Grassroots Health Webinars on Vitamin D

The scientist, researchers, and doctors at Grassroots Health have been presenting webinars on vitamin D and various topics.  This is a wealth of information about how a given disease works with vitamin D as well as the interaction of calcium.

I highly encourage you to go to the website and watch and listen to the webinars.  There is a new one every Tuesday at 1PM eastern time.  Also after becoming familiar with the information, I encourage you to ask your doctor to watch, if he is giving you a hard time about supplementing with vitamin D.  It is important that you maintain your 25(OH)D level above 40 ng/ml.

If you don’t watch and listen to any of the others, I highly suggest that you watch – Why Test Vitamin D!?  The question is always – How much should I take?  This gives you and understanding that everyone responds differently to amounts.  At the Grassroots Health home page you can find a table of how to start supplementing before testing.     There is also a downloadable chart as a PDF.

Here is the link to the Video Page http://www.grassrootshealth.net/index.php/videos

  • Diabetes & Vitamin D
  • The Sun & Vitamin D I and II
  • Pregnancy & Vitamin D  I and II
  • Upper Respiratory Infections & Vitamin DI and II
  • Ethic Disparities & Vitamin D
  • Premenopausal Breast Cancer & Vitamin D
  • The Cost of Vitamin D Deficiency: In Dollars & Disease
  • Vitamin D & Calcium, Fractures, & Kidney Stones  What do we know?
  • Why Test Vitamin D!?
  • Prostate Cancer Positive Core Biopsies Reduced with Vitamin D
  • Prostate Cancer Lesions Reduced with Vitamin D
  • Vitamin D Stops Breast Cancer
  • Vitamin D & Gene Expression
  • Vitamin D & Treatment of Autism
  • Pregnancy & Vitamin D Interview
  • Alzheimer’s Prevention & Vitamin
  • Interaction of Vitamin D and Calcium
  • Vitamin D Requirements for Breast Feeding Mothers
  • Vitamin D & Breast Cancer
  • Vitamin D & Cardiovascular Disease
  • Vitamin D & The Immune System
  • Vitamin D & Cystic Fibrosis

Be well and stay healthy – Pandemic Survivor

Small People’s Longevity

The amount of nutrients required for biological health is dependent on size of the person.  However, it seems that our nutritional professionals continue to make the same mistake over and over.  It has become part of the culture that one size fits all.  A case in point is the release of vitamin D and calcium requirements.  It seems in the grand wisdom of the examiners that a small one year old child needs for vitamin D are the same as a sixty year old two hundred fifty pound man – 800IU per day.  It has become clear that our professionals have assumed we are so inept that we cannot do a bit of math.

The idea that one size fits all is even the case for most pharmaceutical drugs.  It is not unusual for a two hundred fifty pound man be given the same amount of antibiotic to heal a strep throat as a one hundred thirty pound woman.  How could this be?  You see it on ibuprofen labels about the maximum amount that you should take in a day or the suggested dosage.  Imagine the difference in a large person taking two, two hundred milligrams tablets versus a small person taking the same.  It is apparent that the view of our institutional professionals is that the population is just stupid and not able to calculate amounts based on size.

If you take all of the nutrient requirements for vitamins and minerals as in a multiple vitamin, a small persons needs may be met but a large person will not have their needs met at all.  If you can find a multiple vitamin that is dependent on the size of the person let me know.  Of course there are children’s vitamins versus adults but the distinction stops there.

It seems that small people tend to live longer than large people.  It has always been assumed that obesity plays some factor in how this plays out in health.  However, given ideal body weights it appears there does not seem to be a large statistical difference in small people versus large people.  However, if you think about the aged we know, it is apparent that there is some advantage to being small.  Could this advantage be as simple as the stated requirements and guidelines for health favor small people?  I suspect that this is somewhat the case.

If we look at vitamin D, even our friends at Grass Roots Health have fallen into the trap that one size fits all in the suggestion about how much is required to move your serum level.  You see it nowhere in the institutional literature about the typical amount of a nutrient per pound of body weight.  Only in some nutritionist guidelines will you find it.  Of course the statement about the need to maintain the correct serum level of vitamin D and not the amount of vitamin D that you take is correct.  However, the confusion over how much you need as you cannot test everyday as practical matter is a significant need in the population. This is true for vitamins and minerals.

