Vitamin D and Disease Incidence Prevention

For what reason I don't know, but this January 2009 editorial by William Faloon of the Life Extension Foundation is making the rounds. Perhaps it just came available on the web.

It's a good read, particularly in light of the billions and trillions of dollars the thieves & thugs in DC are about to flush down the crapper on your behalf. Some notable excerpts.

A large number of new vitamin D studies have appeared in the scientific literature since I wrote my plea to the federal government. These studies don’t just confirm what we knew 16 months ago—they show that optimizing vitamin D intake will save even more lives than what we projected.

For instance, a study published in June 2008 showed that men with low vitamin D levels suffer 2.42 times more heart attacks. Now look what this means in actual body counts.

Each year, about 157,000 Americans die from coronary artery disease-related heart attacks. Based on this most recent study, if every American optimized their vitamin D status, the number of deaths prevented from this kind of heart attack would be 92,500.

To put the number of lives saved in context, tens of millions of dollars are being spent to advertise that Lipitor® reduces heart attacks by 37%. This is certainly a decent number, but not when compared with how many lives could be saved by vitamin D. According to the latest study, men with the higher vitamin D levels had a 142% reduction in heart attacks.

[...]

The evidence supporting the role of vitamin D in preventing common forms of cancer is now overwhelming.

Vitamin D-deficient women, for example, have a 253% increased risk of colon cancer. Colon cancer strikes 145,000 Americans each year and 53,580 die from it. Based on these studies, if everyone obtained enough vitamin D, 38,578 lives could be saved and medical costs would be reduced by $3.89 billion.

A study published in January 2008 showed that women with the lowest level of vitamin D were at a 222% increased risk for developing breast cancer. Most studies show that higher levels of vitamin D can reduce breast cancer incidence by around 30-50%.

Each year, approximately 186,800 women are diagnosed with breast cancer and 40,950 perish from it in the United States. This needless toll of suffering and death caused by insufficient intake of vitamin D is unconscionable.

Prostate cancer will be diagnosed in an estimated 189,000 American men this year. Almost 30,000 will die from it. Men with higher levels of vitamin D have a 52% reduced incidence of prostate cancer.

[...]

In a study published in September 2008, blood indicators of vitamin D status were measured in 3,316 patients with suspected coronary artery disease. The subjects were followed for 7.75 years. For every small decrease in blood indicators of vitamin D status, there was a startling 86% increase in the number of fatal strokes.

The doctors who conducted this study concluded: “Low levels of 25(OH)D and 1,25(OH)2D are independently predictive for fatal strokes, suggesting that vitamin D supplementation is a promising approach in the prevention of strokes.”

[...]

According to John Jacob Cannell, MD, founder of the non-profit Vitamin D Counsel: “Current research indicates vitamin D deficiency plays a role in causing seventeen varieties of cancer as well as heart disease, stroke, hypertension, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, depression, chronic pain, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, muscle wasting, birth defects, and periodontal disease."

[...]

Vitamin D seems to reduce the risk of almost every killer disease of aging. In fact, a recent study shows that humans with low vitamin D status are twice as likely to die over a seven-year time period!

That's a lot of quoting, but there's a point to it. This weekend while researching the vitamin D connection to various forms of heart disease (post forthcoming) I found this figure. on the Grassrootshealth website. Click to enlarge, or access the PDF here.

Vitamin D and Disease Incidence
Vitamin D and Disease Incidence

Legend:

All percentages reference a common baseline of 25 ng/ml as shown on the chart.

%’s reflect the disease prevention % at the beginning and ending of available data. Example: Breast cancer incidence is reduced by 30% when the serum level is 34 ng/ml vs the baseline of 25 ng/ml. There is an 83% reduction in incidence when the serum level is 50 ng/ml vs the baseline of 25 ng/ml. The x’s in the bars indicate ‘reasonable extrapolations’ from the data but are beyond existing data.

Comments

  1. I found some of the info in the Faloon piece interesting, but some of it seemed fairly weak as stated. He seemed to make some of the kinds of errors that Taubes and others warn against, leaping from epidemiological data to concluding causation (not just correlation). It seemed that some of his claims on this basis therefore were not well supported. He hedges in some spots, but as a piece to *convince people* who are not already believers in the Vitamin D cause, I think that an article like this would be dismissed. I think something a bit more careful in its wording and claims would be stronger than this article was.

