Commonly Ignored Facts about Vitamin D

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by tansy, Oct 29, 2005.

  1. tansy

    tansy New Member

    Commonly Ignored Facts That May be Hurting Your Health

    By John Cannell, MD, The Vitamin D Council

    I love ignored facts. Aldous Huxley once said, "Facts don't cease to exist just because they are ignored." I decided to look for ignored facts. Were there any ignored facts that would tell me how to protect my 3-year-old from the infection-of-the week from her day-care center? Tucked away in an ignored journal was an ignored fact.

    Kids Need Their Vitamin D

    In 1994, Dr. Rehman gave 60,000 units of vitamin D a week to 27 children (ages 3-12) with frequent childhood infections and compared them to controls. The children also had elevated alkaline phosphatase (like many American children), which usually indicates vitamin D deficiency. He gave the kids vitamin D for six weeks along with calcium. He didn't say if he used real vitamin D (cholecalciferol) or if he used ergocalciferol. Anyway, he gave them 60,000 units a week for six weeks, about 9,000 units a day.

    J Trop Pediatr. 1994 Feb;40(1):58.

    Within a few weeks, "infections were fully controlled and no recurrences were reported for six months." The kids just stopped getting sick! An ignored study, ignored facts, not repeated, not remembered. The author didn't measure vitamin D levels, but 9,000 units a day of vitamin D for six weeks should bring most vitamin-D-deficient children to 50 ng/ml, probably higher.

    I'm skeptical by nature. So I decided to experiment on myself. Physicians experimenting on themselves are one of the great traditions in medicine. I bought some 50,000-unit capsules of real vitamin D from Bio-Tech. The next time I got the crud, I took a single capsule (50,000 units) of cholecalciferol, which is perfectly safe for adults.

    In Europe, they give 10 times that amount as "stoss therapy" all the time. I was amazed how much better I felt the next day. If you decide to experiment on yourself, do it once or twice. Don't keep taking 50,000 units every day or you will get toxic. Also, keep close tabs on your vitamin D level.

    Children don't need the 60,000 units a week to improve their immune system, although Dr. Rehman found that amount safe for six weeks -- 60,000 units per week for a young child is a pharmacological dose, not a physiological dose. If vitamin D could be patented, we would already have lots of studies using pharmacological doses as drug companies explored dosage ranges to find the maximal effects of vitamin D. However, it can't be patented and studies using pharmacological doses are decades away.

    What's the Right Amount of Vitamin D?

    For now, vitamin D deficiency is easily treated with physiological doses. More to the point, you probably know someone dying of vitamin D deficiency. Lawyers may be interested in knowing that most oncologists in this country -- in spite of what is known about vitamin D and cancer -- let their cancer patients die vitamin D deficient.

    A group of scientists got together last month in San Diego and looked at the issue. I liked Professor Garland's conclusion: "Almost no one is being made sick by Vitamin D toxicity, but literally millions are dying from Vitamin D deficiency."

    Scientific panel discusses benefits of UV sun exposure

    Not only do we have no studies using pharmacological doses, we are still waiting for additional studies using physiological doses (2,000 to 10,000 units a day). Vieths' studies showing that 4,000 units of cholecalciferol a day helped depression, and that 2,000 units a day stopped PSA increases in the majority of men with prostate cancer, are two of the few.

    Nutr J. 2004 Jul 19;3:8.

    Nutr Cancer. 2005;51(1):32-6.

    By the way, the government says 2,000 units a day is safe for children over 1 year of age. In fact, 1,000 units a day will give most young children normal vitamin D levels. Children who weigh more than 60 pounds may need 2,000 units a day to obtain normal levels (50 ng/ml). It is unlikely vitamin D prevents infection, it probably just calms our immune system, especially our macrophages, our internal 'Pac-Men' that keep zapping the invaders -- and our insides --with oxidative bursts until something tells them to stop.

