This web page is one of a number of ErinPharm web pages designed by me as a synopsis of topics that interest me as well as being a quick reference page for my newsletter subscribers and myself. I have no affiliation of any kind to any pharmaceutical company or medical group. The opinions expressed are my own. I welcome communication and debate. I am an optimist. I look forward to the future with wonder.
John L. Fahey firstname.lastname@example.org
Tremendous strides forward are being made in the treatment of breast cancer. Keep up to date on these advances.
Keep up to date with advances in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of colorectal cancer.
Know about the latest treatment guidelines for addiction.
Advances in lung cancer therapies are moving ahead. Keep up to date.
The American Cancer Society is your main source of information in the ongoing battle against cancer.
Are you trying to lose weight and have been misled by the multi-billion dollar industry selling pills, potions, and 'magic cures'? You are not alone. A survey backed by a commercial drug company reports that approximately 70% of American dieters have tried scientifically unproven methods to lose weight. That's an astounding number of people who have tried dietary supplements in the form of pills and powders. About half of survey respondents incorrectly think supplements are approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration, while about two-thirds believe such products must carry warning labels for side effects. All that happens is maybe temporary loss of weight and the emptying of your pocket. Resist the temptation to believe in those seductive commercials. The only way you can lose weight and keep it off is by a commitment to a change in lifestyle. I recommend lifestyle changes.
Report Adverse Drug Events. Help facilitate drug safety.
Have you done an act of kindness today? Have you sent food to an impoverished hungry person in the underdeveloped world just by clicking this link: http://www.thehungersite.com ? Sponsors will pay the cost. All you do is click and acknowledge you have visited the page. You can do it every day.
Readers of ErinPharm Gazettes are among those aware, motivated, and seeking to take advantage of knowledge generated on the expanding frontiers of medical/scientific research. It is important to recognise that while we are privileged to be part of this future coming rapidly toward us we also live on a planet where the majority of our fellow human beings suffer under a burden of disease overwhelming and horrifying. One such disease is malaria. It threatens half the world's population, will strike up to half a billion people this year, at least a million will die, most of them under age 5, the vast majority living in Africa.
YOU can make a difference. YOU can take the time to care. YOU can reach out to our distant cousins in our common human lineage. YOU can click this link and become part of.....NothingButNets....YOU can join the fight against malaria.
Coming on vacation from overseas? Taking out membership with the Life Extension Foundation means you can shop at the LEF Retail Store in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and get blood drawn for a comprehensive test analysis the same day. No appointment for a blood draw is necessary. Just arrive before 2:00 pm.
Are you aging in a healthy manner?
This page contains a collection of comments concerning the need to correct Vitamin D3 deficiency in the general population. These comments cover the period of Gazettes above. Vitamin D3 is produced in the skin with exposure to sunlight; the amount reaches a maximum and rapidly depletes. Fortification of milk with Vitamin D3 began in the 1930s in the US. It is not a typical vitamin, having some characteristics more typical of a hormone, having multiple biological mechanisms of action. Vitamin D deficiency leading to several bone diseases has been known since the 1920s. Most people have a lower than optimal level of circulating Vitamin D3 at any one time, increasing the risk of many diseases by a large amount. Supplementation is prudent. It is inexpensive.
(click the LEF logo above and search Vitamin D3).
Arterial health can also be damaged by hypertension (high blood pressure). It is a condition often undiagnosed or ignored in and by the general population. It is a 'silent killer' since it can exist in an individual unaware of their high blood pressure for many years insidiously and incrementally damaging the blood circulation system prior to a catastrophic cardiovascular incident. The current impetus toward having households add a home blood pressure monitor to gauge the daily blood pressure status of those with hypertension could well raise the profile of the importance of regular blood pressure monitoring. ErinPharm recommends the Omron brand of blood pressure monitor as being inexpensive and easy to use. New data revealed May 2008 confirm that hypertension control in the general population appears to be better in the United States than in Europe though diabetics are ill served by the latest US guidelines and only about half of US patients achieve a blood pressure objective. This data comes from a comprehensive multi-country survey by investigators led by Dr. Y. Richard Wang, of Temple University and University of Pennysylvania, in which a total of 21,053 patients with a primary or secondary diagnosis of hypertension in six countries were evaluated. These patients had visited 1,284 primary care physicians and 291 cardiologists. With a definition of control as a blood pressure less than 140/90 mm Hg it was found that 53% of US patients reached that objective compared to 27% to 40% of Europeans. In Canada new guidelines for hypertension management were released to the public in January 2007 and stressed the importance of recognizing "high normal" blood pressure, i.e. 130-139/85-89 mm Hg, and the warning that more than half of such individuals will develop hypertension within four years if they do not make lifestyle changes. The point is also made that for individuals who do not follow a healthy lifestyle more than 90% will develop hypertension. Since guidelines, medications, and lifestyle changes can and will bring blood pressure to a healthy level over a time period of up to six weeks there is a need to overcome this societal inertia on the part of health care professionals and the general population to not actively seek blood pressure normalization. Yes, it does take significant effort at times, needs ongoing attention, requires a personal commitment on the part of the patient BUT it will result in a healthier way of life with a much reduced risk of heart attack or stroke. The next few years will see the launch of a number of new antihypertensive drugs and combination 'polypills'. In India a 'polypill' with two antihypertensives, aspirin, and a statin is expected to gain acceptance. The years to come will see major advances in this combined approach to arterial health.
