Vitamin D Day of Seasonal Change

SunWinter in the northern latitudes can be daunting. It is a time when there are more colds and flu. Also, there are many other diseases that take advantage of our reduced immunity during the winter. Chronic disease can make you very painful during the winter. Of course, going into the sun always makes us feel better. But why?

There are so many reactions of our body to the sun. However, since the 1960s, dermatologists have been tricked into constantly screaming about the dangers of the sun. We know that it makes us feel better, but what about our medical industry telling us otherwise? It is a difficult problem to sort out. Do the advantages of sun exposure outweigh the dangers. The answer is a resounding yes.

November second has been declared Vitamin D Day by the Vitamin D Council, Grassroots Health, and the Vitamin D Society. This has been done to promote the understanding of vitamin D and to encourage the use of supplementation during the winter months in the northern hemisphere. Also, to use exposure to full spectrum sunlight when possible. Here is a link to an informational page: http://www.vitamindday.net/

The question of whether to enjoy the sun without fear of causing cancer has become a ridiculous sidetrack in modern medicine. All the energy that is beneficial to our wellbeing comes from the sun. Whether it is the food we eat, products made from plants that are useful like furniture, or the chemical and thermal reactions in our body. Overexposure to anything can be dangerous, but are you going to stop driving your car because you might die in a car accident? Are you going to stop drinking water because overconsumption can dilute out your electrolytes and cause your heart to stop? Wear your seat belt, don’t spend time in the sun without sunscreen, and don’t drink too much water are all the same ilk. It is about the benefit of action versus the risk. Unfortunately, fear can make you have a very unhealthy life if it is over expressed.

Dermatologists are medical professionals specializing in the largest organ of the body. You would think that they would encourage the benefits as well as tell us about the dangers. The dangers have been overexpressed and the benefits not expressed enough regarding sun exposure. So, what are the benefits of sun exposure? There are many healing compounds that are made in the skin. Vitamin D is just the beginning as there are a host of sterols produced with ultraviolet light (UV) exposure that have significant action in our body. Not only was vitamin D discovered from UV exposure, there are many intermediate molecules that are generated. I suspect there are compounds that are beneficial to health from full spectrum sunlight that have not been identified. One area that does not have much study is the conversion of molecular sulfate esters and sterols during sun exposure (If health researchers want an exciting area of study, this is it).

On the other side of the visual spectrum from UV is near infrared light. The science being discovered about how near infrared light improves our health is amazing. To understand, think how good the warmth of sunlight makes you feel on a cold autumn day. It is not just the heat. It is the biological action that takes place in our body. We have discovered that near infrared improves wound healing, shrinks tumors, improves neurological health, increases cellular energy, detoxifies our bodies, and reduces pain.

With so many health benefits, why would you not want to go into sunlight? Is the increase of melanoma that parallels the increase of sunscreen a coincidence? Have our professionals created unintended consequences by inducing fear of cancer from sun exposure? Am I a voice in the wilderness telling you there is health in the sunlight? Medical science changes more than the seasons as it is an art. Let’s celebrate more than vitamin D Day. Let’s celebrate health from the sun. As for me, I’m going to spend time in the sun on this beautiful autumn day. –Pandemic Survivor

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Changing Health with Vitamin D3 – Vitamin D Day

Health Returned Plus SunHappy Anniversary!   On November 4, it will be ten years since I started to supplement with vitamin D3. I am glad that the advocates of vitamin D have named November 2 as Vitamin D Day as it coincides with my anniversary. It has been a lot of ups and downs on the roller coaster of health. I am now on the top of the ride. An experience of complete joy and glee. What became extremely obvious during the journey is there is not just one thing that controls our health. The advocates of vitamin D are certainly correct in that vitamin D is a start. After all, it controls or aids in control of at least ten percent of how our genome expresses itself. It is not this vitamin or this drug or this food or that thought, but the interaction of all of things that bring exhilaration in health.

The way that research is conducted in medicine is complete absurdity. When we study just the effect of one thing in the pathology of health, we completely ignore the interactions. This is the primary failing that is not a true scientific approach or art for that matter. This specialization of one molecule or a particular pathology without consideration of the interactions causes great confusion. Could it be that all of our present medical research has been confounded because we have not considered the interactions of vitamin D to our pathology? Some vitamin D advocates certainly believe this is the case. But if we proceed with testing a molecule with the interaction with vitamin D and not all the other molecules that are required for health, then we have repeated the error.

