Studies demonstrate that the impairments caused by deficiency of D during pregnancy can be detected even 20 years later in the offspring, such as less bone density. See this study published in Pediatrics in 2015
The word, "autism", was first used in around 1943, but was not common in the medical vocabularly through the 1970s, where the average estimate was a few cases per 1000 births. It WAS noticed far earlier and in higher frequency in countries with low "sunny day" annual counts. One wonders, though, what has changed between then and now to cause such an increase in cases of autism, and it has been documented that diagnostic ability has NOTHING to do with the increase. And why do children develop adult type diabetes, so many have death-causing allergies to foods (ie, nuts), why are so many so mildly sick so much more often (ear infections, anyone?), and as a large subset, seemingly fail to maintain the upward curve in intelligence seen in the prior decades? Why is not perfectly clear WHAT the cause is? Here's my suspicions regarding how we got to today, where the rate of autism is 1 in 64 births (2015) per the CDC.
- I believe that in around 1986, a cosmetic company formed a "non-profit" foundation to market their new sunblocking product directly to dermatologists by persuading them that the sun was evil, because 1,500 Americans were dying from malignant skin cancers at the time. Their logic was that the sun caused the cancer, and therefore blocking the sun would decrease cancers. This was a FAUSTIAN bargain, a deal with the devil of horrid consequences. Ironically, those types of cancer most often develop in places "where the sun rarely/never shines". Those cancers have NOT gone down, they have sky-rocketed upwards since then, as have many other cancers! And the dermatologists continue to exhort you to avoid sunshine. My own dermatologist has listened to me (with his arms crossed) on several occasions, yet I still get emails from his practice "scaring me away from the sun".
- The AMA came onboard in the '80s as well, and endorsed a campaign I have called a "dermatologists' mantra", to "FEAR THE SUN", with recommendations to:
- never go out between 10am and 4pm (thus insuring NO uv-B waves are ever available to create D)
- always apply strong sunscreen at least 30 minutes before going out (ditto)
- re-apply it frequently while out (ditto)
- use waterproof versions if swimming (ditto, ditto, ditto)
- cover-up if you can't use sunscreen. (MEGA-ditto)
- By 1990, the "Sun is the boogie man" campaign was in full-effect. It is appallingly obvious to this pharmacist that the most likely human to heed a doctor's advice is a pregnant woman, for she is creating another life within her and knows she wants "the best chance" for her baby. So, mothers-to-be were the first to unknowingly, diligently, deny their fetuses the necessary D .
- Unfortunately, autism is a horrible alteration in the normal human behavior, and it doesn't become completely obvious, doesn't reach a tipping point, probably doesn't "happen" until around 2 to 4 years of age IN MOST CHILDREN. One characteristic is that there is often a clear change in behavior in a very short period of time. Mothers will say, "it is like a lightswitch went off".
- Autism also has proven highly resistant to anything the AMA aka "modern medicine" has to offer.
In 2014, the CDC reported that the rate of autistic spectrum births was 1 IN 68 births, compared to 1 in 110 births in 2006, and an estimated 1 in 150,000 back in 1990. Clearly to me, the medical profession's persuading Americans to fear the sun has had an horrid effect on our general health and the well-being of our society. It's estimated that more than 80% of all Americans are deficient in D their entire lives and this started in the mid-1980s. The impact to our quality of life overall is significant, as it costs $millions more to care for each autistic child throughout their life. Many can become self-independent, but there are far more that do not find a way to function productively.
- It is a well-accepted fact that breast-feeding/nursing conveys the mother's antibodies the infant needs, until its own systems have developed enough to begin to make them itself.
- This on-going elevated rate of immune development is a well known aspect of infancy - that the baby is acquiring the ability and capability to react to environmental factors and to create antibodies at a huge rate, and is one reason why a vaccine can provide, can trigger, a life-long immunity to diseases that used to be the scourges of human existence. Polio is a hugely apt example.
- Infants are creating huge numbers of neurons and interconnections between clusters of specialized neurons in the brain constantly during the first years of life through environmental stimuli (remember Oligos' function) is also why infants learn to talk simply by hearing it, to recognize other people, to empathize (a very high-level function), as well.
- The fundamental difference in Einstein's brain, which was studied extensively when he died, was not realized until science finally identified the function of MYELIN, and only then could scientists realize Einstein's brain had huge amounts of myelin, far more than average, between many of the specialized nuclei in his brain responsible for higher levels of thinking.
- Desperate disease states in children cause desperate searches for "why" in the minds of the parent. It is a frantic, overpowering-logic, drive to understand..
- A single dishonest physician in England fabricated a "study" of barely a dozen children, and implicated vaccinations and precisely, the mercury in those vaccines being used as preservatives, as the cause. This was a complete lie, for which he was eventually defrocked as a doctor, the once highly respected Lancet medical journal printed a complete retraction and mea culpa, but by then the internet "had" the information as the gospel truth.
- Manufacturers responded first with studies documenting the decades prior to the 1980s where there virtually no autistic cases despite the mercury. This failed to calm.
- They then removed mercury from many vaccines. This did nothing to stem the rise in autism, and failed to calm.
- Many parents couple the onset of the "autistic behavior" in their baby with the administration of vaccines, because of when they happen, relative to the point in brain development in the infant.
