There is so much awareness about chronic, incurable diseases like cancer, Parkinson’s and Alzheimers that there are charity runs and bike rides throughout the year for each disease. These charitable organizations are trying to funnel money to researchers to come up with cures. Name the disease and you can find a 5K/10K or bike ride that supports it! I don’t know exactly how monies are distributed from these fundraisers–likely to drug researchers. If a researcher found a chemical cure for cancer, it would likely be blasted all over CNN and Fox News.
However, lowly nutrients that have been proven over and over to prevent and reverse disease get little mention in the media. In fact, some junk scientists attempt to debunk nutrients like vitamin C and E as unhealthy. Insane, isn’t it? To what end is common sense data about health and nutrition being withheld from the public? To the end that some corporate giant will lose money. For instance, if you “pull the string” on aspartame in the food supply, you will find Monsanto sitting right there reaping profits on people unknowingly poisoning their nerve systems. Unsuspecting consumers believe they are preventing weight-gain by consuming a sugar-free product. Consuming aspartame, however, excites your taste for more food and you eat more than you would otherwise. So you actually gain weight on aspartame, not to mention all of the health risks with using aspartame. You could likely put antifreeze in the food for a sweet, yet deadly taste. It’s about the same level of insanity as putting aspartame in food. And encouraging diabetics, pregnant women and children that it is safe is unforgivable.
So here is some data that you NEED to use for yourself and your family starting today. This is one step you can take to reduce the chunk of healthcare-related expenses the government is mandating everyone share in.
The nutrient is Vitamin D. Most people have heard that when you are in the sunshine, that the sun stimulates your skin to make Vitamin D. And this is true! However, government and medical authorities recommend sunscreen to prevent skin cancer. Sunscreen blocks out the rays that make Vitamin D in your body. Therefore, people are getting less vitamin D than in previous generations because of sunscreen.
If you are in the strong sun for 20 minutes in a bathing suit (without sunscreen), your body will make plenty of Vitamin D3, in the range of 20,000 IU. IU stands for international units. That is the way vitamin D3 is measured, instead of grams or ounces. However, people with dark skin have difficulty in making sufficient quantities of Vitamin D3 due to the protective effect of melanin in their skin. Also people who live further away from the equator have a more difficult time making sufficient vitamin D3, even on a sunny day.
The reason this vitamin is so important is that it has been linked with significant prevention of multiple sclerosis, breast cancer, prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, myocardial infarction (heart attack), autism as well as flu and colds.
Vitamin D3 is called cholecalciferol. It has ten different mechanisms that reduce cancer and mortality(1). Raising vitamin D levels in the blood by supplementing with 2000 IU/day would get people into the basement (as in, get you the MINIMUM) levels of D3 needed. This would prevent 58,000 new cases of breast cancer and 49,000 new cases of prostate cancer each year. (1)
Also it would prevent 75% of the deaths from these diseases in the US and Canada. Now hold up for a second. If there were a drug that prevented 75% of breast cancer and prostate cancer deaths, do you think there would be a national drive, a government push to get everyone to the doctor for that pill? Considering the way the government promotes drugs like the flu vaccine, I think so.
Why isn’t there a government call for everyone to take Vitamin D every day? Why not buy every American a year’s supply of Vitamin D and prevent 107,000 new cases of cancer and 78,000 deaths they are trying to provide health insurance for? A year’s supply of Vitamin D is probably $125/person. I support a bill to get every American to take Vitamin D every day before they are “guaranteed” any health care coverage. That will reduce the overall cost of the policies, drugs and doctor’s visits by large amounts because people will be less sick! I can’t imagine medical and drug giants would really support that. The government probably wouldn’t either because more people would live longer and need more Medicare and social security.
But I digress.
In the same reference above, the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine recommends adequate Vitamin D3 be raised upward to 2000 to 4000 IU/day. And the authors of this article recommend the minimum should be 5000 IU/day. Other vitamin D scientists and researchers recommend a maximum of 10,000 IU/day. (1)
2000 IU/day is five times the recommended daily allowance already. So you can imagine there might be a little bit of controversy about 2000, 5000 and especially 10,000 IU. But when there are prominent institutes putting their name on it, I believe it is something for the public to take seriously.
One study found that women who supplemented with vitamin D had a 40% lower risk of multiple sclerosis than women who didn’t. However, no reduced risk was found when Vitamin D was in the food, only in the supplement form. These authors also mention Vitamin D to be more important for women who live at higher latitudes (farther from the equator). (2)
Another study correlates Vitamin D with reduced risk for multiple sclerosis. There was a protective effect associated with sun exposure as well. This study was conducted at Harvard Medical School. The authors state that Vitamin D supplementation is safe at levels many times higher than 2000 IU/day. This means, several thousand IU/day are safe, which is in alignment with the above studies. And this study was published in the cream-of-the-crop–Journal of the American Medical Association. (3)
A 7% decreased mortality from ALL causes (not just cancer) was noted in people who took ordinary doses (like the recommended daily allowance) versus people who didn’t supplement. The authors recommend those who have minimal sun exposure, like nursing home residents, supplement with 1000-2000 IU/day. (4)
Then there is the seasonality factor of flu and colds. Two studies I found link decreased sun exposure in winter with lack of good vitamin D production in the body and more colds and flu. The first study found that those who supplemented with 2000 IU/day of Vitamin D reduced their chance of colds and flu to nearly zero! (only one out of 104 users of Vitamin D got the bug). The authors say it stimulates the innate immunity–the immune system you were born with. It also keeps inflammation in check. (5) (Here again, another “cure” that goes unreported by the media or the government.)
The other study calls into question the effectiveness of flu vaccines. In the 1980’s and 1990’s, flu vaccines for the elderly dramatically increased. During the same time, death and hospitalization rates due to flu significantly increased. There has been no reduction in flu-related mortality in 15 years, despite flu vaccine coverage increasing from 10% to 60%. These authors agree with the study above: lower vitamin D production in the winter causes decreased immunity leading to colds and flu, not a lack of flu vaccines!(6)
So the take-away message is authors from many journals support minimum supplementation of 2000 IU/day of Vitamin D3 for a preventative effect for colds, flu, cancer and multiple sclerosis. One study found that getting vitamin D-fortified foods did not give the same protective effect as the supplement. Some authorities would like to see the minimums raised to 5000 IU/day. For the public at large, there is no risk of 2000 IU/day and likely no risk going higher. If you have a medical condition, certainly discuss this with your medical provider, though.
Unfortunately, I cannot get this blasted all over Fox News and CNN for the whole country to hear it. But at least you have this tiny bit of data that can make a HUGE difference in your health and that of your family.
We carry Nutriwest’s Hi D3 Vitamin D3, 5000IU/capsule. It is becoming a baseline recommendation for overall wellness because of so much data in peer-reviewed medical journals that supports it. Get yours at your next visit!
- Annals of Epidemiology July 2009
- Neurology 1/13/2004
- J of the American Medical Association 12/20/2006
- Archives of Internal Medicine 9/10/2007
- Epidemiology & Infections 10/2007
- Virology 2/25/2008