Friday, August 27, 2010

Prevent Learning Disabilities and Improve Intelligence: Vitamins A, Thiamin, Niacin, C, and D

The experiments have been finished. Extra vitamins improve intelligence and prevent learning disabilities. Today, a very small minority of parents accepts the data and provides extra vitamins to their children. The vaste majority will not accept the evidence and continue to rely on food to supply the vitamin needs of their children.

The molecular structures of vitamins were discovered just around 100 years ago. Commercial production and distribution of vitamins took decades to put into place. I believe it is fair to say, as a practical matter, that parents have only been empowered to separately control the food and vitamin intake of their children for the past 40 years. This is not much time in the course of human history.

Cultural norms around food are strong. Getting parents to embrace vitamin supplements for children is not going to be easy. Doctors are parents and grandparents too. The concept that food does not contain optimal quantities of vitamins make people uncomfortable. This concept has to be threatening to the large majority of adults that grew up eating only food. So - it should not be surprising that the medical establishment is highly resistant to the data. We choose doctors that support our own beliefs.

I have read most of the available scientific data concerning vitamins, intelligence, and learning disabilities. The data decisively supports the minority view that extra vitamins prevent learning disabilities and improve intelligence. Optimizing the vitamin intake of American children will raise the average IQ by at least 5 points and by no more than 20 points.

Raising IQ and preventing learning disabilities with extra vitamins is alot less appealing if it comes at the cost of common, uncomfortable vitamin side effects. Few parents will intentionally cause their children to experience discomfort. All vitamins must be used with care. I believe that most of the gains can be achieved using very safe doses of vitamins that rarely cause discomfort and never cause extreme discomfort. Doses of vitamins that are, in fact, safer than food. No child grows up without experiencing the discomfort of a food-born illness and/or discomforts from eating too much of a food that "disagrees" with them.

The key vitamins are the five (and the only five) that have been used to eliminate pandemic deficiency diseases. These are vitamin A, vitamin B1 (thiamin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin C, and vitamin D. Safe doses are provided here.

Parents of children with Down's Syndrome are out front on this issue. 5 to 20 IQ points can bring some of these children to arguably within the range of normal. With so much to gain, some parents of children with Down's syndrome are giving high doses of vitamins a try. Although it's not very scientific, there are some impressively high functioning kids with Down's syndrome that were brought up on very high doses of vitamins. Here's just one link. It's hard to explain the successes without crediting the vitamins and the scientific reports of the physicians who developed these vitamin protocols.

Smarter children benefit everyone. There is much to gain (5 to 20 IQ points), and almost nothing to lose by giving the vitamins a try.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Children Can Benefit from More Vitamins A, Thiamine, Niacin, C, and D: Especially Children with Pale Faces

What is optimum health? What is the full potential of a baby? At 16, how near and far will that young adult see? Will the young adult have perfect pitch? How fast a runner? How about smell, and taste, and touch? How fast will wounds heal? How resistant to to infection? How can we know?

Everyone agrees that good nutrition is especially important for growing children. In my opinion, vitamins A, B, C, and D are the foundation of good nutrition. In the early days of science, food was identified to contain micronutrients essential for good health. These were named "factors" A, B, and C. A fourth important micronutrient, vitamin D, was found to be produced in the skin upon exposure to sunlight.

For the first time in human history, parents can independently control the amount of vitamins and calories that their children consume. For the first time in human history, pediatricians can help parents optimize vitamins. VItamins A, thiamine, niacin, and C are inexpensive. Thiamine, niacin, and vitamin D are safe. Regular sun exposure is safe. There is much to gain and almost nothing to lose by providing children with extra vitamins.

Vitamins A, B1, B3, C, and D are each the subject of continuous, ongoing research. Hundreds of scientific papers are being published each year about each vitamin. There is plenty of information to fill a textbook on each vitamin. Each of these vitamins prevents dreaded diseases that once ravaged industrialized societies.

Sadly, there is only one textbook on the biochemistry of vitamins. It is titled "The Nutritional Biochemistry of the Vitamins." Worse, it is not required reading for physicians, pediatricians, and other health care providers.

I don't know what the optimal doses of vitamins A, B, C, and sunshine are for children. I know it is a difficult question, and that the answer is different for each individual child. I'm certain, however, that for many children the current doses are too low, and that the doses I recommend are safe for all children.

The doses I recommend for children can be found here. There's much to gain and little to lose by giving the vitamins a try.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Prevent Anorexia: Vitamins A, Thiamine, Niacin, C, and D

Vitamins prevent anorexia and cavities. Read more here. This strong statement is based on informal clinical reports. It's been over three and a half years since I started actively blogging. The first blog proposed that anorexia and other eating disorders are vitamin deficiency diseases. I've been researching and corresponding about the relationship between anorexia and vitamins ever since. There is now substantial informal clinical data from colleagues. Young women taking extra vitamins do not become anorexic.

If you are looking for good doses to start with, click here.

Preventing anorexia is an important contribution to public health. Anorexia is disappearing slowly because the connection between vitamins and anorexia is not being publicized and not being taught.

Many people conclude that since most doctors believe that anorexia is a psychiatric disorder, and not a vitamin deficiency disease, that it must be a psychiatric disorder and not a vitamin deficiency disease. This is a useful paradigm - just one that is not serving well the thousands of girls diagnosed every day with anorexia.