- I suspect (no proof and only by reasoning based on my limited knowledge) that it is vaguely at this time in the infant's development that:
- vital connections are normally made and firmed up in certain areas of the brain.
- critical parts of the immune system are coming on-line, but they are defective because of an absence in D during womb development AND during infancy after birth. Let's call them "hyper-reactive bullets".
- The sudden presence in the blood stream of high numbers of antigens from the vaccines MAY, repeat MAY, trigger the immune system's malfunctioning elements/bullets to attack certain tissues in the brain or myelin in a way that leads to the characteristic "triad of impairments" - social & emotional interactions, imagination & flexibility of thought, and social communication and language usage. THIS IS PURE SPECULATION BASED ON WHAT I HAVE SEEN IN PATIENTS AND HOW I UNDERSTAND D TO WORK! Regardless of the actual cause, though, there are many things I am confident of.
- there are also other characteristic combinations such as the "triad of A" for autistics: Hyper-allergic, hyper auto-immune diseases, and hyper-asthmatic, many of these manifest in otherwise "normal" people as well, at far higher rates NOW, than prior to the late 1980's!
- It appears to me that at a certain point in time, the chronic lack of D triggers some rogue behavior in the immune system, which in the brain then causes a seeming random change in myelinized regions, regardless of whether the parents skip vaccines or not!
- About 10% of autistics will be credited with some "hyperdeveloped" ability, as though some paths in the brain have become MORE myelnized, more interconnected, at the same time as most connections it other critical areas associated with social behavior, emotional quotient, and empathy either lose their functions or else never develop.
- Perhaps when some pathways are destroyed or blocked, the impulses shunt down alternate paths, and those become hyper-myelinized or otherwise optimized. Not enough is known.
- I continue this line of thoughts regarding D and autism with my anecdotal experiences that tend to mirror what Dr. John Cannell of the Vitamin D Council has observed in his medical practice, specializing in autistic spectrum disorder:
- Giving autistic children high doses of vitamin D on a daily basis has a visible, detectable, verifiable positive effect in 75% of the children. He estimates around 25% will have a profoundly life-changing effect (for both the child and the family) while some 50% will demonstrate "some benefits". And the last 25% will have no short-term, visible changes in behavior. The earlier in life the D deficiency is corrected (over-corrected, some will maintain) then the more likely the changes can be made.
- PERSONAL NOTE: I have had one 22 y.o. alter his behavior in such a way that I became convinced that it is never too late, the brain is always "plastic" and able to change if you fix the deficiency. To his mother, seeing her autistic son, suddenly dressing himself and bringing himself downstairs on his own initiative, for the first time in his life, this rocked her world. At my suggestion, she had been giving him a tiny capsule of 50,000iu of D3 daily for only one month. It is not wise to give such doses indefinitely without proper blood testing and medical monitoring. But it exemplifies that D is critically implicated in autism.
Is it a failure?
For that last 25% that do not apparently change their behavior in the short term, I feel that it does not mean that giving the D is not helping! As I'll argue later, it likely does not ever harm. It may be that the scaffolding in the brain is so damaged that it takes much longer to repair, or it may not ever repair. But restoring a normal level of D will still provide better immune functions, stronger bones, and enable the body to function to the best of its evolutionary ability. The evidence in cancer reduction and avoidance is also very large.
Back to "getting vitamin D"
You have to GET quality raw sunlight (anytime your shadow is shorter than you are tall, and you can actually see your shadow), over major portions of your body, in order to make the D chemical in your skin. This is when the UV-B is not filtered/blocked by the earth's atmosphere. Clouds can block the UV-B, while allowing the DNA-damaging UV-A through to cause the burn. To help remember which wavelength is bad, "B" is for Beneficial, while "A" to me means DNA Damage.
The AMA has completely lost their minds to think that we must ignore evolution, fear the sun and avoid exposure at all costs. We EVOLVED in the sun!
You must get enough time in that raw sunlight for your skin-type's requirements, if you want the benefit of evolution that brought us to functional excellence.
Example: Light complexion skin, high noon in the summertime, in a skimpy swim suit in Austin, Texas, it is safe to assume that person will easily generate approximately 5,000iu (125 micrograms) of D3 in only 15 minutes, and more than 20,000iu (half of a milligram, 500 micrograms) if out all day. (Genetics and other lifestyle aspects play a variable in this)
MY FEARFUL EXAMPLE: I am concerned, because all things being equal, if the individual has a normal dark complexion, generating 5,000iu will take 2 or more HOURS! So the darker your skin type naturally, the harder it is for you to make D from the sun! The melanin is a naturally-evolved protectant from sun damage, and tends to be present more in those whose culture is close to the equator (greatest year-round sun intensity).
This is all true ONLY if no sunscreen is used, the person is not behind glass, and the location is closer to the equator than say, Oklahoma or Nebraska. The further distant from the equator, both north and south(ie, New Zealand, Australia) the slower/harder/worse, such as far north as Minnesota. (Google "American Disease Somali" or "Swedish Disease Somali")
Your species evolved getting sunlight, raw sunlight, on a daily basis. You evolved getting reasonable doses of around 10,000 iu of D3 daily. Only about 17% actually gets stored in fat tissue. The raw D3 you make stays in the blood for about 24 hours and is absorbed by osmosis in the majority of tissues in the body throughout that time. In all of these tissues and organs, raw D acts as an AUTOCRINE HORMONE, for it is activated inside the cell to perform hormonal functions.
