Vitamin D, Disease, and Research

In 2006, I went to PubMed, the government clearing house for medical publications, and just entered vitamin D in the search engine and limited the search to that year.  There were over 2,100 papers.  I just did this for 2008 and there were over 2,300 papers.  If you limit it to the last ten years it comes up with over 17,000 papers.  The published recent work on vitamin D is voluminous.

The Vitamin D Council has provided a wonderful list of diseases that have been associated with vitamin D deficiency on their research page.  You go there, pick the disease and it sends you to PubMed right to the abstract of the article.  If you do not have a subscription to the particular journal you can purchase the article from the publisher online.

In reading this list, it makes me wonder why there are so many diseases and so much research and yet the medical profession is not treating with vitamin D.  There are so many diseases that are a result of or have a component related to D deficiency, you would think the news organizations would be all over this, but I digress.

If you are a doctor or a researcher and you are trying to just get a feel for the research that is out there then Dr. John Cannell has organized the research by disease.  It is a starting place as there are still many diseases that he has not listed.  For example, I had degenerative disc disease that is really a form of osteoarthritis.  This disease caused severe chronic pain, muscle wasting in my legs, central sleep apnea, memory loss from brain shrinkage with the pain, and other symptoms from oxygen deprivation from the sleep apnea.  If we took sleep apnea we find that it is not in the list because no one has done any research on it and vitamin D even though it has an obesity and stenosis vector which both can be tied directly to vitamin D deficiency.  There is a lot of work that is left to be done and a lot of miss-education of doctors, researchers, and the public in general that needs to be corrected.

Another disease that is not listed is psoriasis and I know that it can be treated with vitamin D according to Dr. Michael Holick of Boston University.  Dr. John Cannell has done a great job and we are grateful for his work, but the tentacles of vitamin D reach far and long in the course of human health and disease.

If you do not find the disease that you have interest with, then just go to PubMed and search on the disease itself and components of vitamin D.  Also I am sure that if you can identify research and that has not been listed then the Vitamin D Council would be interested.  Send that along to them.

Let’s just make a copy of the list without comment to see how long it is:

Vitamin D Council Research Links by Disease

Addison’s Disease
Allergic Hypersensitivity
Alzheimer’s Disease
Ankylosing Spondylitis
Asthma
Autism
Autoimmune Illness
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
Bladder Cancer
Brain Cancer
Breast Cancer
Cancer
Celiac Disease
Cerebral Palsy
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
Chronic Pain
Cognitive Function
Colon and Rectal Cancer
Cystic Fibrosis
Depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder
Diabetes
Endometrial Cancer
Epilepsy
Ethnicity and Vitamin D
Eye Cancer
GastrointestinalFunction
Gaucher’s and Fabry’s Disease
Vitamin D and Genetics
Graves’ Disease
Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
Heart Disease
HIV and AIDS
Hypertension
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Influenza
Innate and Adaptive Immunity
Liver Cancer
Liver Function
Lung Cancer
Lymphoid Cancer
Melanoma
Mental Illness
Mineral Metabolism
Multiple Sclerosis
Muscular Weakness and Falls
Obesity
Osteoarthritis
Osteomalacia
Osteopenia
Ovarian Cancer
Pancreatic Cancer
Parathyroid Function
Parkinson’s Disease
Pediatrics
Post menopause
Pregnancy and Lactation
Premenstrual Syndrome
Prostate Cancer
Renal Function
Rickets
Sarcoidosis
Sickle Cell Disease
Skin Cancer
Stroke
Toxicity
Toxin and Radiation Exposure
Tuberculosis
Turner’s Syndrome
Vitamin D Deficiency

Other items of interest for Vitamin D with links to the research:
Best Science
Commentaries and Editorials
Genetics
Requirements
Reviews
Treatment
UV Exposure
Veterinary and Animal Studies
Worst Studies

Vitamin D Council Research Links by Disease

Well, I hope that you find this useful and that you do not think that just because your disease of interest is not in this list that it does not have a vitamin D vector.  This seccosteroid is the most important steroid of the human body – Vitamin D3.

There is a lot of pain and death listed above.  Shine the light on this research!!!  – Pandemic Survivor

The Legal on Vitamin D

You would think with as much solid research as there is on vitamin D that the attorney’s would be ‘jumping right in’ there.  What is up with this.  It is about the money.  As soon as someone with money figures out that companies and institutions need to pay up for their misadventures, the courts will be ‘slammed’ with cases on vitamin D.  I mean just think about the tobacco issues.  It only really involved cancer and perhaps heart disease.  It did not involve all chronic disease.  When this starts to happen there will have to be congressional action to save the medical profession.  Of course now congress will not take action to save you from some really serious diseases.

