Soram Khalsa, M.D.: The Vitamin D Revolution: How the Power of This Amazing Vitamin Can Change Your Life (Hay House, Inc. 2010, 2nd ed.) First published in 2009.
"Did you know that there is an epidemic of Vitamin D deficiency in America?
"Did you know that a lack of proper vitamin D has been scientifically connected to 17 varieties of cancer, along with many other life-threatening diseases?
"... You will after reading this practical and information-packed guide to a powerful (yet inexpensive) 'wonder vitamin' that can markedly improve your health. I've experienced first-hand that Dr. Soram is riding the wave of the medical future - focused on prevention, and combining the best of traditional Western medicine with alternative approaches."
- Arianna Huffington
Summary of key points in Vitamin D Revolution
Vitamin D is not actually a vitamin but a hormone. It is a powerful steroid hormone, fat soluble, and can pass through cell membranes to bind to vitamin D receptors. It can affect approximately 200 genes in the body and according to John Cannell, M.D.: "This explains why the same substance may have a role in preventing cancer, influenza, autism, asthma, multiple sclerosis, and cardiovascular disease..." (as quoted on p. 16)
[my note: Dr. Mercola claims that this is actually 3000 genes, i.e. 10% of all our genes]
"Vitamins that are fat soluble are stored in the body for longer periods of time. Vitamin D is needed year-round, and when it is produced by UVB exposure in the summer months, it can accumulate in the body for use throughout the sunless winter." (p. 10)
Vitamin D is essential to the metabolism of calcium and phosphorous in the body. Without it, we would not have healthy bones.
Vitamin D3 is produced by our bodies when we are exposed to UVB rays of the sun. Once you have made about 20,000 IU of vitamin D3, a mechanism in the skin destroys excess amounts so you will not become toxic.
Just 12 minutes of summer noonday sun with bare arms and legs would provide a white woman on average with approximately 3,000 IU of vitamin D; and in less than 20 minutes, she would have up to 20,000 IU.
A black person may need up to 10 times the amount of time in the sun to get the same benefit. Research has also shown that black people [in the USA, I guess] are almost always deficient in Vitamin D and their level of deficiency is much higher than average.
Elderly people, on the other hand, need approximately 4x the amount of sun as young people to produce the same amount of vitamin D.
Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) is less potent than Vitamin D3 for humans. Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is naturally produced in humans and animals when sunlight hits the skin.
Vitamin D3 is generally considered safer than vitamin D2. There has been only one case of vitamin D3 toxicity (overdose) reported.
Vitamin D has an extensive impact on the organs, tissues, and cells of the body. It has many repair and maintenance functions in most tissues and cells.
UVB rays cause tan, sunburn and vitamin D production in the body. UVB rays cannot penetrate glass or clothing.
UVA rays do not help vitamin D production. They also don't cause sunburn. But they penetrate more deeply into your skin and contribute to premature aging and wrinkles. UVA rays DO penetrate glass and clothing.
Sunscreen and sunblock prevent UVB rays (and sometimes UVA rays) from being absorbed by the skin. A sunscreen of SPF 8 prevents up to 92% of your skin's production of vitamin D.
You cannot get enough vitamin D from diet alone.
The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin D in the USA is 200 IU per day. The upper-limit safe dose of vitamin D has been set for 2,000 IU per day. Many nutritional experts are now calling for an increase in the RDA levels.
Even if you are diligent about taking your multivitamin containing 400 IU of vitamin D or eating vitamin-D rich foods, you will not prevent vitamin D deficiency.
"The typical normal range in standard vitamin D blood tests is just over 20 ng/ml. [...] researchers now believe that you need a vitamin D blood level of at least 30 to 40 ng/ml in order to activate these newly discovered functions." (p. 50)
"In my practice, in order to determine the relative vitamin D status of my patients, I follow guidelines identified by integrative-medicine practitioners as outlined in the following chart:
less than 10 ng/ml = severe deficiency
10-20 ng/ ml = deficiency
20-30 ng/ml = insufficiency
30 ng/ml = normal
40-70 ng/ml = optimal
over 100 ng/ml = overdose
over 150 ng/ml = toxic" - Vitamin D Revolution, p. 54
"Interestingly, more studies are linking the symptoms associated with many diseases of civilization with vitamin D deficiency. If you have any of the following common complaints, you may be vitamin D deficient:
"I am happy to say that a major prospective study was recently released, published in 2007 by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. [...] This is the first prospective study to provide evidence that vitamin D provides protection against cancer in postmenopausal women. And it is the first study that allows me to safely and confidently say to my patients that vitamin D helps protect them against cancer! [...] The researcher's reported that the women who received 1,100 IU of vitamin D and 1,000 mg of calcium per day for four years reduced their risk of developing cancer of any kind by 60 percent compared to those women who received a placebo." - Vitamin D Revolution, p. 73-74
".. for every 10 ng/ml increase in blood levels of vitamin D, the relative risk of cancer dropped by 35 percent." (p. 75)
"... the patients with low vitamin D may be at risk for fatal heart attacks." (p. 101)
A home self-test kit for checking your vitamin D levels has been developed.
Vitamin D supplementation: Dr. Khalsa recommends the following vitamin D supplementation to those who do not get a blood test: 2,000 IU/ day (children over 12 and all adults).
It is difficult to become vitamin D toxic."Current medical literature indicates that an amount of vitamin D in excess of 10,000 IU per day would have to be taken for many months to produce true toxicity. [...] In summary, it is hard to overdose on vitamin D." (p. 163-164)
You can follow the image link below to preview the book, to read the customer reviews or to purchase from Amazon.
My added information on Vitamin D
Testing vitamin D levels can be expensive, so it may be difficult to get doctors to perform the test. Genova Diagnostics operates in many countries of the world and offers Vitamin D testing from a blood sample. You need to collaborate with your doctor to obtain the blood sample and ship it frozen. The cost of the vitamin D test with Genova Diagnostics in the UK is £72.00 (equivalent to $116 or €88).
There have been articles online purporting that it is the chemicals in sunblock that cause skin cancer, either when combined with UV rays or just on their own. So it may be that the UV rays of the sun themselves do NOT cause cancer or at least the cancer is greatly helped by the chemicals. For more information, read, for example: "Sunscreen Causes Cancer? What You May Not Know About Sunscreen" at the Natural Society webpage. Personally, I never use sun block anymore but try to take care to not stay long enough in the sun to burn either.
"Since the sun-related skin-cancer scares of the 1980s, we have slathered on the sunscreen, stayed indoors, and lived with a fear of skin cancer. The fear of aging and wrinkled skin has also led to our sun avoidance. Children are spending more time inside, and when they are outside, they are protected from the sun with clothing and sunblock. I believe that vitamin D deficiency has risen in direct proportion to the degree in which we have avoided the sun, put on sunscreen, and moved our recreation indoors." - Vitamin D Revolution, p. 6
"Dr. Michael Holick has extensively researched the safety of sun and UVB exposure, which includes the use of tanning beds. I recommend consulting his book for his specific guidelines." - Vitamin D Revolution, p. 44
The official website for the book: Vitamindrevolution.com