I am reading a remarkable book, THE MIRACULOUS RESULTS OF EXTREMELY HIGH DOSES OF THE SUNSHINE HORMONE VITAMIN D3 by Jeff T Bowles, that is blowing me away. His hypothesis that many of today’s ailments can be traced to our low levels of vitamin D is fascinating. But what is striking to me are some of the questions he asks, for instance when he wonders why our blood sugar can skyrocket he comes to the remarkable conclusion that it might have something to do with changing of seasons and hibernating. This leads him to the hypothesis that the hormone Vitamin D might be responsible as the levels in our blood rise and fall due to the length of the day. This may alert our body to put on fat and protect our body from cold. Here is Jeff:
I then started wondering about blood sugar. What in the world could increased blood sugar protect you from? And then it hit me! I remembered some experiments that were conducted on a (poor) Beagle where they wanted to put the dog into suspended animation with no vital signs and then see if he could be resuscitated. They did this by reducing his body temperature to about freezing. In order to prevent freezing damage to his tissues, they added a large amount of glycerol to his blood. This lowered the freezing point of his blood so that they could reduce his body temperature dramatically and not worry about crystallization damage. I also remembered this is what they do to people’s bodies who have signed up to be frozen upon death with hopes of being resurrected in the future after technology advances make resuscitation possible (good luck). AHA! Possibly high glucose levels in the blood protect the hibernating body from the danger of tissue damage due to freezing! By boosting the sugar level of blood, it reduces blood’s freezing and crystallization temperature!
AHA! Possibly high glucose levels in the blood protect the hibernating body from the danger of tissue damage due to freezing! By boosting the sugar level of blood, it reduces blood’s freezing and crystallization temperature! With this thought in mind a started looking up what happens to animals while hibernating. Wouldn’t you know it?-frogs, amphibians, and insects fill their bodies with glucose and other sugar-based antifreeze compounds and are able to be frozen solid and then come back to life with the next thaw! And then I remembered that car antifreeze (ethylene glycol) is dangerous to cats and dogs because they like its sweet taste and often drink it. Antifreeze is also added to Gatorade (also sweet tasting) by murdering spouses and nurses in many true crime shows on TV!
Ok so then I bet you might be calling bullshit to this aren’t you? If so then take a look at this separate article on how animals protect themselves from freezing. I know I should have known this from school but this must have been one of those early classes that I caught up on sleep in.
The freeze avoidance strategy has three main parts. First, special antifreeze proteins are produced and circulated in the blood. These proteins are specially designed so that they bind to the surface of embryonic ice crystals and prevent them from growing any further. So, any ice that forms stays in tiny crystals that can’t do any harm to tissues. Antifreeze proteins are also present in the blood of cold water marine fish so that they will not freeze when they swim in -2·C polar waters.
Secondly, the animals build up extremely high concentrations of sugars or sugar alcohols in their blood and tissues and this lowers the freezing point of their body water. This is exactly the same strategy that we use to prevent the water in a car radiator from freezing and indeed, some insects actually synthesize and accumulate the same chemical, ethylene glycol, that we put in the car! More commonly, however, a related chemical called glycerol is used which is much less toxic. By midwinter, the amount of glycerol in an insect’s body is so high that it often makes up 20-25% of its entire body weight!
But the most radical thing about his book is he is describing his self experimentation with extremely high doses of Vitamin D. At one point in his journey he is taking 100,000 IU a day. More on that later.
Here are some of the items that may be linked to low levels of Vitamin D:
Low levels of Vitamin D3 are associated with or are becoming known to cause the following diseases…
1. Obesity-almost all obese people are deficient in Vitamin D3 and doctors’ advice that we started getting in the 1980’s to stay out of the sun or use sun screen is what has caused the obesity epidemic we see today! It’s not diet or lack of exercise, although these may play a part…Obesity is caused by lack of sun/lack of D3 not by junk food or lack of exercise! Or as I now call it the Human Hibernation Syndrome.
2. Depression- seasonal affective disorder (SAD) occurs in winter when our sun exposure is at its lowest. 100,000 IU of D3 has been shown to be more effective than light therapy for treating SAD.
3. Arthritis-at least 80% of people with bone and joint problems are deficient in Vitamin D3-I bet 100% once they change the definition of deficient!
4. Autism- it now seems the huge increase in autism since the 1980’s has also been caused by doctors’ advice to us to stay out of the sun, and autistic births have high peak months of March and November when sun exposure is the minimum, it is also higher in the winter months than summer months, but not as high as the March or November peaks, and this might be explained by the role of snow reflecting sun onto the skin in December through February. This also explains why autism occurrence is higher in northern latitudes than southern attitudes, and in dark-skinned people who need about 6X more sun to create Vitamin D3 in their skin than whites need to create a similar amount. Oh by the way there is an e-book called “Emily’s story” that is short, but describes how autistic kids had a great reaction to high dose Vitamin D3 therapy.
