Vitamins

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Yvonne
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Re: Vitamins

Post by Yvonne » Thu 17 Jul 2008 21:50

Low vitamin D common with rheumatic diseases

PARIS (Reuters Health) - Nearly three quarters of patients seen at a rheumatology clinic, which focuses on diseases affecting the joints, muscles, bones, and tendons, have a vitamin D deficiency, researchers based in Ireland found.

Dr. Muhammad Haroon and associates at South Infirmary-Victoria University Hospital, Cork, assessed the occurrence of vitamin D deficiency in all new patients seen at their rheumatology clinic between January and June 2007. The research team's findings were reported at the European Union League Against Rheumatism 2008 meeting here in Paris.

Of 264 patients seen during this time period, 231 agreed to have their levels of vitamin D measured and other related tests performed.

Overall, 162 patients (70 percent) had low vitamin D levels and 26 percent had a severe deficiency. Little difference was seen in the percentage of younger and older patients who were deficient.

Severe vitamin D deficiency affected a significant percentage of patients with a variety of conditions, including inflammatory joint diseases, rheumatism, arthritis, backache, and osteoporosis.

According to Haroon, chronic severe vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of the bone-thinning disease osteoporosis and the bone-softening disease osteomalacia, while a mild-to-moderate deficiency may contribute to non-specific rheumatic complaints, he said.

http://www.reuters.com/article/healthNe ... healthNews
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Yvonne
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Re: Vitamins

Post by Yvonne » Sat 16 Aug 2008 11:10

http://archinte.ama-assn.org/cgi/conten ... 68/12/1340

Independent Association of Low Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D and 1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D Levels With All-Cause and Cardiovascular Mortality
Arch Intern Med. 2008;168(12):1340-1349.

Background In cross-sectional studies, low serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D are associated with higher prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors and disease. This study aimed to determine whether endogenous 25-hydroxyvitamin D and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D levels are related to all-cause and cardiovascular mortality.

Methods Prospective cohort study of 3258 consecutive male and female patients (mean [SD] age, 62 [10] years) scheduled for coronary angiography at a single tertiary center. We formed quartiles according to 25-hydroxyvitamin D and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D levels within each month of blood drawings. The main outcome measures were all-cause and cardiovascular deaths.

Results During a median follow-up period of 7.7 years, 737 patients (22.6%) died, including 463 deaths from cardiovascular causes. Multivariate-adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) for patients in the lower two 25-hydroxyvitamin D quartiles (median, 7.6 and 13.3 ng/mL [to convert 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels to nanomoles per liter, multiply by 2.496]) were higher for all-cause mortality (HR, 2.08; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.60-2.70; and HR, 1.53; 95% CI, 1.17-2.01; respectively) and for cardiovascular mortality (HR, 2.22; 95% CI, 1.57-3.13; and HR, 1.82; 95% CI, 1.29-2.58; respectively) compared with patients in the highest 25-hydroxyvitamin D quartile (median, 28.4 ng/mL). Similar results were obtained for patients in the lowest 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D quartile. These effects were independent of coronary artery disease, physical activity level, Charlson Comorbidity Index, variables of mineral metabolism, and New York Heart Association functional class. Low 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels were significantly correlated with variables of inflammation (C-reactive protein and interleukin 6 levels), oxidative burden (serum phospholipid and glutathione levels), and cell adhesion (vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 and intercellular adhesion molecule 1 levels).

