Archive for July, 2011

Vitamin D literally grasps infant from certain death

July 29, 2011

Vitamin D literally grasps infant from certain death
July 28, 2011

The beginning of the emergency room visit looked bad for the 16-month-old infant. He was in full cardiac arrest. His heart had stopped beating (asystole) but the Swiss hospital crew applied advanced cardiac life support and got the infant’s heart beating once again. When the child’s blood work came back, the doctor immediately noted his calcium was about one-third of what it should be (his ionized calcium was .42 instead of between 1.15 – 1.5), and so the doctor administered IV calcium.

While this was occurring, one of the team noted bowing (curving) of the child’s legs and his wrists were swollen, so the doctor included a vitamin D blood test to the additional blood tests. The child’s vitamin D level was 5.7 instead of in the normal range of 30-100 ng/ml.

On more careful exam, the doctor noted frontal bossing (front of head sticks out), a rachitic rosary (beading along the rib where bone and cartilage meet), hypotonia (muscle flabbiness) and wide wrists and ankles. These are the common signs of vitamin D deficient rickets.

The doctor gave the infant 5,000 IU/day of vitamin D for 3 months resulting in a 25(OH)D level of 65 ng/ml (the FNB/IOM committee members would not be happy). This paper, in today’s edition of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, has reproductions of the infants wrist x-rays before and after the vitamin D. The before x-rays look like the x-rays of the children whose parents are unjustly arrested for child abuse, but after 3 months of vitamin D, the x-rays looked perfectly normal.

Chehade et al. Acute Life-Threatening Presentation of Vitamin D Deficiency Rickets. J Clin Endo and Metab. July 27, 2011 Current Issue.

After the medical team stabilized the child, the doctor obtained a dietary history from the parents; the only group that would be satisfied is La Leche League. For the first 10 months of his life, the infant got nothing but breast milk and for the last 4 months got nothing but breast milk and a little rice water. His dark skin and lack of sunlight, combined with his mother’s belief that breast milk alone is all children need to thrive, condemned him to severe rickets and a serum calcium low enough to stop his heart from beating.

When I practiced emergency medicine in the 1970s and 80s, I saw similar cases of asystole and can tell you that the few who survive asystole often have brain damage. Not this child; he thrived once his body got what most breast milk does not have (95%) and that is vitamin D. As Professor Bruce Hollis is about to prove to the world, that simply means 95% of lactating women are vitamin D deficient. A few lucky breast-feeding infants have mothers wise enough to take 5,000 IU of vitamin D daily. Those women have plenty of vitamin D in their breast milk, enough to make this Swiss nightmare only a memory of the new FNB dark ages.

If only the recent FNB had the courage to address all the women with levels below the 20 ng/ml (the level the FNB said was adequate). They know the main way to address the 25% of women with such levels is food fortification, but they chose not to make any food fortification recommendations. Rather, they dispensed advice they know most of these women will not follow. May God and the souls of the lost children forgive them.

-John J. Cannell, M.D.

Can Vitamin D Improve Your Athletic Performance?

July 22, 2011

Phys Ed: Can Vitamin D Improve Your Athletic Performance?

By Gretchen Reynolds

Patrik Giardino/Getty Images

When scientists at the Australian Institute of Sport recently decided to check the Vitamin D status of some of that country’s elite female gymnasts, their findings were fairly alarming. Of the 18 gymnasts tested, 15 had levels that were “below current recommended guidelines for optimal bone health,” the study’s authors report. Six of these had Vitamin D levels that would qualify as medically deficient. Unlike other nutrients, Vitamin D can be obtained by exposure to ultraviolet radiation from sunlight, as well as through foods or supplements. Of course, female gymnasts are a unique and specialized bunch, not known for the quality or quantity of their diets, or for getting outside much.

But in another study presented at a conference earlier this year, researchers found that many of a group of distance runners also had poor Vitamin D status. Forty percent of the runners, who trained outdoors in sunny Baton Rouge, Louisiana, had insufficient Vitamin D. “It was something of a surprise,” says D. Enette Larson-Meyer, an assistant professor in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences at the University of Wyoming and one of the authors of the study.

