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Jul 20, 2009

Vitamin D shines as heart attack fighter
 By Tom Spears, Canwest News Service
http://www.canada.com/health/Vitamin+shines+heart+attack+fighter/1021259/story.html

The Journal of the American College of Cardiology says people with low levels of the vitamin, which comes from sunshine and pills but not much else, are twice as likely to have a heart attack or stroke within five years compared to people with higher vitamin levels.

OTTAWA - Another study has emerged that says vitamin D is good for you - this time, for your heart.

The Journal of the American College of Cardiology says people with low levels of the vitamin, which comes from sunshine and pills but not much else, are twice as likely to have a heart attack or stroke within five years compared to people with higher vitamin levels.

This adds to evidence that people lacking vitamin D have a higher risk of various cancers and diabetes as well. But as well, it shows that the early studies promoting the value of this cheap vitamin are being confirmed by scientific follow-up - unlike the faded early promise of vitamins C and E.

"Vitamin D deficiency is an unrecognized, emerging cardiovascular risk factor, which should be screened for and treated," said the study's main author, cardiologist James O'Keefe of the Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City, Mo. "Vitamin D is easy to assess, and supplementation (with pills) is simple, safe and inexpensive."

The new evidence comes from the Framingham Heart Study. This is a famous study in a suburb of Boston that has followed thousands of ordinary people, beginning in the 1950s, to find links between their lifestyle and their cardiovascular health.

The story isn't over. "I think one always has to be careful in reporting on the results of clinical trials," said vitamin D researcher John White of McGill University.

He said different trials "may point in opposite directions. "Certainly the two major trials - this one and the one reported a year ago - certainly suggested that vitamin D deficiency is associated with cardiovascular problems later in life."

One potential objection, he noted, is that the heart attacks may not be caused by a lack of vitamin D. The people with the low vitamin levels may also smoke and wolf down too many cheeseburgers.

"They (studies) are a piece of evidence in an accumulating body of evidence, and as a stand-alone result, clinical trials are not in any way definitive." Which is exactly what the American Cancer Society said when a University of Toronto study found that women with breast cancer were more likely to die if they had low vitamin D levels.

The American Cancer Society held a news conference to publicize the findings, but cautioned that more study was needed.

Still, the past year has seen a flurry of studies from cancer institutes, cardiologists and university labs, all generally indicating that the vitamin protects against some cancers and heart disease, and may help fight infection. The Canadian Cancer Society recommends that all Canadian adults take 1,000 international units of the vitamin in fall and winter.

Even with a note of caution, said White, the direction seems clear so far, and important to Canadians: "That vitamin D deficiency - which in temperate (non-tropical) populations is quite widespread - is associated with cardiac problems."

© Copyright (c) Canwest News Service
Thorhallsson: Vitamin D: The Super Nutrient      PDF      Print      E-mail
WEDNESDAY, 04 MARCH 2009 14:43

When you hear about wheelchair-bound patients with kidney disease and associated bone disease getting up and walking again, you pay attention. Discovering that psoriasis can be improved and that malignant cancer cells can be destroyed, you want to know more. What made the difference? New research suggests that adequate amounts of active Vitamin D3 can improve health.

In a 2008 Journal of Alternative Therapies, Dr. Michael Holick, professor of medicine, physiology, and biophysics at Boston University Medical Center, discloses the results of many research studies on Vitamin D. This research suggests that both sun exposure and vitamin D supplementation is important for everyone regardless of their age, gender, race or geographical residence.
Although our general diet is deficient in vitamin D, the body has a tremendous potential to make vitamin D after sun exposure. The problem lies in the pervasive belief that sun exposure is dangerous most of the time. Dr. Holick states that it is well documented that most melanoma is found on the least sun-exposed areas of the body. Research shows that the more sun exposure that an individual has had as a child and adult, the least likely they are to die of cancer if a melanoma develops.

How much supplemental vitamin D should an individual consume daily? Dr. Holick provides guidelines – “It’s estimated that if you take 1000 IU of vitamin D per day, which most experts recommend everybody, both children and adults, be on, you reduce your risk of developing colorectal, breast, prostate, and ovarian cancer by 50%.” Vitamin D supplementation has also been shown to reduce the incidence of both forms of diabetes and heart disease.

Research employing even higher doses has had very positive outcomes. Dr. Holick explains that adequate amounts of vitamin D can enhance immunity. He states, “A study in postmenopausal women who took 2000 IU of vitamin D3 a day had a 90% reduction in upper respiratory tract infections compared to women who took 400 IU of vitamin D3 a day.”

Vitamin D has anti-inflammatory properties as well and this is the mechanism that reduces diseases of the heart and blood vessels. Adequate vitamin D can reduce the incidence of high blood pressure. Dr. Holick warns that vitamin D is not a cure-all for everything, but he maintains that compelling evidence suggests that there are many serious chronic diseases that are strongly associated with a lack of vitamin D.

We have addressed vitamin D in previous columns, but the above information deserves to be presented again. Some of this sounds familiar, but perhaps a reminder about the importance of naturally occurring vitamin D will help us to reconsider spending more time outdoors during the safe hours. There are many reasons to be out in nature, hopefully this information will encourage us all to do this more often.

Maryann Thorhallsson, PhD, ARNP, is a Professional Life Coach, and a Nursing Professor at BCU. Dr. Thorhallsson holds certifications in nutrition, yoga and QiGong and has written wellness columns since 1990.
 

Low vitamin D linked to asthma exacerbations.
By: Zoler, Mitchel L.
Publication: Pediatric News
Date: Tuesday, July 1 2008

PHILADELPHIA -- Children with asthma and on treatment with inhaled
corticosteroids who had insufficient blood levels of vitamin D had an
increased risk of asthma exacerbations during 4 years of follow-up in a
study with 305 children.

The results are only suggestive, because the study wasn't designedto assess
the impact of vitamin D levels on asthma. But the findings warrant further
study into a possible role that vitamin D might play in modifying the effect
of inhaled corticosteroid in children with asthma.

