Nieuws vitamine D

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I have written before that vitamin D increases
testosterone levels in men. It is not a minor effect.

Pilz S, Frisch S, Koertke H, Kuhn J, Dreier J,
Obermayer-Pietsch B, Wehr E, Zittermann A. Effect of
vitamin D supplementation on testosterone levels in
men. Horm Metab Res. 2011 Mar;43(3):223-5.

Now, a group in Canada, led by Dr. Julia Knight at Mount
Sinai Hospital, discovered that administration of 24,000
IU/week for four weeks was associated with lower
estrogen levels and progesterone levels. Per 4 ng/ml
increase in vitamin D, progesterone levels decreased by
10% and estrogen decreased by 3%. Unlike men, the
study was confounded by what estrous cycle phase the
women were in.

Knight JA, Wong J, Blackmore KM, Raboud JM, Vieth R.
Vitamin D association with estradiol and progesterone in
young women. Cancer Causes Control. 2010

The favorable implications for breast cancer come
immediately to mind, but as an old GP, I can tell you that
lower female hormones sometimes help women in all
kinds of ways, including psychologically. I suspect the
women also became more fertile.

The studies about vitamin D are pouring out, and I am
happy to summarize these studies and offer my personal
insight to the general public through these pieces. Soon,
these write-ups will only be offered in full to members of
the blog we're launching (by the end of the month!). This
new system will help the Vitamin D Council continue its
work and support our programs. So take a minute,
consider donating or becoming a member. It is not
expensive, but it really does make my day to see that
people still care in these rocky economic times.

-John J. Cannell

Low vitamin D impairs strength recovery
after knee surgery
August 1, 2011

This weekend, scientists from an American
medical institution published a study that
has practical implications for patients
undergoing ACL (Anterior Cruciate
Ligament) surgery.

The study, by a group in Utah, may have
answered in part the long sought question
of why some patients do well after knee
surgery (quickly regain strength in their
quadriceps) and some do not. Dr. Tyler
Barker, of the Orthopedic Specialty
Hospital in Murray, Utah, and his
colleagues at the University of Utah (where
I did a surgical internship back in 1976)
discovered that vitamin D levels are
associated with muscle strength recovery
after knee surgery (anterior cruciate
repair). Those with levels above 30 ng/ml
recovered much better than those with
levels below 30 ng/ml.

Tyler Barker, Thomas B. Martins, Harry R.
Hill, Carl R. Kjeldsberg, Roy H. Trawick,
Lindell K. Weaver, and Maret G. Traber
Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary
& Alternative Medicine. published 29 July
2011, 10.1177/2156587211413768

I found it somewhat disappointing that the
authors refused to say that vitamin D
deficiency should be treated before knee
surgery. All they would say was that
Americans should fund more studies before
any action is taken. Of course this is
neither practical or ethical, as physicians
are (and always have been) obligated to
act on what is known now -- not on what
may or may not be discovered in the
future. Randomized trials of vitamin D
supplemention need to be undertaken to
discover what the optimum vitamin D level
for knee surgery is. But such trials will take
years, while orthopedists need to act, or
not, now.

-John J. Cannell, M.D.

Vitamin D Council


Hi Dr. Cannell:

I have a few questions which I hope to you will be able to help me God willing:

Firstly, My wife is currently breast feeding our first child who is a 5 months old girl and she has is currently suffering from a very, VERY common condition called eczema or atopy, which seems to be affecting
almost all new born babies and toddlers in the UK. She also has asthma, which is getting worse. My wife has cut out everything from her diet that it is typically linked to the causes of atopy and she is
currently taking vitamin tablets which the NHS in the UK give out free to all women who are pregnant and are breast feeding the content of each tablet is as follows:

Vitamin D 10 ug (400 IU)
Vitamin C 70 mg
Folic acid (Folacin) 400 ug

and we are currently giving our daughter 'Children Vitamin drops' which we instructed to give 5 drops and the 5 drops contain in total:

Vitamin A 233 ug (700 IU)
Vitamin C 20 mg
Vitamin D 7.5 ug (300 IU)

Now would this amount be enough for both mother and baby's Vitamin D level and could there be a link between the eczema/asthma and Vitamin D level?

Secondly, I myself suffer from eczema for a long time since about 2003 and I am 30 years old now. It has been on and off and it especially flares up in winter indifferent places on the body, I have generally
managed to control it by watching what I eat especially at winter, now I have read quite a lot from your website and as far as i can understand that i should be taking 1000 IU of Vitamin D for every 25
pounds of body weight and as for the blood test I should take that after 8 weeks of starting the Vitamin D supplement.

Thank you for reading my rather long email but I am learning to avoid that winter fatigue and maybe find out if I can get rid of a few other problems for myself and loved ones.

Thank you

Geoffrey Bingham
Birmingham UK

Dear Geoffrey:

Eczema is a form of atopy, a disease characterized by a tendency to be “hyperallergic”. A patient with atopic allergies often has atopic eczema or atopic dermatitis since infancy and asthma as they grow
older. Atopic eczema is an extremely itchy skin condition with a hallmark rash that can involve almost every region of the body. Crusty, scaly, flattened, reddened lesions of atopic eczema can appear almost
everywhere, but are worse in certain areas or after exposure to certain irritants (e.g., allergenic soap, freshly cut lawns).

The single most important feature associated with atopic eczema lesions is that they are extremely itchy, and the itch can occur even before the lesions erupt on the skin and are visible. The itchiness often
leads to secondary infections.

Atopy and asthma has a complicated relationship to vitamin D with some studies showing vitamin D, especially cod liver oil in infancy, making eczema worse in later life. However, one would be silly to stay
vitamin D deficient, and all that entails, on the chance your eczema will not worsen. Furthermore, in my experience atopy, including asthma, will slowly improve with physiological doses of vitamin D. Like
asthma, eczema can become life-threatening if infection occurs. Such infections are thought to be secondary to reductions in the skin of naturally occurring antibiotics, such as cathelicidin.

Recently, Dr. Tissa Hata and a group at UC San Diego conducted a randomized controlled trial that demonstrated a remarkable seven fold increase in skin cathelicidin after adult eczema subjects were given
4,000 IU per day for 21 days.

Hata TR, et al. Administration of oral vitamin D induces cathelicidin production in atopic individuals. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2008 Oct;122(4):829-31.

Even more important, Dr. Urashima and colleagues at the Jikei University School of Medicine in Japan conducted a randomized placebo controlled trial of young teenagers and found that those with asthma
were much less likely to have an attack if they were on vitamin D. Asthma attacks are not an uncommon cause of death among children. They also found that vitamin D significantly reduced the risk of
influenza A, which can be much more severe in asthmatics.

Urashima M, et al. Randomized trial of vitamin D supplementation to prevent seasonal influenza A in schoolchildren. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 May;91(5):1255-60.

Geoffrey, both you and your baby need to stop all vitamin A supplements, as they will interfere with the vitamin D, and begin taking vitamin D; your infant needs 1,000 IU/day and you need 5,000 IU per
day. I wish I could tell you the eczema will rapidly disappear; it will not. However, over a period of several years I predict both the eczema and asthma will slowly improve. More importantly, both you and
your infant will have a decreased likelihood of getting a secondary infection in both your skin and your lungs.

John Cannell, MD
The Vitamin D Council
1241 Johnson Ave., #134
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

The Vitamin D Newsletter

October 4, 2010

Yet another autism case report

Dear Dr. Cannell,
I have a three and half year old child who was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, verbal apraxia of speech, and hypotonia. I knew something was wrong very early on in that he was extremely late in
gross motor skills, such as sitting independently and walking.
Although he eventually was able to sit and walk, his speech was severely delayed. Despite months of speech therapy, he was still unable to complete words. His speech though is very infrequent and is
monotone and robotic like when he does speak. He has trouble with social language (engaging in conversations, asking questions and initiating communication). He also engages in stimming behaviors, like hand flapping, vocalizing, and throwing himself on the floor

I have read your website about autism and vitamin D deficiency, and I am desperately trying to find a doctor in the NY metro area who is knowledgeable about treating children like this with vitamin D. I
have been to so many doctors who keep telling me if he takes 400 IU's per day in his vitamin and drinks milk, then he is not deficient. I would be so grateful for a recommendation.
Please help me. Thank you so much for your time,

Amanda Smith
New York
Dear Amanda:
I know of no such doctor in the NYC area but print out the article below in Acta Paediatrica and take it to him; your pediatrician will know this journal as it is largest pediatric journal in the world.

