“Excess Vitamin D Linked to Retardation” – November 25, 1964

What started the scare of vitamin D supplementation?  It was a fear campaign that was started by doctors from worry of vitamin D causing mental retardation.  It was just bad science, and worse, it was extremely bad medicine.  Dr. Robert E. Cooke, Pediatrician from John Hopkins, seems to have been at the lead of making the announcement public.  This bit of bad news may be solely responsible for the suffering and deaths of millions of people from 1964 until the present day.  Consider this summary paragraph at the end of the article in the Spokane Daily Chronicle: “In addition to mental retardation, Dr. Cooke said, an excess of vitamin D apparently causes narrowings of major vessels of the body, kidney ailments, heart murmurs, and high blood pressure.”  This last sentence makes me think that the good doctor knew better.   This sounds like someone just throwing out fear statements with an agenda.  Of course, modern research has shown just the opposite of everything that was stated except you may get heart arrhythmias if you are not getting enough magnesium.

I am sure that the thalidomide scare of birth defects also drove the misinformation of Dr. Cooke about vitamin D.  Huge numbers of mothers had been misinformed about thalidomide.  There were many cases of birth defects and lots of pictures in the press of malformed babies.  No one wants malformed babies!  The drug was used as a sedative for anxiety and morning sickness – ouch.  There were over 10,000 cases of malformed babies around the world.  Pictures of babies with missing limbs were horrific.

This was the end of the use of cod liver oil, CLO, as a supplement on a scale of any size.  I was thirteen at the time and was a happy guy because I did not like the taste of the cod liver oil.  I remember well my mother remarking that it was odd that she had been told all those years that the CLO was good for you and now the medical profession was telling us to stop.  Sound familiar?  It is no wonder the public does not know who to trust when we have been told lies for over fifty years for profit in the name of not harming the population.  If you don’t believe this is still going on, consider the three billion dollar fine that GSK just agreed to pay for misrepresenting drugs.  Of course in those days, there was more trust of the medical profession than today.  The public has become weary.

The question becomes, how close was Dr. Cooke tied to politics?  He was friends of Eunice and Sargent Shriver.  Mrs. Shriver is the sister of President John F. Kennedy. I am sure there was some good that came from this relationship.  The Kennedy institute that was formed for children with developmental problems.   And then there was the Wisconsin connection as he married a colleague from there.   The University of Wisconsin is ground zero for the science of vitamin D and analog development.  There has even been admission by UW researchers that beneficial vitamin D science was withheld to prevent the competition from beating them to drug development.

I am not saying there was anything out of the ordinary in these relationships, but it seems odd to me.  I am sure the press put extra emphasis on his announcement because of his relationship with the Kennedy’s.  With one statement, Dr. Cooke changed the face of medicine.  And now, it will take decades to correct.  Dr. Cooke is enjoying his retirement in the sun in Florida – odd.  I hope his grandchildren don’t spend too much time in the sun, we wouldn’t want them to get all those illnesses he described.

To keep alive a Coppertone slogan from that time – ‘Don’t be a Paleface’.   – Pandemic Survivor


Least Expensive Vitamin D Supplementation

While writing a recent post, the thought occurred as to what the cost would be for the entire population to obtain their vitamin D3 through supplementation.  Obviously, this is not the best way to obtain vitamin D3, naturally from the sun, but it helps to think about the cost/benefit of vitamin D3.  If the entire population were replete in vitamin D3, it would impact the medical economy by hundreds of billions of dollars.  It would also improve the general economy by productive increase from the wellness.

The least expensive price that I could fine on the web is a company called Vitalady, Inc.  The company was founded for the purpose of helping obesity surgery patients maintain nutritional balance for a healthy life.  Their pricing is very reasonable for all of the nutrients that they provide.

To determine what the cost would for a replete population, I decided to use 7000 to 7500 IU of vitamin D3 per day.  This is a ‘middle of the road’ amount.  At Grass Roots Health, their research has found that the population needs 9600 IU per day to achieve their desired goal of a serum level above 40 ng/ml for 25(OH)D.  I have assumed the normal person would get around 2000 IU per day from the sun and other sources like food fortification as a first approximation.

To supplement once per day using Vitalady brand Tender Dry Vitamin D3 5000 IU 250 count would require three capsules every two days (one and then two every other day).  The cost for this product is $14.80 for a cost of $0.089 per day or $32.50 per year which works out to about 9.7 billion for the entire population for a year.  Tender Dry is manufactured by Bio Tech Pharmacal for distribution by Vitalady, Inc.

