Wellness from the Sun has Changed Forever

Henry Lahore of Vitamin D Wiki and with the help of others is putting out a video to help people understand how our relationship to the sun has changed over the last fifty years.  We have moved from outdoors to indoors.  Activities including work and play have all moved inside.  All of our energy for health which includes all the food that we eat comes from the sun.  Now, with sunscreens to shield us from the sun and sheltering inside, chronic diseases have increased significantly.

Highlights of the video include:

  • Diseases from low sun exposure
  • How food sources from decades ago were higher in vitamin D
  • How much vitamin D to take to get started
  • Blood test should be used to determine if your vitamin D level is high enough
  • The science behind the understanding of how vitamin D works for wellness
  • The video is to be made available so that it can easily be provided with voice over for eighty eight different languages
  • All of this in only five minutes in an easily understood format

One of the features of the video is a doctor that raised serum levels of vitamin D for his patients to 80 ng/ml.  This is well within the normal ranges of 30 to 100 ng/ml.  The patients in his clinic went from an average of four visits per year to one visit per year.  This statement should be significant in raising your awareness of the power of the sun and how it affects us and society as a whole.  I will let you know when this video becomes available. When it is available, please pass it along on face book, twitter, and any other public means that you have available. – Pandemic Survivor

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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

A Tale of Two Women

In February of 2008 we got some bad news.  Our friend’s daughter had cancer.  This was very devastating to us because we had two daughters so we knew how much our friends were hurting.  She was only 19 years old and the threat of cancer hanging over her was certainly frightening.  She was a heady smart intelligent young woman who loved to spend time reading and working on her computer.  She did not spend a lot of time outside and she had the loveliest white complexion that a lot of people would say was most pleasing.

We told our friends about the vitamin d thing and how it could help prevent and maybe even help the healing process.  Vitamin D3, it seems works, along several pathways to help heal disease.  Number one it helps at a genetic level to tell immature tumor cells that they are just that and to stop growing or cellular apoptosis. The D3 also helps the blood supply network that is feeding the tumor to stop growing from a genetic level because this is not the normal design of the body or angiogenesis.  Also it raises the level of innate immunity so the body develops appropriate defensins such as cathelicidin antimicrobial peptides, phagocytes, and neutrofil granulocites that help destroy and adsorb ‘bad cells’ and ‘foreign bodies’ in the blood system.  There is also an aid to T-cell regulation in this complex system of immunity.  And if you are taking chemo one of the problems is thrombosis and vitamin D3 helps to control this issue as well.

It would seem that if any of this were true that you would want to get your serum level of 25(OH)D up to that of a sunny country or about 54 ng/ml to 90 ng/ml to allow the body to heal itself.  However our friends, one of them a medical professional, thought that if there was anything to this understanding of vitamin D that the cancer ‘experts’ or oncologist would have long ago begin this practice of maintaining a ‘sunny country’ level of vitamin D3 in cancer patients.  This seemed like a reasonable decision at the time.  I just can’t imagine the advice and what type that you would get if a family member had cancer.

The treatment protocols for our friend seemed to progress well through the year and they thought that with the combination of radiation and chemo that they had the cancer under control.  On the Friday before thanksgiving they decided to take their daughter back to the hospital for evaluation because she was having a lot of problems with headaches.  It turns out hat she had more tumors that had come back so they decided to begin treatment again on the following Monday.  Their daughter died on Saturday before they had a chance to begin treatment.  We are grieving.

In February of 2008 we got some more bad news.  My brother called to say that he had a girl friend that was in a serious way with cancer.  It turns out that she had ovarian cancer that was discovered two years prior.  She had surgery and had the tumors removed as well as her uterus.  She was told at the time that the cancer had metastasized to so many places in her body that she would have only two years to live.  She had a great job in New York City but decided that life should be lived to its fullest and she would come back home and take a walk on the wild side.  Who could blame her for this action?

