Discovery of the Century—Healing Cartilage

Cartilage damage is the number one problem that creates pain in the aging population.  Cartilage compresses, nerves compress, and pain and chronic disease is the result. Unfortunately, it has also become a problem with the not so aged.  If you are a reader of this blog, you know of the back and nerve pain that I suffered for three decades.  I even wrote a book about the recovery, Healed from Chronic Pain.  I have been in the process of writing a second book about how to repair cartilage and felt that something was missing.  The missing environmental factor is the SUN.

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I started to supplement with vitamin D3 November 4, 2004.  I had shrunk an inch from degenerative disc disease over the years.  When I combined the supplements that I had researched, my cartilage repaired.  Not only did my cartilage repair, but also my health overall returned.  I had always assumed that getting vitamin D3 from whatever source was one of the keys.  That is, keeping my serum vitamin D (25(OH)D) above 60 ng/ml.  However, I noticed at times that my cartilage had not rehydrated to keep me at my new height.  During the year of recovery, I had grown back to my original height in the first seven months.  During the next three months, I grew to my genetic height of–-an inch and one half taller than I had ever been.

It took me several years to find one key necessary for cartilage repair.  During the year of repair, I had supplemented with methyl folate, as I had read that it crossed the blood brain barrier.  I knew that my brain had shrunk from over a decade of chronic severe pain.  I thought the methyl folate would help my brain repair.  I now realize that the methylation cycle, with methyl folate and its cofactors, were necessary to stimulate stem cell growth.  Only fifty percent of the population can convert folic acid, a manmade molecule, to folate required to drive the methylation cycle.  Thanks to Dr. Ben Lynch, I now understand how important the methylation cycle is to health because of its role in genetic expression. (Note: betaine or trimethyl glycine will allow the methylation cycle to work without folate.  The human body is so smart in usually having two pathways.  Both folate and betaine are in spinach; Popeye was so shrewd!)

The other key that I did not understand, at the time, was sulfate.  Sulfate is critical to health, and here. If you think of all the healing remedies that were about soaking in mineral baths, sulfate and magnesium ( and here) were always key factors. I supplemented with large amounts of chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine sulfate during the year of healing.  I now realize that these molecules are so large that you most likely do not absorb them.  However, I think the sulfate from the molecules is absorbed.  This is especially true if you have a higher vitamin D3 level as vitamin D controls the transport of sulfur through dermal layers.  I now use MSM as a sulfur supplement as well as eat cruciferous and allium vegetables.  Both vegetable groups are high in sulfur, especially the garlic, onions, and leeks.

The “event” happened this past fall to bring to light the last missing component that is necessary for cartilage repair and hydration.  I had oral surgery in October for a granuloma that had developed over long amount of time per the surgeon.  I had noticed an issue with the tooth that I had a root canal done in the ‘90s.  The surgeon said there was an opening in the root crest that was allowing bacteria to destroy the bone.  In any case, this prevented me from doing my normal routine of using a tanning bed in October.  By the first of November, I started to get a nerve rash on both legs.  I had experienced this before and knew that it was coming from compression of my disc.  I measured my height, and sure enough I had shrunk. I recovered my height in two times of tanning in one week.  The nerve rash disappeared and the severe itching stopped.

The three months that I grew to taller than I had ever been was during the summer.  I spent at least thirty minutes with the midday summer sun on my back.  It has now become obvious to me that the sun is critical in three ways.  The formation of vitamin D sulfate, formation of cholesterol sulfate (Dr. Stephanie Seneff and here), and improved formation of the exclusion zone (Dr. Gerald Pollack) at the cell membranes. I will not pretend to understand the biology involved, but know that this helps to hydrate and repair cartilage.

Through the grace of God in my medically untrained ways of thinking about how to reduce pain and repair cartilage, I stumbled on the significance of vitamins and minerals and environment.  Cartilage repair is complex and that is the reason that medical science has misdirected us, I hope.  I think specialization has kept us from putting it all together.  Vitamins and minerals that I was taking when my cartilage healed–-all the vitamins as supplements and mineral complexes. The source of the manufacture and the dose of the vitamins and mineral supplements is critical.  With modern processed foods, I would have to eat about 8,000 calories per day to get an adequate amount.