The results suggest that boosting blood vitamin D levels might improve
responsiveness to inhaled corticosteroids in asthmatic children, Dr.
Augusto A. Litonjua said while presenting a poster at the annual meeting of
the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology.

The study included the 305 children with asthma who were enrolled in the
inhaled-budesonide group of the Childhood Asthma Management Program. The
study was designed to assess the safety and efficacy of inhaled budesonide
(Pulmicort), compared with treatment with nedocromil (Tilade) or placebo. 
Vitamin D Needed To Cut Cancer Risk, Researchers Say

ScienceDaily (Dec. 28, 2005) —

Taking 1,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D3 daily appears to lower an individual's risk of developing certain cancers – including colon, breast, and ovarian cancer – by up to 50 percent, according to cancer prevention specialists at the Moores Cancer Center at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Medical Center. The researchers call for prompt public health action to increase intake of vitamin D3 as an inexpensive tool for prevention of diseases that claim millions of lives each year.

Previous studies by these researchers, including a paper in the December 2005 Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, showed the link between vitamin D deficiency and higher rates of colon cancer. The new paper, to be published on-line December 27, 2005 and printed in the February 2006 issue of The American Journal of Public Health, associates the same risks to breast and ovarian cancers, and underscores the researchers' call to action.
"For example, breast cancer will strike one in eight American women in their lifetime. Early detection using mammography reduces mortality rates by approximately 20 percent. But use of vitamin D might prevent this cancer in the first place," said co-author Cedric F. Garland, a professor with UCSD's Moores Cancer Center and the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at the UCSD School of Medicine.

In the paper, the authors conclude: "The high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency, combined with the discovery of increased risks of certain types of cancer in those who are deficient, suggest that vitamin D deficiency may account for several thousand premature deaths from colon, breast, ovarian and other cancers annually."

The study also found that residents of the northeastern United States, and individuals with higher skin pigmentation were at an increased risk of vitamin D deficiency. This is because solar UVB is needed for the human body to make vitamin D. The increased skin pigmentation of African-Americans reduces their ability to synthesize vitamin D.ght it might be helpful to pass it on to all of you

"African-American women who develop breast cancer are more likely to die from the disease than White women of the same age," said Garland. "Survival rates are worse among African-Americans for colon, prostate and ovarian cancers as well." Even after adjustments that removed the effect of socioeconomic status and access to care, blacks were shown to have substantially poorer survival rates, a difference that the authors link with the decreased ability of blacks to make Vitamin D.

The findings are based upon an extensive systematic review of scientific papers on the relationship of blood serum levels or oral intake of vitamin D with risk of certain types of cancers published worldwide between January 1966 and December 2004. Sixty-three observational studies of vitamin D status in relation to cancer risk, including 30 of colon cancer, 13 of breast cancer, 26 of prostate cancer and seven of ovarian cancer, were assessed.

This complex analysis of virtually every observational study written on the subject, called a systematic review, paints a clearer picture than any single study and is recognized by scientists as an important tool for establishing a consensus of findings.

"A preponderance of evidence, from the best observational studies the medical world has to offer, gathered over 25 years, has led to the conclusion that public health action is needed," Garland said. "Primary prevention of these cancers has largely been neglected, but we now have proof that the incidence of colon, breast, and ovarian cancer can be reduced dramatically by increasing the public's intake of vitamin D."

Since the safety of daily intake of vitamin D3 in the recommended range has been thoroughly assessed and confirmed by the National Academy of Sciences, and the benefits found so far in observational studies are considerable, expanded use of vitamin D as a public health measure should not be delayed, according to the authors.

They recommend intake of 1,000 IU/day of vitamin D, half the safe upper intake established by the National Academy of Sciences. Garland said that while this study looked at all forms of vitamin D – intake through diet or supplements, and photosynthesis through modest sun exposure – as a practical matter, the majority of people will most easily achieve the target levels by eating foods containing vitamin D and taking supplements, which the authors estimated would cost about five cents per day.

"Many people are deficient in vitamin D. A glass of milk, for example, has only 100 IU. Other foods, such as orange juice, yogurt and cheese, are now beginning to be fortified, but you have to work fairly hard to reach 1,000 IU a day," he explained. "Sun exposure has its own concerns and limitations. We recommend no more than 15 minutes of exposure daily over 40 percent of the body, other than the face, which should be protected from the sun. Dark-skinned people, however, may need more exposure to produce adequate amounts of vitamin D, and some fair-skinned people shouldn't try to get any vitamin D from the sun. The easiest and most reliable way of getting the appropriate amount is from food and a daily supplement."

###
Co-authors on the study are Cedric F. Garland, Edward D. Gorham, Sharif B. Mohr, and Frank C. Garland, affiliated with the Moores Cancer Center and the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at UCSD School of Medicine ; Martin Lipkin, Strang Cancer Prevention Center, New York; Harold L. Newmark, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey and The Cancer Institute of New Jersey; and Michael F. Holick, Department of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine.

Osteomalacia, Osteoporosis and Vitamin D3
By Bob Livingston • May 8th, 2009 •
Category: Bob Livingston, Conservative Politics, Health, Personal Liberty Articles, Privacy
http://www.personalliberty.com/bob-livingston/osteomalacia-osteoporosis-and-vitamin-d3/
Each month I try to think of what information my subscribers need most, as most of my readers are in the 50 to 90 age group. Of course we all need health and wealth, which is the basic theme of The Bob Livingston Letter.

And one cause of poor health among people in this age group is Vitamin D deficiency.

I have been so mesmerized, excited and overpowered with the benefits of vitamin D3 and sunshine that I have accumulated a small library on the subject.

The vitamin D3 excitement grows exponentially for seniors. I myself am in that age range. I have good seasoning like fine whiskey! I didn’t say that I drink it, just age like it—to perfection!

Increasing numbers of adults are developing a vitamin D deficiency-related bone condition known as osteomalacia (pronounced os-tee-oh-muh-lay-sha), sometimes called "adult rickets." This condition, characterized by vague bone and muscle aches, is frequently misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia or arthritis. This is a typical diagnosis of "conventional" or "orthodox" doctors. I just saw this happen and the patient (or victim) wouldn’t touch vitamin D3 and had to go on disability.