This was my error in using vitamin D3 for health. It may be that after a few months of supplementing with vitamin D, the beneficial results seem to disappear. Maybe the large amount of vitamin A complexes that are stored in your liver have become depleted. After all, certainly for cellular differentiation and the boost to our immune system requires a heterodimer that is a combination of vitamin D/vitamin A. Perhaps the amount of total body magnesium has become depleted. The vitamin D has given a boost to the action of your energy production, but without the many roles that magnesium plays, you start to have low energy, muscle cramps, and heart arrhythmias. Perhaps the improved performance of your thyroid gland and your parathyroid has depleted all your iodine reserves – you start to feel bad and your thoughts become muddled. Or, with the increase in your biological activity, you are not getting enough folate (not folic acid) and/or tri-methyl-glycine (TMG) to allow the methylation processes to properly proceed for genetic expression and many health problems crop up. We could go on for a while, but you get the point.

The interactions of all molecules required for health and not any single one is the important issue. Let’s not forget about your thoughts, or the placebo effect.   If you have positive thoughts, then you most likely will feel well and negative thoughts will make you feel bad. This cascade of hormones from your thinking will truly affect your total well-being from its impact on your spiritual energy and biology. Do not hold negative emotions for extended periods or you will develop a mood. This mood will eventually become your personality. This personality will define your reality. Collapse all negative thoughts through forgiveness, prayer, and meditation. Observe your thinking constantly and not allow your subconscious from past experience express your present reality.

We may not have the best medical system in the world to prevent and treat chronic disease, but it keeps us going when acute illnesses strike. The rest of your health is up to you. Share your positive understanding of major components of health with family and friends and be the example. As we move into a season in the Northern Hemisphere of low UVB or loss of the natural production of vitamin D3, let this Sunday, November 2, Vitamin D day be the start of a new beginning. Certainly, November 4, 2004 was the start of my new beginning. Let that door not close on the health of the world. – Pandemic Survivor

Further Reading:

Vitamin D Day – http://www.vitamindday.net/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/VitaminDDay
Vitamin D Council – Vitamin D Day https://www.vitamindcouncil.org/vdc-news/for-the-fifth-year-in-a-row-november-2nd-is-vitamin-d-day/
Vitamin D Society Canada – http://www.vitamindsociety.org/
GrassRoots Health – http://grassrootshealth.net/ Click Newsletter, at this writing, the newsletter for Vitamin D Day had not been posted, but received by email.
Vitamin D Wiki – http://www.vitamindwiki.com/VitaminDWiki

Vitamin D and Prevention of Chronic Diseases

Below is a video about vitamin D that will change your life and possibly help you overcome serious diseases and medical conditions. This video is presented through the University of California Television, UCTV. Dr. Michael Holick has long been a promoter of vitamin D even at the risk of his career. He has been repeatedly attacked and lost his job at one point. He has become very cautious in his presentations on vitamin D. This video was made in 2009 and there has been much new science published since then on the advantages of vitamin D for health.

The video is about one hour long. It is very entertaining as Dr. Holick helps you to understand the science in a consumable reality. In the video Dr. Holick expresses the need to keep your serum level of 25(OH)D above 30 ng/ml. However, at the end of the video, please note that his average level is 52 ng/ml. This is the bottom of the level typically achieve by the indigenous populations along the equator. I do believe that the best levels to maintain are 60 to 80 ng/ml which is well within the norms of clinical practice of 30 ng/ml to 100 ng/ml. At these higher levels, be sure that you are getting enough magnesium as well.

Dr. Michael Holick Vitamin D and Prevention of Chronic Diseases http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cq1t9WqOD-0

The only way to know for sure that you have the correct amount of vitamin D is to be tested. Enjoy Health. – Pandemic Survivor

Our Health Connection to the Sun Easily Explained

Learn about vitamin D and its advantages in just five minutes. I think about the thousands of hours that I have spent on understanding the effectiveness of vitamin D; it makes my head spin. Henry Lahore at Vitamin D Wiki has been able to accomplish this in a five minute video.

How easy was that?  Are there any more questions? – Pandemic Survivor

Vitamin D – Hormone or Vitamin?

This question needs to be resolved as medical practitioners determine patient treatment.  The complexity in the nomenclature of vitamin D has caused many errors.  The general thought in medical practice is that vitamins do nothing for illness and hormones are very effective.  Government medical guidelines are not reliable because of the conflicts of interest at the IOM.  There are several levels of people writing about vitamin D where people tend to get information.  Let’s take four examples: Level one – researchers, level two – medical activists and practicing doctors, level three – new discoverers of vitamin D as practicing doctors, and level four – people that have experienced healing with vitamin D as novices in the world of biochemistry.  We will ignore the government for now because they are more concerned about the economy than your health.