In one of the largest studies of its kind, 13,000 people followed for eight years, Dr. Michal Melamed and colleagues, of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, reported August 11/25, 2008 in the Archives of Internal Medicine, that low levels of Vitamin D seem to be linked to an increased risk of death with a 29% risk of all cause mortality. They urge increased consumption of milk and oily fish. They did note in a female subgroup that very high levels of Vitamin D could be detrimental. This study adds to the growing body of evidence that a prudent person should add 1,000 IU of Vitamin D3 to their daily nutrition. It also validates measuring blood levels of Vitamin D3 in regular blood panels.
Register with Medscape. Get direct access to medical information and research publications through the links below.
In a fascinating prospective study of 7 million active-duty US military personnel researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health found that high circulating serum levels of vitamin D in healthy young white adults is linked to a significantly lower risk of multiple sclerosis, with a 62% reduction for those with the highest levels compared with those with the lowest. This was not found for African Americans who are already known to have a lower risk of multiple sclerosis than whites. Since more than half the whites in the United States have levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D less than 70 nmol/L suggestions have been made that target levels of 90 to 100 nmol/L would be optimal for bone mineralization and fracture prevention.
Researchers have claimed that adding 2000 IU of Vitamin D3 daily to an individual's diet could lower the risk of breast cancer by half. Further studies are under way.
Increased circulating Vitamin D3 levels reduce the risk of colon cancer by up to half while also increasing survival odds by about the same amount for those already diagnosed with colon or rectal cancer.
Patients with high circulating levels of Vitamin D3 having surgery in the summer are twice as likely to survive through to five years post surgery as patients with low levels of circulating Vitamin D3 having surgery during the winter.
More research is needed about intake of Vitamin D3 to determine new guidelines for optimal circulating Vitamin D3 levels.
Calcium, Vitamin D supplements, and dairy products are protective against colorectal cancer according to studies done by Dr. Song-Yi Park at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu. Data was collected from more than 191 thousand participants of a multi-ethnic cohort study.
A recent description of the benefits and protective effects of Vitamin D3 was in a daily bulletin from the Life Extension Foundation (get your own free bulletins from LEF with the logo at the top of this page) in the June 29 issue. Researchers point out that many people do not get enough Vitamin D3 from diet and/or sunlight and thus are at greater risk from cancers of any cause as well as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer's disease and other illnesses. Federal guidelines are for 200 to 600 units a day but studies are leading experts to conclude that 1,000 units of Vitamin D3 a day or even more would resolve deficiencies found over a wide range of the population.
As evidence is being accumulated that the majority of Americans do not have a sufficient intake or production of vitamin D, either from nutrition/supplements or adequate sunlight, a study conducted at King's College, London, on 2,160 women between 18 and 79 brings the information that higher levels of vitamin D were correlated with longer telomeres in white blood cells and thus a slower rate of ageing. Currently medical experts are advocating daily supplemention of 1,000 to 2,000 IU of Vitamin D3 because of reason to believe that doing so could reduce the incidence of most cancers by up to 50% as well as ameliorating the risks and effects of rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. Since vitamin D3 is very inexpensive this is a call for all to take the prudent step of adding vitamin D3 to daily nutrition.
Vitamin D deficiency in the general population is very common. Dr. Michael Hollick, Boston University Schoool of Medicine, a leading vitamin D researcher, found that among a healthy group of physicians and residents about a third were vitamin D deficient. New research by Dr. Ioannis Karakis, Boston University School of Medicine, presented at the American Epilepsy Society 61st Annual meeting, has shown that almost half of all patients with epilepsy are vitamin D deficient. Since vitamin D deficiency puts a person at potential increased risk for a wide variety of conditions including cancer, infectious diseases, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and autoimmune disease there is an urgent need to encourage all in the general population to add vitamin D to balanced nutrition. The vitamin D that is required is vitamin D3, available as a very inexpensive supplement. Discussion ongoing in the medical community centers on the amount of supplementation needed, with estimates of 1,000 IU to 5,000 IU the range considered. Recent provocative research that people with high levels of vitamin D3 in their blood have a slower aging of blood leucocytes further stimulates this discussion.
Treatment for the prevention of osteoporosis and bone fracture for those age 50 and older routinely uses calcium ion plus vitamin D supplements. This has led to some controversy however a new meta-analysis reaffirms this treatment modality and further suggests an additional benefit of protection against overall mortality when the patients's blood plasma has a high level of vitamin D. This of course corresponds to other studies showing the protective benefit against various cancers with a high vitamin D3 plasma level. Collective data such as this can reveal interesting facts such as the finding that higher levels of vitamin D are particularly effective in preventing colorectal cancer among women at age 60 and older. The clinical implications of such a finding is under further investigation and other studies are needed to explore secondary findings from another study that calcium supplementation could increase cardiovascular risk.