Conclusions Low 25-hydroxyvitamin D and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D levels are independently associated with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality. A causal relationship has yet to be proved by intervention trials using vitamin D.
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Yvonne
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Re: Vitamins

Post by Yvonne » Sat 16 Aug 2008 11:13

http://joe.endocrinology-journals.org/c ... /198/2/261

Back to the future: a new look at ‘old’ vitamin D
Abstract

Our perception of the vitamin D system continues to evolve. Recent studies have re-evaluated the parameters for adequate vitamin D status in humans, revealing a high prevalence of insufficiency in many populations throughout the world. Other reports have highlighted the potential consequences of vitamin D insufficiency beyond established effects on bone homeostasis. Most notably, there is now strong evidence of a role for vitamin D in modulating innate and adaptive immunities, with insufficiency being linked to infectious disease and other immune disorders. To date, signaling pathways for these new responses to vitamin D have been based on established endocrine models for active 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, despite present evidence for more localized, intracrine modes of action. In the following review, we provide a fresh perspective on vitamin D signaling in non-classical target cells such as macrophages by highlighting novel factors associated with the transport and action of this pluripotent secosteroid

Conclusions

The vitamin D synthetic and response mechanisms are phylogenetically ancient. Vitamin D is produced by both single-cell plants and animals (Holick 1992); DBP is the most primitive of all the albuminoid proteins (Fasano et al. 2007) and an ancestral VDR first appears in nematodes (Carosa et al. 1998). These observations provide an invaluable platform for better understanding the role of vitamin D in modern human physiology. For example, a functional VDR has been identified in lampreys, the most ancient of the extant vertebrates (Whitfield et al. 2003, Reschly et al. 2007). The fact that this animal has a cartilaginous skeleton has endorsed the idea that the original function of vitamin D may have been unrelated to its classical modern day role in the homeostasis of calcified skeletons. One possibility is that vitamin D is involved in regulating immune responses in lampreys. Another possibility, based on the evolutionary link between VDR and another ancient steroid hormone receptor, the pregnane X receptor, is that vitamin D may have originally acted as an inducer of cytochrome P450-mediated detoxification pathways (Whitfield et al. 2003). In the case of the latter, it is interesting to note other studies showing that toxic bile salt derivatives can also act as ligands for the VDR (Makishima et al. 2002). The take-home message from these and other studies has been that we can gain a better understanding of the role of vitamin D in modern day human physiology through improved knowledge of its history.
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Yvonne
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Re: Vitamins

Post by Yvonne » Sat 16 Aug 2008 11:21

http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/200 ... ests_N.htm

Vitamin D tests soar as deficiency, diseases linked
Testing for vitamin D levels, once uncommon, has skyrocketed as medical studies raise awareness about vitamin D deficiencies, according to three of the USA's largest medical diagnostic labs. Physicians agree that they're increasingly using the blood test to find out whether their patients are low on the vital vitamin.
Richard Reitz, a medical director with Quest Diagnostics of Madison, N.J., says tests ordered for vitamin D grew by about 80% from May 2007 to May 2008.

Burlington, N.C.-based Lab Corp. of America witnessed a 90% leap in D test requests from 2007 to 2008, says Eric Lindblom, the company's senior vice president of investor and media relations. Neither company would release the actual numbers for competitive reasons.

The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., another of the country's largest diagnostic labs, processed 424,582 tests in 2007, up 74% from 2006. Ravinder Singh, co-director for the endocrine lab at Mayo, expects that the clinic will tally more than 500,000 tests by the end of 2008

The jump in vitamin D testing comes after a slew of emerging research — much of which has been published in the past few years — linking vitamin D deficiency with some infectious diseases, cancers, cardiovascular disease and autoimmune disorders, says Patsy Brannon, professor of nutritional sciences at Cornell University.

Other research indicates that many Americans are deficient in vitamin D, and that is also fueling the testing trend, says Catherine Gordon, director of the bone health program at Children's Hospital Boston.

Though specialists who treat bone-related conditions and the elderly regularly run D tests, now even primary-care physicians and pediatricians are ordering the blood analysis.

"Even a year ago, vitamin D testing wasn't really being talked about among physicians in a major way. But now I am testing 100% more than I did in the past," says Janet Pregler, director of the Iris Cantor-UCLA Women's Health Center and a professor of medicine at UCLA.

