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Vitamin D Solution notes

The Vitamin D Solution by Dr. Holick April 2010

{Notes} by Henry Lahore April 2010

{After reading 7 books and over 2,000 articles on vitamin D during the past 4 months I still had many notes to take when reading this book which is hot off the press. Sometime I took notes were because Dr. Holick presented the information in a way that I could finally understand it, at other times the information was new to me.}

In 2009 The Archives of Internal Medicine revealed that 70% of whites, 90% of Hispanics, and 97 % of blacks in the US have insufficient levels of vitamin D in their blood pg xvii

3 in 4 Americans are now deficient in vitamin D, up from 2 in 4 just twenty years ago. pg xviii

Dr. Holick has published more than 300 research papers in peer-reviewed medical journals. Pg xx

Dr. Holick makes an interesting comparison between a typical 10 year old girls living at the equator to ones living in the US or Europe. Pg 3-4
The equitorial girls will have: 80% less chance of developing type 1 diabetes in the first 30 years of life, will live 7% longer

The Northern girls will have increased risk during their lives of:
breast cancer
ovarian cancer
type 2 diabetes
high blood pressure
heart disease
The Northern girls will also be more susceptible to
upper-respiratory-tract infections
dental cavities
gum disease {by the way, since taking vitamin D my gums have been much better}
infectious diseases like the flu and tuberculosis

Northern girls now break their arms 56% more than their peers forty years ago. {Pre-rickets?}
{Boys 32% more – page 11}

Northern girl will have 100% increased risk of developing multiple sclerosis no matter where she chooses to live after age 10.
Northern girls cannot jump as high as those at the Equator

Women at the equator are far less likely to develop preeclamsia if pregnant and far more likely to have vaginal rather than C-section birth {stronger muscles} page 224 US C-section births in 2006 were at 31%. Women who are vitamin D deficient are 4X more likely to give birth by C-section

By 1900 80% of the children living in industrial cities of northern Europe and northeastern US were afflicted with rickets. In 1919 it was discovered that a mercury arc light applied to one arm could cure rickets in the other arm. By the early 1930’s the US govt. set up an agency to recommend that children be outside to get a reasonable amount of sunshine and several UVB lamps were manufactured.

When Australian dermatologists checked their own vitamin D levels recently 87% were deficient. Pg 12

He has a brief table of vitamin D benefits

  • Bone Health

Prevents osteopenia, osteoporosis, osteomalacia, rickets, and fractures

  • Cellular health

Prevents certain cancer, such as prostate, pancreatic, breast, ovarian, and colon
Prevents infectious disease and upper-respiratory-tract infections, asthma, and wheezing disorders

  • Organ health

Prevents heart disease and stroke
Prevents type 2 diabetes
Prevents periodontitis and tooth loss
Prevents other inflammatory diseases

  • Muscular health

Supports muscle strength

  • Autoimmune health

Prevents MS, type 1 diabetes melitus, Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis

  • Brain health

Prevents depression, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, and dementia

  • Mood-related health

Prevents SAD, PMS, sleeping disorders, and elevates sense of well-being

His team measured the blood level of some Bostonians at the end of summer. Page 18
34% whites
40% Hispanics
85% African-Americans over age 50
{one minus for having permanent sunscreen and another for having less fat under the skin when older}

Doctors in India have found that 90% of them are vitamin D deficient. pg 20

Obese people (more than 30 BMI) often need 2X as much vitamin D pg 21

Farmed salmon have only 10% to 25% of vitamin D of wild salmon pg 23

Nocturnal rodents do not need vitamin D but most animals with large skeletons do need the sun pg 29

Of the 750,000 iguanas are imported to the US and Europe every year, many will show signs of muscle weakness and bone deformities by their first birthday unless have vitamin D supplement or direct access to UV. He had run a test with iguanas, and found that those with vitamin D supplements in their diet did not spend as much time under the UV lamps. Pg 29

Drug companies have learned that they can sell billions of dollars of fear relief in the form of sunscreen products but are unable to sell the sun. pg 33

In the 70’s it was thought that all vitamin D conversion occurred in the kidneys.
It became obvious then why patients with kidney disease had severe bone disease and a resistance to vitamin D. pg 34.