If we use Tender Dry Vitamin D3 50,000 IU 100 count, we would require one capsule per week to achieve about 7000 IU per day.  The cost of this product is $23.75 and would represent a two year supply or $11.87 per year.  This would then require 3.6 billion dollars to get the entire population replete.

So for less than three and half cents per day, you can become vitamin D replete.  What is even more amazing is that the entire population can become replete for less than four billion dollars.  How much is four billion in the grand scheme.  For production of Tamaflu, the US spent seven billion dollars to stockpile enough for a year.  Not only would you get protection from the flu for the entire population with D3, you most likely would reduce all chronic disease by at least fifty percent if not more – a truly well population.

This is a goal worth pursuing.  Please try to be replete with vitamin D3.  About 40 IU per pound of body weight per day of D3 should allow you to reach the goal set by Grass Roots Health for a healthy serum level.  (full disclosure – I have no association with Vitalady, other than to inform them that I was going to highlight their website for the least expensive vitamin D that I could find)  – Pandemic Survivor

All Governments Should Promote Vitamin D3 Supplementation

The best and most effective way to immediately reduce the cost of healthcare, have a more effective medical system because of less chronic disease, a healthier population where wellness will increase productivity, and a better economy is to promote the supplementation of vitamin D3 and sun exposure without sunburn.  All citizens could be given free vitamin D3.  This program would be by choice of the individual so as to not force government on the people.

This would be very effective for all countries of the world except for the US.  For countries with single payer medical insurance or government medical insurance for the entire population, this would be particularly beneficial for cost reduction in healthcare.  Also, it would solve a lot of problems with doctor shortage because physicians would be freed up from treating as much chronic disease.

Mary Meeker, in her report to promote general discourse on economic conditions in the US, USA, Inc. (image below is plate 315 from the slides– for full report visit KPCB where Mary works: http://www.kpcb.com/insights/usa-inc-full-report ), had very interesting suggestions in how to bring a dying US economy back to life.  This report suggests treating the US as a company and handle revitalization in a similar manner as a corporate rescue.  She suggested that the largest drain on the economy of the US is entitlements, in particular Medicare and Medicaid.

And then there is this graph that is most startling from her discussion of healthcare cost in the US:

The thing that is blatantly obvious about this graph is that we are not getting the benefit from our healthcare dollar as the rest of the world.  Why is this?  There is approximately $4000 per capita that goes as the cost of medical insurance (!?) every year and not medical treatment.  We truly have given up freedom for security.  The medical industry has become this bloated by extremely poor government policy that allows insurance companies to profit without providing wealth creation to the population.  If the US was being treated as a company, the CEO and board of directors would be replaced by the stock holders (or citizens should vote to replace all of our present leaders – congressmen and president).  I believe the Affordable Health Care Act was designed intentionally to fail in an effort to force all medical insurance under government control, but not necessarily to correct this blotted system.  It certainly has driven the cost of healthcare higher.  Just imagine what we could do with national debt if we used 1.2 trillion dollars ($4000 x 300 million people) each year as an investment in things that would create wealth (insurance does  not create wealth – just imagine if you were paying a third party to pay for your oil changes – why you do this with preventative healthcare?).

To President Barack Obama and the Congress:  If you want to solve the healthcare dilemma, then, create a healthy population by being sure we have enough proper nutrition to prevent disease and allow a long healthy life through your administrative departments.  This includes in particular magnesium, sulfur, iodine, vitamin C, and vitamin D3.  Limit the things that cause disease as most of the rest of the world has already done – ban fluorine in our drinking water, stop the use of bromines in food and citrus drinks, limit the use of genetically modified plants and animals until complete assessment of safety and efficacy can be made, and require labeling on existing genetically modified foods so that we know what we are consuming.  Yes, there would be a struggle as people in the healthcare insurance industry, a non-wealth creator, find new jobs, but poor government policy has already slammed the economy as manufacturing, a wealth creator, has been run out of the country.  If your beliefs are; we have limited resources in the world and population should be controlled, then continue to allow us to die off for the benefit of the elite.  You still have time to act even if the ‘stock holders’ kick you out of office in January.    – Pandemic Survivor

Vitamin D3 Usage in the US

How much supplementation and by how many people is a difficult number to determine. There have been several articles recently on how many people understand vitamin D3 importance, how the body makes vitamin D3 from the sun, and how much supplementation is required.  Everyone in the US has some form of supplementation because of the number of different products that are now having vitamin D added.  Of course, our natural connection to the sun and the production of vitamin D3 in the skin has forever been changed because of sunscreen products, mainstream medicine constant warnings about staying out of the sun for the last fifty years, and the lack of sun exposure because of air conditioning and electronic devices that trap us inside.

