Sunday, September 26, 2010

Nutrition Science: Vitamin A, niacin, thiamine, vitamin C, and vitamin D

There is only one textbook I know on the biochemistry of vitamins. It is, "The Nutritional Biochemistry of the Vitamins, 2nd Edition," by David A. Bender. I recommend that all nutritionists and healthcare providers should have to study this text as part of their graduate education.

I believe each of the only five vitamins associated with pandemic deficiency (vitamin A, niacin, thiamine, vitamin C, and vitamin D) deserves it's own textbook.

At the dawn of nutrition, scientists isolated factors A, B, and C and proved that these food concentrates were vitally important to human health. This assertion has never been seriously disputed.

If you or anyone you know has a chronic health conditions, there is much to gain and little to lose by studying the biochemistry of vitamin A, niacin, thiamine, vitamin C, and vitamin D.

Prevent Obesity: Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Niacin, Thiamine, and Vitamin A

I learned recently by reading the New York Times that 51 percent of schoolchildren in Corona, Queens are overweight or obese according to new data from the city's health department. This was "despite the Bloomberg administration's dogged efforts to improve the health of city residents."

If the city health department continues with the strategy it has been using for the past couple of decades, I'll bet that it will continue to see poor results.

I haven't written much about obesity because there isn't much hard evidence that it is caused by vitamin deficiency. The article in the times inspired me to write again because the situation in Corona, Queens is a catastrophe. 51 percent of the children are overweight or obese! More children are being born every day in Corona, Queens. Are we going to just stand back and watch 51% of these babies grow into obese children?

A 51% obesity rate isn't about genes. It's the environment. Even the city health department suspects that the food the kids are eating is at least part of the problem.

Here are my recommendations. A large part of the problem is that the women of child bearing age in Corona Queens are probably not in excellent health. In my experience, controlling diet is difficult and controlling micronutrients (through sunshine and supplements) is less difficult. I recommend that all the teenage girls consider getting extra vitamin C, niacin, thiamine, vitamin D, and vitamin A. Good doses to start with can be found here.

Next I'd focus on the children. My recommendations for kids are here.

There actually is scientific data supporting a link between lack of sunshine and obesity. Sunlight produces a hormone in the skin that is involved in weight regulation. I read about this in Oliver Gillie's, "Sunlight Robbery" which was published in 2004 and is freely available on the internet. The science linking vitamin C, niacin, thiamine, vitamin A, and obesity is admittedly pretty weak.

There is an almost unimaginable crisis in Corona Queens. There's so much to gain, and so little to lose. What's the harm of trying something so safe? What other practical options are under consideration?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Prevent Osteoporosis, Osteopenia, Osteomalacia: Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Niacin, Thiamine and Vitamin A

One of my favorite sayings is, "You can't see what you're not looking for."

Our society isn't looking for vitamin deficiencies. There is an overabundance of food and nutritional supplements of every kind are readily available in pharmacies and grocery stores. Here's the prevailing logic. "There's no way my problems are caused by vitamin deficiency. If that were true, the supplement I took would have fixed me just like when I have a headache I take an aspirin and it's fixed."

Everyone accepts that it is difficult to teach children patience. Why do we expect adults to be patient, rational, and scientific?

I've been looking for signs of vitamin deficiency for several years now. Even looking for deficiencies, it took me several years to find an epidemic that is in front of my eyes everywhere. The epidemic is skeletal deterioration, or malformation, or distortion, or whatever. I couldn't see this problem because there isn't a name for it. The most common condition is a bend in the neck at the shoulders that slowly turns into a hump. The next most common condition is a shrinking and bending spinal column. Then there are twisted fingers and toes, and every other sort of skeletal distortion. Some sort of obvious distortion is evident in at least half of the senior citizen population over 75 years of age. I just don't believe that this is normal. Was this really the case 100 and more years ago?

There is every reason to believe the problem is a chronic vitamin deficiency. The key vitamins are vitamins D, thiamine, and vitamin C. I'll explain.

Here's how perfectly well we know that vitamin C and vitamin D are critical for bone health.

"In osteoporosis (the prototype being scurvy), it is easy to see that the available cartilage and osteoid are normally mineralized and the lack of bone must therefore be caused by an abnormally diminished amount of matrix... In osteomalacia (the prototype being rickets) it is just as easy, if the condition is at all advanced, to recognize that although cartilage and osteoid are present in sufficient quantities, little or no hydroxyapatite has been deposited on them."

Childhood scurvy, caused by lack of vitamin C, provides the prototype for the study of osteoporosis and childhood rickets provides the prototype for the study of osteomalacia.

Incredibly, the physician who wrote these words says, in the same article, "Radiologists whose patients are adults have little or nothing to do with either scurvy or rickets." What's the evidence?

