Food and Nutrition Board Delay

During a recent visit to the Food and Nutrition Board website for vitamin D and calcium I was alarmed to find that the report had been delayed from May of this year until the end of the summer.

Most likely this will continue until the boards deadline of 24 months has ended.  That would put the report to sometime in the fall of 2010.  I would not be so concerned except for the 100,000 or so deaths each month that we delay because of vitamin D deficiency to say nothing of the suffering.

A. Catherine Ross, a vitamin A researcher, as chair most certainly is having a very difficult time in resolving the issues of a board that ultimately could have a huge effect on health as well as more of an impact on the medical economy than the recently passed health care bill.  Don’t you find it strange that a board for the Institute of Medicine that was seated to set standards and guidelines for vitamin D is chaired by a person who’s life’s research has been vitamin A?

I hope this is science and not politics at work.  It is for your health that I am concerned.  The scientist are saying that an upper limit of 10,000 IU per day needs to be set and I say that this may not be enough for an obese person.  However, anything less than this and we know that is more concerned with the medical economy than your health.  It would seem that the best DRI or daily required intake should be set for IU’s/per body weight.  It is the only thing that makes sense.

Doctor’s should also be instructed that long term levels of less than 200 ng/ml is safe for 25(OH)D.  This information already exist in the NIH Fact Sheet on Vitamin D in Table 1. It is also stated that no toxicity has been found in levels of less than 400 ng/ml.  Even though these numbers sound large they are still very small numbers.

Typically an intake from all sources of about 35 IU’s per pound of body weight should get your 25(OH)D above 50 ng/ml.  However, there is no way of knowing for sure without testing and because of the serious health consequences of vitamin D deficiency, testing should become a standard and doctors required to take enough CME’s to understand the complexities.

The longer we delay in not having a national intervention for vitamin D deficiency the suffering will continue.  Number one in this issue is that doctors need to be educated.

Death Panels in US Health Care

During the present conversation on Health Care Reform legislation, there has been a lot of discussion about death panels.  It seems that proponents of the present legislation have claimed that these panels are just scare tactics by those that do not want the legislation to pass.  Here is an article from the New York Times discussing this issue. False ‘Death Panel’ has some Familiar Roots. Could it be that the real death panels are those groups that are appointed specifically as ‘non-biased’ for reporting to HHS, NIH, FDA, Department of Defense, and other government sponsoring bodies?  The NY Times article claims “There is nothing in any of the legislative proposals that would call for the creation of death panels or any other governmental body that would cut off care for the critically ill as a cost-cutting measure.”

A committee or Food and Nutrition Board was appointed in September, 2008 to discuss and report on Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin D and Calcium.  This committee is an arm of the Institute of Medicine and a sub-division of the National Academy of Sciences.  The NAS was formed specifically to keep political views from entering into scientific decisions.  From the Project Information for this FNB:  “The project is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (National Institutes of Health, Food and Drug Administration, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion), U.S. Department of Agriculture (Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, Agricultural Research Service), U.S. Department of Defense (Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center), and Health Canada.”

Dr. John Cannell, Vitamin D Council, was upset at the appointment of the members of this committee because he felt that the committee was biased because there was no one on the committee that been a leader in the ‘Vitamin D Revolution’.  That was reported in his January 21, 2009 newsletter.  Here is a feel for his upset from that newsletter:  “Are these statements the reason the IOM excluded these vitamin D experts?  Perhaps the IOM dislikes criticism more than it loves candor? When the new FNB vitamin D recommendations come out next summer, will those recommendations continue to “offend the most basic principles of pharmacology and toxicology?”  If any member of the new board disagrees with the consensus of the board, will that scientist be allowed to produce a minority opinion without risking the loss of research grants in the future? “  I agree somewhat with John’s statements but it is also necessary not to have biased viewpoints on the committee which will make their report stronger evidence of the effects of vitamin D on the human body.  This from their Conflicts of Interest Policy: “Finally, it is essential that the work of committees that are used by the institution in the development of reports not be compromised by issues of bias and lack of objectivity.”

They certainly would not want me on the committee having been pulled from the ‘jaws of death’ by vitamin D.  I am exceptionally and without shame biased!!  Dr. Cannell’s point is that there is no money to be made in the sale of vitamin D because it is one of the least expensive nutritional supplements on the market and it is free from sun exposure. Why not have some of the scientists on the committee that are the closest to the research?  After all, these researchers have already demonstrated their character and their lack of bias by risking their careers in objecting to current practices.  There are people in this esteemed list of doctors and scientist appointed to the committee that have done research on vitamin D so there is a body of knowledge that is inherent in this committee.  So the question – is there any bias on this committee?  List of committee members and a brief bio of their work.

When you look at bias you are always concerned about a scientist taking a strong viewpoint that could undermine his objectivity to the decision making process.  Also you do not want a scientist that will gain materially from the decision that is being made.  This last statement excludes everyone on the board.  Not only does everyone on the board stand to not profit from their decision, the decision could reduce funding to their research projects by as much as half of everything they do.  When it becomes knowledge that vitamin D is an essential hormone necessary to sustain life the amount of death from illness by chronic disease will be reduced by half and the medical industry including medical research will shrink accordingly.

This Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine on Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin D and Calcium, an arm of the National Academy of Sciences, is by definition a death panel.  Through their decisions they stand to significantly impact the centers of commerce and the flow of money throughout the world by improving the health of the world or holding to status quo.  Financial Times has already discussed the fact that the reason the vitamin D science has not come forward is because of the money. Read this article:  Why Governments are Selling Vitamin D Short – Sam Apple – published October 23, 2009 Financial Times:  and my comments from my post ‘A Major Newspaper Gets It”

Dr. Cannell you are absolutely correct about the possibility of bias and so the question is will the members of this committee recuse themselves?  Every member of this committee stands to lose. It is now a matter of character if the correct decisions are made.  Dr. A. Catherine Ross, Chairman of this FNB, has the lives of millions of people in the world in her hands as well as the weight of the economic future of the world.  The decisions of this committee will be the most powerful influence on health and economics that have been made in the history of the world since the death camps and declaration of war during World War II.  I do not envy this appointment.  My prayers are for you Dr. Ross and the committee.

Life, sometimes, is not easy in the sun.   – Pandemic Survivor

Millions Needlessly Die of Vitamin D3 Deficiency

Well, in my satire on the presidential declaration of a national emergency it seems that I got my numbers wrong about the amount of death from vitamin D deficiency.   I had used 400,000 deaths that is an extrapolation used in William Grants paper on what would happen if everyone in the US were to take 2000 IU of D3 per day.  “Reducing the Burden of Disease Through Adequate Intake of Vitamin D3.” http://www.sunarc.org/GrantGrassrootsHealth.pdf Since Dr. Grant wrote this paper that used data from 2001 new research has come to light.

I received an email today from the John Cannell, Vitamin D Council, that said that William Faloon, Co-Founded of Life Extension Foundation, had written a new article with a retraction of his data from the letter of 2007.  http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2007/oct2007_awsi_01.htm His new numbers that appeared in the January, 2009 issue of Life Extension Magazine shows that there could be well over a million deaths in the US every year from vitamin D deficiency.  http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2009/jan2009_Millions-of-Needless-Deaths_01.htm

So what are we to believe?  I always like to check my data from an independent source.  If we consider that vitamin D has the possibility of reducing all chronic disease by 40 percent what would that mean for America?  If you will recall my post on Health Care Reform Heal the People we found that the death rate in Mexico is 4.8 per 1000 per year and in the US the death rate is 8.4 per 1000 per year,  or 43% less deaths per year in Mexico.  CIA Fact Sheets:  https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2066rank.html So you ask what the disparity of data is.  Do they have a better health care system?  The answer of course is that they are a sun-splashed country in the lower latitudes which means they most likely have higher vitamin D levels than the US.  And not only that,  but much of the population lives above 5000 ft which is above much of the atmospheric moisture and pollutions and this allows a higher incidence of UVB radiation to make vitamin D.  Also their winters are not as cold so more of the human body is exposed because they simply wear fewer clothes.

The death rate in the US of 8.4 minus the death rate of 4.8 is 3.6 per 1000 population per year.  If we take that most of this is from the difference in vitamin D levels then the US could reduce death by 3.6 times 307,000 thousand (307 million US population) per year.  This works out to 1,150,000 people per year.  If we say that there are more deaths because we have more cars and higher incidence of toxins because we are (were) a more industrialized nation, we would still have well over a million less deaths from vitamin D3 deficiency every year.  This would decimate the medical and medical insurance industries to say nothing of big pharma and over-the-counter goods sold at retail as remedies for whatever.  If the deaths are reduced by this much imagine how much less suffering and pain there would be from disease.

This is one heck of a survivor story as Mexico has significantly less death and suffering than the US because of vitamin D3.  I know the above may not be very scientific but it makes a lot of just plain common sense.  Imagine the millions of needless deaths in other countries because of this dread deficiency in a world with a population 6.7 billion people with a large portion living at the higher latitudes.

William Faloon sent this article to all Congressmen and Senators:  http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2009/jan2009_Millions-of-Needless-Deaths_01.htm

While you are basking in the sun write your Congressman, The President, and the Secretary of Health and tell your friends.    – Pandemic Survivor

Individual Health Versus Institutional Health

I certainly hope that you enjoyed my satirical post on the president declaring a national emergency for vitamin D deficiency.  Of course this is what needs to happen, whether it will ever happen or not is another question.  Because a sudden improvement in health would so drastically reshape the economy of the world maybe moving carefully is prudent.  On the other hand, living with disease that causes pain and suffering is sad when there very well could be a simple solution.

It most likely would take longer for the insurance companies to start to fail than what I suggested in the satire.  At first, it is most likely that they would see a significant windfall profit as the cost of reduced disease states shrinks.  Then when state insurance and federal insurance controls kicked in on profitability then jobs would start to be lost.  But you know,  I believe these jobs should never have been created in the first place if we had been following the science of medicine instead of the greed of institutions.

