Tags: Vit. D: Pregnancy, Breast, Libido, Autism, Schizophrenia, Depression, Heart, Stroke, Diabetes, High BP, Acne
Oil is in the news now, but very little about the real health benefits of Americans using less sunscreen and greatly increasing the vitamin D3 daily to at least 2,000 IU and up to 5,000 IU.
As I mentioned in the past, vitamin D really boosted my testosterone level from normal for someone my age to levels seen in teenagers. Yes, it has really increased my Libido as some rumors in the news has mentioned.
The establishment is always conservative to preserve their place in the hierarchy.
I was cursed or blessed with a level of independence not accepted in our current society so I am generally skeptical of those who have the gift (inherited) of gab and are part of the Establishment.
We have seen in our political debates that confirmed facts have no place in what they say. Republicans and the media are now blaming Obama for screwing up on the oil spill now. First let me remind you that several years ago the NY Times has an obscured article that mentioned that Obama was really worried about Bush putting in ideological troops into our civil service system whose employees are hard to remove. That is why the Republicans refused to approve a competent and honest leader for the Oils and Mineral unit which has strong control of off-shore drilling requirements. Apparently these Bush Boys violated all protocol and ignored the role of other agencies regulating off-shore oil rigs. The Swiss company flew the flag of the Marshal Islands as reported by Rachel Maddow http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/ns/msnbc_tv-rachel_maddow_show/#37141886
The blind adherence by doctors, scientists, and others to the role of sunscreen UVB use causing all sorts of illnesses including osteoporosis without realizing that vitamin D is critical not only for bones but for our overall health including our immune system.
Here are some of the letters to Dr. John Cannell of www.vitaminDcouncil.com from all over the world seeking council on vitamin D by medical doctors and others whose children have serious health problems including acne for teenagers.
Suzy, give Mike this because his website does not accommodate more than one page long e-mails. Thanks!
Jim Kawakami, May 14, 2010, http://jimboguy.blogspot.com
Vitamin D Council www.vitaminDcouncil.org
John Cannell, MD
Vitamin D Council
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Dear Dr. Cannell:
I have a four-month-old infant and I am worried because I only took a prenatal vitamin during my pregnancy but no extra vitamin D. I am breastfeeding but I give him formula as well as breast milk. Do I need to give him extra vitamin D?
Yes, you do. In fact, CDC researchers just announced that less than 25% of U.S. infants are getting the outdated recommended amount of vitamin D (400 IU/day). I suspect the situation is worse in England. Dr. Cria Perrine and her colleagues at the CDC analyzed questionnaires sent to over 15,000 mothers with infants ranging in age from 1-10 months.
Perrine CG et al.Adherence to Vitamin D Recommendations Among US Infants. Pediatrics. 2010 Mar 22. [Epub ahead of print]
The breast milk of vitamin D deficient mothers contains little vitamin D and virtually all mothers are deficient, thus breast milk usually has little vitamin D. Dr. Perrine found that only about 10% of breast-feeding infants are supplemented to meet the 400 IU/day recommendation; more surprising, only about 30% of formula-fed infants were getting 300 IU/day, mainly because few infants consume the one liter of formula needed to do so.
One bad sign, Dr. Perrine reiterated the 1999 American Academy of Pediatrics sunshine warning, which amounts to child abuse, stating, “children under the age of 6 months should be kept out of the sun altogether and that those aged 6 months or older should wear protective clothing and sunscreen to minimize sun exposure.” One good sign, WebMD mentioned that adequate amounts of vitamin D might prevent respiratory infections in infants.
The vitamin D Council recommends that breastfeeding infants under one year of age take 1,000 IU/day unless the mother takes 5,000 IU/day, in which case the infants will get all they need from breast milk. Formula fed infants need an extra 600 IU/day. Carlson Ddrops, either 400, 1,000 or 2,000 IU/drop are available at most health food stores and on the internet; they are an easy way to keep your infant vitamin D sufficient. I understand that similar dropper products are available in England’s health food stores. By the way, Dr. Carol Wagner and Bruce Hollis have just presented their data about pregnant women and vitamin D.