Vitamin D is an often overlooked element in athletic achievement, a “sleeper nutrient,” says John Anderson, a professor emeritus of nutrition at the University of North Carolina and one of the authors of a review article published online in May about Vitamin D and athletic performance. Vitamin D once was thought to be primarily involved in bone development. But a growing body of research suggests that it’s vital in multiple different bodily functions, including allowing body cells to utilize calcium (which is essential for cell metabolism), muscle fibers to develop and grow normally, and the immune system to function properly. “Almost every cell in the body has receptors” for Vitamin D, Anderson says. “It can up-regulate and down-regulate hundreds, maybe even thousands of genes,” Larson-Meyer says. “We’re only at the start of understanding how important it is.”

But many of us, it seems, no matter how active and scrupulous we are about health, don’t get enough Vitamin D. Nowadays,“many people aren’t going outside very much,” Johnson says, and most of us
assiduously apply sunscreen and take other precautions when we do. The Baton Rouge runners, for instance, most likely “ran early in the morning or late in the day,” Larson-Meyer says, reducing their chances of heat stroke or sunburn, but also reducing their exposure to sunlight.

Meanwhile, dietary sources of Vitamin D are meager. Cod-liver oil provides a whopping dose. But a glass of fortified milk provides a fraction of what scientists now think we need per day. (A major study published online in the journal Pediatrics last month concluded that more than 60 percent of American children, or almost 51 million kids, have “insufficient”levels of Vitamin D and another 9 percent, or 7.6 million children, are clinically “deficient,” a serious condition. Cases of childhood rickets, a bone disease caused by lack of Vitamin D, have been rising in the U.S. in recent years.)

Although few studies have looked closely at the issue of Vitamin D and athletic performance, those that have are suggestive. A series of strange but evocative studies undertaken decades ago in Russia and Germany, for instance, hint that the Eastern Bloc nations may have depended in part on sunlamps and Vitamin D to produce their preternaturally well-muscled and world-beating athletes. In one of the studies, four Russian sprinters were doused with artificial, ultraviolet light. Another group wasn’t. Both trained identically for the 100-meter dash. The control group lowered their sprint times by 1.7 percent. The radiated runners, in comparison, improved by an impressive 7.4 percent.

More recently, when researchers tested the vertical jumping ability of a small group of adolescent athletes, Larson-Meyer says,“they found that those who had the lowest levels of Vitamin D tended not to jump as high,” intimating that too little of the nutrient may impair muscle power. Low levels might also contribute to sports injuries, in part because Vitamin D is so important for bone and muscle health. In a Creighton University study of female naval recruits, stress fractures were reduced significantly after the women started taking supplements of Vitamin D and calcium.

A number of recent studies also have shown that,among athletes who train outside year-round, maximal oxygen intake tends to be highest in late summer, Johnson says. The athletes, in other words, are fittest in August, when ultraviolet radiation from the sun is near its zenith. They often then experience an abrupt drop in maximal oxygen intake,
beginning as early as September, even thought they continue to train just as hard. This decline coincides with the autumnal lengthening of the angle of sunlight. Less ultraviolet radiation reaches the earth and, apparently, sports performance suffers.

Concerned now about your Vitamin D status? You can learn your status with a simple blood test. An at-home version is available through the Web site of the Vitamin D Council. (Use of the tests is restricted in some states, including New York. See the website for details.) Be sure that any test checks the level of 25(OH)D in your blood. This level “should generally be above 50 nanograms per milliliter,” Larson-Meyer says.

If your levels are low, talk to your doctor about the best response. Sunlight is one easy, if controversial, fix. “Most dermatologists will still tell you that no amount of sun exposure is safe,” Johnson says.

But Larson-Meyer and other Vitamin D researchers aren’t so sure. “There’s no good, scientific evidence that five to thirty minutes of sunlight a few times a week is harmful,” she says.

Or try supplements. “1,000 IU a day and much more for people who are deficient” is probably close to ideal, Larson-Meyer says. This, by the way, is about double the current recommended daily allowance. Most experts anticipate that this allowance will be revised upward soon. Consult with your doctor before beginning supplements. Overdoses of Vitamin D are rare, but can occur.

Finally, stay tuned. “In the next few years, we’re going to be learning much more” about the role of vitamin D in bodily function and sports performance, Larson-Meyer says.

Fish Oil Reduces Anxiety and Inflammation!

July 20, 2011

Natural Products Insider

Fish Oil Cuts Inflammation, Anxiety

Daily Update – July 15, 2011

Sources: Ohio State University: Omega-3 Reduces Anxiety and Inflammation in Healthy Students

COLUMBUS, Ohio–Consuming fish oil supplements reduced inflammation and anxiety in medical students studying at the Ohio State University. The supplements used in the study were about four or five times the amount of fish oil found in daily serving of salmon, leading credibility to using supplements to get effective doses of omega-3s in the diet rather than relying on fish dinners.