Fortunately, many of your organ systems have evolved to use a different version, an active metabolite, of D3 called 25(OH)D - aka 25 Hydroxy D, for which some organs actually use a mechanism which expends energy to PUMP the active D into the cell, the mitochondria, and the nucleus. So even if there is only a little of the 25 hydroxy D, it will be sucked into the cell for beneficial actions. The use of energy to "get it" shows how important evolution has decided iit is in the body!
Your liver metabolizes raw D3 into this 25 hydroxy D, which has a half-life that is about FIFTEEN times longer than raw D3, then releases it in to circulation. This gives certain organs a greater guarantee of having it when it needs it. In these organs, D behaves as an ENDOCRINE HORMONE.
This summarizes the most important things which many practioners FAIL to understand:
- D is NOT a vitamin, as your body makes it in response to exposure to UV-B wavelength sunlight.
- D is somewhat fat-soluble, but only about 17%, far less than they expect, so D3 is NOT put into a storage depot to be relied upon long-term.
- Raw, unactivated D is absorbed by osmosis and must be available all the time, not just once a week or month or 6 months. Anytime I see a study where the protocol used a massive dose once every 6 months, I know the researcher has no *clue* what they are doing, and their results will be useless for anything but mis-education and harmful headlines on the internet.
- A proper blood level of 25(OH)D is what mother nature gives you if you get adequate sun as your ancestors did - a level of around 50 ng/ml. Indigenous tribes around the world who live near the equator typically test in the 45 to 60 ng/ml range, although pregnant women get higher levels. By the way: a ng/ml is one billionth of a gram per ml. THAT hormone is some powerful stuff!
- That power is yet another indication that D is a steroid, not a vitamin.
- Skin cancers were promised to go down. Instead, they've multiplied many times. D prevents cancers, but if you have no D.....
- "Vitamin" D3, what your body makes, is NOT the same as the D2 they like to prescribe. D2 has 80% of the affinity for the billions of receptor sites in your body as D3 does. Your body attempts to convert D2 into D3 so it can make use of it, but only 50 to 70 percent will be converted. They like to prescribe this crappage D2 once a week, insuring that the patient will have ZERO circulating raw D3 for 3 or 4 days out of each week.
- They think a blood level of around 10 is "fine", and when you ask about your test, they tell you "you're fine". You are NOT fine. FIFTY! 50 ng/ml is "fine". If you are an athlete or have a pathology that likewise burns up your D faster you need a higher level, such as 60 or 70 or 80 ng/ml. Never let a doctor give you your blood test results without yielding to you the actual number! If the doctor was taught that 10ng/ml will prevent rickets(it does), and has NO CLUE about everything else D is for, She or He will say, "your vitamin D level is fine". And you are going through life grossly deficient!
- A blood level is just a snap-shot in time, and cannot accurately indicate long-term how you are doing.
- If you lift weights or cross-train, run marathons, work manually for a living, these things all cause your muscles to be inflammed, and your body burns D to repair the inflammation. You need MORE D.
- If you want protection from the damaging effects of the sun, you need D in adequate levels.
Fortunately, D3 is available over the counter in pharmacies, in 5,000iu capsules, and is safer than water, CHEAPER than bottled water, If you have trouble remembering to take something daily, you CAN take 50,000iu of D3 once every 3 to 4 days, which actually does provide you with 50,000iu on day one, a left-over level of 25,000iu on day 2, 12,500 on day 3, and 6,000iu on day 4, at which point you need a new booster dose. I do not recommend using the 50,000iu caps unless the patient needs a higher level for documented reasons. Say, for example, RA or fibromyalgia, MS will typically need higher levels of raw D3.
Contraindications to taking oral vitamin D are rare, but include hypercalcemia, active sarcoidosis, active granulomatous diseases, and Williams Syndrome. That's it. For the vast majority of humankind, D should be part of every day life. Yes, you can take TOO much vitamin D, but it's hard to do and even then safer than say, drinking too much water.
I am not a licensed physician. I am a pharmacist with decades of practice who has spent (apparently) far more time investigating and evaluating vitamin D than the vast majority of health professionals. During more than a decade of recommending D, I have never had a single instance where a patient had an adverse event, to my knowledge. Is D Safe? - a review of 15 years' of US Poison Control phone calls related to "vitamin D". ZERO deaths during that time. ZERO documented permanent harm! More than 3,000 deaths from acetaminophen, and deaths from water intoxication, excessive Vitamin A (please do not take vitamin A, ever - take beta-carotene instead), and even childrens' multivitamins caused deaths. But not a single death from D.
I might suggest 1,000iu as a single drop of Xymogen-brand liquid D for infants of up to 25 pounds weight, daily, by placing the drop on the mother's breast just prior to nursing, or else in a bottle partially filled with just a little formula, then refilled with more formula to insure it is all "gotten". During gestation and nursing, a mother MUST get her level to 50 to 65 ng/ml and keep it there. This may entail 10,000 to even 20,000iu D3 per day, and testing should be monthly during pregnancy, especially for darker complexioned women and those who live "further away" from the equator. Hopefully the parents BOTH get to normal levels months prior to conceiving so that their DNA is as stable possible and the mother's organ systems and calcium supply are able to respond to the stresses of gestation optimally.
