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August 18, 2010

Video: Entertaining Expert Lecture on Vitamin D

Topics: Health Issues

There's been a lot of interest in Vitamin D lately, and the latest research shows that 1,25-dihyroxy Vitamin D3 deficiency is linked to a surprising number of health conditions such as depression, back pain, cancer, both insulin resistance and pre-eclampsia during pregnancy, impaired immunity, macular degeneration, and neuromuscular diseases such as multilple sclerosis (up to 40,000 IU per day over a 12 month period). In the below video, Michael Holick, MD, discusses vitamin D relating to bone and muscle health and the prevention of autoimmune and chronic diseases, and answers the question, "Can vitamin D help prevent certain cancers and other diseases such as type 1 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain autoimmune and chronic diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis, and even the flu?"

You'll learn that the answer is yes:

Dr. Michael Holick is one of the major vitamin D experts out there. In this video, he discusses vitamin D relating to bone and muscle health and the prevention of autoimmune and chronic diseases. The reference ranges he uses for vitamin D deficiency are 20 ng/ml. The reality is that anything below 50 ng/ml is low, so the actual statistics are actually MUCH worse than what he says.

He also recommends vitamin D2, and every other expert recommends to NOT use vitamin D2. It is crucial to ONLY use vitamin D3, NOT vitamin D2, as D2 is unnatural and not made in humans normally. Plus, vitamin D3 is less expensive than D2.

He does show that vitamin D doses less than 1000 units per day will NOT increase your vitamin D levels to normal. (via

Interestingly, when your physician gives you a prescription for vitamin D he or she is giving you a form of vitamin D2 (brand names Driscol and Calciferol), which is not only vastly inferior to the over-the-counter preparation but is also far more expensive (Over-the-counter: $2 per month/Prescription: $70 per month).

So be sure to take the effective human form, vitamin D3 or cholecalciferol, not the prescription form - ergocalciferol, or vitamin D2. Prescription doesn't necessarily mean superior. In fact, the prescription form may be significantly inferior, as with vitamin D2.

On a personal note, I have MS and now take 15,000 I.U. of D3 a day , have done so for about a year, and have experienced no exacerbations during this period, and have experienced at least a 50% increase in physical ability (now spend more time on crutches than in wheelchair). Interestingly, in a study reported by Jodie Burton, MD, a neurologist at St. Michael's Hospital, University of Toronto, and colleagues at the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC), among patients who received a mean of 14,000 IU/day of vitamin D3 -- which is more than three times the daily amount recommended by the FDA for many adults and included doses as high as 40,000 IU/day -- 16% had a relapse, compared with 38% of controls who had taken an average of 1,000 IU/day. The study concluded that serum vitamin D levels are associated with MS-related disability and disease severity.

Safety of vitamin D3 in adults with multiple sclerosis

Posted by Richard at August 18, 2010 11:04 AM

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