Saturday, February 06, 2010

Prevent Cavities and Anorexia: Get Vitamin D from the Sun & Use Vitamin D Supplements with Care

Will historians view our time as one of mass suffering caused by epidemic vitamin D deficiency?

Surprisingly, there is a case to be made. Most people work indoors. Electronic entertainment works well at night and is ineffective out doors in the sun. Even exercising has moved indoors. Air conditioning keeps us indoors in the summer and heating keeps us indoors in the winter. Advertising teaches us that it is antisocial to be seen in public without looking good. These same social pressures teach us that old bodies should never be seen uncovered by clothing. There are fewer and fewer seniors sunbathing on the summer beaches.

Many people are trying to address vitamin D deficiency by taking vitamin D supplements. Many people are asking the question, "How much should I take?" I don't believe that there is even close to enough data to answer that question. Mainstream medicine is encouraging blood testing for vitamin D levels and is reacting to the test results with supplement dosage recommendations. I don't believe enough data is available to do a good job, and I am certain that physician supplement recommendations are doing considerable harm. If you don't believe me, go read the stories written in the comment section here.

The best way to get vitamin D is from the sun. Getting vitamin D from the sun is different than getting it from pills. Your body will self-regulate how much vitamin D is produced from sunshine. Getting vitamin D from the sun is natural and safer. Vitamin D supplements are neither.

Do we really live in a free society? Do we really have free will? Can you go in your back yard in full view of your neighbors in fully revealing swimware and lie in the sun? Can you go the pool and lie in the sun in fully revealing swimware? Can you lie in the sun in fully revealing swimware when visiting your family? If yes, can the seniors in your family do this too?

Many people are trying supplements instead of sunshine. Some of these will suffer vitamin D side effects and conclude that they don't need more vitamin D. For some, I suspect this will be a tragic conclusion.

Vitamin D supplements are empowering. When I'm attacked by an infectious disease, I use both supplements and sunshine to fight it off. I've experienced the discomforts of vitamin D side effects. I've found no evidence that vitamin D side effects cause any harm other than temporary discomfort. I have chosen temporary vitamin D discomfort over what I believe would be greater discomfort caused by waiting out an infectious disease. I believe we have an ethical responsibility to exchange the discomforts of infectious diseases for the discomforts of vitamin side effects. Walking around with an infectious disease harms others. Walking around suffering vitamin side effects does not. Vitamin D side effects are easy enough to manage if you know what to expect. To know what to expect, read more here.

Vitamin D is more important for your health than any drug. You can't optimize your health without choosing a dose. Humans are meant to get most of their vitamin D from the sun. Shockingly, there is no recommended daily allowance of sunshine.

Vitamin D is not available from unprocessed food. If you avoid the sun and eat what you grow, you will die from vitamin D deficiency. If you live naturally, then you have to choose a vitamin D dose by choosing your own dose of sunshine. If you choose minimal exposure to the sun, you place yourself at higher risk of immeasurable suffering from a multitude of diseases including cavities and gum diseases, cancer, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. Worse still, caretakers choose for more than themselves. They choose for their children. I recommend just choosing sunshine and letting the children learn for themselves how much is too much.

Vitamin D is one of only four vitamins responsible for a deficiency disease. The other three are vitamin C, niacin, and thiamine. I recommend getting extra of all four of these vitamins. Extra for the average person is too little for some and too much for others. Just like everyone must figure out for themselves how much sunshine is plenty, everyone must figure out for themselves how many vitamin C, niacin, and thiamine pills are plenty.

Don't let anyone convince you that your health is predetermined by your genes. It is not that simple. Your choices play a huge role. The choices you make about vitamin D, vitamin C, niacin, and thiamine are particularly important. This site is here to help you choose wisely.


At 1:58 PM, Blogger TedHutchinson said...

Grassrootshealth D Action is an excellent source of 25(OH)D testing which will enable you to find out if your sun/supplement regime is adequate.

Unfortunately UVB is absorbed/blocked by atmospheric pollutants in urban areas and under flight paths.Over the last 25yrs 25(OH)D levels have been getting lower. It's not just pollution, time outside, sunscreen use but also some of the foods we eat induce Vitamin D insufficiency.
Therefore it is important to check you status to be sure you have achieved a level around 60ng/ml
Circulating 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Levels in Fully Breastfed Infants on Oral Vitamin D Supplementation this paper explains that to ensure breast milk is replete with vitamin d mothers at latitude 32n required 6400iu/daily to achieve the 58.8ng/ml required.
As this is a reasonable natural biomarker of the human body's optimal vitamin D status and coincides with least incidence of chronic illness it worth aiming for. Most people will require 1000iu/daily for each 25lbs weight.
The home page at Grassroothealt has a graph in the banner showing the amounts people have been taking and the resulting 25(OH)D.
10,000iu/daily has been found to be safe even in sunny countries. It may be an idea to start with a months course at that level and then reduce to 1000iu for each 25lbs weight to speed up the correction process.
Bear in mind the newest statistics demonstrate more than 90% of the pigmented populace of the United States (Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians) now suffer from vitamin D insufficiency (25-hydroxyvitamin D <30 ng/ml), with nearly three fourths of the white population in this country also being vitamin D insufficient.
and 30ng/ml is half that required to enable our DNA to work as it evolved.