Boyles S. High Doses of Vitamin D May Cut Pregnancy Risks: Study Shows 4,000 IU a Day of Vitamin D May Reduce Preterm Birth and Other Risks. WebMd, May 4, 2010. Their study had two treatment arms; pregnant women took either 2,000 IU/day and 4,000 IU/day. In Belgium, Dr. Hollis reported their findings forced them to discontinue the 2,000 IU/day treatment arm for ethical reasons: it was associated with more obstetrical complications than the 4,000 IU/day treatment arm.
Dear Dr. Cannell:
Is there anything out there about vitamin D and libido? I am asking because I have noticed an increase in my libido (I am a 48-year-old male who has been getting 5,000 IU/day shipped to me in France from Bio Tech Pharmacal for about a year.)
I know of no studies measuring male libido and vitamin D but Dr. Wehr and colleagues, at the Medical University of Graz in Austria, just published a surprising study showing that testosterone levels are directly associated with vitamin D levels (measured with the DiaSorin technique) and testosterone levels vary with the seasons, in concert with vitamin D levels. Furthermore, the men with very low testosterone levels had very low vitamin D levels. This study does not prove, like any association study, that vitamin D increases testosterone levels. It may be that sun-exposure in the summer is responsible for both higher vitamin D levels and higher testosterone levels.
Wehr E et al. Association of vitamin D status with serum androgen levels in men. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2009 Dec 29. [Epub ahead of print]
By the way, the New York Daily News got it wrong, nothing in the Wehr study talks about vitamin D increasing male libido.
Dominguez R. Suntanning, and the doses of vitamin D it provides, found to boost male sex drive: study. February 2nd 2010
Dear Dr. Cannell:
I work with the Somali immigrant community in Ottawa. If you see how healthy these immigrants are when they come here and how terrible their health is after a few years it is hard to see how it could be anything but vitamin D. Why do the health officials in Canada do nothing?
What is going on in Ottawa is a crime against people of color, just as what is going on against African Americans in the USA is a crime. It is not just autism, but schizophrenia, depression, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and hypertension, are all diseases associated with vitamin D deficiency and also associated with dark skin in temperate latitudes.
African Americans die almost eight years younger than Whites do, due to the diseases of vitamin D deficiency. I hoped the Obama administration might do something, but so far nothing. Perhaps we should file our civil rights complaint again, like the one we filed in 2005, which then Attorney General Alberto Gonzales summarily dismissed:
Isotretinoin or 13-cis-Retinoic Acid (Accutane in the USA) is a retinoid used in severe acne and rosacea as well as in cancer chemotherapy. It may have the same effects on the vitamin D receptor as other retinols. It certainly interferes with vitamin D metabolism.
Rødland O, et al. Serum levels of vitamin D metabolites in isotretinoin-treated acne patients. Acta Derm Venereol. 1992;72(3):217-9.
For those taking Isotretinoin for cancer, continue doing what your oncologist says to do, but also get your 25(OH)D to at least 100 ng/ml. If you are taking Isotretinoin for acne, my advice is to stop the Isotretinoin and take adequate doses of vitamin D.
In 1938, Dr. Merlin Maynard showed vitamin D helped acne more than one of the most effective treatments of all time, x-ray treatment. You can download his entire paper for free.
Maynard MT. Vitamin D in acne, a comparison with x-ray treatment. California and Western Medicine: 49 (2);127-132
Dr. Maynard wrote beautifully:
There is probably no skin disease of greater importance to the human race than acne. It is undoubtedly our commonest skin disease, and it is rare that any individual reaches maturity without having had it in one of its phases. It is a disease of considerable economic importance, as the disfiguring scars of a severe case are never completely obliterated. It is also a disease of youth. It attains its most noxious form at the time the individual first has to earn his own living. It is undoubtedly responsible for many failures in getting business positions. It is also the basis for inferiority complexes and discouragement in young people.