My brother said that she had internal bleeding as she was passing blood and that all of her lymph nodes were swollen all over her body and that she had other lumps.  It seems that her medical insurance had expired and that she ‘had enough’ of the medical system.  With not any energy left she decided to just go to bed to die.  My brother wanted to help but did not know what to do.  He called to ask if there was anything to this vitamin D.  I told him that I did not think that it would help anyone who was this far along with developed cancer and that the best thing he could do was to call the woman’s oncologist expert that we have in our family to see if he had any suggestions and to get this woman to a doctor.

My brother decided that he would just tell her about the vitamin D and see what she wanted to do.  She agreed that if it could even give her any relief that she was willing to try it.  She decided to take 50,000 IU of D3 per day or 1.25 milligrams for three months.  She took other supplements as well like calcium, vitamin A from fish liver oil, chelated magnesium, zinc, vitamin C, and a vitamin B complex.  I told my brother that it sounded like the alphabet of nutrition.  She had also read that it would help balance the body’s system to drink bicarbonate of soda every day so she did that.

In late October I got a call from the woman.  She wanted to call to say thank you for helping them find out about the information on vitamin D3.  She said that all of her symptoms were gone and that she had the most energy that she had in twenty five years.  She was out looking for work.  I asked her about the vitamin D3 and how she had taken it and she said that she took a 50,000 IU per day until the bottle was gone or 100 days (at this level of use you could expect toxicity to begin at about six months or more) and then took a 50,000 IU once per week.  After she realized that she was not going to die she went to a doctor that advised her to keep taking the vitamin D3 at one 50,000IU per week as it would certainly do no harm.

I just did not know what to think at this point.  Had my brother exaggerated the symptoms of her cancer?  Was there some kind of spontaneous remission of the cancer?  She had reunited with her mother and they had the church praying for her so maybe it was a miracle of God and whatever the path it certainly is a miracle of God.  Anyway I could not wrap my mind around this.  Maybe the researchers are correct but just did not know how correct they are.  I understand that there are ongoing trials for the prevention of cancer with vitamin D3 but has anyone thought about trials for the treatment of cancer.  Are we so tied into a system that only responds to profit that we can not just help heal people and consider their health a profit?

I checked just a couple of weeks ago and my brother said, ‘yeah she is doing just fine’.  I still do not know what to think!?

If you think you have any symptoms of cancer go to a doctor!  You may also want to think about using D3 to get your serum level to that of sunny country as it will not do any harm and may help you significantly.  Also, please consider you diet to determine if you are getting the correct foods for essential nutrition.

The Vitamin D Council’s comment on Cancer.

” The light shines in the darkness but the darkness has not understood.”  – John 1:5 NIV

The Change of the Medical Landscape in the Next Ten Years

I submitted the below solution to an Innocentive challenge over a year ago that was sponsored primarily by medical insurance institutions as a way to immediately control cost.  I got a nice thank you from Innocentive and of course I did not win the challenge. I imagine that it was frightening to them to think that the medical economy could be reduced by at least 30%.

If you are a medical insurer, health provider, government, or a pharmaceutical manufacturer you will should have great concern when you read this message.

Note, I am neither a doctor nor a nutritionist.  I am just someone that discovered a 99% correlation between obesity and central air condition in the US over the last 20 years.  When I started looking for cause and effect I found sunshine.  I was healed of degenerative disc disease, severe sleep apnea, and after having two back surgeries I avoided three more. All of this healing and reduced medical cost in just four years. My physician tells me that I now have the health of a 25 year old and that is not too bad for a 57 year old man.  This was accomplished by simply supplementing with 4000 IU per day during the summer and 10.000 IU per day during the winter (body weight 230 lbs – 38 degrees North Latitude).  Without this understanding I would be either incapacitated or dead.

For 70 years now we have been ignoring the advantages of the sun or being replete in Vitamin D.  It is even longer if you consider that Niels Ryberg Finsen was given the Nobel Prize in 1903 for curing a form of TB (lupus vulgaris) using UV light.  It is amazing that we started to implement the understanding during the first part of the 20th Century by having the medical profession encourage everyone to take cod liver oil everyday.  We then discovered synthetic steroids in the fifties and the desire for profit and allopathic medicine outweighed our desire for individual health and preventative medicine.  We then entered the years of sun phobia and the entire population became less healthy and is kept alive with modern medicine.  This is great for the medical economy but poor for the individual health.  Our institutional ignoring of the facts has lead to the second ‘Holocaust’.  Sorry to use this word, but I just do not know what else to call it after personally suffering 25 years of torturous pain and loss of income.