Your take away from this discussion is that you should never take or give vitamin D as anything other than high quality vitamin D3 as you may overcome the biological controls of the body and cause illness.  If you are an innocent health consumer then do not bother to read the rest of this post as it is technical and may confuse you.

Level One

Reinhold Vieth: A clinical researcher specializing in vitamin D nutrition on faculty at the University of Toronto Canada.  Why Vitamin D is not a Hormone   The importance of this paper written in 2005 is to help prevent practitioners from making mistakes in the nomenclature and administering the wrong compounds of vitamin D to patients.  If you are a doctor or other medical practitioner, then this is a must read.  Note that Vieth clearly states that vitamin D is a vitamin and then describes 25(OH)D as a prehormone.  He says that prohormone has no place in the vitamin D system.

Anthony W. Norman: A biomedical researcher and Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry & Biomedical Sciences, Emeritus at the University of California Riverside.  From Vitamin D to Hormone D: fundamentals of the vitamin D endocrine system for good health.  The importance of this paper is to help medical practitioners properly assist patients with vitamin D deficiency diseases.  This is a must read for medical practitioners. Written in 2008.  Dr. Norman is concerned that the new understandings of vitamin D are not translated to medical practice. Dr. Norman describes vitamin D as a prohormone produced photochemically in the skin from the prohormone 7-dehydrocholesterol and then goes on to describe the importance of its derivatives as hormones.  He then describes vitamin D3 as both a vitamin and a prohormone.  Note the distinction between vitamin D and vitamin D3.  This in essence groups the family of all “prohormone” vitamin D system molecules as vitamin D which includes more sterol derivative molecules than most practicing doctors can imagine. This probably provides more confusion than clarification to practitioners that are not expert biochemist, but read it anyway.

Level Two:

John J. Cannell, MD: Dr. Cannell is head of the  Vitamin D Council and has been a general practitioner and psychiatrist.  He launched his understanding of vitamin D in 2003 from a paper written by Reinhold Vieth.  Cannell describes vitamin D as a prohormone .  Note that he does not say vitamin D3.  I am guessing that he has adopted the nomenclature of Dr. Norman.  In his description of the vitamin D system he shows D2 and D3, pharmaceutical vitamin D, and vitamin D metabolites.

 

Level Three:

Stasha Gominak, MD:  A practicing neurologist in Tyler, Texas that discovered in 2009 the value of vitamin D3 and magnesium in treating neurological diseases, in particular sleep apnea.  Dr. Gominak describes vitamin D as a hormone  that is made in the skin.  She likes to use D hormone as it helps her understand the importance of the vitamin D system and that vitamin D hormone is made in our skin and not something that is obtained from outside her body.  She references the Vitamin D Council as her primary source of information.  She clearly states that vitamin D is not a vitamin.  This is somewhat dangerous because of the confusion that can be created between vitamin D3 and calcitriol with other doctors that she contacts or reads her info.

 

Level Four:

Mark Pegram, A Vitamin D Deficiency Survivor:  Yeah, that’s me, a health activist.  I will tell you now that this discussion is complex.  The importance of writing about vitamin D is to help you the innocent health consumer and medical practitioners to implement the new understandings of the vitamin D system in combination of other nutrients in which we are deficient.  It is never just one nutrient.  It is the combination of nutrients and minerals that allows our bodies to be healthy. The expression and control of our genome by the combination of nutrients is extremely important to health.  A proper combination of vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats, and carbohydrates is more important to prevent disease and to heal disease than most pharmaceuticals. Vitamin D3 is a vitamin and I believe the confusion is in the definitions.

Vitamin – One of a group of organic substances, other than proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals, and organic salts which are essential to normal metabolism, growth, and development of the body. (Taber’s Cyclopedic Medial Dictionary 13th edition, yes I am an old guy as this was published in 1977)  Please note that in this definition it does not say that it is obtained outside of the body.  However, it later says in the definition that a vitamin is not formed in the body, but gives the exceptions of vitamin A, vitamin D, and vitamin K.

Hormone – A substance formed in an organ, gland, or part of the body and carried in the blood to another part of the body, stimulating it by chemical action to increase functional activity. (Taber’s Cyclopedic Medial Dictionary 13th edition)

Prohormone – A prohormone is a substance that is a precursor to a hormone, usually having minimal hormonal effect by itself. The primary function of a prohormone is to enhance the strength of the hormone that already occurs in the body.  en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prohormone

Prehormone – A prehormone is a biochemical substance secreted by glandular tissue and has minimal or no significant biological activity, but it is converted in peripheral tissues into an active hormone.