Critical supplements for cartilage repair: Vitamins A (used cod live oil), B (methyl folate and its cofactors), C, D3, and possibly E; magnesium, zinc, iodine, selenium, manganese, calcium, and sulfate; and environmental exposure to UV light and infrared light. Proteins from bone and skin are also critical (gelatin-simple explanation).  The dosage is key to this combination.  Too much or too little of any of these items will trip you up.  Through trial and error, I have arrived at the correct combination.  I will now begin the rewrite of my book about how to heal cartilage. I have had many people to try my formula with great success.  The ones that regularly exposed themselves to the sun were the most successful.  –Pandemic Survivor

©2017 Mark Pegram

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The Value of Spending Time in the Sun

There are pundits out there claiming that making vitamin D in the sun is better than taking it orally because you will make more vitamin D3 sulfate which is very active in transforming health and not just in moving calcium around.  In particular are the statements of Dr. Mercola in making this claim.  He has made a leap in logic where there are no logical pathways.   My contention is if cholesterol can be turn into cholesterol sulfate by replacing an OH group with a SO4 group then the same can occur with vitamin D3 through normal biological processes.

Sulfation (adding a sulfate) occurs with many different molecules.  Some of the more common ones are the glycans that are responsible for giving you healthy joints.  Another is keratin sulfate that gives you healthy skin.  It seems that for some reason Dr. Mercola has reached the conclusion that the only way that you make vitamin D3 sulfate is from cholesterol sulfate in the skin with UVB incident light.  It is my belief that you have more vitamin D3 sulfate when you have an adequate intake of sulfate.  After all, the hypothesis of Stephanie Seneff was there are lower heart disease and other chronic diseases in countries with higher natural sulfur.

I believe the benefit from getting your vitamin D3 from sunning is more about forming water boundaries.  Dr. Gerald Pollack, University of Washington bioengineering professor, discovered that water forms structured boundaries when exposed to infrared light (benefit of exposing our bodies to the sun?).  There is a sixty minute you tube video where he presents his findings – “Water, Energy, and Life: Fresh Views from the Water’s Edge”.  I believe these boundaries form when hydrogen in the boundary region has different bond angles in the water molecule.  This higher energy level of water requires you to spend time in infrared light for the bond angles to form.  Also you may consider that one of the practices of chiropractors is to treat people in infrared light to improve health.  There are a number of infrared light therapy products on the market now for treating primarily pain.

I believe the benefit of getting vitamin D from the sun is no greater than taking it orally.  The benefit of going into the sun is to help make healthy membranes so that our biological processes work the best.  Of course I am referring to the separation of sodium/potassium which drives our whole neurological processes.  Also the action of calcium and magnesium may be controlled to a degree by the difference in boundary potentials.

I know that this may sound odd, but infrared light is just as important to health as ultraviolet light.  Be sure you are getting enough inorganic sulfates and spend time in the sun as it is very beneficial to you.  What could be better than soaking in an Epsom salts bath while in the sun?  – Pandemic Survivor

Time for the Sun – Protection

“With the introduction of sunscreen, our relationship with the sun has changed forever.”

In the last several posts we have discussed the issues with sunscreen.  To be clear, sunscreen will somewhat protect you from skin cancer that is not life threatening like basal cell carcinoma, but there is no evidence that it stops melanoma.  Betting you life on a chemical rubbed on the skin is risky business.  If you have to spend a lot of time in the sun, then your best protection is to allow your skin to become tan and wear clothing and hats to protect yourself.  If you must use a cream to protect your skin, then use the type that has titanium dioxide or zinc oxide to reflect the UV away.

