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 Pain of Freddie Gray and Everyone

Was Freddie Gray into street drugs because he was suffering chronic Pain? Pain is a mysterious and yet constant companion when faced with spinal issues. All signals from the brain to the body are through the spinal cord. Failure of the support of bone and cartilage will cause an array of symptoms all over the body that may be arising from the spine.

The spine is difficult to damage unless there is already a pre-existing condition. I have had a lot of experience with spinal issues. Once when my spine was seventy percent compressed, I got a call from the radiologist to not move until he could find my surgeon. He told me that if I even sit wrong that my spine could severe. Another time after an MRI, I was told by my surgeon that I needed immediate surgery because the stenosis (blockage of the nerve canal) in my neck was so bad that all I had to do was bump my head and I would stop breathing. However, when the cartilage and bone are sound, it would take someone extremely skilled in the art of killing to cause death by neck injury. Did Freddie Gray have a pre-existing condition with his spine from a car accident or other yet to be identified issue? There is better than an eighty percent possibility.

I do believe that spinal failure is one of the issues with the use of street drugs in the US. There is over 80% of the population that are deficient in both vitamin D and magnesium. Deficiency in these to vital nutrients causes significant pain because of failure of the spine. Pain does not manifest itself in only physical outcomes. It can affect the emotions significantly as well. After three decades of chronic severe pain, I can tell you there were periods that I would have done almost anything to get out of pain. I suspect that this is also the reason for the abuse of prescription pain meds as well.

When you are deficient in vital nutrients, the cartilage and the bone both soften. Over time the bone will crack and the cartilage will significantly degrade. This causes a series of responses throughout the body that will stump even the best physician. Early in the 20th Century, most back pain was classified as created for the sole purpose of getting pain meds in younger patients. This even happened to me in the 1970s until the doctor had my spine imaged. He then wrote me a letter of apology.

Are we going to blame the failure of our institutions for not properly defining nutrients for health on the police forces on the US? Health and social policy failure being blame on the people on the frontline is totally immoral. – Pandemic Survivor

Time for Action to Help Relieve Pain

I started to write this blog in 2009. That was five years after I had recovered from chronic severe back pain. I had written a non-published book at that time about the experience of healing. The book was about my two back surgeries and how I avoided the advice of doctors for more surgeries. This original book was a flow out of all that I had experienced. Three decades of chronic pain, two failed surgeries, the discovery that I could heal back pain with nutrition and growing three inches taller in ten months as I healed (think about twenty plus discs expanding in height more than one tenth inch to clear all the nerve roots). I have finally gotten over my thinking that the medical profession would move forward and not allow people to continue to suffer with back pain. After all, if an engineer could figure the combination of nutrients to allow cartilage to heal, then certainly someone in medical research could do the same.

I struggled after healing that first two years with why the medical guideline changes for healing failed cartilage had not already occurred. I had met twice with my congressman about the possibility of Congressional hearings to allow the experts to speak on things they had found on nutritional deficiency and chronic disease. We had talked about a meeting with Senator Burr to see if we could make it happen. Then, I discovered Secretary Michael Levitt’s Principles for Health and Human Services. With “Markets before Mandates” five positions above “Value Life”, I knew the economy is more important to the US Government than any life of an individual or many individuals. I knew that only a grass roots effort would cause change. I was happy to see Carole Baggerly turn her anger into action with the founding GrassrootsHealth. If you did not watch her in my last post then do that now! Presentation to Direct-MS Canada.

I have finally gotten over my emotions enough to act. I took an online course in creative writing, a daunting task for an engineer. I have reduced that first two hundred page book into about one hundred fifty pages and plan to e-publish within a week or so. It is about my life of pain, the discovery of healing, the healing, social acceptance, and my struggle to understand what was happening in government and our institutions. I only tout vitamin D3 in this book, but understand that it is the combination of many nutrients that allows cartilage to heal. Also, I wanted to wait because of the possibility that I was a unique case.   But after ten years of enjoying good health, it is now time to act.

