Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Prevention of Cavities and Anorexia: Dosing Options for Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Niacin, and Thiamine

Science has proven that vitamin D, vitamin C, niacin, and thiamine in generous doses prevents cavities, pale faces, and anorexia. Read more here, here, and here. The studies that generated this knowledge typically used constant daily doses. In practice, this may not be necessary or even optimal. There isn't enough scientific information, and may never be, to determine optimal dosing strategies. There is no question that the optimal dosing strategy will be different from person to person, time to time, and place to place.

So - what are the options?

The doses of vitamin D, niacin, and vitamin C that typically cause side effects when taken every day are well known. Read more here, here, and here. based on the The UL's are set by recommending a fractional dose of doses known to routinely cause side effects. Roughly twice the UL of 2000 IU/day of vitamin D will cause side effects in most people. Roughly 10 times the UL of 35 mg/day for niacin will cause side effects in most people. Roughly 5 times the UL of 2000 mg/day of vitamin C will cause side effects in most people.

So - what happens when taking these vitamins once/week? Is this OK? Can you take 7 times the UL defined as a daily dose once per week? (e.g. 14000 IU of vitamin D once per week?) What happens if you take these four vitamins at well above the UL only when you feel unwell (say several times per year?). How much can you take then without risking side effects? How much is enough to avoid deficiency? Again - the answer is going to change from person to person.

In my experience, children don't like the daily dosing strategy. They would rather take higher doses less often. When my teenage children and their friends are fighting colds, they have started taking the following dose:

6000 mg of vitamin C
4000 IU of vitamin D
250 mg of time release niacin
200 mg of thiamine

They tend to take this dose typically once or twice, and rarely three times in the course of a week. Then they don't take it again until the next time they feel like they may be getting a cold. I'd prefer to see the kids taking this dose once or twice a month whether or not they are fighting a cold. However, I also wouldn't be surprised to learn that just six to ten doses of this size per year in addition to the vitamin D gotten from sunshine and all four vitamins gotten from food gets the kids most of the benefits of daily doses of these four vitamins at near the IU. This teenage strategy also is individual. The kids who get the most colds take more vitamins than the kids who get the least.

Teenagers also are responding favorably to the logic that vitamin C and niacin have healing properties. Read more here, and here, When they are hurt (sore muscles, bruises, cuts, scrapes, etc), they are happy to take shots of 4000 mg of vitamin C and 250 mg of time release niacin for several days until the wounds are well-healed (typically one to 7 days).

Finally, teenagers respond favorably to getting sunshine without sunblock. People of all ages enjoy the wonderful warm feeling of the sun on bare skin. They all understand that sunblock is unnatural, and understand why using sunblock would endanger the natural ability of the body to regulate vitamin D.

The science is clear. Easily accessible doses of just four vitamins - vitamin C, vitamin D, niacin, and thiamine - prevent cavities, pale faces, and anorexia. There is much to gain and almost nothing to lose by helping children learn the best options for getting plenty.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Cavities and Anorexia Prevention: Dentist's Revolutionary Preventative Medicine

For many people, especially children and the elderly, a good diet isn't sufficient to maintain excellent health. What's often missing is one or more of the four vitamins responsible for named human dietary deficiency diseases. These are vitamin C (scurvy), vitamin D (rickets), niacin (pellegra) and thiamine (beriberi).

Unfortunately, it is difficult to feel these four vitamins working. People feel the same with or without supplements. There are no obvious benefits. There are, however, obvious side effects at doses above the upper limits (UL's) set by the Food and Nutrition Board.

Getting out into the sun regularly with minimal clothing and taking vitamin supplements requires considerable effort. People need an incentive.

Many people with bad teeth fear the dentist for good reason. Cleaning sensitive teeth, filling cavities, extracting teeth, and operating on gums is painful and expensive. People with bad teeth have an incentive to improve the health of their teeth.

A good diet and optimal doses of vitamin D, thiamine, niacin, and vitamin C prevent cavities. Read more here. If you're just looking for good doses to try, click here.

Dentists are revolutionizing preventative care by bringing digital monitoring tools into their offices. They are regularly using three analytical tools: x-rays, lasers, and photographs. The laser is a fantastic new tool that measures the density of the tooth and detects surfaces in teeth that are vulnerable to cavities before they form. My dentist has an electronic file full of photographs, x-rays, and laser measurements of my teeth.