So what has happen with the legal.  What I know to date:
In 2001 the FDA and FTC got together and took on the sunscreen and sunblock industry to get them to change the rules of marketing after combining 9 lawsuits.  It seems with the INCREASE in skin cancer by about a factor of X4 since the 1960’s that the sunscreen industry was participating in false advertising.  The marketing changes would have been to assure that the consumers understood that there was really no science to support the industry claims of preventing cancer.  This really seems odd that we would let a judge decide something scientific instead of just letting the facts be the facts – oh yeah, there is money involved.

So the sunscreen industry formed a powerful lobby group and hired a powerful attorney and sucessfully defected the FDA and FTC.  This attorney was so good that he was later made Chief Justice of the Surpreme Court.  Yes, that’s right Chief Justice John Roberts.  Wall Street Jounral Law Blog comment.
Now if I were an attorney and wanted to start a large class action lawsuit that would most likely end up in the supreme court and may take as much as a decade to litigate would I want the final decision maker to have been on the payroll of the group that I was fighting against?  Sounds like ‘trouble in river city’.

Now there is a new suit that was filed in the spring of 2006 agaisnt this same bunch of snake oil producers.  “Sunscreen is the snake oil of the 21st century” says Samuel Rudman filing attorney for the plaintiffs.  That is really some strong language which I think is justified when we are just causing death with many diseases by chasing people out of the sun.

You know what I really think is interesting is that you can go to the store and get a bottle of sunscreen today that has no warning label at all and says that it will prevent cancer if you use it.  The warning label should at least say something like: 

WARNING: THIS PRODUCT PREVENTS THE FORMATION OF THE MOST ESSENTIAL SECCOSTEROID OF THE BODY AND WITHOUT THIS VITAL STERIOD YOU WILL DIE FROM ONE OR MORE OF ALL THE CHRONIC DISEASES THAT INCLUDE THE BIG THREE KILLERS – HEART DISEASE, CANCER, AND DIABETES.

This would better describe the reality of what the product does to you.  In all seriousness, even if the science is confounded which it is not, the label should read that the sunscreen product will prevent the production of vitamin D.  This would at least allow the consumer to make his own decision.

You know it is really interesting that there were not any cohort studies on the tobacco issues.  It was just ‘good men’ doing what was right for you.  Oh yeah, and government stepping in and taking a piece of those large margins made from selling tobacco products.  There have been a large number of cohort studies completed in the last decade on vitamin D and chronic diseases and the research continues to come in at multiple of thousands of new studies every year.  It is a mountain of evidence.

Lawyers are really just waiting for prior case law to be complete so that they will not have to battle.  They will simply walk in and take the spoils from your dying friend or family or from your death.  What a great land of scavengers for profit that we live in.  It is no wonder that people yell that captilism is not the right form of government when the real issue is that our institutions are being corrupted for money that is just like a third world country with a flair for class.

I have the will but not the money.  Is there someone out there that would like to start a legal fund to take on the largest institutions in the land for their misadventure of ignoring the science for profit?

GO INTO THE SUN!!!   – Pandemic Survivor

The Balance of Getting Sun

You know as I have read the literature about the amount of disease that could be prevented by getting enough sunshine, I have wondered about the balance of decision making in the medical industry.  I know that the argument about treatment versus prevention has gone on for a long time, especially since the medical insurance industry has arisen to be such a giant in the economy.

It seems like the warnings were coming on two fronts:

  • That is if we spent too much time in the sun we would get skin cancer and die.
  • The other front was less understandable by the average person that was that if we got too much vitamin D that we would die because of absorbing too much calcium.  Let’s see that warning that I got when I told my physician that I was going to take 5,000 IU of D3 a day:  “I learned in medical school that if you get too much vitamin D that your organs will turn into calcium rocks and you will die”.

What was this fear and where was it coming from.  Certainly skin cancer rates had gone up significantly since the 1960’s.  Let us see what else happened in the ‘60’s, oh yes that is when sun screen started to be promoted with extreme vigor. Maybe we can make some sense of this decision making by drawing a sketch of the weight of disease.

balance

Wow that does not seem to make too much sense does it.  Where is the balance?  What could be going on to make some sense of the decision making.  What about the medical economy that is generated from the treatment of all those chronic diseases so that there will be lots of jobs and extra cars and houses for people in the medical insurance industry:

balance1There now that seems to be a better balance.  But what do we do with this box?

balance2 – Pandemic Survivor

Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, the Sun

I speculate here and believe that the obituary of Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett should read:

“After years of compliance with the institutional norm of avoiding the sun for a beautiful complexion, Michael and Farrah succumbed to  chronic disease from vitamin D deficiency.  May they always be remembered for their art and artistry.”