Dr. Maynard published a long case series. In his earlier days, he used x-ray treatment for acne, but when he started using viosterol (vitamin D2) he stopped using x-ray treatment. In reviewing his cases, he found x-ray treatment led to favorable results 48% of the time but vitamin D did so 76% of the time; he used between 5,000 and 14,000 IU per day. Vitamin D3 may work even better than D2, if acne patients take adequate doses, like 10,000 IU/day with frequent 25(OH)D levels.
In summary, he said:
I believe I may say that at no time in my dermatological experience have I felt such complete satisfaction with a treatment as I have with the cases of this series. I know that vitamin D is an imperfect weapon to slay this disfiguring disease, but it undoubtedly gives one a feeling of being well defended. From the patients' viewpoint, it has left little to be desired, as they find themselves improving, both in appearance and in general well-being. Many have expressed the sentiment, ‘Never felt better.’
In 2008, the mechanism of action of vitamin D in the skin was the subject of a lengthy review:
Schauber J, Gallo RL. The vitamin D pathway: a new target for control of the skin's immune response? Exp Dermatol. 2008 Aug;17(8):633-9.
Theoretically, rosacea should not respond to vitamin D, just the opposite, but readers have told me it does. However, if you have been on Isotretinoin, it may take months or years for the excessive vitamin A to get out of your system. The excess vitamin A may continue to compete for the vitamin D’s receptors attention and, until the vitamin A is gone, one may not see the full effects of vitamin D. By the way, just ask any acne patient if their acne gets better after a week of sunning at the beach.
Dear Dr. Cannell:
I am a naturopath in Montréal, Canada. I work primarily in mental health. I did a search on MDConsult recently for "Differential diagnosis of psychosis." One of the differential diagnoses in the list was vitamin D deficiency. I am unable to find any research that supports that, and that list had no citations. Do you know anything about it?
I have a patient who recently experienced some of the most extreme psychosis of his life. During that time, I measured his Vitamin D. It was too low to be detected! I started him on 5,000 IU per day and had measured it a few months later, when he was doing much better, and it was 22 ng/ml. I thought there was a relationship between the deficiency and the psychosis, but could not find anything on PubMed or anywhere else about the connection.
Any thoughts on that?
This is good news; however, I am not aware of any papers on the treatment of psychosis with vitamin D. At my hospital, which now has a policy to test all new patients for vitamin D deficiency, several of us have noticed that a few psychotic patients seem to get remarkably better on vitamin D, and others can reduce the dose of their meds, once their vitamin D deficiency is treated. However, the vast majority of patients must stay on meds or they relapse. However, no one, to my knowledge, has treated psychotic patients with pharmaceutical doses, like 20,000 IU per day. It would not surprise me at all if researchers found that dose to be effective treatment in some cases of psychosis.
The scientific community has never researched the issue of using vitamin D as a drug, that is, as a pharmaceutical. If one was free to use pharmaceutical doses, as psychiatrists in private practice are free to do, they could rapidly lend some light to the subject by treating psychotic patients with both antipsychotic meds and with 20,000 IU per day and carefully follow 25(OH)D, calcium, and clinical course. I suspect they would find a vitamin D treatment effect. If they did such a case series, I would publish their reports in this newsletter, be they negative or positive.
Yes, divide nmol/L by 2.5 to get ng/ml. In the USA, all labs report 25(OH)D levels as ng/ml so no division is needed. As far as our website goes, the conversion is now on it, thank you. The English company Minervation is well into a two-year project of greatly improving our website. Dr. William Grant, a member of our Board, is working closely with Minervation to get the science right. The current website began in 2003 when I spent several months writing it and my son then published it on the internet, so it is far from perfect.