In the government guidelines for nutrients you find this confusion of one size fits all in their information on the daily required intake: Dietary Fact Sheets  If the government is giving you absolute minimums, you would think that a small person would have somewhat of an advantage over a large person.  If the information is based on a one hundred forty pound person, a two hundred fifty pound person does not have a chance of meeting their daily requirements.

Rule of thumb for vitamin D: Forty IU of D3 per pound of body weight per day and then test to maintain a serum level of 25(OH)D between 40 to 80 ng/ml.  Does anyone really believe that they are the average of the population?  – Pandemic Survivor

Here are a couple of links if you are interested:

Height, body size, and longevity: is smaller better for the human body?

Advantages of Shorter Height

Understanding Vitamin D with other Nutrients

When the understanding that cod liver oil would help to prevent and heal rickets was made, there was no understanding as to the mechanisms of action of the components of cod liver oil.  All that was known was that if you used cod liver oil, rickets and some other diseases were prevented and cured.  When modern medical research began to decide mechanisms of action to predict the correct amount of vitamin D in combination with vitamin A, confusion has issued.  There is currently a battle about the correct amounts of vitamin D and vitamin A between the Vitamin D Council and the Weston Price Foundation.   Vitamin D Council on the ratio for vitamin D and A (please note the other articles in the left hand column on Vitamin A and CLO) Weston Price discussion;  and update

I believe that the confusion arises from trying to extrapolate useful information from a nutritional or medical study considering one or two nutrients that is being evaluated using analysis of the variance -ANOV.  Human biology is much more complicated as the interaction of many nutrients gives us health or disease.  After decades of making the same error, manufacturing has been able to overcome this confusion by using analysis of the means.  ANOM gives not only the outcome of the principle inputs but also the interaction of the various inputs.  Until better methods are adopted by medical/nutritional research, we are just left with the best guess interpretation of the ‘experts.’

So where does that leave us?  I believe it is about what gives you health or disease.  I have been supplementing with the nutrients in which we are deficient for eight years now.  The interaction and the amounts of daily intake of vitamin D, vitamin A, vitamin C, sulfate, iodine, and magnesium are critical.  When I have started to feel bad or had other less than desirable symptoms, I have found that I have to change the balance of one of these deficiencies.

After much trial and error this is where I am now in units per pound of body weight per day:

Vitamin D3    40 IU
Vitamin A from fish liver Oil             20 IU
Vitamin C       20mg
Sulfate             40mg
Magnesium      4.5 mg
Iodine                 0.05mg  (example 150 lb weight –  7.5mg)

This of course says nothing of the other nutrients from diet and supplementation that are essential to health.  However, the ones listed above are typically difficult if not impossible to get from the American diet.

These amounts and the sources that you derive the nutrients from may be different for you as our bodies do not all process a given nutrient the same way.  This is due to the fact that we may be deficient or have an over abundance of other nutrients in our bodies to say nothing of our state of health.  Let’s examine an example and you can see what I mean.

Suppose you have low energy and feel cranky.  Knowing that magnesium is responsible for the action of over 300 enzymes you may decide that you need to increase magnesium.  However, there are several other things that may be the problem even if you are getting enough of the above nutrients.  It may be that you are not absorbing enough vitamin B12 because of your age.  Or, it could be that you are not getting enough of the correct types of fats and proteins.  Or, it may simply be that you are eating too much sugar and you blood sugar spikes are the issue, etc.

Eating a great diet of fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, and meats while supplementing with the nutrients in which you are deficient will give you optimum health.  It is only through your record keeping of how you feel, trial and error of amounts, and types of foods that are consumed can you reach this desire.  There is no magic formula.   There is magic for health when the balance of nutrients is correct     -Pandemic Survivor

The Great Vitamin D Versus Cold Immune System Experiment

When there are just you, statistical significance relates only to you.  This is an odd kind of statement, but when you are considering whether to take a measure against something that may happen to you, the only thing that concerns you is whether it happens to you.  Of course you can always commit a type 1 error, or believe that something is present when it is not.  When given multiple possibilities, the one that makes the least assumptions is the correct one – you may know this as Occam’s razor.  My simple hypothesis is that we seldom get colds or the flu in the summer because of exposure to the sun which gives us more vitamin D.

