Archive for the ‘Vitamins’ Category

Magnesium Stearate, Maltodextrin and More

IMG_1917 (2)What a difference a week makes. Last Sunday, my writing day, was as beautiful a day as one could special order if that were possible. Today it is pouring rain and if you look closely, distressing as that is to do, you can see some white crystalline objects mixed in. Urgh! Oh well, I shall not complain. I have a new kitchen faucet being installed and the workman (aka Spousal Unit) does not need to be tempted out-of-doors by an Indian Summer day.

I can report that THE project has only just begun and already he feels like he is in the midst of a “reality show where you are working against a time clock” because some thingamajig is leaking constantly and he needs to be done asap. The sighs are audible and frequent and I predict a slight meltdown at some point.

Yup, I think this weather is just the ticket and by the end of the day I will have a new faucet installed that hopefully will work.

This week on Facebook

As you undoubtedly know by now I have a Facebook page called, what else, Krisinsight. This week a friend of mine asked me about supplements I take and had I ever thought about the supplements working against each other? Another member of Krisinsight had the correct answer “Yes, of course.” I have tried many supplements over the years and I worry or wonder about each and every one. I was comforted long ago by my then functional medicine doctor, Robert Bruley. I told him I had a pantry full of supplements and he confided that he and his wife did too.

While that seems like a lot what also made me feel better was he and his wife had their blood tested all the time to check the effects of these supplements and they basically saw good results or they quit taking them. Some lowered homocysteine levels or CRP levels and others showed positive results in lowering liver enzymes. All in all, the supplements they took showed positive results and, to me, that was comforting and reassuring.

Spectracell results

Dr. Bruley was a big proponent of Life Extension formulas and I started taking several of their supplements at that time (2007 or thereabouts). I also took some others like Dibencozide and methylcobalamin all of which had fillers and additives but were recommended by my thyroid group.

Around this same time I heard a discussion between Dr. Mercola and a Dr. Klinghardt regarding a micro-film that might form from using supplements with stearates. Also Russell Blaylock wrote a book called “Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills” and I read it around the same time. One common filler is maltodextrin, an excitotoxin due to the way it is manufactured. Then going gluten-free  added new challenges to anything with additives and fillers. Even additives listed as “natural flavors” could contain gluten. Crikey! It was all becoming too, too difficult.

Then the coup d’grâce for the use of additives and fillers was my Spectracell test I had done in late 2011. Until this time I had taken the above listed supplements and one called “Anti-Alcohol Antioxidants” in addition to others that contained a full spectrum of antioxidants, CoQ10, selenium and zinc, not to mention up to 10,000 mcg of B12 sublingually every day.

In my blog from that time I wrote the following:

Vitamin B12, Selenium, Inositol, Zinc,  CoQ10 and my Spectrox (comprehensive antioxidants) were all listed as deficient. Why is this troublesome? B12 is often noted to be low in people who have dementia and a B12 deficiency actually mimics Alzheimer’s Disease.Selenium deficiencies are rare (the SU says he already knew I was weird) but can contribute to hypothyroidism. Inositol levels must be optimum to assure healthy brain function and even healthy hair growth. Zinc is a common deficiency and most often noted by white spots appearing in the nail bed but it also can lead to excess hair loss. CoQ10 is essential for healthy breasts and heart. As for antioxidants they are our life blood as necessary as the air we breathe.

What would you conclude?

Knowing you were taking all the nutrients that you have just tested low in what would you do? Also knowing that you, or, in this case, I, have a history of dementia in the family as well as heart disease, what would you surmise from these results? The facts were I was already taking more antioxidants and vitamins than the lab recommended in their prescription to improve my levels that were below acceptable levels. My overall low antioxidant level was really distressing to me given the supplements I was taking. Even though Dr. Bruley told me he was quite impressed with how many nutrients (like Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, etc.)  were at or above average levels the things that were below average bothered me considerably.

With some enlightenment thanks to my Spectracell test,  I started looking very carefully at supplements that have fillers and additives as the words of Dr. Mercola and Dr. Klinghardt (Klinghardt as been somewhat discredited at the time this is posted in his Lyme Disease work and Chris Kresser just posted this article) rang in my head.

That doesn’t mean I never take a supplement that has stearates or rice powder but it does mean I don’t like them and would prefer no additives or fillers. I don’t see the reason for them and I have contacted a number of companies about adding them unnecessarily only to be rebuffed.