5. MS seems to be caused by Vitamin D3 deficiency and is more prevalent at northern latitudes and almost unknown near the equator.
Here is a map from a study showing the distribution of MS by latitude.
6. ALS (low D3 levels in ALS patients: cause of ALS or effect?)
7. Schizophrenic babies have low Vitamin D3.
8. Asthma- the incidence of Asthma has been skyrocketing since 1980-low D3 in asthmatics ( I had asthma as a child) ( I have recently learned that there are several trials going on in the world where asthma sufferers are being given “high” doses of Vitamin D3 to treat asthma.)
Links to articles regarding Vitamin D and Asthma.
- Vitamin D May Improve Asthma Control Study Links Vitamin D Deficiency and Asthma Severity WebMD
- Vitamin D helps fend off flu, asthma attacks: – In a study of Japanese schoolchildren, vitamin D supplements taken during the winter and early spring helped prevent seasonal flu and asthma attacks.
- Low Vitamin D Levels Associated With More Asthma Symptoms and Medication Use ScienceDaily (Apr. 15, 2010) — Low levels of vitamin D are associated with lower lung function and greater medication use in children with asthma, according to researchers at National Jewish Health. In a paper published online this week in the Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology, Daniel Searing, MD, and his colleagues also reported that vitamin D enhances the activity of corticosteroids, the most effective controller medication for asthma.
Remember the discussion about glucose in the blood?
9. Type 1 diabetes which occurs in children when their insulin producing cells are destroyed by the immune system (they all have low D3)
10. Type 2 diabetes which usually occurs in older and obese adults. ( all low in d3) )
Links to articles and studies regarding Vitamin D deficiency and diabetes Type 1 and 2
- Low Vitamin D Linked to Poor Diabetes Control Study Finds Vitamin D Deficiency Common in People With Diabetes June 21, 2010 — Vitamin D deficiency, long suspected to be a risk factor for glucose intolerance, is commonly found in people with poor diabetes control, according to a new study.
- Vitamin D and type 2 diabetes: a systematic review Vitamin D may modify the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus. The aim of this review was to examine the association between vitamin D status and incident type 2 diabetes, and the effect of vitamin D supplementation on glycemic outcomes.
- Vitamin D and diabetes.Vitamin D deficiency predisposes individuals to type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and receptors for its activated form-1alpha,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3-have been identified in both beta cells and immune cells. Vitamin D deficiency has been shown to impair insulin synthesis and secretion in humans and in animal models of diabetes, suggesting a role in the development of type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, epidemiological studies suggest a link between vitamin D deficiency in early life and the later onset of type 1 diabetes.
4000 IU a day I had been taking for six years or so was enough to prevent my workout injuries, but it had no effect on a condition I had had for 20+ years called a hip click which is often a sports-associated injury, where something goes wrong in your hip so that when you spread your legs far enough you hear and feel a muffled but audible click in the hip. I had tried many ways to fix it other than surgery.
And as I got into my 40’s it started to hurt and made me limp from time to time, and prevented me from hiking long distances or jogging; it was getting worse and worse; I often limped.
I had read that among other things that hormone Vitamin D3 is the bone and joint remodeling hormone. So after the news of my father’s low D3 levels even when supplemented with 2000 IU a day I decided to try an experiment, to increase my D3 dose dramatically to see what happened.
Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption in the gut and maintains adequate serum calcium and phosphate concentrations to enable normal mineralization of bone and to prevent hypocalcemic tetany. It is also needed for bone growth and bone remodeling by osteoblasts and osteoclasts [1,2]. Without sufficient vitamin D, bones can become thin, brittle, or misshapen. Vitamin D sufficiency prevents rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults . Together with calcium, vitamin D also helps protect older adults from osteoporosis.
Vitamin D has other roles in the body, including modulation of cell growth, neuromuscular and immune function, and reduction of inflammation [1,3,4]. Many genes encoding proteins that regulate cell proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis are modulated in part by vitamin D . Many cells have vitamin D receptors, and some convert 25(OH)D to 1,25(OH)2D.
Back to Jeff.
I boosted my dose from 4000 to 20,000 IU per day..50X the doctor recommended dose! Considered very dangerous if you asked any doctors who had learned about Vitamin D toxicity in their first year in med school!!
The initial results were very interesting. I kind of went into a testosterone like mania for awhile and had lots of energy and anger-[this is not too surprising since Vitamin D3 is a steroid hormone, a seco-steroid hormone to be precise-which means it is the same shape as a steroid hormone but has one open ring-the second one, where steroids have all four rings closed in a circle].
But I also started feeling pain in all my joints that had ever had an injury before. I chalked the pain up to the idea that all my old injuries that had never healed properly before were now being dissolved and remade in the proper way….BONE AND JOINT REMODELLING!..I remembered the experiment where they broke the leg bones of rats and saw how well the break healed. The rats with no Vitamin D3 supplements had bone repairs with a large callous on the break, whereas D3 supplemented rats had perfectly healed bones with no callous.