There is more evidence that higher plasma levels of Vitamin D3 have a strong protective effect against various kinds of cancers; sufficient evidence that Dr. Michael Hollick, of Boston University Center, supports raising the recommended amount of the vitamin to 1,000 IU. As reported by the Seattle Times, a study published by researchers at Creighton University in Omaha focused on 1,179 healthy women with an average age of 67 to examine the effects of calcium ion and Vitamin D3 (1,000 IU) supplements daily in order to study bone health over four years. Although monitoring cancer incidence was secondary the reduction of cancer risk by up to 77% in this group was remarkable.
Building on prior evidence that Finnish babies born in the 1960s and raised on mega doses of Vitamin D had dramatically lower risk of developing type 1 diabetes as well as the report from British researchers last month that a collective analysis of previous studies showed that children taking Vitamin D from infancy reduced their risk of type 1 diabetes by up to one third with the greatest benefits to infants taking 2,000 IU, which is 10 times the current US daily recommendation, researchers at the Pacific Northwest Diabetes Initiative (PDRI) are tracking children at high risk to get more rigorous proof of this benefit of Vitamin D3. A 2001 review of 31 years of medical records for more than 10,000 Finnish babies born during 1966 showed that those babies who took less than Finland's recommended dose of 2,000 IU at that time later developed type 1 diabetes five times more often than those who took the full dose. Though studies of these benefits will extend up into the participants
teenage years the evidence already seems very clear... a minimum of 1,000 IU daily of Vitamin D3 is a reasonable objective for many people.
There is a general prevalence of Vitamin D3 deficiency in the population of the United States and other countries. It has become a matter of concern among respected medical experts. Dr. Isadore Rosenfeld expressed his concern in a recent Fox News broadcast saying that despite his reluctance to recommend vitamin supplements rather than sensible eating habits he does recommend everyone in the population to supplement with 800 IU of Vitamin D3 daily. The issue is that Vitamin D3 deficiency in a person's blood plasma is associated with a much increased risk of various cancers, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and other disorders. Since deficiency is so prevalent it is prudent that everyone take a daily supplement. Since Vitamin D3 supplements are very inexpensive it is an easy and sensible addition to a daily diet. There are estimates that supplementation in the entire population would reduce the national cancer incidence by up to 50%. Of course Vitamin D3 supplementation has a long history, dating back to the days of rickets in children and subsequent federal legislation mandating the addition of Vitamin D3 to milk and other commonly consumed foods. Many older people will remember the emphasis on taking cod liver oil and some still do. However a troubling study by Dr. Catherine Gordon, of the Children's Hospital in Boston, commented on by Dr. James Taylor, of the University of Washington in Seattle, reveals that not only is Vitamin D3 deficiency common but that it may be even more common, and deleterious, in children. Since correcting this general heath problem is so simple these facts should be widely known.
In a study published by Joyce Malalouf, of the American University of Beirut in Lebanon, in the online edition of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, April 29, it was found that Vitamin D3 at a dose of 2,000 IU daily, is safe and produces desirable Vitamin D3 levels in adolescents. The compelling point is made that since Vitamin D3 deficiency in all age groups worldwide has been found to exist, and that many diseases of adults are rooted in childhood, it is important that supplementation become a standard of health care for all.
In a retrospective study presented by Dr. Harinder Singh, at the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists 17th Annual Meeting and Clinical Congress, it was pointed out that Vitamin D3 deficiency is much more prevalent in patients with osteoporosis than has been believed up until now, and that deficiency should be treated aggressively. Dr. Singh says the data is alarming. Other medical experts at the meeting pointed out that Vitamin D3 deficiency is common across all age groups including children.
As reports accumulate and medical attention is turning toward observations that the majority of the world population is deficient in blood levels of Vitamin D3, inadequately compensated for with diet and exposure to sunshine, national media joins medical professionals in urging that supplementation with Vitamin D3 should start in infancy. This article from the New York Times by Roni Caryn Rabin points out that we have neglected knowledge almost a century old that Vitamin D3 deficiency is linked to rickets, diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, and an increased incidence of other diseases. Our human lineage received a daily dose of Vitamin D3 from exposure of skin to equatorial sunshine. Clothing and migration to temperate zones along with less than daily exposure to sufficient sunshine was recognised to be the cause of Vitamin D3 deficiency many decades ago and led to the mandated fortification of milk. That has not been sufficient and it is now clear that almost all individuals are at an increased risk of cancers, cardiovascular disease and other disorders because of our lack of attention to knowledge we have had since the early 1920s. Vitamin D3 supplements are inexpensive, easy to take, and should be an addition to nutrition for us all.
To activate Medscape hyperlinks register with Medscape. Get direct access to authors, reports, and medical information and research publications through the links.
To activate Medscape hyperlinks register with Medscape. Get direct access to authors, reports, and medical information and research publications through the links.