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.
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