A normal vitamin D test result is 30 ng/mL (nanograms/milliliter) or above. If a reading dips below that, a patient is considered insufficient; under 20 ng/mL, and he or she is tagged deficient. Supplements and D-rich foods, such as fortified milk, may be recommended for patients with low D levels, Gordon says. The UV rays in sunshine also activate one form of vitamin D in the body, but increased sun exposure can lead to skin cancer.

Boston Medical School's Michael Holick, a professor of medicine, physiology and biophysics, says everyone should be taking 1,000 IUs (international units) of vitamin D a day, even though the Institute of Medicine recommends only 200 IUs a day for children and 400 IUs daily for adults.

But UCLA's Pregler says the million-dollar question remains: "Will supplementing D-deficient patients prevent disease?"
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Yvonne
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Re: Vitamins

Post by Yvonne » Thu 4 Sep 2008 11:06

http://www.reuters.com/article/healthNe ... healthNews

High doses of vitamin D safe for children
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Giving school children very high doses of vitamin D is safe, and may be necessary to bring their blood levels of the nutrient up to the amount necessary for optimum bone growth and health, a new study shows.

Insufficiency in vitamin D is common in children around the world, but there is little data on how much supplementation kids need, or even how much vitamin D they should have in their blood, Dr. Ghada E.-Hajj Fuleihan of the American University of Beirut in Lebanon told Reuters Health. "In the pediatric literature, we don't have a lot to guide us," she said.

In a previous study, Fuleihan and colleagues found that giving 10- to 17-year-olds relatively high doses of vitamin D3 increased their bone mass and bone area, as well as lean mass. In the current study, they report on both the short- and long-term safety of high-dose supplementation.

The short-term study included 25 school children randomly assigned to receive a placebo or 14,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D3 per week for eight weeks. In the long-term study, 340 study participants took placebo, 1,400 IU weekly, or 14,000 IU a week, and were followed up at six and 12 months.

Currently, the Institute of Medicine recommends a daily vitamin D3 intake of 200 IU for children. The high dosage used in the current study was 2,000 IU daily, or 10 times that amount.

No signs of vitamin D intoxication were seen in any of the children, while levels of the vitamin in children treated short-term rose from 44 to 54 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL).

In the long-term study, levels rose from 15 to 19 ng/mL in children given 1,400 IU weekly and from 15 to 36 ng/mL in the higher-dose group. Levels were initially higher in the short-term study because it was conducted among children in a higher socioeconomic group, and took place in the summer, when kids are likely to get ample sunshine and thus have adequate blood levels of the vitamin, Fuleihan and her team explain in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

Based on studies in adults, Fuleihan said, blood levels of vitamin D below 5 ng/mL are agreed to represent deficiency, while levels above 20 ng/mL are considered adequate and most experts say 30 ng/mL is ideal

Because every additional 100 IU of vitamin D3 consumed produces a roughly 1 ng/mL increase in blood levels, high doses may be needed for children with vitamin D insufficiency, the researcher said.

Nevertheless, she added, more research is needed to understand how much vitamin D children should be getting, and whether there are health effects of vitamin D insufficiency beyond bone and muscle, as studies in adults suggest.

"The pediatric literature is lagging maybe 10 to 15 years behind the adult literature in understanding the impact of low vitamin D on health," the researcher said.

SOURCE: Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, July 2008
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Yvonne
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Re: Vitamins

Post by Yvonne » Mon 29 Sep 2008 11:43

http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/ ... ekey=92816


Vitamin C Might Help Lower Hypertension
FRIDAY, Sept. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Vitamin C may help lower high blood pressure by calming an overactive central nervous system, new Italian research suggests

Using intravenously delivered vitamin C, "our study demonstrated for the first time in humans that we can reduce sympathetic nervous system overactivity, and consequently blood pressure, (by) targeting oxidative stress," said study lead author Dr. Rosa Maria Bruno from the University of Pisa.