Since I started regularly taking vitamin D in November of 2004, I had only one incidence of the sniffles that could be considered a cold.  Last year, I had the sniffles that lasted approximately thirty six hours and may have been related to my allergy to wheat and not a viral infection.  So had the vitamin D along with the several grams of vitamin C and the 25 mg of zinc that I take per day prevented me from having a cold for over eight years?  The only way to tell was to test.  I stopped taking my normal 10,000 IU of vitamin D3 per day.

It was the first of November and a great time to test as my children and my grandchildren seem to all have colds.  I stopped taking the vitamin D one week before Thanksgiving.  On Thanksgiving Day, my nose started to run.  By the next morning, I was completely stopped up and felt terrible.  It only took seven days without vitamin D3 to get my first real cold in eight years.  As far as I am concerned that was proof enough.  In not having a cold for so long, you forget how miserable you can feel with a viral infection that drags out.  I returned to taking vitamin D, but it was not getting better after three days.  I then decided to ‘take a trip to the beach.’

In the winter time, my escape to the Caribbean Islands is to take fifty thousand IU’s of vitamin D3.  I believe this is the amount that I would make in about two days at the beach with a significant amount of skin surface exposed.  The Sunday after Thanksgiving, I took the fifty thousand IU’s.  I did this until Wednesday or for four days.  Finally the symptoms went away and I could breathe again by Thursday.  I will not repeat this experiment again!

To give consideration to the amount of vitamin D that I missed versus the amount of increase to feel better, review this balance.  I went for seven days without D3.  That was a reduction of 70,000 IU that I would normally have taken.  I then started again at 10,000IU per day but my cold was not getting better.  I then went to 50,000IU per day for four days before I got better.  This represents a ‘make-up’ of 160,000 IU (4 days x 50,000 – 4 x10,000  “my normal intake”) to get my immune system to respond.  So in the fourteen day period, I had 90,000 IU (160,000 – 70,000) more than I would normally have taken.  Once your immune system has gone down, it takes more than normal vitamin D to get it to respond quickly.  This should be a lesson in the design of experiments when trying to give a large dose and then measure whether it is effective over a long period.  Vitamin D works best when received every day with an adequate amount.  CNN – “Vitamin D supplements no help for colds, flu”

Ah, eight days at the beach in the Caribbean and my cold went away.  Since I could not afford to take the time to go to the Caribbean, the one dollar worth of vitamin D that I took was a very easy and cost effective solution.  The formula to prevent colds and the flu:  Per day, 40 IU of vitamin D3 per pound of body weight every day without missing.  If you weigh 150 pounds then 6,000 IU per day.  If you miss a day then make it up by taking twice as much the next day.  Take one gram (1000 mg) of vitamin C per fifty pounds of body weight per day.  If you weigh 150 pounds then three grams per day.  Take 5 mg of zinc per day for every fifty pounds of body weight.  If you weigh 150 pounds then 15 mg per day.

Sounds simple, it is simple.  You may say that taking all those supplements really bothers and you don’t want to do it.  I say fine, go ahead and have colds and the flu and feel miserable.  Meanwhile, I will spend my winters in the Caribbean in the sun.   – 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

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

Perpetuating the Myth – Negative Studies for Vitamin D Keep Coming

A study of blood test results from Denmark has shown that too little vitamin D as well as too much vitamin D is not good for you health.  The study was done on 247,574 blood samples that were taken from doctor visits.  The researchers were not surprised by too little vitamin D as not healthy, but had no answer for why the higher levels showed a higher mortality.  For levels at 10 nmol/L(4 ng/ml) or less presented mortality at 2.3 times of normal at 50 nmol/L(20 ng/ml).  What surprised the researchers was at 140 nmol/L(56 ng/ml) there was a mortality that was 1.42 times higher than normal.

I suspect there are two major reasons for a higher mortality at the higher level of vitamin D.  As we have discussed before, high levels of vitamin D2 are dangerous and can cause serious disease in the body.  This is the reason for the concern about vitamin D that goes back to the 1930’s when the medical industry said that vitamin D3 was equal to vitamin D2.  There were few cases of toxicity in the 1930’s with D3 and then they started coming at several per month when D2 was declared as equal. There was no distinction made in the study between 25(OH)D2 and 25(OH)D3.