A study with similar results: Effect of 25-OH-vitamin D on fracture healing in elderly rats
To investigate the effect of 25-OH-vitamin D supplements (calcidiol) on fracture healing in the elderly, an experimental model with 15 18-month-old female Wistar rats was designed. An experimental fracture in the middle third of both femora of each rat was made. Then the rats were randomly assigned to two groups: one group was subcutaneously treated with 25-OH-vitamin D during all healing processes, and the other group (the control group) was not. After 5 weeks of healing, the animals were killed and both femora were extracted. Blood samples were collected before fracture and at death to determine the levels of 25-OH-vitamin D. All bones that were extracted were subjected to a torsion test to assess healing; a significantly greater maximum shear force before failure was supported in the treated group (p < 0.01). Moreover, a positive correlation (p < 0.01; r = 0.55) was found between blood levels of 25-OH-vitamin D at death and the mechanical strength of the callus. Thus, the administration of 25-OH-vitamin D after the experimental fracture significantly improved the mechanical strength of the fractured bone. If similar results are found in the human, then treatment with 25-OH-vitamin D after the occurrence of a fracture would be a good way to improve fracture healing in the elderly.
Back to Jeff:
I continued with the 20,000 IU a day assuming the bone and joint remodeling hypothesis was correct, but in the mean time I had to take ibuprofen from time to time to overcome the pain!! I also rubbed the painful joints with Ibuprofen cream. And I limped and hurt…for a few weeks. Also, it felt like someone had hit my shoulders with a sledge hammer!!
My shoulders hurt, from old rugby and newer paintball injuries. My knee hurt from an old skiing accident, and my hip click was killing me, and my wrist hurt where I had a ganglion cyst that never had gone away for the last 5 years. Well after about 2 months most of the pain went away…and I noticed my ganglion cyst was hardening and shrinking in size. It seemed to be working! My bones and joints were being remodeled, apparently your body never forgets what the correct bone and joint configuration is, it seems to be just restrained from repairing things completely due to a fear of using up critical resources during winter!
My shoulders still hurt and still hurt now 6 months later (this part was written 3 months ago) but the main pain is in my left shoulder where I had a rugby injury at age 21 where my shoulder dislocated and I had to have repair surgery at that age. My right shoulder is almost pain free, and my hip click has totally gone away!! The last of the remodeling seems to be going on in my left shoulder which in my 20’s had been dislocated in a rugby injury and had been corrected surgically but still apparently had not healed properly. As I write right now, my left shoulder is the last injury to be completely resolved (now at 9 months into the experiment, after going up to 100,000 IU a day and then stopping due to pain, and then going back on 25,000 IU a day, my left shoulder is now completely pain free) However, when I bench press right now, with heavier weights I do feel the left shoulder joint sliding about as if it was kind of jelly like and flexible, not like a hardened stiff bony joint. I expect that after I reduce my dose of D3, that my flexible joints will harden once again, hopefully in the proper repaired configuration of my youth.
But what about toxicity I can here you say! Here is Jeff again:
I did a little research about vitamin D toxicity and searched all the science journal articles on it since 1967 to present in the Pub Med database and discovered that Vitamin D3 toxicity even at really high amounts almost never occurs, and most of the articles describe super high doses people have taken without any damage!! The articles were published because the doctors were dumbfounded! The results they saw contradicted everything they had learned about the evils of Vitamin D in med school! I also discovered there might be a subset of about 5% of the population who is more sensitive to very high Vitamin D doses than the rest of the population. However the new prevailing theory about vitamin D toxicity is that it is caused by the body’s depletion of Vitamin K because higher doses of Vitamin D cause certain reactions in your body that use up your Vitamin K. So maybe the 5% are just extra deficient in Vitamin K and nothing more.
So just a little reminder here, if you decide to embark on a “dangerous” experiment of Super High Dose Vitamin D3, make sure you take about two or three Vitamin K supplements every day as well, and make sure they are the good kind that have both Vitamin K1 and Vitamin K2.
WAIT! LET ME EMPHASIZE THIS POINT ONE MORE TIME SINCE I HAVE BEEN GETTING EMAILS FROM PEOPLE DECIDING TO TAKE HIGH DOSE D3 WITHOUT TAKING VITAMIN K.
DO NOT TAKE A LOT OF D3 UNLESS YOU ALSO TAKE A LOT OF VITAMIN K!
So where am I at this point? A life of sports has left me a body that is both strong and fragile with aches and pains a seeming fact of life…or maybe not. The promise of Vitamin D is tantalizing…so tantalizing that I am experimenting with my own high doses of vitamin D.
At this point I am taking 50,000 IU of D3 every day along with Vitamin K1 and K2. In addition I am taking Magnesium and Zinc. How am I doing? It has only been 4 days so it is a bit early…