Opioid Induced Constipation and Magnesium

We are constantly bombarded with ads for drugs. The most recent astonishment was a drug to relieve constipation caused by pain killers.  Specially, opiate type pain killers and the malady has the name opioid-induced constipation (OIC).   I had this problem for the years that I was on opiate pain killers.  There is a simple solution that results in a remarkable to return to health and energy.  When you have constipation from taking opiate pain killers the solution is magnesium.  Constipation is a warning signal that you are deplete in magnesium. I solved the problem by taking 200 mg of magnesium citrate capsules twice per day. Not only did I gain relief from constipation, I was improving my problem with magnesium deficiency.

From Medical News Today:

“For the treatment of OIC, doctors may prescribe:

  • Osmotic laxatives – increase the amount of water in the gut, increasing bulk and softening stools.
  • Emollient or lubricant cathartics – soften and lubricate stools.
  • Bulk cathartics – increase bulk and soften stools.
  • Stimulant cathartics – directly counteract the effect of the opioid medications by increasing intestinal motility, helping the gut to push the stools along.
  • Prostaglandins or prokinetic drugs – change the way the intestines absorb water and electrolytes, and they increase the weight and frequency of stools while reducing transit time.
  • Other medicines block the effects of opioids on the bowel to reverse opioid-induced constipation.

Although the treatments listed above are usually successful in treating OIC, sometimes a physician will recommend rectal intervention.”

Wow and ouch, I just can’t imagine the effort to treat constipation; in particular, when you are in other pain.  Here is a list of drugs for OIC from Web MD.  The primary use of opiates is for treatment of pain resulting from spine and joint issues.  Here is what Spine Universe suggest for OIC.  In any case, there is no suggestion that you may have magnesium deficiency.

mg

Magnesium deficiency is a very serious problem.  It has been estimated that 68% of the population do not get the recommended daily intake. This article from Life Extension list the diseases associated with magnesium deficiency as well as the battles of correcting the problem in the general population.  You can also read more about the diseases associated with magnesium deficiency as well as many peer reviewed papers at the Magnesium Library Online.

The issue with magnesium deficiency is no blood test to tell you if you have enough for health.  The serum test that is used only measures what is in the blood stream which does not correlate to what is inside the cells.  Many prescription drugs deplete the body of magnesium. Chronic pain can cause deficiency in magnesium.  One of the primary issues with low energy is not enough magnesium.  Magnesium is the positive ion that carries the energy molecules (ADP-ATP) to supply energy to the biological actions in your body.

I think the best understanding in simple terms can be found from Krispin, a lifelong nutritionist. She describes the diseases from deficiency and how to supplement for the best benefit of health.  She states that it may take six months of supplementation to get the full benefits of health. One important take away for you is that vitamin D3 needs magnesium to work properly.  If you have a serious problem with constipation, contact your doctor.  To your health and proper bowel movements!  –Pandemic Survivor

Advertisements

Migraines – The Unknown Pain

It starts as jagged little lines in your vision otherwise known as an aura. Usually one side of the head fills like it is ready to explode or implored.  Bright lights really do you in and the doctor does not seem to be able to help you.  “We are not sure of the cause”, she says. “Take this jagged little pill and why don’t you call me later this week if you still cannot function.” – OUCH!

Modern medicine seems to be at a loss for what causes migraines.  As a suggestion by one of my readers, I have decided to spend some time in exploring what is available.  The findings – not much, but don’t despair there is hope as research and clinical practice has provided some clues. There are quite a few research papers on migraines and the treatment with IV magnesium sulfate.  The question then becomes what are the mechanisms involved so that we can make a drug to treat migraines.  Of course I don’t ask questions like that.  Better is the question is it sulfur or sulfate deficiency or a magnesium deficiency or is it a combination of the two.

We know that sulfites are a significant trigger for migraines.  But I would not discount sulfate as an aid to the solution to migraines.  I find it extremely interesting that IV magnesium sulfate is used for the treatment pre-eclampsia.  Is it the sulfate or the magnesium or both that helps with the high blood pressure in pregnant women?  It has been shown by Dr. Hollis of the Medical University of South Carolina that higher levels vitamin D significantly reduces the possibility of pre-eclampsia during pregnancy.

The question then becomes how does something as simple as Epsom salt relieve both pre-eclampsia as well as migraines?  We also know from an earlier post that magnesium sulfate is significant in treating pulmonary hypertension.  Another yet unexplored clue.  As always statements give us a state but questions lead on a quest.