The simple solution to improve health care is to heal the population.  The majority of chronic disease can be significantly reduced by changing the health policy of supplementation of vitamin D and the medical guidelines for treatment.  That is to encourage the population to get at minimum 3000 IU (adults) of D3 per day either through supplementation or exposure to the sun or other UVB light source with an upper limit of 10,000 IU per day.  The medical guidelines should be changed to assure that deficiency begins below 40 ng/ml of serum 25(OH)D3 and insufficiency below 60 ng/ml.  Normal range should be changed to 60 to 100 ng/ml for 25(OH)D3 instead of the current 20 to 100 ng/ml.

The present resistance is that there is not enough research to support such a change.  I say that this is just wrong as we have already had a public policy that was close to this when the medical profession suggested that everyone take two tablespoons of cod liver oil per day or approximately 2600 IU of D3.  It is interesting to note that in 25 years in suffering back pain and other disease that not one single doctor suggested that I might vitamin D deficient when we have a national health policy of supplementing milk for bone disease.  How easy is it to ignore the facts when there is no profit motive?

Given the antiviral, antibiotic, antifungal, cellular differentiation, other genetic signaling, autoimmune disease, hypertension, muscle strength, stimulation of the entire endocrine system, and cancer treatment and prevention, the medical industry will most likely shrink by 25 to 50 percent over the next ten years.  As the centers of cash flow change there would be a huge shift in the centers of economy.  The medical economic segment would shrink from first to about somewhere in the middle of the pack.  This would cause great economic concern over a 10 to 20 year period but would significantly improve the productivity and economy of the individual as the population became healthier and in general and an improvement of the economy of the whole.

I know that your goal is to significantly improve medical cost while not impacting medical income.  The question that you have to ask yourself is the health of the individual more important than the medical economy.  So far lobbying efforts have held government policy in check as is readily confessed by HHS Secretary Levitt in his number four principle of “Markets before Mandates”.  It is interesting to note that to “Value Life” is number nine.

You will not be able to stop the growing health benefit of this understanding.  Given that the medical publications are already making their way through the general population anything that you do to slow it down will make you look like perpetuators of the second ‘Holocaust’.  If you take only cancer and consider Lappe, et. al. study from Creighton University June 2006 that showed a reduction in total cancer of 60% when supplementing with only 1100 IU per day of D3, it becomes clear the ramifications of taking policy action.  If policy action is not taken soon the courts will become jammed with tort liability cases against the institutions of health and lead to economic failure in that manner.

Conclusion: Policy Change and Implementation by the US Government on Vitamin D

I will not list resources in this summary as it would take at least 10 pages.  However, please consider the Expert Opinion Diagnosis and Treatment of Vitamin D Deficiency by J. Cannell, B. W. Hollis, M. Zasloff, and R. P. Heaney.

Go into the Sun as I see a bright future in your life!

Toxicity of Vitamin D

This is my own opinion about toxicity and how we got to such a state as the doctors were trained to fear vitamin D.  It seems there are multiple areas where mistakes were made about the issue of toxicity.

I think that one of the issues that everything that resembled vitamin D was called vitamin D.

There is D2 or ergocalciferol which is made from fungus when it is irradiated with UV light. This version has a higher molecular weight, an additional double bond, and one additional methyl group if that means anything to you.  The medical professionals still considers this as equivalent to D3 even though there have been many papers saying that it does not act the same in our body.   Rodents seem to thrive on vitamin D2 as they are noctournal animals and eating fungus that has been exposed to sunlight seems to be a reasonable way for them to get vitamin D and their bodies have adapted.  I observed a squirrel just really munching down on what I assumed was a morel mushroom this past weekend when I was camping.