Activated vitamin D or vitamin D3 or sunshine is directly related to bone health and muscle health. It is in fact its main job.

Osteomalacia refers to bone pain with muscle ache. Osteomalacia is a condition in which the bones don’t harden properly during the building or rebuilding phase. Vitamin D3 deficiency is the most common cause of osteomalacia.

Yes, even seniors are always building bone and unhardened bone produces complaints of muscle achiness and weakness. Winter months produce this more when there is little or no sunshine.

Vitamin D3 deficiency affects seniors most simply because few of us get any sunshine or enough sunshine, including me. So my wife and I take large daily doses (10,000 units) of vitamin D3 almost without fail. If we slack anything else, we take vitamin D3 in tablets or liquid.

The rule is to take large doses daily. You should take it on and on. As with any natural nutrient, it will take a while to get D3 solidly in your system, say two months. Then we have to keep it there by continuing to supplement. It may take longer for some. Remember that you acquired this sunshine deficiency over a long period of time.

If vitamin D3 deficiency continues it will weaken your bones and predispose you to fractures, especially of the lower spine, hip and wrist. In fact some researchers suspect that carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by vitamin D3 deficiency. And most importantly, a D3 deficiency causes instability of balance. Seniors fall more than younger people, a whole lot more. Of course when they do, they break their bones, as you well know.

Osteoporosis

All seniors know what osteoporosis is. Osteoporosis is a basic deficiency of vitamin D3 which compromises the bone regrowth and remodeling process—which goes on until death. Vitamin D3 deficiency inhibits efficient absorption of calcium from the diet. Calcium enters the bloodstream and with the help of vitamin D3 is deposited in the bones. If this pattern doesn’t happen because of D3 deficiency, the bones become riddled with holes and become porous, brittle and weak. This is osteoporosis and can be verified with a bone density test.

The result of osteoporosis is death. How many seniors over the centuries have broken a bone, developed pneumonia and died? This was all needless, according to vitamin D research.

Our strongest impression is that you should take your daily units of vitamin D3 above all else.

Normally I wouldn’t include specific product names and links in my editorial articles, but I get so many questions as to which exact products I use that I thought I should do so here. I recommend you take Advanced D3 from Health Resources™.
 
 
 Thorhallsson: Vitamin D: The Super Nutrient      PDF      Print      E-mail
WEDNESDAY, 04 MARCH 2009 14:43

When you hear about wheelchair-bound patients with kidney disease and associated bone disease getting up and walking again, you pay attention. Discovering that psoriasis can be improved and that malignant cancer cells can be destroyed, you want to know more. What made the difference? New research suggests that adequate amounts of active Vitamin D3 can improve health.

In a 2008 Journal of Alternative Therapies, Dr. Michael Holick, professor of medicine, physiology, and biophysics at Boston University Medical Center, discloses the results of many research studies on Vitamin D. This research suggests that both sun exposure and vitamin D supplementation is important for everyone regardless of their age, gender, race or geographical residence.
Although our general diet is deficient in vitamin D, the body has a tremendous potential to make vitamin D after sun exposure. The problem lies in the pervasive belief that sun exposure is dangerous most of the time. Dr. Holick states that it is well documented that most melanoma is found on the least sun-exposed areas of the body. Research shows that the more sun exposure that an individual has had as a child and adult, the least likely they are to die of cancer if a melanoma develops.

How much supplemental vitamin D should an individual consume daily? Dr. Holick provides guidelines – “It’s estimated that if you take 1000 IU of vitamin D per day, which most experts recommend everybody, both children and adults, be on, you reduce your risk of developing colorectal, breast, prostate, and ovarian cancer by 50%.” Vitamin D supplementation has also been shown to reduce the incidence of both forms of diabetes and heart disease.

Research employing even higher doses has had very positive outcomes. Dr. Holick explains that adequate amounts of vitamin D can enhance immunity. He states, “A study in postmenopausal women who took 2000 IU of vitamin D3 a day had a 90% reduction in upper respiratory tract infections compared to women who took 400 IU of vitamin D3 a day.”

Vitamin D has anti-inflammatory properties as well and this is the mechanism that reduces diseases of the heart and blood vessels. Adequate vitamin D can reduce the incidence of high blood pressure. Dr. Holick warns that vitamin D is not a cure-all for everything, but he maintains that compelling evidence suggests that there are many serious chronic diseases that are strongly associated with a lack of vitamin D.

We have addressed vitamin D in previous columns, but the above information deserves to be presented again. Some of this sounds familiar, but perhaps a reminder about the importance of naturally occurring vitamin D will help us to reconsider spending more time outdoors during the safe hours. There are many reasons to be out in nature, hopefully this information will encourage us all to do this more often.

Maryann Thorhallsson, PhD, ARNP, is a Professional Life Coach, and a Nursing Professor at BCU. Dr. Thorhallsson holds certifications in nutrition, yoga and QiGong and has written wellness columns since 1990.
 
Vitamin D Needed To Cut Cancer Risk, Researchers Say

ScienceDaily (Dec. 28, 2005) —

Taking 1,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D3 daily appears to lower an individual's risk of developing certain cancers – including colon, breast, and ovarian cancer – by up to 50 percent, according to cancer prevention specialists at the Moores Cancer Center at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Medical Center. The researchers call for prompt public health action to increase intake of vitamin D3 as an inexpensive tool for prevention of diseases that claim millions of lives each year.

Previous studies by these researchers, including a paper in the December 2005 Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, showed the link between vitamin D deficiency and higher rates of colon cancer. The new paper, to be published on-line December 27, 2005 and printed in the February 2006 issue of The American Journal of Public Health, associates the same risks to breast and ovarian cancers, and underscores the researchers' call to action.
"For example, breast cancer will strike one in eight American women in their lifetime. Early detection using mammography reduces mortality rates by approximately 20 percent. But use of vitamin D might prevent this cancer in the first place," said co-author Cedric F. Garland, a professor with UCSD's Moores Cancer Center and the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at the UCSD School of Medicine.