The use of sunscreens does not stop melanoma.  This is the reason that the melanoma rate is so high in Australia.  The ozone layer thickens over that area of the earth and acts just like the older sunscreens in allowing all the UVA through and blocking the UVB.  In other words, the amount of vitamin D production is reduced and the opportunity for skin cancer has increased.  This is our current relationship with the sun because of sunscreen use.

Annesofie Faurschou, M.D., Ph.D., of Bispebjerg Hospital in Copenhagen, Denmark, and colleagues conducted a study on vitamin D production when using sunscreen.  They used the recommended amount suggested by the World Health Organization to prevent burning of 2 mg/cm­3. (if I did the math right that would be about 1250 mg/in2 – sorry about the mixed units – about a tenth of an ounce for every three square inches)  At the recommended amount there was no significant increase in serum vitamin D.  The article was published in April online in the British Journal of Dermatology.  Here is a summary from the DoctorsLounge.com 

Using sunscreen is like a double whammy for your health.  It will not stop melanoma unless it is the type with mineral filler.  It prevents you from making vitamin D that is required for health.  This has been the condition of the population for the last fifty years.  To think that fair skin populations have had a ten-fold increase in the melanoma rate over the last fifty years is very concerning.  Australia’s promotion of sun protection did not seem to help the problem because of misinformation about chemical sunscreens.  Your best experience in the sun is to not burn first and do not depend on sunscreen to prevent cancer as it may make it worse.

Do go into the sun when the UVB is the highest for the best results for vitamin D production between the hours of 11 am to 2 pm.  Do not allow yourself to be burned by the sun.  After an adequate time for vitamin D production, protect your skin with clothes and hats.  Embrace our long heritage in receiving life from the sun – enjoy it.  – Pandemic Survivor

Time for the Sun – The FDA Intrudes

Before I begin, I would like to apologize for the errors and bad writing in the last post.  I was uploading from McDonald’s at the beach and didn’t finish editing before I lost the connection.

By the late nineties, the scientific evidence was clear that sunscreen and sun-block were not preventing skin cancer.  The UVA rays were not being stopped from penetrating the skin was a skin cancer issue.  Also the many claims by the pharma’s that their products would stop skin cancer were not confirmed so the FDA asked for label changes to drop the cancer prevention claims.  There is no scientific evidence that sunscreen stops melanoma.  The FDA’s request failed in the courts in 2000 as John Roberts, present Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, ruled that the FDA could not stop the manufacturers from making the outrageous claims about cancer prevention.  This ruling was in direct violation of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994 about no substance can claim it will prevent, cure, or treat disease without it being called a drug and following all the rules for drugs.

Move forward another decade, the FDA has been able to get the sunscreen industry to make label changes.  You may view the detail of the changes and even watch some video shorts of their reasons for making the changes at the FDA website.  The videos deal with the two types of frequencies and how the sunscreens will now be required to reduce the UVA rays as well.  Also the word ‘sun-block’ will no longer be allowed for use on the label because this is a complete exaggeration, or if you prefer – lie.  Also the word waterproof will no longer be allowed because all lotion will eventually lose its integrity.  The words ‘Broad Spectrum’ in addition to the SPF number will be required to show that the sunscreen slows UVA rays as well UVB.  These changes take place in June of 2012, this month.

Dr. Gorham in his video that we have been referring to, Skin Cancer/Sunscreen – the Dilemma, shows that the chemicals used to slow UVA only works in the frequency range that is closer to the UVB.  It does not work in the more intense energy frequency range of UVA that is closer to the violet spectrum of visible light. This means that the slowing of the UVA energy by new ‘Broad Spectrum’ sunscreen may not be adequate to prevent skin cancer.  The visible spectrum then continues into the color ranges of indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red.  To remember the light spectrum you may use the mnemonic name Roy G. Biv.  Of course going in shorter wavelength of spectrum you have UVA, UVB, UVC, x-rays, and gamma radiation.