Ignore me and thousands of others if you want but the fact remains additives  and fillers are really not necessary they aid in the manufacturing process and they make supplements unnecessarily large (only a problem if you have a dry mouth as so many thyroid patients do).

Krisinsight

In answer to my friend’s question, I think about the supplements I take and when they don’t work I quit taking them. I have been particularly fond of the formulas that Life Extension puts together but I don’t like their use of rice powder, maltodextrin and stearates. Also if you take a formula of assorted nutrients how do you know what is working and what isn’t? What if one thing actually would make you feel better but mixing it with other things is making you sick? Thus, I try to take single ingredient supplements until I know the effect each ingredient will have but again don’t hold me to these words as I can think of several formulations I take right now.

I, as you know, use very few scientific studies to prove my unique observations. My personal experience is what Krisinsight is all about. You can take it for what it is, one person’s experience with her health and use it accordingly. My experience has taught me that taking supplements with additives and fillers apparently did disrupt the absorption of these nutrients.

This poor absorption issue may have something to do with my hypothyroidism as a person afflicted with hypothyroidism may tend to have absorption issues, aka leaky gut. Especially for others, like me, who might have absorption issues avoiding fillers and additives may be something to consider. For instance, if you are low in B12, it might be a good idea to talk to your physician about methylcobalamin injections as even sublingual B12 may not be helping you increase your levels.

As for the aforementioned faucet project. I can happily report that my faucet has been installed and long before I have finished writing. Yea! I guess the profane words stayed firmly stuck inside the installer’s brain because I heard nothing other than the original “reality show” comment and several sighs. I asked him about this and he told me sometimes thinking them makes you feel just as good as voicing them. I am married to a truly gentle man and I am grateful. The new faucet is lovely and nary a drip falls after two years of a faucet that was “fixed” but dripped profusely. Now if the weather would quit dripping all would be well.

Santé,

Kris

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The Specter of a Spectracell

Several years ago when I first met Dr. Robert Bruley he told me about a Spectracell blood test, a test that would measure my  amino acids, metabolites, minerals, fatty acids, vitamins, antioxidants and carbohydrate metabolism at a cellular level. I found the idea of getting a cellular report fascinating but told him I had several other things to deal with and I would do it “later”.

What Time is Later?

Later finally rolled around last November. Dr. Bruley provided the essentials from the company that does the Spectracell. All I had to do was take it to my local hospital lab for the blood draw. That cost me about $25 and the lab took care of everything else because they can send it with FedEx when they pick up other blood tests for the day (so ask when this pick up occurs to make sure your test goes out the same day).

On Being the Queen of Supplements

I waited for what seemed like forever for the results and to be honest I still don’t have the entire dossier of results (always, always request a copy of your blood tests) but I do have in my clean little paws the list of my deficiencies. I have to say the results took me aback. Me, the Queen of Supplements finds herself deficient in the very things I have taken as a preventive measure.

The Deficient Ones

Vitamin B12, Selenium, Inositol, Zinc,  CoQ10 and my Spectrox (comprehensive antioxidants) were all listed as deficient. Why is this troublesome? B12 is often noted to be low in people who have dementia and a B12 deficiency actually mimics Alzheimer’s Disease. Selenium deficiencies are rare (the SU says he already knew I was weird) but can contribute to hypothyroidism. Inositol levels must be optimum to assure healthy brain function and even healthy hair growth. Zinc is a common deficiency and most often noted by white spots appearing in the nail bed but it also can lead to excess hair loss. CoQ10 is essential for healthy breasts and heart. As for antioxidants they are our life blood as necessary as the air we breathe.

What to Do? What to Do?

January 31st I talk to Dr. Bruley to see things from a medical doctor’s perspective. In the meantime, I have started taking the two supplements I wasn’t taking, zinc and selenium. I increased my CoQ10 (that is ubiquinol, not the less easily absorbed form of Ubiquinone) to 200 mg twice a day as I was taking 100 mg once or twice a day and had been for, well forever. Inositol (1 teaspoon twice a day) comes in a tasteless powder that I can easily add to water and drink. B12 has me stumped as I already take about 5000 mcg of B12 (Methylcobalamin) every day. I can only guess that I will need an injectable form in order to see improvement.