If we take all the clues and toss them into the air and let then rotate in quantum permutations, it would seem that vitamin D, magnesium, and sulfur as sulfate act both independently and together.  Acting independently vitamin D controls a significant amount of mineral balance and hormonal activation and balance.  The mineral balance of course leads to fluid balance across membranes.  Vitamin D3 is the gate keeper for the sodium-sulfate transport through all dermal layers.  The magnesium is the ion of choice for the ATP/ADP energy transfer and is the ion of choice for over 350 of the body’s enzymes. Sulfate acts in many ways as in helping to control fluid pressure in arteries and membranes.  As an example, since I have assured an adequate amount of sulfate intake, my blood pressure has stabilized at 115/70- not bad for a fat sixty plus grumpy.  Also the sulfate makes a water soluble ester of super oxide dismutase that is your body’s cellular waste removal system.  Blocking of the mitochondrial bodies in their effort to produce usable energy, whether from not having enough magnesium for transport or sulfate for waste removal is certainly an issue.

So what to do?  I guess if I had migraines, I would assure that I was getting an adequate amount of each of these nutrients.  You could start by taking 40 IU of vitamin D3 per pound of body weight.  The serum for vitamin D or 25(OH)D is critical and should be maintained above 60 ng/ml- get tested.  Magnesium and sulfate may be solved by simply soaking in an Epsom salt bath about three times per week once your serum vitamin D is high enough to allow for the transport of sulfur to take place properly. Alternative would be to take about 1000 mg of MSM per fifty pounds of body weight (found at your local vitamin store) and 3.5 to 4.5 mg per pound of body weight of magnesium as a chelate like, aspartate, malate, glycinate or an amino acid chelate.  I would suggest not taking magnesium hydroxide like milk of magnesia or magnesium oxide.  It you are taking magnesium oxide, just throw it into the commode because that is where it will end up – not absorbed in your gut.  Also for sulfate, you may consider that you eat at least three cups of the combination of cruciferous and alliums vegetables each day.  Think cold slaw with an onion diced into it or asparagus with garlic. Also be sure to take a multiple vitamin to assure you are getting the minerals necessary to make the sulfate esters, i.e. manganese, copper, zinc, etc.

To recap: vitamin D, magnesium as a chelate, sulfate, and a multiple vitamin.  Sounds too simple – it must be right.  The key is to get enough of each.  Also be sure to eliminate all foods that contain sulfites.  This may be a difficult task as it is used as a preservative and in wine and sometimes even on salads to keep them fresh.  The body will preferentially take on the sulfite and interfere with the desired sulfate reactions.

My wife recently complained that she thought she was getting a migraine which seems to run in her family.  Distorted vision and a low throbbing in her head were her symptoms.  I had her take 800 mg of magnesium as magnesium malate along with ten thousand IU of D3 and the symptoms left.  I would not have any suggestions otherwise unless it is so severe that you may want to consider IV magnesium sulfate – see your doctor.  You could try a teaspoon full of Epsom salt in coffee or tea. More than two teaspoons full and you will start to reach bowel tolerance as Epsom salt is used as a laxative.

Pain is not felt in the brain because there are no sensory nerve endings, which allows surgery on the brain while being conscious.  So where is the pain felt in headaches? – don’t know, but when I have a headache it sure feels like it is in the brain.  Maybe it is because the neurons are so clogged with waste, not enough energy, and improper sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium balance it pains you.  -Pandemic Survivor

More info on migraines and magnesium: http://mgwater.com/listd.shtml#migraine
Note: The serum test for magnesium does not correspond to cellular levels of magnesium.  It may take several months to become replete in magnesium.

Pain Reduction

Pain crawls slowly over us as a wet blanket covered in fine grains of sand or slams us instantly into a knurled lump of screaming anxiety.  Looking for relief leads us down paths that would not be otherwise chosen.  Stumbling in excruciating pain leads to emotional anchors and then into a sad lightless black darkness.  And through this you decide whether you whether to chose misery or embrace an outlook of hope.  Love, joy, and peace seem to have left the station for other destinations, but always remember this is your goal.