The question becomes – When our understanding of vitamin D3 finds its way through the bulwarks of the insurancemedicalfoodindustrial complex that is in opposition to a healthy population?  The answer to this question will be found when the population has enough vitamin D3 and other nutrients in which we are deficient that the occurrence of chronic disease starts to diminish.  As I have stated in earlier post, it is my belief that the first realization will be in a reduction of infectious disease like the common cold and the flu.  The second realization will come with the reduction in cancer incidence and death from cancer.  We will then see a reduction of heart disease by fivefold to the levels of Japan and Greece when it becomes common knowledge that the major cause of heart disease is the combination of vitamin D3 and sulfur deficiency.

So where are we now in assurance we are getting enough vitamin D3?  There is so much confusion on vitamin D testing (what type of test, the mixing of data between D3 and D2, and not including all forms of epi-D) and how much sun exposure the population is getting leads only to more confusion.  I believe the best way is simply to determine how much supplementation is occurring.  We know that food additives are targeted to give us about 100 to 400 IU of additional vitamin D per day or equivalent to about five minutes or less in the midday summer sun.  To reach a level where infectious disease (colds and the flu) remain at summertime levels will require at least two thousand IU per person per day of supplementation during the winter months.

According to a recent article in AARP, sales for vitamin D have jump from forty million dollars in 2001 to over six hundred million in 2011.  I have found the cost of vitamin D3 supplementation to range from less than a half cent per one thousand IU all the way up to around five cents.  We can determine the amount of supplement per person by using the following conditions.  1 – Most people will not supplement during the summer because they feel good and don’t see the need.  We will then say that vitamin D3 is supplemented October through February or for one hundred twenty days.  2 – We will use the cost of vitamin D3 supplementation at two cents per one thousand as a first approximation.  3 – The stated vitamin D sales are vitamin D3.  Without boring you with the math, this allows enough for 125 million people under the above conditions or about forty percent of the population.  Whether there are 125 million people getting two thousand IU per day or 250 million people getting an additional one thousand IU per day, this is enough to have a significant effect on colds and the flu.  I also believe that people are more significantly increasing their vitamin D3 levels by exposure to the sun because of the reduction in the fear of sun exposure by the media.

So when will vitamin D3 sales reach a level for cancer reduction?  I suspect the population would need to have enough additional vitamin D3 so that the year round supplementation is two thousand IU per person per day.  If we use one cent per thousand IU because of competitive price reduction at this level of supplementation, we would need to reach sales of 2.2 billion dollars per year for vitamin D3.  Okay vitamin D3 marketers, there is your first goal.  You cannot claim that it cures, prevents, heals, treats, or diagnosis disease in your marketing.  You, however, can state that it will promote WELLNESS as any other nutrient or food.

You may think there are too many assumptions for this article to make sense.  However, someone has to speculate for the wellness of the population.  From your speculator-and-chief promoter – Pandemic Survivor

The Coming Flu Season

Summer seems an odd time to talk about the flu, but there have been several really great years with low incidence of the flu.  I like to watch the CDC’s outpatient illness surveillance.  Here they record the percentage of patients that have influenza like illness (ILI is defined as fever (temperature of 100°F [37.8°C] or greater) and cough and/or sore throat.) as a percentage of visits. This is great information as they look at around thirty million patient visits per year.

This past year was of real significance as this is the first year in fourteen years that the percentage of hospital visits did not exceed the CDC’s baseline.  The baseline is a number set by taking the average of the percentages of non-flu season visits and going two standard deviations above that.  What this means in laymen’s terms is the 2011- 2012 season was like summer all year round.  Because vitamin D is a very potent disease fighter and seems to be the most effective against viral infections, I have theorized that the increase in the amount of supplementation of vitamin D has already had an impact on the rate of flu incidence. Flu Hits Fourteen Year Record Low  also  Flu Vaccine Versus Innate Immunity, and  All post on the flu that includes my prediction from last January. 

