The Miracle Of Vitamin D

Just One Pill
Away

by Bill
Sardi

DIGG
THIS

Humanity is on the verge of a
gigantic leap forward in health promotion with rapid-fire discoveries that a
single vitamin pill may vanquish cancer and heart disease, the two leading
causes of mortality in the U.S., as well as quell autoimmune disease (rheumatoid
arthritis, lupus), diminish the occurrence of diabetes, reduce obesity, and
effectively treat multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis, Parkinson’s disease,
schizophrenia and high blood pressure, plus conquer the common cold and even
defeat tuberculosis, an infectious lung disease that affects one-third of the
people of the world.

 
Literally leading medicine “out of dark ages” is
the sunshine vitamin –
vitamin D
. Long mischaracterized as a vitamin that can be toxic if
taken in amounts that exceed what is found in common multivitamins, and
mistakenly said that vitamin D must be chemically altered to produce a man-made
molecular version that does not induce over-calcification, most physicians,
pharmacists and dieticians have been incorrectly trained to warn the public away
from higher doses of vitamin D.

Most
multivitamins provide no more than 400 IU (international units – a trivial
10 micrograms, or 1/100th of one milligram) of vitamin D, and the National
Academy of Sciences says 2000 IU (50 micrograms) is the safe upper limit, with
toxicity beginning around 10,000 IU (250
micrograms).

But Reinhold Vieth PhD,
researcher at the University of Toronto, notes that blood levels don’t
even measurably rise till 4000 IU (100 micrograms) is consumed and toxicity
begins at 40,000 IU (1000 micrograms or 1 milligram) only after many weeks of
use.

To demonstrate just how ridiculous
the warnings of vitamin D overdose have been, a person standing in the summer
sun for an hour at noontime in a Southern latitude (Arizona, Florida) in swim
trunks would naturally produce about 10,000 IU (250 micrograms) of vitamin D
through skin exposure. Sun poisoning from vitamin D overdose has never been
reported. [Am J Clinical Nutrition 73 (2): 288-94, Feb 2001; Am J Clinical
Nutrition 69(5): 842-56, May
1999]

Researchers recently stated that
the Food & Nutrition Board’s 2000 IU (50 microgram) upper safe limit
is not based on current evidence and that the absence of any toxicity in healthy
adults at 10,000 IU (250 micrograms) should be supported as the completely safe
upper daily limit. [American Journal Clinical Nutrition 85: 6-18, Jan.
2007]

What doesn’t vitamin D
cure?

The fast-paced publication of
reports extolling the virtues of vitamin D is astounding. William B Grant PhD of
the Sunlight, Nutrition and Health Research Center in San Francisco, says there
is compelling evidence that low vitamin D levels lead to increased risk of
rickets (soft bones), osteoporosis (loss of bone), 16 cancers (including
prostate, breast, colon, ovary, Hodgkin’s lymphoma), as well as psoriasis,
diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, multiple sclerosis and
susceptibility to tuberculosis. [Journal Cosmetic Dermatology 2: 86-98,
2003]

Dr. Robert P Heaney of Creighton
University says that efforts to elevate vitamin D beyond prevailing levels in
North Americans improves calcium absorption, reduces falls and hip fractures,
protects against various cancers and autoimmune disorders and says that “a
strong case can be made for immediate improvement in vitamin D status of the
general population.” [Journal Steroid Biochemistry Molecular Biology Jan 9,
2007]

Vitamin D and heart
disease

It is increasingly becoming
apparent that it is excessive calcium, and not cholesterol, that causes
hardening of the arteries and heart attacks. Only about 3% of arterial plaque is
cholesterol while 50% is calcium. Vitamin D is an anti-calcifying agent.
[Osteoporosis International 18: 251-59, 2007] Kidney disease patients, who are
plagued with arterial calcifications, have 10 times the cardiac death rate
compared to the general population.

What
most doctors and the public have been told is that high-dose vitamin D can
induce calcifications of arteries. But Armin Zittermann, PhD, of the Northrhine
Westfalia Heart Center in Germany, reports that both extremely high and commonly
low intake levels of vitamin D induce calcification of arteries. Calcification
from overdose of vitamin D requires many hundreds of thousands of international
units and is rare, whereas hundreds of millions of adults are deficient in
vitamin D and suffer from calcified arteries as a result of deficiency. Dr.
Zitterman points to a study conducted in Japan where adequate vitamin D levels
achieved via supplementation reduced the death risk from cardiovascular disease
by 70% compared to those who did not use vitamin D supplements. [Current Opinion
Lipidology 18: 41-46, Feb. 2007]

Cancer
reduction

In February of 2006 a research
team led by Cedric F. Garland of the University of California at San Diego,
reported that vitamin D supplementation would reduce the occurrence of a wide
variety of cancers by 30-50%. [American Journal Public Health 96: 252-61,
2006]

It is estimated that 50,000-63,000
individuals in the United States, and 19,000-25,000 in Great Britain, die
prematurely from cancer annually due to insufficient vitamin D. [Photochemistry
Photobiology 81: 1276-86, 2005]

The
geographical colon, breast, ovarian and prostate cancer belt that encircles the
world is in the Northern latitudes. Cities like Seattle, Toronto, Boston,
London, Dublin, Helsinki, Copenhagen, Berlin, Moscow, Anchorage, fall within
this global belt and have high rates of these
cancers.