The second reason is intimately tied to the first.  That is people that feel bad and know that they are ill will do almost anything to feel better.  This includes looking at ‘alternative medicine’ for results.  When they discuss their low vitamin D level with their doctor, the normal reaction is to write a script for 50,000 IU of D2 per week.  This amount of vitamin D would translate into a 25(OH)D level of 50ng/ml or higher in most people.

The only reason that I can think of that has prevented the separation of study results between the two types of vitamin D is because the myth of equality is perpetuated. There may also be a factor of laziness in how difficult it would be to separate the two.  Well, there may actually be another reason.  As long as the confusion persists, the money for research will kept coming.  I know that this may not be at the top of consciousness, but it always resides in the minds of managers in how to sustain employment.  As you note in the article sub title, “More studies are needed.” 

I would take the positive advice of Bill Sardi, a medical writer for over thirty years, in this article written for the Huffington Post, Getting Ahead of the Vitamin D Revolution Curve.   – Pandemic Survivor

Winter – Relieving Back Pain Without the Sun

It is that time of year when viral infections ravage the populations in the form of colds and the flu.  Disease states worsen and are manifest as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.  More pharmaceuticals are prescribed to relieve illness and the side effects are extremely destructive as this is the third leading cause of death.  Young and old people alike die at higher rates from the reduction in the total state of health.  Winter, an evil time of year, calls for renewal and the hope of spring.  And the effects of reduced health are the pain alarms going off all over the body, in particular the central nervous system as characterized by back spasms.  Longing for the warmth of the sun, a state of blue sadness envelops us.

Ah, but then the sun rises higher in the sky and we once again reach a state of hope as renewal is just around the corner.  What are we to do as we wait?  Celebrate life and enjoy the understanding that this sadness of winter is not necessary.  It truly is a matter of nutrition and getting the essentials from the sun that are available in abundance in the summertime.  So two things happen that impact the quality of life.  First at latitudes further away from the equator, we lose the exposure to ultraviolet light as the angle of the sun declines during winter.  Second, we do not have access to a large of abundance of fresh unprocessed foods.  Not enough ultraviolet light and we do not make enough vitamin D, the hormone that is the master of our biological systems through the connection with the sun.  Processing foods for food safety destroy the enzymes necessary for biological thriving.  All of the minerals necessary for the body electric normally consumed in fresh foods are lost in the water of the cook pot.  And worse, potable water safety has driven us to systems that take all of the minerals out of our drinking water.

As you know if you read this blog regularly, I have recovered from a number of very serious diseases that were stealing my life.  This by the consumption of supplements because we are not getting the require essentials for life through our modern systems of living.  So here is what I personally take to sustain my biological systems.  But before I state those, I would like to say that the less pharmaceutical products that you take, the better chance of survival you have.  When you take more pharmaceuticals to offset the side effects of what you have already been prescribed, be extremely careful as you heading done a path of complexity that our medical professionals struggle to solve.  There have not been any double blind placebo controlled studies that describes what happens when you are taking more than two things in combination.  The more pharmaceuticals you take the more complex it gets.  The average number of prescriptions for people over sixty five that are on Medicare/Medicaid has sky rocketed to fifteen.  The complexity of this many things combined is beyond the scope of most physicians.  Nutrition is just the opposite of this as variety is critical to obtain the essentials for life.

Consider that I weigh two hundred thirty pounds and am now six feet two inches in height – adjust according to your weight:

Vitamin D3 -10,000 IU per day from all sources.    As this hormone is added to many different products and you make it from the sun, it is necessary adjust what you require as a supplement of just vitamin D3.  It is not how much you take that is important, it is what level of 25(OH)D3 is in your system.  This is the amount of vitamin D to keep my results between 60 ng/ml – 80 ng/ml.  Brand type is important because all brands do not replenish your systems the same.  The only way that you know is through testing.

Vitamin A – 5,000 IU per day – Vitamin A from fish liver oil.

Vitamin C – 4000 mg per day

Vitamin B – whatever is in my multiple vitamins plus a 100 B-complex per day.