His self-stimulation (stimming), how often does he do it or how many hours per day?
By the way, you can easily treat him yourself. How much does he weigh?
John Cannell, MD
Dear Dr. Cannell:
Thank you so much for responding to my email. I am desperate. This autism is not what I had in mind for my child’s life or my family’s life. He spends about 1-2 hours a day stimming, mostly hand-flapping.
Does he need routine monitoring while on the vitamin D to check his 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels?
I am willing to travel if you know of a doctor affiliated with Boston's Children’s Hospital, or anywhere else on the east coast.
He weighs about 30 pounds. He is currently taking: 3200 mg of fish oil, 400 IU's of vitamin E, 3,000 mg of phosphatidycholine, and a standard daily dose of a Poly Visol vitamin (with 400 IU's of vitamin D)
If he starts vitamin D, should he continue with his current regimen of E, fish oil and choline? I am not sure which combination of supplements and vitamins would be appropriate. I do not want to give
anything that is contra-indicated or toxic.
This is why I was looking for a doctor who is knowledgeable, but cannot seem to find one. My pediatrician just sneered and returned your autism and vitamin D paper to me without reading it.
Thank you so much for your help.

Dear Amanda:
I do not believe that all these supplements are needed, but I doubt they do any harm, except the Poly-Vi-Sol, which contains retinol. Stop it.
Go to the health food store and get some “Ddrops,” 1,000 IU per drop, not 400 IU per drop. They are marketed in the USA by Carlson.
John Cannell, MD

Dear Dr. Cannell:
The dosage then would be 1,000 IU's for him? I already bought capsules with 2,500 IU per capsule.
Does he also need the magnesium, zinc and vitamin K as cofactors? What about the vitamin E, B6, amino acids and fish oil?
Thanks so much for your help.

Dear Amanda:
No, his dose is not 1,000 IU/day; his dose is 4,000 IU/day. Thus, as each capsule contains 2,500 IU, one day give him two capsules and the next day one capsule, and keep repeating, this is close enough to
4,000 IU/day. You want his 25(OH)D around 100 ng/ml to start.
Yes, those are the cofactors he needs, along with iron as he is a child. If he regularly eats red meat, he can get his iron from his diet. He needs seeds and nuts (like a nut butter) for magnesium and zinc, milk
for calcium, and a vitamin K2 supplement, about 100 micrograms. Forget the vitamin E, amino acids and fish oil pills. Feed him salmon several times a week.
John Cannell, MD

Dear Dr. Cannell:
Thanks very much.
The problem is that I don't have a doctor to check his blood.
If I told my pediatrician that he was taking 4,000 IU's per day of vitamin D, he'd start screaming. He told me not to give him anything beyond the 400 IU's in his multi- vitamin.
Are there medical doctors using vitamin D to treat autism? I have checked with several major children’s' hospitals and cannot find any.

Dear Amanda:
No, I know of no pediatrician in the NYC area who knows anything about autism and vitamin D, in spite of the fact that I first thought about this in 2006 and first published it in May of 2007 on the website and
in a medical journal on October 24, 2007. I now believe that many autism researchers think my theory is true but they also know they may be out of work if it is shown to be so. If you Google autism and
vitamin D, you will get almost half a million hits. Someone is reading about it, apparently not the pediatricians.
The third or fourth hit you will get is a Scientific American article, written by Gabrielle Glaser. I worked with Gabrielle on the story, supplying her with all the evidence and the citations. After Gabrielle was
finished, the editors at Scientific American told her to remove all references to me as the one who first proposed the theory and to credit someone else, anyone else.
I have since learned that one of the Scientific American editors has a child with autism, believes vaccinations caused the autism, and was angry with me for ridiculing the vaccination theory. If you want to
know how it really happened, read:
Julius Goepp, MD The Link Between Autism and Low Levels of Vitamin D. Life Extension Magazine April 2009

in-home vitamin D test from our website and have a neighbor or relative, who is a nurse, do a heel stick to obtain the little bit of blood needed to complete the test. Or, you can join Life Extension Foundation
and get the vitamin D blood test through them.
John Cannell, MD

Dear Dr. Cannell:
I would greatly appreciate it if you could please let me know what the optimal blood level 25 (OH) D should be for him, (he's three and a half).
Thanks so much

Dear Amanda:
For now, give him enough vitamin D to obtain a 25(OH)D of around 100 ng/ml. We may want to increase his dose high enough to obtain a level of 150 ng/ml in the future, which is perfectly safe in the short
term, so as not to miss a treatment effect or to be sure we are seeing the full treatment effect. Six months after he fully responds, you can begin to slowly lower the dose to obtain levels of 70-80 ng/ml.
The reason to seek the very upper limits of normal in your child is simple, your child has a serious – very serious – illness, a brain disease, one that may destroy his life, and yours. For reasons I do not yet
understand, many autistic children first start responding to vitamin D only when their blood level reaches 90-100. In fact I know of a case where the mother made a mistake and gave ten times the suggested
dose and the autistic child had a miraculous and rapid response. How could that be? I do not know.
Nor do I know how a genetic disease could be cured with vitamin D. That makes no sense to me but enough mothers have written to me that I believe that it will routinely happen if retinol is stopped and
enough vitamin D is given. It reminds me of Thomas Huxley who said, “Sit down before fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every preconceived notion, follow humbly wherever and to whatever
abysses nature leads, or you will learn nothing.”
John Cannell, MD

Dear Dr. Cannell:
Thanks so much.
At this level is there any risk of premature closure of the epiphyses? My son is only three and a half.
Thanks again, I really appreciate all of your help. How do you have the time to help me for nothing?

Dear Amanda:
No, no risk of premature epiphyseal closure. Here is my cell phone number, give me a call on a Monday; I have Mondays off from work at the hospital. You are too worried and your anxiety may upset your
While I have proposed a number of vitamin D theories, my heart is with these children. If I didn’t have to work at the hospital four days a week, I would see autistic children five days a week. I daydream
that a rich guy makes that happen and the autism clinic he sponsors is free for the families. For now, I do what I can with the limited time I have available.
John Cannell, MD

Dear Dr. Cannell:
Thank you so much for speaking with me this past Monday regarding my son with autism.
I had his 25-hydroxyvitamin D level checked this week as a baseline and to my surprise his level was 51.7 ng/ml. I had been taking him out in the sun with no sunscreen about a week and a half prior to the
test, and I am wondering if this could have impacted his levels that quickly if he was initially deficient. I had also started the 4,000 IU's two days prior to the test, but this should not have had an impact.
My question is at this point whether I should continue the 4,000 IU's of vitamin D or if I should reduce the amount to 2,500 IU's per day.
His metabolic panel also showed a high BUN/creatinine ratio of 55, and lower levels of protein (4.8 g/dL) and albumin (3.2 g/dL). We have to take him back next week to have his amino acids checked. I am
wondering if the D affects these levels as well.
Thank you so much for all of your help,

Dear Amanda:
Keep him on 4,000 IU/day together with the sunshine and plenty of fluids. Make sure he eats dairy three times a day (calcium), salmon (omega-3), red meat (iron), and vegetables (multiple vitamins),
nut-butter (magnesium) with an otherwise varied diet. If he had trouble in the past with dairy, he may not have such trouble on the vitamin D. Don’t worry about these other blood tests, they did not need to
have been obtained and these mild abnormalities will correct themselves in time.
Also, remember, if the healthiest person in the world repeatedly had 100 different blood tests, some would eventually be abnormal. That’s simple math. I have little patience for the “autism doctors” who find
well insured or wealthy parents, draw 100s of blood tests on the child, find the few that are abnormal, do something (anything will work) and then repeat the blood test next month and say to the mother,
“look, the test is better, your son is improving under my care.” One of the few things worse are the academics who say, “Nothing can be done. It is a genetic disease. Here is a prescription for an antipsychotic
if he starts beating on his sister.”
John Cannell, MD