    Along those lines, Drs. Laura Helming and Andreas Lengeling and their German colleagues announced an important discovery in August. They discovered that vitamin D does indeed tell the Pac-Men to stop. Otherwise, those oxidative bursts can cause autoimmune illness.

    Blood. 2005 Aug 23; [Epub ahead of print]

    The Germans explained why autoimmune illness is so common in vitamin-D-deficient patients. Without enough vitamin D, the immune system can't make enough activated vitamin D to tell macrophages enough already.

    The authors concluded their discovery "might be an important mechanism to prevent uncontrolled and excessive reactions in local inflammatory environments... Since macrophages play important roles in several autoimmune diseases, this may be of special clinical importance." Way to go Germany.

    If you have an autoimmune illness, take enough real vitamin D (cholecalciferol) to get your level to about 50 ng/ml. Keep it at 50 ng/ml year around. For most adults, that means about 4,000 units a day, a little more in the winter and less in the summer, depending on sun exposure.

    Big people need more than little people. African Americans need more than whites. Sunphobes need more than those who enjoy God's invention. No one knows if pharmacological doses would effectively treat autoimmune disease.

    Vitamin D Benefits Pregnant Women Too

    Of course, it is a good idea to keep your level around 50 ng/ml, even if you don't have autoimmune illness. Professor Bruce Hollis points out that 50 ng/ml is close to the normal human level.

    J Nutr. 2005 Feb;135(2):317-22.

    Bruce is one of the few scientists who saw vitamin D clearly 20 years ago. Down at the Medical University of South Carolina, he is making sure pregnant women get around 4,000 units of real vitamin D a day. He and Carol Wagner were the ones who discovered most human breast milk doesn't contain vitamin D for a very good reason: Most human mothers are vitamin D deficient, a major discovery.

    We can only hope that widespread vitamin D maternal deficiency doesn't cause birth defects in baby brains like it does rat brains. If it does, it won't be the children whose mothers were under Dr. Hollis' care.

    If you know anyone who is pregnant, make sure she sunbathes a few minutes around noon every day in the late spring, summer and early fall and uses a Sperti sunlamp the rest of the time. (Sperti is the only manufacturer of UVB lamps that has UVB data on their Web site). Alternatively, pregnant women could take enough real vitamin D (cholecalciferol) to obtain normal human vitamin D levels of around 50 ng/ml.

    Their child may be at risk if they don't keep normal levels. The sun and sunlamps are easier for pregnant women because their bodies will optimize levels and neither they nor their obstetricians have to worry about the pills.

    The Dynamic Duo: Vitamin D and Calcium

    Two Austrians, Meinrad Peterlik and Heidi Cross, had a great review several months ago of all the diseases associated with vitamin D and calcium deficiency. Vitamin D and calcium go together. Vitamin D can't do what it needs to do without adequate calcium.

    The Austrians concluded, "Hypovitaminosis D is a widespread phenomenon in the adult population of Central and Western Europe as well as in North America ... and an important public health problem because of numerous implications for the development of common diseases."

    They reviewed the evidence that deficiencies contribute to colon cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, hypertension, infectious disease, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and multiple sclerosis. When calcium and vitamin D deficiencies were combined, they found only 11 percent of the population had adequate intakes/levels of both. That is, 89 percent of us are deficient in one or the other or both. I know Heidi from vitamin D conferences. She's a good scientist.

    Eur J Clin Invest. 2005 May;35(5):290-304.

    When combined with other recent papers, the point is to take enough real vitamin D (about 4,000 units of cholecalciferol per day for adults) to maintain vitamin D levels of around 50 ng/ml and make sure you get at least 1,000 mg of calcium every day.

    The Higher the Better

    Want some more ignored facts? In 1969, Voors and Johnson looked at mortality from heart disease in the largest cities in the United States and discovered the higher you live, the less likely you were to die from heart disease. Several of the cities at highest altitude had about half the deaths of sea level cities. This is consistent with Leaf's 1973 finding that long-lived communities are all at high altitude, where UVB light makes a lot more vitamin D.