Multiple Vitamin – Here I make sure that it has the trace elements that are necessary.  This includes the essentials of manganese, molybdenum, and silicon. I depend on this tablet to contain my required vitamin E.

Magnesium – 800 mg per day as a chelate, ie. – malate, glycinate, etc.

Calcium – 800 mg per day

Sulfur – Triple strength glucosamine, chondrotin, and MSM – like Osteo – Biflex or Schiff’s brand.  Here I want to be sure that it has hyaluronic acid.  This is usually two caplets per day.

Or – 4000 mg MSM  Methalsufonylmethane

Or – One fourth to one half teaspoon of Epson Salt (magnesium sulfate, pharmaceutical quality) in my morning beverage.

If you do not want to practice variety in your sulfur consumptions, then stick to the triple strength products.  I also eat a lot of garlic, onions, and eggs – all very rich in sulfur.

Iodine – 12.5mg Iodine/Iodide

Potassium – I try to use as much potassium salt as a substitute for sodium salt as possible.  If I feel any cramping – I will drink twelve ounces of low sodium V-8 juice which gives you about 1000 mg of potassium.   In general, your salt consumption should be about five grams of potassium and five grams of sodium each day.  If one is higher than the other, then try to make the potassium consumption higher than the sodium through diet choices.  Typical American diet is about 1.5 grams of potassium and 7 grams of sodium.

Fish Oil for omega-3 fat

Five hours per week of exercise at the gym.  This is essential for nutrient flow along with spinal decompression using an inversion table.

I take no prescription pharmaceuticals.  The medical professionals say that you cannot grow new cartilage.  I disagree.  The above nutrients and lots of exercise that allows the flow of replenishing fluids to cartilage have given healthy cartilage.  Spacing in my spine has increased enough to clear all of the nerve roots to relieve pain.  The one place that the cartilage had completely disappeared has not grown new cartilage.  All other joints are now healthy.  None of the above supplementation would be necessary if I ate lots of raw foods and drink natural mineral rich water and lived in the sun.

Faith and Hope brings the very spark of life – Love!  – Pandemic Survivor

Endocrine Society ‘Thumbs Nose’ at IOM for Serum Vitamin D Levels

Endocrine Society ‘thumbs their nose’ at the IOM in announcing new clinical practice guidelines for vitamin D.  The IOM’s Food and Nutrition Board for vitamin D and calcium announced in November 2010 that the population had adequate vitamin D as long as the level of 25(OH)D was maintained at or above 20 ng/ml.  The new minimum by the Endocrine Society was established at or above 30 ng/ml for bone health.  The IOM made a big deal of the fact that they considered bone health only, but obviously got that wrong.  The Endocrine Society was initiated in 1916 to “to promote sound development and curb abuses” in relation to the new developments being made for the endocrine system.

Press Release:  Endocrine Society Announces New Clinical Practice Guidelines for Vitamin D

Medscape Article: Endocrine Society Issues Practice Guideline on Vitamin D

The Paper in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism:  Evaluation, Treatment, and Prevention of Vitamin D Deficiency: an Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guideline

I am very concerned that the Endocrine Society perpetuated the myth that vitamin D2 and vitamin D3 are acceptable for deficient patients.  This was done obviously to protect themselves from years of saying that D3 and D2 were equivalent in the human body.  This position has been firmly held by Dr. Michael Holick for his work in bone health.  It may be okay when considering bone health at serum levels below 50 ng/ml.  However, when getting the body up to levels of vitamin D found for people in a sunny country or levels necessary to protect against chronic disease like cancer and heart disease, vitamin D2 can begin to cause damage to the body, and this is the confusion in the literature.

The good news is that empathy for the patients being treated has been considered and not just the economic farming for the medical institutions.  This war of words that are played out in press releases and medical journals has now been going on for over eighty years.  We will get to the correct understanding eventually, but how many people have to die to maintain the profits of the medical/medical insurance industry?

For the best results in preventing disease, kept your serum 25(OH)D above 60 ng/ml.  There have been no cases of toxicity with a level below 200 ng/ml or people taking less than 30,000 IU of  D3 per day.    – Pandemic Survivor

All Vitamin D Brands are not Equal!

