Vitamin D in the UK

In a recent article in the Financial Times by Sam Apple, Why Governments are Selling Vitamin D Short, this statement is made: “For Britons, the most alarming aspect of these government responses is that people living in the UK have so much to lose. For much of the year, it is impossible in this country to obtain vitamin D from the sun.”

One of the best warriors in this battle for your health in vitamin D deficiency is Oliver Gillie of the Health Research Forum of the UK.  Mr. Gillie has written three major reports on vitamin D and health and the last one on Scotland describes a country in crisis for health because of vitamin D deficiency. “Scotland’s Health Deficit: An Explanation and A Plan”.  In this report we see not only the problems with detailed explanation of the diseases that are caused but also a plan for reducing the impact of the diseases through improved use of vitamin D.  THIS REPORT IS A MUST READ FOR ALL DOCTORS AND MEDICAL PROVIDERS!

People located above about 38 degrees latitude have much to lose and much to gain in the understanding of vitamin D.  I think ultimately that the UK and Canada will lead the world in implementing the understanding for two reasons.

1. As just stated, these two countries are well into the northern latitudes and for much of the year the sun is not available for the body to make vitamin D.

2. Both of the these countries have nationalized healthcare systems so it is much to their benefit to move quickly.

The UK medical economy is two and one half times less than the US medical economy and the Canadian medical economy is two times less than the US economy.  So allowing people to be healthy gives them a direct savings to the amount of money that government has to spend.  This money could then be used to stimulate the economy in other ways through government spending.  The difference in spending is the amount of money that insurance companies get.

In the US where the medical economy is so dominated by the insurance industry it will be a much tougher battle.  You can get a feel for this in the battle that is now going on in the US Congress about health insurance.  This battle is being described in ‘double speak’ as health care reform.  It is really health insurance reform.

I say to the UK and Canada not to wait until the US decides that it wants to move.  This will significantly delay your benefits.  I do understand how closely the provider institutions are intertwined and I say to not let this slow you down.  Your largest battle will be against the pharmaceutical manufacturers as their markets will shrink from the use of vitamin D.  You will not have the battle with the insurers as you have already won.  Lead us forward to health.

Go UK and Canada!!    –  Pandemic Survivor

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Major Newspaper Gets It

The Financial Times of the UK needs to be awarded bright gold star for having the courage to publish a story that is the greatest understanding of health ever in the history of man.  I know that seems to be too grand a statement but when you find one thing that has an impact on 2000 genes or about 10 percent of the genome and is the primary factor in preventing all chronic disease then maybe it is not grand enough.

Here is the article: Why Governments are Selling Vitamin D Short – Sam Apple – published October 23, 2009 Financial Times

The Financial Times is a lot like the US paper the Wall Street Journal and is respected worldwide by financial investors for the accuracy of its information.

Sam Apple starts by explaining the frustration of the researchers.  He then describes why governments are not investing in the understanding by saying that it is the money and the inertia to overcome the ‘baggage of other vitamins’.  He will give you an incite into the history of vitamin D and even gets into the toxicity problem.

The only thing that Mr. Apple leaves out is the suffering of the millions of people that are deficient in this most vital substance.  After having been in torturous pain and on the verge of death because of my deficiency my frustration is about 100 times higher than the researchers.

It is about the MONEY!!!

Governments consider the economy much more significant than your health.  If you recall from a prior post the principles of former US Secretary of Health Leavitt where ‘markets before mandates’ was fourth and to ‘value life’ was ninth or last.  I suspect that most policy makers just do not understand the significance of how vitamin D affects the body and prevents disease states.  What is interesting is that their own health is suffering because of this failure in understanding.

It may be that it is more about the money than Sam Apple even understands.  If the researchers are correct and I know that they are based solely on my recovery then the medical economy could shrink by 25 to 50 percent and the centers of commerce would change significantly.  This could have a huge destabilizing affect on the world’s economies is one way to look at it.  So governments are gambling your health against a stable economy.  This sounds a lot like war.  It is.