    By the way, Italian researchers found strong seasonal variations in blood clots and, you guessed it, clots are much less common in the summer, when vitamin D levels are higher. These correlations with heart disease and blood clots are probably not strong in the United States these days, as American dermatologists have 'sun-scared' the people in Denver as well as New York. Maybe folks are smarter in Italy.

    J Chronic Dis. 1979;32(1-2):157-62.

    Sci Am. 1973 Sep;229(3):44-52.

    Med Sci Monit. 2004 May;10(5).

    Again, the take-away point is to get your vitamin D blood level (25-hydroxy-vitamin D) up to about 50 ng/ml and keep it there year around. About 4,000 units of cholecalciferol every day should do it. I'd take more if I had cancer or heart disease or autoimmune disease (enough to get my level up to 60 ng/ml year around) but there are no studies to prove that's a good idea. If you have a serious illness, you can read the current literature and decide for yourself, or you can die waiting for definitive interventional studies.

    How much does vitamin D deficiency cost, besides the millions of lives? Three other good scientists, Bill Grant, Cedric Garland and Michael Holick, recently attempted to answer that question. They came up with a figure of about $40-60 billion every year in the United States alone. I think that is a conservative number.

    Photochem Photobiol. 2005 Jan 1; [Epub ahead of print]

    How Much Does Vitamin D Deficiency Cost?

    Also, check out Dr. Grant's organization, SunArc. Bill was a NASA scientist until he retired and started his own non-profit to do research into vitamin D. He is doing just that and making a difference.

    No, facts don't cease to exist because they are ignored. But they make little difference when policy advisors, like the Institute of Medicine, ignore scientific facts. The institute recommends 400 units a day, instead of 4,000. They are making a full order of magnitude error. Millions of people are dying needlessly, especially African-Americans.
  2. ckk

    ckk New Member

    very interesting....thank you for sharing!!!!!! have a great sunday!!!!!
    ckk
  3. foggyfroggy

    foggyfroggy Guest

    Good timing on these - on my dr. appt last week my doctor told me that he wants to start me on the 50,000 unit dose next month. I'll let everyone know if I feel a difference.
  4. jfrustrated

    jfrustrated New Member

    I agree with above info on vit D3. My levels tested very low and the doctor has put me on D3 tabs. BUT PLEASE TAKE WITH CARE AND BUILD UP SLOWLY IF YOU HAVE CFS. I started on 1000iu daily and crashed. I have been soooo sick with it. Cut right back to 250 iu daily and have been on that for over a month. Am now moving up to 500 iu daily and will gradually, over a couple of months, move up to 1000iu daily. I believe that it is important to have sufficient D3, but it can really knock us. I would appreciate any ideas as to WHY.
  5. Rosiebud

    Rosiebud New Member

    I thought I got enough Vit D from Cod Liver Oil but doesnt look like it so I'll start taking Vit D tablets with Calcium.

    I think it's wise to build up doses too, we're too sensitive to all meds and supplements to take large doses all at once.

    Thanks Tansy and Nanjee

    love Rosie
    [This Message was Edited on 10/30/2005]
  6. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Just one thing about living at high altitude and heart disease, though--living where the air is thin at high altitude means one has to develop a much more efficient system for utilizing oxygen. That is why athletes train at high altitude. That, plus more vitamin D from the sun, probably account for lower levels of heart problems at altitude.

    I know that some are getting results from the Marshall Protocol, but I have decided to pass this treatment by. I do not believe it safe to cut such an important vitamin from my regimen. Living in sunny FL allows me to get all the sun I want on most days; well, most days except when those nasty hurricanes blow through :)

    Love, Mikie
  7. elastigirl

    elastigirl New Member

    I felt so guilty when my four-year-old son got pneuminitis last week. Here I am taking a slew of wonderful supplements that help me resist illness, but my son only gets a plain-jane chewable vitamin. I'm just so nervous about the safety of giving him additional supplements.