For children, I believe that the D they get is a factor in how tall they will eventually grow as well as how fundamentally healthy they will be throughout life. It is NOT the prime determinant like genetics are, but remember: D regulates thousands of genes. 1,000 to 2,000iu per 25 pounds of body weight seems to me a prudent daily, normal dose, although they should also be allowed to get a MODERATE amount of quality raw sunshine without sunscreen, so they can make 5,000iu or even more if the body wants. Never should one be allowed to get beyond "slightly pink" and into "sunburn"!
For adolescents in their growth spurts, or very active physically, their needs are probably much higher. 20,000iu daily per 100 pounds, or even 25,000iu, is prudent, with blood levels determined often. A test from ZRT labs or the Vitamin D Council costs $50. A single prescription for an antibiotic will cost that much. It's not a hard choice to make! Test? Get Sick? Fail to perform in an event?
For adults, 10,000iu to 20,000iu per 100 pounds, taken daily, would seem to be a prudent starting point. Athletes absolutely will need much more on active days - weight lifters, for example, are tearing down muscle on purpose, and planning for it to rebuild stronger. This is inflammation. D is for rebuilding from trauma and reducing inflammation. I personally went from over 90 ng/ml to less than 30 ng/ml in just 5 days of intensive exercise in July in Austin getting full on sun exposure from dawn to dusk AND I was taking 20,000iu D3 daily at the time. Imagine doing an iron man competition, and you have an idea of what I was doing to make my blood level go from awesome to deficient in just a few days, and it stayed deficient for weeks. My "30 ng/ml" level was taken 10 days AFTER the last day of exercise, and I had been taking the 20,000iu daily, each day.
It has been observed that older adults tend to have lower levels, and the medical profession assumes they are simply not able to generate as much D given the same UV-B exposure, but it may be a bias unworthy. Perhaps they simply are less likely to be exposing their bodies to the same extent youth are as a lifestyle choice. Regardless, their bodies very likely need the same dosage range as adults.
People with active pathologies, such as RA, MS, fibromyalgia, infections, cancers, etc. many need huge doses.
ALL PEOPLE SHOULD GET A BLOOD LEVEL OF THEIR 25(OH)D established at some point where they can then determine whether they need more or less. It varies through the seasons because of the sun intensity change as well. If you won't test often, the best time to take it is late wintertime when the sun is weakest. You'll know your worst-case level.
There is no other way to know whether you are taking enough, or too much. The best blood level test I know of is $50, an at-home test kit from the Vitamin D Council made by ZRT labs. I use it myself, several times a year to evaluate my own therapy. There are several other options on this link, including one for people outside the U.S.
Warnings: People deficient in D can be overdosing themselves on Calcium with no harm. The calcium they are taking is literally going in one and out the other. TUMS eaters are an excellent example - Tums is great for reducing stomach hyperacidity and heartburn, but it is made of calcium and some people eat too many of them because of life stress and lousy diet choices.
If you take too much calcium routinely, and THEN you FIX your blood level of D, you may "suddenly" start absorbing more of that calcium, and you CAN become symptomatic of hypercalcemia: muscle cramps, diarrhea, heart arrythmias, and even death. Not from the D, but from the Calcium overdose finally being absorbed! Follow the RDA for your age for Calcium, and IGNORE the RDA for vitamin D which was incompetently calculated in 2010. (Two physicians from the committee have apparently admitted, in 2015, that they accidentally "dropped" a decimal point)
The RDA of D that YOU need, is whatever is necessary to get you and KEEP you, to around 50 ng/ml - I prefer to use the range of 45ng/ml up to 90 ng/ml, though some RA sufferers will swear they do not get relief until they are in the 120ng/ml range!
If you are taking D, and feel that you are "getting sore joints or achey muscles" without a good cause like running a marathon, then you should definitely suspect that you are taking too much D. Get a level. Be certain. If you cut your dosage in half, such symptoms will typically disappear within a few days if D is involved, with no lasting adverse effects.
ADVERTISEMENT: Yes, I am mercenary - a pharmacist making a living, and my wife, the RN and my best friend/worst nags about my chicken fried steak & TexMex "drug" habits!
In addition to the D I want you to get, from anywhere reputable, I also want you to read up on this and consider taking the nutrititional essence of a serving of a salad containing THIRY fruits, vegetables, and berries, TWICE a day. It can be done in seconds, or, you can sit down and munch your way through the same thing in about an hour of chewing. I want everyone to take Juice Plus+. I would very much LIKE IT, if you were to access their website through my wife's portal there, so that when you order it, she gets credit and a few bucks. It does not change your price, they just give her some money because you started with her portal AND because she serves as a distributor, an educator, and a lecturer, convincing people to be active in apprehending better health. If you buy JP, they send it directly to you - no preservatives, never sits on a shelf in a store, AND NO ADDITIVES. No sugar. Very little fiber, just the nutrients. She stands ready to provide information and answer questions, and she provides health lectures throughout the southern U.S. focused on preventing disease through better nutrition. I love the website's great attention to STUDIES DOCUMENTING WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU PROVIDE YOUR BODY WITH ADEQUATE/SURPLUS NUTRIENTS OVER MONTHS/YEARS: http://ginacarmichael.juiceplus.com . For anyone wishing to avoid that gain for Gina, just take her name out of the URL, but regardless, check it out. Many countries' NGBs have started providing it, at no cost to the athletes, and at 2 to 3 times the daily dosage for a "normal adult", to their elite-level Olympic athletes, due to the science and the studies. It also comes as capsules, chewables, and even gummybears for kids. They give a child JP+ for years for free each time a parent starts taking it. (In exchange for agreeing to fill out health questionnaires periodically). I LOVE the statistics they've compiled about what happens to kids who get more vegetables, fruits, and berries! This is an outdated graphic - it only shows 150,000 kids, while actually, there are now more than 1 million kids in 26 countries around the world enrolled in the study:
SO. Vitamin D3 and JP+ are my two prescriptions for anyone wanting to do the best they can for their future life to be as healthy, as cancer-free, as possible. NOT A SILVER BULLET, but the best I know how to improve my odds.