If they had followed the instructions of Dr. John Cannell of the Vitamin D Council’s home page, I would imagine that they would have lived a much longer productive life.

Thank you John for helping me understand and not falling to this end.  This has allowed me to begin a life of poetry and art.  The poem below would not have been possible without life.  How much art have we been denied from Michael and Farrah?               – Pandemic Survivor

Bondage

Somehow bound up in this world,
We find ourselves trying to make a life
And not just live another existence.

But where do we find the boundaries
For this to allow peace of mind as we
Try to create our worlds?

Boundaries, what are those things that can
Take life away as well as bring life
In abundance to each being that understands?

Boundaries improperly defined
As shackles bind us in a darkness
That can only be compared to slavery.

Oh God, raise up this wretched bound soul
Swirled in desperation of time not spent
In defining bounds of my purpose in life.

Copyright ©2009  Mark Pegram

Black People, White People, the Sun

So once again we have found that black people have been discriminated against because of their skin tone.  It has been known since we started keeping statistics on disease and skin color that people with dark skin have more chronic disease and shorter life expectancy.  I have asked black people why they thought this was and the response was because they believe the stress of discrimination and an overall lower standard of living because of their suppression which lead to reduced medical care.  When I have asked white people what they thought I would get the response that black people just did not take care of themselves.  It seems that none of us are free of bigotry.  Neither answer is even close to correct.

The true reason for much higher disease states is the physical fact that skin color has evolved over time so that we can more easily live with the amount of sun that we would typically get at that latitude.  You can see what this looks like from the skin color map of indigenous people.

As you move away from the equator skin color of indigenous people gets lighter so that they can make an adequate amount of vitamin D.  As you go toward the equator, the skin tone gets darker to protect the skin from the damage of UV.  It then follows that if you have light skin and move closer to the equator that you take a higher risk of skin damage from the sun.  If you have dark skin and move further away from the equator you take the risk of not making enough vitamin D for a healthy long life.

So let’s take melanoma for an example.  Should we expect to find the melanoma rate higher at the equator or at the higher latitudes?  If it was totally from exposure to the sun then you would expect to find higher rates along the equator.  With our very mobile world people with light skin at the equator would have an extremely difficult time with this disease.  However, this was not the case with the data from Edward Gorham, PhD et al in the presentation Skin Cancer\Sunscreen – the Dilemma.   What we see on page five is that as you go away from the equator melanoma gets worse.  So what is going on?  What is even more of a dilemma is that we see that the rates for Argentina are much lower than they are for Australia even though we found that the skin color of the indigenous people were about the same at the same latitude.  Could it be that the cause of a higher melanoma rate is because of an intense program for sunscreen use in Australia?  It is complex and complicated because you also have to consider ozone.  Watch the video: Skin Cancer/Sunscreen, the Dilemma.

It seems that as skin tone gets darker that it takes more time in the sun or a more intense sun for the body to produce the same amount of vitamin D.   For example a person with a light skin tone may take only 15 minutes to produce 10,000 IU of D3 and a person with dark skin at the same latitude and sun intensity it could take 3 to 10 times longer to produce the same 10,000 IU of D3.

With this being the case and low supplementation then it stands to reason that lower vitamin D levels will lead to more disease.  Low levels of vitamin D have been correlated with the ‘big three’ killer chronic diseases: diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.  Dark skin people have a higher incidence of chronic disease.

Our response to this understanding as a society has been alarmingly slow because of our bigotry.  Consider this article Racial Opportunities – about race from Dr. John Cannell at the Vitamin D Council and this civil rights complaint that was filed with the DOJ against the FDA and was refused to be heard by the NIH in 2005.  What are we to think?

In 2005 and 2006 I went to see my local congressman and wrote to the NAACP twice to try to get some help in having the complaint heard.  My congressman told me that there was nothing that he could do about it and the NAACP did not respond to either of my letters.

The research on chronic disease and skin color is being published at an every increasing rate.  Consider this paper just published earlier June.

Differences in Vitamin D Levels Likely Explain Ethnic Differences in Incidence of Congestive Heart Failure

William B. Grant, PhD ; Archives of Internal Medicine Vol. 169, No. 11, June 9, 2009

Let’s get healthier, give up the agendas, and embrace the light.

Boundaries improperly defined
As shackles bind us in a darkness
That can only be compared to slavery     – Pandemic Survivor