So what does the future hold for the flu?  There are no real crystal balls but we can certainly speculate based on existing trends.  Based on the downward trend of the flu, we are going to have another great year.  That is if the effect is indeed based on the increased supplementation of vitamin D.  The way vitamin D works by building up your innate immunity, its actions are much better than a flu vaccine which is only targeted to existing strains of the flu.  Vitamin D will work against all mutations of the virus.  Here are my predictions for the coming year shown on a graph from CDC.  I suspect again that we will have another year where it appears that it is summer all winter.

Your part in this test of flu vaccine versus innate immunity is to assure that you maintain a serum level above 40 ng/ml or the level of 25(OH)D3 where innate immunity starts to perform at its best.  Of course higher levels will even give you better protection. Everyone seems to reach different levels of the 25(OH)D3 versus how much vitamin D they are taking and their sun exposure.  As a rule of thumb, to maintain a healthy level of vitamin D, you should supplement every day that you are not in the sun with 40 IU per pound of body weight, i.e. if you weigh 100 lbs then supplement with 4,000 IU of D3.

What do you get in return for your efforts of taking vitamin D3 regularly?  No colds or the flu during the winter.  Of course the cold remedy manufacturers and flu vaccine manufacturers will not be happy.  – Pandemic Survivor

Headed to the Hospital – Fortify with Vitamin D

You are off to the hospital to have a disease healed only to discover you may be exposed to a more deadly disease.  Hospitals are dangerous places because of the ease of acquiring an infection.  Hospital acquired infections, HAI, are one of the leading causes of death in the US.  There are typically one million seven hundred thousand cases of HAI per year and one hundred thousand deaths.  We have known for a long time that vitamin D, our connection to the sun, is a potent pathogen fighter.  Now it is starting to be promoted as armor against all of the bugs that can easily be transmitted in the hospital.  Dima A. Youssef , Department of Internal Medicine; Division of Infectious Diseases; East Tennessee State University; Johnson City, TN USA, and others have recently published a paper in Dermato Endocrinology: “Vitamin D’s potential to reduce the risk of hospital-acquired infections”   Here is a summary from Medical News Today that may be easier to digest.

Have you ever wonder why you seem to not have colds or the flu during the summer and the infection that you had in your foot healed as the weather warmed.  This is the effect of vitamin D as it works along several pathways in your body to stop infections.  This includes all pathogens whether bacterial, fungal, or viral.  This is a huge advantage over antibiotics as it is not targeted toward a particular pathogen, it raises you innate immune response to all pathogens.

William Grant, coauthor of the paper from Sunlight, Nutrition and Research Center, says that taking fifty thousand IU of vitamin D3 several days before entering the hospital is the best way to fortify.  Be sure it is vitamin D3 and not vitamin D2 and that it is a reliable brand like Bio Tech Pharmacal.  I have also found Solgar Brand to be very effective and is easy to obtain at Vitamin Shoppe or Earth Fare.  During the hospital stay and afterwards, keep supplementing with five to ten thousand IU per day of D3 to maintain a high level of immunity.

It would seem that all hospitals would want to start the practice of giving vitamin D as a way to reduce infection.  But don’t depend on someone else looking out for you. – Pandemic Survivor

Medicine versus Nutrition – The Fight for Life

Enter the FDA which has responsibility for both food and medical products including drugs.  The FDA was originally formed in 1906 to prohibit mislabeled and adulterated drugs in interstate commerce to stop the snake oil salesmen.  Please note that the Sixteenth Amendment to allow income tax was ratified in 1913.  Fast forward to 1994; the Dietary and Supplement Health and Education Act provided anything that healed, cured, treated, or diagnosed a disease be processed to market as a drug.  Food them became something that was only required for wellness but could not be used to treat illness as medicine.  Why have I bothered you with this bit of disturbing information that you most likely knew already?

On the evening of the fourth, I was skipping through TV channels waiting for the fireworks to begin.  I stumbled onto the Nightly Business Report on public TV.  They were showcasing a restaurant that did not follow the normal rules of business for a restaurant and yet survived.  Then as an aside, they gave the total grocery sales in the US and then total restaurant sales.  In round numbers there is 600 billion in grocery sales and 800 billion in restaurant sales.  It hit me like a rock.  The total cost of food in the US is about half of what it cost to provide health care.  Health care per capita comes in at about $8,000 and using the above numbers food per capita comes in at about $4,500.  Interesting!  That’s 2.4 trillion for medicine and 1.4 trillion for food.  Certainly brings up lots of questions like – do we value medicine more than food?  Sure looks like giving up freedom for security has odd ways of confounding our lives.

