Response to Attack on Evidenced Based Medicine for Vitamin D

June 1, 2014

Dr. Phillip Autier
Research Director at IPRI
International Prevention Research Institute
Cours Lafayette 95
69006 Lyon, France
Dear Dr. Autier,

I keep stewing over your quote in the Daily Mail and am indeed insulted at your allegations. You were quoted by Jonathan Gornall “The ‘sunshine supplement’ is hyped as a miracle cure, but experts say don’t waste your money on vitamin D pills” Daily Mail, 24 March 2014 as saying: “The vitamin D fad, he says, is just ‘a commercial promotion campaign’ in which sellers of supplements, UV lamps, fortified foods and blood tests are ‘taking advantage of disease-mongering around so-called vitamin D deficiency.’”

Sir, I suffered for almost three decades from what cannot be any other way categorized as other than vitamin D deficiency. I had back pain all during this period as well as much incapacitation. In addition to the suffering from the pain, I had sleep apnea as well as other health issues. After taking vitamin D and other supplements, I avoided more back surgery, after two failed surgeries, and am healed from severe sleep apnea. I no longer need pain meds and take no pharmaceuticals at the blessed age of sixty-three. To insult organizations like GrassRoots Health with its many dedicated life-long expert researchers of vitamin D is an atrocity as millions around the world suffer from the diseases created by vitamin D deficiency.

After reviewing the consortium of IPRI that includes, Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals, AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim International, Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, Merck, Pfizer, Roche, and Eli Lilly, I can believe nothing else than your sponsors have confused the reasoning of your well educated scientific mind.  I can only state that you are nothing more than a shill for the pharmaceutical companies. I do expect a new paper soon, after your review of the more than forty controlled clinical trials, that refute your original findings. You sir, have shamed the scientific approach of evidence based medicine.

Sincerely,

Mark Pegram
Vitamin D Deficiency Survivor

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Vitamin D3 Significantly Reduces Asthma Flare-Ups

In recent news headlines, there is the story of a published research paper for vitamin D3 and a steroid inhaler.  The headlines read like this one from MedNews: “Vitamin D3 flops as asthma therapy booster.”  I was amazed at the conclusion of the writer for the paper: “Effect of Vitamin D3 on Asthma Treatment Failures in Adults with Symptomatic Asthma and Lower Vitamin D Levels” Castro, et. Al. JAMA May 18, 2014, Conclusion: “Vitamin D3 did not reduce the rate of first treatment failure or exacerbation in adults with persistent asthma and vitamin D insufficiency. These findings do not support a strategy of therapeutic vitamin D3 supplementation in patients with symptomatic asthma.”

I am not sure why he decided to use the rate to the first flare-up or exacerbation.  I suppose the aim of the steroid inhaler is to eliminate flare-ups.  The test was run by dividing the test participants into two groups.  One group was given vitamin D3 and the steroid.  The other group was given a placebo and the steroid.  The vitamin D group had serum levels above 40 ng/ml while the placebo group was 20 ng/ml or less.

It is interesting to look at the design of the experiment.  It was obviously about using the steroid as a treatment for asthma with vitamin D3 as an aid.   I do believe that the title of the trial should have been the same as the title of this post.  If you look at figure 3 in the paper, it shows that there was a significant reduction in the total number of exacerbations in the vitamin D3 group.   The paper states: “The adjusted hazard ratio for cumulative number of exacerbations that occurred over the course of the trial was 0.63 (95% CI, 0.39-1.01; P = .05).”  This represents a 37 percent reduction in total accumulated exacerbations in the vitamin D group.  To me, this is really exciting news, but then, the writer is working for the pharmaceutical industry.

It should also be noted how the delivery of the vitamin D3 was made.  I agree with the initial dose of 100,000 IU.  However, I do not believe the 4000 IU of D3 was adequate for treatment of asthma.  The mean BMI of the test subjects was 32 or borderline obese.  It would have been better if the participants were given 10,000 IU of D3 per day to try to get the serum levels of vitamin D > 60 ng/ml.  This is the level that most doctors agree is necessary for treating disease and within the clinical standards of 30-100 ng/ml.

Also, I would not have given the steroid inhaler to the vitamin D group.  I would have used a placebo inhaler.  The purpose of not using the steroid in the vitamin D group is the reduction of vitamin D receptors from steroid use.  Treatment of an overdose of vitamin D is to use steroids to reduce the effect of vitamin D.  I would also be sure the participants were given at least 5000 IU of vitamin A as fish liver oil with the control group getting placebo fish oil.  It is well known that vitamin D/vitamin A dimers are very significant in the expression pathways for DNA and immune system boosting. Don’t do this without talking to your doctor first.

To further assure the use of the best available vitamins, I would not allow any synthetics to be consumed during the trials.  That is in particular synthetic beta carotene or synthetic vitamin E, both known to have negative effects in the lungs.  I would also not allow any vitamin or the steroid for that matter to be processed using blue-green algae or cyanobacteria.  This is to assure that there is no contamination by microcytins or protein mimics.  I will write more about this cyanotoxin later.

I do believe the result of this trial would show significant reduction in exacerbations, if not elimination after many weeks.  Why the rate to first exacerbation was used should be self-evident after looking at the disclosure for conflicts of interest.  But then the press has no clue and would not want to lose pharmaceutical advertising.   – Pandemic Survivor.