Dear Dr. Cannell:
My son has started on 4,000 IU's of D and over the last several days we have noticed and increase in hitting, biting, and temper tantrums. I was wondering if other parents have reported this kind of behavior
during the initial days of vitamin D supplementation, and whether it means we should stop the vitamin D?
Thank you so much for your help,

Dear Amanda:
This too shall pass; just keep giving him 2 capsules one day (5,000 IU) and one capsule (2,500 IU) the next. Is he still going into the sun?
John Cannell, MD

Dear Dr. Cannell:
My son's 25 (OH) D level was only 64.8 ng/ml, (this was after 2 weeks of being in the sun without sunblock and supplementing him with 4,000 IU's of vitamin D/day). I try to take him out 20-30 minutes on
sunny days without sunblock. He may be a little better.
Also, how often should the blood work be done to check his 25 (OH) D level? As the autumn is coming, his sun exposure will probably be decreasing.
Thank you so much for all of your help.
Dear Amanda:
Yes, the sun and 4,000 IU/day together is fine for now.
Check his 25(OH)D every month
John Cannell, MD

Dear Dr. Cannell:
My son has been on Vitamin D for a month now and I wanted to report back to you that we have seen repeated bursts of spontaneous language. He has also started asking questions, and is initiating
conversation with us. It has been truly remarkable; the teachers at school cannot believe it. Additionally he is pedaling on his tricycle, just like a regular kid, whereas before, he was struggling just trying to
pedal. We are very impressed with his progress and I do not know how to thank you so much for all of your help. I’d give the Vitamin D Council a million dollars if I had it.
About a month ago, we had a metabolic panel done on him and his protein, calcium and albumin levels were a little low. We followed up two weeks later with an amino acids plasma test (this was done when
he was on the D for only two weeks). I just received the results and several of these levels are high-in umol/L: proline (396) alanine (605), valine (337), methionine (51), tyrosine (119), lysine (299), and
histidine (136).
The high alanine level was of most concern because the lab added the following footnote: "In this sample, the concentration of alanine was elevated. This finding could be indicative of secondary lactic
acidemia, acute illness, and reduced caloric intake".
My son's height is in the 75% percentile and his weight is in the 50th, he has never been failure to thrive. Also, his copper, carnitine, and B vitamin levels, (B1, B6 and B12) were normal-I know these are
generally deficient in autistics, Actually his B12 level was high 1029 pg/mL. Given these levels should I continue giving him the vitamin D? Could the other supplements he is taking cause these abnormalities
in the amino acids?
Thanks so much for your help. My mother can’t believe it; neither can my husband, neither can I. How long will this improvement last?

Dear Amanda:
I am so glad. I woke up last night with a nightmare that I had told you to stop the vitamin D when he seemed worse.
This improvement in his autism should be permanent, if you continue the vitamin D with the cofactors and avoid the retinol. This improvement will include his coordination and physical ability, not just his
You still need to measure his 25(OH)D every month as you may have to adjust the dose (either up or down). For example, say his next vitamin D level is 90 ng/ml. My immediate question is “would his
autism improve even more rapidly if his level was 100 ng/ml? You want to keep increasing his level by increasing his dose up to 150 ng/ml until it is clear that the extra dose had no additional effect. Then
back down until he seems a little worse, then go up until he is better again and then you will know the correct vitamin D dose for him.
Stop having all this other stuff measured and stop worrying about it. Someone, whoever is ordering all these blood tests, is defrauding you and your insurance company. Stop all these supplements except the
vitamin D, vitamin K2, and maybe a little pediatric iron.
As an aside, one of the special masters in the autism/vaccine court recently ruled for the child’s family, awarding the child 1.5 million dollars. However, the judge acted on the child’s petition because the
petition filed by the other side, the Justice Department, agreed completely with the child’s lawyer. In other words, when this case came in front of the judge (special master), both sides had already agreed on
the award.
Sharyl Attkisson, CBS News, September 9, 2010. Family to Receive $1.5M+ in First-Ever Vaccine-Autism Court Award

Sharyl Attkisson. September 14, 2010. Vaccines, Autism and Brain Damage: What's in a Name?

If you think the vaccination/anti-vaccination debate is a new one, read the article below in the British Medical Journal, published 100 years ago!
Pomeroy. Mr. Pomeroy on vaccination. BMJ, January 22, 1910.

If you do as I say, I predict that in one year you will deny that your son ever had autism.
John Cannell MD
Executive Director
Vitamin D Council
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1241 Johnson Ave., #134

Getting back to your son, what he needs now is time, time for the vitamin D to do whatever it is doing, time for his brain to repair itself, time for the inflammation to stop, time for his brain to learn, time to
make up what he has missed so far in life. Keep obtaining a 25(OH)D every month and keep adjusting the dose. You will be surprised how quickly he progresses. The key is high doses of vitamin D and no

Unlike autism, encephalopathy has long been recognized as a rare but dreaded result of vaccination. Such encephalopathy is an immune phenomenon, undoubtedly caused by the most common cause of
acquired immune deficiency syndrome: vitamin D deficiency.

If you are waiting in the vaccine/autism court, now is the time to change the diagnosis of your child from autism to “mitochondrial disorder and encephalopathy,” and hope you are next in line. However, I
worry this award will result in another ten year delay in accepting that maternal vitamin D deficiency causes autism, like the bogus vaccine research did.

If his pediatrician will not check his 25(OH)D, simply buy an

The belief that a good diet together with a standard multivitamin and milk three times a day will prevent vitamin D deficiency in older children, teens, and adults is common in the medical profession. In
reality, two ways exist to obtain enough vitamin D, the sun or a pill containing thousands of units. In the complete absence of both, vitamin D deficiency will occur 100% of the time – unless cold water fish is
consumed eight times a day. Next time you hear someone say that all vitamins can be obtained from a good diet, know that person to be ignorant.

Another tragedy

This is a periodic newsletter from the Vitamin D Council, a non-profit trying to end the epidemic of vitamin D deficiency. If you want to unsubscribe, go to the end of this newsletter. If you are not subscribed,
you can do so on the Vitamin D Council’s website.

Dear Dr. Cannell:

On June 3, 2010, my five and a half week old daughter was introduced to “child protection, who diagnosed her as being a victim of child abuse. I had brought my new born daughter to a general hospital, after
she woke up screaming in pain when I moved her arm. Upon multiple x-rays we found out that she had a fracture in her right arm that had a transverse configuration, without any evidence of external injury
(we later learned that a transverse configuration is typical in a pathologically fragile bone). Not understanding how this could have happened to my daughter, I had no explanation for the injury.

Apparently because of the injury and our inability to explain how it happened, the doctors suspected child abuse and contacted the child abuse team who sent social workers to the hospital to interview us.
After several hours of questioning, they transferred us to another hospital where we were immediately admitted to the child protection department. After further x-rays and bone scans the hospital found
multiple micro-fractures throughout my daughter’s body.
My daughter’s initial physical examination revealed an asymptomatic child. She did not have any lesions, rashes, bruises, external swelling, nothing, not a mark on her. Neither hospital conducted a careful
assessment of my clinical and social history. They did assess her vitamin D levels which were low-normal, but not mine; they did not question me about my nutrition during pregnancy or my delivery. Neither
the hospitals nor the doctors acted in an unbiased and reflective manner or take into consideration the totality of evidence. Instead, without conducting a complete evaluation, they quickly diagnosed my
daughter as a victim of child abuse.

On June 4th 2010, my infant daughter was taken out of my care and placed in the foster care system. The State appointed my daughter an attorney, who has become an angel for my daughter and to my
family. Thankfully, my daughter’s attorney took her job seriously and set out to determine the truth of what happened to my daughter.

After interviewing me and my family and reading the transcripts of the initial interviews of my boyfriend and I written by the emergency social workers from the hospitals, my daughter’s attorney requested
all of the x-rays, bone scans and medical reports from both hospitals.

Her attorney asked several doctors to look at the medical information and give their unbiased, expert opinions but they refused to touch the case because child protection was involved. Thankfully, she finally
reached out to Dr. Patrick Barnes, a world-renowned neuroradiologist who agreed to look at my daughter’s case. He referred her to Dr. David Ayoub a diagnostic Radiologist out of Chicago IL, to look at the
x-rays and bone scans specifically. After an initial review of the films, Dr. Ayoub proceeded to acquire every medical record in existence on my daughter including my prenatal records and ultrasounds, my
daughter’s delivery and pediatric records and he had me fill out a medical questionnaire survey.