    I think I will try a little extra vitamin D for him. He gets plenty of dairy products yet still seems to catch anything that comes along from the kids in his preschool.
  8. tansy

    tansy New Member

    Hi Rosie

    A lot of the vit D in supps and multis in the UK use D2, I presume this is to make them suitable for vegetarians and vegans as well. Hopefully over time D3 will be accepted here as the best and safest form of vit D.

    I always had problems with Ca supps, but felt years without much Ca must be adding to my problems. I opted for coral calcium first and now use sea calcium from Higher Nature, these are said to provide Ca in a more bioavailable form.

    love, Tansy
  9. tansy

    tansy New Member

    Elastigirl the vit D used to fortify milk is D2 rather than D3, the latter is safer and more effective. My son has an immune deficiency, not a life threatening one, but it does make him more prone to infections some of which have been serious. I was aware of this before it was investigated and Dx.

    Like you I was very careful about supps when he was young and tended to opt for those which were closer to how nature provides them or gave him the theoretically more bio available versions. My son is now an adult; he continues to take supps and alternatives because they work for him.

    Jfustrated these DDs make us more sensitive to the changes any supps or meds may bring about. Vit D3 modulates and strengthens the immune system and the HPA axis; any shifts in how these function, even when beneficial, will affect us initially. Many of us have had to start on a low dose and then increase it slowly especially in the early stages of taking D3.

    Mikie the concerns you regularly express over vit D avoidance are shared by many of us, that’s why it’s really important to consider all the arguments for and against keeping our vit D levels at an optimal level.

    Love, Tansy[This Message was Edited on 10/31/2005]
  10. Rosiebud

    Rosiebud New Member

    I didnt know this about vitamin D, I didnt even know there was a D2 and D3.

    Will keep in mind about the calcium, I take mine from Holland and Barratt and find them a bit hard to take, they are so big.

    Thanks

    love
    Rosie
  11. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    It states here that vitamin D is important in reuptake of phosphate in the kidney tubules. It is Dr. St. Amand's theory that this reuptake is what causes the tender points in people with FMS as the body stores the excess phosphate debris in the soft tissue. Perhaps by eliminating the vitamin D, the Marshall Protocol achieves what the Guai Protocol achieves. Given the potential risks of the MP versus the Guai Protocol, which is very benign, I think the Guai Protocol is the wiser and safer route, at least, for me. We each have to make these decisions for ourselves.

    Love, Mikie

    *******************************************
    Early in the 19th century, long before the discovery of vitamins, it was recognized empirically that sunlight or fish liver oils could prevent rickets -- they were called "anti-rachitic." Rickets, a disease that can cause severe bone malformations, was becoming more and more prevalent in children as the chimneys of the industrial revolution obscured urban skies across northern Europe.

    By the 1930s much of the chemistry and biology involved in this anti-rachitic effect had been uncovered. It was recognized that fat soluble substances were involved and that they could be manufactured by irradiating yeast or natural foodstuffs with ultraviolet (UV) light. The product found in yeast was identified as calciferol, or vitamin D2. In the skin, it was learned that a cholesterol-like precursor is transformed by UV to a similar product called cholecalciferol, or vitamin D3.

    However, although they possess biological activity, neither vitamin D2 nor D3 is the most active form of vitamin D.

    The best known activity of vitamin D is its role in maintaining bone. It functions by increasing the uptake of calcium from the intestine through interaction with the parathyroid glands in controlling bone resorption and serum calcium levels. The skeleton is the body's reservoir of calcium and provides calcium through resorption of mineral when serum levels of this essential element drop. Vitamin D also increases reabsorption of phosphate by the kidney tubule, and may directly affect the osteoblast, the cell which forms bone.