I don't know how to solve this problem. I believe that health care providers are responsible for knowing about important public health problems and for resolving controversies. My view that anorexia is a vitamin deficiency disease is controversial. Resolution of this controversy is simple. The vitamins I recommend are safe and inexpensive and are a good idea even for healthy young women. There is much to gain and nothing to lose by giving the vitamins a try. Healthcare providers should let the parents of at-risk girls know that there is a safe option that they don't believe works but will cause no harm. The data will speak for itself.


Prevent Cavities, Osteoporosis (Joint Pain), and Anorexia: Vitamins A, B1, B3, C, and D

Most readers will not believe what is written in this column. A few readers will change their behavior. Most of them will succeed in preventing cavities, osteoporosis (and the associated joint and ligament pains), and anorexia. These few, however, will not really know why they have succeeded and will be more likely to attribute their good fortune to other behaviors.

Here's one extreme example. Sunshine was proven in published reports by medical scientists to prevent rickets way back in the 1820's. Still, in the 1870's rickets affected 90% of the children in Leiden, New York City, and Boston (and surely was still pandemic elsewhere). Were it not for government action to supplement the food supply with vitamin D, overt rickets from sun phobia would probably still be causing pandemics today. Don't blame the doctors. Starting back in the early 1800's doctors were proving to us that sunshine is good for your health. A minority of physician scientists still tell you this today. We don't like their opinions. We pay physicians with opinions we like and don't pay physicians with opinions we don't like. We get the medicine the want - not the medicine backed by science.

If you have a health problem, some one out there is claiming that it can be cured with vitamins. This just isn't true. In fact, many chronic health problems can't really be fixed. The underlying cause is a wound or some other type of damage that won't heal because crucial parts are irreversibly broken. Too much alcohol will cause irreversible damage to your liver. No amount of vitamins can cure a liver broken this way.

What vitamins can do is prevent problems. Many problems have multiple causes. Good examples are heart disease and cancer. Therefore, I will not claim that vitamins will prevent heart disease and cancer. I've been looking for common problems that are predominantly caused by vitamins. The first condition I found was anorexia. Anorexia either is a vitamin deficiency disease or it isn't. Anorexia has been publicized on the internet as a vitamin deficiency disease for over three years. So far, all the data I've seen supports the assertion. Either it is, or it isn't, and the data will provide clear answers. Sadly, mainstream medicine is still not being helpful. Most internet sites about anorexia will not even acknowledge that many holistic health professionals (and even a minority of mainstream physicians) believe that anorexia is caused (not cured) by vitamin deficiency. There is no cure for anorexia.

The second condition I found was cavities. Again, either cavities are a vitamin deficiency disease or they aren't, and the data will provide clear answers. Again, sadly, most dentists will not even acknowledge that many holistic health profesionals (and even a minority of mainstream dentists) believe that cavities are caused (not cured) by vitamin deficiency. There is no cure for a decayed adult tooth. Once it has rotted and been removed, no amount of vitamins will grow a new tooth.

Anorexia and cavities are not conditions of the majority. Dental care today is good enough that a large majority of young adults rarely have a cavity drilled. Cavities do not become a pandemic problem until old age sets in. It is very difficult to change the behavior of the elderly so it isn't clear how long it will take to get clear data.

Very recently I've concluded that osteoporosis, osteopenia, and associated joint and muscle pains are a vitamin deficiency disease. What's exciting about this conclusion is that there is a higher probability of seeing the idea tested quickly. Osteopenia and the muscle and joint pains associated with it are shockingly common among middle-aged adults. I'm in my forties, and a majority of my friends, colleagues, and family members in my age group are curtailing activities due to joint and muscle pains. They believe this is inevitable aging. I believe it is mostly vitamin deficiency.

Many readers are also in their forties. Many of them will be curtailing activities too. With so many readers, some will test the idea that osteopenia and associated joint and muscle pains are caused by vitamin deficiency. A few of them will write back in with comments. The data will be there and will either prove that osteoporosis, osteopenia, and associated joint and muscle pains are caused by vitamin deficiency or have multiple causes (like heart disease and cancer).

The advice doesn't change. Here's how to start:

1) Regular sunshine between 11 am and 3 pm (summer) and between 10 am and 2 pm (winter). Do not stay out long enough to tan. Never burn. Noontime sun is dangerously powerful. Only seconds is enough to get some people a maximum dose of vitamin D (e.g. 30 seconds lying face up, 30 seconds lying face down, and 30 seconds lying on both side for a total of 120 seconds).

2) 2000 mg/day of vitamin C
3) several cups per day of dark roast coffee (or 250 mg time release niacin tablets two or three times per week)
4) 10,000 IU of vitamin A once per week
5) 200 mg/day of thiamine

Personally, I prefer an obscure thiamine supplement called TTFD. TTFD needs to be rubbed into the skin (not preferred) or taken as an enteric coated tablet. I don't expect readers to act on this advice until TTFD is more widely available. In the meantime, 200 mg/day of drug store thiamine will provide many readers with most (or all) of the benefits of lower doses of TTFD.

For the majority, excellent health is a choice. A large majority have genes capable of getting them into their eighties in excellent health. This majority just needs to know what choices to make. The choice to follow the advice above is safe and inexpensive. There is much to gain and little to lose by giving it a try.