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Old 09-23-2007, 06:22 PM
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Default Vitamin D Supplementation - Optimal Administration

"Efficacy of different doses and time intervals of oral vitamin D supplementation with or without calcium in elderly nursing home residents"

Chel V, Lips P, et al, Osteoporos Int, 2007 Sep 14; [Epub ahead of print]. (Address: Verpleeghuis Marienhave, Warmond, The Netherlands. E-mail: [email protected] ).

Summary: In a randomized study involving 338 elderly nursing home residents (mean age = 84 years), results indicate that daily oral supplementation with vitamin D was most effective at improving vitamin D status, compared with weekly or monthly supplementation.

The subjects were randomized to receive either daily oral supplementation with 600 IU vitamin D3, or weekly oral supplementation with 4200 IU vitamin D3, or monthly oral supplementation with 18,000 IU vitamin D3, for a period of 4 months.

At baseline, mean serum 25(OH)D level was 25.0 nmol/L. At intervention end, mean serum 25(OH)D levels increased to 69.9 nmol/L in the daily-vitamin D3-supplemented group, 67.2 nmol/L in the weekly-vitamin D3-supplemented group, and 53.1 nmol/L in the monthly-vitamin D3-supplemented group.

Thus, the results of this study suggest that daily supplementation with vitamin D is more efficacious than weekly or monthly supplementation with higher doses.
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� #2
Old 12-26-2008, 11:16 AM
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Osteoporos Int. 2008 Dec 20.

High-dose oral vitamin D(3) supplementation in the elderly.

Bacon CJ, Gamble GD, Horne AM, Scott MA, Reid IR.

Department of Medicine, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.

Daily dosing with vitamin D often fails to achieve optimal outcomes, and it is uncertain what the target level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D should be. This study found that large loading doses of vitamin D(3) rapidly and safely normalize 25OHD levels, and that monthly dosing is similarly effective after 3-5 months. With baseline 25OHD > 50 nmol/L, vitamin D supplementation does not reduce PTH levels.

INTRODUCTION: There is concern that vitamin D supplementation doses are frequently inadequate, and that compliance with daily medication is likely to be suboptimal.

METHODS: This randomized double-blind trial compares responses to three high-dose vitamin D(3) regimens and estimates optimal 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) levels, from changes in parathyroid hormone (PTH), and procollagen type I amino-terminal propeptide (P1NP) in relation to baseline 25OHD. Sixty-three elderly participants were randomized to three regimens of vitamin D supplementation: a 500,000-IU loading dose; the loading dose plus 50,000 IU/month; or 50,000 IU/month.

The Loading and Loading + Monthly groups showed increases in 25OHD of 58 +/- 28 nmol/L from baseline to 1 month. Thereafter, levels gradually declined to plateaus of 69 +/- 5 nmol/L and 91 +/- 4 nmol/l, respectively. In the Monthly group, 25OHD reached a plateau of ~80 +/- 20 nmol/L at 3-5 months. There were no changes in serum calcium concentrations. PTH and P1NP were only suppressed by vitamin D treatment in those with baseline 25OHD levels <50 and <30 nmol/L, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: Large loading doses of vitamin D(3) rapidly and safely normalize 25OHD levels in the frail elderly. Monthly dosing is similarly effective and safe, but takes 3-5 months for plateau 25OHD levels to be reached.
High-dose oral vitamin D(3) supplementation in the...[Osteoporos Int. 2008] - PubMed Result
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Old 12-30-2008, 09:14 AM
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The Vitamin D Newsletter
December 28, 2008

The Vitamin D Council is happy to announce that we have partnered with ZRT Laboratory to provide an inexpensive, $65.00, in-home, accurate, vitamin D [25(OH)D] test. The usual cost for this test is between $100.00 and $200.00.

If you read this newsletter, you know about our interest in accurate vitamin D testing. In the next few weeks, you may read about the Vitamin D Council's quest for accurate vitamin D blood tests in the national media. Before we partnered with ZRT, we verified, repeatedly, that ZRT provides accurate and reliable vitamin D tests and that their method corresponds very well to the gold standard of vitamin D blood tests, the DiaSorin RIA.