PS - This is ENTIRELY USADA SAFE, and in fact my daughter, Lindsey Carmichael (wikipedia), and countless other Olympians around the world, take it completely without fear of WADA violations. You can even order NSF lots, for a couple of dollars extra. Health for a couple of dollars a day is incredible.
ON D: If you still want more information, I get much more wordy below:
PROPER BLOOD LEVELS OF D3, ACHIEVED BY ACQUIRING DAILY VITAMIN D3, IS CRITICAL FOR HUMANS AND OTHER LIVING THINGS. (ie, your house pets).
VITAMIN D3 IS NOT A SILVER BULLET, IS NOT A GUARANTEE OF CURE, FOR ANY OF HUNDREDS OF DISEASES AND "SYNDROMES"*
PLEASE GATHER THE INFORMATION YOU NEED TO CONCLUDE THE BEST PATH IN LIFE...
Several members of the committee which set the US Recommended Daily Allowance in 2010, at "800iu" per day, have admitted in January of 2015 that they essentially dropped a decimal point in their math: The CONSERVATIVE RDA should actually be, according to these heavily-influenced and poorly informed professionals, 8,000iu per day. They lack the understanding of the many roles that D has in human development in utero and in life. They fail to acknowledge that this is a steroid (comes from cholesterol like Testosterone and Estrogen do) and is a hormone with both Endocrine AND Autocrine functions in essentially every tissue of the body. They IGNORE the fact that the human body can generate 20,000iu and more per day when in the sun.
Remember that I'm both a pharmacist as well as an elite archery coach - my initial focus on D was to provide my student athletes with an extra 1 or 2 percent more performance. What I learned by aggressive self-education over years is how little is taught in pharmacy (and medical) school.
Just for women athletes: You are aware, I hope, that there has been huge growth in certain injuries in women athletes, in sports like soccer. The recent publicity on "women in the military" trying to qualify as rangers is a perfect example. Most of the women who failed the course did not "ring the bell" to quit, but instead their bodies failed them: leg fractures and pelvic fractures led the list of causes, followed closely by tendon injuries such as tears and avulsions(where the tendon literally pops off of the bone). These are symptoms of a lifetime of chronic vitamin D deficiency, NOT in their willingness to excel in performance.
The tendon tears that not just these women athletes, but also elite basketball, track, and even football players experience can also be due to a fairly rare side effect of taking Cipro, Levaquin, or any other flouroquinolone, combined with a chronic deficiency in vitamin D. This class of antibiotic is used by doctors very casually and frequently, even in athletes, for soft tissue infections (lung, skin, and UTIs). Months later, an achilles tendon ruptures during a track and field event, as a delayed side effect.
As a coach for both beginning as well as elite archers, I am carefull to advise my athletes to keep their blood level of D ("25(OH)D" is the actual test) ABOVE 50 ng/ml, by taking oral D3 capsules AND by getting at least some reasonable skin/sun exposure during the summer months, sans sunscreen. And of course, tell your doctor you are an athlete, and wish to avoid the very slight risk pointed out in the literature as a "BLACK BOX" WARNING for the flouroquinolones. Chances are excellent that there is a suitable, alternative, safer antibiotic if you must take one. Your need for antibiotics will drop dramatically once your D level is kept at or above the MNL of 50 ng/ml - google "cathelicidin" or LL-37, Defensins, and if you are a health professional, please utilize my favorite information "Go-To" source:
The National Center for Biotechnology Information advances science and health by providing access to biomedical and genomic information. . Type in your search words, such as "vitamin D" and a disease, then look through the PubMed and PubMed Central listings.
I have spoken recently with several people with MS, or else with a loved one with MS. Here is one very good reason to consider raising the blood level of D to the 70 to 100ng/ml range.
SOME organs, such as pituitary and brain-spinal cord (neuro-endocrine, neuro-sensory, neuro-muscular, cognitive), thyroid-parathyroid, pancreas, adrenal, skin and its appendices; as well as the digestive, cardio-vascular, skeletal, renal, lymphatic, hemato-poetic, female and male reproductive systems do not primarily activate the raw D3 and seem to rely therefore on the activated form. They also do absorb SOME raw D3. But it is clear through research they mainly need the activated form, 25(OH)D. Fortunately, the liver takes raw D3 out of the blood, activates it, and releases it back into the bloodstream so that circulating 25(OH)D is availalble for those organs. There is also evidence that many of these tissues, as well as all other tissues/organs in the body, including mitochondria in the cell nucleus, need the raw D3, and in turn activate themselves into a variety of metabolites, not just 25(OH)D3, to perform critical jobs for your body. (An "autocrine" hormone function of underestimated impact on health in addition to the better-known endocrine hormonal function!)