If you want a better understanding of this war then read these post on the health care crisis:  https://pandemicsurvivor.wordpress.com/category/healthcare/

Celebrate this small victory of a skirmish in the battle of understanding for your health by GOING INTO THE SUN!  – Pandemic Survivor

Healtcare Reform – Heal the People

Sorry to not have posted in a while.  I had vacation and business to take care of.  I am trying to post two to three per week.  Send me your vitamin D3 survivor stories to email vitamindmark@gmail.com.

I have been truly amazed at the amount of misinformation that is thrown about during the debate over healthcare reform.  There are both good and bad parts of the legislation that is being proposed.  I believe that it is good if we can get to a health coverage that takes the enormous profits of the health insurance industry out of play and how the intent to profit negatively impacts health.  I do not believe that the government taking over these profits as another form of tax is proper either. On the other hand the intrusion of government into our private lives can be devastating.

As I was surfing the channels listening to the comments by various ‘news’ channels I found Bill O’Rielly and Dick Morris talking about one of President Obama’s recent speeches on the mater.  They were just about to end the segment when Dick Morris made the comment that Canada’s death rate from cancer was sixteen percent higher than the US.  “Why would we want a healthcare system that would cause this much higher death rate”, he said.  Bill agreed and they ended the segment.  I decided to follow this line of argument.

I found the total death rate from all neoplasms or ‘new growth’ to be 184 deaths per year per 100,000 in the US  for 2005.  From Reuters. I did confirm that that Canada’s death rate from cancer was about 16% higher.  In following the logic of modeling a country with low cancer death rates, I then looked at Mexico.  I found the death rate to be about 90 per 100,000 or about half of what the death rate was for the US.  Article in the Oxford Journals.  This is about half the rate as the US so we most likely would want to adopt the healthcare industry in Mexico?  Dick Morris, get a grip!  Fear mongering is not the answer to healthcare.

I then looked at the death rate from all causes from the CIA  data to follow Dick’s logic in how to discover a healthcare system that is most appropriate.  I found the 2009 est. for the US to be 8.3 per 1000 with a worldwide rank of 102.  I also found the death rate in Canada to be 7.74 per 1000 with a rank of 117 and Mexico at 4.8 per 1000 with a rank of 194.  The highest death rate with the number 1 rank is Swaziland at 30.8 per 1000 and the lowest was the United Arab Emirates with a rate of 2.11 per 1000 and a rank of 223.

Now what are we to make of this?  It is to be noted that the lowest death rates in the world are primarily in countries that are awash in sunshine.  Countries in the Middle East are highly populated in the lower rankings as well as countries along the lower latitudes, closer to the equator, in the world. Swaziland at the highest is totally understandable because it has been devastated with the HIV virus.  It is also the world’s last absolute monarchy which means that if you do not do what the government wants you die.  With the amount of war going on in the Middle East, it is surprising to find the deaths rates so low.  However, think of how these countries have so many days of no clouds and just bright sunshine.

Let’s think about Mexico.  Mexico City has the highest population of any city in the world at almost 9 million.  It is also located at approximately 7400 ft in elevation.  This puts it above a lot of the atmosphere that blocks out UVB waves that generate vitamin D in the skin.  As an aside it was the practice to build solarims for the treatment for TB in the first par of the first part of the 20th Century above 5000 ft.  As we have discussed in other post, vitamin D3 has a vector in the pathology of all disease.  It is interesting that the death rate from the H1N1 virus has been so high in this country.  However, in general as the H1N1 has spread the countries with low vitamin D levels have much higher death rates from this disease.

Could it be that Dick Morris is just wrong in his statement?  I think that the answer is absolutely yes.  What should we do for the health of the population?  The best answer for healthcare reform is to treat the populations of the world with the best available science.  That is to be sure that everyone’s serum 25(OH)D3 level is above 50 ng/ml.  As discussed earlier from a paper by Dr. William Grant of SUNARC.ORG the serum level of people in a sunny country is 54 ng/ml to 90 ng/ml.  This could be done for about $20 dollars per person per year.  What an inexpensive way to improve the health of all people.  For the US this is only 6 billion dollars per year.  I suspect that this is going to be significantly less than we spend on the H1N1 vaccine alone for this year.  It is also just a ‘drop in the bucket’ of that 2.5 trillion dollar US medical economy.  But here lies the problem.  The medical economy could drop by 30% if we healed the population and what would we do with all those lost insurance jobs.  I would not want to be president, but if I were, normalizing the serum 25(OH)D3 level would be the first thing I did.

