Vitamin D3 Significantly Reduces Asthma Flare-Ups

In recent news headlines, there is the story of a published research paper for vitamin D3 and a steroid inhaler.  The headlines read like this one from MedNews: “Vitamin D3 flops as asthma therapy booster.”  I was amazed at the conclusion of the writer for the paper: “Effect of Vitamin D3 on Asthma Treatment Failures in Adults with Symptomatic Asthma and Lower Vitamin D Levels” Castro, et. Al. JAMA May 18, 2014, Conclusion: “Vitamin D3 did not reduce the rate of first treatment failure or exacerbation in adults with persistent asthma and vitamin D insufficiency. These findings do not support a strategy of therapeutic vitamin D3 supplementation in patients with symptomatic asthma.”

I am not sure why he decided to use the rate to the first flare-up or exacerbation.  I suppose the aim of the steroid inhaler is to eliminate flare-ups.  The test was run by dividing the test participants into two groups.  One group was given vitamin D3 and the steroid.  The other group was given a placebo and the steroid.  The vitamin D group had serum levels above 40 ng/ml while the placebo group was 20 ng/ml or less.

It is interesting to look at the design of the experiment.  It was obviously about using the steroid as a treatment for asthma with vitamin D3 as an aid.   I do believe that the title of the trial should have been the same as the title of this post.  If you look at figure 3 in the paper, it shows that there was a significant reduction in the total number of exacerbations in the vitamin D3 group.   The paper states: “The adjusted hazard ratio for cumulative number of exacerbations that occurred over the course of the trial was 0.63 (95% CI, 0.39-1.01; P = .05).”  This represents a 37 percent reduction in total accumulated exacerbations in the vitamin D group.  To me, this is really exciting news, but then, the writer is working for the pharmaceutical industry.

It should also be noted how the delivery of the vitamin D3 was made.  I agree with the initial dose of 100,000 IU.  However, I do not believe the 4000 IU of D3 was adequate for treatment of asthma.  The mean BMI of the test subjects was 32 or borderline obese.  It would have been better if the participants were given 10,000 IU of D3 per day to try to get the serum levels of vitamin D > 60 ng/ml.  This is the level that most doctors agree is necessary for treating disease and within the clinical standards of 30-100 ng/ml.

Also, I would not have given the steroid inhaler to the vitamin D group.  I would have used a placebo inhaler.  The purpose of not using the steroid in the vitamin D group is the reduction of vitamin D receptors from steroid use.  Treatment of an overdose of vitamin D is to use steroids to reduce the effect of vitamin D.  I would also be sure the participants were given at least 5000 IU of vitamin A as fish liver oil with the control group getting placebo fish oil.  It is well known that vitamin D/vitamin A dimers are very significant in the expression pathways for DNA and immune system boosting. Don’t do this without talking to your doctor first.

To further assure the use of the best available vitamins, I would not allow any synthetics to be consumed during the trials.  That is in particular synthetic beta carotene or synthetic vitamin E, both known to have negative effects in the lungs.  I would also not allow any vitamin or the steroid for that matter to be processed using blue-green algae or cyanobacteria.  This is to assure that there is no contamination by microcytins or protein mimics.  I will write more about this cyanotoxin later.

I do believe the result of this trial would show significant reduction in exacerbations, if not elimination after many weeks.  Why the rate to first exacerbation was used should be self-evident after looking at the disclosure for conflicts of interest.  But then the press has no clue and would not want to lose pharmaceutical advertising.   – Pandemic Survivor.


Breast Cancer Survivor Takes on the Issues

Carole Baggerly had her own experience with breast cancer. She then started to research the reason why. Her discovery; scientists have expressed the understanding that breast cancer is a deficiency disease. That is over her life time, her intake of vitamin D was not adequate. She was so upset and concerned about the issues that she started GrassrootsHealth. This is a consortium of more than forty scientists and doctors that are experts in vitamin D and nutrition. She discovered that it was not only breast cancer, but a host of chronic illness related to deficiencies. Take the time and watch her explain the issues in the first thirty minutes of this video presentation.  Carole Baggerly and Dr. Heaney, September, 2012  Presentation to Direct-MS Canada.

If you are concerned about the health of your children, yourself, your parents, the next hour is Dr. Heaney who has contributed significantly to the understanding of vitamin D. He talks about the longevity issues and decline with chronic disease because of nutritional deficiencies. There are many diseases that have now been linked to deficiencies that number into the hundreds. This is particularly pointed to vitamin D deficiency.

This discussion is fairly non-technical and is understandable by the average person. Dr. Heaney expresses the understanding that “things go better with vitamin D”. That is that vitamin D deficiency may not be the cause of a disease like TB, but not having enough vitamin D will prevent your body from properly healing. However, this understanding falls into the logic of the chicken versus the egg. In other words, if you had enough vitamin D would you have gotten TB in the first place? Dr. Heaney discusses everything from diabetes, heart disease, MS, pregnancy, and cancer to infectious diseases like TB. I give the video presentation six stars out of a five star rating system for understanding of chronic disease and the effect of vitamin DPresentation to Direct-MS Canada.