NOW THIS IS IMPORTANT: The raw D3 has a half-life of about 24 hours in the blood. If you take 1000iu of D3 then 24 hours later you only have 500iu left, and the next day, 250iu! On the other hand, 25(OH)D has a half-life of around 15 days! Medicine measures the blood levels of 25(OH)D to decide whether the blood levels are adequate. While most doctors have been stupidly taught that 10 or 20 ng/ml is "ok", it is well documented that a level of 50 ng/ml is the "mother nature" ideal level for humans that get quality raw sunlight on a daily basis.
Beware the doctor who looks at your labs, and witholds the NUMBER, telling you instead, "your level is fine". What is fine in her or his mind may be anything BUT fine! Get the number. Make sure it is over 40ng/ml!
Patients taking a statin who develop muscle pain (myalgias) are typically low in D (20 to 30 ng/ml, or worse), and in one well-designed study, 90% were able to be pain-free for two years' followup once their D level was corrected to the MNL of 50 ng/ml.
When an in-training athlete is chronically deprived of sunlight, and their D level is pathetically insufficient, you see it: A basketball player running down the court plants a leg and gets a horribly distressing compound fracture from the simple impact.
2016 Rio Olympics: An otherwise healthy looking male gymnast performs a vault, in the same manner he's likely done daily for years. This time he suffers a tib-fib fracture that is disturbing to witness (it is on youtube, but I won't link to it). His pasty white skin tells me that like most gymnasts he has been getting NO quality UV-B sunlight. The break in a normal, near-perfect vault tells me his D was pathetic. If you need to see this, search Youtube for "broken leg" and a sport, like Rio Olympics, or basketball. The imagery is starkly horrible, and I note that in basketball there are multiple exampls of "pros" who dribble down the court and plant a foot, and their bones just crumble into compound fractures, bloody horrors. Remember that dark skin resists making D, and that basketball is played most indoors, and on courts in the evening when it is cooler and you are home from work.
Muscles tear during a dash to first base. The further into the baseball season, the longer the disabled list is and the longer it lasts, due to waning sunlight and less vitamin D. It is a fact that elite athletes are ironically, constantly, at risk for "the crud" and worse - catching pneumonia or the flu. Why? They are chronically taking their body's systems to the edge of exhaustion, and bringing it back. Their nutritional needs are extremely high, but healthy eating takes lots of time, which they don't want to take away from training. Also, of course, their D levels are deficient. Especially in those involved in indoor sports like volleyball, basketball, ice hockey, gymnastics and even worsely (not sure that is a word?) in dark-skinned athletes. Why?(again?) - muscle training literally consumes D as it works to heal the inflammation, the purposeful damaging of the muscles, the athlete inflicts on herself. And, elite athletes get that way by using the same nerves to do the same precise motions thousands upon thousands of times. When humans use a specific "thing" liike a certain nerve pathway, or leg bones, etc. more the body has learned through evolution to reinforce those things. In nerves, an object that is called an "Oligodendrocyte" keeps tendrils on the nerves, sensing activity levels and when the nerves are used, the oligo creates a fatty layer on those nerves. This layer is caled MYELIN, and it could be called a superconductor - it turns the nerve from a little country road between the brain and the muscle into an 10-lane superhighway for faster information, communication, between the brain and the muscles. Oligos have a higher metabolic rate than other "tools" the body makes and uses, and it relies on .....vitamin D.... to work to create myelin. Go to the medical study wiki site and search on "vitamin D" and "MS" to see just how serious D is with regard to myelin. MS is the loss of myelin in the brain. Science has identified a link between chronic D deficiency and the deadly Multiple Sclerosis, and they are studying it like nothing else.
You need raw D3 every day. NOT once a week, or yet worse, a month. Some doctors will prescribe D2 for a single month, then stop, thinking they've done something good and appropriate, and it does not need to be ongoing. A VERY well-founded and scientific argument for daily dosing of D3, as opposed to weekly or monthly dosing, is made in this paper, by Hollis and Wagner, "The Role of the Parent Compound Vitamin D with Respect to Metabolism and Function: Why Clinical Dose Intervals Can Affect Clinical Outcomes". This study took me several DAYS of study to fully grasp everything it contains. I have fun in the strangest ways!