After careful and thorough review of all medical reports he saw that my daughter was suffering from infantile rickets in the state of healing, and that her bones were in a fragile state. He also stated that my
daughter’s skull showed poor mineralization along the sutures and large areas or poor mineralization in the center portion of the skull plates. In addition the parietal skull was flattened.

As Dr. Ayoud was evaluating my daughters medical reports, he asked my daughter’s attorney to suggest that I go see Dr. Michael Holick. Upon his full evaluation of me, Dr. Holick found me to be suffering
from osteomalacia, essentially the adult form of rickets.

This process took two months to complete and now, because of the lack of follow through by child protection doctors, my daughter has been without one of the things most critical to her young development,
a caring and loving mother. And I have been robbed of some of the most precious moments I could have had with her.

Because it took so long to get the proper diagnosis and after being in foster care for almost two months, the child protection people then decided to place my daughter with her biological father who
abandoned me when I was 2 months pregnant. He had not seen or even asked about his daughter until he was contacted by them on June 4th, almost six weeks after her birth.

It has now been 3 months since I have had my precious baby girl. Even with two outstanding doctor reports from two nationally distinguished doctors, the child protection people do not seem to care that my
daughter was taken from her mother in error. Because they are essentially a law unto themselves, they have no legal obligation to take this new medical information about my daughter and myself and do
anything with it.

It would take pages to explain the twisted system that child protection is, because the system is set up in such a way to always protect child protection; there actually isn't a forum to bring this new
information up in front of a judge unless the whole case goes to a trial, which would be months away.

The child protection agencies were set up to protect children, but where are the laws to protect the children and families from these agencies. What do you do when the child protection doctors and social
workers are the ones responsible for neglect or abuse?

Still to this day neither child protection or my daughters biological father have taken my daughter to get looked at by a specialist, to make sure that she is getting what she needs to fix her vitamin D
deficiency. (Thankfully, Dr. Ayoub assures me that because she has been fed formula since she was removed from my custody, I exclusively breast-fed her for the first 5 weeks, another risk factor for rickets,
she is most likely safe from further fractures.) I am not allowed to get any medical information about my daughter as her bio dad has temporary custody. He is only allowing me to see my now 4-month-old
daughter one day a week, at a supervised visitation center. In what kind of world does any of this seem right?

I will get her back; it will just take some time. I just hope that other families and children can be saved by being made aware of this epidemic of infantile rickets. Health care providers need to be educated on
these issues. Most doctors are not taught to know what to look for when they are dealing with infantile rickets or other metabolic bone diseases. And when neonatal rickets are in the stages of healing the
vitamin D and calcium levels are usually normal or high. That's why it's important to test, everything. They need to do their due diligence in ruling out every medical possibility before making their diagnoses.
They need to help save families, not break them up.


Dear Helen:

Thank God that the court appointed an open-minded attorney to represent your child; that seldom happens in these cases. Usually the attorneys appointed to represent the children are the most rabid of the
lot. Also, thank God you found Dr. Ayoub and Dr. Barnes. As you say, the child abuse authorities are a law unto themselves, they do not have to read your reports, file them in your child’s folder, or give your
child back. Now that you have two experts and know what is going on, perhaps you may not feel so alone, feel like everyone thinks you are a child abuser, which is the usual outcome in these cases.

A few months ago I discussed an absolutely frightening study. Basically, the study found that about 1/4 of all otherwise normal infants have evidence of infantile rickets while they are still in the womb. If
these infants were x-rayed right after birth, I suspect they would be found to have multiple fractures from the very real trauma of coming through the birth canal. That is, it is likely that tens of thousands of
infants are being sent home from the hospital with multiple fractures because no one has ever done a study looking for asymptomatic fractures.

Mahon P, et al. Low Maternal Vitamin D Status and Fetal Bone Development: Cohort Study (PDF format). J Bone Miner Res. 2009 Jul 6.

As an aside, the editorial that accompanied this study missed the point. Instead of asking for studies to discover what percentage of infants will have broken bones at birth and thus, how many parents are
falsely accused of child abuse due to this tragedy, the authors of the editorial simply asked for more money for scientists.

Hewison M, Adams JS. Vitamin D Insufficiency and Skeletal Development In Utero (PDF format). J Bone Miner Res. 2010 Jan 15;25(1):11–13.

The “we care about kids more than you do” child abuse organizations are simply feeding at the trough of the child abuse industry. “According to the late Dr. Richard Gardner, the reason for increasing false
allegations can be rationally explained. “There’s a complex network of social workers, mental health professionals, and law enforcement officials that actually encourages charges of child abuse — whether
they are reasonable or not.”

Dr. Gardner was referring to the fact that the Mondale Act of 1974 is responsible for the dramatic increase in child abuse charges because it affords full liability protection for the child abuse industry. They can
do the most egregious and wanton things to the children in their care, and their parents, without fear that they will face civil liability charges. The Mondale Act indemnified the child abuse industry, and
populated it with people whose livelihoods depend on bringing more and more allegations into the system. Your daughter is simply putting food on someone’s plate.

The child abuse industry was behind the epidemic of “recovered memories” of child abuse in the 1990s and howled when judges started returning malpractice verdicts against recovered memory doctors,
which quickly dried up that particular child abuse industry feeding trough. Now, the bread and butter of the child abuse industry is child physical abuse or battered child syndrome, first described 50 years ago
in a seminal paper in JAMA, a paper that caused irreparable harm.

Kempe CH, et al. The battered-child syndrome. JAMA. 1962 Jul 7;181:17-24.

Do not expect this tragedy to be solved soon. Too many mouths are sucking at the trough. Also, the child’s father, the man who abandoned you and his child when you were two months pregnant, is he being
paid to take care of his own child? I doubt child protection will tell you but I suspect he is being paid.

For almost 50 years, parents like you have either been sent to jail or had their child taken away or both; we are talking about hundreds of thousands of parents. It is all based on a simple observation loaded
with face validity: children with lots of broken bones must have been beaten by someone. Now, it is quite possible that most of those hundreds of thousands of infants were never beaten, never abused, never
mistreated, they were misdiagnosed, they simply had infantile rickets.

John Cannell MD
Executive Director
Vitamin D Council

The Vitamin D Newsletter
August 6, 2010

Gary Null and Vitamin D Toxicity

This is a periodic newsletter from the Vitamin D Council, a non-profit
trying to end the epidemic of vitamin D deficiency. If you want to
unsubscribe, go to the end of this newsletter. If you have not
subscribed, you can do so on the Vitamin D Council’s website.
Warning: If you intend to take massive doses of vitamin D based on
this newsletter, which I highly recommend you do not, read the entire
newsletter. In addition, accurate determination of side effects of
massive doses of vitamin D was not available in the early 1930s, nor
was accurate determination of the true amount in each pill possible.

Is 2,000,000 IU/day of vitamin D toxic?
Ask Gary Null, alternative medicine guru and entrepreneur. He took his
own supplement, Ultimate Power Meal, for a month and became
extremely ill; one batch of Power Meal apparently contained 1,000
times more vitamin D than it should. That is, it contained 2,000,000 IU
of vitamin D3 per serving instead of 2,000 IU per serving. Mr. Null
became sicker and sicker as he gulped it down.
LA Times: Supplements guru sues over his own product
New York Post: Putting the 'die' in diet

After suing his own supplier for permanent physical damage, Mr. Null
then reported it took 3 months to get the extra vitamin D out of his
system and that he is now alive and well:

New York Post: 'Death' is now Null and void
If Mr. Null took it for the full month that he claims, and if his Power
Meal contained 2,000,000 IU per dose, Mr. Null consumed 60,000,000
IU in one month. Could he really be fine now with no lasting injuries?
In an attempt to answer that question, I went back to the 1930s and

Massive doses in the 1930s
The earliest references I could find to enormous doses of vitamin D
were in the 1930s. In 1935, Drs. Dreyer and Reed, of the University of
Illinois School of Medicine, published their observations on 700 patients
treated with “massive” doses of vitamin D for up to two years.
Dreyer I, Reed CI. The treatment of arthritis with massive doses of
vitamin D. Archives of Physical Therapy. 1935;16:537-43
First, the authors report that vitamin D had remarkable treatment
effects on all kinds of arthritis, especially rheumatoid arthritis. They
report on 67 arthritic patients so treated, with 75% of the patients
responding most dramatically.