    It's now known that the active agent in these functions (and more) is not vitamin D2 or D3; it is a hormone formed by reactions in the liver and kidney. Starting with cholecalciferol, two hydroxylations produce 1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol, or calcitriol, which has many times the activity of vitamin D3. Calcitriol is released into the bloodstream and is transported on a carrier protein to various sites in the body. Individuals with kidney failure are unable to perform the final hydroxylation step and may require exogenous calcitriol.

    The diet is very low in vitamin D, unless you're consuming fish liver. Fortified foods, primarily dairy, are our major sources and may be produced by irradiation or by addition of synthetic forms of the vitamin. Supplementation with fish liver oils or extracts of these oils in capsules are important sources, especially for children or seniors living at higher latitudes and particularly during fall and winter. A reduced incidence of hip fractures has been shown for seniors using calcium and vitamin D supplements. Proper levels of intake must be used since excess vitamin D can be toxic. The usual maintenance level is 400 IU per day. A recent National Academy of Sciences document presents a new standard, the Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL), defined as the maximum level of daily intake that is unlikely to pose risk to the general population. The UL given for vitamin D is 25 micrograms (mcg) vitamin D3 for children up to 12 months of age and 50 mcg vitamin D3 for all other age groups, including pregnant and lactating women. One microgram of vitamin D3 is equivalent to 401 IU of vitamin D.

    In recent years vitamin D has gained increased respect and attention. Its biological role is now known to extend beyond regulation of bone mineralization and serum calcium levels. Vitamin D receptors have been found in a variety of cells. It is believed that calcitriol plays an important part in the regulation of genes involved in cell growth, differentiation and proliferation. By promoting differentiation and inhibiting proliferation, it may become an important factor in cancer prevention and therapy. Another role of calcitriol involves regulation of genes which control the production of immune factors known as lymphokines, which effect cell-mediated immunity functions.
  12. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    This thread contains good info from three sources and I'm hoping more will be able to read it.

    Love, Mikie
  13. tansy

    tansy New Member

    and adequate sunshine. The dose of D3 she recommends is 2,000 ius.

    Fomr Dr Sarah Myhill's web site

    Sunshine - an essential vitamin! Protects against cancer, heart and bone disease


    Western cultures have become almost phobic about any exposure of unprotected skin to sunshine with the well-recognised association between skin cancer and exposure to sunshine. Indeed the US Environmental Protection Agency is currently advising that ultraviolet light, and therefore sunlight, is so dangerous that we should "protect ourselves against ultraviolet light whenever we can see our shadow".

    But a certain amount of sun exposure is essential for normal good health in order to produce vitamin D – and partly as a result of current recommendations, we are seeing declining levels of vitamin D and the problems that go with it.

    Human beings evolved over hundreds of thousands of years in equatorial areas and were daily exposed to sunshine. Dark skins evolved to protect against sun damage. However, as hominids migrated north, those races which retained their dark skins were unable to make sufficient vitamin D in the skin and did not survive. Only those hominids with paler skins survived. Thus the further away from the Equator, the paler the skin became. Races in polar areas survived because they were able to get an alternative source of vitamin D from fish and seafood.

    There is an interesting inverse correlation between sunshine exposure, vitamin D levels, and incidence of disease as one moves away from the Equator. Even correcting for other factors such as diet, there is strong evidence to show that vitamin D protects against osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, bone fractures (vitamin D strengthens the muscles thereby improving balance, movement and preventing falls), cancer, hypertension, hypercholesterolaemia, diabetes, heart disease, multiple sclerosis and vulnerability to infections. Multiple sclerosis is a particularly interesting example of a possible vitamin D deficiency disease. Indeed mice bred for susceptibility to multiple sclerosis can be completely protected against development of this disease by feeding them high doses of vitamin D.

    So this begs the question: how much vitamin D do we need and what is the best source?

    For people living in equatorial areas, blood levels of 25 (OH) D) usually exceed 100nnmol/l and often 200nnmol/l. Since we evolved in hot climates, this is probably what is physiologically desirable. However, normal ranges in laboratories are still stated at around 40 to 100nnmol/l. This almost certainly represents sub-optimal levels – it may be enough to prevent rickets and osteomalacia, but is not sufficient for optimal health.(evidence?)