In the paper, the authors conclude: "The high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency, combined with the discovery of increased risks of certain types of cancer in those who are deficient, suggest that vitamin D deficiency may account for several thousand premature deaths from colon, breast, ovarian and other cancers annually."

The study also found that residents of the northeastern United States, and individuals with higher skin pigmentation were at an increased risk of vitamin D deficiency. This is because solar UVB is needed for the human body to make vitamin D. The increased skin pigmentation of African-Americans reduces their ability to synthesize vitamin D.ght it might be helpful to pass it on to all of you

"African-American women who develop breast cancer are more likely to die from the disease than White women of the same age," said Garland. "Survival rates are worse among African-Americans for colon, prostate and ovarian cancers as well." Even after adjustments that removed the effect of socioeconomic status and access to care, blacks were shown to have substantially poorer survival rates, a difference that the authors link with the decreased ability of blacks to make Vitamin D.

The findings are based upon an extensive systematic review of scientific papers on the relationship of blood serum levels or oral intake of vitamin D with risk of certain types of cancers published worldwide between January 1966 and December 2004. Sixty-three observational studies of vitamin D status in relation to cancer risk, including 30 of colon cancer, 13 of breast cancer, 26 of prostate cancer and seven of ovarian cancer, were assessed.

This complex analysis of virtually every observational study written on the subject, called a systematic review, paints a clearer picture than any single study and is recognized by scientists as an important tool for establishing a consensus of findings.

"A preponderance of evidence, from the best observational studies the medical world has to offer, gathered over 25 years, has led to the conclusion that public health action is needed," Garland said. "Primary prevention of these cancers has largely been neglected, but we now have proof that the incidence of colon, breast, and ovarian cancer can be reduced dramatically by increasing the public's intake of vitamin D."

Since the safety of daily intake of vitamin D3 in the recommended range has been thoroughly assessed and confirmed by the National Academy of Sciences, and the benefits found so far in observational studies are considerable, expanded use of vitamin D as a public health measure should not be delayed, according to the authors.

They recommend intake of 1,000 IU/day of vitamin D, half the safe upper intake established by the National Academy of Sciences. Garland said that while this study looked at all forms of vitamin D – intake through diet or supplements, and photosynthesis through modest sun exposure – as a practical matter, the majority of people will most easily achieve the target levels by eating foods containing vitamin D and taking supplements, which the authors estimated would cost about five cents per day.

"Many people are deficient in vitamin D. A glass of milk, for example, has only 100 IU. Other foods, such as orange juice, yogurt and cheese, are now beginning to be fortified, but you have to work fairly hard to reach 1,000 IU a day," he explained. "Sun exposure has its own concerns and limitations. We recommend no more than 15 minutes of exposure daily over 40 percent of the body, other than the face, which should be protected from the sun. Dark-skinned people, however, may need more exposure to produce adequate amounts of vitamin D, and some fair-skinned people shouldn't try to get any vitamin D from the sun. The easiest and most reliable way of getting the appropriate amount is from food and a daily supplement."

###
Co-authors on the study are Cedric F. Garland, Edward D. Gorham, Sharif B. Mohr, and Frank C. Garland, affiliated with the Moores Cancer Center and the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at UCSD School of Medicine ; Martin Lipkin, Strang Cancer Prevention Center, New York; Harold L. Newmark, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey and The Cancer Institute of New Jersey; and Michael F. Holick, Department of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine.
More on aortic valve disease and vitamin D
http://heartscanblog.blogspot.com/2007/08/more-on-aortic-valve-disease-and.html
Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I hope I'm not getting my hopes up prematurely, but I believe that I've seen it once again: Dramatic reversal of aortic valve disease.

This 64-year old man came to me because of a heart scan score of 212. Jack proved to have small LDL, lipoprotein(a), and pre-diabetes. But there was a wrench in the works: Because of a new murmur, we obtain an echocardiogram that revealed a mildly stiff ("stenotic") aortic valve, one of the heart valves within the heart that can develop abnormal stiffness with time.

You can think of aortic valve disease as something like arthritis--a phenomenon of "wear and tear" that progresses over time, but doesn't just go away. In fact, the usual history is that, once detected, we expect it to get worse over the next few years. The stiff aortic valve eventually causes symptoms like chest pains, breathlessness, lightheadedness, and in very severe cases, passing out. For this reason, when symptoms appear, most cardiologists recommend surgical aortic valve replacement with a mechanical or a bio-prosthetic ("pig") valve.
Now, Jack's first aortic valve area (the parameter we follow by echocardiogram representing the effective area of the valve opening when viewed end on) was 1.6 cm2. A year later: 1.4 cm2. One year later again: 1.1 cm2.

In other words, progressive deterioration and a shrinking valve area. Most people begin to develop symptoms when they drop below 1.0 cm2.

Resigned to a new valve sometime in the next year or two, Jack underwent yet another echocardiogram: Valve area 1.8 cm2.

Is this for real? I had Jack come into the office. Lo and behold, to my shock and amazement, the prominent heart murmur he had all along was now barely audible.

I'm quite excited. However, it remains too early to get carried away. I've now seen this in a handful of people, all with aortic valve disease.

Aortic valve stenosis is generally regarded as a progressive disease that must eventually be corrected with surgery--period. The only other strategy that has proven to be of any benefit is Crestor 40 mg per day, an intolerable dose in my experience.

If the vitamin D effect on aortic valve disease proves consistent in future, even in a percentage of people, then hallelujah! We will be tracking this experience in future

Vitamin D and Octogenarians
http://www.healthcentral.com/heart-disease/c/1435/17681/vitamin
Related: Heart Disease, More Tags>Heart Healthy Lifestyle, vitamin D, octogenarians, Fewer Tags>More Topics >

Roger practically bounced in his chair, vibrating with energy.

"I haven't felt like this in years! I can work around the yard all day and still have energy left over. It must be the vitamin D!" Roger's wife rolled her eyes, though with a twinkle and a little smile.

At age 84, Roger started out with pretty good health, despite a prosthetic valve and bypass surgery 5 years earlier. He looked 70, perhaps younger.