    I did like however its broad scope, and I am certainly someone who is a believer — based on everything I’ve read in the past two years — that Vitamin D is a huge issue. Personally, living in upstate NY and now it being the winter months so my sun exposure being quite low… I’m taking 4000 units of Vit. D a day. Summer time, maybe just 2,000. The gov. / experts continuing to only call for 400… very bad advice!

    Thanksf for this very interesting chart, by the way. A nice visual. I’ve not looked into the underlying data though… how much is sound vs. weaker epidemiology-only?

  2. The reason this LEF article is now making the rounds is that John Cannell, M.D., President of the Vitamin D Council, sent out an email to all Vitamin D Council newsletter subscribers on December 19th which stated: “Everyone should read the January editorial by Bill Faloon of Life Extension Foundation” with a link to the article. I don’t know if the article is really 11 months old or if it is dated incorrectly. I recommend anyone interested in Vitamin D subscribe to the free low-volume newsletter at http://www.vitamindcouncil.org

  3. 25-Hydroxyvitamin D is an agonistic vitamin D receptor ligand
    May I urge readers here to try to get hold of the full text of this paper.
    Here is just one paragraph.

    In recent years 1,25(OH)2D3 and its low-calcemic analogs have emerged as promising anti-cancer agents. The mechanisms of the anti-proliferative, pro-differentiating and pro-apoptotic effects
    of vitamin D compounds vary and are cell-specific, but they are all mediated by the VDR. VDR is an important transcription factor with several hundred direct target genes. Due to the high affinity binding of 1,25(OH)2D3 to the VDR nearly all investigations have concenrated on this ligand and its potent analogs. However, the findings of this study add a new perspective into the concept of cell growth regulating VDR ligands. The latter have not to be of high affinity, but they should be abundant in a sufficiently high concentration and should stabilize the VDR-LBD in its agonistic conformation. in this sense 25OHD3 should be able to perform the same cell and gene-regulatory function as it has been shown in the past for 1,25(OH) D .

    For those who may have given serious consideration to the Marshall Protocol this study shows the exact opposite of Marshall’s theory demonstrable and rather than blocking the action of the VDR 25(OH)D acts as a hormone and in synergy with Calcitriol.

    Looking at the above chart for Chronic Disease Incidence by serum 25(OH)D status we can now be even more confident that it’s sensible to keep levels above 55ng/ml and for people with a cancer (or chronic inflammatory condition) levels between 65ng/ml and 90ng/ml will facilitate the antiproliferative potential of 25(OH)D and that at 40ng/ml or below there is no evidence of anti proliferative activity.

  4. Neonomide says:

    Ted,

    Which version of the paper that is ?

    I have that Tuohimaa et al. paper, yet the *In Press* version didn’t include the paragraphs you point out here.

    Prof Tuohimaa has previously been very conservative and recommended only 40-60 nmol/l a day, even earlier this year.

    I’m very confused.

  5. It was only supposed to be the first paragraph that was quoted from the paper.

    The last 2 paragraphs were my comment on that paper. I’m sorry something went wrong with my formatting code. I thought my writing style was sufficiently distinct and different from the technical writing of the paper for the join to be spotted however I was forgetting the worldwide readership of this blog and the fact that many people will be reading either in translation or in a second language. I’m sorry if my carelessness may have misled anyone.

    If you read the full text of the paper you will see that the authors found that at higher concentrations on the slides 500 nM of the compound resulted in approximately 60% inhibition of cellular growth over 6 days.

    If 100nm produces no inhibition and 500nmol produces 60% inhibitions is it my guess somewhere in between is a sweet spot where the hormonal action starts.
    500nmol/l = 200ng/ml which is too near the level at which adverse events may be anticipated in humans.
    But about half that level, say 80ng/ml is 200nmol/l and as we find at 150nm = 60ng/ml human breasts produce Vitamin D3 replete milk it is a fairly safe bet that at the upper natural levels the function of calcidiol as a hormone will be measurable but no doubt at lower levels of activity than at 500nm.
    It would seem unlikely that the capacity for the hormonal action of calcidiol is present but never actually utilised because humans never attain, in practice, the 25(OH)D level that permits hormonal action.
    In the same way it is reasonable to suggest because 6400iu is less than the intake a human normally acquires given 20 minutes full body sun exposure, it is reasonable to predict early humans living naked outdoors would have been able to achieve the calcidiol levels that produce vitamin D3 replete milk and babies born with the capacity to absorb maximum amounts of calcium from diet and with optimum bone mineral density.