    For a pale skinned Caucasian, whole body sunlight exposure barely sufficient to trigger tanning (the so called minimum melanogenesis dose) is as little as 15 minutes and is equivalent to the consumption of 10,000i.us of vitamin D. If this is compared to the US recommended dietary allowance now standing at 200i.us (which is the amount in a teaspoon of cod liver oil) one can readily see that the best source of vitamin D is sunshine.

    It is extremely difficult to get blood levels up to an optimum level on diet alone. Furthermore, dark-skinned individuals need very much more sunshine exposure in order to achieve the same blood levels of vitamin D; as people get older their requirements also increase. However, typically they spend less time in the sunshine and are much more prone to vitamin D deficiency and the problems that go with it.

    In a study in which groups of elderly people started to take calcium and vitamin D, the occurrence of fractures is reduced by a third in the first year even though bone density is not increased sufficiently to account for the fewer fractures. What is not yet common knowledge is that vitamin D improves muscle strength and balance and it is thought that this is what reduces the occurrence of falls leading to fractures.

    So what do you need to do to optimise your vitamin D levels for you and your patients? During the summer months you need to get the equivalent of 15 minutes per day whole body exposure to sunshine - at this level you may just about trigger tanning, but certainly not burning of the skin.

    Vitamin D is well stored in the body and a few hours exposure at the weekend in shorts and T shirt should be ample. During the winter months it is impossible for people living in Britain to get adequate vitamin D levels through full spectrum light. This is an excellent excuse to book a holiday in a sunny climate during the winter!

    Otherwise you need to take vitamin D supplements. In order to get an equivalent dose through eating fish, one would have to consume 25 teaspoonfuls of cod liver oil or its equivalent. Eskimos and Inuit Indians probably achieve this easily with their diet, but I cannot see myself persuading my teenage daughters to do this. A foreign holiday sounds much more attractive or prescribe a supplement.

    In choosing a good vitamin D supplement, one needs to know a little of the biochemistry. Vitamin D2, ergocalciferol is made from yeast and is about a quarter as potent as vitamin D3. In order for D3 to be activated it needs to be twice hydroxylated in the liver and the kidney – bear in mind that anybody with liver or kidney problems may have a requirement for the active twice hydroxylated vitamin D (calcitriol) rather than D3.

    In studies where vitamin D3 is supplemented at 100mcgms daily there have been no cases of hypercalcaemia. Toxicity in normal adults starts at 1,000mcgms, equivalent to four times that which can be produced naturally by sunshine. 250mcgms daily seems a reasonable dose for the winter months.

    Patients will be delighted to hear that sunshine is good for them – the overwhelming majority of people I see feel much better for sitting out in the sunshine, and I give them the simple warning that if their skin goes red then they are having too much exposure – they need just sufficient to promote mild tanning.

    People with dark skins need much more than people with fair skins, but again they can judge this from the degree to which their skin darkens with exposure to sunshine. Redness means inflammation due to skin damage and should be avoided. It’s the old story – with any substance from water to sunshine, there is potential to underdose and overdose – it’s all about getting the balance right!

  14. Jeanne-in-Canada

    Jeanne-in-Canada New Member

    It's sad that the medical community has made us so afraid of supplements, and that the RDA's are set so ridiculously low. But yet they happily ply us w/ drugs, sheesh.

    If you want to give your son the boost he obviously needs, and do it very safely, fall back on the folk remedy of cod liver oil. If he can swallow a gel cap, he doesn't have to taste it, if he can't you can get the pricier flavoured liquid. This was used safely until just before our generation.