But just two months earlier, Roger had appeared sapped, spent and without interest in life, having lost even the enjoyment of his seven great grandchildren.

I've seen this effect now in about 20 octogenarians, dramatic restoration of youthfulness and vigor, a virtual reawakening for some.

Most of the octogenarians experiencing this effect are taking between 4000-8000 units per day to achieve a target blood level of 50 ng/ml. In my cardiology practice and in our heart disease reversal program, all patients have vitamin D blood levels checked. Before vitamin D supplementation, most people 80 years and older start with 25-OH-vitamin D3 levels of 10 ng/ml or less-profound deficiency. The average dose of vitamin D to raise levels to the target of 50 ng/ml tends to be higher in this age group, since by age 80, most people have essentially lost the capacity to convert 7-hydrocholesterol to active vitamin D3 in the skin. (One recent patient, a 78-year old, came to my office sporting a deep brown, leather-like tan. When I told him we'd be checking a vitamin D level, he remarked, "Oh, don't bother, doc. Look at me!" referring to his deep tan. His blood level of 25-OH-vitamin D3: 7 ng/ml-profound deficiency.)

 Now having witnessed numerous "re-births" of octogenarians multiple times, I believe the effect is real. It is an enormously gratifying experience to see someone's interest in life re-ignited. Unfortunately, my observations are too informal to qualify as a study. (I'm not even sure how to quantify this effect. I suppose some sort of muscle and coordination testing might yield quantifiable measures.)

The benefits of vitamin D are not, of course, confined to octogenarians. But the 80-year old plus community just seem to demonstrate more dramatic results, since they've fallen farther down an age-related decline of muscle strength, coordination, and vigor. Thus, they serve as a very graphic model for this effect. Younger people can also obtain the same benefits, though they might not be as visible.

 I'm not the only one who has observed the wonderful effects of vitamin D. Studies have shown that vitamin D replacement:

    * Improves mental function and memory
    * Improves coordination
    * Reduces falls and fractures, including feared hip fractures
    * Reverses winter "blues" (a very important effect in my Wisconsin neighborhood!)

Add this list to the other newly-recognized benefits of vitamin D replacement: reduced blood pressure, reduced blood sugar, increased bone density, improvement in arthritis, reduced inflammatory responses, reduced cancer risk (colon, breast, bladder, prostate), enhanced immune responses, and among the most exciting (to me): reduced risk for heart attack and heart disease. (I will be reporting my experiences with vitamin D and heart disease to the medical community in spring, 2008.)

Vitamin D3 already handles Alzheimer's Disease and has been here for us, all along.  Further, it is one of the least expensive vitamin supplements on the planet.  At full retail, a year's supply of vitamin D3 will cost you less than $60 where I buy mine, on line here: https://secure.bio-tech-pharm.com/catalog.aspx?cat_id=2



Visibility: Everyone
Posted: Monday July 20, 2009, 7:41 am
Tags: cancer sun heart natural health medical disease autism diabetes osteposrosis [add/edit tags]

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Nikolas K. (94)
Tuesday July 21, 2009, 12:46 am
Great to see the lies about cancer and sunlight causing melanoma are being blown out of the water, melanoma can be fixed with a dab of cansema cream which i did. The days of big pharma and slash and burn doctors is fast coming to a close. It gladdens me to see more and more people waking up daily to the truth and ignoring the media pushed lies.
Thanks for this Sue.

sue M. (184)
Tuesday July 21, 2009, 6:58 am
Obesity And Vitamin D3

Obesity is associated with low vitamin D3 status as measured by a 25(OH)D3 blood test.

A University of Minnesota study just released shows that the higher ones blood serum level of vitamin D3, the easier it is to lose and maintain weight loss from a weight loss diet.

Apparently, this is a two way street, a double whammy: Low levels of vitamin D3 in the blood apparently cause the body to fill fat stores with reserve fat where vitamin D3 can be stored with emergency vitamin D3, "while the sun shines." But if no vitamin D3 is being stored, weight gain (fat gain) continues.

Vitamin D3 is not stored in fat until the 25(OH)D3 level reaches about 50 ng per ml.

Thus, the circulating 25(OH)D3 levels tend to appear higher in thin people but without the body stores of a person with higher adipose (fat) tissue, given the same intake of D3 and 25(OH)D3 test score.

The highest 25(OH)D3 levels I have seen were in a very healthy, world-class (for age), Iron Man Tri-Athlete. He had a circulating vitamin D3 blood serum score of over 220 ng per ml. This in a person with the typically, very low body fat level seen in the bodies of most world class athletes.

The researchers in the U of Minnesota study also found that for each 1 ng of higher Vitamin D3 status participants lost an average of an extra half pound of body fat.

It takes about 100 IU of daily D3 supplementation to result in a 1 ng rise in 25(OH)D3 status and a loss of a half pound of fat.

Thus, a 1000 IU supplement should produce a rise about 10 ng per ml on the 25(OH)D3 blood test.

However, we know from tests done on submariners who go for months at a time without seeing the sun and without D3 supplements, that they tend to "burn" the equivalent of 4,000 to 5,000 IU of vitamin D3 per day. So, however the process of D3 supplementation vs 25(OH)D3 works in the real world vs theory, the base line of stored vitamin D3 must be higher than previously thought to keep vitamin D3 levels in a safe range during winter months when the availability of UVB from sun exposure is less or cut off, crashing D3 levels in the body. The body can make up to 20,000 IU of D3 at the age of 20, from full body exposure to UVB from the sun. At the age of 60, that ability to make vitamin D3 in the skin is about 20% of what it was at age 20. Between age 60 and age 80, the ability to manufacture vitamin D3 in the skin, regardless of UVB exposure, is lost entirely. Meanwhile the need for vitamin D3 apparently increases in order to attain and maintain health and keep body fat levels under control. In other words, in order for vitamin D3 to do what it is needed for in the body, i.e., maintain vascular and heart health, keep autoimmune reactions tempered so they don't drastically harm the body and kill cancerous cells among its many essential functions, more vitamin D3 is needed as demand continues to rise.