I am no stranger to pain having suffered chronic pain for three decades.  And then, vitamin D!  It seems odd, something as simple as the sun gives us so much relief.  I was caught up in a world of misinformation after having a heat stroke from exposure to the sun when I was three.  The heat stroke almost killed me.  The remedy of staying out of the sun would have killed if not for having walked through the door of societal dilemmas. Art called science being driving down the road of motivated institutional immorality left me in a sad darkness.

Vitamin D is hugely significant in helping to deal with all kinds of pain, in particular chronic pain.  When you add to that the remedy of sulfur and magnesium, pain runs from your body like a scalded hound that was caught in the chicken house. Long have mud baths, mineral spring water, garlic, onions, and Epson salt soaks all have in common sulfur and magnesium and analgesic properties.  The vitamin D controls the action of these minerals throughout the body.  From the start of taking vitamin D, I was off of pain meds in about ten months.  That is serious meds as in the form of 400 mg of tramadol(Ultram) along with 1600 mg of gabapentin(Neurontin).  And now, seven years later with no meds there is only love, peace, and joy.

I like what Henry Lahore, Vitamindwiki, has to say about his understanding of vitamin D.

Note about pain and vitamin D from Henry Lahore

I emailed the following to a friend on our shared 66th birthday, March 2012
Ah, I am 66 years old now but feel like I am in my early 50’s (taking 12,000 IU vitamin D daily in the winter) Lots of vitamin D in the past 2 years

  • All aches and pains are gone.
  • My psoriasis on my knee is gone
  • My feet no longer develop cracked the skin
  • Essential tremor in my hands is gone
  • My neck is no longer sore
  • My back is no longer sore
  • My brain is back (able to think and remember much better)
  • The Raynaud’s pain in my fingers is gone
  • It is a great decade   As (not just my day)
  • My wife feels 10 years younger too (she is taking 10,000 IU daily)

Take some time and go to Vitamindwiki’s page on pain.   You will find way too much information there to consume.  I would suggest Vitamin D for chronic pain -2008.pdf about half way down the page: “Vitamin D – A Neglected ‘Analgesic’ for Musculoskeletal Pain”, Hollis, et.al. 

You may not be able to do anything about your pain, but you do get to decide if you want misery as well.  – Pandemic Survivor

Deficiency Disease in a Modern World – Part II Minerals

We don’t usually think about minerals having a significant effect on disease the way we do with vitamins.  However, minerals are crucial to life.  I remember a professor that I had second semester of my freshman year for chemistry labs.  He is a brilliant man with a perfect memory.  He suggested that organic chemistry was going out of fashion.  The study of minerals was going to be the future of organic chemistry.  Well, he did not calculate man’s desire for wealth at the cost of health.  He was always optimistic; I believe the correct attitude.

Consider that iodine deficiency is the number one cause of brain damage throughout the world.  Given this and the understanding that children that don’t get enough iodine will have a significant reduction in IQ; it makes you wonder why our required daily intake is as low as specified by the government.  The suggestion that 150 mcg is adequate does not allow for mass balance according to WHO (World Health Organization).  That is unless you are small enough to where you don’t generate two liters of urine a day. WHO says that sufficiency occurs when your urine iodine level is measured at 100 mcg per liter.  I am large enough to where two liters or about two quarts is not an unusual amount of urine in twenty-four hours.  That would require at least 200 mcg of iodine per day for sufficiency.  Is this just ineptness on the part of the medical community?

If you take iodine deficiency to its furthest extreme during pregnancy, you end up with cretinism.  Cretinism is a very serious life threatening disease with both physical and mental malformation.  Goiter is another very serious disease caused by iodine deficiency.  What happens is the area around the thyroid in your neck enlarges to trap as much iodine as possible to prevent you from dying. Most likely the causes of several of the mental dysfunctions have their roots in iodine deficiency.  Then consider the thyroid makes T4, but it is each cell with an adequate amount of iodine that produces T3.  T3 is four to ten times as powerful in cellular differentiation as T4.  With each cell making its own T3, it reminds you of the way vitamin D3 works for genetic expression where each cell makes the active form as needed.   Of course the T3 will not be made in each cell if there is not an adequate amount of iodine and selenium.  Yes, selenium is needed as a catalyst for the production of T3.  Notice I said catalyst.  It is more correct to say enzyme with selenium as its cation.

So what other diseases arise from mineral deficiency?  The list is long.