The dose used? Drs. Dreyer and Reed started all patients on 200,000 IU
per day! They started some patients on 200,000 IU/day of D2 and
others on 200,000 IU/day of D3, noticing no difference in efficacy. They
used vitamin D preparations made by Mead Johnson, Glaxo, and Abbott.
“If there was no improvement and no evidence of sensitivity, the daily
dose was increased by 50,000 units each week until there was some
improvement or evidence of overdosage. In some stubborn cases, it
was found necessary to increase to 600,000 or even 1,000,000 units for
a few days and then reduce to 200,000 to 500,000 units. Most of our
results have been obtained with daily doses of 300,000 to 500,000

The authors report that 63 of the 700 patients on this dosage became
clinically toxic. That is, about 10% of the patients on these doses
became sick (toxic) from the vitamin D. Today, we usually think of
vitamin D toxicity as asymptomatic high blood calcium but these were
old time doctors; toxic meant sick.

How did they treat the 63 patients who became sick from massive
doses of vitamin D? Hospitalize them in the ICU? No, they simply
stopped the vitamin D, told them to drink plenty of fluids, waited for
the symptoms of toxicity to dissipate, and then restarted them on a
lower dose, such as 150,000 IU per day.

The authors do mention that many of the patients had high blood
calcium, one in the 20s, but if the patients were not sick, the doctors
didn’t care about the calcium. As the authors did not draw serum
calcium on all of the 700 patients, we don’t know what percentage of
patients on these doses became hypercalcemic.

Symptoms of Toxicity
The authors report that the symptoms of vitamin D toxicity began with
persistent nausea, which the doctors instructed their patients to be on
the lookout for, as well as increased frequency of urination without
increased volume of urine. Weakness and increased thirst were
common, and “if the treatment is continued, diarrhea, gripping pain in
the gastrointestinal tract, and vomiting.” The authors bragged that they
could not report on pathological findings in toxicity, because none of
their 700 patients had died and “come to autopsy.”

In 1934, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a
study on vitamin D overdose:
Reed CI. Symptoms of Viosterol overdosage in human subjects. JAMA.
They reported on 300 patients given high doses of vitamin D2 for
asthma and hay fever. The author reported that each cc contained
900,000 IU of vitamin D2. The good doctor gave one patient 3 cc per
day for five days (that would be a total dose of 13.5 million units)
“without the slightest evidence of injury.”
However, in his conclusion, Dr. Reed was much more conservative,
“there need be little apprehension about the administration of amounts
ranging up to 150,000 international units daily for indefinite periods.
Larger amounts had better be limited to periods of a few months at
most, depending on the therapeutic effects desired.”
Dr. Rappaport and colleagues at the University of Illinois studied the
effects of Viosterol (vitamin D2) on asthma and hay fever in 212
patients, giving placebo to a control group. The authors reported that
82% of the hay fever patients and 96% of the asthma patients
“experienced definitive significant relief.” The authors concluded that
the “optimum dose” of vitamin D was 60,000 to 300,000 IU per day.
Rappaprt BZ et al. The treatment of hay fever and asthma with
Viosterol of high potency. J. of Allergy. 1934;5:541-553.
Why these doctors did not try 5,000 or 10,000 IU/day, instead of
200,000 IU/day, I could not ascertain.

Death in the 1940s
Things began to change in the 1940s. In 1946, two case reports of fatal
vitamin D toxicity in adults (the authors report five previous fatal cases
in children) appeared in the medical literature.
Mulligan RM. Metastatic Calcification Associated with Hypervitaminosis
D and Haliphagia. Am J Pathol. 1946 Nov;22(6):1293-1305.
Bauer JM and Freyberg RH. Vitamin D intoxication with metastatic
calcification. JAMA 1946;130:1208-1215
Another case report of a fatal dose of vitamin D in adults appeared in
1947. This death was from Ertron, vitamin D2, at a dose of 150,000 IU
daily for 18 months, and it included a description of foot lesions similar
to what Gary Null reported. This paper is free to download and I
suggest everyone who is flirting with the idea of using massive doses
of vitamin D obtain it and read it. It is chilling to read the detailed
autopsy report.
Bevans M, Taylor HK. Lesions Following the Use of Ertron in Rheumatoid
Arthritis. Am J Pathol. 1947 May;23(3):367-387.
By 1948, the medical community began condemning the use of such
massive doses of vitamin D as evidenced by a paper from Johns
Hopkins University.
Howard JE and Meyer RJ. Intoxication with vitamin D. J. Clin.
Endocrinology. 1948;8(11);895-910.
The authors reference 12 earlier papers on vitamin D intoxication with
calcification of everything from the kidneys to the sclera of the eyes.
The first symptoms of vitamin D toxicity in their series of 11 patients
were weight loss and fatigue, which occurred before the anorexia (poor
appetite) and vomiting. All of their patients suffered from kidney
damage and anemia. Virtually all of the patients had a characteristic
eye lesion, which are calcium deposits in the sclera and cornea, just
beneath the conjunctival basement membrane.

All patients had high blood calcium, ranging from 12.4 to 15.1 mg per
100 cc. Dosages of vitamin D ranged from the lowest at 150,000 IU/day
for 4 months (serum calcium 13.9) to the highest at 500,000 IU/day for
18 months (serum calcium 14.3). They reported on another patient who
developed hypercalcemia after she reported taking 300,000 IU of
vitamin D2 for only 2 weeks; she also had eye lesions evident on slit
lamp exam. Although accurate follow up was not possible due to the
fact the patients came from around the country, no patients died but
some suffered permanent renal damage from the excessive doses of
vitamin D.

The treatment the authors used for vitamin D toxicity was discontinuing
the vitamin D, drinking 4,000 cc of fluid per day, and a low calcium diet.
Improvement occurred within 2-8 weeks when nausea, vomiting, and
lassitude disappeared. Blood calcium fell in all patients by one month
but continued to be elevated for as long as a year in one patient.
These reports of toxicity were all the medical profession needed to
condemn vitamin D as dangerous, as I learned in medical school in the
early 1970s. The dark ages of vitamin D meant that for several
generations of doctors, vitamin D was toxic at all but the most
meaningless doses. Its use to treat asthma and arthritis became
verboten. For fifty years, doctors forgot about vitamin D – other than
vitamin D deficient rickets – because of fear of toxicity. During these
dark ages, the Food and Nutrition Board periodically reviewed vitamin D
and repeatedly distributed toxicity alarms, along with their
recommendations that we only take insignificant doses.

Out of the dark ages
Then, at the turn of the century, Professor Reinhold Vieth of the
University of Toronto showed us the way out of the dark ages with an
objective review of the toxicity literature. The paper below is free to

Vieth R. Vitamin D supplementation, 25-hydroxyvitamin D
concentrations, and safety. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999 May;69(5):842-56.
What Vieth’s paper showed was that there is a difference between
5,000 IU per day and 50,000 IU per day, the first being a physiological
dose and the second being a pharmacological dose, a drug. However, in
1999 the world was using neither dose properly, in that no doctors were
prescribing 5,000 IU per day and no scientists were studying 50,000 IU
per day.

After Vieth’s paper, in the first few years of this century, a steady
stream of vitamin D papers began flowing out of research labs, with the
number of publications increasing every year. For example, scientists
published 1,582 new papers on vitamin D in the first six months of
2010. Very few are about toxicity, instead they cover a breathtaking
variety of diseases. These papers raise the possibility that many of the
diseases that we take as being part of the human condition are not
part of the human condition, instead they are simply the result of the
toxicity scare: vitamin D deficiency. That is, these diseases are simply
different presentations of the same deficiency. In that way, vitamin D
deficiency is similar to syphilis.

