilage healthy so that the nerve roots are not impinged.  Only exercise will allow the nutrients to flow to the cartilage as it has no blood supply.  If you have had neck trauma then an MRI of your neck may be a good idea.  If the damage to your spine is severe then surgery may be necessary as a last resort. Try to heal with the nutrients first.

Our primary deficiencies are: Vitamin D, vitamin C, magnesium, sulfur and potassium.  The potassium is the easiest to correct.  It is just a mater of eating lots of vegetables without losing the salt in the cooking water.  Eat lots of salads.  Greens are high in potassium without the calories. Suggest you read for potassium and magnesium deficiencies and how much to take in the case of magnesium.

If you would like to know what I took to heal, then read the post  Since you weigh about half of what I do then the vitamins should be portioned accordingly.

Vitamin D should be held to a serum of level of 60 to 80 ng/ml.  To do this most folks require about 40 IU per pound of body weight per day.  For you this would be about 4000 IU per day of vitamin D3.  Be sure to use a reliable brand like Swanson, Vitamin Shoppe, or Bio Tech Pharmacal.  If you want to buy online then try and sign on as a guest.  This is the upper limit per day as described by the IOM so no doctor should have a problem.  If your doctor wants to prescribe vitamin D, be sure not to use vitamin D2.  Start the vitamin D supplementation and then have your level checked after about three months.

Magnesium is about 4.5 mg per pound of body weight per day so about 400mg as a chelate should work for you.  see

Suggest you take at least two to three grams of vitamin C per day.  That is two or three caps of the 1000 mg size.  Be sure only vitamin C and not with anything else added.

The sulfur should be of the form of the triple strength formula like Osteo Bi-flex. (Chondroitin, glucosamine, and MSM) A couple of these caps per day should be adequate.

Since you had the blood clots, then consider 400 IU of vitamin E per day to help keep your blood thinned. Dr. Mercola has suggestions on how much and what type at his website.

These nutrients should help all of your ailments.

See the post mentioned above for the other things that I take.  I suspect that you are extremely vitamin D deficient.  You didn’t say which part of the country you are from but I suspect a cloudy area like the northwest or Pittsburgh. Spend time in the sun this summer.

It may take a couple of years of good nutrition to help your apnea, but stick to the regimen. You other aliments should feel much better soon.  Try to eliminate the meds as soon as possible.  Be sure to get your doctor to agree that you don’t need them any longer.  Remember, you are in control.

We all love you and will pray for you.  – Pandemic Survivor

Spiritual Deficiency

I am sure that someone has already coined the words – Spiritual Deficiency Syndrome.  A healthy spirit will definitely lead you to a healthy body.  We are what we believe.  If your ‘spirit’ is down, then wellness can be stolen from your body because every cell responds to your mood.  Belief is an extremely important part of living a healthy life and having a healthy body.  The spirit or some call it heart is about living at high vibration levels and knowing who you are and where you are going.

A loss of spirit has many names.  A general state of anxiety, sadness, anger, depression, and finally despair are the general descriptions.  Anxiety Disorder, Anger Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Broken Heart Syndrome, Mood Disorder, Intermittent Explosive Disorder, Generalized Malaise, Fibromyalgia, Obesity, Broken Heart Syndrome, Back Pain, Generalized Pain, Depression, ADHD, Eating Disorder, and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder are some labels that typically get attached.  But wait, you say that I have mixed physical ailments with mental health issues.  That is exactly the point.  Sometimes it is very difficult to tell how the loss of spirit will manifest.  Whether it is given the label of a mental disorder or a physical illness, loss of spirit is a very serious issue.

How we feel, think, act and perceive are very important to our well being.  Life is filled with chaotic events that can be stimulating, exciting, and destructive all at the same time.  It is not whether the event will happen because that is life – stuff happens.  We can usually attach our feeling, thinking, acting, and perceiving when we suffer to some specific event or person.  However, it is not that it happened; it is not what that person did to us; it is how we react to the event.

I think Solomon describes it best in his quote from Proverbs 4:23 (NIV 1984) “Above all else, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life.”  The more recent version of the NIV says “Above all else, guard your heart for everything you do flows from it.”  Wellspring indicates an abundant source.  In many ancient writings we find lots of descriptions about seeing with the heart, hearing with the heart, and thinking with the heart.  I used to think that this was just beautiful language used to describe our spirit.  Now, I am not as sure as the heart is made of over seventy percent of neural cells that are just like the ones in our brain.  I think the definers of Broken Heart Syndrome had the same crisis of thought whether it was a physical ailment or a mental disorder.  In any case, it is important to follow the wisdom of Solomon, guard your heart.