Boron: Consider this abstract

Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 43(2):219–231 (2003)

The Physiological Effects of Dietary Boron
Tara A. Devirian and Stella L. Volpe*
Department of Nutrition, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Referee: Dr. Susan Meacham, Associate Professor and Department Head, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, College of Health Sciences, Room 329, Rod Lee Bigelow Building, 4505 Maryland Parkway, Las Vegas, NV 89154-3019

ABSTRACT: Boron may be an essential nutrient for animals and humans. Dietary boron influences the activity of many metabolic enzymes, as well as the metabolism of steroid hormones and several micronutrients, including calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D. Boron supplementation in rats and chicks has been shown to increase bone strength. Boron may also play a role in improving arthritis, plasma lipid profiles, and brain function. Additional research is necessary to further clarify boron’s influence in human and animal physiology, as well as determine a dietary requirement for humans.

An adequate intake has not been established, but most multiple vitamins have 3 mg.  Without boron in each cell, it is likely that vitamin D as 25(OH)D will not adequately be converted to the steroid as needed in each cell.  Symptoms of boron deficiency mimic symptoms of vitamin D deficiency and we know how severe a disease state that will create.

Calcium: The body very tightly controls serum calcium levels.  The calcium acts almost like a steroid in cell signaling and is necessary for neural transmitters to be released as the voltage gated calcium channel opens to allow the flow of transmitters at the end of the action potential in neurons.  Deficiency (low serum levels) usually only occurs when you have parathyroid malfunction (caused by vitamin D deficiency or renal failure) because of the large reserve in the bones.  Deficiency includes diseases: osteomalacia and osteoporosis as the body destroys the bones to have adequate calcium for biological functions.   Low serum calcium or hypocalcemia will result in muscle cramps and fatigue.  Very low levels will result in seizure as neurons are not properly firing.

Chromium:  Deficiency of this mineral will result in abnormal glucose utilization and increased insulin requirements. This may lead to type II diabetes.  Of course the body uses chromium III and chromium VI or hexavalent is recognized as a carcinogen.

Magnesium:  This mineral is absolutely necessary as it is involved in over 300 essential metabolic reactions.  The most critical is through its choice as the cation for the energy cycle of ATP/ADP which keeps potassium, sodium, and calcium in balance.  Deficiency symptoms are a long list and may be clinically associated with the following: ADD/ADHD, Alzheimer’s, Angina, Anxiety disorders, Arrhythmia, Arthritis- Rheumatoid and Osteoarthritis, Asthma, Autism, Auto immune disorders- all types, Cavities, Cerebral Palsy- in children from magnesium deficient mothers, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Congestive Heart Disease, Constipation, Crooked teeth- narrow jaw- in children from magnesium deficient mothers, Depression, Diabetes- Type I and II, Eating disorders- Bulimia, Anorexia, Fibromyalgia, Gut disorders- including peptic ulcer, Crohn’s disease, colitis, food allergy, Heart Disease- Arteriosclerosis, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, Heart Disease- in infants born to magnesium deficient mothers, High Blood Pressure, Hypoglycemia, Impaired athletic performance, Infantile Seizure- in children from magnesium deficient mothers, Insomnia,  Kidney Stones, Lou Gehrig’s Disease, Migraines- including cluster type, Mitral Valve Prolapse, Multiple Sclerosis, Muscle cramps, Muscle weakness, fatigue, Myopia- in children from magnesium deficient mothers, Obesity- especially obesity associated with high carbohydrate diets, Osteoporosis- just adding magnesium reversed bone loss, Parkinson’s Disease, PMS- including menstrual pain and irregularities, PPH- Primary Pulmonary Hypertension, Raynaud’s, SIDS- Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, Stroke, Syndrome X- insulin resistance, Thyroid disorders- low, high and auto-immune; low magnesium reduces T4.

Manganese: The primary importance of manganese is its necessity for the conversion of the water soluble sulfate ester that is your body’s primary waste remover.  Without proper waste removal, many diseases may result.  I suspect the manganese sulfate chemistry malfunction to be a cause of ALS.  Manganese can be toxic at relatively low levels.  Most multiple vitamin supplements provide an adequate amount.  Adequate intake for adults is 1.8 to 2.3 mg/day with the tolerable intake at 9 mg/day.