Study participants included 68 first- and second-year medical students who volunteered for the clinical trial. The students were randomly divided into six groups, all of which were interviewed six times during the study. At each visit, blood samples were drawn from the students who also completed a battery of psychological surveys intended to gauge their levels of stress, anxiety or depression. The students also completed questionnaires about their diets during the previous weeks. Half the students received omega-3 supplements while the other half were given placebo pills

Psychological surveys showed students receiving the omega-3 experienced a 20-percent reduction in anxiety compared to the placebo group. An analysis of the of the blood samples from the medical students showed a 14-percent reduction in the amount of the proinflammatory cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6) in the blood serum among the students receiving the omega-3.

“Anything we can do to reduce cytokines is a big plus in dealing with the overall health of people at risk for many diseases,” said Ron Glaser, study co-author and professor of molecular virology, immunology and medical genetics and director of the Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research. While inflammation is a natural immune response that helps the body heal, it also can play a harmful role in a host of diseases ranging from arthritis to heart disease to cancer.

The study was supported in part by a grant from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, a part of the National Institutes of Health.

Directions to Pyramid Mountain from the office (734 Broadway)

July 19, 2011

Hike – Sunday July 24th – Pyramid Mountain/Tripod Rock – 10:00am Sharp!   GPS Address – 472A Boonton Avenue, Boonton, NJ, 07005

*I encourage you to google this to get more familiar with your travel plans – it will take about 50 minutes to 1 hour to get there!

Directions to Pyramid Mountain from the Office

1. Head northeast on Broadway toward E 34th St
0.1 mi
2. Turn right at the 2nd cross street onto E 35th St
0.1 mi
3. Turn left onto Avenue EPartial toll road
1.0 mi
4. Keep left at the fork, follow signs for I-78 W/Turnpike North-South/Newark and merge onto I-78 WPartial toll road
12.9 mi
5. Take exit 48 to merge onto NJ-24 W toward I-287/Springfield/Morristown
9.6 mi
6. Keep left at the fork, follow signs for I-287 N/I-80/Mahwah and merge onto I-287 N
7.3 mi
7. Take exit 44 toward Main Street/Boonton
495 ft
8. Merge onto Lathrop Ave
338 ft
9. Turn right onto Main St
0.4 mi
10. Turn right onto Boonton Ave/County Rd 511 N
2.5 mi
11. Turn right onto County Rd 511 N/Rockaway Valley Rd
144 ft
12. Take the 1st left onto Boonton Ave/County Rd 511 N
0.8 mi
Boonton Ave & Mars CtMontville, NJ 07045

Reminder! Next Events!

July 18, 2011

Sunday July 24th    Dr. Noah’s next Wellness in the Woods Hike – Location – Pyramid Mountain/Tripod Rock – Time 10:00 AM Sharp – Directions to follow – Please RSVP so I can properly prepare! Reconnecting to nature is a missing aspect of health – don’t miss out!

Wednesday July 27th  Dr. Mike and Dr. Noah’s  next Advanced Health Care ClassTopic: How to Prevent Chronic Disease! Cancer, Diabetes, and Auto-immune disease will be the main focus! We will tie in nutrition, supplementation, exercise, positive attitude, and Chiropractic to arm you with the information you absolutely need to know.  Please RSVP at 201-437-0033 or respond back to this post! These presentations are designed for you to bring a family member or guest.

Upcoming Events – Gratitude Week July 11th to July 16th

July 8, 2011

Gratitude Week July 11th through July 16th – come in for your small gift (a gratitude stone) and on our board proclaim to the world what you are grateful for!

I am grateful for my family, my past/present/future patients, and my coworkers – WHAT ARE YOU GRATEFUL FOR?

Wednesday July 20th – Our Next Advanced Health Care Lecture – How to Prevent Chronic Diseases – including Cancer, Diabetes, and Auto-Immune Diseases

Sunday July 24th – My Next Wellness in the Woods Hike – we will be meeting at Pyramid Mountain in NJ to take a hike to Tripod Rock! When we are finished we will go to Gooserock Farms to get some raw honey and honey products!

Introducing the Vit. D Theory on Autism – from the Vit. D Council

July 1, 2011