Spend time in the sun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  – Pandemic Survivor

Brigham and Woman’s Study on Vitamin D

Well it looks like the NIH is finally taking this vitamin D thing seriously.  Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Woman’s Hospital are to enroll 20,000 people in a study taking vitamin D3 at 2,000 IU per day and fish oil for omega three fats.  Twenty five percent of the people in the study are to be black.  You can read the AP article here.

I believe the level of supplementation is less than half of where it should be, but this is enough to start to see the effect on chronic disease.  The real issue is that it will take several years into the study to start to see that the nation as a whole should be supplementing.  The question for you is that if it does no harm why wait until the study is complete to get your serum level high enough to where it will do some good.

The serum level should definitely be above 40 ng/ml of 25(OH)D and to get the best effect in the body it should be above 70 ng/ml.  The NIH fact sheet (Table 1) says that harm does not start to occur until it is above 200 ng/ml and animal studies show that below 400 ng/ml is safe.  This gives you a safety factor of at least 3 which is much better than most any prescription drug.

The thing that is really troubling to me is that many of the participants will be given placebos with no vitamin D.  I will pray for these people that they do no die from this continued deficiency of this vital steroid.  Hopefully as positive results are shown that the placebo group will also be given vitamin D.

If you decide not to wait because you already have one of the many chronic diseases from vitamin D deficiency then do what it says on the Vitamin D Council home page.  The volume of research is already HUGE and why we need another study is beyond me.  We have already done this the first part of the 20th Century when everyone was taking 2 tablespoons of cod liver oil, about 2600 IU of D3, per day without harm.  The only issue was that the vitamin A level may have been too high in the cod liver oil.  Look at the volume of research by disease at this Vitamin D Council Research Page.

I have been reading extensively on roles of vitamin A and how it interacts with vitamin D.  How these two act in synergy is still not complete science, but I do feel much better when I eat liver or take about 4000 IU of vitamin A from fish liver oil.  I will blog about this in the near future.

Here are the many diseases:  17 varieties of cancer as well as heart disease, stroke, hypertension, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, depression, chronic pain, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, muscle wasting, birth defects, periodontal disease, and more.

Why wait!?  It is your health and your life – be healthy!   The encouraging thing about this pandemic is that the news of vitamin D is moving very fast through word of mouth and blogs like this one.  We should start to see things like the overall rate of cancer start to reduce significantly as more people take it on themselves to supplement.

Go into the sun!!!  The best time is between 11AM and 2PM when the UVB radiation is at it highest.  Wear the least amount of clothes possible so that you do not get locked up and if you start to turn pink it is time to get out of the sun and wait until the next day.  As you start to tan it will take longer and only about 15 to 20 minutes to start depending on skin color will be long enough.  – 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

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

Health Care Crisis Solution?

If you just read my most recent post you know how I feel about the solution to the high cost of health care and no insurance for 47 million Americans.  It is at least a disaster that is only going to get worse if we don’t act and I heartily agree with President Obama on this point.  I however disagree that spending more money for health care coverage is the right approach.  I think that healing the population of chronic disease is the correct approach.

Let’s think about the numbers for a moment as it seems to be a lot of misunderstanding and an unwillingness to just simply tell the people what is happening with the cost of health care.  If we think of the insurance industry as any other business then you would expect about 40% external cost and 40% internal cost and then a 20% gross margin that would include in it general, selling, and administrative(where the executives big bonuses come from).  What are the external costs for the insurance industry?  It is the payment to the medical providers as doctors, medical facilities (like hospitals), pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and any other insurance coverage that is provided.  The internal cost is the salary and wages of the employees and agents that handle your coverage and general maintenance cost of large facilities as we know theirs are the biggest.  The gross margin provides for the GSA as shown above leaving about an 7-9 percent margin.