This soundness of spirit can be described as:

  • Understanding there is a being that is greater than us, God
  • Joy or if you prefer, happiness
  • Having gratitude and forgiveness
  • Knowing who you are
  • Knowing what you want
  • Knowing how you are going to get there
  • Having the character to maintain the course regardless of the chaos

Of course treatment in the failure of spirit has its best hope after prayer in having someone to share your mood and a willingness to hold you responsible to your actions.  A confidant who is willing to give you a good hug when you need it the most is a must.  This is a very difficult thing to find.  You usually don’t want to share your deepest feelings and you don’t want to burden someone else with your problems.  However, I believe that a good friend, spouse, advisor, or other willing party is much better than a paid professional.  I understand that finding this person is step four in the twelve step process.  However, if the disorder is deeply problematic, then a minister or psychologist is your best hope to start.

So you think that a discussion of spirit is out of place in a blog about vitamin D deficiency.  As a far as deficiencies go, this one should be taken care of first.  If not, then the rest of the issues get confounded and may never be resolved.   Above all else, guard your heart!  -Pandemic Survivor

Flu Hits Fourteen Year Record Low – Vitamin D?

The incidence of the flu, during the flu season, has hit a fourteen year low.  Maybe this is the lowest it has ever been.  I only used records that were immediately available from the CDC.  The CDC keeps records of visits by outpatients throughout the US by a flu surveillance network.  The CDC overview of this action:

Outpatient Illness Surveillance — Information on patient visits to health care providers for influenza-like illness is collected through the U.S. Outpatient Influenza-like Illness Surveillance Network (ILINet). ILINet consists of more than 3,000 healthcare providers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands reporting over 30 million patient visits each year. Each week, approximately 1,800 outpatient care sites around the country report data to CDC on the total number of patients seen and the number of those patients with influenza-like illness (ILI) by age group (0-4 years, 5-24 years, 25-49 years, 50-64 years, and ≥ 65 years). For this system, ILI is defined as fever (temperature of 100°F [37.8°C] or greater) and a cough and/or a sore throat in the absence of a KNOWN cause other than influenza. Sites with electronic records use an equivalent definition as determined by state public health authorities.

Here is the graph from the CDC:

I took the liberty of making a graph of the CDC surveillance peaks during the last fourteen flu seasons, starting in ’97-’98,  that shows only the peaks during flu season:

The peak for this season was 2.415%, just at the baseline of 2.4%.  The baseline is defined by the CDC:  “The baseline is the mean percentage of patient visits for ILI during non-influenza weeks for the previous three seasons plus two standard deviations.”  This means that the incidence of the flu as defined through the outpatient flu surveillance network for this season was like it was summertime, or non-flu season.

I believe that the emphasis on the necessity for supplementing with vitamin D has been effective in achieving this fourteen year record.  I am sure there are other explanations like the flu vaccine.  However, there has been extreme emphasis on the flu vaccine for the last fourteen years without this result.  As I have shown in a prior post, the number of people that are now supplementing with vitamin D through survey has been estimated at approximately sixty five percent.  If this trend continues, then we can expect lower peaks in future flu seasons.

The increase in antimicrobial peptides is very significant with vitamin D.  Many articles have been written about vitamin D and flu in the national news.  I believe one well written article from 2010 in the Wall Street Journal, “Can Vitamin D Replace Flu Shots” –  by Laura Johannes shined a national spotlight as it describes the studies on vitamin D and the flu.  Dr. John Cannell, Vitamin D Council, initiated the research showing the increase of the flu in the winter is from low incidence of UV light in the higher latitudes.  Lower UV light results in lower vitamin D and viral infections get worse. I suspect the companies that make remedies for the common cold can also tell how their sales declined this winter.  If you have kept your serum level for vitamin D above fifty nanograms per milliliter, did you get a cold?

The next unexpected happening will be reduction of the ‘big three killers’, cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.  The medical profession will make all types of claims when it happens, but you can make a reasonable guess that vitamin D levels in the population are responsible.  Who needs a double blind placebo controlled study when thirty million patient visits has shown a reduction in the flu?  We are not talking about a drug, but a natural substance, made in our bodies, that is our connection to the sun.

Take your vitamin D supplements and spend time in the sun when appropriate.   Congratulations to all those who have helped shine a spotlight on vitamin D!  – Pandemic Survivor