Recently it was reported that
1000-2000 IU (25-50 micrograms) of vitamin D, obtained from dietary supplements,
sunlight exposure, or the diet, would cut the risk of colon cancer in half.
[American Journal Preventive Medicine 32: 210-16,
2007]

The common
cold

Dr. John Cannell MD, who captains
the Vitamin D Council, recently authored a paper which shows the winter increase
in colds and flu is attributed to low seasonal vitamin D levels. Dr. Cannell
cites the earlier work of R. Edgar Hope-Simpson who first proposed that
variations in exposure to solar radiation explains the seasonality of influenza
epidemics. [Epidemiological Infection 134: 1129-40, Dec. 2006] Dr. Cannell even
has a challenge for visitors to the Vitamin D Council website. He suggests
high-dose vitamin D (50,000 IU – 1.25 milligrams) be consumed for 3 days
at the first sign of a cold or the flu. So far, Dr. Cannell is receiving many
reports of how quickly high-dose vitamin D overpowers the common cold (this
writer tried high-dose vitamin D with the first sign of sniffles this winter,
and the vitamin D therapy worked rapidly both
times).

How did vitamin D escape
notice?

Just how vitamin D has not drawn
greater attention is difficult to fathom. In winter, when vitamin D levels are
low, death rates around the world rise. Winter is the season for heart attacks.
The diagnosis of cancer in winter months shortens survival times. There is a
decline in mood in winter months, leading to an increase in carbohydrate
consumption and obesity. In older adults, low vitamin D levels are associated
with mental depression. [American Journal Geriatric Psychiatry 14: 1032-40,
2006]

It’s not like vitamin D
hasn’t been brought to center stage. Feature articles in Newsweek and US
News & World Report in December of 2006 have been published. But are doctors
informing their patients of the revolution underway and prescribing vitamin D?
Not yet. Will they ever?

Cutting cancer
rates by 30-50%, heart disease by up to 70%, may be too much of a shock now that
health care is an industry that relies upon volumes of patients to treat.
Prevention is anathema. Medical centers depend upon large numbers of patients to
treat to pay off mortgages for building projects. Medical device and drug
companies must churn high numbers not only to remain profitable, but to prop up
their stock prices on Wall Street. One wonders whether modern medicine will ever
let this vitamin D revolution happen? It appears health authorities have
misdirected the public.

So far, there has
been no response from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) regarding this
breakthrough. No press conferences like the NIH typically conducts for
breakthrough drugs. The reports of vitamin D’s health benefits are coming
from independent researchers rather than public health authorities, who are
dragging their feet on this surprising
development.

Sun, diet or
pills?

It’s difficult for most
people to get optimal amounts of vitamin D. The diet, at best, will only provide
a few hundred units of vitamin D. Milk is fortified with synthetic vitamin D2,
which is not nearly as potent as natural D3, which is used in most dietary
supplements. A glass of milk provides only 100 IU (2.5
micrograms).

Fifteen minutes of sun
exposure to 40-percent of the body is suggested daily for fair-skinned
individuals, and more time for dark-skinned people. People with dark skin
pigmentation simply don’t make as much vitamin D as Caucasians. A recent
study conducted in a northern state (Michigan) found 50% of black mothers and
65% of their newborn infants were vitamin D deficient. [Clinical Pediatrics 46:
42-44, 2007] Even adults who receive adequate sun exposure have been found to be
deficient in vitamin D. [Menopause Feb 6,
2007]

Virtually all of northern Europe is
either deficient or undernourished, and in sunny middle-eastern countries,
vitamin D deficiency is rampant because of clothing that covers most of the
skin. [Journal Steroid Biochemistry Molecular Biology Feb. 5,
2007]

Humans have been made phobic about
sunlight exposure, fearful of skin cancer and the deadly malignant melanoma. But
it is interesting to note that mortality rates for melanoma rose steeply after
sunscreens came into common use, not before. Sunscreen lotion blocks the vitamin
D-producing UV-B rays, while allowing the deeper-penetrating, cancer-causing
UV-A rays to burn the skin.

Calculating
the cost of deficiency

Researchers Cedric
Garland, William B Grant and Edward D. Gorham claim it would cost about $1
billion a year to provide 1000 IU (250 micrograms) of vitamin D to all adult
Americans, and the expected benefits for cancer would be in the range of $16-25
billion. [Recent Results Cancer Research 174: 225-34, 2007] The total U.S.
economic burden due to vitamin D insufficiency from inadequate exposure to solar
UV-B radiation, diet, food fortification and supplements is estimated at $40-56
billion annually (2004). [Photochemistry Photobiology 81: 1276-86,
2005]

Many health food stores stock 1000
IU and 2000 IU vitamin D pills. Higher-dose 5000 IU and 50,000 IU vitamin D
pills are more difficult to find and can be purchased from this
trusted website
.

 

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