These definitions seem to agree with Dr. Vieth and have a historical content in the practice of research and medical practice.  I do not think our definitions should be changed and I think that Anthony W. Norman has tried to stick with that understanding.  The primary difference is in prohormone and prehormone which are relatively new terms of the last twenty years.  They are not listed in my 13th edition of Taber’s.  The confusion is in the second sentence of the definition of prohormone – “enhance the strength of a hormone that already exists”. This seems to contradict the first statement as being a precursor.  I believe that Dr. Vieth has it correct in calling calcidiol, 25(OH)D,  a prehormone as it is not a hormone itself and is converted in most cells of the body to several steroid hormone forms of vitamin D, the new discovery by vitamin D researchers.

Now, if I could just figure out a way to get doctors to stop prescribing vitamin D2, vitamin D pharmaceuticals like dihydrotachysterol and Alfacalcidiol, and the metabolites; calcidiol(except in the case of liver failure), calcitriol (or Jeff and Geoff as Rich quipped in his comment on last post) then the benefits to health of D3 would be much more apparent and most likely without toxicity except for industrial accidents in manufacturing.  Of course, more important at this point is to get everyone replete in vitamin D3.  Again: Your take away from this discussion is that you should never take or give vitamin D as anything other than high quality vitamin D3 as you may overcome the biological controls of the body and cause illness. – Pandemic Survivor

Mesmerized by Epimerization

Franz Mesmer was a German born physician that had interest related to human and animal behavior.  He contended that through ‘animal magnetism’, significant physical results could be realized.  His name is the basis for the word Mesmerized.  It has been an unfortunate occurrence in vitamin D science that the medical professionals and the general population have been hypnotized like chickens with a line drawn in the dirt. (We did this as kids – check it out Chicken Hypnotized) We all need a nudge to wake up from this surreal dream.  The following is not for the faint of heart or for those that do not have the curiosity to pursue a deeper understanding.  If not curious, then just watch the chicken video and have a good day.

Epimerization is simply the difference in the positioning or bond angle of the OH group in the Carbon 3 position of the vitamin D compound.  What do we know about how much difference a bond angle will make?  It seems that this bond angle is of significance in genetic expression, so let’s explore.  Check out this example for the sugar glucose: Epimers

It came to my attention several years ago that one of the local hospitals that was attached to a state university was doing vitamin D testing only on D2 and its metabolites.  The reasoning was that the clinicians wanted only to know the level of the drug, vitamin D2, because this is what had been prescribed.  The logic was that the level of the hormonal metabolites of natural vitamin D3 were so low that it was of no consequence.  After all, there had been a great job done for the last fifty years of scaring people out of the sun.  Or maybe, this was not exactly the logic, but I am sure this is close.  So the mixture of treating D3 and D2 as equals and ignoring the total effect of the metabolites of these pre-hormones has done the practice of medicine and the population as a whole a great disservice.  It is only through the separation of these two compounds and not allowing peer reviewed papers to be published without designating what is being used that we can achieve our goal of being reconnected to the sun.

I had always thought that the complications of not having accurate serum vitamin D levels or 25(OH)D was a matter of the different test methods not giving either totals of the two or only values for one or the other  –  25(OH)D2 or 25(OH)D3.  In the later case I was right as is suggested by what was being done at one of our university hospitals.  But it turns out that it is a lot more complicated.  Consider the recent release by the American Chemical Society – “New Standard for vitamin D testing to assure accurate test results”, January 25, 2012.  The paper describes the storage metabolites of vitamin D:  “The researchers developed four versions of the standard, with different levels of the vitamin D metabolites 25(OH)D2 and 25(OH)D3 in human serum. They also determined the levels of 3-epi-25(OH)D in the adult human serum samples. Surprisingly, they found that this metabolite — previously thought to only exist in the blood of infants — was present in adult serum. “This reference material provides a mechanism to ensure measurement accuracy and comparability and represents a first step toward standardization of 25(OH)D measurements,” say the researchers.”  It seems that these epi-metabolites have a less effect on calcium.  In order of effect on increasing hypercalcemia, it is 3-epi-25(OH)D3, 25(OH)D3, 3-epi-25(OH)D2, and 25(OH)D2 (and don’t forget the toxisterols that can be made during manufacture of D2 from over irradiation of fungus).  It also seems that the epi-compounds are just as effective as the original.  Did I get this correct?  Here is a starting place for you to begin your consideration. 1α,25(OH)2-3-Epi-Vitamin D3, a Natural Physiological Metabolite of Vitamin D3: Its Synthesis, Biological Activity and Crystal Structure with Its Receptor  This is an open access to the full paper.  Do you begin to see the need for the separation of D2 and D3 and metabolites?