Hey researchers! – beware when using rodents for vitamin D test as they most likely do not react the same as humans.  The case against using ergocalciferol  (vitamin D2) as a supplement – Houghton and Vieth American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 84, No. 4, 694-697, October 2006th

There is D3, cholecalciferol, which our body produces from the sun with cholesterol in our skin. Our bodies love this particular version of D and it is the substance in our bodies that allows the sun to give us energy and health.

There is the storage form prehormone of vitamin D which has been found to correlate with lots of chronic diseases.  It is called twenty-five hydroxy vitamin D and you usually see it written 25(OH)D.  It can be either 25(OH)D2 or 25(OH)D3.  This adds to the confusion when running test in the lab.  Let’s say that a hospital runs only the test for 25(OH)D2 becuase that is what is being prescribed by their doctors and yet ignores the 25(OH)D3 that you are getting naturally.  The better lab test will give you total and I will write another blog on testing.

Certainly if you take the activated steroid form of vitamin D or one twenty-five di-hydroxy vitamin D (1,25(OH)2D) then you will have problems if the dose is too high or administered over a period of time.  This is yet one more form of vitamin D that the body uses as a steroid to do all the good stuff.   This form in the blood stream allows our body to absorb more calicium and will ultimately drive your serum calcium too high.

The really cool thing about the understanding of the new research is that each organ cell seems to make the steroid version inside and outside the cell as it is needed.  This means that it does not go through your blood and affect your calcium yet it gives you healthy functions.  This is one of the things that has always confounded the research as researchers were going right for the best benefit or so they thought by using the steroid form of D instead of given just plain old D3 and letting the body make the steroid as it was needed.

The old paradigm was that the D3 was converted in the liver to the storage form, 25(OH)/D3, and then the kidney converted the 25(OH)D3 into the steroid form, 1,25(OH)2D3 and is still a valid path.  However, when every cell that has vitamin D receptors converts its own steroid form as needed most excellant health is achieved.  You have to have enough of the D3 in your body to fill up the stores.

Well let me stop here and say that this is most likely very confusing to you and has confused the medical field also.  You should go read at the Pharmacology of vitamin D at the Vitamin D Council to get a better description.  You can also read at the University of California Riverside as well about Vitamin D.

The amount of vitamin D is also a really large issue because it is active in extremely small amounts.  Now lets see, the serum test for 25(OH)D is measured in ng/ml.  We take D3 is in units of IU where 40 IU equals 1 microgram – that’s mircogram not milligram.  I suspect you are just conformtable using milligrams and do not have a clue about a microgram much less nanograms per milliliter. So to get 1 milligram of vitamin D you would need to take 40,000 IU.

Are you confused yet.  To formulate and to test at these extremely small quantaties is extremely difficult and one major lab has alreadly had a recall this year because of this difficulty.  So that brings us to the one major case of toxicity with vitamin D3.  It was a formulation problem and a mistake on how much should be taken by the person doing the supplementation.  Evidently the person was taking over a million IU per day for over a year. It is my understanding that he recovered and was just fine.

To get more of an understanding on toxicity of D3 please visit the Vitamin D Council’s page on toxicity.

So what is the deal and why were doctors told to be extemely concerned about toxicity with vitamin D?  It seems that D2 drives toxicity much quicker at lower levels in humans than D3.  I found a paper by Moon and Reich at the Orthomolecular library entitled “The Vitamin D Problem An Important Lesson in Orthomolecular Medicine.” This paper was written in 1975.  These writers researched the issue of toxicity and found that reports started p0uring in after vitamin D2 began to be used.  This particular section in the paper is well titled: ‘Origin of the Vitamin D-Problem:  Irradiated Ergosterol is Not Vitamin D’

Irradiated Ergosterol was origianllly used as the fortification of milk.  However, in the 50’s and early 60’s most dairies changed to D3 because of the toxicity issues.  During my early reading I was finding compounds that were in equilibrium with D3 as tachysterol and ichysterol but D2 seemed to have one called toxicysterol.  This should have been a clue.