It's what I said above. I recommended vitamin C and/or vitamin D supplements and the patients tried and didn't get better. Well - how long did they try? It takes a long time for adult bones to deform. Conversely, it is going to take a long time for adult bones to undeform.

My teeth were in poor health when I started taking vitamin D, vitamin A, and thiamine in addition to the B-complex and vitamin C I'd been taking for years. I knew from solid scientific data that my teeth would get better. What surprised me was how long it took. My teeth are still getting stronger after three years. The healing process is as stunning slow as the deterioration was in the first place.

The situation is as close to impossible as you could ask for. I take 2 to 10 gm of vitamin C every day - too much for a double blind trial (vitamin C at 2 to 10 g/day is obviously detected by the nerves in the intestinal tract). To get enough vitamin D, I lie out in the sun every sunny day. This makes me feel like an alien and I have to hide my behavior from friends, family, and colleagues. Lying is the sun is not something that can be tested with a double blind trial. So - convincing experiments can't be conducted. The final impossibility is the thiamine. Thiamine is special because transport proteins are required to get thiamine out of the intestines and into the blood, and out of the blood and into cells. If this transport system fails, the nervous system turns out to be particularly vulnerable. Most of the nervous system is dedicated to subconscious functions. One of these subconscious functions is maintain skeletal health. When thiamine supplements work, they typically solve a subconscious problem. By definition, this means you won't feel it work. It fixes something (your subconscious nervous system) that you are meant to not perceive.

There is a thiamine supplement that will freely diffuse throughout the body. The name of this supplement is TTFD. It is not stable to stomach acid and must be rubbed into the skin or taken with an enteric coating. Despite writing about TTFD for several years, there remains only a single supplier in the U.S. of this supplement. So much for the power of logic and science. The good news is that demand from the supplier is growing rapidly.

If you or friends or loved ones are seeing changes in skeletal health, there is much to gain and nothing to lose by giving the vitamins I recommend a try. If you're looking for good doses to start with, click here.

Here's a link to the quoted material here.

Prevent Flu and Pale Faces: Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Niacin, Thiamine and VItamin A

Vitamin C is in the news again for causing a "miracle". Once again, the medical establishment is blamed and ridiculed, and ordinary people are let off the hook.

The miracle of the day is an incredible case of curing swine flu. A man allowed himself to become terminally ill from swine flu (by not taking vitamin C at the onset of his illness). The medical establishment also followed normal protocols and this man slid into a coma. Before taking him off life support, the family sued the hospital to force a trial of intravenous vitamin C at 100 g/day. The man made a full and rapid recovery. Here's a link to the video:

Click here,


There is no conspiracy. Doctors don't take vitamin C when they get sick and they don't recommend it for their children or grandchildren when these kids have cold after cold to the point of chronic pale faces with dark circles under the eyes. We go to doctors who believe the same things we do. I believe that vitamin C is a potent antiviral, and I act like I believe it. I have been spectacularly unsuccessful at getting others to give large doses of vitamin C to their children like I did for mine.

The "miracle" vitamins - vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin A, thiamin, and niacin all have such a sorry history. Regular intermittant demonstrations of miracles followed by insignificant changes in behavior. Societies throughout the ages have resisted mastering these key nutrients over and over again. Vitamin C rich food were demonstrated to prevent scurvy countless times before the lesson was learned. Millions and millions died needlessly. A good short history of the sorry tale can be found here.

Similar stories can be found for the other vitamins associated with deficiency diseases. If you want specifics, leave me a comment and I'll write more.

Vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin A, thiamin, and niacin are difficult to use. They are miraculously effective only in highly unusual circumstances. Many people in good health experience substantial discomforts when taking the doses of these vitamins used in typical "miracle" examples. We are programmed to remember - and not repeat - incidences like this which are fairly characterized as food poisoning. In fact, I can't think of a more accurate characterization than food poisoning.

I believe it is vital for everyone to watch the video and then to ask themselves - how much vitamin C are the children in my family getting? Do they get more when they have a cold or other viral infection? Do they get more if they have cavities? If they are obese? If they have learning disabilities? If they are recovering from scrapes, burns, bruises, etc? For the typical family, the answer is no.

I'm at a loss to solve this problem. But I can say for sure that focussing attention on folks in critical care dying of swine flu isn't the answer. If we're afraid to give 2000 mg of orange flavored vitamin C "candy" to toddlers, we sure ought to be afraid to inject 100,000 mg through a needle into the veins of a dying man.

"Innocuous" cold viruses are taking a heavy toll on children every day. Occasionally these viruses take kids and adults to the edge of death and beyond. If any child or adult you know has a cold, there's much to gain and nothing to lose by following the doses I recommend of vitamin C, vitamin D, thiamin, niacin, and vitamin A. These are found found here and here.