Specialization in institutions leads to efficiency in performing task of the corporate body but leads to evil when the overall moral compass fails.  In the US the moral compass of the nation is contained in the leadership of the three branches of government.  When that compass is lost then the country as a whole will start to fail.  We typically have leadership at the top that is trained in how to handle money and to be the most profitable in the course of action without greater consideration for the ethics of the action.

When the science of vitamin D was coming forward in the 1930’s into the late 1970’s was the time for our moral compass to kick in with compassion for the suffering of the ill.  However, what kicked in was the greed of institutions to be wealthy.  As Dr. John Cannell, Vitamin D Council, says the ‘science was ignored’.  The building of large profitable institutions based on a large population of sick people was not ignored.  Is there one corporate medical body that can stay profitable on a shrinking population of disease?  Leaders of our corporations will tell you that growth is the only way to sustain a company in today’s modern paradigm of business.  Imagine a 25 to 50 percent reduction in the largest sector of our economy.

The moral compass of our country is held in the body politic by the people and not by any branch of government.  Our politicians have become too aglow with being reelected to make decisions that best fit the people because the money is from profitability of institutions which in turn give it to politicians for reelection.  However, it is the responsibility of the president when all else fails to act to stem the suffering of the people.  This responsibility has been given to the Secretary of Health and Human Services.  When we find principles stated like Secretary Leavitt’s of the Bush White House – ‘markets before mandates’ more important than to ‘value life’ then suffering of the population is the result.

In any case we the people sharing our stories of overcoming disease without the institutions can make a significant reduction in suffering.  Send me your stories of recovering from illness from vitamin D and we will help others toward the understanding of health from the sun.

Because vitamin D is so cheap and so clearly reduces all-cause mortality, I can say this with great certainty: Vitamin D represents the single most cost-effective medical intervention in the United States. ~ Dr. Greg Plotnikoff, Medical Director, Penny George Institute for Health and Healing, Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis.

Dr. John Cannell’s point of keeping your serum vitamin D, 25(OH)D, level above 50 ng/ml when it causes no harm and has the possibility of making you well is where the medical profession should be.  A normal range has long been from 20 ng/ml to 100 ng/ml and now all that is being suggested is that the lower end of the range be increased to prevent disease and death.  But in the backs of the minds of the leaders of our institutions is the ‘health’ of the largest sector in our economy.

Be well and healthy and let the sun shine on you.       – Pandemic Survivor

President Declares National Emergency for Vitamin D Deficiency

During the White House transition in January 2009, one of President Barack Obama’s medical advisors found a letter from the Co-Founder of the Life Extension Foundation, William Faloon to President George Bush from September 2007.   This excerpt from the letter: “There is significant legal precedent for the federal government taking affirmative action when the preponderance of scientific evidence shows that correcting a widespread deficiency of a nutrient (such as adding iodine to salt and folic acid to cereals) would lead to significant reductions in human suffering and death. “   The letter asked that a National Emergency be declared for Vitamin D deficiency because of the several hundred thousands of deaths that are happening every year due to this dread deficiency.  After reviewing the thousands of medical peer review papers published on chronic disease and vitamin D the President immediately issues an order that citizens should take 5,000 IU of D3 per day with a maximum intake of 10,000 IU per day and children would take 35 IU per lb of body weight.  He had seven billion dollars appropriated for the government to provide the first year’s supply of vitamin D3 to show good faith that this action could be taken by all regardless of their means.

Here we are in December approximately 10 months after the first supply of supplements were distributed to the population.  There is extreme joy as there have been at least 400,000 less deaths during this period for a sixteen percent reduction in total death and elimination of any signs of colds or the flu.  Because of the better health of Americans doctor’s visits have decreased by 30 percent and hospitalization census has decreased by 25%.  There has also been a reduction of 600 billion dollars in the health care segment that normally comes in at 16 percent of the economy at around 2.25 trillion dollars.

This all but ensures that President Obama has kept his campaign promises of change that we could believe in as the just general amount of everyday pain and suffering has been significantly reduced.  This has resulted in a significant increase in the amount of productive days and helped to sling shot us from the verge of economic depression.  With the retraction of the mark to market rule in mid-April and the re-installation of rules to prevent everyday deposit accounts from being used for risky investment that stability of the economy is all but insured.

The changes to the health care insurance legislation became easy as most insurance companies decided to turn their business over to the government because of bankruptcy due to the improved health.  With the improvement in the economy, it has allowed the government to get out of the car and banking business and provide health insurance coverage to all Americans.  Also Health and Human Services decided to end commercials for prescription drugs because of the unnecessary stress on the government run health system.

The development of the swine flu in Mexico in April at first threw fear into the population with the thought that there may be need for a National Emergency to be declared in late August or possibly October as the swine flu was to begin to spike.  This was not necessary because the population’s level of innate immunity was raised to such a point through the implementation of vitamin D that the swine flu became the swine flew.

The government plans to continue the supply of vitamin D to Americans because it only takes $25 per individual for a year.  This $25 per capita has been the most significant stimulus to the economy ever.

Ah, living easy in the sun  – Pandemic Survivor