He describes why vitamin D restricts growth.
They have learned that when active vitamin D is added to Leukemic cells in the lab that it inhibits growth and induces differentiation. Pg 34

By the mid 1990’s it was learned that the kidneys constant production of 2 to 4 micrograms of activated vitamin D is supplemented by local production in many places in the body, which does not raise the blood levels. Pg 35

This on-the-spot production of vitamin D is for local consumption only, and does not add to the level in the blood. pg 37

UV: A is for Aging, B is for Burning {and Becoming vitamin D} pg 41
Many sunscreens still only block UVB which stops the the burning and production of vitamin D, but not the aging of the skin. pg 39 {see consumer reports review of sunscreens on VitaminDWiki.com }

Vitamin D deficient absorb only 10 to 15% of calcium, insufficient: absorb less than 30% pg 42

His tests indicate that D2 produces as much increase in blood level as does D3 pg 44 {but many researchers disagree}

Some 44,000 Boston households accidentally got 250,000 IU of vitamin D in a quart of milk from 1987 to 1991.
The effect was so subtle that it took years to find, and only 1 person died.

UV is only a problem if a person has overexposure – not just exposure. Water causes far more problems every year than UV, with overexposure due to drowning.
Too much of anything can be a problem. There is a world of difference between moderation and excess. Pg 49

It is difficult for people who are obese to raise their vitamin D levels pg 54 {reports elsewhere show that about 30% of obese lose weight after supplementing with vitamin D}

Vitamin D for making bones is like yeast for making bread – essential. Pg 58

Adults whose ancestors lived in Africa have bone densities 10% to 15% higher than Caucasians.
This added density results in a few years delay in their getting osteoporosis. Pg 60

Risk of fracture for a 70 year old is 2X to 4X of that for a 50 year old – if they have the same bone density. Pg 64

The pain of Osteomalacia serves as a good way to distinguish it from the ‘silent disease’ of osteoporosis.
The pain increases when people are low on vitamin D, such as during the winter.
Dr. Holick has found that some patients with Osteomalacia are nicely treated with vitamin D. Pg 65

Fibromyalgia was unknown until twenty years ago. ‘When everything else has been ruled out this is what must be wrong’ .
He feels that many people are misdiagnosed with fibromyalgia when they actually have osteomalacia.
Between 40% and 60% of the people coming to his clinic with fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue diagnosis actually had a vitamin D deficiency,
and were helped by getting more vitamin D.

93% of the people coming to an emergency department in Minnesota in 2003 with nonspecific muscular and skeletal aches and pains were vitamin D deficient.
Five of the patients which were told that their pain was “all in their head” has no measurable 25-vitamin D in their blood stream {I believe that is < 5 ng/ml} pg 68

jumping ahead a few chapters

Pop quiz to determine if you might be vitamin D deficient pg 145

If you answer yes to more than one, then he strongly encourages the reader to take his part II protocol seriously.
{Note: questions are often longer in the book}
I rarely go out in the sun
I wear sunblock
My wardrobe typically covers most of my skin
I live further than 35 degrees of latitude from the equator
I do not take a multivitamin ==along with==vitamin D supplement every day
I do not take a separate vitamin D supplement every day
I do not eat wild, oily fish 2 or 3 days a week
I do not eat a lot of mushrooms
I drink less than ten {yes, 10} glasses of fortified milk or orange juice every day
I am naturally dark skinned
I am older than sixty
I am younger than twenty {?}
I am overweight
When I press firmly on my breastbone with my thumbs it hurts
When I press firmly on my shins, I feel pain
I feel that I have less energy and muscle strength than I should
I take antiseizure or AIDS medications
I take glucocorticoids (e.g. prednisone)
I have celiac disease
I have intestinal disease
I have had gastric bypass surgery

Medicare reimburses $40 for a vitamin D blood test if requested by a doctor.
The cost of a blood test now ranges from $40 to $225.
The Medicare code number for the blood test is 268.9. pg 147

jumping ahead a few chapters again

Most European countries still forbid vitamin D fortification of most foods due to an incorrect conclusion in the 1950’s. pg 216

He believes that you could easily take 5,000 ID daily forever.
He recommends taking 1000 to 2000 IU and he personally takes 2700 IU daily.
His tests have shown that you can take up to 10,000 IU for at least five months without toxicity. pg 216
He states that everyone should get their 25(OH)D blood level above 50 ng/mL to get the maximum protection against chronic disease.