In 1960, I suspect as percentage of GDP, these numbers were reversed.  I know that health care was approximately five percent of GDP.  I suspect that food was close to fifteen percent instead of the ten percent that it is now.  Lots of cheap food and the need to get the largest segment of our economy healthy (play on words intended) has lead to a mass of feeble-freeloading-fat people.  You know if we made food as expensive as health care then maybe we could solve the obesity problem.  To do that we would just need to follow the business plan of the medical industrial complex (again play on words intended).  The only thing we would need to do is to allow insurance companies a monopoly by state to insure food.  Then we could guarantee that food would be delivered everyday to everyone as this is a right given by the government.  We would then force people into buying the food insurance by taxing them severely if they did not.

Given John Roberts recent ruling this is very doable.  You can bet the “BIG BOY INSURANCE” food and medical industrial complex are discussing it.  After all, Health and Human Resources has the principles that ‘markets are before mandates’ and ‘to value life’ is last on their agenda.  The economy is more important than your health for the survival of the financial, insurance, medial, food industrial complex.  President Dwight Eisenhower left us with these words as he was leaving office in January 1961: “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”  We have not heeded his message with the military industrial complex and now the “Robber Barons Snake Oil Salesmen” have, since 1960, confounded our food and medicine to meet their desires.  It is time for a food and medicine evolution.  We cannot make it a revolution which the “Barons” depend on because of fear of our lives.  The sudden shift in financial centers for food versus medicine would cause chaos.

Have the ‘big boys’ already started – NY Times, Opinion by Michael Pollen, 2009  Michael has it almost right, but is just enough wrong to get you to participate in the greater scheme of deciding what you should eat for profit.  As long as the government can force you to participate in both industries, food and medicine, you are fodder for the mill.  The more sick people there are the larger the insurancemedicalfoodindustrial complex will become along with more misplaced power.  Michael says the insurance companies would be trying to help fix the food system because it would reduce the number of sick people and medical cost.  It is just the opposite.   More sales grow the economy and insurance profits.  Everybody is happy except for the citizens to whom no empathy is being shown.

How do you evolve and kick the ‘big boy’ bullies in the knee?  Get well!  Michael Pollen restates the fact that seventy five percent of health care is from chronic disease.  The chronic disease state comes from being overfeed while starving to death from poor nutrition along with being scared out of the sun for the last fifty years.  The medical system is being manipulated to maintain snake oil for health as drugs.  Real health, healing, preventing, curing, and treating disease come from good nutrition.  Be sure to get enough of the things that are making you hungry and are missing from your diet.  In what are we deficient:  Vitamin D3, vitamin C, vitamin A (it’s a lie that carotene turns into all the A complexes we need), saturated fat, potassium, magnesium, raw vegetables that have not had the enzymes processed out, iodine, and sulfur.  Eliminate from your diet the things that have been added to make you sick: genetically modified food (in particular wheat, corn, and soy beans), fluorine in the water and toothpaste (vitamin D will give you teeth that are strong enough to crunch ice without breaking), bromine (the US is the only country in the world to allow bromine in food because it is a carcinogen), artificial sweeteners, and sugar.  Maintain an optimistic attitude and forgive the people in our systems for what has happened to us as our main goal is love not violence.  America is a great nation and let’s keep it that way.  Your efforts will first be noted in the reduction of flu and colds, and then, in the reduction in the number of cancer deaths.  If everyone participated, we could see a fifty percent reduction in chronic disease or about a thirty five percent reduction in the requirement for health care cost.  You can bet the ‘big boys’ will not stand still and let this happen.  Do not allow yourself to be treated as herd animals.

Do you value medicine more than food as a means of security?  Your dollars say that this is a fact and the managers of the economy depend on you to remain in fear.  I suspect if you had the freedom to choose, you would give up medicine before nutrition.  Too much time on my hands? I am sure there are other explanations, but where is the truth?  Your life, wellness, and joy depend on you knowing the truth.  – Pandemic Survivor