Bruno explained that the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) is part of the body's central nervous system that controls non-voluntary activities, such as blood pressure. Overactivation of the system has been identified as an underlying foundation for the onset of elevated blood pressure and resulting organ damage.

The Italian team was expected to report its findings Friday in Atlanta at the American Heart Association's Conference of the Council for High Blood Pressure Research.

The study builds on prior research touting the potential of vitamin C and other antioxidant nutrients to lower high blood pressure. For example, this past January, British authors presented evidence in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that suggested that having high levels of vitamin C in the blood might help reduce stroke risk.

In the current work, Bruno and her colleagues focused on 12 patients diagnosed with an "essential" form of high blood pressure -- namely, one with no known cause.

None of the patients had received any kind of prior treatment for their condition. Over a five-minute period, all the patients were intravenously administered three grams of vitamin C, after which they were monitored for 20 minutes to assess blood pressure and SNS activity. Electrocardiograms were also taken.

The researchers found that "antioxidant capacity" went up as a result of the IV infusions, while SNS activity dropped by about 11 percent.

In addition, the participants' blood pressure was found to have plunged nearly 7 percent on average, with a specific drop in diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number on a reading) of 9 percent. However, no significant drop in systolic blood pressure was observed.

But Bruno said it's too early to say that vitamin C can reduce either blood pressure or sympathetic activity among healthy patients -- just among those with high blood pressure.

"(And) our results cannot be directly translated into clinical practice, because to obtain this result, we used one high dose of vitamin C administrated intravenously," she added. "We don't know if chronic oral administration of vitamin C can achieve the same effect."

Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, director of Women and Heart Disease at Lenox Hill Hospital's Heart and Vascular Institute in New York City, added a similar caveat.

"What's interesting about this particular trial is that the vitamin C was given intravenously," she noted. "And maybe that's why it worked here. It's really hard to know. Yet there's something to be said about the concept of vitamin supplementation in treating vascular disease because of the antioxidant content. It makes sense physiologically."

"However, although it would be nice to say to someone, 'if you eat right and take these vitamins, you're going to be OK,' rather than 'here -- take all these medications, with all these side effects,' this is a small esoteric study," Steinbaum said. "This finding is certainly not going to make me or anyone else run out and start giving vitamin C intravenously to our patients."
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Re: Vitamins

Post by Yvonne » Mon 29 Sep 2008 15:15

http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/ ... ekey=92823


Vitamin D Levels Might Predict Risk for MS
FRIDAY, Sept. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Children with lower levels of vitamin D seem to be at a higher risk of being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis

So say researchers who were expected to present the findings Friday at the World Congress on Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis, in Montreal.

The idea fits nicely with previous research indicating that multiple sclerosis is more common the farther away you get from the equator, in other words, in areas where there is less sunlight.

Vitamin D synthesis is triggered when ultraviolet rays from the sun hit the skin. In addition, studies have also linked vitamin D with immune system function.

"In MS, the immune system is misregulated, and we do know that there's a susceptibility in the genes we inherit from our parents. We know that something triggers the disease," explained Patricia O'Looney, vice president of biomedical research at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. "We know from epidemiological studies that there's a higher prevalence of MS the farther away you live from the equator and, more recently, we've learned that vitamin D does regulate the immune system."

"This is an interesting study of how environmental triggers and the immune system can be involved with MS, provided that one has these susceptibility genes," she added.

"Many studies have given us a good link between vitamin D status and immune function in MS," added study author Heather E. Hanwell, a doctoral candidate in nutritional sciences at the University of Toronto. "We wanted to see whether vitamin D status was lower in children who had their first demyelinating event and were subsequently diagnosed with MS."

A first demyelinating event is essentially an attack of symptoms that could indicate trouble with the central nervous system. One quarter of children who have such an attack go on to be diagnosed with MS.

The researchers measured levels of a vitamin D biomarker in children who had had a first event.