Further, it is known that D3 deficiency and duration of that deficiency make a difference as one ages. For example, where a girl lives by latitude, prior to the age of 13 is a good indicator of the likelihood of her developing multiple sclerosis later in life. If she is raised north of 35 degrees northern latitude or south of 35 degrees southern latitude, her chances of developing multiple sclerosis later in life doubles. As well, the gestational levels and newborn levels of vitamin D3 play the master roll as to whether that child will develop Type-one (childhood onset) diabetes. In the 1960s, Finland almost eliminated childhood diabetes by setting the minimum daily requirement for newborns at 2,000 IU of D3 per day.

The scoring levels related to health have been long set, deliberately far to low to really make a difference when it comes to body health. Doctors are told that the daily need for vitamin D3 is 400 IU, regardless of the 25(OH)D3 scores which measure circulating serum levels of D3. 30 ng per ml is considered desirable as an arbitrary that has nothing to do with health.

People with 30 ng of D3 per ml of blood serum and below, should be considered grossly deficient in vitamin D3 and consider that level to be an indicator of likely pre-cancerous conditions at least, an indicator of the presence of numerous autoimmune diseases present or in development and ongoing and further development of heart disease at that level. Below 25 ng per ml one finds all of the degenerative diseases with these becoming more apparent over time and as D3 levels further deteriorate and cross 25 ng per ml, going down and the duration of the deficiency is extended. For example, strokes are rarely seen above 13 ng per ml and are deadliest under 11 ng per ml, per an article in the New England Journal of Medicine circa 2003.

Dr Davis, M.D., the Cardiologist of the Heartscanblog finds that his Wisconsin patients generally require over 5000 IU daily to attain and maintain 25(OH)D levels around 60 ng per ml but again, this depends on the percentage of body fat present. More body fat equates to a higher daily dose being needed to maintain health and at least 60 ng per ml, per the 25(OH)D3 blood test.

Anyone who would attain and maintain health should know that the people at Grassrootshealth.net are doing a 5 year trial comparing Vitamin D3 blood levels, 25(OH)D status, with hospital usage (health) over the five year period. As part of this trial, people willing to participate in the study can obtain their 25(OH)D3 test and results via the mails, for the at-cost price of $40 per test. They use an in-home blood test kit, every 6 months, to monitor participant's 25(OH)D3 levels anywhere worldwide.

It conservatively takes people 3 months to replenish Vitamin D stores so a 25(OH)D test after using an effective dose of vitamin D3 supplementation for 90 days is worthwhile. There can be a huge variation in the response to vitamin D3 supplementation for the reasons above and more. Many people, particularly those living in the furthest northern latitudes, will require amounts closer to 10,000 IU daily or even more to get D3 levels to 60 ng per ml and higher which is closer to the optimum levels for achieving and maintaining body health and ones desired weight.

The average adult, over the age of forty-five and older, overweight, with still good kidneys, could quickly begin restoration of health with 50,000 IU per day of D3 for 90 days. A 25(OH)D3 blood test at that point should be above 50 ng per ml.

Every cell in the human body is replaced within six years, even bone cells. Each of those cells needs vitamin D3 within the cell for that replacement to work properly.

Therefore, it's never too late to begin building a "new" six year old body.


sue M. (184)
Tuesday July 21, 2009, 7:02 am
You cannot currently send a star to Nikolas because you have done so within the last week.

Yes, Nikolas the sun is very important to our health. The cancer rates skyrocketed after the scare that the sun causes cancer. Recommended is 15 mins of sunlight every day to stay healthy. The obvious would be to make sure the sun is not concentrated on just one place all the time.

sue M. (184)
Tuesday July 21, 2009, 7:14 am
Circulating Calcitriol Concentrations and Total Mortality
Clinical Chemistry 55: 1163-1170, 2009.
First published April 9, 2009; 10.1373/clinchem.2008.120006

© 2009 American Association for Clinical Chemistry, Inc.
Endocrinology and Metabolism
Circulating Calcitriol Concentrations and Total Mortality
Armin Zittermann1,a, Stefanie S. Schleithoff1, Sabine Frisch1, Christian Götting2, Joachim Kuhn2, Heinrich Koertke1, Knut Kleesiek2, Gero Tenderich1 and Reiner Koerfer1.

1 Department of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery and2 Institute for Laboratory and Transfusion Medicine, Heart Center North Rhine-Westfalia, Ruhr University Bochum, Bad Oeynhausen, Germany.

Address correspondence to this author at: Department of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery, Heart Center North Rhine-Westfalia, Ruhr University Bochum, Georgstraβe 11, D-32545 Bad Oeynhausen, Germany. Fax +49-5731-97-2020; e-mail azittermann@hdz-nrw.de.

Background: Evidence is accumulating that vitamin D supplementation of patients with low 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations is associated with lower cardiovascular morbidity and total mortality during long-term follow-up. Little is known, however, about the effect of low concentrations of the vitamin D hormone calcitriol on total mortality. We therefore evaluated the predictive value of circulating calcitriol for midterm mortality in patients of a specialized heart center.

Methods: This prospective cohort study included 510 patients, 67.7% with heart failure (two-thirds in end stage), 64.3% hypertension, 33.7% coronary heart disease, 20.2% diabetes, and 17.3% renal failure. We followed the patients for up to 1 year after blood collection. For data analysis, the study cohort was stratified into quintiles of circulating calcitriol concentrations.

Results: Patients in the lowest calcitriol quintile were more likely to have coronary heart disease, heart failure, hypertension, diabetes, and renal failure compared to other patients. They also had low 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations and high concentrations of creatinine, C-reactive protein, and tumor necrosis factor {alpha}. Eighty-two patients (16.0%) died during follow-up. Probability of 1-year survival was 66.7% in the lowest calcitriol quintile, 82.2% in the second quintile, 86.7% in the intermediate quintile, 88.8% in the fourth quintile, and 96.1% in the highest quintile (P < 0.001). Discrimination between survivors and nonsurvivors was best when a cutoff value of 25 ng/L was applied (area under the ROC curve 0.72; 95% CI 0.66–0.78).

Conclusions: Decreased calcitriol levels are linked to excess midterm mortality in patients of a specialized heart center.