NOTE: Non-caucasians/darker-skin individuals may have to be exposed to that same quality sunlight for EIGHT TIMES LONGER in order to generate the same amount of raw D3. This fact is crucial to an understanding of the ramifications of medically-induced chronic D deficiency to "the human condition". It is not uncommon in studies for pregnant african-american/dark complexioned women to test in with a level LESS THAN 10 ng/ml. I believe this insures that the fetus will NOT be able to develop the highest neural operating system and will have a diminished potential for cognition. A study of 900+ women and their child, conducted for more than 20 years, looked at the effects of having a combination of pregnancy and a level either less than 30 or more than 30. And 30 is NOT SUFFICIENT in my opinion, but 30 is better than 10! The study's deficient level mothers delivered children who had diminished lung capacity, and reduced "neuro cognitive skills" years later, and lastly, at 20 years those grown children still had less bone density, than the "sufficient" moms. Chew on this paragraph for a minute. Neurocognition means an ability to use the mind, essentially. LET ME REPEAT: For pregnant women and nursing mothers - a low level of D will, during both gestation AND during nursing, have a negative impact your child for more than 20 years. See this study published in Pediatrics in 2015. Deficient children have impaired neurocognitive skill and diminished lung function, and at even 20 years later, have measurably less bone density. (!) And these women, in general, were NOT in the < 10ng/ml range that so many black women test in with.
Dermatologists: Think of that. Could your mantra, "fear the sun", have been instrumental in a cascade of horror, inequity, and 2 generations of lost potential? I am certain that in general, pregnant black women, hugely deficient, have children that "fail to potentiate", and your mantra could perhaps be scientifically attributed to a 35-year increase in the poorer grades, dropout rate of blacks, the increase in incarceration completely out of proportion, the overwhelming unemployment levels for black men and women? This is not "pie-in-sky" speculation. It is a fact that the rate of autism in the black population is far higher than the caucasian. This is to me, merely a connection, a gestalt, of many solid facts of known D activities, it's horrifying to me, and I may indeed be wrong - I would be relieved if anyone could prove me wrong. If a large portion of a part of our society has been caused "failure to potentiate" mentally, intelligently, psychologically, well....isn't that significant? And is it not the penultimate "malpractice"?
Don't believe, don't simply accept that I am completely correct in my fears. But keep this in mind as you go through learning more about the myriad ways your body uses the D molecule. And wonder, what if everyone had an Mother-Nature Level of vitamin D, around 50 ng/ml?
I recommend to every pharmacist and other health professional to read this book. I beg every dermatologist to read this, and then adopt a more common-sense approach to advising patients. Not just for the explanations for what the causative factors are for AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS, but to also understand how sweeping the effects of D are throughout the body.
WIBLI: "Wouldn't It Be Lovely If...."
What I would like for every physician and esp. dermatologist to advise: Do NOT apply sunscreen before you go out. Go out and expose as much of your body as you legally can, anytime that your shadow is shorter than you are, for at least 15 minutes OR UNTIL YOU BEGIN TO TURN PINK, and then either cover up or use sunscreen. If your location prevents you from getting that "sun with your shadow shorter than you are" due to time of year or geography, then take oral capsules of vitamin D3, a minimum of 1000iu and up to 5,000 per 25 pounds body weight, EVERY DAY. and get your 25(OH)D tested at a point that is "normal" for your lifestyle activity. Don't test the day after a marathon, for example, UNLESS you ALSO test the DAY BEFORE,. Likewise the day after you recover from an infection. Shoot for 50 to 70 ng/ml, even up to 100 ng/ml.
Many physicians are convinced that vitamin D, all on its' own, causes hypercalcemia and will not hesitate to use that to frighten patients away from vitamin D dosing. This is NOT consistently verifiable in the literature, and if it was true, then during the 15-year evaluation of US Poison Control Centers' calls mentioning "vitamin D", more than 24,000 calls, would not show that there were ZERO DEATHS and ZERO INJURIES over 15 years. More people died during this time from things like Vitamin A and water intoxication. Acetaminophen accounted for more than 3,000 deaths all by itself. Incidentally, more than 20 calls were suicides - people who took what they thought was enough D to kill themselves, then decided they wanted to live, called in to be rescued - and yes, none of them died nor suffered injury. For those patients suicidal due to depression: D has been shown to alter serotonin levels in the brain favorably, AWAY from depression, especially "Seasonal Affective Disorder" aka SAD. Where does SAD usually occur? Where the sun won't shine, for months!
I have an aging library of a few studies that are properly designed on a variety of diseases posted to the page at this link. I don't much bother updating it since the NCBI database is so wonderfully accessible.
IT IS NOT A VITAMIN, Dammit Jim! (apologies to Star Trek)
The human body, as with most other mammals on planet earth, generates vitamin D3 continually when the skin is exposed to UV-B in sunlight. When the sun shines, historical mankind has made D3.
The definition: we define a “vitamin” as a nutrient critical to health, which the body cannot make on its own and thus must be taken through diet. Ironically, since we make vitamin D, it is not truly a vitamin.
Changing the designation now, more than 90 years after it was discovered and mis-named, is not going to happen. So vitamin D3 or D or cholecalciferol, it shall be called.
This flies in the face of logic, of the knowledge regarding how the human body acquires D3.
IT DENIES EVOLUTION...
There is a fundamental misunderstanding physicians have that D2 is the same as the chemical (D3) the body makes; it is not. D2 is not produced by the body in the way D3 is. The body must struggle to convert D2 into D3, by some estimates only 50% actually makes it into the D3 form. Complicating the issue is that D3, cholecalciferol, is available over the counter, whereas D2 is by prescription only, and there is an illusion that getting insurance coverage for a bad product like D2 is better than paying less out of pocket for the more natural, more effective, identical-to-body-produced, D3. D3 has receptor sites (called VDRs) designed to perfectly fit D3's 3-dimensional form & shape. D2 is so different in shape that it has only 80% of the affinity for the VDRs. If you were taking a life-njecessary drug would you accept one that only worked 80% as good as the other?