This should make you a little bit perturb as you begin to realize that you get back only about 40 cents on a dollar that you spend for health care as insurance and you protect this industry by allowing some unusual rules like intrastate commerce only and policies that will not follow you around the country like say auto insurance.  Also you are not involved in the payment process of negotiating what actually gets paid to the medical provided.  The insurance companies lump bills together and then beat up the medical providers by saying look how much volume of business we are doing for you.  So the retail bill that you see from the medical provider is not what the insurance company pays.

So what is this in dollars?  I do not know if we have reached 2.5 trillion yet but we have to be close.  So we will use this number as it gives us easy math.  This number represents about 18 percent of the US GDP so 2.5/ 0.18 = 13.8 trillion for the US GDP.  We find from Wolfram Alfa that the US GDP estimate for 2007 was 13.78 million so we most likely have a close estimate for the medical economy.  The world GDP for 2006 in US dollars was estimated at 46.66 trillion.  So our medical economy represents 2.5/46.66 x 100% = 5.36% of the worlds economy.  Now since we have only 306 million out of 6.7 billion people, I would say that we are rather ‘hoggish’.  We are spending 2.5 trillion / 306 million about 8200 USD per capita for health care.  If you take the worlds GDP and divide it by the population or 46.7 trillion / 6.7 billion you get about 7000 USD per capita.  That means we are spending more on healthcare than the average of total per capita spending for the rest of the world.  I would say that it is really hoggish!

If a single payer plan was implemented then we could eliminate about half of the total cost and get it more in line with say Canada (US costs x2 of Canada’s) or Great Britain (US cost x2.5 Great Britain’s).  However, this would cost us about 5 million medical insurance jobs. I just do not think we have the political will for that in the current economy.  If you think about how much money your senators and representatives take from the medical industry to get re-elected, I would say that President Obama is going to have a ‘tough row to hoe’ as we use to say on the farm.

So what would happen if we had a healthy population and the system remained the same?  Let’s say that we could reduce chronic disease by 50%.  Chronic disease represents about 70% of our health care cost.  This would give us about a 35% reduction in total health care cost.  Are these numbers any good?  Let’s see what Dr. William Grant has to say in his work, ‘Reducing the Burden of Disease Through Adequate Intake of Vitamin D3’ for presentation at the UCSD, April 9, 2008.  We find that he picked a multiple of chronic diseases but not all and estimated a reduction of 366, 000 deaths and a reduced medical cost of 199 billion dollars.  He has estimated about a 20 percent reduction so I am not too far off but I am sure he has been more conservative than what will really happen considering my experience with D3.

So this gets even stickier as we consider the lives of hundreds of thousands of people every year.  If you want to put it into a 10 year perspective that would be about 3.4 million people dead and unnecessary spending of 1.9 trillion dollars ( to put that into the total including insurance it would be 1.9/40% = 4.75 trillion). Interesting enough this would just about cover the increased cost of insuring the uninsured according to the Obama plan.   Now it is not medical insurance people that are losing jobs but also medical professionals because total disease has been reduced.  We have not considered here the amount of increased productivity from a healthy population which I am sure would be significant or the cost of supplementation with D3 which should be about 7 billion USD per year.  Ah, if you were president what would you do?

I know that I would go for healing the population and let the economic numbers fall where they may.  We did not give much credence to tobacco jobs because of the bad actions that industry took neither should we give credence to the medical industry because of their bad actions of ignoring the facts.  The improved outlook of a healthy population would overcome any downturn in the reduced medical economy.

You know, I have ignored the abuse of not using available technology in the energy area for years as I knew it was about maintaining the existing ‘cash cow’.  It appears now that energy can be had with the cost of capital.  There was no death involved just more spending for energy than was necessary to generate a big economy.  However, with the death and tortuous pain that millions suffer we most act and not ignore the medical facts.

We are just getting past the reticule stage and starting to enter the violent opposition stage of change so be prepared!  I just cannot wait until we say it was self-evident!

A Survivor of ignoring the facts – go into the sun and be healthy!