Sir William Osler said, "Know syphilis in all its manifestations and
relations and all other things clinical will be added unto you. Know
syphilis and the whole of medicine is opened to you." He called it the
"Great Imitator," because late stages of syphilis simulate almost every
disease known to man. Smoking is similar, some smokers get
emphysema, some lung cancer, some heart disease, some bladder
cancer, some pancreatic cancer, and some live to be 100. Increasingly,
vitamin D deficiency looks as if it may do the same thing. Some vitamin
D deficient people will get asthma, others cancer, others heart disease,
others autoimmune illness, and some will live to be 100.

Let’s look at one rare disease, childhood multiple sclerosis, a nightmare
for any parent to face. The child will have problems with vision,
co-ordination, or balance, with relapses and remissions, that is the
disease seems to come and go. Recently, Dr. Ellen Mowry and her
colleagues discovered that these relapses, these periods of active
autoimmune illness, are associated with low levels of vitamin D. The
disease comes and goes as vitamin D levels come and go. Dr. Mowrey
speculated that a 15 ng/ml increase in vitamin D levels would cut the
relapse rate in half.

Mowry EM et al. Vitamin D status is associated with relapse rate in
pediatric-onset multiple sclerosis. Ann Neurol. 2010 May;67(5):618-24.
Dr. Mowry did not raise the fundamental question: would these children
have become ill in the first place if they had adequate amounts of
vitamin D during their growth and development? The average vitamin D
level of these 110 children was 22 ng/ml, so Dr. Morey could not say
what an increase to 50 ng/ml would do, nor could she say if low vitamin
D levels were what allowed the disease to appear in the first place.
That is, is juvenile multiple sclerosis simply one of many possible
presentations of childhood vitamin D deficiency? Some vitamin D
deficient children will get multiple sclerosis, some asthma, some
diabetes, some rickets, and others autism. That is, is vitamin D
deficiency the modern day syphilis?

Unlike syphilis, vitamin D deficiency is largely an iatrogenic disease,
caused by the medical profession’s near hysterical fear of vitamin D
toxicity. Physicians simply forgot what Paracelsus said many years ago,
“All things are poison and nothing is without poison, the dose alone
permits something to be poisonous.” We went from intemperance in
the 1930s to hysteria in the 1950s and we are only now coming to our

We look around at the diseases debilitating our children, the triple A
epidemics of autoimmune disorders, asthma, and autism. All are truly
epidemic, all are debilitating or worse, and vitamin D is involved in all
three. We failed to make sure our children had enough vitamin D
throughout their growth and development and now our children suffer,
in large part because of the hysteria over vitamin D toxicity.
What dose is toxic? I don’t know but I’d guess for some adults it is
around 50,000 IU/day. However, it will vary widely and some people
may get asymptomatic side effects on lower doses, such as kidney
damage, without getting clinical signs of toxicity. Just because you feel
fine, that does not mean your kidneys are fine.
Getting back to Mr. Gary Null and his ingestion of 60,000,000 IU over
one month, could he have survived that dose? Apparently, the answer
is yes, although I doubt he took it every day, especially as he got
sicker and sicker. Could he have survived that dose without permanent
kidney damage? I doubt it.

John Cannell, MD
Executive Director
Vitamin D Council
1241 Johnson Ave., #134
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

The Vitamin D Newsletter

April 21, 2010

More letters

This newsletter is now copyrighted but you may reproduce it for non-economic reasons without prior permission as long as you properly attribute its source.

Dear Dr. Cannell:

I was taking a vitamin D3 liquid oil supplement 60,000 IUs/day regularly and 180,000 IUs/day fairly occasionally for about 8 months in '09 in an attempt to get over a chronic sinus
infection and prevent cold/flu. Last November '09, I started having symptoms for irregular heartbeats, nervousness, insomnia, weight loss, difficulty concentrating, and muscle
weakness. I met with my physician and had blood work done. My vitamin D3 level was 406 ng/mL and my calcium elevated and probably had been that high for several months. I
stopped taking the supplement immediately. But my physician didn't recommend anything else at the time except to recheck the blood levels in a few months. I am 46 and have been
in excellent health all my life with no previous medical issues.

The symptoms have not gone away entirely. I was not aware of the potential toxic effects of D until a few weeks ago. I recently found out that vitamin D toxicity can cause

Is there anything more I can do now to reverse the effects of vitamin D toxicity and possible hypercalcemia that may have been present for several months last summer/fall? Should I
have my kidney function and heart function checked? What can I do to reverse effects on my nervous system and brain now? What tests can I do to keep checking the levels or know
if I did any permanent damage to these soft tissues?

Finally, my daughter (5 yrs. old at the time) was also taking about 20,000 IUs/day fairly regularly over the same period of time. She didn't appear to have had any adverse symptoms
but now I'm really concerned and scared she may have been toxic too. What tests should I ask to be done to check her for Vitamin D toxicity and hypercalcemia?

Please respond and help if you can, I'm having a hard time finding good sources of information for my questions! Any information or help would be greatly-greatly appreciated!

Thank you,

David, Utah

Dear David:

Congratulations, you have indeed made yourself toxic by knowingly taking too much supplemental vitamin D, one of the first such cases I am aware of in the modern literature. Have
your daughter's 25(OH)D and serum calcium checked; she was also taking potentially toxic doses.

The treatment for you and your daughter to not take any vitamin D and both of you should stay out of the sun until your 25(OH)D levels return to normal. Drink 8 eight-ounce glasses of
water a day and have your daughter drink four. You both should have a chemistry panel periodically to see if kidney function is normal and to check serum calcium although I doubt
that your calcium is still elevated. I doubt you have permanently damaged any internal organs as most cases of toxicity, with 25(OH)D levels higher than yours, did not result in
permanent damage to the kidneys or other internal organs.

Also, readers should be aware, if they are not already, that vitamin D does not prevent all viral respiratory infections. As we noted in correspondence to our first influenza paper,
rhinoviruses, the most common cause of the common cold, are not seasonal; that is, they are just as common in the summer as in the winter, and they do not have a lipoprotein coat
for antimicrobial peptides to destroy. Also, in a recent Japanese paper, influenza B was not prevented by vitamin D, only influenza A. Although many people get influenza symptoms
and are worried enough to go to their doctors, and their doctors worried enough to get an influenza A test, only about 3% of the specimens submitted to CDC surveillance centers are
positive for influenza A.

If you are already taking 5,000 IU a day and you get a cold, chances are that more vitamin D will not help much. No one should take large doses for more than a few days and then
only if the infection is severe. Certainly the doses you took were toxic and it sounds as if you still suffered from viral respiratory infections.

Dear Dr. Cannell:

Thanks for taking time for my e-mail. I heard Dr. Cannell on the radio about a month ago talking about his vitamin D formula and as someone who has been involved in holistic
nutrition and natural health most of my life as a layperson, I really appreciate what you do for people, and have upped my D on your recommendation. I absolutely have noticed more
of an attitude of wanting to participate in life and less a feeling of "why bother," after a month of increased dosage. I will get my levels tested sometime this year.

Currently I do homecare and my present client/friend doesn't get outdoors at all. She was taking 2000 iu of D per day for general purposes until I spoke with her about Dr. Cannell's
radio spot. She upped it to 5000 iu with your formula and said she felt a difference in her mood within a week! Bear in mind this is someone who was on antidepressants for decades
and has struggled with depression all that time, despite the meds. She wants to wean herself off her meds and for her to say something has helped her mood is anywhere from
extraordinary to miraculous!

Keep up the good work!

Jesse, Pendleton, OR

Dear Jesse:

Tell your friend to keep taking her meds. As much as I like to hear what you said, it is more likely that this improvement in your friend's mood will not be permanent. If she does decide
to go off her meds, do it very slowly with the help of her doctor. Vitamin D deficiency is but one cause of major depression; there are lots of others. However, I now recommend that
anyone struggling with depression should take at least 10,000 IU /day with frequent 25(OH)D blood tests to assure levels of at least 100 ng/ml and to monitor for toxicity.

Depression is a serious illness with a known morbidity and mortality and thus it warrants more aggressive treatment than someone in good health. Some readers have written that
they require 50,000 IU/day to alleviate depressive symptoms but that should only be done under the care of a knowledgeable physician, with frequent 25(OH)D levels, as such doses
may cause toxicity.