My question is what happens to the energy of the UVA that is being slowed by the chemicals.  Does it re-radiate into the longer UVA wavelengths.  It is my belief that the only way the sunscreens will ever protect us is to have a lotion that will radiate the UV energy into the visible spectrum.  This would be a really ‘cool’ product as well as you could see of the person glow in violet and indigo as they are exposed to UV radiation.  The kids would love this.  Let’s see how long before this suggestion finds its way onto the shelves.  Of course there are sunscreens that reflect the UV radiation with products that have either titanium dioxide or zinc oxide.  These typically look white on the skin and are not consider pleasing to the eye.  However, they may be even more effective than dark pigmented skin in preventing melanoma.  All UV reduction products prevent the formation of vitamin D!

As a last thought on the FDA, why did the label changes not include a warning that UVB reduction products will prevent an essential nutrient from forming, vitamin D, or more importantly an essential hormone? -1 It would seem that if the government was really concerned about health, especially with the high incidence of osteoporosis it would not want vitamin D in the population reduced.

Now as I am thinking about it there are many other oddities by government in the vitamin D arena.  The IOM’s Food and Nutrition Board totally discounted all the evidence pointing toward the prevention of over two hundred other diseases and said there was enough vitamin D in the population to prevent osteoporosis and plainly stated they only considered bone health. -2 The FNB violated the National Academy of Science strict conflict of interest policy without action by the US or Canada for breach of contract.  -3 The division of HHS for Research and Health Quality did not separate the studies provided to the FNB for vitamin D3 versus vitamin D2 (confusion by complexity). -4 Our now Chief Justice, John Roberts, ruled in 2000 that the FDA could not stop the outrageous lie that skin cancer was prevented by sunscreen thus increasing the use of sunscreen. -5 Why was this ruling not challenged in the Supreme Court as a violation of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994? -6 Health and Human Services will not allow the use of mandates in the health industry because markets are more important than your health – former Secretary Leavitt’s words.  -7 The class action lawsuit of 2006 against the sunscreen industry for their lack of truth about sunscreen was basically dropped with a small payment (less than fifty thousand) to the National Cancer Institute, a US agency – odd as NCI did not initiate the lawsuit.  – 8 Does the US health industry increase from five percent of GDP in 1960 to over eighteen percent of GDP in 2009 without the manipulation of a large sick population? -9 Is there a conspiracy going on?  Yes I used the word and this is not the first time it has been used in relation to vitamin D.  The US Government used it when they took 16 multinationals to court for conspiracy in manipulating the vitamin D market in the 1940’s.  Now is that same government intimately involved?  Just asking the questions – I know vitamin D professionals cannot ask the questions without fear of their careers.    – Pandemic Survivor

Time for the Sun – A Tale of Two Frequencies

Sunshine is so refreshing and cleansing that we absolutely love to go into the sun.  It is our source of physical energy as we know it.  In fact, just about everything that we can think of in our physical existence derives its energy from the sun.  There are multiple frequencies of energy that arrive from the sun onto the earth.  Warmth comes from infrared rays as it touches our skins and interacts with all physical matter to transfer heat.  Biologically, there are two frequencies in the ultra violet range that concerns us most:  UVA and UVB.  These rays have a significant impact on our skin.  Of course this blog is primarily about the UVB rays and how that generates cholecalciferol for healing, more commonly known as vitamin D3, from the cholesterol in our skin.

Originally, the concern for sunburn brought about the desire for a chemical that would keep us from burning, but yet would allow our bare skin to be exposed to the sun because of the great feeling that it gives us.  Up to this time, it had always been understood that spending gradually more time in the sun would allow the tanning process to take place until you reached the point where you could stay in the sun as long as you liked without concern for being burned.  Of course the population spent a lot of time outside so it was natural for your skin to tan as the intensity of UV increased with the movement of the sun toward summertime.  But then, with the invention of modern conveniences, much more time was spent inside.  When people decided it was time to travel to the lower latitudes or just simply go into a bright early summer sun they burned.