Additional data:

Vitamin D further down the road

by Michael Kleerekoper, MD, MACE June 3, 2009 05:01 PM

The possible role of vitamin D in systems beyond bone and mineral metabolism is receiving a lot of attention in the epidemiology literature of late. None of the work is definitive in my opinion, but the data cannot be dismissed out of hand. Clinical conditions receiving most attention are breast and prostate cancer and cardiovascular disease with emphasis on hypertension and congestive heart failure.

As a direct result, requests to labs for measurement of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25 OHD) have skyrocketed. I have been told, but have not verified, that one of the major testing labs performed 30,000 such assays in January alone! As I have previously mentioned, there is a major flaw with the reporting that does not recognize the ethnic differences in reference intervals for blacks and non-Hispanic whites, with levels being lower in blacks. This is intriguing because of the skeletal advantage of this population, and it is conceivable that this occurs at the expense of disadvantage in other organ systems.

25-hydroxyvitamin D (25 OHD) is the major circulating metabolite of vitamin D with levels about 1,000-fold higher than the most active D metabolite, 1-25 dihydroxyvitamin D (1-25 OHD2). The binding of 1-25 OHD2 to the vitamin D receptor is ~100-fold greater than the binding of 25 OHD to the receptor. To date, little attention has been paid to 1-25 OHD2 levels, but the current issue of Clinical Chemistry provides some interesting observations about an association between circulating 1-25 OHD2 levels and cardiovascular mortality.

The study involved 510 patients in a cardiology specialty program who were followed for one year after initial 1-25 OHD2 levels were obtained. Half of the patients were in the end stages of CHF, and approximately 20% (including those with CHF) had diabetes and/or renal failure. 1-25 OHD2 levels were assessed in quintiles, and those in the lowest quintile were more likely to have CHF, diabetes, hypertension and renal failure. The presence of renal failure is important because 1-25 OHD2 is synthesized in the kidney such that patients with sufficient circulating 25 OHD would still be deficient in 1-25 OHD2 if they also had renal failure. Overall, 16% of the patients did not survive one year, and there was a strong association between quintiles of 1-25 OHD2. A cut-off value of 25 ng/L provided the best discrimination between survivors and non-survivors.

There is no need to begin a stampede of measurements of 1-25 OHD2! Provided there is good renal function, chronic kidney disease stage 3 or higher, the kidney will maintain the capacity to synthesize this hormone, provided of course there is adequate 25 OHD. Given the 1,000:1 difference in circulating levels of the two metabolites, your patient with normal renal function would have to be dramatically vitamin D deficient to end up with low levels of 1-25 OHD2. By that time, the patient will likely have clinical symptoms such as myopathy, the serum phosphate will be low, and alkaline phosphatase will be elevated. (Caveat — you also need parathyroid hormone to convert 25 OHD to 1-25 OHD2.)

Zittermann A. Clin Chem. 2009;55:1163-1170.

sue M. (184)
Tuesday July 21, 2009, 7:17 am
More on aortic valve disease and vitamin D
http://heartscanblog.blogspot.com/2007/08/more-on-aortic-valve-disease-and.html
Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I hope I'm not getting my hopes up prematurely, but I believe that I've seen it once again: Dramatic reversal of aortic valve disease.

This 64-year old man came to me because of a heart scan score of 212. Jack proved to have small LDL, lipoprotein(a), and pre-diabetes. But there was a wrench in the works: Because of a new murmur, we obtain an echocardiogram that revealed a mildly stiff ("stenotic") aortic valve, one of the heart valves within the heart that can develop abnormal stiffness with time.

You can think of aortic valve disease as something like arthritis--a phenomenon of "wear and tear" that progresses over time, but doesn't just go away. In fact, the usual history is that, once detected, we expect it to get worse over the next few years. The stiff aortic valve eventually causes symptoms like chest pains, breathlessness, lightheadedness, and in very severe cases, passing out. For this reason, when symptoms appear, most cardiologists recommend surgical aortic valve replacement with a mechanical or a bio-prosthetic ("pig") valve.
Now, Jack's first aortic valve area (the parameter we follow by echocardiogram representing the effective area of the valve opening when viewed end on) was 1.6 cm2. A year later: 1.4 cm2. One year later again: 1.1 cm2.

In other words, progressive deterioration and a shrinking valve area. Most people begin to develop symptoms when they drop below 1.0 cm2.

Resigned to a new valve sometime in the next year or two, Jack underwent yet another echocardiogram: Valve area 1.8 cm2.

Is this for real? I had Jack come into the office. Lo and behold, to my shock and amazement, the prominent heart murmur he had all along was now barely audible.

I'm quite excited. However, it remains too early to get carried away. I've now seen this in a handful of people, all with aortic valve disease.

Aortic valve stenosis is generally regarded as a progressive disease that must eventually be corrected with surgery--period. The only other strategy that has proven to be of any benefit is Crestor 40 mg per day, an intolerable dose in my experience.

If the vitamin D effect on aortic valve disease proves consistent in future, even in a percentage of people, then hallelujah! We will be tracking this experience in future

Vitamin D and Octogenarians
http://www.healthcentral.com/heart-disease/c/1435/17681/vitamin
Related: Heart Disease, More Tags>Heart Healthy Lifestyle, vitamin D, octogenarians, Fewer Tags>More Topics >

Roger practically bounced in his chair, vibrating with energy.

"I haven't felt like this in years! I can work around the yard all day and still have energy left over. It must be the vitamin D!" Roger's wife rolled her eyes, though with a twinkle and a little smile.

At age 84, Roger started out with pretty good health, despite a prosthetic valve and bypass surgery 5 years earlier. He looked 70, perhaps younger.

But just two months earlier, Roger had appeared sapped, spent and without interest in life, having lost even the enjoyment of his seven great grandchildren.

I've seen this effect now in about 20 octogenarians, dramatic restoration of youthfulness and vigor, a virtual reawakening for some.