If all of this was known at least by the mid 70’s why all of the fear of D3.  Because D2 and D3 were considered to be equivalent by the medical profession.  I would say that this is terrible science or chosen to be ignored by the medical profession because there was no money to be made. Interestingly enough, D2 is what is found in vitamin D prescriptions because it can be protected because it is not a natuarlly occurring substance in the body.  You could not obtain D3 in beneficial amounts until a few years ago.  To get equivalent to one day in the sun where your body could make as much as 40,000 IU as a supplement you would have to take 100 of those 400 IU tablets.

I was curious as to a statement made by Hector DeLuca in his presentation to the Wisconsin Alumini Research Foundation on Vitamin D: The New Old Wonder Drug.  This you tube video gives you the understanding of how vitamin D analogs have been very sucessful in helping to fund the programs at Wisconsin University.  The statement that some of the beneficial findings over the years were not published is frightening.  This of course was to protect intellectual property rights or dollars.

So does ignoring the facts for profit make the medical profession seem somewhat callous?    It happens all of the time and you acting as the government protect these profits to the loss of your health and life.  Consider former Secreatary Leavitt of Health and Human Services.  On his bio page he listed his priorities.  Number four was ‘markets before mandates’ and you had to go to his last to find ‘value life’.  Now this is really troubling since I was tortured with pain for 25 years when there was a simple solution.

So is it going to far to say that by scaring people out of the sun and causing a significant increase in chronic disease that we were benefiting the well being of America because of an increased medical economy?  Creating disease by selling sunscreen and profiting from the meds to treat the diseases is for another post.

Go into the Sun until you start to turn pink.  Being in the pink is a good thing!

Breast Cancer – Another Pegram’s Perspective

I am excited about my new blog.  I am so excited that I googled my name and vitamin D thinking that it may have been picked up since I initiated the blog on Saturday.  I was surprised to find another Mark Pegram talking about breast cancer.  I love this guy even though he is not me.  He is my nephew.  He is one of the favorites of all my family.

However, we do disagree on the effect of vitamin D and cancer.  He is a well known woman’s oncologist and has done significant work in the field.  He continues to research as well as clinical practice where he sees patients which I think is extremely critical for a researcher.  Way to go Mark!  I on the other hand only grew three inches taller in less than a year and in 4 years have had a significant renewal of my health.  I have spent every spare minute that I could find since October 2004 reading vitamin D research.

What I found was startling to me.  It was an article by Kelley Dunn at WPTV.com – ‘Does Vitamin D Help Prevent Breast Cancer’  – May 25   There was Mark with this quote:  “Dr. Mark Pegram says what is clear is that vitamin d alone doesn’t significantly reduce the risk of breast cancer.”  He does explain earlier that the amount of vitamin d was only 400 IU which we now know does not significanltly effect serum level- my knowing not his.  If you would like to read the article: ‘Does Vitamin D Help Prevent Breast Cancer’.

Dr. John Cannell has consistently stated that the researchers and mainstream medicine has chosen to ignore the facts of medical research.  Now Mark, I am not saying that because the root of ignore is in ignorant that you are.  However, I am saying that you should be paying attention when I tell you to read the research. And for the other eight medical professionals in my family please read the research!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There have been a number of studies done and many more ongoing about breast cancer and vitamin D.  One lady, Carole Baggerly, that survived breast cancer started her own foundation to help promote vitamin d.  She was able to organize a seminar that was offered free to doctors to help them better understand the new research ‘and the old research’ on vitamin d.  There were a number of scientist that presented and this was in conjunction with the University of California San Diego. You can watch these videos online through UCSDtv at the Grassroots Health website.

In particular you should watch this video presentation by Dr. Cedric Garland, a well respected epidemiologist :  “Dose-Response of Vitamin D and a Mechanism for Cancer Prevention” Mark if you are reading this, I do respectfully request that you go watch the videos at this site so as not to mislead people.  Here Dr. Garland sites a number of epidemiological studies as well as cohort studies.  Toward the end he puts the cohort studies for cancer on one slide and it is very truly amazing.  We are talking about reducing cancer by as much as 80 percent or more depending on the type.

If you have a serious disease or if you are a doctor or medical researcher you should take the time to watch all six of the presentations – about six hours.  You will be rewarded.

A Vitamin D Pandemic Survivor

Go into the sun!