Those who’ve been around for a good long while know that I used to harp endlessly about Vitamin D. It’s been so long this came to light, it almost seems passé—but it’s still critical. While it’s likely our most important supplement owing to the way modern life has nudged us into areas that make us fish out of water, there’s another synergistic supplement that fits the same mold: we don’t get that one as we should either, anymore. Both are critical.
At root: many live at latitudes they didn’t evolve to live in given their skin color (darker skin is more resistant to sunlight and vitamin D synthesis as an evolutionary protection adaptation). To make matters even worse, we shelter ourselves. We cover ourselves. We work indoors. As to the 2nd supplement which I’ll cover in a subsequent post, that one has to do with how we used to eat and don’t, anymore.
What follows is simply a collection of important links to articles and studies I’ve saved up over months, since I last blogged about Vitamin D and before. What’s my purpose? To highlight its wide scope importance. I like to think of it this way: we’re plant Earthlings. Sun worshipers were the first and last understandable, rational religion in the context of available knowledge. Now imagine shielding a plant from Earth’s principal energy source, then fretting about all its health problems as you continue to shield it. I don’t think there’s a material difference…children…
But first, as I always prefer to a list of references, the Big Picture, from a while back:
by Dr. John Cannell
Why should you keep your vitamin D level around 50 ng/ml? Four different sources, using four different rationales, and four different lines of reasoning, all lead to the same conclusion.
First, what is the vitamin D level of our closest simian relatives, such as chimpanzees living wild in Africa? Professor Reinhold Vieth reports the answer is between 40 and 60 ng/ml. This, by itself, does not prove we need such levels, but it certainly raises that question.
Second, what is the vitamin D level of humans who work in the sun without clothes, such as lifeguards, and without supplementing? We lived in the sun for 2 million years, so certainly lifeguards have more natural vitamin D levels than do people who work indoors. Again, the answer is between 40-60 ng/ml. Here, we have stronger naturalistic evidence unless one assumes the vitamin D levels of indoor workers are natural.
Third, what vitamin D levels do women have to achieve to convert from having little to having lots of vitamin D in their breast milk? Professors Bruce Hollis and Carole Wagner recently answered that question, again 40-60 ng/ml, enough to sustain the infant’s vitamin D levels. One could claim breast milk is not supposed to have vitamin D in it, and that primitive man was supposed to expose newborns to sunlight. But then you would be arguing that primitive man was supposed to expose their infants to predators, which I find unlikely. Besides, we know from the second reason that any woman receiving consistent full body sun exposure would have vitamin D in her breast milk.
Finally, what is the vitamin D level of people who show no evidence of substrate starvation? That is, at what level do people begin to store the parent compound (cholecalciferol) in their fat and muscles? Professor Robert Heaney answered that question: around 40 ng/ml. I remember seeing several patients in the hospital who had vitamin D levels of 40-50 ng/ml in February. Both had worked as roofers the summer before and both had worked with their shirts off. The mechanism for humans who migrated away from the equator must have been the same, to store the parent compound in muscle and fat during the summer for use in the winter. The body stores it well before it turns on the enzymatic machinery to get rid of excess vitamin D.
So we have the above four questions, questions from four very different sources. Chimps, outdoor workers, lactating women, and clinical subjects all lead to the same answer: 40 ng/ml is the lower limit of a natural level. Taking into account errors in laboratory testing and variations in human techniques, we must accept what the Endocrine Society recently recommended, that healthy vitamin D levels are somewhere around 50 ng/ml, levels the Vitamin D Council has advocated for the last 8 years.
There’s a lesson in logical deduction for you.
A few of these links require membership in the Vitamin D Council to read fully, which comes at a relatively small price. However, you can also get on their list for free and you will get plenty of articles you can read with no membership. Choice is yours.
In a series of recent papers, Professor McGrath and colleagues list the reasons they think vitamin D deficiency causes schizophrenia.
Large geographical variations in dental health and tooth loss among U.S. adolescents and young adults have been reported since the mid-1800s. The first study finding a north-south gradient in dental caries was a report of men rejected from the draft for the Civil War for lost teeth, from 8 per 1000 men in Kentucky to 25 in New England.
See Weston Price, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, for the whole scoop on that.
A recent case-control study from Canada found reduced risk of colorectal cancer associated with both calcium and vitamin D [Sun, 2011].
I have been hugely interested in the epidemiology, particularly as charted by latitude, of vitamin D and various cancers. People with brown or darker skin living at higher latitudes are at particular risk.
“Vitamin D may affect the function of dopamine and norepinephrine, which are monoamine neurotransmitters that are likely involved in depression. Furthermore, vitamin D may modulate the relation between depression and inflammation.”
Most people know of the childhood autism and asthma epidemics that started in the 1980’s, but few people know of the third childhood epidemic, one that also began in the 1980s, and that is the childhood autoimmune epidemic. The list includes children with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile lupus and juvenile diabetes. Why are so many of our children getting these diseases, diseases that were rare in childhood in the 1950s and 60s and that now literally ravage so many kids?
And yet a fourth childhood epidemic is that of type 2 diabetes, a situation in which insulin has a hard time getting into cells, and in effect, sugar has a hard time getting into cells as well. Thus, sugar goes up in the blood. The key pathology in type 2 diabetes is insulin resistance, where the cells do not respond to insulin optimally. Obesity is associated with insulin resistance but is probably not the actual cause. What is causing so many children to develop insulin resistance?