Let me Guide You

I read a great quote this week that went something like “All you can do is try. If you win, you can lead. If you lose, you can guide.” This week I get to guide you dear reader. The best guidance I can offer is that you call your doctor and order a Spectracell today. If your doctor doesn’t know about it use my link to Ann Louise Gittleman’s site where she sells it very reasonably. Do not look at it as some specter to be feared but as something that offers the very help you need to live life to its fullest.

Santé,

Kris

How to Successfully Increase Your Vitamin D Levels

It is that time again. What time? Time for me to blog about health issues. My health issues to be precise. Many of my readers  share my endocrine issues and have many of my same goals, optimally running endocrine and immune systems. How do you keep your immune system fighting fit? One way is to keep your Vitamin D levels in a healthy range and I think I can say with confidence that I know how you can best keep your D levels optimal.

I have felt for some time that if I could maintain my Vitamin D levels around 50 ngs/ml I was okay, not great, but okay because generally the range for optimum D levels (if you aren’t fighting health issues) are 35-65 ngs/ml. However, imagine my surprise when this week Ann Louise Gittleman, self proclaimed first lady of nutrition, posted the following message on Facebook: “Top Vitamin D experts are advising their female patients that blood levels of Vitamin D should be at least 40 ngs/mL for bone health and 80 for cognition and breast cancer prevention….”

Joe Mercola had the same thing to say and John Cannell even had more reasons to keep your D levels around 80, like controlling estrogen, and combating MS. Then Mike Adams published this article on Sunday August 28th discussing Vitamin D and its relationship to diabetes. I don’t know about you but I would love to have enough Vitamin D in my body to fight breast cancer, help build bone, avoid diabetes and retain my cognitive abilities.

On the same day I read Ms. Gittleman’s quotation I received my latest blood test results from Grassroots Health. If you have read my blog for any length of time you will recall that two years ago I joined a Vitamin D test group. At the time John Cannell had initiated the study and for $40 every 6 months for five years I have my blood tested for Vitamin D levels. That means, in case, you don’t feel like doing the math, twice a year I test my Vitamin D levels.

My D levels this past 6 months, which include the valuable summer sun months of May through September, were 56 ngs/ml. One year ago at this same time my D levels were 54 ngs/ml. In the past three months I purposefully have also been supplementing Vitamin D3, approximately 5000 iu’s three times a week. For that reason I was disappointed with the 56 ngs/ml. I was certain that the supplemental D in addition to exposing my naked skin (defined as bare skin with no SPF of any kind on it) three times a week for 20 minutes would have my levels closer to 70 ngs/ml.

In March of 2011, after 6 months of winter, my levels were 70 ngs/ml. A year before that, in March 2010, my blood test had a remarkable result of 92 ngs/ml. That is, my friends, simply amazing. Why? Those results showed up in my blood test after not taking any supplemental Vitamin D and exclusively using my Sunsplash Renew.

The first year I thought it was a fluke but now two years running my levels have been higher after 6 months of winter exposure to the Sunsplash Renew than after 4 months of summer sun exposure plus supplemental Vitamin D. There is no other explanation. I do not find myself on an island paradise during the winter nor spending hours in equatorial sunshine all I do is use my Sunsplash Renew three times a week 10 minutes at a time.

I have said it before and will say it again, if you aren’t checking your Vitamin D levels you should. Most Americans are sadly deficient. If your blood test reveals that your levels aren’t between 65 ngs/ml (basically healthy with no health challenges) to 80 ngs/ml (autoimmune diseases, diabetics, heart problems, cancer) you need to increase your intake of Vitamin D and/or spend 10 minutes three times a week in front of D producing lights.

If you choose the latter method, be sure you don’t bathe the skin for 24 hours after exposure to the D lights and avoid soap, on belly skin in particular, for 36 hours post exposure. This allows for the Vitamin D to be produced (via cholesterol in the skin where it is converted to D3) and then soak in and be utilized by the body. If you choose Vitamin D3 supplements you may need to take at least 5000 iu’s per day in the winter months but always, always test, never assume.

Aside from increasing my Vitamin D levels and making my immune system fighting fit I have been working on my blog for next week as I have updated information regarding my T3 only thyroid treatment. I know, I know does the fun never end? But I hope to see you here, same time, same place next Monday.

Take care, take your Vitamin D3,

Kris

Prodigious Sunshine Vitamin

As it is Oscar day I will couch this in Oscar terms and tell it to you like this: And the Oscar winner in the category of “raising Vitamin D levels”  goes to Mercola’s Sunsplash Renew. This little marvel not only works for Vitamin D it leaves your skin with a healthy glow and rejuvenates facial collagen. Come on up here and receive your golden Oscar! Well it would go something like that if there were awards for things that can help to improve your health, alas there are not, so writing this week’s blog will have to suffice.

Yesterday as I perused my incoming on my laptop I noticed these words “Your test results are available” and I knew, even if you haven’t a clue, what that meant. A little over a week ago I pricked my fourth finger and dropped crimson hemoglobin on a small sheet of paper specifically made for testing this vital fluid called blood. I let it dry 30 minutes and sent it off to Grassroots Health. With this online notice I knew it had arrived at its destination and now my test results were available to be viewed. I went to the site with some amount of trepidation. Yes, you read that right, trepidation.

At the end of August the summer of 2009 I had my first blood test through Grassroots Health and my levels were a remarkably good 65ng/ml (although Krispin Sullivan thought these were marginally too high). Through the summer I had spent my 20 minutes in the sun with full body exposure (I have a really private back deck, or at least I hope it is really private). My only other source of Vitamin D was my Vital Choice Salmon Oil and it has some 400 mg of Vitamin D per serving because salmon have some natural Vitamin D. As of September I entered the dark period in Minnesota otherwise known as autumn and winter, a period of time when we cannot manufacture Vitamin D from skin exposure to sun no matter how good it feels. According to Google Earth the latitude at my house is exactly 45 degrees.

In August with the expenditure of some inherited money I had become the proud owner of a Mercola Sunsplash Renew and as a test of Joe Mercola’s honesty and integrity I wanted to do no supplementing except to do what they tell you to do “stand in front of the lamps three times a week, 10 minutes a time”. I always showered before the session, so I wouldn’t need to expose my skin to water for at least 24 hours and never used soap for 36 hours on the body parts that absorb the rays, so it would not be washed off before being effective. I did for a few weeks stand for 10 minutes on each side (front and back) but 20 minutes was too long for a naked karaoke performance, just ask my SO, so that was short lived but admittedly my tan got better and much to my surprise I learned the words to almost every Michael Buble song.

As the months stretched ahead of me and then gradually behind me I was getting apprehensive about my D levels. There was a part of me that feared they might go even higher but mostly I was concerned that they had plummeted and then what would I do to get them back to optimum levels and what would I have to say to my readers about Joe Mercola’s credibility, I have put a lot of trust in what the man has to say without being a sycophant.

In the middle of February we went for a road trip to northern Florida. We were only there 4 days and those 4 days were some of the many that area had this winter (2010) that were unseasonably cold. We did expose our skin to the sunshine for as much as we could stand but when the winds started to whip up off the Gulf we ran for cover. At that latitude I am not sure one is producing Vitamin D by sun exposure in February but even if we were we weren’t in the sun very much and when we were we had clothing covering much of our bodies.

Once home I did the test and yesterday afternoon I went to www.grassrootshealth.net typed in my email address and my password, clicked and there they were, my Vitamin D levels from last August and from February 2010. Whoops! What? 92ng/ml my mind went wild thinking about what disease I might have, what anomaly is causing me to create copious Vitamin D? I immediately shot a query off to my adrenal fatigue discussion group asking if hypothyroidism or adrenal fatigue could cause this perplexing problem. They evidently thought I was off in La-La Land because my note appeared and then disappeared never to be answered. I frantically thought of writing Mercola but he has made it quite clear that he doesn’t answer personal health questions and my doctor is only in Tuesday through Thursday, so there wasn’t much chance of reaching anything but the drone of his office manager telling me to call “911 if this is an emergency”. Where or where or who might be able to tell me something, anything? Aha! Kerri at Immune Health Newsletter somehow came in to view on my search radar and I clicked. Ooh, a place for questions but they have to be approved, so I decided I could wait days if need be but I needed to know if I should be calling a specialist or just 911.

I sent my note off in to the ethernet and you know what? Kerri answered me within an hour. I think I love her. She not only approved of my entry, she answered it and said it would make a great addition to her site’s discussion. She then went on to basically tell  me that my note sounded like I was worried about something being wrong and I could hear a very welcome giggle in her voice when she wrote “Your levels are just slightly above optimum. So, there is not something abnormal going on that your body is storing it, it’s just doing what vitamin d does when it doesn’t need it for the moment.” It stores it until needed.

Dear reader, with that answer from Kerri and a night of reflection I feel Sunsplash Renew has earned the Golden Oscar of Health which is actually more important than anything Hollywood can hand out.  Personally I am laying off the karaoke paring down my Sunsplash sessions to perhaps one time a week and as we enter our late spring and summer I will discontinue using it altogether. I do feel that my high levels have protected me this winter as despite my contact with sick patients and fellow employees in the dental office I have remained amazingly flu and cold free. When the H1N1 scare was all the buzz I stocked up on herbal remedies for immunity but refused any insane inclination to have a flu vaccination. Not only did I not need the much lauded vaccination, I have had no need for the herbal tinctures or even my Eby’s Cold Cure and that is despite quite a few hypothyroid challenges in the last months.

I had no idea what my D levels would do over the dark months but I trekked on with a bit of silly blind faith and a sense of healthy adventure and as the light becomes noticeable at the end of this dark tunnel I push forward with a happy heart and will be preaching my lesson learned, use the Sunsplash Renew to obtain optimal levels of Vitamin D.

In the New Year Bone up and Build Up your Osteoblasts

2010 has arrived in a wintry rush and with temperatures somewhere in the minus 20 F I am housebound like never before. I have dogs and even they are avoiding the outside world but that could have something to do with the booties I insist they both wear when we venture out. They are so embarrassed by their appearance that the mere mention of the word “outside” sends them running and scrambling in a mad dog world kind of way. Oh well, this too shall pass and when it does I want my bones dense and ready to run.

My mind went to healthy bones this morning when I opened Al Sear’s Sunday Review and one of the articles he featured referred to the “glue” that keeps your bones together, Vitamin K2. He states, and I quote “calcium supplements have little to do with the strength of your bones. The U.S. has the highest intake of calcium, yet our rate of osteoporosis is the highest in the world.” I haven’t checked his data but I can say that the people I know who religiously took their calcium supplements and have always drunk their milk (pasteurized of course) now have diagnosed osteoporosis and take Fosamax. Are there things we can do to help build strong bones? Yes and I will list some good things to do for your bones but I will start with some of the worst things for your bones.

Fluoride is not good for your bones. It is, in the dental world, touted as being a “tooth vitamin”, but that simply isn’t true. I have a grown daughter who has had little to no fluoride ever and she has perfect teeth, she has never had a carious lesion in her mouth.  In my years of dentistry I have seen the effects of too much fluoride and it isn’t pretty, teeth become powdery and white or brown (it depends on the level of fluoride) and if it affects teeth that way it is affecting your bones in the same manner and will make them powdery, chalky and ultimately brittle. There are areas in the US where there are naturally high levels of fluoride in the well water but most people get it after it has been artificially added to their municipal water supply or innocently added to baby formula or dropped in a wee ones unsuspecting mouth. I believe we need to question things we are told and never again drop fluoride in the mouth of babes without looking up all the information published on the subject of fluoridation and what other countries are doing. Then if you agree it is harmful and unnecessary filter fluoride out of household water including water that is used for showers and bathing (fluoride entering through your skin is like just shooting up with the stuff). Several other sources of fluoride are tea (depends on the ground the leaves were grown in), toothpaste and mouthwash all of which are easily avoided.

In my opinion another untruth perpetuated by our much touted Food Pyramid is that milk sold in stores in most states is good for you. A dentist in our office tells every parent to just make sure their children drink lots of milk. It will help them grow tall and have good bones and teeth according to her. I have to turn the other way as I firmly believe pasteurized milk has nothing good left in it except for what they artificially add like Vitamin D3. In fact, pasteurization cooks everything out, so all you are left with if you are lucky is some fat. However, most people shun full fat milk and drink only the unappetizing blue skim milk which has nothing left but lactose, a.k.a. sugar; sugar the nemesis of  good teeth and bones. If you want a healthy drink of milk look at www.realmilk.com and drive miles to the nearest farmer who sells real milk full of enzymes, vitamins, calcium all naturally placed their by Mother Nature and the dear cow who produced it. If you are in the Twin Cities contact Jay Kalisch and find out where his closest delivery point is to your home.

Now for more good things you can do to feed your bones. Firstly, we come to Dr. Sears suggestion of Vitamin K2, the glue that keeps your bones together. Vitamin K2 is even available at a store near you in the produce section. Dark leafy green vegetables are full of Vitamin K but be sure and eat them raw or fermented or just steamed lightly so you don’t destroy the vitamin content. Also you can take a supplement of Vitamin K2 also known as menaquinone-7 (MK-7) or eat Natto (a fermented soybean product available at Asian food stores). Personally I like Boku Superfood, 2 scoops of which have as much Vitamin K2 as a capsule of Mercola’s K2, it tastes good and provides a multitude of vitamins and enzymes, basically everything you need in a whole food supplement.

Magnesium is an essential element missing in most American diets. We are told to take Calcium but seldom is it mentioned that you need to balance it with magnesium.  Most medical experts recommend 400-600 mg of magnesium a day in a 2:1 ratio calcium:magnesium. Magnesium needs to be taken to bowel tolerance which is to say if it gives you diarrhea you are taking too much, cut back and then add what you can tolerate. Several sources of magnesium are Calm (magnesium citrate), Thorne Research Magnesium Aspartate, Boku Superfood, epsom salt baths, Ionic Fizz Magnesium, Magnesium oil (Ancient Minerals being a top rated brand) applied transdermally, Ecological Formulas Tri-Salts (also has calcium and potassium), and the nasty tasting Magnesium Chloride (definitely my least favorite way of getting magnesium). If you add magnesium to your daily diet not only will it assist your body in using the calcium it takes in it may very well alleviate or diminish aches and pains, muscles cramps, constipation, restless leg, lower blood pressure and even help you sleep.

Vitamin D3 is another essential ingredient and it is one of the easiest and cheapest supplements to take. At my latitude of 45 degrees it is recommended that an average adult should take 4000 IUs a day in the winter months. You can produce your own Vitamin D in the summer by exposing your clean body (no sunscreen) to the midday sun for 20 minutes at least three times a week, cheap and easy. This winter I am using my Sunsplash Renew from Mercola.com three times a week, 10 minutes a side (front and back). I will have my D levels checked in February and will know if I have kept my D levels optimal. If they are optimal I will strongly endorse the Sunsplash Renew.

Lastly, but by far not the least, is exercise. Weight lifting will cause the muscles to pull on your bones and naturally help them rebuild themselves or keep them strong. Weight bearing exercise like running, jumping rope, and walking will jar the bone and cause it to produce osteoblasts and thus strengthen the bone. Once you have the foundation you too can build a fabulously strong body that will never need pharmaceutical poisons that claim to build strong bone. Run, walk, jump in to the new year and help your bones be strong at the same time.

And the Hype Goes On

This morning’s headline yells “19 Children Dead from H1N1 Virus!” and I admit it raises some fear even in my mind but I have to take a deep breath and remember a few vital details.

First, it is true that more people are adversely affected by the flu vaccination than by the flu itself. According to an article by a Bill Sardi on Lew Rockwell.com “in 1993 the federal government hid a deadly flu vaccine that killed thousands of nursing home patients.” “The vaccine related mortality was so large that this set back the life expectancy of Americans for the first time since the 1918 Spanish flu!” This article, which is a must read, also points out that the vaccine administrated to children at the moment is a nasal spray of live virus. These children then go home and spread live virus amongst their family members and Bob’s your uncle, everyone has the flu. I’ll be damned.

Secondly, not one media source that I have listened to (and I admit I turn it off as soon as they start the vaccine hype) discusses what one can do to build up your immune system and thus avoid the flu. It is known that Vitamin D3 is very effective and I can tell you there is nothing easier to swallow than a D3 capsule or it even comes in a peppermint wafer that can be chewed. I personally meditate for 10 minutes every other day in front of my Sunsplash Renew Vitamin D lamps thus exposing my body to the benefit of Vitamin D producing rays.

If you don’t have the advantage of living near the equator or of possesssing a Sunsplash Renew Vitamin D lamp you need to take Vitamin D3. Generally the recommended amount of Vitamin D is 400 iu but this is simply inadequate to fight disease and increase your immunity to the flu and you should actually take 35 IU’s of Vitamin D3 per pound of body weight. That is for a child weighing 40 pounds about 1400 IU’s of Vitamin D3 and for an average adult male weighing 170 pounds the dose would be 6000 IU’s. When you expose your skin to summer sun 20,000 IU’s of Vitamin D are produced and there is no danger of overdose as your body can easily assimilate the unnecessary Vitamin D and or get rid of it. When taken in prescription form it is often Vitamin D2 which is much less effective and thus given in large doses in the range of 30,000 IU’s and 50,000 IU’s. In these cases the person has extremely low levels of Vitamin D3 and to prevent illness must get their levels up to at least 40 ng/ml. In any case, you need to have your Vitamin D levels checked with a simple blood test and then you want your levels to be between 50ng/ml and 65 ng/ml. If you are fighting cancer or a debilitating disease your levels should be closer to 90ng/ml.

Vitamin C is known to be very effective in building up your immune system. Vitamin C can be taken in large doses (to bowel tolerance) as what you don’t need will be removed in your urine. I know the joke about “all it does is produce expensive urine” but we know it helps you fight disease and if some is excreted so be it. I take 2500 mg of Quali-C every morning but it is a heart formula that also has L-lysine and L-proline. The Vitamin C Foundation sells a very high quality Vitamin C that is not sourced from corn and is made in the USA.

Selenium, is a trace mineral that if taken can  prevent the worst forms of H1N1 where the lungs fill up with fluid and you literally drown in your own fluid. Selenium can be found in nuts such as Brazil nuts but can also be taken in supplemental form. You want to closely monitor how much Selenium you take in any given day as it can have adverse effects if taken in excess of 250mg.

Lastly, when they scream “19 children have died” you must ask at least two other questions. “Were these children in any way compromised?” and “Were all these children from one state or from across the United States?” The favorite statement to make now is “and there were no underlying health problems”. Perhaps the child didn’t have asthma, or cancer or diabetes all of which could weaken their immune system but one they never like to talk about is that children fed a diet high in sugar, trans fats and simple carbohydrates (like Wonder Bread) have weakened immune systems and are unable to fight off simple illness much less H1N1 viruses. Perhaps they should inquire about the child’s diet to be totally accurate when reporting “no underlying causes”. Not to mention asking if they had been given Tamiflu and/or the H1N1 vaccine.

While I hate the thought of children dying  just like anyone else does the facts are children die. Children do die of side effects of the flu. 19 children isn’t even one per state and that is a death rate that is not considered abnormal or alarming and definitely not of pandemic proportions. When the media go on and on about such mundane statistics they are simply attempting to create a panic and they are most certainly pandering to the federal government because it is known that our government has invested billions of dollars in developing a vaccine and they don’t want those dollars wasted.

I think it is undoubtedly time to turn off the hype. If you want to be informed read your news, read it online, read it in the newspapers and magazines. Then open a dialogue with intelligent well informed people and discuss the pros and cons of vaccination. We do not become informed citizens by listening to McNews and falling prey to their hype. All you really have to do is keep a running tally of the commercials run during the morning and evening news and you will know precisely who has paid for the hype you just heard and then you can dismiss in its entirety.

Boning Up on the Facts

I hope my friend Carla won’t mind if I take a cue from her for today’s blog but she was pondering osteoporosis and its affects on her aging mother. I have osteopenia which means when I had my Dexa scan done there was some thinning of my bone but not enough for my functional medicine doctor to concern himself with. To quote him ” it is a normal thinning of bone”. My mother had osteoporosis and this was evidenced by the change in her general height. That said, she really never did break a bone until she was 90, and she fell more than any other person I know. When she did tumble from her walker at the nursing home she fell right on her left elbow and it did break. It was surgically corrected, and once they took the darned pin out it healed and she acted like she had never had a break. Mother started taking one of the Pharma drugs in her 80’s and it may have helped but it also may have contributed to some wasting in her jaw bone that caused her to lose some teeth. I guess we will never know and that is what the Pharma world counts on. I am left pondering my mother’s osteoporosis thanks to Carla and here are my ruminations.

I believe that my osteopenia and my mother’s osteoporosis were primarily caused by undiagnosed Celiac’s disease. We were a family of bread eaters and cereals, you name it there wasn’t a grain that wasn’t eaten at our house all in the name of healthy eating. Mother had the ability to clear her colon in seconds as her doctor told her “with any kind of stress”. I think we would now call that IBS and mother had it her entire life but not one person thought to alter her diet. I think of all the nutrients she didn’t absorb and I am no longer in wonder at her osteoporosis or for that matter her dementia. I have blamed my similar issues on anything and everything, that is until I started reading and then took to heart everything that Joe Mercola and others were putting out there about grain consumption. Once I eliminated grain from my diet, allowing for the occasional treat, my digestive issues all but disappeared.