John Cannell, MD

Dear Dr. Cannell:

I just wanted to share. I take 20,000 unites per day for 2 years now. I have experienced only positive results. My levels are currently 91 ng/ml. My high sensitive CRP decreased from
25 to .01. All the people I provide health coaching to (as an occupational therapist) are deficient or have absolutely none at all as a blood level.

Mary, Long Island, NY

Dear Mary:

Great but keep checking your 25(OH)D levels. Several studies are confirming that vitamin D lowers CRP. I'm so glad you are doing this on your own for patients, as an occupational
therapist, but are you putting all your patients on 20,000 IU/day? I hope not. The proper dose for healthy adults is 5,000 IU/day.

John Cannell, MD

Dear Dr. Cannell:

I am a neurologist in Oklahoma. I wrote to you a few months ago about the observation that all of my patients with sleep disorders had low vitamin D and that when I was able to
replace D, and get the level above 50, their sleep and secondarily several of their neurologic problems, improved, especially their headaches.

I have since stumbled into a few unexpected holes and have learned a lot but now have some questions regarding the D2 imposter. My medical colleagues that are using D2
(Drisdol) for bone health have no symptoms to follow in response to supplementing and think that they have accomplished what they want when they get the 25(OH)D2 above 50. The
problem is that I am using D3 supplement for other things and have learned that the sleep and headaches improve with the right dose of D3 but that the same dose of D2 does not
work at all.

On several patients even though the 25(OH)D2 level is up, their sleep and headaches are no better. For example, today I saw a woman who has all the same symptoms as all my
other patients; poor sleep, indigestion, daily headache, all worsening after her second pregnancy 4 years ago. Her 25(OH)D2 was 52 and she was not supplementing, so I did not
ask her to take D3. After receiving several calls from her about her headaches not getting any better I decided to try supplementing D3 the way I am in all the other patients at 20,000
IU for one month. Since starting D3 supplement her sleep is better and her headaches are gone.

Why is D2 used at in a prescription when it is not natural to our body? What has been the motivation for using it? Why is it used in milk instead of D3? I am about to look into the
literature about whether it has some exclusive effect on bone health but I'm noticing that most of the literature is sloppy about which D they're talking about in terms of the 25OH. Why
are they sloppy about this? Has there been literature that supports the fact that D2 and D3 are actually identical?

The sleep effect ties to many of the neurologic disorders that get better with D3, improved sleep, seizures, headaches, vertigo, tremor, gait, Parkinson's, depression, psychosis,
hypertension. I'm interested in anyone else watching similar effects on their patients?

Thanks for your comments, explanations, and exclamations.

Gormon Servasta M.D., Oklahoma

Dear Dr. Servasta:

That is great news for millions of headache sufferers, as well as those suffering from other neurological disorders. I always recommend D3 and see no reason for anyone to take D2,
it is not human vitamin D. It is a vitamin D analogue that happened to be discovered before D3 by the University of Wisconsin, which patented it and it was then sold, and still is, as
the only available prescription vitamin D, Drisdol.

Currently, most scientists are specifying whether they use D2 or D3 in their studies but that was not always the case in the past. All studies done with D2 will need to be repeated with
D3; if the studies were negative, they need to be repeated to see if they are also negative with D3; if they were positive, they need to be repeated with D3 to see if the effect size is
the same or not. Most milk now contains D3. If your patient had a 25(OH)D2 of 52 and had not been on D2 supplements or eating large amounts of irradiated Shitake mushrooms,
the result was a lab error.

D2 or ergocalciferol does not exist in detectable quantities in the human body, only in tiny quantities in some plants and, as such, is "unnatural" when in the human body. You cannot
get any appreciable D2 by eating vegetables except for some irradiated mushrooms. D2 is metabolized to various substances in the body, many of which are not normally present in
humans, although these metabolites have never been shown to be dangerous.

There is also some evidence that D2 is more toxic in overdose, which is curious as it is only about half as potent as the naturally occurring vitamin D3, cholecalciferol. I have seen
evidence that humans prefer D3 over D2, in that, if both 25(OH)D2 and 25(OH)D3 are present in serum, over time the 25(OH)D3 falls faster than the 25(OH)D2, suggesting the body
preferentially uses 25(OH)D3, if it is available. For any scientist readers, this would be an easy and important study to do.

Your experience that D3, but not D2, helps neurological symptoms is interesting. Such comparisons of the efficacy of D3 versus D2 on neurological symptoms do not exist in the
medical literature, another important study to do . Since I have never given anyone D2, I cannot comment further.

John Cannell, MD

Dear Dr. Cannell:

This is a letter of gratitude to you! Ever since I read what you wrote about asthma several years ago, I have taken first 5,000 then 10,000 IU daily of Vitamin D3 from Bio Tech my
energy has improved DRAMATICALLY and my asthma is completely gone! It has taken over a year, but it worked!

I have thrown away all of my allergy medicines and all of my asthma medicines and have never gone back!

I am forever grateful to you Dr. John Cannell.

Harry, Pennsylvania

Dear Harry:

You're welcome. The same Japanese randomized controlled trial just published that showed vitamin D prevent influenza A, also showed that the placebo group was six times more
likely to get an asthma attack then the vitamin D group and that was with only 1,200 IU per day in ten-year-olds.

There is a growing literature suggesting that vitamin D may not just help asthma, but may cure it. In my experience, how long it takes to help asthma depends on how long you have
had asthma. Adults with asthma should take 10,000 IU per day and shoot for a 25(OH)D of around 100 ng/ml. Children with asthma should take at least 2,000 IU for every 25 pounds
of body weight, also shooting for a 25(OH)D of around 100 ng/ml. Like depression, asthma is a disease with a serious morbidity and mortality, thus more aggressive dosing is

After the asthma disappears, slowly reduce your asthma meds under the supervision of your doctor, then slowly reduce the dose of vitamin D to standard doses of 5,000 IU/day for
adults, and 1,000 IU/day for every 25 pounds of body weight in children, keeping 25(OH)D levels between 50 and 80 ng/ml.

John Cannell, MD

Dear Dr. Cannell:

I had asthma for 20 years with allergies and severe breathing issues. After it was too much to bear any longer, I went with very high doses of Vitamin D3 and was able to quit the
prednisone. I took about 30,000 IU per day for I think a few weeks then 10,000 IU/day for the last year and have not had ANY asthma again this spring! I threw out all my inhalers and I
stay at 10,000 IU per day now! Life is good! I love my vitamin D3!

Thanks for everything.

Trish, California

Dear Trish:

You are welcome. The "Stoss" or short-term high daily dose for a few weeks is a good idea to get your levels up quickly if you have a serious illness. It would have been better to put
your asthma meds in a drawer rather than throw them out as asthma is an episodic disease and it is too early to know for sure that it will not come back.

Also, when on 10,000 IU/day get periodic 25(OH)D levels; to date, no one has published literature on long-term safety, years, of 10,000 IU/day.

John Cannell, MD

Dear Dr. Cannell:

I just came back from a vacation in the Caribbean and you are right about what you wrote a few years ago about vitamin D and sun sensitivity. Before, I always burned easily as I am
fair-skinned. But, before this vacation I had been taking 5,000 IU per day for about 9 months. My skin was much more resistant to the sun; sometimes it would get red and I thought I
was burned but the next morning it was gone.

Thank you, it is so great not having to always worry so much about getting burned.

Justine, New Jersey

Dear Justine:

You're welcome but don't throw away your sunblock. If you remember from my past newsletters, my daughter Eliza discovered vitamin D's ability to prevent sunburn and my
fair-skinned river-rafting friend confirmed it. My daughter had been taking 5,000 IU per day for ten months and decided she wanted to tan in a suntan parlor. Instead of burning the first
few times, she quickly developed a rich tan.

My friend took high doses of vitamin D for a few weeks before rafting and, for the first time in his life, did not burn when rafting the Snake River. In fact a businessman is now selling a
product at sun-tanning parlors to prevent burning; the product's active ingredient is simply 30 tablets of 10,000 IUs of vitamin D3, to be taken daily for one month before tanning.