Now does this really get us to a better place in the understanding of our natural hormone D?  Consider the recent attention on cholesterol sulfate and the resulting compounds of hormones that are made from cholesterol sulfate, in particular vitamin D3 sulfate.  So now are we looking at eight storage metabolites instead of four?  How confusing can it get?  Consider what the writers of this paper:  HPLC Method for 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Measurement: Comparison with Contemporary Assays, March 2006, had to say: “According to Shimada et al., nearly equal amounts of 25(OH)D3 sulfate and 25(OH)D3 are usually present in patient sera.”  The Shimada paper: Shimada K, Mitamura K, Higashi T. Determination of vitamin D3 metabolites using high-performance liquid chromatography or immunoaffinity chromatography. J Chin Chem Soc 2000;47:285-228.  

Only after the clinical outcomes related to the levels of the eight compounds, 3-epi-25(OH)D3, 25(OH)D3, 3-epi-25(OH)D2, 25(OH)D2, 3-epi-25(OH)D3 sulfate, 25(OH)D3 sulfate, 3-epi-25(OH)D2 sulfate, and 25(OH)D2 sulfate are determined will we be able to accurately assess the health benefits  of vitamin D. 

Just think of the confusion of test methods to determine the amounts of the various vitamin D compounds and correlating clinical outcomes with one thing that we call 25(OH)D.  Researchers and reviewers, it is really up to you.  If you fail in allowing papers to be published without making the necessary distinctions, then, the population will continue to suffer at your ineptness. Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary HHS   –  Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D., Director Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, are you listening?  Okay, all you chickens, GET UP!

If you really were not curious and you made it this far anyway, then may God bless you and go spend some time in the sun.  – Pandemic Survivor

Two Eyes, Ten Fingers, and Ten Toes

November 4, 2011 was an anniversary for me.  The date represents seven years since I started taking vitamin D3.  I remember well what my doctor said when I told him I was going to start taking 10,000 IU per day of vitamin D3.  “Your organs will turn to stone, or at least that is what they taught me in med school.”  His practice now is the leading practice in the area for helping resolve issues around vitamin D and disease.   Thank you Dr. Perini.  I have not grown any new fingers, eyes, or toes.  My organs have not turned to stones.  My body continues to heal confirming a report from the UK from the 1930’s that said: “If you take 5,000 to 10,000 IU of D3 per day, it will take four to eight years for your body to heal.”

My body continues to heal.  I have overcome a failed back surgery and avoided three additional back surgeries that would have been required.  I have maintained a low blood pressure even though it has spiked many times in the past.  I have not had any more trouble with heart arrhythmias.  My vision has improved.  My skin tone has improved.  I have no more “brain fog.” (which I am sure was from the sleep apnea and oxygen deprivation)  The most important thing is that I have not died from severe sleep apnea.  By the way, I also have not had a cold or the flu in the last seven years.  Typical for me was three to four colds per year and the flu every two years.

Even though I grew three inches taller in one year as the spacing in my vertebral disc increased from healing, this is not the most amazing healing that happened to me.  The most amazing thing is that I was able to rid myself of my CPAP for sleep apnea.  For those that do not know, a CPAP is an air flow device that holds your airways open while you sleep.  During my sleep test (nocturnal polysomnagraphy), I would breath for thirty seconds and then stop for thirty seconds.  Of course the tech stopped the test after an hour because my blood oxygen saturation had dropped below seventy percent.  I was close to death.  The neurologist described my condition as severe obstructive sleep apnea.  He was wrong; it was severe central sleep apnea from the nerves in my neck being compressed between C3-C4 from vitamin D deficiency.  I was even finding myself not breathing during the day when I was wide awake.  All of those issues have been resolved.  I did not die from oxygen deprivation.

I like to answer the question; ‘Have there been any side effects or toxicity from taking that much vitamin D for seven years?’  Yes – Health!  I also like to answer the question; ’Who was the physician that guided you through the healing process?’ – God!

I declare November 4 a vitamin D holiday.  November 4, 2004 will forever be remembered as a glad day.  – Pandemic Survivor