    Powdered vit. C would be good for the whole family, I take calcium ascorbate. It's easy to find and super cheap, you just dissolve it in liquid of your choice. You definitely won't hurt anyone w/ this highly absorbable and buffered form of vit. C. I hadn't had a cold or flu in 4 years from having this trick up my sleeve. I take a good 3 grams a day and double that if I feel too rundown, gets it 99% for me. You could easily give a child half to one gram a day, it will give him a needed immune boost if he catches everything, but it's not a crazy megadose. There is no toxicity on vit. C.


    Jeanne
  15. jimbbb

    jimbbb New Member

    Tansy,
    Vit D is probably helpful for a normally healthy person who has a good regulation of the 1,25D (active hormonal version). But if you have a dysregulated 1,25D system adding more 25D will just add fuel to the fire and mess up the immune system even worse. Most CFS patients will have dysregulation if they are checked for it (which they seldom are). And that is also the reason they may have low 25D levels to begin with, because the infection is rapidly converting it to 1,25D and when that reaches high levels the immune system is compromised, can't fight the infection (so the bacteria are not killed) and you might feel better for a while. Recent anecodotal evidence is also showing that people who have minimal or subclinical symptoms nonetheless can have really elevated 1,25D levels clearly showing that systemic inflammation is in progress. This has huge implications for the a goodly percent of the population who have 'mysterious aches, pains, fatigue, maybe some memory loss' -- the old 'Getting Old symptoms'.
    Once you get your mind around this paradigm you can start to systematically treat the causes of the dysregulation instead of just blasting away at this or that symptom or low test result.
  16. jaltair

    jaltair New Member

    Here is some more info to add to the string for thought: (Warm Wishes, Jeannette)

    Vitamin D is produced by your skin in response to exposure to ultraviolet radiation from natural sunlight.

    Lowest Observed Adverse Effects Level (LOAEL) as 3800 IU for vitamin D. Studies show young whites can make between 10,000 to 25,000 IU in a single, relatively brief, sun exposure. Numerous factors affect the body's ability to make such high amounts of cholecalciferol, with age, race, latitude, clothing, season and sunblock being the main factors.

    People with dark skin pigmentation may need 20 - 30 times as much exposure to sunlight as fair-skinned people to generate the same amount of vitamin D. That's why prostate cancer is epidemic among black men -- it's a simple, but widespread, sunlight deficiency.

    Even weak sunscreens (SPF=8) block your body's ability to generate vitamin D by 95%. This is how sunscreen products actually cause disease -- by creating a critical vitamin deficiency in the body.

    The healing rays of natural sunlight (that generate vitamin D in your skin) cannot penetrate glass. So you don't generate vitamin D when sitting in your car or home.

    It is impossible to generate too much vitamin D in your body from sunlight exposure: your body will self-regulate and only generate what it needs.

    It is nearly impossible to get adequate amounts of vitamin D from your diet. Sunlight exposure is the only reliable way to generate vitamin D in your own body.

    A person would have to drink ten tall glasses of vitamin D fortified milk each day just to get minimum levels of vitamin D into their diet.

    The further you live from the equator, the longer exposure you need to the sun in order to generate vitamin D. Canada, the UK and most U.S. states are far from the equator.

    Sufficient levels of vitamin D are crucial for calcium absorption in your intestines. Without sufficient vitamin D, your body cannot absorb calcium, rendering calcium supplements useless.

    Chronic vitamin D deficiency cannot be reversed overnight: it takes months of vitamin D supplementation and sunlight exposure to rebuild the body's bones and nervous system.

    If it hurts to press firmly on your sternum, you may be suffering from chronic vitamin D deficiency right now.

    Vitamin D is "activated" in your body by your kidneys and liver before it can be used.

    Having kidney disease or liver damage can greatly impair your body's ability to activate circulating vitamin D.

    Even though vitamin D is one of the most powerful healing chemicals in your body, your body makes it absolutely free. No prescription required.

    Vitamin D toxicity: Excessive exposure to sunlight does not lead to overproduction of vitamin D. Vitamin D toxicity is inevitably the result of overdosing on vitamin D supplements. Don't do this! Ingestion of milligram quantities of vitamin D over periods of weeks of months can be severely toxic to humans and animals. In fact, baits laced with vitamin D are used very effectively as rodenticides.