The first lotions were about tanning and not so much about preventing sunburn.  I remember well in the early sixties my siblings talking about what was the best tanning solution.  It seemed that ‘baby oil’ with iodine added was considered a great aid for tanning and would give you the richest deepest tan.  That was when the industry introduced the little girl on the beach with the dog pulling on her pants that we still see on a popular brand of lotion today.  This of course was done to show the difference in skin tone between ‘skin covered’ with fabric versus ‘the glorious tan’ provided by the product.  Dr. Gorham shows this in his presentation that we discussed from last post. Skin Cancer/Sunscreen – the Dilemma

This brings us to the increase of skin cancer that started to occur with the use of chemical lotions on our skin.  Dr. Gorham shows how this increase in skin cancer is directly correlated to the increased use of chemicals on our skin.  He goes on to show that the thick ozone layer over Australia acts just like sunscreen.  Of course he explains that just because there is correlation does not mean that there is causation, but the important point is that without correlation there cannot be causation.   It appears that the effect of sunscreen is the primary cause of the increase in skin cancer.

Until the late nineties, the sunscreen only stopped the penetration of UVB because this was the frequency that seemed to cause the sunburn.  It was then decided, perhaps, the UVA was causing the increase in skin cancer.  Dr. Gorham provides convincing scientific evidence this is the case as he points to another scientist’s work.  The platy fish contracts melanoma when UVB is blocked and UVA is allowed through. His contention is the primary cause for the increase in skin cancer is from how the sunscreen products prevented UVB penetration and increased the amount of UVA.

The chemicals that were used as sunscreen cause the energy from the UVB to reradiate (re-radiation works like fluorescing paints that we use on our highways and for other uses) in the UVA frequency so that there was more energy in the more deeply penetrating UVA rays.  This certainly seems to be the case.  If you think about how tanning works to allow the melanin to cover the nucleus of the cell for protection, the increase in UVA energy was defeating our natural mechanism for protection.  Think of a fortress that is being overrun by so many enemies that the moat and the fortified buttresses are not enough to keep them out.  Tanning works great to prevent skin cancer because people with lots of melanin and deep skin tone have the least amount of skin cancer.

Enough of this for the moment, I am off to the beach to enjoy the sun.  I would suggest that you do the same.  Get off you computer and go into the sun.   – Pandemic Survivor

Time for the Sun

The brilliant delightful sun splashes through misty clouds calling for you to come enjoy the warmth and renewal of too many days trapped inside.  A prisoner to long winters, your computer, too much tv, and an oppressive medical industry telling you that you will get skin cancer if you so choose to enjoy time in the sun.  But you feel in your bones the need to relax and bask and feel the health and energy as you soak up the rays.  There completing the task that has to be done outside or just relaxing with your favorite beverage (mine is a tonic water with you a splash of grapefruit juice and a lime) in a lounge chair out by the ocean with the waves splashing at your feet.  Every cell in your body soaks up the joy being poured into every pore of your being as a few minutes in the radiance becomes a spiritual renewal as well.  And still the drone of the medical industry disrupts our joy of the sun – “you’ll get cancer if you spend too much time in the sun you bad person.”

What are we supposed to do with fifty years of warnings about spending too much time in the sun when we know that it renews us?  Despite the warnings skin cancer rates have gone up five-fold since the fifties and ten-fold in the Nordic countries.  It is almost like a self full filling prophecy about getting cancer if you go into the sun.  Why has there been this large increase in cancer when we have spent less time in the sun and always wear sunscreen?  The effort that has gone into warnings in Australia has not been helpful as skin cancer rates have continued to increase.  What about tanning booths?  Do they really cause skin cancer if used properly and do they give us the same kind of tan and benefit as we get from the sun?  All of this confusion when all we wanted is to have the renewal that we know the sun provides.  The killers of joy and health belong to the rays from the sun or the warnings of the medical industry and chemical exposure in sunscreen?

We will try to explore these issues over the next several posts and try to reach an explanation as to why the skin cancer rates have gone up.  In the meantime, I would suggest that you watch this excellent presentation by Edward Gorham, PhD as he discusses the dilemma of skin cancer and sunscreen use.  This presentation is provided through the efforts of Grass Roots Health, a community of vitamin D researchers, and University of California public tv.  Skin Cancer/Sunscreen – the Dilemma, the forty-five minute discussion leads you through the different type of rays of the sun, why sunscreen has missed the mark over the last fifty years, and perhaps has even made matters worse.

