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Free Radical Therapy Blog » Vitamin D

Archive for the ‘Vitamin D’ Category

Kidney Stones, Heart Disease and Vitamin D

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

How to make FRT sense of the latest findings

For clinicians who practice in accordance with Free Radical Therapy™ (FRT), the results of a recently published 20-year epidemiological study that appeared in the Journal of Urology is of no surprise.* Kidney stones are a reliable predictor of arterial disease occurring years later. What is surprising to the FRT clinician, who will declare this “old hat,” is the claim by the research team that the finding was new.

Free calcium excess, preceded (and accompanied) by acid stress and dehydration, have long been recognized as prerequisites for calcium oxalate stone development, a scenario that occurs in 70% of all kidney stones. The same excess of free calcium is further known to lower the threshold for the calcification seen in arterial disease.

The biggest risk to society from these latest findings is the fact that they will ultimately become shared with other epidemiologists who will eventually note (through the science of association) that those with kidney stones who later get arterial disease will also demonstrate a low serum vitamin D. This latter finding they will see as reason to supplement with vitamin D.

Hello out there! Is no one listening?

The body, when faced with severe acid stress and the corresponding lack of protein and phosphate required to prevent free calcium (and the subsequent bout with stone formation), will in self-defense lower its serum vitamin D.

Serum vitamin D can also get low in response to an excess of active vitamin D, occurring as a negative feedback that’s typical of how any hormone works. Either of these scenarios can raise the risk for free calcium excess and kidney stones, ultimately heart disease. These facts, long been known by basic science researchers, often get lost by the blinders that for far too long have accompanied epidemiology. This point was strongly emphasized in our recently published 4-part series on Vitamin D (Health Realities Journal).

Basic science revealed long ago that either disease or a toxic level of active vitamin D – accompanied by a rise in free calcium excess – is fundamental to the body’s decision to lower its serum vitamin D. (This can occur with or without a low body burden of vitamin D, even to the point of resisting a rise in the serum level from vitamin D supplementation). In this manner the body is programmed to protect itself against further accumulation of free, unbound calcium.

Yes, I know….vitamin D was not a part of the study cited here. Yet, it and other topics pertinent to the FRT concept must always be considered if we are to ever make a clinically useful application to the constant flow of research that comes our way.

Lesson Learned: Use whatever kidney stone experience you may have early in your practice as a reason to begin FRT. The arterial disease and future kidney stone risk that you thwart, could very well make your effort and mine worthwhile.

* Reiner, A.P., et al, “Kidney Stones and Subclinical Atherosclerosis in Young Adults: The CARDIA Study,” J Urol, Jan 18, 2011 [E-pub ahead of print].

Blood Chemistry is ESSENTIAL for Safe Supplementation of Vitamin D

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

A doctor who knows my concern with the widespread enthusiasm over supplementing with high levels of vitamin D asks “How low a reading for serum vitamin D would have to occur before we should recommend supplementing with vitamin D? And, how much would you recommend?”

As with all other health questions, it depends upon what the other chemistry data reveals. For instance, I have an editorial coming out in a major scientific journal, in which I’ve noted there are four major reasons for a serum vitamin D reading being low, other than vitamin D deficiency:

1) A low serum protein or inadequate protein status to bind calcium sufficiently will result in an increase in free, unbound calcium accompanied by a (protective) low serum vitamin D – a scenario that may affect at least 30% of the population.

2) A low to low-normal serum phosphate, causing unhealthy rise in free, unbound calcium, which may again cause a protective lower reading for serum vitamin D – a scenario that likely affects 70% of adults over age 45.

3) A negative feedback from vitamin D receptor activity, due to an elevation in active vitamin D, may result in a protectively low reading for vitamin D – a scenario that likely affects just about anyone taking an ultra megadose of vitamin D, regardless of their baseline reading.

4) A low serum reading for total serum calcium in someone who is diseased with calcium deposits will result in the body’s protective lowering-response for serum vitamin D.

In all of these circumstances, high dosages of vitamin D will run the risk of further disease and calcification, often punctuated by a rise in serum calcium to a level that could be life threatening for a variety of reasons. It is my contention that thousands of people are on dialysis today due to taking high levels of vitamin D without considering why the original reading was low. Thousands more are dying of heart disease and various atrophy states due to the same major flaw in interpretation.

Wake up, people! Don’t be misled by those who practice only in accordance to the one-size-fits-all philosophy. Health success often depends on getting a proper chemistry and a health model-based interpretation of the data.

Vitamin D: “Health Panacea or Killer”. You have a choice

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

Yes my last entry to this blog was in 2008.  I stopped everything at that point in time to focus on doing further research on the vitamin D issue.   The interview promised with Dr. Fred Kummerow was quite successful, and revealing.  Vitamin D, much like oxidized cholesterol, is a free radical that can either work for us or against us.  When given in excess it clearly works against us and prevents us from reaching old age.

Coming Soon.  Gone to press is a 2-hour, 4 part DVD and white paper series on the full Vitamin D circumstance.  People are dying from excesses of vitamin D and you don’t want to be one of them.   More on the topic soon.  Sam

Excess Vitamin D: The Risk Won’t Go Away

Tuesday, July 8th, 2008

Everyone seems to be getting all excited about vitamin D.  If a little does some good then a whole bunch must be better.  The problem with all this excitement has surfaced about every 10-12 years over the past 40 years, each time bringing the fad to a screeching halt as the reality of increased calcification and risk of arterial stenosis raises its ugly head.  Bare in mind, what we call vitamin D is not truly a vitamin, and what we measure in the name of vitamin D is not vitamin D, but a key metabolite.  So, how do you make your decisions as to whether to give vitamin D?  Lots to be considered.

Interestingly, the same questions were being asked back in the early 1970’s by a group of very distinguished scientists.  As the questions mounted a gathering of 100 or so of the leading experts met in Chicago to reach some consensus.  Included in the group was Fred Kummerow, Ph.D. of the University of Illinois, who argued against supplementing beyond 5,000 IU’s.  In pig studies, for instance, which serves as the best animal model of our human disease, Dr. Kummerow had shown that higher levels tended to result in changes that were consistent with what is seen in various stages of arterial disease.  Now, studies that again support his findings are beginning to resurface. [Ngo, D.T., et al., Vitamin D2 supplementation induces the development of aortic stenosis in rabbits: Interactions with endothelial function and thioredoxin-interacting protein; Eur J Pharmacol, June 12, 2008.]

So, for those of you who are as interested as I, an interview with Dr. Kummerow has been scheduled for about mid August to get his latest findings on this topic.  Yes, I know, he’s nearly 94, but he’s still kicking, still going to his research lab every day, and has just published his latest book on the trans fats….a health risk that he first reported in the early 1950’s but which took 40 years to catch on.

One interesting note on the forthcoming interview:  Dr. Kummerow was one of the 106 scientists that met that fateful day in Chicago to discuss this issue back in the early 70’s.  Several attendees were Nobel Laureates. Interestingly, of all those who attended, most of which were advocating high levels of vitamin D, he is the only one who dissented and the only one who’s still living.  Tune in later in August and I’ll report my findings.  Should prove to be interesting.