Calcium is supposed to build strong bones. Well milk was huge at our house and mother dutifully drank her glass of milk at almost every meal ostensibly “for her bones”. Mother also took her tums. Pasteurized milk is truly useless and that “healthy” drink, skim milk, is just pure sugar and does little more than cause insulin resistance in the individuals who drink it (my father drank gallons of the stuff but ate no sweets and little bread and died with undiagnosed diabetes). In other words, calcium is not the only answer and most of us get plenty of calcium in our diet from various vegetables and if not lactose intolerant from cheese, cottage cheese, etc. What is often is missing is Magnesium to balance the calcium intake and Ionic Fizz and Peter Gilham’s Calm both easily add magnesium to your diet. I love my raw milk kefir and have some most mornings in my smoothie. By the way, there is no pasteurized milk in my house if I can help it but that is a recent revelation (last 10 years) and pasteurized skim milk used to be a constant in our refrigerator and I, too, took Tums regularly.

Mother exercised in her fifties but only then and it was always walking. She worked harder than anyone I know and had more energy than anyone I know but she didn’t actually do weight lifting or any kind of exercise that would cause percussion of the bone and a pulling of muscle on the bones. Lesson learned is exercise your muscles and pound a little on your bones with exercise like running, walking, climbing stairs, etc. T-Tapp actually does it all and also improves your mirror image.

Mom ate a lot of fish especially in her later years as they lived on the shores of Lake Superior but fish is notoriously high in mercury and she was still eating her oatmeal and bread, so whatever goodness she was supposed to get from her fish was washed down the loo. Omega 3 oils are vital to healthy bones and the best kind of fish oil I know of is Vital Choice Salmon Oil. It is a deep orange it is so rich in astaxanthan from krill, has a pure taste and is undistilled and has undetectable levels of mercury.  Omega 6 oils need to be minimized at least in the summer (we may have increased need for some if we live in the northern climes).

Mother judiciously avoided sunshine. She slathered on sunscreen, put a large brimmed hat on her head and covered every inch of her body with thick fabric. In her last years she was seldom exposed to sunshine and when she was she squinted and asked to go back inside. I never had her Vitamin D levels checked but I wish I would have as it is easy to do and is so important. Vitamin D levels should be at least 50-60 ng/ml and even higher if you have any health challenges like cancer or even a virus. My functional medicine doctor ordered the test for me originally but now you can order your own online at the Vitamin D Council site. It is so cool that at my local Healtheast hospital (Woodwinds) you can walk in to the hospital lab and ask for a Vitamin D3 test without doctor’s orders and for $40 find out for yourself. It may be true of a lab near you and it pays to ask. Once you know your D3 levels you may need massive amounts of D3 to get your levels up (up to 50,000 mg temporarily) but you might just need daily exposure to midday sunshine. Sunshine prescription: 15-20 minutes midday sun on as much exposed naked skin as you can decently manage. In the north our sunshine is only effective from May-September unless you live at high altitude so another option is the Sunsplash from Mercola not only will it help your body produce its own Vitamin D all year you will also walk around with a healthy glow.

Lastly, Mom took a daily multiple vitamin but we know now those really aren’t adequate and with her digestive issues it was mostly a waste of her time and money. What she really needed were a host of minerals and vitamins that would have helped her keep her bones strong. Vitamin K2 is vital, selenium, boron, copper, zinc and B12 (a vitamin many of us have unhealthily low levels of) are all necessary to build and keep bone strong. Recently, I found quite by accident a product developed by Jonathon Wright called ProBone-O by Life Enhancement. It has no fillers or magnesium stearate and is easy to use as you just drop it in the vestibule of your mouth, let it sit 20 seconds and then swallow, even the digestively challenged will absorb the nutrients.

I can’t change things for my mom as she died in March at the age of 91 but maybe my ruminations can help you or someone you love. All of the experts I mention have numerous articles about bone health on their websites and they have all proven to be quite reliable. It really is up to you to bone up on your health.