Your take away from this, is you, your friends, and your family should not suffer from vitamin D deficiency.   Standards within the medical industry have long been 20 ng/ml to 100 ng/ml.   There have not been any cases of toxicity below 200 ng/ml or 500 nmol/l.  There does not appear to be any downside at this level of vitamin D.  Some laboratories have decreased the upper number, 100 ng/ml, to whatever they are measuring the population. Best health for you can be reached with a vitamin D serum level, 25(OH)D between 40 ng/ml to 80 ng/ml; note this is still within the normal range as defined by medicine. It is not how much you take; it is where you maintain your serum level. Everyone responds differently to their intake from all sources of vitamin D. The only way to know is to test.  Dr. Heaney says to maintain a level above 40ng/ml will require an intake from all sources of 5000 IU or more of vitamin D3 per day.

Please note this presentation is in Canada. The measurements used are in nanamoles per liter or nmol/l. To convert ng/ml to nmol/l multiply ng/ml by 2.5. So the normal range of 20 to 100 ng/ml is 50 to 250 nmol/l. Get your serum level tested to give your body a chance to thrive. If you choose to do it through GrassrootsHealth, you become part of the study that will help to advance health in the population. – Pandemic Survivor

Test by GrassrootsHealth: banner_ad_long5company postingVideo of how to do the test:  bscvideothumbnailv3web

Vitamin D Best Benefit – Infection Fighter

Vitamin D has now been revealed as a significant hormone in the function of animals.  This includes everything from fighting infection to preventing a host of chronic diseases.  It has also been shown to have pathways on over 2700 genes or more than ten percent of our genome.  With so many benefits, there is a huge disconnect in the medical profession that any one thing can be this significant to life.  But if we pause and think about it, this hormone is produced in our skin after exposure to the sun.  This is our connection to the sun or the energy source for the biomass of the earth.

With this understood the question becomes, what is our best benefit.  I think that the best benefit is definitely as an infection fighter.  Just small amounts have a significant impact on colds and the flu or any infection that is a result of viruses.  Forget about all of the science studies and think how much healthier the population is in the summer as opposed to the winter.  This can be directly linked to the amount of exposure to the sun.  If you think about the last time you had a cold in the summer, it was most likely because you had not been exposed to the sun or it was not a viral infection.  Do not get me wrong.  Vitamin D fights other pathogens as well, but typically it requires higher levels of the hormone to effective.

Linus Pauling in his book, “How to Live Longer and Feel Better” argued that taking supplements was necessary to fight many diseases including the big three killers, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.  His thought was the need in particular for vitamin C to help fight off these diseases and colds and the flu.  He states that the less infections that you have during your life time, the probably for a longer healthier life exists.  It is interesting how the medical community shunned him and his ideas on vitamins.  How could this be for the only man that had two unshared Nobel Prizes?  The science community eats its own when a member interferes with the opportunity to make money.  The general comment of the medical community is ‘it is only vitamins’.

Think about your children for a minute.  If you are sure that they are getting an adequate amount of vitamin D and vitamin C how unlikely they are to have colds, the flu, and yes asthma attacks.  If you are a parent trying to get through these early years of exposure to a highly contagious environment then supplements are your best friend.  Think about yourself.  I have not had a cold since 2004 because of this combination of supplementation.  Now in the winter, I have to be creative to come up with an excuse to not be at work.  Sometimes I miss my colds for this reason and then I think of all the misery.  You really do not need an excuse to take off from work for your ‘mental’ health.

Here is the best summary of the benefits of vitamin D and what levels to take to prevent colds and the flu.  It is provided by Dr. Mercola.  If you do not already receive his newsletter, then I encourage you to sign up as he provides a wealth of information.  “The Vitamin That Can Cut Your Flu Risk in Half”  Vitamin C and Vitamin D and its summer all year – Pandemic Survivor

Asthma Worsened by Vitamin D Deficiency

News in now finally starting to inform the population in general that vitamin D can have a significant impact of the course of the disease.  Here are a couple of articles from Web MD

01/28/10  ‘Low Vitamin D Levels Associated With Worse Asthma and Lung Function, Study Finds’

4/23/09  Low Vitamin D Linked to Severe Asthma

4/19/10 from UPI “Low Vitamin D Found in Kids with Asthma”

Survivor Story

My niece, a young four year old girl at the time, 2006, had very severe asthma.  She was going to the emergency room one to two times per month.  The mother found out about a study that was done in the UK about how steroids worked significantly better if the asthma sufferer had a higher level of vitamin D.  The mother decided to supplement at 1500 IU of vitamin D3 per day which is within the guidelines of the NIH.  In the four years since the child has only been to the emergency room one time during the first winter of supplementation.

This level of supplementation should have put the child’s serum 25(OH)D level above 50 ng/ml.  As a rule of thumb the amount necessary for a child is about 35-40 IU’s of D3 per lb of body weight per day.  At 40 lbs that would mean that she was getting 1500/40 = 37.5.  The serum 25(OH)D levels in a sunny country are between 54 to 90 ng/ml.   Since then the mother has increased the amount that she gives the child to try to maintain that range as the child grows.  In general she seems to be much happier and healthier.

If your child has asthma, it is important to have the serum 25(OH)D level tested to be sure that is adequate to reduce inflammation.  Get your doctor tuned into this if he is not already on board and you can make life for yourself and your child much more pleasant.

Vitamin D is significant in how it reduces inflammation in all parts of the body and in particular the organs.

Here are a couple of articles if you want to read the science at Pub Med or if you need them to convince your doctor:  ‘The vitamin D connection to pediatric infections and immune function.’ Walker and Modlin – May 2009

‘Vitamin D, respiratory infections, and asthma’  Ginde, et. Al. January 2010

Breathing easy – Pandemic Survivor