Our ZRT service is not just inexpensive, it means no more worrying about your doctor ordering the right test or interpreting it correctly. You buy the test kit on the internet or by phone, a few days later the kit comes in the mail, you or a nurse friend do a finger stick, collect a few drops of blood, and send the blotter paper back to ZRT in the postage paid envelope provided with the kit. A week later you get results back in the mail and know accurate 25-hydroxy-vitamin D levels of you and your family.

For every test you order, ZRT will donate $10.00 to the Vitamin D Council. Please read the new page hyperlinked below on our website as it both explains the procedure and how to order the test.

Am I Vitamin D Deficient?

Executive summary: keep your family's 25-hydroxy-vitamin D blood test above 50 ng/ml, year around. Most adults need at least 5,000 IU per day, especially this time of year. Most children need at least 1,000 IU per day per every 25 pounds of body weight. Bio Tech Pharmacal provides high quality and inexpensive vitamin D. Currently Bio Tech Pharmacal is providing vitamin D for numerous scientific studies. To see their prices and for ordering, click the hyperlink below.

Bio-Tech Pharmacal, Inc.

As a gift to our readers for the New Year, Thorne publications have provided a free download to a basic paper about vitamin D. I wrote it earlier this year for educated lay people as well as health care practitioners. Please read this paper carefully, your family's well-being, even lives, may depend on you understanding it.

Seasons Greetings
John Cannell, MD

Thank you for subscribing to the Vitamin D Newsletter from the Vitamin D Council. The Vitamin D Council is a non-profit trying to end the epidemic of vitamin D deficiency. Please reproduce this newsletter and post it on Internet sites. Remember, we are a non-profit and rely on donations to publish our newsletter and maintain our website. Send your tax-deductible contributions to:

The Vitamin D Council
9100 San Gregorio Road
Atascadero, CA 93422
This is not medical advice. Just opinion. Whatever you decide to do your your health is strictly your business and your choice.
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Old 01-01-2009, 09:53 AM
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Lots of studies out there these days about the need for vitamin D3 to prevent cancer. Below are articles you will find of interest and if you have any kind of chronic disease you really need to read this info carefully and do start by viewing the first link provided. �Arrow
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This is Mercola�s newest video, December 08, on vitamin D. It is a must watch to understand dosaging and use.

PLoS Medicine - A Prospective Study of Plasma Vitamin D Metabolites, Vitamin D Receptor Polymorphisms, and Prostate Cancer

Cancer Prevention, Vitamin D and the Cancer Industry - Creighton University School of Medicine Study

Vitamin D again linked to lower breast cancer risk

Vitamin D Newsletter Mar 2007 | Peak Athletic Performance and Vitamin D

Life Extension Daily News

Just One Pill Away by Bill Sardi


This is where I purchase my Vitamin D3 and it is the product I used when I had by D3 levels checked.
I have been very pleased with it�..Arrow

Study links vitamin D to colon cancer survival
Study Links Vitamin D To Colon Cancer Survival
June 19th, 2008 in Medicine & Health / Cancer
Patients diagnosed with colon cancer who had abundant vitamin D in their blood were less likely to die during a follow-up period than those who were deficient in the vitamin, according to a new study by scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
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The findings of the study � the first to examine the effect of vitamin D among colorectal cancer patients � merit further research, but it is too early to recommend supplements as a part of treatment, say the investigators from Dana-Farber and the Harvard School of Public Health.
In a report in the June 20 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the authors note that previous research has shown that higher levels of vitamin D reduce the risk of developing colon and rectal cancer by about 50 percent, but the effect on outcomes wasn�t known. To examine this question, the investigators, led by Kimmie Ng, MD, MPH, and Charles Fuchs, MD, MPH, of Dana-Farber, analyzed data from two long-running epidemiologic studies whose participants gave blood samples and whose health has been monitored for many years.
They identified 304 participants in the Nurses� Health Study and the Health Professionals Followup Study who were diagnosed with colorectal cancer between 1991 and 2002. All had had vitamin D levels measured in blood samples given at least two year prior to their diagnosis. Each patient�s vitamin D measurement was ranked by �quartiles� � the top 25 percent, the next lowest 25 percent, and so on. Those whose levels were in the lowest quartile were considered deficient in vitamin D.
The researchers followed the 304 patients until they died or until 2005, whichever occurred first. During that period, 123 patients died, with 96 of them dying from colon or rectal cancer. The researchers then looked for associations between the patients� previously measured vitamin D blood levels and whether they had died or survived.
The results showed that individuals with the vitamin D levels in the highest quartile were 48 percent less likely to die (from any cause, including colon cancer) than those with the lowest vitamin D measurements. The odds of dying from colon cancer specifically were 39 percent lower, the scientists found.
�Our data suggest that higher prediagnosis plasma levels of [vitamin D] after a diagnosis of colorectal cancer may significantly improve overall survival,� the authors wrote. �Future trials should examine the role of vitamin D supplementation in patients with colorectal cancer.�
The measurements of vitamin D in the patients� blood reflected both the amounts made by the body when exposed to sunlight and to all sources of the vitamin in their diets, said Ng. However, she added, there may be additional unknown factors that might account for individual differences. Patients with the highest vitamin D levels tended to have lower body-mass index (BMI) indicating that they were leaner, and also were more physically active. However, after controlling for BMI and physical activity, as well as other prognostic factors, higher vitamin D levels were still independently associated with better survival rates.
Ng said that a trial is being planned in which colon cancer patients will take vitamin D along with post-surgery chemotherapy to look for any benefits of the supplements.
Meanwhile, she said that individuals with colon cancer should consult their physicians as to whether they should add vitamin supplements to their daily regimen. Standard recommended daily amounts of vitamin D supplements range from 200 International Units (IU) per day for people under age 50 to 400 IU for people between 50 and 70, and 600 IU for those over 70.

Source: Dana-Farber Cancer Institute


A practical way of looking at it is that anyone 40 years old or older has lost the majority of ability for vitamin D activation.

This often makes me wonder if the loss of vitamin D activating potential is nature�s way to get rid of us. After all, after 40, we�ve pretty much had our opportunity to recreate and make our contribution to the species (at least in a primitive world in which humans evolved): we�ve exhausted our reproductive usefulness to the species.

Is the programmed decline of vitamin D skin activation a way to ensure that we develop diseases of senescence (aging)? The list of potential consequences of vitamin D deficiency includes: osteoporosis, poor balance and coordination, falls and fractures; cancer of the breast, bladder, colon, prostate, and blood; reductions in HDL, increases in triglycerides; increased inflammation (C-reactive protein, CRP); declining memory and mentation; coronary heart disease.


Heart helper: Inspired by studies, doctors prescribing higher doses of vitamin D
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


Dec. 22�It could be a couple of years before formal recommendations are established for taking higher doses of vitamin D as a way to help prevent or treat heart disease, but some doctors aren�t waiting.

This month, doctors at Aurora Sinai Medical Center in Milwaukee began giving a mega-dose of 100,000 international units of vitamin D to all patients with chest pains. After that, they are advised to take 2,000 IU a day, said John Whitcomb, an emergency room physician with the hospital.

Other Aurora hospitals are considering doing the same thing, he said.

Given that the current recommendation for adults is 600 IU a day, that�s a considerable departure from the norm, although 2,000 IU a day is considered to be safe for adults.

More and more studies are linking vitamin D deficiency, which is common in large segments of the U.S. population, especially in the winter, to increased risk of heart disease and other ailments.

This month, a review article in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology came to a similar conclusion.

It said heart patients who have insufficient vitamin D levels should be treated with one dose of 50,000 IU a week for eight weeks. Pills of 50,000 IU generally are available only as a prescription. After eight weeks, patients can take 50,000 IU every two weeks, or 1,000 to 2,000 IU a day.

The authors recommended vitamin D3, which can be found over the counter at drugstores.

�Vitamin D supplementation is simple, safe and inexpensive,� the authors wrote.

Outdated guidelines?

James O�Keefe, co-author of the study and a cardiologist at the Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City, Mo., said the recommended amounts of vitamin D were established decades ago, when people spent more time outdoors.

Vitamin D is made in the skin when it is exposed to ultraviolet light. It is difficult to get adequate levels from food sources.

�There is a growing chorus from around the world that the (recommended daily allowance) is way too low,� said O�Keefe, who also is a professor of medicine at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

An inexpensive blood test measures vitamin D levels. Many experts say levels between 21 and 29 nanograms per deciliter are insufficient, and levels less than 21 are deficient.

In Wisconsin, wintertime vitamin D levels appear to be low, according to a research article this year.

The study involved a sample of 71 women ages 70 and older whose vitamin D levels were measured between the winter of 2005 and the spring of 2006 in Madison.

The study found that 59% of the women had vitamin D levels of less than 30 ng/dl.

Several observational studies this year have focused on low levels of the vitamin and increased risk of heart disease:

�In a study involving 3,258 German heart patients, those in the lowest quarter for vitamin D blood levels had twice the risk of dying, especially from cardiovascular disease, compared with those in the top quarter.

�Harvard researchers studying 18,225 men found that those with vitamin D levels below 15 ng/dl were 2.4 times more likely to have a heart attack than those with levels above 30 ng/dl.

�Researchers followed 1,739 members of the Framingham Offspring Study for more than five years and found the rate of cardiovascular disease �events� such as heart attacks, strokes and heart failure was 53% to 80% higher in people with low levels of vitamin D in their blood.

All those studies were observational. What�s needed, experts say, are clinical trials.

�Cheapest medicine�

In the meantime, Whitcomb, of Aurora Sinai, said many doctors in the Aurora health care system will be recommending vitamin D.

He noted that vitamin D is made in the cells of most living organisms. The vitamin is a hormone that can act on as many as 200 genes.

�This is life�s most fundamental hormone,� Whitcomb said. �It�s the cheapest medicine on the planet.�

Indeed, more cardiologists say they are becoming aware of the growing amount of vitamin D research.

One problem, though, is that, while studies consistently link low vitamin D levels to heart disease, there is no consensus on the best way to restore a person�s vitamin D levels, said Richard Staudacher, a cardiologist with ProHealth Care Medical Associates Cardiology in Waukesha.

However, because there is little danger from taking vitamin D, Staudacher said he will be testing his patients, and those with low levels probably will be offered doses similar to those recommended in the cardiology journal article.

That would include an initial prescription dose of 50,000 IU and a maintenance dose of about 2,000 IU a day, he said.

A person�s vitamin D level �is something all cardiologists should be aware of,� Staudacher said.


Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 November; 86(5): 1420�1425.

Higher serum vitamin D concentrations are associated with longer leukocyte telomere length in women

PMCID: PMC2196219

Higher serum vitamin D concentrations are associated with longer leukocyte telomere length in women.

In conclusion, our study provides evidence that a longer LTL is associated with increased serum vitamin D concentrations in women. Although both LTL and serum vitamin D concentrations decrease with age and are thus possible markers of aging in general, we have shown that the positive association between LTL and vitamin D concentrations is independent of age and many other covariates. Vitamin D exerts immunomodulatory effects that may attenuate LTL attrition rate. Longitudinal studies or randomized controlled trials of supplementation exploring the effect of vitamin D on LTL will be necessary to unequivocally establish the relation between vitamin D and leukocyte telomere dynamics; but for the moment, our data suggest another potential benefit of vitamin D�on the aging process and age-related disease.

Public release date: 6-Feb-2007

Contact: Nancy Stringer
[email protected]
University of California - San Diego
2 new studies back vitamin D for cancer prevention

Two new vitamin D studies using a sophisticated form of analysis called meta-analysis, in which data from multiple reports is combined, have revealed new prescriptions for possibly preventing up to half of the cases of breast cancer and two-thirds of the cases of colorectal cancer in the United States. The work was conducted by a core team of cancer prevention specialists at the Moores Cancer Center at University of California, San Diego (UCSD), and colleagues from both coasts.

The breast cancer study, published online in the current issue of the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, pooled dose-response data from two earlier studies - the Harvard Nurses Health Study and the St. George�s Hospital Study - and found that individuals with the highest blood levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D, or 25(OH)D, had the lowest risk of breast cancer.

The researchers divided the 1,760 records of individuals in the two studies into five equal groups, from the lowest blood levels of 25(OH)D (less than 13 nanograms per milliliter, or 13 ng/ml) to the highest (approximately 52 ng/ml). The data also included whether or not the individual had developed cancer.

�The data were very clear, showing that individuals in the group with the lowest blood levels had the highest rates of breast cancer, and the breast cancer rates dropped as the blood levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D increased,� said study co-author Cedric Garland, Dr.P.H. �The serum level associated with a 50 percent reduction in risk could be maintained by taking 2,000 international units of vitamin D3 daily plus, when the weather permits, spending 10 to 15 minutes a day in the sun.�

The colorectal cancer study, published online February 6 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, is a meta-analysis of five studies that explored the association of blood levels of 25(OH)D with risk of colon cancer. All of the studies involved blood collected and tested for 25 (OH)D levels from healthy volunteer donors who were then followed for up to 25 years for development of colorectal cancer.

As with the breast cancer study, the dose-response data on a total of 1,448 individuals were put into order by serum 25(OH)D level and then divided into five equal groups, from the lowest blood levels to the highest.

�Through this meta-analysis we found that raising the serum level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D to 34 ng/ml would reduce the incidence rates of colorectal cancer by half,� said co-author Edward D. Gorham, Ph.D. �We project a two-thirds reduction in incidence with serum levels of 46ng/ml, which corresponds to a daily intake of 2,000 IU of vitamin D3. This would be best achieved with a combination of diet, supplements and 10 to 15 minutes per day in the sun.�

Vitamin D3 is available through diet, supplements and exposure of the skin to sunlight, or ultraviolet B (UVB). In the paper, the researchers underscored the importance of limiting sun exposure such that the skin does not change color (tan) or burn. For a typical fair-skinned Caucasian individual, adequate vitamin D could be photosynthesized safely by spending 10 to 15 minutes in the noontime sun on a clear day with 50 percent of skin area exposed to the sun. Darker skinned individuals may require more time in the sun, such as 25 minutes. For people with photosensitivity disorders, or anyone with a personal or family history of nonmelanoma skin cancer, any amount of extra sun exposure would be inadvisable.

The meta-analysis on colorectal cancer includes data from the Women�s Health Initiative, which had shown in 2006 that a low dose of vitamin D did not protect against colorectal cancer within seven years of follow-up. However, the researchers wrote, the meta-analysis indicates that a higher dose may reduce its incidence.

�Meta-analysis is an important tool for revealing trends that may not be apparent in a single study,� said co-author Sharif B. Mohr, M.P.H. �Pooling of independent but similar studies increases precision, and therefore the confidence level of the findings.�


The authors recommend further research to study individuals for the effect of vitamin D from sunlight, diet and supplements on the risk of cancer.

Co-authors on both the breast cancer and colorectal meta-analysis papers are Edward D. Gorham, MPH, Ph.D., Cedric F. Garland, Dr.P.H.; Frank C. Garland, Ph.D.; Sharif B. Mohr, MPH; William B. Grant, Ph.D; Martin Lipkin, M.D.; Harold L. Newmark, ScD; Edward Giovannucci, M.D., ScD; and Michael F. Holick, M.D., Ph.D. Co-author on the colorectal meta-analysis paper only was Melissa Wei, B.S. Authors� institutional affiliations are UCSD Department of Family and Preventive Medicine and Moores UCSD Cancer Center (Gorham, Garland, Garland); Naval Health Research Center, San Diego (Gorham, F.C. Garland, Mohr); SUNARC-Sunlight, Nutrition and Health Research Center, San Francisco (Grant); Strang Cancer Prevention Center of Rockefeller University, New York, NY (Lipkin); Rutgers�The State University of New Jersey and Cancer Institute of New Jersey (Newmark); Harvard Schools of Public Health and Medicine (Giovannucci, Wei); and Boston University School of Medicine (Holick). Funding for this research was provided by a Congressional allocation to the Hollings Cancer Center of the Medical University of South Carolina through the Department of the Navy. weblink:�tns020207.php
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Experts call for vitamin D level hike

By Stephen Daniells

12/01/2007 - The tolerable upper intake level for oral vitamin D3 should be increased five-fold, experts from the US-based Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) has said after a review of the science.

The risk assessment provides companies with a guide for safe upper levels for product formulations, and consumers with vital information on safe dosage levels from products.

�This risk assessment was needed to show that newer evidence supports the conclusion that vitamin D is much safer then previously thought, particularly because of all the emergence research that shows benefit for vitamin D at higher levels than consumers were traditionally taking,� lead author John Hathcock told

Currently, the tolerable upper intake level (UL) in Europe and the US is set at 2000 International Units (IU), equivalent to 50 micrograms per day. However, recent research, particularly from clinical trials, suggests that this should be raised. The CRN scientists state that this could be raised to 10,000 IU (250 micrograms per day).

�New data continue to emerge regarding the health benefits of vitamin D beyond its role in bone,� wrote the reviewers in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

�The intakes associated with those benefits suggest a need for levels of supplementation, food fortification, or both that are higher than current levels.�

The reviewers, from the CRN, Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto and Crieghton University in Nebraska, pooled data from 21 clinical trials using doses ranging from 10 to 2500 micrograms.

The risk assessment also included data from animal studies, some of which used �extraordinarily high doses of vitamin D3�.

�The lack of adverse effects in clinical trials that used intake up to 1250 micrograms vitamin D per day and the lack of adverse effects at lower doses inspires a high level of confidence in the data from the strongly designed clinical trials that used 250 micrograms vitamin D per day,� said the reviewers.

The researchers also note that for practically all the reported cases of vitamin D toxicity have involved doses that were in excess of those studied in the clinical trials.

�Newer clinical trial data are sufficient to show that vitamin D is not toxic at intakes much higher than previously considered unsafe,� said the reviewers.

�This demonstrated safety profile of vitamin D should safely permit increased intakes to achieve additional benefits of this vitamin at higher levels than previously recognised.�

Vitamin D is made by the body on exposure to sunshine, or can be consumed in small amounts in milk, fish, liver and egg yolk. However because of the low amounts present in the diet, and lack of sunshine in northern climates, with some estimates claiming that as much as 60 per cent of northern populations may be vitamin D deficient.

And since dietary intakes are small, the best method for getting adequate levels of the vitamin appears to be from supplements and/or fortified foods.

Indeed, the reviewers note that normal dietary sources provide about 2.5 micrograms per day, while this can be increased up to 10 micrograms with fortified foods. Dietary supplements would provide higher doses.

�Unfortified foods, fortified foods, and most dietary supplements, combined, do not contribute to a total exposure anywhere near the recommended vitamin D UL of 250 micrograms per day,� they said.

�We applied the same method to our risk assessment as the Food and Nutrition Board had used years ago, and our results concluded vitamin D could be safely taken in much higher amounts,� Hathcock told this website.

�We hope that the Food and Nutrition Board along with health professionals and regulators will take our assessment and recommendation seriously,� he said.

Source: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
January 2007, Volume85, Pages 6-18
�Risk assessment for vitamin D�
Authors: J.N. Hathcock, A. Shao, R. Vieth, R. Heaney


Mushrooms make vitamin D in sunlight.

Most people are aware that the human body makes vitamin D in response to sunlight. Less known is the fact that mushrooms, even picked ones, can perform the same feat - which means that eating mushrooms that have been exposed to sunlight can be an excellent way to supplement your �D� levels.

In the summer of 2004, mycologist Paul Stamets discovered that the level of vitamin D in freshly picked, indoor- grown shiitake mushrooms rose from 110 IU (international units) to an astonishing 46,000 IU per 100 grams when the mushrooms were placed outdoors in the sun for just six hours with the gills facing up (when the gills were facing down, the level rose to 10,900 IU).

This means that eating just one gram of sun-treated shiitake - about one tenth of one mushroom - would give you 460 IU, close to the FDA�s recommended daily dose of 400 IU, and about half of Dr. Weil�s recommended 1,000 IU.

In his book, Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World, Stamets concluded, �(In) populations where vitamin D is seriously deficient, sun-exposed dried mushrooms can help address a serious health issue.�
Four Unexpected Food Facts - Dr. Weil


A connection between vitamin D level and the risk of developing breast cancer has been implicated for a long time, but its clinical relevance had not yet been proven. Sascha Abbas and colleagues from the working group headed by Dr. Jenny Chang-Claude at the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ), collaborating with researchers of the University Hospitals in Hamburg-Eppendorf, have now obtained clear results:

While previous studies had concentrated chiefly on nutritional vitamin D, the researchers have now investigated the complete vitamin D status. To this end, they studied 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) as a marker for both endogenous vitamin D and vitamin D from food intake.

The result of the study involving 1,394 breast cancer patients and an equal number of healthy women after menopause was surprisingly clear: Women with a very low blood level of 25(OH)D have a considerably increased breast cancer risk. The effect was found to be strongest in women who were not taking hormones for relief of menopausal symptoms.

However, the authors note that, in this retrospective study, diagnosis-related factors such as chemotherapy or lack of sunlight after prolonged hospital stays might have contributed to low vitamin levels of breast cancer patients.