    It has long been recognized that vitamin D is not a nutrient in the usual sense, because it is not found naturally in most of the foods that our ancestors consumed. However, people who live in northern latitudes or who do not receive enough sun exposure to synthesize vitamin D naturally in the skin need to supplement their diets with it. Vitamin D became widely known as a nutrient when it was found that fish liver oil supplements, which contain vitamin D, all but eliminated rickets.

    * * * * * * * * *
    The Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) established serum 25-hydroxycholecalciferol (25(OH)D) as the functional indicator for vitamin D in 1997. The RDA of vitamin D is 600 units, an amount that was found to maintain a constant concentration in the body over the winter months. However, this value presumes that the body would have acquired tissue stores of vitamin D during the summer months.

    A new study attempted to estimate the amount of vitamin D input required to reach or maintain any given serum 25(OH)D concentration, including that in people without substantial body stores of vitamin D.

    It is commonly known by clinicians and investigators that the standard multivitamin dose of vitamin D, which usually contains 400 units/dose, produces little change in measured serum 25(OH)D. Researchers from this study calculated that vitamin D from food and supplement sources should provide less than 15 percent of the total amount required to sustain an ideal serum 25(OH)D.

    Therefore, researchers say that the FNB recommendation for vitamin D adds little to the usual daily production in people with a lot of sun exposure and does not provide a sufficient amount to achieve desired 25(OH)D concentrations in those with little sun exposure.

    Researchers of this study, some of the top vitamin D researchers in the world, found that a value of 2000 IU vitamin D per day for the tolerable upper input level is still too low. Several other groups have also found that current vitamin D input recommendations are inadequate, leading many to suggest that the currently recommended amounts should be reconsidered.

    American Journal Clinical Nutrition January 2003;77:204-210
  17. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    When I visited Florida before moving here, I noticed how healthy and active all the seniors were. Almost none were hauling oxygen tanks around with them. They were tan and healthy looking. They play tennis, golf, and other outdoor sports and many go out in their boats. Almost all hang out at the pools.

    Perhaps it is because of being in the sun that they are so much healthier than their paler counterparts in other parts of the country. Of course, there could be other explanations but I can't help but think being outdoors has its benefits for older people.

    Love, Mikie
  18. tansy

    tansy New Member

    Thanks for posting this info.

    In the early '80s a standard blood test showed low levels of Ca, so I was Rx sandocal. A few years later many deficiencies were picked up including Mg, I was given a good multi vit/min and told to stop the sandocal and take Mg.

    Since becoming ill I seemed to have problems with Ca supps; I am physically disabled so there were frequent concerns expressed over my low Ca intake and not being able to consume dairy products.

    Ca and Mg have to be taken with vit D3. I opted for coral calcium to see if that worked better for me; it did and now I take sea calcium.

    I have had a life threatening embolism and all the signs of ISAC (the form of coagulation found in these DDs), another good reason to ensure my vit D levels are high enough. Vit D, natto, and turmeric, meant less problems this summer when the temps rose; this is when ISAC becomes even more evident in my case.

    love, Tansy[This Message was Edited on 11/05/2005]
  19. onnaroll

    onnaroll New Member

    thats very interasting to here, i was very ill when i came down with fibro and myofacial pain! its been a horrible nightmare. just wanted to point out that my vita d levels were very low at that time. i take my caltrate 600 plus every day faithfuly. also wanted to point out how importent it is to take flax oil or omega3 , i swear by this for pain and circulation problems, also great for the heart.
    from a pain friend indeed
  20. jarjar

    jarjar New Member

    But we have to agree to disagree on this one. So many on this board including me a couple of years ago added D only to feel more sluggish.

    I found through working with the Marshal Protocol that I do way better avoiding D and sunlight.

    Jay