Sunshine & Vit D Reduce Risk of MS

Wednesday, 09 February 2011 by
Reading Time: 3 minutes

A recent paper out of Australia and published in the Journal Neurology supports the increasing correlative link between Vit D and neurological damage such as demyelination.[1]

In a case-control study, more time spent in the sun — beginning in childhood — independently predicted lower risk of having a first demyelinating event with 30% lower adjusted odds for each 1,000 kJ/m2 of vitamin D-producing ultraviolet rays, according to Robyn M. Lucas, PhD, of the Australian National University in Canberra, and colleagues.

Serum vitamin D levels also independently predicted MS incidence with 7% lower risk of a first event per 10 nmol/L higher 25-hydroxyvitamin D (95% confidence interval 0.86 to 1.00), the group reported in the Feb. 8 issue of Neurology.

Hyperthyroid Patients Need Vit D

Wednesday, 02 February 2011 by | Comments: 6
Reading Time: 2 minutes

A Dec 2010 paper out in the Journal of Clinical Densiometry which publishes the latest clinical research on the uses of bone mass and density measurements in medical practice, as well as state-of-the-art review articles on critical topics explored the role of Vitamin D in patients with confirmed hyperthyroidism.[1]

An interesting topic for a journal focussed on bone mass as Vit D is an essential nutrient for the management of healthy bone. Patients that have an overactive thyroid secrete too much thyroid hormone. In this case, more of a good thing is definitely not better. The excess  thyroid hormone can cause symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, increased basal temperature and substantial weight loss in spite of a healthy appetite. Hyperthyroidism can make a person nervous, emotionally unstable, and unable to sleep.

Reading Time: < 1 minute

A paper published late Dec 2010 has thrown a spanner in the works regarding Vitamin D availability. The researchers – well known in the world of Vitamin D studies have found that Vitamin D3 is far better absorbed in human subjects than Vit D2.[1] I had recently written on this following an earlier paper that suggested they were of equivalence – how time flies in science!

The nub of the study and the bit that as practitioners we all want to know is this:

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Vit D – Depressing Commentary from IOM

Wednesday, 08 December 2010 by
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Recently the USA’s Institute of Medicine made a public statement in which the dose of Vitamin D to meet bone health requirements was applied to the entire VitD scientific debate as the determining dose.[1]

“Despite the many claims of benefit surrounding vitamin D in particular, the evidence did not support a basis for a causal relationship between vitamin D and many of the numerous health outcomes purported to be affected by vitamin D intake,” the report stated.

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Vitamin K: Beyond Clotting

Thursday, 23 September 2010 by | Comments: 2
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Q & A with Sarah L. Booth, PhD
Senior Scientist and Director, Vitamin K Lab, Tufts University

Vitamin K is one of those nutrients that has lost its position as a vital component of nutritional therapy as it was thought that so little was required. But along with vitamin A this nutrient, due to more sophisticated investigation options is now getting some well deserved respect and it is becoming clear that it impacts on many aspects of health – maybe this will gain as much respect as Vitamin D in the coming years.[1],[2]

Focus: So, let’s talk about vitamin K. Why don’t we hear more about this fat soluble vitamin?

SB: The vitamin K research community is extremely small, and we don’t have the volume of publications that the other fat soluble nutrients have. We’re probably decades behind in research findings. Vitamin K was identified for its role in blood clotting but we need very little for blood clotting. The body seems to be exquisite at taking what it needs to support clotting, and we don’t have a public health problem associated with abnormal bleeding. Our current dietary recommendations for vitamin K are based on the amount that’s ideal for clotting—90 micrograms a day for women and 120 micrograms a day for men.

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Reading Time: 4 minutes


Psoriasis is a lifelong inflammatory skin disease characterised by sharply demarcated, scaly, erythematous plaques. Effector cells of the innate immune system, such as keratinocytes, have been shown to have a role in the pathogenesis of psoriasis.

The current view of psoriasis pathogenesis proposes that a combination of environmental and genetic factors confers susceptibility to the disease and that a dysregulated immune response leads to a series of linked cellular changes in the skin.[1]

Reading Time: 12 minutes

Krispin Sullivan is a licensed clinical nutritionist and educator, and author of Naked at Noon: Understanding the Importance of Sunlight and Vitamin D. She received her degree in dietetics at the University of Vermont in 1968, and her certification in nutrition from the National Institute of Nutrition Education in 1988. She is former director of the nutrition program for Northern California Recovery Systems in Mill Valley, California, and is licensed by the state of California to teach nutrition in post-secondary schools. She currently resides in Incline Village, Nevada, and is studying the microbiome in humans, and writing a book on microbial gut inhabitants as a protective shield.
Her website is

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Increase Vit D RDA’s Say Scientists

Wednesday, 18 August 2010 by
Reading Time: 4 minutes

On July the 28th 2010 the Journal Experimental Biology and Medicine published an article looking at the levels of Vitamin D in the general population and made recommendations concerning the RDA levels needed to limit osteomalacia in adults and rickets in children.[1] This they say is because scientists and nutritionists from many countries agree that at present about half of elderly North Americans and Western Europeans and probably also of the rest of the world are not receiving enough vitamin D to maintain healthy bone. This is nothing new to this web site or indeed the thousands of people that have been following this story for the last 10 years.

The paper goes on to say that over the past decade there has been a  dramatic increase in the understanding of the many biological actions that result from vitamin D acting through its daughter steroid  hormone, 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 [1α,25(OH)2D3] in collaboration with its cognate vitamin D receptor (VDR). In other words Vitamin D does more than support bone health.

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Vitamin A: The Key to A Tolerant Immune System?

Wednesday, 18 August 2010 by | Comments: 16
Reading Time: 9 minutes

By Michael Ash, BSc(Hons). DO. ND. FellowDipION

Vitamin D and Vitamin A are essential co-partners in immunological and bone health.[1],[2] I’m particularly excited about vitamin A because of its profound effects on the gut mucosal immune system—a specialty of mine. Just as vitamin D has attracted attention for its ability to increase antimicrobial peptides and help us defeat pathogens, it’s fascinating to me that vitamin A is also essential for the very tissues that protect us from the same pathogens.

The availability of vitamin A in our food is a key factor in a tolerant, highly functional immune system. To quote from the title of a brilliant commentary in the March 2008 issue of Nature’s Mucosal Immunology, “Vitamin A rewrites the ABCs of oral tolerance.”[3]

Vitamin A is crucial to a very sophisticated bi-directional mechanism that takes place in the digestive system and leads to immune tolerance across the entire gut lining. Immune tolerance is the essence of good health. An intolerant immune system will lead to a wide range of illnesses, and the gut is where many people first lose immune tolerance. Vitamin A (retinoic acid) is key to our ability to consume a wide range of antigens (food) and yet not react adversely, and it’s quite fascinating.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The shortage of essential micronutrients in the human diet has been linked to multiple health and disease related problems. Dr Bruce Ames has described how the micronutrient triage theory can account for disease induction and more rapid levels of poor quality aging. I have written about the expensive urine myth and how the failure to recognise the differing demands placed by cells at different times can lead to altered and compromised health function.

This paper looks at the nutritional intake of people following a weight loss diet.[1] Based on the USA figures, the authors say that about 1/3 of the population are following some sort of weight loss orientated nutritional programme. The study looked to see if 27 micronutrients could be ingested in sufficient quantities whilst following 4 well known diets to meet minimum RDA levels as determined by the USA regulatory body the FDA.