What to look forward to for future post of spending time in the sun:
New changes to sunscreen by the FDA effective in June
How to enjoy the sun and protection that is required or not
Suggestions on artificial tanning

In the meantime, get as naked as you possibly can without getting locked up or insulting the neighbors and go into the sun.  – Pandemic Survivor

Sun Tan, Melanoma, Sunscreen, and Science

I would have to assume that like me you are one of those people that thought there was a huge amount of science saying that if we used sunscreen that we are protecting ourselves from melanoma.  However, the science suggest otherwise.  The dermatologists have been used over the last fifty years to help develop this belief as they have believed this from their own education.  However, consider this statement made by Edward Gorham, PhD during a presentation on sunscreen and melanoma.  “Sunscreen has changed our ancient relationship between our skin and the sun.”  Unfortunately this change has not been for the better.

To date there has been no control study to show that sunscreen reduces the amount of melanoma in the population.  It has been just the opposite.  In the US as a whole melanoma has increased by a factor of four in the population since the 1960’s and in some northern European countries by a factor of ten.  So what is the deal?  Epidemiological studies show that melanoma is made worse by using sunscreen more than 2 to 1 and the studies that show a reduction in melanoma are usually close to the equator where the skin pigmentation is darker.

I had originally interpreted Gorham’s data on melanoma across the world as solely a use of sunscreen, but it is also predicted (by 30%) by the thickness of the ozone layers across various areas of the world.  I had thought that the lower levels of melanoma in Argentina which is approximately the same latitude as Australia was a result of solely the promotion of sunscreen in Australia.  However, in looking at the ozone thickness we can see that there is significantly reduced layer of ozone in Argentina.  Ozone it appears acts just like a sunscreen in blocking the UVB wavelength of light and letting the UVA through.  UVB is the beneficial wavelength that makes vitamin D in our bodies.  Also I had wrongly thought that the increase in melanoma in Australia was a result of a hole in the ozone layer.  However, the weakness of the ozone in the Antarctic seems to allow a thicker ozone layer over Australia according the ozone map that Gorham shows.

So what are you to do this summer when seeking to get that great tan and not develop melanoma?  It would seem that using sunscreen is an absolutely a no-no.  The sunscreen blocks UVB and lets the UVA through which science has shown to develop melanoma.  Have we unintentionally perpetrated this heinous act against the population because we have shown that sunscreen reduces squamous cell carcinoma which is not a killer?  Or worse we somehow correlated burns with melanoma?  It is odd that most melanoma occurs on parts of the body that are never exposed to the sun.

Please watch the video form Grass Roots Health by Dr. Gorham and decide for yourself: “Skin Cancer/Sunscreen – the Dilemma”

Here are his slides from the presentation if you would like to look closer at them: Skin Cancer/Sunscreen Slides

Of course the issue is that it is not just melanoma that we are experiencing an increase, it is a host of other chronic diseases that develop because of vitamin D deficiency and as we learn more the news will magnify our lack of responsibility in the matter.

At the end of the video presentation you will learn that the body stops vitamin D production when the skin reaches saturation of pre-vitamin D.  For a light skin person this occurs at about 20 minutes of tanning in the noon day sun.  The body makes about 20,000 IU during this short period.  As the melanin forms to protect your skin you can stay in the sun longer.  Before that if you have to stay in the sun longer then cover up with clothes and hats.  The only safe sun protection that we know is either zinc oxide or lithium dioxide.

When we stay in the sun much longer because the chemical protection is keeping us from burning, it exposes us to the opportunity for forming melanoma.

In the sun and not wearing sunscreen, and I hear the dermatologist saying just another child going look ‘mom no hands’ as he rides his bike.  To practice profit and not science seems to the art of medicine in the US.  – Pandemic Survivor