In the current political campaigns, there is much rhetoric about the far left and the far right and how each is promoting conspiracy theories about the actions of government. This is all to shame each candidate’s position and all about winning the election. How do we separate truth from fiction? I have been personally attacked purposely with ridicule, told to stop talking about vitamin D at my major source of social activity, and scorned with humor in my declaring that the practice of medicine has been taken over for the sake of the economy.
In the words of James Carville to President Clinton, “It’s the economy, stupid.” The history of vitamin D has been filled with cover-up for the benefits of vitamin D for profit. There were seventeen multinationals named in a lawsuit by the US Government for conspiracy for vitamin D at the height of WWII: Charles Bowman for General Mills Corporation, E. I. du Pont de Nemours, Quaker Oats, Standard Brands, Gelatin Products Corp., Borden Co., Carnation Co., Nestle Milk Products, Inc., Vitamins Inc., Abbott Laboratories, Meade Johnson & Co., William S. Merrill Co., Parke-Davis Co., R. Squibb & Sons, Winthrop Chemical Co. “General Mills Corp. was named as a co-conspirator, but will not be a defendant in the action.” This of course is when the government still had a conscious for individuals. I am sure that you recognize many of these companies.
The medical profession corrected many of the errors by recommending the use of cod liver oil, CLO, to prevent and cure rickets and improve general health. The use of CLO continued until a well-known pediatrician made the statement that Vitamin D could cause birth defects. The use of CLO was abandoned over this fear. This was in the middle of the 60s when the thalidomide scare for birth defects was at its height. Then in the 70s, a well-known pharmaceutical took over a sun screen company and heavily promoted “sun fear” for the sake of profits of their chronic disease drugs, which accounted for over eighty percent of their sales. The dermatologists were captured and used as agents to continue to promote sun fear because of skin cancer. (45-minute video Skin Cancer/Sunscreen the Dilemma) This video was made in 2009 and there have been advances in sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB.
Sun fear continued well into the 2000s, even when thousands of peer reviewed papers were published about the benefits of vitamin D. The FDA even tried to sue the sunscreen companies for inappropriate labels but were defeated in court, thus ignoring the science–there is no science that sunscreen prevents melanoma. The court action was defeated by lawyers of the sunscreen industry led by John Roberts, now Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. I guess he was just doing his job as a great attorney.
I had thought that the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) Food and Nutrition Board would get it right based on the science. Their findings were published in December of 2010. The finding was that only 600 IU of vitamin D was required from all sources whether you were a ten-pound baby or a three-hundred-pound person. They tried to cover themselves by stating that the study was only about bone health. There were many problems with this board for ethics. The studies they chose were provided by the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality a division of US Health and Human Resources and not independently selected. They treated studies with vitamin D2 as equal to vitamin D3. There were many conflicts of interest on the board; a direct violation of ethics policy for the National Academy of Science of which the IOM is a division.
But the real issue of the IOM’s finding came when a professor at the University of Alberta took the same data that the IOM used and found a statistical error. The real finding should have been 10 plus times the recommended amount by the IOM. This error was later confirmed by the scientist at Grassroots Health and two universities, Creighton University and the University of California San Diego. The real amount of vitamin D from all sources should have been at least 7000 IU per day to achieve the goal of 99.5% of the population with a serum level at or above 20 ng/ml of 25(OH)D.
It has now been almost two years and no action has been taken by the US Government to correct the error. Why has our Government ignored the error? “It’s about the economy, stupid.” There is much evidence to show that low vitamin D levels cause disease. Think of the many deaths and more importantly the pain caused by this error in the general population. By raising the serum level of vitamin D in the general population to over 45 ng/ml 25(OH)D, the medical economy could shrink by as much as fifty percent–ouch! Watch this short video (at 4:30, Does Less Sun Mean More Disease) about vitamin D and the doctor’s practice that reduced office visits from four per patient per year to one visit per patient per year. This was great for the patients, but what about the financial health of the doctor’s practice?
If we translate this effort of one practice to the general population, what would happen to a medical economy that represents almost twenty percent of GDP. This practice not only used vitamin D; in addition, they gave their patients additional magnesium, vitamin C, B12, and zinc. The correction of one vitamin is not all that is required to bring the population to a greater health. If you were a Congressman or the President, which decision would you make–the health of the individuals in the population or the financial health of our institutions? Which would cause more harm? The government has chosen the general principle for Health and Human Services as “markets before mandates.” (Secretary Michael Leavitt–Principles lower right) A general conspiracy or a policy that protects national economic security?
You just cannot make this stuff up out of whole cloth. As an individual, you should follow the science as described by Grassroots Health. I know it will take some time to read through this article and the links, but your health or your money? Beliefs change regularly as we have new experiences. That happened to me when I discovered I was deficient in vitamin D (not D2), vitamin C, magnesium (in an absorbable form), zinc, correct proteins, iodine, vitamin A (not beta carotene), B12, and folate (not folic acid). I avoided more back surgery and healed from chronic pain and sleep apnea. I arrived at my conclusions through faith in a being greater than us and by applying engineering principles to my health with an MS in engineering, forty years of engineering practice, and more than 9,000 hours of reading about vitamins and minerals. –Pandemic Survivor
©2016 Mark Pegram
Hi! Great article. This inspired me to order a higher dose of vitamin D supplements. However, why do you say “vitamin A (not beta carotene) and folate (not folic acid)”? I didn’t know that the former forms were better or more readily absorbed. Also what do you take or how do you take your iodine and B12?
It is my understanding that beta carotene is not converted until you are deficient.
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This was a really cool article. I don’t doubt for a second that everything you present here is true. The study that I had read, Vitamin D intake to attain a desired serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration,¹ is more in line with your 6,000IU recommendation than the 600IU recommendation by the Food and Nutrition Board.
I read a chapters in books put out by the Food and Nutrition Board about how they determined the RDAs for Sodium, Potassium, and Vitamin A. No huge problem with these recommendations; but they do recommend more Vitamin A than the WHO and most European countries. I would recommend a lower dose of Retinol than the current RDA.
The current RDA for salt is probably a bit high, but it is set low enough not to cause too much harm.
This is really fascinating stuff! I am going to follow your links that you provided about this. I just got done reading the Vitamin D NOW Foods® 5,000IU reviews on Amazon and a significant amount of commentators recalled how their Physicians were shocked at the dose.
Now I can see why. They need sick people so they can pay their mortgages. The need Osteoporotic individuals lining-up for Premarin® and annual bone-scans.