This is the time of year many people sunburn. I have thought a lot about the whole issue of sunburning and would like to propose a theory. I do not think sunburning is entirely without
an evolutionary benefit. The final conversion of vitamin D in the skin requires heat and the heat of sunburn will increase the amount of vitamin D made by any one sun-exposure. Thus,
sunburns evolved for a reason. Nature cares less if you damage your skin with sunburn; Nature cares more that vitamin D deficient people maximize any one sun-exposure. That is,
people with low 25(OH)D levels have a reason to burn, they make more vitamin D. Easy sunburning and sun sensitivity may simply be a symptom of vitamin D deficiency. This is also
a good study for some young vitamin D scientist to do.

Vitamin D sufficient people do not need any extra vitamin D from the sun, so the extra heat in the skin generated by sunburn is not needed. (As an aside, I also predict that 25(OH)D
exerts negative feedback on 7-dihydro-cholesterol, vitamin D's precursor molecule.) Vitamin D sufficient readers will see, when they go into the sun this spring, that it takes longer to
burn, that their skin is less sun-sensitive, and that when redness does occur, it is often gone the next day. However, beware: vitamin D sufficient people can still sunburn, it just takes
longer. Sunburns increase your risk of melanoma and other skin cancers.

Also, some fair-skinned people have a genetic variation that prevents their skin from making melanin pigment. Theoretically, vitamin D should not help them from sunburning. But
don't confuse fact with theory. The fact is that some skin type 1 people cannot make much melanin; the theory is that vitamin D will not protect their skin from sunburn. However, I know
of some very fair-skinned, blond-headed, blue eyed, skin type 1 people whose skin became less sensitive to the sun after taking 5,000 IU/day.

John Cannell, MD

Dear Dr. Cannell:

Thank-you for all of your hard work! I read what you wrote on your website and my son (at age 15) was diagnosed with D deficiency (his levels were 7 ng/ml), after many long years
with severe anxiety and depression and psychiatric meds that didn't work. Vitamin D3 10,000 IU/day was a miracle for his recovery as he is now a freshman in college!


Connie, St. Paul, MN

Dear Connie:

You are welcome. Again, vitamin D deficiency is but one cause of depression. How much of it is caused by vitamin D deficiency, how it will respond to adequate doses of D3, and
what dose to use is simply not known. Err on the side of higher doses with frequent 25(OH)D blood tests when treating depression. Documented vitamin D toxicity has never been
described with 25(OH)D levels below 200 ng/ml. Again, 10,000 IU per day requires periodic 25(OH)D levels.

Dear Dr. Cannell:

I appreciate greatly Dr. Cannell`s good work for this fundamentally important issue of getting the knowledge about the importance of vitamin D for health and prevention of disease,
through to the consumers.

I am testing every patient of mine for vitamin D. Not surprisingly, all of us Finns or anybody living here in Finland is vitamin D deficient, the average winter-time blood value being only
18ng/l ( equals 45 nmol/l.) for my patients.

Case: A 30 yr old lady had her first blood test done only 4 months ago. It gave 10ng/l. She has suffered of severe atopic dermatitis since early childhood with a lot of itching and even
bleeding of skin after scratching the skin during the night. Additionally, she has obtained severe migraine headaches, leading to vomiting in the end, since the age of 14 onwards.
She has got pollen allergies and during the last few years she has developed severe food allergies as well. She has not been able to sunbathe, because it has caused intolerable
burning and itching sensation in her skin. The atopic dermatitis has been getting worse by exercise and sweating and sauna. The latter points have come to the picture 5 years ago
and have gotten worse by time.

Four months ago, I gave her a detailed supplementation program, in which D3 plays a major role (5,000 IU/day). I have included calcium and the cofactors you have in your formula as
well in the treatment, such as magnesium, zinc, boron and K2.

She has made an amazing recovery of almost all of her symptoms. Skin problem is completely cured, no itching, no scaly dead skin, no redness, no inflammation any more. Migraine
headaches, which used to be 1-2 times a week, have dramatically diminished. She has had only 1 migraine attack for the last 4 months, compared to average 16-32 attacks
previously during the same time period.

She is slowly increasing the number of previously intolerable foods into her diet. She can now exercise with full energy and sweating is not a problem anymore, as it does not cause
any burning or itching sensation either. She has had only minor pollen symptoms now, which is also completely new for her. She has not been using any antihistamines so far this
spring. Earlier she was forced to use prescription allergy-medications every year.

She looks better, because the skin of her face has become clear and beautiful, with a healthy-looking, shiny complexion. She is so happy of this progress that she cannot stop
smiling. She is going to re-test now her vitamin D-value and we will take care of the right dosages accordingly.

This case is just one example of what the right supplementation may do for a severely suffering patient, with no side-effects. This lady had never heard of you but she does now.

Regards from Finland

Jerkko Mause, MD, Finland

Dear Dr. Mause:

That is great news; I wish all patients would experience the same miraculous recovery. I'm glad you used the cofactors, magnesium, zinc, boron, and K2, as deficiencies in these four
are probably as common as vitamin D deficiency. That is why I added them to my formula, which Purity Products markets via telemarketing. Beware: my family gets a buck for every
bottle sold.

Also, I doubt anyone can get toxic on my formula. For example, if you decide to take 50,000 IU per day of my formula, it would require 20 tablets a day and you will be getting 1,250
mg of magnesium per day and, after a few weeks, you will have so much diarrhea that you will not have time to get to the medicine cabinet.

John Cannell, MD

Dear Dr. Cannell:

Curing magnesium deficiency with seeds and nuts is like curing vitamin D deficiency with egg yolks.

Barry, New York

Dear Barry:

Well said. Eating a handful of seeds and nuts every day and changing to whole grains may add another 100 mg/day of magnesium to total magnesium intake but at least 500 mg/day
extra is needed to correct a magnesium deficiency.

As I have written, magnesium has similarities to calcium. Both are stored in the bones and bones need both to be healthy. Deficiencies of neither can be detected by a simple blood
test. Total body deficiencies of both are the rule not the exception. Finally, vitamin D is involved in the absorption of both calcium and magnesium.

If the reader is like most Americans, you are deficient in magnesium. I recommend a product made by Trace Minerals (no financial relationship to the Council or my family), in Roy,
Utah: (801) 731-6051.

One comes with a 1:1 calcium: magnesium ratio:

It also comes with a 2:1 calcium: magnesium ratio:

What I especially like is the trace minerals it contains from sea salt with the sodium removed. Bones need many of these trace minerals to be healthy. The 500 mg of magnesium will
treat a magnesium deficiency but it will take a year or two to replenish your bone stores of magnesium. The amount of calcium that you choose depends on your dietary calcium. If
you do not eat dairy products choose the 2:1 Ca:Mg ratio, if you eat dairy at least twice a day, choose the 1:1 ratio.

John Cannell, MD

Dear Dr Cannell:

It was interesting to read your recent newsletter regarding poor vitamin D status of Somali women and risk of autism and I was glad to see that scientists are confirming your autism
theory. I am a registered dietitian from the UK and have a very strong interest in Vitamin D research.

I have a particular interest in ethnic minorities, especially Somali women whom I have treated several for vitamin D deficiency. Two of the Somali ladies I have treated are sisters, and
both have multiple lists of health complaints from rare autoimmune skin conditions to the obvious aching bones and muscle weakness.

One of the sisters has an autistic son who is 3 years of age now. I am sure this is of no surprise to you the fact that she has an autistic child but her first vitamin D test came back at a
staggering 0.5 ng/ml! Which I believe would be an accurate reading as it was carried out via the NHS and all local tests are sent to labs which are DiaSorin compatible.

I have not heard of vitamin D levels that low but I would be interested to hear if you have heard of similar experiences.

I really appreciate the valuable work you undertake in order to get the message out there about such an important autism issue.

Kind Regards

Elliott, UK

Dear Elliott:

Always trust low 25(OH)D levels and always repeat high 25(OH)D levels. Such low levels are not uncommon and indicate the person is at risk for sudden death from hypocalcemic
seizures, should their calcium intake falter

As regards the three-year-old Somali child with autism, remember that vitamin D, at 2,000-5,000 IU/day for every 25 pounds of body weight, may have a treatment effect in autism.
The sooner it is started, the better.

In Minnesota, the Somali immigrants call autism the Minnesota disease, in Sweden the Somali immigrants call autism the Swedish Disease, but in Somalia, autism has no name.

John Cannell, MD

Executive Director

Vitamin D Council

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