Molybdenum is a necessary for life as a co-factor in many enzymes that catalyze global transformation of the carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur cycles. Adequate intake is 45 mcg/day and tolerable intake is 2 mg/day.  Deficiency may result in cancer of the esophagus.  There is an area in China where the soils are deplete in molybdenum with an incidence 100 times higher than in the US of this particular type of cancer.  The deplete soils cause a higher exposure to nitrosamines because the molybdenum is necessary for conversion of nitrates to amino acids in plants.

Potassium:  Deficiency results in stroke, heart failure, fatigue, muscle weakness and cramps, and intestinal paralysis, which may lead to bloating, constipation, and abdominal pain.  Of course it depends on the degree of deficiency.  I know that after a hard workout, a class of low sodium V-8 juice (about one gram of potassium) makes the cramps disappear in minutes.

Zinc:  Severe deficiency as reported by the Linus Pauling institute results as follows: “The symptoms of severe zinc deficiency include the slowing or cessation of growth and development, delayed sexual maturation, characteristic skin rashes, chronic and severe diarrhea, immune system deficiencies, impaired wound healing, diminished appetite, impaired taste sensation, night blindness, swelling and clouding of the corneas, and behavioral disturbances. “    The main concern with mild deficiency is reduced immune system response.

Sulfate:  It is interesting to note that no one considers sulfate deficiency as an issue.  However, without adequate vitamin D3 the sodium sulfate co-transporters do not work as required.  Consider the following sulfate requirements of the human body:

  • Both organic sulfur from amino acids and from sulfur compounds in the cruciferous (cabbage, broccoli, etc.) and allium (garlic, onions, etc.) vegetables and inorganic sulfur from sulfates in foods and our water supply are critical to human physiology.
  • Sulfate is needed for the formation of glycosaminoglycans (GAGS i.e. glucosamine sulfate, chondroitin sulfate, etc.) or amino acids necessary for joints, skin, connective tissues, and joint lubrication through synovial fluid.
  • Sulfate is needed to start the cascade of digestive enzymes.
  • Sulfate is necessary to line the gut wall with mucin proteins.
  • Sulfate is needed for the formation of neurons where neurons are laid down on a platform of sulfated carbohydrates.
  • Sulfation is a major pathway in detoxifying from drugs, environmental toxins especially in the brain (aluminum), liver (i.e., acetaminophen), and removing waste from cells after the mitochondrial processes.
  • Sulfur is most abundant element (approximately one half percent by weight) in our body after calcium and phosphorus and is the fourth most abundant anion in our plasma.  It helps to maintain the balance of anions (bicarbonate, chloride, and phosphate) to effectively carry oxygen to the cells. Interestingly enough, sulfates are not normally measured in serum analysis.

Wow, so here we are with a list of deficiency diseases and symptoms that is much longer than the one for vitamins. When I used to take my minerals in the morning before going to the gym, I would tell my gym partner that I had eaten my bucket of dirt for the day.  We get our minerals from many sources but primarily from food.  If you choose to eat a bucket of dirt (supplements) be sure that you supplement with the correct amount.  Not enough and you have diseases and too much will result in toxicity.  – Pandemic Survivor

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

Magnesium – Heart Arrhythmias – Mardy Fish?

Deficiency disease from poor nutrition that leads to chronic disease is one of the least addressed issues in modern medicine.  When a problem arises, modern medicine looks for everything but an issue with the person’s diet and nutrition.  Now there have been so many people that have in essence healed themselves by just changing their diet, it is time for a change in the culture of treatment.  With lots of fun tools for doctors, the thought of addressing simple deficiencies is mundane.  First prescribe the drugs quinidine, lidocane, propranol, or amiodarone and on and on with no success.  Do a heart catheterization along with a heart ablation or maybe even open heart with an ablation which is even more fun.  “That arrhythmia was fixed by scarring the muscle that was causing the issue.  We just kill off that sucker – it was a structural problem.”  The conversation in the doctor’s lounge then turns to what is happening with the yacht on the Chesapeake.

There have been so many people that I know that have healed their arrhythmia with magnesium that it is just amazing to me.  Why is not asking the person with the heart issue what their diet is like be the very first question out of the doctor’s mouth.  “Oh hell, people are going to have bad habits and there is nothing you can do about it – did you see the speed I got when I raised my second sail?  Here, just try several of these drugs first for you jumpy heart and we will go from there.”

