As vitamin D science has advanced during the last one hundred years, it has stumped many why we do not routinely treat and prevent disease. Some have said it is because we ignore the science of vitamin D for the many other opportunities to treat and prevent disease. Others have thought that it was just incompetence by medical professionals in understanding how the biological processes work with nutrients and especially vitamin D. However, what is really happening is this huge conflict of interest for everyone that makes any income from the medical industry.
I would like to believe ignoring the science and lack of understanding is not possible because of the mountain of published information available to anyone that would like to read the twenty five thousand or so peer reviewed papers on vitamin D that have been published since 1960. I would also like to think that our medical professionals and scientists are very bright people. They have competent understanding of how biological processes work. What is missing is the will to use the understandings to treat disease. The intent of the medical profession is to treat and heal disease as long as it makes economic sense. That is, you perform a task for payment and it sustains or increases the market size. This is the very heart of capitalism.
So what principles drive the everyday operations of medical institutions, whether it is your local doctor, hospital, medical insurance company, pharmaceutical company, government agencies for health, and medical marketing (think insurance ads and pharmaceutical commercials)? This could best be summed up by the principles that were stated by former Secretary of Health and Human Services, Michael O. Leavitt. Of course HHS is the administrative department of government that all medical institutions and individual medical professionals either report directly to or responsible to for medical guidelines, rules, and laws for all the various functions of the medical industry. These principles are:
1. National standards, neighborhood solutions
2. Collaborations, not polarization
3. Solutions transcend political boundaries
4. Markets before mandates
5. Protect privacy
6. Science for facts, processes for priorities
7. Reward result, not programs
8. Change a heart, change a nation
9. Value life
These principles seem in reverse order for someone that is dying of a chronic disease or everyone. To ‘value life’ when you are dying would seem to be a number one goal. However, if you want to maintain a healthy medical economy, then a large sick market is needed. To maintain this market then the first four principles are absolutely necessary. The first three keep everyone in ‘locked step’ for moving toward the goal of a healthy economy. However, number four, ‘markets before mandates’ brings confusions to persons wondering why a miracle medical solution is not implemented.
If you had to give up your job or source of income to save a life, would you do it? This seems almost too simple of a question that ultimately drives the medical industry. It is a huge conundrum for persons in administrative positions including the president of the US. It is a huge conundrum for the individual whether you work for the medical profession or have a number of friends and family whose income is derived from the medical industry. Another way to ask this question: would you be worse off to have a chronic disease that takes 50 years to kill you or no income to sustain a nice life style. As a society we have decided on the former.
So a miracle cure comes along for all chronic disease. One that impacts more than ten percent of the genome and in particular the part of the genome that is responsible for disease – vitamin D. You are the secretary of HHS and you meet with the president of the US to decide whether to implement the solution or try to cover it up to prevent a reduction of eight percent (represents fifty percent reduction of the medical economy or a true miracle cure) of an already failing economy- a reduction that could collapse the economy. What would you do?
Yes everyone has a conflict of interest when it comes to reducing the medical economy by half. If the science had been allowed to come forward as it was discovered and we grew the economy into it, then the decision to ‘value life’ would be number one on our priority. Why didn’t this happen?
‘Markets before mandates’ is sad if you are dying. If you derive your income from medical practice then million dollar houses on South Beach and million dollar yachts on the Chesapeake is the order of the day. Ah character and a moral conscience are truly prized qualities to look for as you are trying to find a doctor to treat your illness with vitamin D. The government, disguised as the IoM Food and Nutrition Board, implemented the principle of ‘markets before mandates’, and has put the responsibility for your health squarely on the character and competence of your doctor. If the doctor cannot tell you his own level of serum vitamin D and how much he gets everyday to get there, and his level is not that of a sunny country or a serum 25(OH)D above 50 ng/ml find another doctor. If your doctor starts to talk about the IoM rules on vitamin D and has a large house and a boat then run – run hard and fast. – Pandemic Survivor