Most of the octogenarians experiencing this effect are taking between 4000-8000 units per day to achieve a target blood level of 50 ng/ml. In my cardiology practice and in our heart disease reversal program, all patients have vitamin D blood levels checked. Before vitamin D supplementation, most people 80 years and older start with 25-OH-vitamin D3 levels of 10 ng/ml or less-profound deficiency. The average dose of vitamin D to raise levels to the target of 50 ng/ml tends to be higher in this age group, since by age 80, most people have essentially lost the capacity to convert 7-hydrocholesterol to active vitamin D3 in the skin. (One recent patient, a 78-year old, came to my office sporting a deep brown, leather-like tan. When I told him we'd be checking a vitamin D level, he remarked, "Oh, don't bother, doc. Look at me!" referring to his deep tan. His blood level of 25-OH-vitamin D3: 7 ng/ml-profound deficiency.)

Now having witnessed numerous "re-births" of octogenarians multiple times, I believe the effect is real. It is an enormously gratifying experience to see someone's interest in life re-ignited. Unfortunately, my observations are too informal to qualify as a study. (I'm not even sure how to quantify this effect. I suppose some sort of muscle and coordination testing might yield quantifiable measures.)

The benefits of vitamin D are not, of course, confined to octogenarians. But the 80-year old plus community just seem to demonstrate more dramatic results, since they've fallen farther down an age-related decline of muscle strength, coordination, and vigor. Thus, they serve as a very graphic model for this effect. Younger people can also obtain the same benefits, though they might not be as visible.

I'm not the only one who has observed the wonderful effects of vitamin D. Studies have shown that vitamin D replacement:

* Improves mental function and memory
* Improves coordination
* Reduces falls and fractures, including feared hip fractures
* Reverses winter "blues" (a very important effect in my Wisconsin neighborhood!)

Add this list to the other newly-recognized benefits of vitamin D replacement: reduced blood pressure, reduced blood sugar, increased bone density, improvement in arthritis, reduced inflammatory responses, reduced cancer risk (colon, breast, bladder, prostate), enhanced immune responses, and among the most exciting (to me): reduced risk for heart attack and heart disease. (I will be reporting my experiences with vitamin D and heart disease to the medical community in spring, 2008.)

sue M. (184)
Tuesday July 21, 2009, 7:22 am
This current Bird/Swine/Human flu outbreak is not acting in any known way. The symptoms, duration and such were predictable but not at this time of year. It is not running on a usual flu season cycle. This seems to indicate that something may have altered the virus to now require human bodies to need more vitamin D3 in the body to fight this hybrid influenza virus off. That's not a good thing.

Humans get most of their D3 as a result of exposure to ultra violet (UV) radiation in the B range (UVB) from the sun. In order for humans to get useful UVB, the angle to the sun must exceed 45 degrees for the UVB to penetrate the atmosphere and reach the body and the skin must be exposed for 10 to 20 minutes to form D3. Studies done on submariners showed that they consume about 4,500 IU of D3 per day while underwater, in their subs. When challenged by a pathogen or other trigger, the D3 stored is consumed as a part of the system that keeps them healthy. As they use up the D3, they begin to dump calcium and can even lose teeth from jaw bone loss and invading pathogens can take over, resulting in illness, if D3 levels become severely depleted.

So, even as D3 is consumed fighting off a viral infection, some people may have sufficient stores to not yet go sufficiently deficient so as to let the virus take over, resulting in illness. They simply use up and thus must replace their various body stores, including stores of D3 in various cells, in body fat, and in circulation in the blood. How much D3 is on-board in any particular body at any one time, varies due to many factors including D3 produced, consumed, used to fight pathogens or stored.

It appears at this time that this hybrid A-H1N1 virus, travels quickly but rarely kills in an environment and at a time when UVB is becoming more available daily in the Northern Hemisphere. This does not bode well for the winter of 2009 in the North as people's on-board D3 levels plummet. It may turn out that the virus may be present in bodies, being suppressed by while consuming D3 stores, meanwhile depleting those D3 stores in the body, even while is making new D3 but creating a net loss of D3 over time. When they hit a new UVB winter cycle and so stop making any D3, they further deplete D3 until the virus becomes viable due to low D3 levels and the virus will then manifest as illness (influenza).

So, what exists for any individual is that balance between on-board D3 levels and the amount of D3 being consumed in life and that being challenged by the presence of various demands for sufficient D3, including D3 needed to fight off various pathogens to keep the body healthy. Keep in mind that vitamin D3 has many rolls in the body including the destruction of cancer cells and the suppression of allergic responses and run-away autoimmune responses and more. Vitamin D3 is as important to heart health as exercise and the higher the 25(OH)D3 level, the better the prognosis for those with cancer, the less it spreads and or relapses.

People with adequate D3 levels at the start of the ultraviolet (UV) winter remain healthy during the first part of the UV winter and then, as they consume their on-board supply of D3, may form a part of the later waves of people who continue to succumb to the flu all "season," until the following "UV summer" when they begin once again to manufacture D3 in their skin.

Thus, it is obvious that having 25(OH)D3 levels above 50 nano-grams (ng) per mili-liter (ml), year round, is the best health policy. Having the 25(OH)D3 blood serum levels over 50 ng ml indicates that the body is storing vitamin D3 in Fat and various cells. and perhaps organ systems. This would indicate a likelihood that there was sufficient D3 on-board the body to stay healthy. Continued supplementation should keep the levels there unless challenged.

The current circulating H1N1/Bird/Swine/Human flu may have already infected millions and perhaps infect billions in the Northern Hemisphere by the time the next UVB winter arrives.

Thus, as D3 levels plummet. in the next UVB winter, there may be an explosion of influenza illnesses world-wide.

The solution is to supplement now and to test at least quarterly with the 25(OH)D3 blood test to confirm it to be above 50 ng ml but less than 250 ng ml levels and to continue to supplement through winter to keep levels there.

At full retail, a year's supply for one person is under $30 here: https://secure.bio-tech-pharm.com/catalog.aspx?cat_id=2

Children need about 1,000 IU per 25 lbs of body weight, per day, but not under 1,000 IU per day regardless. This can be averaged so there is no need for daily supplementation.

Author

sue M.
female , married
Los Angeles, CA, USA
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