Do not try increasing your vitamin D by taking more multiple vitamins daily.
That would increase your vitamin A too much, which thwarts the benefits of vitamin D. pg 220 {search ‘thwart’ in VitaminDWiki.com for more information}

jumping to the FAQ section

Frying fish in oil reduces the vitamin D by about 50%. Bake, broil, or grill instead pg 249
There is a micronized form of vitamin D which makes it water-soluble pg 254
Recommends obese people to take 4000 to 6000 IU per day (double or triple normal) pg 259
Fish oil does not contain vitamin D pg 259
Cod liver oil, while having vitamin D, has a risk of vitamin A toxicity pg 260
During pregnancy the vitamin D level in the blood normally goes up in 2ndand 3rdtrimester pg 262
He believes that it is a myth that vitamin D causes kidney stones. Pg 266
People with sarcoidosis should have vitamin D levels between just 20 and 30 ng/ml pg 267
People with kidney disease should have vitamin D levels between 30 and 100 ng/ml pg 267

notes part II

African-American men are at 32% greater risk of getting cancer and 89% greater risk of dying of cancer than white men pg 79

Men with prostate cancer who received 2000 IU of vitamin D a day had 50% reduction in the rise of PSA pg 82

A new model of cancer is being considered by the Garland brothers. DINOMIT = Disjunction (loss of communication) Initiation NaturalSelection OvergrowthOfCells Metastasis Involution Transition. Cancer may be the loss of ability of cells to stick together, due in some part to the lack of vitamin D. When the cells loose their identity as differentiated cells they revert to a dangerous, immature state and become cancerous. Pg 87
There were more than 2,500 laboratory studies of vitamin D and cancer. Pg 88 More than 2,270 studies of vitamin D were published in the first six months of 2009. Pg 245
Women with osteoporosis tend to have more Calcium in the walls of their arteries, and they run a greater risk of cardiac death than women with strong, dense bones. {and high levels of vitamin D} pg 90

Hypertensive patients were put on tanning beds.
Over the course of a three month study people on UVB tanning beds {which produce vitamin D} raised their bloodstream level by 180% and lowered diastolic blood pressure by 6 mmHg, getting it into the normal range. Those patients on UVA tanning beds had no change in D levels nor blood pressure levels. Pg 91

One doctor who suffered from migraine headaches found that his D levels were drastically low – just 8 ng/ml. Before 2008 he found that 42% of his migraine patents were also low. His study got a round of applause at the American Headache Society in 2008. The book does not tell the results of the study. 45 million American get migraine headaches. Pg 93

Blood clots were decreased by 30% in those Swedish women who got plenty of sunshine or used a tanning bed. The speculation is that vitamin D enhances anticoagulant properties of blood. Pg 94

The active form of vitamin D in your bloodstream has a half life in the range of 2 to 4 hours. Pg 148
{some doctors continue to order the 1,25(OH)2D blood test for the active form out of ignorance}

  • You should get a vitamin D blood test if you have any of the following:

Family/personal history of cancer, hypertension, osteoporosis, osteopenia, osteoarthritis, lupus, MS, RA, Crohn’s disease, PCOS, schizophrenia, depression, migraines, epilepsy, diabetes, fibromyalgia, general aches which have not been diagnosed, low-back pain, joint pain, muscle weakness, chronic fatigue syndrome, poor nerve conduction, poor balance.
{I believe that you are highly likely to be deficient if you have three of the items on this list or just a single item if you are at risk due to having dark skin or elderly} pg 153

The body clearly gets more than vitamin D from the sun. They have identified at least five and up to ten additional photoproducts that you do not get from pure vitamin D.
{I wonder if the lanolin from sheep, which is used to make vitamin D, also has some of these photoproducts}.
Also, vitamin D made from the skin lasts in the blood twice as long as that from the diet. {he does not mention vitamin D from supplements} pg 158

“The father of the tanning industry” was using UV bulbs for athletes when he noticed that it caused tanning. {It is a shame that tanning beds in some countries are legally not allowed to have emit any UVB. See the File Galleries under sports for more information} pg 192