As a first course take 400 mg of magnesium as a chelate twice a day, be sure to eat lots of greens to get enough potassium, and let’s try three cups of sulfur containing vegetables per day or 1000 mg of MSM per fifty pounds of body weight to be sure you are getting enough sulfur to move the waste products out of your heart muscle.  We will also do a 25(OH)D to be sure you are getting enough vitamin D.  We will then evaluate your heart to see if your condition has changed.  The first day on magnesium and the heart arrhythmia is gone.  By US law, magnesium, greens, and cabbage become drugs.  Food is medicine and is much better at healing than killing off part of the heart because the muscle is not acting right.

When I was in college, I played tennis for two to three hours every day to relieve the stress.  After several years of this, I noticed that when I rested, I would get ‘jumpyness’ in my heart.  This scared the dodo out of me the first few times that it happened and it would come and go.  After I got out of college and started to eat better, it just went away.  And now I hear that Mardy Fish has had a heart catheterization and ablation it makes me wonder.  Mardy, did any of your doctors ask if you had been getting enough magnesium? – Pandemic Survivor

Negative Findings for Vitamin D?

There have been two reports this month that vitamin D had less than a positive effect on health.  It seems that a study on C-reactive protein as a marker for inflammation did not significantly reduce at higher levels of vitamin D.  A second was that vitamin D did not reduce the number of exacerbations in patients with COPD at higher levels of vitamin D.  Relation between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin d and C-reactive protein in asymptomatic adults (from the continuous national health and nutrition examination survey 2001 to 2006).  and   High doses of vitamin d to reduce exacerbations in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: a randomized trial. 

The really interesting thing about both of these studies was that vitamin D did appear to help significantly until 25(OH)D reached about 20 ng/ml.  At levels higher than this there did not seem to be a significant improvement and even an increase in inflammation as assumed by C-reactive protein.  There are two things that come to mind when reading these reports.  First, I know from my own experience with vitamin D that inflammation does not significantly reduce until my 25(OH)D level is above 60 ng/ml for extended periods of time.  Second, there was no indication for controls on cofactors of vitamin D like magnesium, vitamin A, and age control for L-arginine levels.  Yes I know that most of you think that vitamin A is not a cofactor for vitamin D, but an antagonist.  The clearing of the liver from an overload of vitamin A with vitamin D deficiency is significant as the vitamin D level is increased.  However, if an adequate intake of vitamin A is not maintained, then the combination of vitamin A and vitamin D for genetic expression or cellular differentiation is lost.  The worry over two much vitamin A seems to be a reduction in the level of vitamin D.  The combination of action of these two cofactors needs to be maintained.  This is a similar case for magnesium and L-arginine.

The common headlines for these two reports were disturbing.  Such as, “Too Much Vitamin D Linked to Heart Risk” –eMaxHealth, and “Vitamin D want help most COPD patients” USA Today.  On the face of the headline, it is correct.  But what the reports actually say and what the headlines say for the casual reader are two different things.  Again, in both studies, there were positive effects found for levels improving to 20ng/ml.  In the COPD study, there were 30 patients out of a total of 182 studied that had fewer exacerbations.

In the study for c-reactive protein, it was found that there was some increase with vitamin D levels higher than 20 ng/ml.  It has been accepted that at higher levels of c-reactive protein that there is a stiffening of the artery walls and it has been assumed this was from inflammation.  A lot of assumption – What has been discovered in the last fifteen years is that nitric oxide has a significant relaxing effect on arterial walls.  There has even been a Nobel Prize awarded for this understandingDr. Joseph Prendergrast  (not the Nobel Prize recipient, but in his words – “an uncommon doctor’) has shown in treating thousands of diabetics for heart disease that L-arginine is extremely important in combination with vitamin D.  Typically a person will make about three to six grams of L-arginine per day.  As we age this number is significantly reduced.  Once the amount of nitric oxide is reduced because of reduced L-arginine, then the communication for the relaxation of arterial walls is also lost.  Was there a control for age and L-arginine production or nitric oxide levels?  Magnesium is also extremely important to heart health.  Heart arrhythmia can be linked directly to  low intakes of magnesium.  Were there any controls for magnesium?  This is a very serious issue for heart health as there is not even a standardize test that gives the clinician results to act on for magnesium.

Our medical researchers owe us better studies than what we are getting.  The human body does not turn on one nutrient or another.  It is always the combination that is important.  Increasing any one thing without consideration for what is happening to the levels of other needs in the body is just dumb.  Incompetence is only measured by the amount of money that can be generated or lost from a trusting mass market.  – Pandemic Survivor