If you don't get extra vitamin D, thiamine, niacin, and vitamin C, the odds are high that problems will develop with the teeth as they age. These problems are accurately quantified by the dentist's tools. Optimal doses of vitamins will stop many of these problems and the measurements provide the proof.

Cavities prevention is more important for children than for adults. Cavities are associated with other health problems. Children with cavities are at elevated risk. The most common risks are reduced height, weight, speed, endurance, and intelligence. They are also at higher risk of disease.

The vast majority of children should never get a cavity because cavities are caused by vitamin deficiency. Today, dentists can detect vulnerability to cavities in the teeth of children before operable cavities even emerge. Parents who respond to the data with vitamins will find that the progression of a tooth from vulnerable to a cavity to actually having a cavity can be halted.

Cavities are an early warning of general poor health. The painfulness of cavities may turn out to be a blessing. Fear of cavities may motivate people to take vitamins in a way that no amount of lecturing can. Fear of cavities, and the dental tools developed to monitor and treat them have the potential to dramatically reduce the prevalance of the many epidemic conditions associated with cavities. These include anorexia, sleep apnea, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

If you or the children you care for don't regularly see a dentist, I recommend reconsidering that decision. I recommend finding the best dentist in town and separately tracking the health of each tooth with x-rays, laser scans, and photographs. Vitamins are not for everyone. The lucky few will live 100 years without vitamin supplements and with perfect teeth. The unlucky few will have bad teeth no matter what they eat and what supplements they take. What's important to you is your own health care. What's important to you is whether taking vitamins helps your teeth (or the teeth of your children). Your dentist will help you take control. Take the supplements and go to your dentist to track the health of your teeth. The data speaks for itself.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Wound Healing with Vitamin C and Niacin

Extensive scientific data has proven that high doses of vitamin C and niacin speed wound healing. Read more here.

As a result of the science, I've changed my behavior. Vitamin C and niacin are now central to my first aid efforts. Niacin is now available as a cream. Whenever I get a scratch, scrape, slice, or minor burn I treat the wound with niacin and vitamin C creams. The expensive creams are really nice and I find them worth the extra money. However, I don't believe they are necessary. I also treat wounds with crushed niacin and vitamin C tablets. I rub the powder into the skin around the wound with water, antibiotic cream, or any other kind of appropriate cream. I've been doing this with bruises, pulled muscles, and aching joints as well. My daughter pulled muscles in her neck last weekend. I bought the anelgesic cream from the pharmacy and used it to run in niacin and vitamin C powders. Rubbing niacin powder into an aching joint is nice because the niacin causes the skin it is rubbed into to flush which brings a soothing warm feeling to the injured area. I can imagine that some people would feel discomforted by the flush. They should use the niacin cream which releases slowly over time and does not cause flushing.

Vitamin C is commonly used by people suffering from a cold. I believe that much of the benefit is from accelerated wound healing. The cold virus injures lung, throat, and nasal tissues. Anything that speeds the healing of these tissues reduces the duration and severity of the infection.

Topical application of vitamin C and niacin is virtually risk free. I've written previously that vitamin C and niacin injections into wounded tissues will likely prove to be the optimal treatment for many types of serious wounds. I've never tried this on myself, and hope never to have a reason. I fully understand the reluctance of individuals and physicians alike to experiment with injections. Topical application, on the other hand, is a no-brainer. Short term ingestion of high doses carries a greatly reduced risk of side effects compared to high doses taken on a daily basis. There is much to gain and as close to nothing to lose as possible to making vitamin C and niacin central players in first aid.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Prevent Cavities and Pale Faces: Grandparents & Vitamins C, D, Niacin, & Thiamine

Vitamins play a vital role in growth and development. It is a long and perilous journey from an egg and sperm to a healthy adult. Many of the instructions contained in human genes are used only during growth and development. Like all genes, the specialized genes involved in growth and development often depend upon vitamins to complete their designated tasks. As a result, children need vitamins for more tasks than adults.

Vitamins were discovered in the early 20th century and have only been readily available since the 1950's. Since that time, the use of vitamins has grown steadily. More and more people are taking vitamins regularly. Of the available vitamins, only vitamin C, vitamin D, niacin, and thiamine prevent named deficiency diseases (scurvy, rickets, pellegra, and beriberi respectively).