Rubbing many oils on your skin will reduce your UV exposure time by about 30% pg 193

Calcium is harder for elderly to digest due to less stomach acid. Taking a Calcium supplement with a meal is suggested, and several times a day. Pg 207

Dr. Zemel found that Calcium plays a key role in reducing obesity. {elsewhere I have seen studies which show large weight loss in about 30% of obese women who take Calcium and vitamin D} pg 210

Obese people were found to get less than 50% of raise in vitamin D in their blood when using a tanning bed or getting a dose of 50,000 IU of vitamin D compare to non-obese pg 231
Dr. Holick lost his teaching position as a Dermatologist in 2004, It appears that he refused agree with the Dermatology profession that any amount of UV was bad.

Link to author's website The Vitamin D Solution
You can search on Holick in the search bar on the left to find many of his publications at this Wiki
Link to another book Power of Vitamin D

book review April 2010 A 3-Step Strategy to Cure Our Most Common Health Care Problem

What do obesity, heart disease, depression, diabetes, and fibromyalgia have in common? The answer is vitamin D deficiency. Over 200 million Americans lack this essential vitamin and as a result suffer from a host of daily annoyances, chronic conditions, and even life-threatening illnesses. In the landmark book THE VITAMIN D SOLUTION: A 3-Step Strategy to Cure Our Most Common Health Problem (Penguin/Hudson Street Press; April 1, 2010) Dr. Michael F. Holick identifies the causes of vitamin D deficiency, outlines why it is essential to our health, and provides a 3-step program to attain optimal levels of Vitamin D in our bodies.
The leading expert worldwide, Dr. Holick has studied Vitamin D for more than 30 years. Through his research, we now know that every body cell has a receptor for vitamin D and it goes much further beyond bone health. Increasing the amount of vitamin D can treat, prevent, and even reverse a remarkable number of daily ailments, from high blood pressure to back pain; lessen the symptoms of chronic conditions such as diabetes and arthritis; and actually prevent infectious diseases, including H1N1 and cancer. Dr. Holick also credits vitamin D with improving infertility, weight control, memory and mood.
THE VITAMIN D SOLUTION provocatively speaks to the misconceptions of sun exposure. The data is clear: just as people require some fat and salt for survival, we also need the health benefits of the sun in moderation. Americans have been taught that any unprotected exposure to the sun is bad. However, Dr. Holick specifies that only 10-minutes of unprotected sun exposure a day is not only safe but needed.
Vitamin D is called the “Sunshine Vitamin” for a reason, but surprisingly to many, it is not actually a vitamin by a hormone that is unique because it is made in the skin as a result of exposure to sunlight. It is possible to also receive minor amounts of vitamin D from certain foods (milk and mushrooms are both known to carry vitamin D) as well as daily supplements. However, through Dr. Holick’s research on the subject, we now know that Vitamin D made in the skin from sun exposure has a longer lifespan than when ingested. But for millions of people around the world who live above the Mason-Dixon Line or in urban cities, and are not able to get adequate sun exposure everyday, Dr. Holick offers the recommended supplements that will ensure they also have optimal levels of this crucial vitamin. Readers of Dr. Holick’s three-step strategy, which combines
1) a sensible amount of sun exposure,
2) supplementation, and
3) foods rich in vitamin D,
easy and practical to implement as they work towards optimal health.
THE VITAMIN D SOLUTION combines cutting-edge research from around the world, an insightful historical perspective that goes back millions of years, and a simple plan for rebuilding and maintaining an optimal level of vitamin D.
Michael F. Holick, M.D., Ph.D., is a professor of medicine, physiology and biophysics at Boston University Medical Center. Additionally a BUMC, Dr. Holick serves as the director of the General Clinical Research Unit, the Bone Health Clinic, and the Heliotherapy Light and Skin Research Center. A recipient of the prestigious Linus Paulding Institute Prize in health research and the DSM Nutrition Award, Dr. Holick has authored more that three hundred peer-reviewed research articles, coedited eleven books in academia, written two books for a general audience, and currently serves on the editorial board for a number of medical publications. Dr. Holick has been featured in numerous popular media, included The New York Times, Forbes, Time Magazine, Newsweek, Men’s Health, and Scientific American. He lives in Massachusetts with his family.

Vitamin D Solution notes        
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