Yet another paper by Dr. Muideen Bakare (Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Nigeria) and her two co-authors from Harvard are pinning down a relationship between vitamin D and autism.
One by one, study by study, organized medicine is beginning to realize that low vitamin D levels may be contributing to the plague of psychiatric disorders that are laying our children low.
The various associations with new childhood issues like the various psychiatric disorders, diabetes (even Type 1), and for God’s sake: rickets!!! enrages me above all else. A perfect storm of dermatologists—arguably the most evil people on the planet, doing multitudes more harm than good as a group—and helicopter parents who somehow are given to the curious notion that human animals have been raising human animal children all wrong for the last few hundreds of thousands of years. Moron followers, outrageous most particularly because of their ignorant pretentiousness. So loathsome.
Professor Joan Lappe of Creighton University has written an up to date review article on vitamin D that serves as a good primer for anyone just awakened to the “vitamin D revolution.” It is free to download or read online.
Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine 16(1) 58-72
a The Author(s) 2011
￼￼￼Vitamin D deficiency is pandemic, spanning many continents and including all ages, genders and racial/ethnic groups. Currently, world-wide attention is focused on the importance of vitamin D in optimizing health and preventing disease. This focus is largely the result of the scientific discovery that vitamin D receptors are present in nearly every tissue and cell in the body and that adequate vitamin D status is essential for optimal functioning of these tissues and cells. An impressive body of research has accumulated over the past two decades providing new information about the role of vitamin D in prevention of a broad range of diseases. The purpose of this paper is to provide a review of this new information.
Telomeres are regions at the end of a chromosome, which protect the end of it from deterioration, the longer the better. The telomere regions reduce the degradation of genes near the ends of chromosomes by allowing for the shortening of chromosome ends, which necessarily occurs during chromosome replication. Over time, due to numerous cell divisions over your lifetime, the telomeres become shorter.
During cell division, if cells divide without telomeres, they would lose the ends of their chromosomes and the necessary information they contain. The telomeres are disposable buffers blocking the ends of the chromosomes; they are consumed during cell division, but then replenished by an enzyme, telomerase.
Telomerase deficiency is associated with aging, death, obesity, cardiovascular disease, depression and diabetes.
A study in Greece found that babies born in winter and autumn had higher birth weight, longer gestational age, and two years longer life expectancy than those born in spring or summer [Flouris et al., 2009]. While the author thought the effect was due to environmental temperature, an earlier study from Australia contradicts the hypothesis. It found no effect in temperature change, but rather an effect in sun exposure during the first trimester, resulting in higher birth weights [Tustin et al., 2004].
An observational study published after (1) was submitted found vitamin D deficiency (<30 ng/ml) significantly associated with coronary artery disease, myocardial infarction, heart failure, stroke, heart failure as well as subsequent death from these diseases in a review of 41,497 subjects in Utah with at least one 25(OH)D measurement between 2000 and 2009 (4). Another observational study published after (1) reported vitamin D deficiency significantly associated with several CVD diseases and CVD mortality rate (5).
How would you like to be the British pathologist, Dr. Irene Scheimberg? First, she rendered a politically incorrect autopsy report on a couple’s infant, reporting the infant died from vitamin D deficiency, not from child abuse. The state freed the couple only because the baby died, thus making an autopsy possible where Dr. Scheimberg discovered the rickets. If the infant had lived, the state would have taken the infant away, given it formula (with vitamin D) thus destroying the evidence of vitamin D deficiency and jailed the couple for felony child abuse. Only the infant’s death kept the parents out of prison.
Dr. Scheimberg is exceptionally honest, intellectually I mean. After she found vitamin D deficiency in the couple’s infant and exonerated the couple, she realized that she may have missed vitamin D deficiency as the cause of death in 27 other infants that she has autopsied over the last few years. I don’t know if she plans on redoing the autopsies, only to tell 27 grieving couples that their infant died a completely preventable death; a death directly out of the dark ages.
I can’t even believe this has gotten to the point where Rickets is again a real thing. Only this time, we’re dumber about it which should go to just about everything I write about. Anciently, it was actually properly diagnosed. Today, increasingly, with masses of people deficient in vitamin D owing to the holocaust-level evil perpetuated by the “profession” of dermatology, pregnant women are deficient, they breast feed and protect their babies from a single ray of sunshine, and their babies develop rickets, a condition where bones don’t act properly because their bodies don’t have the necessary substate (vitamin D) to ensure proper mineral distribution to teeth & bones (also a major cause of early tooth decay as documented by Weston Price forever ago).
Every year, billions are spent in fertility clinics; the result of which is often in vitro fertilization (IVF). About 5 years ago, I began receiving emails from a nurse practitioner in Indiana who works in a fertility clinic. Her experience was dramatic; 5,000 IU/day for both the man and woman frequently resulted in a healthy baby. However, her last email to me was quite sad, she was in danger of losing her job as her boss, a gynecologist, was losing money due to vitamin D. He ordered her to stop advocating it or lose her job.
Generally, the studies showing positive results of treating fibromyalgia with vitamin D come from the Middle East, where vitamin D levels of 3-6 ng/ml in veiled women are common. Today, let’s look at a study from Saudi Arabia that was published in early 2012.
Rage! You know what I mean.
OK. That’s about enough for a single post. I guess I’m going to have to do more of them. That only got me to February of 2012, so I have a year’s worth of links still. I’ll get them out. This is important.
Riddle: What do you call 100,000 dead and dismembered dermatologists?
A good start.