Sadly, many children aren't getting the extra vitamins they need. There is no substitute for grandparents. Grandparents embody the wisdom of the community and maintain a special interest in the welfare of little children. Go to any drug store vitamin isle, and see for yourself that grandparents are the chief consumer of high potency vitamin supplements.

It's time for grandparents to take a more active role seeing to it that the children in their families get the same benefits from vitamins that they do. I understand the concerns for safety. That's why this blog is here. The supplements I recommend for the children are the most important four, and the doses I recommend are safe. Grandparents reading this blog can proceed with confidence.

Prevent cavities, pale faces, and anorexia. Take an active role in caring for children. Read more here. If you take vitamin C, niacin, thiamine, and vitamin D - see to it that the children in your family take them too. Questions? Feel free to write and ask.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Vitamin D and Obesity: Sunning and Running Prevent Obesity

The weight of an animal is not under conscious control. This would be a bad evolutionary design. The case that anorexia (extreme weight loss) is caused by vitamin deficiency is strong. Read more here. Young women who take vitamin supplements do not become anorexic. There is also a strong case to be made that vitamin deficiency is an important cause of obesity. Read more here and here.

Weight is largely controlled by the subconscious mind. The subconscious mind, in response to the environment, selects a target weight within the range of normal. Regular intense aerobic activity lowers the target weight.

Vitamin D has been hypothesized to be involved in weight regulation. It has already been proven that vitamin D has hormonal functions. I believe it is only a matter of time until a role for vitamin D in weight regulation is proven.

Vitamin D is produced when cells just beneath the surface layers are exposed to ultra violet radiation from the sun. Regulation of sun exposure is yet another important body function that is not under conscious control. Regular sun exposure causes skin pigmentation that reduces the amount of sunlight penetrating the outermost layers of the skin. Absence of regular sun exposure causes the skin to loose pigmentation. The available evidence suggests that evolutionary selection acts rapidly to optimize skin color in response to the local environment. All human peoples migrating from the equator to the poles evolved white skin within generations. This is a powerful argument for paying close attention to vitamin D.

Since the skin produces vitamin D, subconscious signals encourage sun exposure. Most people enjoy the feeling of being out under the sun, and are attracted outside when the sun shines for the first time after a number of cloudy days. There are equally powerful subconscious and conscious feelings preventing overexposure to the sun.

In modern times, consumer services have emerged that cater to the feelings that draw us to the sun. Sunblock lotions allow us to lie in the sun indefinitely, enjoying the luscious warm feelings (unlike any other kind of warmth). Tanning salons also allow endless hours of warmth and create a healthy-looking tan. Unfortunately, both sunblock lotions and tanning lamps block the production of vitamin D, and must be used with caution.

Intense excersize indicates a ecological need for fast motion. Fast motion is facilitated by lower weight. It makes good sense that the subconscious weight control system would adjust down the set weight in response to even short bursts of intense exercise (research indicates that just 10 to 20 minutes, two or three times a week may be sufficient).

We are in the midst of a modern obesity epidemic that has been clearly linked to the western lifestyle. Sun avoidance is part of that modern lifestyle. We dress for work, work indoors, and increasingly play indoors. More and more of life occurs after sunset plugged into the network or watching TV or movies. Airconditioning drives us indoors when it is hot, and heating drives us indoors when it is cold. As a result we are in the midst of a vitamin D deficiency epidemic. It therefore also makes good sense to link obesity with vitamin D deficiency.

It is difficult to optimize vitamin D by taking supplements. Vitamin D supplements cause side effects. Read more here. Higher doses of vitamin D can be gotten from the sun without risk of side effects. If it isn't possible to get into the sun, vitamin D supplements work, but require vigilant attention to side effects.

Sun and exercise are enjoyable, safe, and effective components to prevent and treat obesity. As with many vitamin deficiency diseases (anorexia is a particularly painful example), obesity is more easily prevented than cured. It is much more effective to instill these healthy habits in children and adults of a healthy weight than to instill them in already obese adults. Don't let the failure of this advice to work for already obese adults to convince you that these common sense habits aren't important for preventing obesity.

So, think "RUN and SUN" for the prevention of obesity. There is much to gain and almost nothing to lose by adopting these healthy habits.