"The biomarker of vitamin D status was significantly lower in children diagnosed with MS to date," Hanwell said. "Children diagnosed with MS had lower vitamin D levels than those not diagnosed. Another way of looking at it, as vitamin D status increased, children had a lower risk of being diagnosed."

At this point, however, Hanwell believes the findings have more research than clinical implications.

"This type of work provides impetus for further research in this area, although, for a doctor, it would be important to look at vitamin D status in patients, particularly because 75 percent of our overall study group had vitamin D levels below what we considered to be optimal."

A second study also being presented at the World Congress found that the incidence of first demyelinating events increased by 9.2 percent for each higher degree of latitude up the eastern coast of Australia. The study was partially funded by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, in the United States.

"There is growing evidence linking vitamin D and risk of MS," O'Looney said. "Further studies are certainly needed to see if vitamin supplementation could reduce the risk of MS. There is insufficient evidence that vitamin supplementation can influence the course of MS once it's begun."


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Re: Vitamins

Post by Cobwebby » Sat 4 Oct 2008 21:19

posted in Dr. Singleton's newsletter from www.lymedoctor.com

More on the Miracle of Vitamin D - Part Two (of Three)
Last month we began a discussion of vitamin D. As you may recall from my article and my book, The Lyme Disease Solution, I am a major supporter of blood testing for vitamin D levels and of treating vitamin D deficiency aggressively using "vitamin D3". As I expected, I received several responses from readers challenging the notion that vitamin D was, in fact, beneficial in the chronic Lyme disease setting. Therefore, in this article I wish to first of all deal with the idea that vitamin D is harmful to Lyme patients.

Several years ago I became aware of something that many of you know called the "Marshall Protocol" (MP). Originally developed to help patients with sarcoidosis by Trevor Marshall, Ph.D., his theories led him to recommend his protocol for the treatment of patients with other chronic inflammatory conditions such as chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, and chronic Lyme.

Basically, the protocol consists of 3 components: (1) low dose antibiotics (primarily minocycline), (2) use of an oral antihypertensive (in the ARB class) called Benicar, and (3) severe restriction of vitamin D both via dietary restriction and reduction of sunlight exposure. This protocol got my attention primarily because it was being recommended by an LLMD whom I respect, Dietrich Klinghardt, M.D., Ph.D. (Interestingly, Dr. Klinghardt has subsequently stated on a DVD in 2006 that his MP results had been disappointing.)

A thorough review of the MP is much too large a subject to attempt to tackle in this Newsletter. In short, I do not believe that the preponderance of evidence shows that vitamin D (in either the 25-OH or 1,25-OH form) clinically acts as an immunosuppressive steroid, as alleged by the MP. Rather, I see vitamin D as being a very important immune-modulating substance that ramps up "Th1" when needed and cools down "Th1" when not needed. I refer you a very scholarly webpage that discusses the controversy related to the MP in great depth. Please see the following excellent site that covers the topic very well: http://stuff.mit.edu/people/london/universe.htm

Meanwhile, if your LLMD is using the MP and you are doing well, I do not recommend that you make any major changes based on this Newsletter alone. However, if you are improving, the truth is that it could very well be due to the low dose antibiotics being used on the MP. I doubt vitamin D deprivation has much to do with any benefit you are gaining. My experience would say that there is not nearly enough evidence to justify restriction of such an important thing as vitamin D.

The next topic I wish to cover transitions nicely from the previous discussion. Did you know that vitamin D has important antibiotic properties? The story of tuberculosis (TB) illustrates this well. Before the advent of antibiotics against TB in the 1950's and 1960's, the treatment for TB was a three step program: get several months of rest (for instance at a "sanitorium"), drink one quart of milk daily, and get several hours of sunlight exposure daily. It turns out that this treatment protocol helped many people recover from TB. The secret to its success was, in great part, due to the effect of sunlight in increasing levels of vitamin D in the body. Vitamin D was instrumental not only in improving immune function, but also in the production of a substance called "cathelicidin". Cathelicidin is produced by the white blood cells and is active against viruses (ex. influenza and cold viruses), tuberculosis, and fungi.