THE "FEAR THE SUN" LIE: A FALSE PROMISE
With the last two generations, a sea change has occurred in a large portion of the human population’s habits. No longer is it normal to spend time in the sun on a daily basis, for several reasons. In the late 1980s the medical community changed their recommendations due to a concerted lobbying effort by an industry-funded "non-profit" dedicated to eliminating some 1500 deaths a year by melanoma. This was180 degrees in the opposite direction of historical medical practice, to suddenly advise people that for their health they should shun the sun at all costs. This was in part due to lobbying by commercial interests – the invention “sunscreen” was not selling well, until the AMA (dermatologists especially!) decided publicly the sun was harmful.
BIG PHARMA: THE NEVER-ENDING PRESCRIPTION
As a pharmacist, I stand and bear witness to this: A huge variety of medications are used to treat symptoms such as fibromyalgia, with no hope for cure, simply because the cause, the mechanism, is not understood, for either the disease or for the drug’s effects. They are essentially a life sentence of medicating, as the drugs prescribed do not, cannot, cure. Some/many of these disease states respond to corrective-dosing of vitamin D3 and effect a cure. The correction very likely can prevent unknowable countless diseases. Other conditions may be fatal/irreversible, having been triggered through a combination of a chronic deficiency in D and another predisposition such as a genetic characteristic, a physical impediment, another deficiency, or perhaps a dietary oddness.
In every patient, correcting the underlying D deficiency, bringing the level of 25(OH)D by daily therapy up to 50 to 70 ng/ml, should be the first and most aggressive effort ANY physician. For the mercenary attitude, it is the most "cost effective" measure! For the true humanitarian, it is the safest medication to attempt first.
Some symptoms are alleviated in anecdotal cases of extending blood levels to the range of 100 ng/ml, though I feel this needs to be achieved by daily dosage rather than “Stoss dosages” where megadoses (greater than 1,000,000iu!) are employed at intervals of time. Nothing mother nature has ever done herself mimics the Stoss insult, although the body's response to a severe sunburn comes close: the elevated temperature enhances the chemical reaction creating cholecalciferol, the vasodilation of the capillary bed (the redness) enhances delivery of the D3 from the dermis into the bloodstream (liver & kidneys for activation into 25(OH)D, the pain an indication of the damage caused by the UV-A!
YES. The body's "sunburn reaction" is the way evolution has devised to rapdily increase the body's production of vitamin D. The reason is self-evident.
A VIABLE ALTERNATIVE TO EVERY-DAY DOSING
A weekly bolus such as 50,000iu only secures that circulating level for 1 to 3 days. For the rest of the week the blood level is negligible, and the flow of vitamin D into the cells of the body from the blood virtually stops.
I feel a good analogy is… oxygen, which like vitamin D3, is critical for every cell's functioning – where your physician prescribing you are ok breathing only once every 60 minutes (but taking a really big breath of with only 70% of the normal amount of oxygen), instead of every few seconds, that this will have the same life-sustaining, beneficial effect. Just breath once every 60 minutes? Give vitamin D once a week/month? These two are equally defective in logic.
Vitamin D3 is safe enough that many adults could take a 50,000iu capsule every two to 3 days, perhaps even every 4 days, and due to the half-life of D3 (~ 24 hours),
There are certain tissues, including the parathyroid, the kidneys, the mammaries, and the placenta, where in addition to the normal passive diffusion for the cholecalciferol (aka D3), a sophisticated mechanism called the megalin-cubulin system actively pumps in the 25(OH)D, a specialized cellular transport mechanism, to the intracellular 25-hydroxyvitamin D-1-alpha-hydroxylase for metabolization. The resulting chemicals are vital for the health of the cell, and the successful potentiation of that cell’s mission in life for the host.
ONE NET EFFECT IN PREGNANCY (D HAS MANY, MANY ROLES IN PREGNANCY)
WHY DO SO MANY DRUG STUDIES FAIL MY "ETHICS" TEST?
Time and again studies have been shown where vitamin D has little or no effects, and even some where they suggest D is harmful!
If the study fails any of these then I conclude it fails to rise to the level of credibility needed to employ its outcome in human therapy. If the study met these criteria and still reflects that D was not of use, then it likely was and is NOT of use for that situation. D is not some magical silver bullet for everything, just for many things.
I also recommend the non-profit website, Vitamin D Council, as a reliable and fair resource for the person wishing to find out more about the effects of vitamin D for any disease state there might be relevent studies for. I contribute $50 to $100 dollars a year to the support of this outfit.
FINALLY. VITAMIN D3 IS NOT A SILVER BULLET. THERE IS NO GUARANTEE IT WILL DO ANYTHING FOR ANYONE'S CONDITION, JUST AS THERE ARE VIRTUALLY NO GUARANTEES IN LIFE. WEIGH THE EVIDENCE.
Examples of Pathetic Protocols:
A high number of studies you will find in searching online, or seeing posted in the news, are deeply flawed. The flaws invalidate the results. Millions of dollars wasted and the highly precise, scientifically-trainined methods of thousands of persons around the world, essentially wasting their talents.
Excerpts from actual studies revealing where they are totally oblivious to their own falied education/understanding: