Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Statins mimic Vitamin D3.

Statins and vitamin d
commenting on this paper

Increased Levels of 25 Hydroxyvitamin D and 1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D After Rosuvastatin Treatment: A Novel Pleiotropic Effect of Statins? Full text online.
This is likely to be the way the claimed clinical benefit of statins is achieved and may be the pleiotropic effect of rosuvastatin, decreasing mortality in patients with coronary artery disease.

But they still don't know the mechanism involved

This is a new listing on PUBMED and it's relevant here because it seems to me pointless taking a statin (with many obvious and dangerous side effects) that achieves it's magic by actually increasing your vitamin D3 status (by some mechanism as yet unidentified) when you can more cheaply and more effectively and without any side effects achieve the same effect (without any side effects) by taking Cholecalciferol Vitamin D3 by itself.

It is sheer madness (or the perverted logic of big Pharma) to make people take a drug that has potential for unpleasant side effects that works by mimicking a safe supplement that is cheap and doesn't produce side effects at the normal amounts most people reading this require.

Dietary Fats Omega-6 and Omega-3: Impact Your Inflammation Gene Machine

Dietary Fats Omega-6 and Omega-3: Impact Your Inflammation Gene MachineAlthough this isn't directly related to vitamin D3 there is a connection in that the best dietary sources of D3 are also good sources of omega 3 and it is reasonable to predict that omega 3 and vitamin D3 may work synergistally to produce improved anti inflammatory status.
It's also worth noting that point made here that Attention to the background diet is often a missing design element in supplementation studies, which is necessary to observe consistent changes in cellular fatty acid distribution.
When looking at vitamin D3 studies we have ultimately to consider the 25(OH)D status that was achieved and over what timescale the improved vitamin D status was maintained.
Given the variation in response to both oral intake and UVB exposure the only way to be sure of the 25(OH)D status is to measure it. Simply looking at oral intake or the amounts of D3 issued to people simply may not be reflected the the vitamin D3 status achieved.

Monday, 20 July 2009

Nephropal on Vitamin D.

There are some very clear illustrations in Nephropals blogs that help you understand the way Vitamin D is metabolized in the body and how it performs some of it's functions.

Nephropal on mineral-metabolism

Nephropal The leaky gut

Nephropal on Vitamin d

I should point out there are checks and balances and feedback loops that make what happens in practice somewhat more complicated but for a basic understanding this is a good place to start.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Vitamin D for the prevention and treatment of pancreatic cancer.

Vitamin D for the prevention and treatment of pancreatic cancer.
Pancreatic cancer is ranked fifth among cancer-related deaths worldwide with a 5-year survival rate of less than 5%.
Currently, surgery is the only effective therapy.
However, most patients are diagnosed in the late stage and are not suitable for receiving curative surgery.
Moreover, pancreatic cancer doesn't respond well to traditional chemotherapy and radiotherapy, leaving little effective treatment for advanced pancreatic cancer cases.
1alpha,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3) [1alpha,25(OH)(2)D(3)], the biologically active form of vitamin D(3), was originally identified during studies of calcium and bone metabolism, though it is now recognized that it exerts biological effects in almost every tissue in the body.
Abundant evidence has shown that 1alpha,25(OH)(2)D(3) has antiproliferative, apoptotic, pro-differentiation and antiangiogensis effects in many types of cancer cells in vivo and in vitro, including breast, prostate, and colon.
Similarly, the antitumor growth effect of 1alpha,25(OH)(2)D(3) on pancreatic cells has been demonstrated.
The clinical use of 1alpha,25(OH)(2)D(3) is impeded by the lethal side effects of hypercalcemia and hypercalciuria.
Therefore, 1alpha,25(OH)(2)D(3) analogs, which are either equipotent or more potent than 1alpha,25(OH)(2)D(3) in inhibiting tumor cell growth but with fewer hypercalcemic and hypercalciuric side effects, have been developed for the treatment of different cancers.
Recently, a pre-clinical study demonstrated that a less calcemic analog of 1alpha,25(OH)(2)D(3), 19-nor-1alpha,25(OH)(2)D(2) (Paricalcitol), is effective in inhibiting tumor growth in vitro and in vivo, via upregulation of p21 and p27 tumor suppressor genes.
Studies on the anti-tumor effects of a more potent analog of Paricalcitol are underway. 1alpha,25(OH)(2)D(3) and its analogs are potentially attractive novel therapies for pancreatic cancer.

It may be helpful to for those who are concerned about the possibility of the hypercalcemic and hypercalciuric adverse potential to read Vieth Paper Vitamin D and cancer mini-symposium: the risk of additional vitamin D. the abstract of which states
Any benefit of vitamin D needs to be balanced against the risk of toxicity, which is characterized by hypercalcemia.
Daily brief, suberythemal exposure of a substantial area of the skin to ultraviolet light, climate allowing, provides adults with a safe, physiologic amount of vitamin D, equivalent to an oral intake of about 10,000 IU vitamin D(3) per day, with the plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentration potentially reaching 220 nmol/L (88 ng/mL).
The incremental consumption of 40 IU/d of vitamin D(3) raises plasma 25(OH)D by about 1 nmol/L (0.4 ng/mL).
High doses of vitamin D may cause hypercalcemia once the 25(OH)D concentration is well above the top of the physiologic range.
The physiological buffer for vitamin D safety is the capacity of plasma vitamin D-binding protein to bind the total of circulating 25(OH)D, vitamin D, and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D [1,25(OH)2D].
Hypercalcemia occurs when the free concentration is inappropriately high because vitamin D and its other metabolites have displaced 1,25(OH)2D from vitamin D-binding protein.
Evidence from clinical trials shows, with a wide margin of confidence, that a prolonged intake of 10,000 IU/d of vitamin D(3) poses no risk of adverse effects for adults, even if this is added to a rather high physiologic background level of vitamin D.

For anyone with a cancer diagnosis Dr Cannell of The Vitamin D Council has an interesting newsletter on the subject Does Vitamin D Treat Cancer.
Far better though is prevention and this is covered in this newsletter from the same source.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Magnesium Vitamin D

Is it important to take magnesium with vitamin D?
This comes from Dr Cannell's July newsletter.

Judith, New York

Dear Judith:

Yes, it is important to have adequate magnesium intake and most Americans do not. A number of people have written about muscle cramps after they start sunbathing or taking Vitamin D. This is likely caused from the neuromuscular hyperexcitability of magnesium deficiency that is somehow unmasked by higher Vitamin D levels.

Abbott LG, Rude RK. Clinical manifestations of magnesium deficiency. Miner Electrolyte Metab. 1993;19(4-5):314-22.

The latest survey of magnesium (Mg) intakes of Americans (NHANES) indicates the majority of Americans have Mg intakes below the recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) in all age and race groups tested. In fact, the daily intakes were: 70 mg/day less than recommended in Caucasian men; 130 mg/day less in African American men; 60 mg/day less in Caucasian women; and 120 mg/day less than recommended in African American women. (The RDA in 320 mg/day for women and 420 mg/day for men.) Also, one statistic called the standard error of the mean was quite low, for example, +/- 6 for Caucasian men, raising the possibility that the vast majority of Americans are Mg deficient.

Even more interesting were some of the top ten contributors for American Mg intake: coffee, 3.7% of intake; milk, 2.2 %; beer, 1.8%; French fries, 1.1%. Not a word about Americans eating many seeds and nuts, the foods loaded with Mg. Dr. Earl Ford of the CDC, the lead author, concluded, “”Because magnesium has many potential health benefits, increasing the dietary intake of magnesium in the U.S. population should be an important public health goal.”

Ford ES, Mokdad AH. Dietary magnesium intake in a national sample of US adults. J Nutr. 2003 Sep;133(9):2879-82.

Apparently, Mg is better absorbed from foods than from supplements and Mg absorption varies with the degree of Mg deficiency. Mg is at the heart of the chlorophyll molecule, which is why green vegetables are a good Mg source. Other good sources are nuts, seeds, whole grains, dried fruit, and some fish. The richest source by far on a per gram basis is dried seeds, like pumpkin, sunflower, and sesame seeds, containing between 340 to 535 mg per 100 gram serving. High Mg foods were probably staples of Paleolithic man.

Magnesium. Office of Dietary Supplements • NIH Clinical Center • National Institutes of Health

Magnesium (Mg) is the forgotten mineral, an orphan as Professor Robert Heaney of Creighton University says. It is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body, is involved in more than 300 biochemical reactions. All the enzymes that metabolize Vitamin D require Mg. It is also required in each of the steps concerned with replication, transcription, and translation of genetic information, and thus it is also needed for the genetic mechanism of action of Vitamin D.

Zofková I, Kancheva RL. The relationship between magnesium and calciotropic hormones. Magnes Res. 1995 Mar;8(1):77-84.

Carpenter TO. Disturbances of vitamin D metabolism and action during clinical and experimental magnesium deficiency. Magnes Res. 1988 Dec;1(3-4):131-9.

Besides these two reviews, any scientist interested in Vitamin D and the immune system should read:

McCoy H, Kenney MA. Interactions between magnesium and vitamin D: possible implications in the immune system. Magnes Res. 1996 Oct;9(3):185-203.

Two interesting cases of Mg dependent Vitamin D-resistant rickets appeared in the Lancet in 1974. Two children, one age two and the other age five, presented with classic rickets. 600,000 IU of Vitamin D daily for ten days did not result in any improvement in six weeks, in either x-rays or alkaline phosphatase, and the doctors diagnosed Vitamin D resistant rickets. Almost by accident, serum Mg levels were then obtained, which were low in both children. After the treatment with Mg, the rickets rapidly resolved.

Reddy V, Sivakumar B. Magnesium-dependent vitamin-D-resistant rickets. Lancet. 1974 May 18;1(7864):963-5.

What does that mean? How can one treat rickets with Mg? Remember, these children took a total of 6 million units, that’s a total of 6,000,000 IU of vitamin D over ten days (it was given as injections so we know the children actually took it), thus they had plenty of vitamin D but, in their cases, the vitamin D needed Mg to work.

In 1976, Dr. Ramon Medalle and colleagues at the Washington University School of Medicine described five patients with Mg deficiency and low blood calcium whose calcium blood levels would not return to normal after Vitamin D treatment, a condition known as Vitamin D resistance. However, serum calcium promptly returned to normal in all five patients after treatment with Mg, raising the possibility that such Vitamin D resistance may be caused from simple, but severe, Mg deficiency.

Medalle R, Waterhouse C, Hahn TJ. Vitamin D resistance in magnesium deficiency. Am J Clin Nutr. 1976 Aug;29(8):854-8.

What is not known is how mild to moderate Mg deficiencies, like most Americans apparently have, affect Vitamin D metabolism. The safe thing to do is to eat green leafy vegetables and a handful of sunflower seeds every day (trader Joe’s sells a variety of seeds). If you can’t, won’t, or don’t end up doing that, then take a Vitamin D supplement with added Mg. Bio Tech Pharmacal now sells such a supplement, Vitamin D3 Plus, and will make a contribution of one dollar to the Council for every bottle sold. Bio Tech’s phone number: (479) 443-9148

Bio Tech’s new Vitamin D3 Plus formula also contains zinc (the base of the fingers of the Vitamin D Receptor each contains a zinc molecule), Vitamin K2 (Vitamin K helps direct Vitamin D to calcify the proper organs and prevents calcification of improper organs), boron (boron is involved in the rapid, non-genomic action of Vitamin D on the cell wall), a small amount of genestein (about one-half the amount the average Japanese consumes every day), which helps activated Vitamin D stay around longer at the receptor site, and a tiny amount of Vitamin A. Again, the wisest thing to do is to eat green leafy vegetables and a handful of seeds every day as that combination contains the co-factors Vitamin D needs, the co-factors many Americans are deficient in.
John Cannell, MD
Vitamin D Council

If you are interested in learning more about magnesium then Dr Davis of the Heartscanblog has written several blogs on the topic.

Krispin has some interesting points to make in her Magnesium Update

Dr BG AnimalPharm has also done a blog on magnesium

Mrs Doubtfire at Neurotalk also has sound advice on magnesium supplements.

I started using Magnesium Malate as suggested by Dr McCleary Brain Trust Program.
I've also tried the more expensive Magnesium Chelate If you decide to use either of these and haven't used Iherb before don't forget the $5 discount code WAB666 and when you get your rewards code please be generous with it. The more people who use it the more discounts will accrue to your next order. Maintaining a safe vitamin D magnesium status is a long term investment in your health so you will be needing to keep this up.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Vitamin D Toxicity

"Vitamin D and cancer mini-symposium: the risk of additional vitamin D."
this paper by Vieth R explains that in practice it has been shown intakes of below 10,000iu/daily for adults are absolutely safe.

"Evidence from clinical trials shows, with a wide margin of confidence, that a prolonged intake of 10,000 IU/d of vitamin D(3) poses no risk of adverse effects for adults, even if this is added to a rather high physiologic background level of vitamin D."

It generally takes prolonged (many months) intake of more than 40,000iu/daily before levels above 150ng/mL are reached and the possibility of adverse events is significant. Indeed it may be that 200ng is the level where adverse events are recorded.

However, most readers here can take comfort from the fact that Dr Davis of the Heartscanblog has shown in his Wisconsin Practice for Heart Patients that intakes of 5000iu usually are sufficient for most of his female patients and 6000iu for males. However, he does point out that there is a huge variation in the efficiency at which we absorb and use D3 so regular 25(OH)D testing is a good idea to confirm you are always in the region of 55ng 137.5nmol/l at which human breast milk flows replete with D3, peak muscle performance is achievable and is the level associated with the least incidence of chronic conditions such as Diabetes, cancer, heart disease, MS,

Grassrootshealth D Action Campaign
Grassrootshealth are a charity promoting knowledge of the latest Vitamin D3 research. As part of their work they are running a trial monitoring 25(OH)D status against hospital interventions.
If you participate in this trial you can have your 25(OH)D checked up to twice yearly for $40 a time, roughly £24. It's a simple finger prick, 2 drops of blood on a test strip that you return in the post and they send you a link to your results.
Because of the difficulty in getting optimal amounts of vitamin D from sun exposure and adequate amounts from diet it's really worth participating in this trial.

When buying vitamin D3 you may want to consider the form Vitamin D3 Plus suggested by Dr Cannell of the Vitamin D Council

However, I've always found the standard vitamin D3 capsules Biotech Pharmacal produce are fine for me. When buying from Bio Tech if your order is likely to cost more than £18 to the UK it may be worth phoning your order through as you can then ask for the customs label declaration to state the wholesale rather than retail value, to avoid the excessive £8 UK Post Office handling fee for collecting the £3 customs duty.

As Vitamin D3 supplementation is a long term commitment it is worth using the cheapest source. I find these Now Foods, Vitamin D-3, Highest Potency, 5,000 IU, 120 Softgels absolutely fine.
The postage IHERB charge is generally less than elsewhere and by using the Rewards code WAB666 you can save $5 and by spreading the rewards code you will be given when you have ordered you can get further discounts from subsequent orders.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

How Vitamin D Reduces Incidence of Cancer:

How Vitamin D Reduces Incidence of Cancer:

Dr. Garland's DINOMIT Model: Vitamin D for Cancer Prevention (PDF)

Vitamin D and Cancer Prevention. Garland

Dose-Response of Vitamin D and a Mechanism for Cancer Prevention

The slides used in the above video can be downloaded from this link.
Dose-Response of Vitamin D and a Mechanism for Prevention of Cancer
by Cedric F. Garland, Dr.P.H., Edward D. Gorham, M.P.H., Ph.D., Sharif B. Mohr, M.P.H., and Frank C. Garland, Ph.D.

Friday, 3 July 2009

Can vitamin D help prevent certain cancers and other diseases such as type 1 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain autoimmune and chronic diseases? To answer these questions and more, UCSD School of Medicine and GrassrootsHealth bring you this innovative series on vitamin D deficiency. Join nationally recognized experts as they discuss the latest research and its implications. In this program, Edward Gorham, PhD, discusses the dilemma of skin cancer and sunscreen use.

Grassrootshealth D Action provide 25(OH)D testing at cost price.

Bio Tech Pharmacal offer cheap Dry Powder filled capsules of Cholecalciferol and are the only source of 50,000iu capsules I know of.
Now Foods, Vitamin D-3, Highest Potency, 5,000 IU, 120 Softgels Iherb is the cheapest source of 5000iu oilbased gel caps. Use Code WAB666 for a $5 introductory discount and try to share your rewards code when you have an IHERB account as the more you share the more discounts you get yourself.

Vitamin D and Cardiovascular Disease

Vitamin D Diabetes prevention

Allow plenty of time to watch this video.
It comes from the Grassrootshealth.org and you may find it helpful, if you want to study the graphs in more detail to download the slides separately

Vitamin D Prevents Cancer: Is It True?