Could it also have effects against Lyme bacteria? If so, is this why Lyme patients generally feel much better in the summer when sunlight exposure raises vitamin D (and cathelicidin) levels in the body? No one knows for sure, but I suspect that trio of sunlight, vitamin D, and cathelicidin is very helpful for both its immune supporting properties and its possible antibiotic effects against Lyme.

What about testing for vitamin D? The consensus among experts is that the best blood test to do is the "25-OH vitamin D" level. It is the form of vitamin D that is made by the liver and is a true indicator of the vitamin D status of the body. It is then activated by the kidneys and at the local tissue level to the active form called "1,25-OH vitamin D". While the MP recommends testing 25-OH and 1,25-OH, I would disagree with the need to test 1,25-OH. And I recommend reading the above mentioned webpage in order to understand all the reasons for omitting the test for 1,25-OH.

Are all labs able to do accurate vitamin D testing? The major commercial labs are Labcorp and Quest. Both do vitamin D 25-OH levels. However, there is a fundamental difference in the methodology used by each lab. Quest uses the LC-MS/MS (liquid chromotatography-mass spectrometry) method. Labcorp uses the more reliable Liaison (DiaSorin) method. My understanding is that the Labcorp methodology is the preferred method and, therefore, this is the lab you should request for having your vitamin D assay done if at all possible.

What are the normal and optimal levels for 25-OH vitamin D? You will find vitamin D levels measured using 2 different types of units: (1) ng/ml and (2) nmol/l. The most common way of reporting vitamin D levels is in the "ng/ml" format (used by the commercial labs) and that is the one we will use in the Newsletter. Here is what we consider to be "normal" and "optimal" levels of vitamin D.

Normal levels: 20-56 ng/ml
Optimal levels: 45-65 ng/ml (and should never fall below 30 ng/ml)

How often should a vitamin D level be checked? In general, I recommend checking vitamin D 25-OH levels two to three times a year - in the fall, the mid winter, and perhaps sometime in the summer (to see if supplementation is necessary when sun exposure is at its greatest).

Next month I will discuss in the Newsletter the best ways to achieve an optimal level of vitamin D. We'll look at sunlight exposure and sunscreens. We'll look oral supplementation - vitamin D2 vs. D3. We'll answer the question of how much to take in order to predictably raise your levels. And more.
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Fin24
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Re: Vitamins

Post by Fin24 » Sun 5 Oct 2008 1:32

Thanks Cobs for taking the time to type all that!!! and I find it a bit disconcerting that even Dr Singelton slips right by the MP use of Benicar in large enough amounts which drop BP precipitously!!

Its also affecting a pathway in the kidneys, maybe irreversibly. called Angiotensin Receptor system ( its an ARB angio receptor blocker) and becasue many with Lyme also develop dysautonomias, this can be VERY risky and even permanently damaging.

I have long suspected that the staying power of the brain fog with many doing MP can be that not enough blood pressure is depriving the brain of blood flow and O2.( and the other sx relief may indeed be the slowly decreasing amounts of minocycline which is known to have anti-inflammatory effects)

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Re: Vitamins

Post by Witchmark » Mon 13 Oct 2008 15:29

Great Thread! I find it frustrating that no one has done a study looking at the link between D levels and Lyme disease. I think that it may be the key component to this disease. The D researchers, especially Dr. Holick, have had so much controversy of their own that they don't seem to want to step into another hornet's nest!
I have been thinking about doing an internet survey to try to get this matter some attention. I'm wondering if anyone else tested at a low level for this vitamin? Sunshine is a natural, free, antibiotic that if done in moderation, is safe!

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