At 9:33 PM, Blogger Steve said...


I worked my way to your blog and intend to read it with interest.

Please type C:the blog vitamin D side effects into google and go to my blog on vitamin D side effects. I'd be very interested in your comments.

I have completely quit vitamin D supplements because I'm getting large doses from the sun and now have an unusually low tolerance for supplements. I feel side effects within minutes of swallowing a 1000 IU pill.

I have no interest in the blood level of my vitamin D. I'm getting more than I can manage from sunshine. I have gone to great lengths to get into the sun with minimal clothing at exactly noon. Even now, in the middle of February, the sun is surprisingly powerful at noon. I swear that I can feel the vitamin D being made and have already started reducing the amount of time I spend in the sun to compensate for the increasing strength. Today was unusually clear and bright and I stayed out only 6 minutes on each side.

I will be reading what you have to say, but I'm skeptical of the statistics. Different people have different needs. Some people will suffer bad side effects from supplements with circulating vitamin D levels well below the 60 ng/ml target you set forth.

I feel strongly that ample sunshine without testing is the path forward. People are meant to get vitamin D from the sun, not from pills. I almost never side with the naturalists. For vitamin C, thiamine, and niacin I feel strongly that supplements are required.


At 9:20 AM, Blogger TedHutchinson said...

I feel strongly that ample sunshine without testing is the path forward. I feel strongly that who suggest testing is unnecessary is asking for trouble and shows lack of awareness of the factors that are driving the increase in global vitamin D deficiency.

This paper compares 25(OH)D status in Postmenopausal women going outdoors in town and country.
Who had the highest 25(OH)D levels?
Who had the most UV exposure?

Much the same happens in the lee of power stations and under busy flight paths. Just because you go outside and lay in the sun is no guarantee your skin is getting UVB exposure.
You may only be getting skin damaging UVA.

Only if you test 25(OH)D can you be sure your skin is actually generating Vitamin D3.

25(OH)D levels have been declining over the last 50yrs and it isn't just lifestyle changes. The amount of vitamin D your skin makes is regulated by your current vitamin D status. The higher current status the less new D3 is synthesized so toxicity won't occur from additional sun exposure even if you have been taking EFFECTIVE amounts of supplemental D3. 1000iu for each 25lbs you weigh is usually sufficient.
Cholesterol level controls vitamin D synthesis MORE that skin colour. So your advice to just use UVB from sunlight and not get tested may leave those on statins with artificially prematurely aged cholesterol reduced skin with even lower vitamin d status due to the absence of a cholesterol substrate to enable the process.

You also haven't taken into account the role of diet in Vitamin D depletion. Alcohol depletes many vitamins including vitamin D. We are generally consuming more alcohol than previous generations.
Low vitamin D status is almost always found in obese people and there are good reasons to assume it is both cause and effect.
Fructose also induces vitamin D insufficiency and wheat bran reduces the half of life 25(OH)D. There are many other reasons why vitamin D status now is generally lower than it would have been in previous generations.
Circulating 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Levels in Fully Breastfed Infants on Oral Vitamin D Supplementation This paper shows 58.8ng/ml 148nmol/l is required to enable human breast milk to flow vitamin D replete.
60~80ng/ml are the levels people living near naked outdoors naturally attain and maintain. The nearer you are to the natural primitive level the less incidence of chronic illness is found.
Without testing you have no way of knowing just how deficient you have become.

At 4:21 PM, Blogger Steve said...


I am delighted by your comments. This is going to be an awesome debate that both of us will win, and the blog readers will win too. Thanks so much for coming along.

Regular exposure to noontime sun under clear skies produces large quantities of vitamin D. Enough, in fact, to make me feel ill. I don't believe that's because I'm different than everyone else. I think everyone can figure out when they've gotten too much sun and I think one factor is too much vitamin D.

So - what about busy flight paths and power plants? You're making a fabulously good point, from which you and I draw different conclusions. Vitamin D advocates need to get out there with UVB meters and find the UVB shadows caused by natural and man-made pollution. Signs need to be posted in areas where there are natural shadows and law suits need to be filed against airports and power companies to get them to get rid of dangerous UVB shadows.

I feel the way I do because your data shows wide ranges of vitamin D levels in every test. Some people will be optimally healthy with low vitamin D levels and your strategy makes them feel like they are deficient and encourages them to take supplements which can cause dangerous side effects. You are also encouraging vitamin D supplements instead of sunshine, which violates the "do no harm" principle of medicine. Vitamin D supplements are dangerous. If you don't believe me, go tell all those people writing in to my blog entry on vitamin D side effects that they are all misinformed or lying or both.