    We know lifeguards regularly attain levels around 80ng 200nmol/l so this within the natural levels that humans experience safely.

    I’m aware of Tuohimaa’s work with pancreatic cancer but do not think that experience applies to those living in more southerly latitudes than Finland. There are other things going on in Finland regarding the increase in Type One Diabetes since the reduction in Vitamin D3 consumption that parallels the increase in pancreatic cancer and blaming vitamin D3 for the increase in cancer but lack of D3 for the increase in Type 1 is illogical.
    Vieth has answered Tuohimaa in his paper that I put online here
    How to Optimize Vitamin D Supplementation to Prevent Cancer, Based on Cellular Adaptation and Hydroxylase Enzymology
    Vieth is still happy with the idea that up to 10,000iu/daily is safe. That higher levels that remain stable provide the best protection from cancer. And the examples quoted from the work reported in
    25-Hydroxyvitamin D3 is an agonistic vitamin D receptor ligand confirm that for the hormonal action of Calcidiol to function sufficient amounts of calcidiol have to be available.

    So to repeat this is the quoted paragraph that comes from the discussion section of the published version of the paper. The comments about the Marshall Protocol are mine and I stand by them. Trevor Marshall’s claimed his computer modelling shows calcidiol blocks the action of VDR while Tuohimaa’s computer modelling shows a sufficient amount of calcidiol may be sufficient on it’s own but most likely both metabolites are important hormones and their interaction might be necessary for a full biological response in physiological situations.

    Those who haven’t access to a copy of the full text of the paper may want to read this chapter by the same authors. Is calcidiol and active hormone

    In recent years 1,25(OH)2D3 and its low-calcemic analogs have emerged as promising anti-cancer agents. The mechanisms of the anti-proliferative, pro-differentiating and pro-apoptotic effects
    of vitamin D compounds vary and are cell-specific, but they are all mediated by the VDR. VDR is an important transcription factor with several hundred direct target genes. Due to the high affinity binding of 1,25(OH)2D3 to the VDR nearly all investigations have concenrated on this ligand and its potent analogs. However, the findings of this study add a new perspective into the concept of cell growth regulating VDR ligands. The latter have not to be of high affinity, but they should be abundant in a sufficiently high concentration and should stabilize the VDR-LBD in its agonistic conformation. in this sense 25OHD3 should be able to perform the same cell and gene-regulatory function as it has been shown in the past for 1,25(OH) D .

    • Ted:

      I’d been meaning to thank you for these comments (BTW, I fixed that quoting issue, above). Didn’t Peter blog about this too, i.e., Vieth? What I got out of it is that if you’re going to supplement then keep it steady, that there’s some evidence that a lot of up & down in levels of 25(OH)D isn’t good, though I can’t claim to understand much of what’s behind it. However, one could note that in nature one would have just one down cycle per year, in the fall — unless of course one’s at lower latitudes, in which case levels would remain pretty constant throughout the year.

  6. Thanks for spreading the word.

    The only way the truth about the suppression of the vitamin D truth can be pushed back into the closet IMO is for the NET to be censored. I look for that next.

    Keeping the US Citizen uninformed and AFRAID of the sun has been key in the massive health fraud in the US.

    A simple monumental vitamin D truth IMO is that high levels of Vitamin D in your blood are VERY protective against AIDS and many other bio-weapons especially mycoplasma based bio-weapons.

    http://healthyprotocols.com/2_sun.htm

  7. Churyl says:

    I was all ready to hop on the vitamin D bandwagon, when I came across this article. Ay ay ay! I have no idea what to do. I’d love to hear your take on this.

    The Truth About Vitamin D: Fourteen Reasons Why Misunderstanding Endures

    http://bacteriality.com/2007/09/15/vitamind/

    • Man, will that thing never go away.

      It’s total BS and they’re abusing science. Suggest you take a look here.

      You might also just Google vitamin D and stand by. You could read for years and not get through it all.

Trackbacks

  1. Paleo In Six Easy Steps: A Guide to Primal Living | CrossFit Fenrir | Ipswich & Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, UK says:

    […] Consider vitamin D3 supplements. Our bodies naturally produce vitamin D3 from sun exposure…but Paleolithic humans didn’t live and work indoors. 2000-4000 IU per day is, from what I understand, a good start for most adults on days they’re not getting meaningful sun exposure. Testing for 25(OH)D levels will tell you if your dosage is correct: 45-60 ng/mL is apparently a good place to be. […]

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