In addition, the investigators focused on the vitamin D receptor. The gene of this receptor is found in several variants known as polymorphisms. The research team of the DKFZ and Eppendorf Hospitals investigated the effect of four of these polymorphisms on the risk of developing breast cancer.

They found out that carriers of the Taql polymorphism have a slightly increased risk of breast tumors that carry receptors for the female sex hormone estrogen on their surface. No effects on the overall breast cancer risk were found. A possible explanation offered by the authors is that vitamin D can exert its cancer-preventing effect by counteracting the growth-promoting effect of estrogens.

Besides its cancer-preventing influence with effects on cell growth, cell differentiation and programmed cell death (apoptosis), vitamin D regulates, above all, the calcium metabolism in our body. Foods that are particularly rich in vitamin D include seafish (cod liver oil), eggs and dairy products. However, the largest portion of vitamin D is produced by our own body with the aid of sunlight.
Vitamin D and breast cancer risk


Vitamin D again linked to breast cancer protection By Stephen Daniells

26-Sep-2008 -

Increased intake of vitamin D from the diet and from sunlight may reduce the risk fo breast cancer by over 20 per cent, says a new study.

The potential protective effects of the vitamin were not limited by the hormone receptor status of the tumours, according to research published online in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

�This study suggests that vitamin D is associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer regardless of [oestrogen-receptor (ER) positive and progesterone-receptor (PR)] status of the tumour,� wrote lead author Kristina Blackmore from Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto.

Over one million women worldwide are diagnosed with breast cancer every year, with the highest incidences in the US and the Netherlands. China has the lowest incidence and mortality rate of the disease.

Hormone-sensitive oestrogen-receptor (ER) positive and progesterone-receptor (PR) positive tumours are said to be the most common type diagnosed among breast cancer patients in the US. These tumours are stimulated to grow by the female hormones oestrogen and progesterone.

Study details

�Few epidemiologic studies have considered the association between vitamin D and hormone-receptor-defined breast cancer,� wrote Blackmore.

In order to start filling this knowledge gap, the Canadian researchers analysed the vitamin D intakes of 759 women with breast cancer, and compared this to the vitamin D intakes of 1,135 healthy controls.

Increased intakes of the vitamin were associated with a 24 per cent reduction in the risk of developing ER+ and PR+ tumours, said the researchers. Moreover, increased intakes were also associated with 26 and 21 per cent reductions in the risk of receptor-negative (ER�/PR�) and mixed receptor (ER+/PR�) tumours. However, these last two associations were not significant, said the researchers.

�Future studies with a larger number of receptor-negative and mixed tumours are required,� they concluded.

D and the big C

The link between vitamin D intake and protection from cancer dates from the 1940s when Frank Apperly demonstrated a link between latitude and deaths from cancer, and suggested that sunlight gave �a relative cancer immunity�.

Vitamin D refers to two biologically inactive precursors - D3, also known as cholecalciferol, and D2, also known as ergocalciferol. Both D3 and D2 precursors are hydroxylated in the liver and kidneys to form 25- hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D), the non-active �storage� form, and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25(OH)2D), the biologically active form that is tightly controlled by the body.

There is growing evidence that 1,25(OH)2D has anticancer effects, but the discovery that non-kidney cells can also hydroxylate 25(OH)D had profound implications, implying that higher 25(OH)D levels could protect against cancer in the local sites.

Source: American Journal of Epidemiology

Published online ahead of print, doi:10.1093/aje/kwn198

�Vitamin D From Dietary Intake and Sunlight Exposure and the Risk of Hormone-Receptor-Defined Breast Cancer�

Authors: K.M. Blackmore, M. Lesosky, H. Barnett, J.M. Raboud, R. Vieth, J.A. Knight
Vitamin D again linked to breast cancer protection


Vitamin D and Autism


Oral Vitamin D May Help Prevent Some Skin Infections

ScienceDaily (Oct. 7, 2008) � A study led by researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine suggests that use of oral Vitamin D supplements bolsters production of a protective chemical normally found in the skin, and may help prevent skin infections that are a common result of atopic dermatitis, the most common form of eczema.

The study � led by Richard Gallo, M.D., Ph.D., professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Dermatology at the UCSD School of Medicine and the Dermatology section of the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System, and Tissa R. Hata, M.D., associate professor of medicine at UC San Diego � found that use of oral vitamin D appeared to correct a defect in the immune systems in patients with this skin disease. Their findings will be published in the October 3 edition of the Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology

The researchers studied a small number of patients with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis, a chronic skin disease that affects 10 to 20 percent of children and one to three percent of adults. Atopic dermatitis is characterized by areas of severe itching, redness and scaling. Over time, chronic changes can occur due to constant scratching and rubbing. The condition puts patients at increased risk for skin infections by Staph aureus and the herpes and small pox viruses.

It had previously been shown that defects in the immune system interfere with the skin�s ability to produce a peptide called cathelicidin, which is protective against microbial invasion. In many skin diseases, including eczema, a deficiency of cathelicidin correlates with increased infection.

Study participants (14 with atopic dermatitis and 14 without) were all given 4000 IUs of oral Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) per day for 21 days. Skin lesions were biopsied before and after the 21-day period. The researchers found that oral vitamin D use by the patients appeared to correct the skin�s defect in cathelicidin.

�These results suggest that supplementation with oral vitamin D dramatically induces cathelicidin production in the skin of patients with atopic dermatitis,� said Hata. �It also slightly elevated its production in normal skin in this study.�

However, the researchers caution that this was a small study and that further research is needed to evaluate the long-term effects of vitamin D supplementation, and to determine if this may be an adequate way to prevent infections in patients with atopic dermatitis.

In the past several years, vitamin D deficiency has been linked to increased rates of multiple cancers and diabetes, among other diseases, notably in studies published by UC San Diego researcher, Cedric Garland, Dr. P.H., professor with Moores UCSD Cancer Center and the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine at UC San Diego.

Additional contributors to the study include Paul Kotol, B.S., Michelle Jackson, M.D., Meggie Nguyen, B.S., Aimee Paik, M.D., Don Udall, M.D., Kimi Kanada, B.S., Kenshi Yamasaki, M.D., Ph.D., and Doru Alexandrescu, M.D., all from the UC San Diego Division of Dermatology.
Oral Vitamin D May Help Prevent Some Skin Infections

This is not medical advice. Just opinion. Whatever you decide to do your your health is strictly your business and your choice.
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Old 01-04-2009, 12:00 AM
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From Dr. William Davis' excellent blog:

Though needs vary widely, the majority of men require 6000 units per day, women 5000 units per day. Only then do most men and women achieve what I'd define as desirable: 60-70 ng/ml 25-hydroxy vitamin D blood level.

I base this target level by extrapolating from several simple observations:

--In epidemiologic studies, a blood level of 52 ng/ml seems to be an eerily consistent value: >52 ng/ml and cancer of the colon, breast, and prostate become far less common; <52 ng/ml and cancers are far more likely. I don't know about you, but I'd like to have a little larger margin of safety than just achieving 52.1 ng/ml.

--Young people (not older people >40 years old, who have lost most of the capacity to activate vitamin D in the skin) who obtain several days to weeks of tropical sun typically have 25-hydroxy vitamin D blood levels of 80-100 ng/ml without adverse effect.

More recently, having achieved this target blood level in many people, I can tell you confidently that achieving this blood level of vitamin D achieves:

--Virtual elimination of "winter blues" and seasonal affective disorder in the great majority
--Dramatic increases in HDL cholesterol (though full effect can require a year to develop)
--Reduction in triglycerides
--Modest reduction in blood pressure
--Dramatic reduction in c-reactive protein (far greater than achieved with Crestor, JUPITER trial or no)
--Increased bone density (improved osteoporosis/osteopenia)
--Halting or reversal of aortic valve disease

(I don't see enough cancer in my cardiology practice to gauge whether or not there has been an impact on cancer incidence.)

My colleagues who have bothered to participate in the vitamin D conversation have issued warnings about not going "overboard" with vitamin D, generally meaning a level of >30 ng/ml.

I know of no rational basis for these cautions. If hypercalcemia (increased blood calcium) is the concern, then calcium levels can be monitored. I can reassure them that calcium levels virtually never go up in people (without rare diseases like sarcoid or hyperparathyroidism). Then why any hesitation in recreating blood levels that are enjoyed by tropical inhabitants exposed to plentiful sun that achieve these extraordinary health effects?

For the present, I have applied the target level of 60-70 ng/ml without apparent ill-effect. In fact, I have witnessed nothing but hugely positive effects.
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