So - our positions are clearly staked out and both are reasonable. Readers: the best conclusion to reach from reading this debate is to get out into the sunshine, get your blood levels of vitamin D tested, take vitamin D supplements, and be on the lookout for side effects. If side effects emerge, stop the pills and continue the sunshine.



At 5:27 PM, Blogger TedHutchinson said...

My view is that the onus of proof lies with those who wish to recommend lower 25(OH)D3 levels than the human body naturally attains and maintains living near naked outdoors.

Surely no disputes the primitive level at which human breast milk flows replete with D3 and babies are able to grow with optimum bone mineral density is entirely natural and achieving that natural homeostatic balance should be our aim.

It is surely those who want to adopt a unnatural lower level to prove that it is entirely safe to do so.

While I must admit I haven't read through all the reports of adverse vitamin D effects on your blog I am aware of the powers of suggestion and placebo and nocebo effects.

I am also sure magnesium, vitamin A and vitamin K2 insufficiency are partly responsible for the symptoms reported.

A little Vitamin A is required to counterbalance Vitamin D3 but as vitamin A can adopt Vitamin D receptors too much vitamin A can be counterpoductive. I take 2500iu vitamin A/daily and 5000iu/daily/D3 and I use regular UVB exposure.

Magnesium counterbalances calcium.

Raising Vitamin D status in most currently insufficient people inevitably leads to an increased absorption of calcium.
We all know calcium tenses muscle fibres and magnesium relaxes them.
Similarly calcium excites brain neurones while magnesium calms them.
Currently 68% of the US population are magnesium deficient as they don't consume the current RDA for magnesium (and that is far too low.)
It follows increasing vitamin d intake alone, causing a rise in calcium availability, will lead to people experiencing muscle cramps and feeling tense.
However, if at the same time as taking 100iu/d of D3 per kg weight you also take magnesium malate (or chelate) 5mg to 10mg daily per kg weight this can be avoided.

Humans differ from rats/mice in so many ways and IMO the most important is brain structure. Our brains have infinitely more advanced astrocyte structures and functions. For every brain neurone we have 10times the number of astrocytes and these communicate via calcium exchange. Calcium therefore is vital for brain function and to ensure the brain keeps functioning in vitamin d insufficient (and therefore calcium deficient) people, the skeleton has to be temporarily robbed. It's a bit like using the wood in your rafters to fuel your fire at night and then replacing the burnt timbers with new wood the next day, sure it gets over the immediate shortage but doing this repeatedly leads to bone trouble.
We need our calcium fixed in bones. That is where the magnesium and vitamin K2 come in working with increased Vitamin D3 to reduce the rate calcium trafficking and bone turnover that accelerates in vitamin D deficient people.

At 9:27 PM, Blogger Steve said...


I don't understand your point. In fact, I am exactly recommending maintaining 25(OH)D3 levels that the human body naturally attains and maintains living near naked outdoors. I achieve these levels myself by getting out near naked into the noontime sun almost every sunny day. I take the moderate, even tan I have acquired as proof that my body is getting maximum vitamin D. If I stayed out any longer, I would get tanner rather than making more vitamin D. So - all that would happen is that I would need to stay out in the sun longer to get the same amount of vitamin D.

I believe that I am experiencing mild vitamin D side effects from the sun. I would hardly notice except that they are the same side effects I experienced from pills. With the pills, the side effects got worse and worse with time. From the sun, I think they are going away completely as my body adjusts. Vitamin D pills are toxic in excess and sunshine is not.

I can't for the life of me understand the mentality of side effect deniers. Placebo? Nocebo? You can quite easily experience vitamin D toxicity at any level of intensity you desire. Increase your daily dosage to 50,000 IU per day. If you can do that for three months without side effects, I'll reconsider your argument about placbos and nocebos. A factor of ten is well within normal variability. So - if the average dose a human being experiences side effects at is 3000 IU per day, something close to 1 % of the population will be able to tolerate only 300 IU/day and another 1% will tolerate 30,000 IU/day.

The "natural level" in the blood probably also varies considerably. You can't find that natural level with pills. The way to find that level is to get out into the sun near naked every sunny day for at least a year and then measure blood levels. That's why I recommend just using the sunshine in the first place and not worrying about the testing.

This is not about magnesium, vitamin K2, and vitamin A. This is about the fact that vitamin D pills cause side effects and vitamin D from sunshine does not. If the science of vitamin D productivity is correct, I experienced side effects from much lower doses of vitamin D pills (1000 to 4000 IU/day) than the doses I'm getting now from getting into the sun (10,000 to 20,000 IU three to five days per week).

With that said, thanks so much for your comments. I'm taking the vitamin A already. Thanks to your comments, I'm going to add a magnesium supplement.



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