Bare with me, I will get to the vitamin D, but first the story. In July, 2010, I fell when descending stairs in an unfamiliar house. It was really a sort of a stupid thing as I was talking to another person as I descended the stairs. The stair was wide enough so that we were almost side by side. I was totally engrossed in our converstation. Thinking that I was on the bottom step, I took a large step forward to find that I was two steps ups. This resulted in a forward lunge. Let me also say that I had been working hard for the three hours prior. I had lost a singificant amount of body fluid from perspiration, almost seven pounds of weight ( I had weighed before starting this job because I was interested in how much fluid loss would occur under severe heat and work conditions. During the three hours, I had drank three twenty ounce bottles of water). This combination of muscles on the verge of cramping and a clumsy fall resulted in a nasty muscle pull and perhaps an injured spine.

Of course I did not know which at the time. I thought that I had totlly destroyed my back again. After a few days of trying to resolve the pain, I went to my neurosurgeon. After an MRI, it was discovered that I had ‘no change in the appearance of my spine.’ The doc left me alone in the room prior to his arrival with the MRI on the computer screen. It so happened that the 2005 MRI was also on the screen. When comparing the two images, It was apparent that the thickness of my vertebral disc in the lumbar region was twice what it was in 2005. No change was a statement saying that my back had actually improved, but since we know that ‘you cannot grow cartilage,’ we will just not comment on the improvement. Let me be very specific here as the statement of no change was from the radiologist that had read the MRI and not my neurosurgeon. The neurosurgeon was in disblief and amazed.

The spacing between the L4-L5 had not improved and it was apparent that there had been more distortion of the vertibra (hammer shaped). The surgeon felt that the pain I was experiencing was a direct result of this issue. I felt that he was partially right, but what I was experiencing for pain was not like what I had felt before. The pain would initiate in my hip and then descend the leg. Now neural pathways are tricky and to try to pin point the origins of pain is difficult at best. I had decided that my pain was originating from a strained piriformis muscle. This muscle is under the glut muscle and the nerve bundle that recombines and descends the leg goes through the middle of this muscle. Muscle relaxants would make the pain completely go away.

The pain and numbness got much better six months later but was still going on which was not a good thing. I continued to deal with it through the spring until my physical the thrird week in April. I was shooked to see that my serum vitamin D level was 42 ng/ml. I had been taking 10,000 of D3 per day since June of 2005. How was it that my vitamin D level had dropped from an average of 85 ng/ml to 42 ng/ml. It was apparent that the vitamin D3 that I was now using was not the same as before.

I had switched to Pharmassure’s brand that I could purchase from the local drug store. It is apparent that this brand does not have the required 5.000 IU of D3 in the product as described on the label. I had been using the Bio-Tech Pharmacal brand for the 5 years prior with good results. It is obvious to me that the lack of qualily control on such a tiny amount of vitamin D is a very real issue. It could be that one bottle or lot was bad and the rest of Pharmassure’s product is fine. However, you can bet that I will never use this brand again. This is a similar story that was reported by Dr. Davis that writes the Heart Scan Blog. In that case his patients had switched from Vitamin Shoppe brand to Walgreen’s Nature Made brand and it was like the Nature Made product had no vitamin D. For you in trying to maintain an adequate vitamin D level, YOU MUST HAVE YOUR SERUM LEVEL TESTED!

I wonder now if the large range of vitamin D3 intake to achieve an adequate serum level that was reported by the study at Grass Roots Health may partially be due to the fact that all brands that claim 5,000 IU may not be 5,000 IU. I had been part of this test through the spring of 2010, but had not had my serum level tested for over a year. Anytime you change brands or habits, like how much you sun bath or change diet in like how much liver you eat ( more vitamin A an antagonist of vitamin D), you should have your serum level tested.

I took fifty thousand IU of D3 per day for two weeks to get my serum level back up and am now taking 10,000 IU of Bio-Tech Pharmacal’s vitamin D3 per day. Interestly enough, the pain in my leg has gone and my hip seems to be healed. I now have over six thousand hours of studying vitamin D, it is obvious that the single most important thing that you can do in this new medical paradigm is to have your serum level tested! – Pandemic Survivor