I am about seventy percent through writing a how to book on healing back pain(still working on finding a publisher). This book will include a section on how to manage pain, the nutrients required for healing, and how to work with your doctor as you use nutrients to heal. To accomplish this task, I have persuaded a couple of medical professionals to coauthor, Molly Schneider, PharmD, and Caitlin Gerrald, PA-C.  Also, my primary care physician has agreed to write a preface supporting my claims of healing. We will also have a chapter for physicians. Here we will try to describe the physiological mechanisms as we best understand them to get physicians to understand the multiple levels of DNA/RNA action and needed nutrition to support them. We will also help physicians avoid the pit falls like just supplementing vitamin D versus checking the blood serum level of 25(OH)D.  Also supplementing with vitamin D3 versus vitamin D2. We will also do the same with other nutrients that are on the market as mimics or analogs of natural supplements. I am asking several of the people that have tried the supplements to be interviewed for this book and to discuss their outcomes. Hopefully, I will be able to release this book within six months to a year.

How significant is the need for a method to heal back pain? Consider Dr. Mercola’s recent article of “How to Avoid the Number One Cause of Disability”

My doctor, after the second surgery, offered to write me a letter for seventy percent disability. I declined at the time because through faith I believed there was a solution. It turned out to be both medical, environmental, and nutritional. Everyone who has suffered with back pain should at least try the nutrients before attempting the surgery route. Dr. Mercola makes this statement in the summary: “I strongly recommend avoiding surgery until or unless you’ve exhausted other treatment options, which include chiropractic, massage, acupuncture, exercise, and most importantly, K-Laser treatment.”

I would here like to apologize to all the people in the world suffering from chronic pain for not releasing these two books earlier.  Also for not disclosing all the needed nutrients in a timely manner. Unfortunately, there is more than physical disability in suffering with chronic pain. It totally distorts your outlook and mood from decades of pain and drugs. Every time I would hear of another person dying from chronic disease from apparent nutritional deficiency, I would allow anger to raise its ugly head instead of using it for action of love, peace, and joy. Here is a video of a recent Toastmasters speech in which I describe an event with one of my neighbors.

“Pulled from the Abyss Again”

I would like to thank my wife for her help in this effort and all the pain and suffering she has had to witness without a flinch.  – Jill W. Pegram, MT(ASCP)SC

Pain Reduction with Vitamin D3

Pain is a horrible terrible monster that can take your life away both emotionally and financially from your inability to work.  It can destroy relationships and leave you desolate without friends.  My back is filled with searing pain and my friends have deserted me, David complains in Psalm 38; the NIV is the best for this understanding.  Pain is not new.  It is the result of evil in its many different forms whether physical or spiritual. 

Vitamin D3 has shown significant properties in its ability to moderate physical pain levels.  I did a post several years ago about a pharmacist that used vitamin D to reduce a patient’s pain meds by fifty percent.  I am sure we do not understand the mechanisms at work to relieve pain with vitamin D, but should we care?  The answer of course is no unless you are trying to develop an analog that you can patent and sell for large amounts of money.

It is particularly important that you supplement with magnesium when supplementing with vitamin D3 or spending time in the sun for that matter.  Your body’s biological processes tend to increase when you increase your serum level of vitamin D.  If you don’t supplement with magnesium you could see some serious side effects like heart arrhythmias and muscle cramps.  Magnesium is responsible as an ion for the production and use of over 350 enzymes in the body.

Multiple papers have been published recently from many different studies confirming the significant effect of vitamin D3 on pain.  I suspect that it works at many different levels to control pain in all states of disease.  I know it was a paper from Saudi Arabia in 2003 that really got me going on vitamin D to relieve the issues in my back.  That paper’s conclusion was that 95% of the people in the study had reduced back pain.  Yes, that’s right, ninety five percent.

Serum vitamin D or 25(OH)D normal levels have been 20ng/ml to 100ng/ml since the 1970’s at least.  The Endocrine Society suggests a minimum of 30ng/ml when treating disease.  I believe the best level is 60 to 80 ng/ml.  As different people respond differently to vitamin D, it is not how much you take, but where you maintain your serum level.  The effect most likely will not be immediate, but long term there is nothing safer or more effective for pain.

I cannot help you with your spiritual pain except to tell you to put love, peace, and joy first in all that you do and to pray often.  I suspect this will help your physical pain as well. – Pandemic Survivor

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