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Lack of Vitamin D in kids linked to risks later in life

From Monday's Globe and Mail

More than 80 per cent of children tested don't have enough of the sunshine vitamin ...Read the full article

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  1. pants 7 from Japan writes:
    If Health Canada makes a new recommendation they should find a 'polite' way of providing a rainbow approach. People with whiter skin require less time in the sun and may be more susceptible to skin cancer caused by sun damage. An albino friend of mine burns to a crisp in 5 minutes. People with darker skin need more sun and may be less susceptible to skin cancer caused by sun damage.
    Instead of a blanket 'non-offensive' recommendation for all Canadians that would fit nobody Health Canada needs to issue different recommendations for all skin tones.
  2. G P from St. John's, Canada writes: Just another side affect of our modern society.
  3. Another vicious kick right in the face from Orwell's Ghost, writes: Xbox in the basement.
  4. D ster from North Vancouver, Canada writes: Carol waking up,

    Please go back to sleep.
  5. D ster from North Vancouver, Canada writes: Irradiation? Please explain. Irradiation should cause the destruction and/or disruption of the DNA of organisms in food thus preventing them from replicating successfully such that they don't cause disease in the consumer. How does it reduce the nutrient level in food? Does it destroy the molecules? I find that hard to believe. This speculative/paranoid baloney is spouted by far too many well meaning but ignorant people making false claims. I should probably ignore it but for some reason it's like fingernails on a blackboard. Health Canada raiding some herb shop that makes outragious claims is a good thing and something to be celebrated & appreciated. Thanks to well-reasoned policy based on evidence food borne illnesses are a rarity in our country, yet somehow some idiot writes a blog/pamphlet and somehow convinces people that science and modern medicine is wrong & he/she is right. Often this is accompanied by accolades of several users of the product in question supposedly providing proof that it works. The real advantage the herbologist/crystal healers have is that they're under no obligation to provide proof, only doubt. Modern medicine/science has the burden of proof via large scale statistical samples and peer review and most people without a solid science background become overwhelmed with hard to read the resulting papers. Not to mention it doesn't provide quick, easy, answers to a broad scope of problems at once. BTW: nutrients/toxins - the difference lies in the dosage. If you eat a couple of tablespoons of pure cinnamon you'll probably start to experince it's hallucinatory effects, shortly after which you'll probably stop breathing. Does that mean we call it a toxin or a food? Often the difference between the two is dependant on the dosage.
  6. Akbar M from Saskatchewan, Canada writes: Carol Waking Up from Provost, Canada writes: Codex Alimentarius being rammed down our throats by the World Trade Organizaiton, we will soon all be in poor health very shortly.
    --- You're not making much sense. The Codex Alimentarius comes from the UN organization WHO not the WTO. Have you read the Codex? Obviously not by your comments. The standards proposed in the Codex are to protect consumers. If a country uses the Codex you will know (simply by looking it up in the Codex) how much irradiation was done if it has been done. Irradiation is not a recommended procedure but if it is used then you'll know the process used. If you don't want to know what the label means on your products then don't read the label I guess.
  7. D ster from North Vancouver, Canada writes: I am c: educated in biochemistry and a critical/analytical thinker. I don't expect everyone to have the same in-depth knowledge of chemistry/biology/genetics, etc. but I would appreciate it if everyone who didn't have it would at least admit that they don't have evidence and/or solid reasoning behind their beliefs. Some little twit out of school should do the same as the health Canada rep who's had 25 years experience: keep the bulls**t artists from making false claims and duping people into hurting themselves. I like that you use the word 'countless' to describe the number of people enjoying the benefits of 'natural' medicine, because the truth is there is very little evidence (there's that word again) that these 'natural' medicines work. I'm not arguing that naturopathic doctors are all frauds, I mean that many of their therapies are questionable in their efficacy and breadth of application. The test I always use is this: if some person makes a claim that their product cures anything - they're lying. If anyone says that drug 'x' exists only for 'big pharma profits' they're lying. If someone says that they 'it's been proven' that a certain herb treats a certain condition they MAY be telling the truth but I'd seek evidence in the form of several peer reviewed papers. Rhetorical evidence is not evidence at all - it's just rumour. If mainstream medicine fails you then by all means - try everything else. But until then don't assume that sltruism is monopolized by the local homeopath because they tell you so. There are literally thousands of people working in 'big pharma' who truly care and work very hard every day to generate products that people need to survive deadly diseases. And as far as your 'argument' against health Canada goes: get over it. People like you are so lucky they're there and you don't even have the common sense to appreciate it.
  8. Carol Waking Up from Provost, Canada writes: For anyone in favour of food irradiation, can you tell me what effect it has on poisonous chemicals? I personally don't want to eat irradiated cow dung, or human waste. Neither do I wish to eat irradiated food. For Akbar; the WTO has some 23 regulations attached. One of them is Codex Alimentarius; and yes, I bought the book on codex for well over $100 and read it For a quick education, do view Dr Rima Laibow Codex on A well educated Dr. that also worked with a team on lawyers. I have also read several books on food irradiation, NOT published by the industry. You might also wish to look up the dangers of microwaving food. The government is NOT there to protect us. Nay sayers obviously have not done sufficient research on both sides. An available DVD, The Future of Food by Deborah Koons Garcia will also open your eyes to genetic modification. Government does NOT protect Canadians!
  9. Jack Rip from Canada writes: I'd bet that part of the reason for Vitamin D deficiency is the result of sun-adverse parents slathering their kids with 30 SP sunscreen and covering them up as advised by health authorities. Yes, excessive sun exposure is bad, but if you and your kids aren't being burned you are probably OK. On the other hand, taking excessive amounts of Vitamin D will probably also alter hormone balances in the body. The best attitude towards health and nutrition issues is probably 'variety, and all things in moderation'. Also, I don't see why people are worried about 'Natural Health Products' legislation. Prohibition doesn't work anyway, you'll always be able to get 'Natural Health Products' if you know where to look (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).
  10. D ster from North Vancouver, Canada writes: People:

    Youtube is not a university. Stop getting educated there. Please.
  11. Carol Waking Up from Provost, Canada writes: D ster; There are many well educated persons posted to youtube. For one, Ron Paul, presidential candidate and long time congressman, Medical Doctor, and a firm believer if freedom; not dictatorship. One of my favourites! Maybe you should spend some time there and get a variety of views, rather than just mainstream education which is over-run by socialism.
  12. Maria MMR from Calgary, Canada writes: I'm with Jack Rip. All things in moderation.
    I've been told to keep my baby out of the sun completely until age one, and to only let her play in the shade until age six. To compensate for all the vitamin D she will not be getting from the sun, I'm supposed to give her supplements. The supplement my nurse recommended has artificial sugar, artificial colour, and preservatives. Nice.

    How about having the kids play in the sun 15 minutes in the morning and 15 in the evening? No sunburn, natural vitamin D, problem solved.
  13. D ster from North Vancouver, Canada writes: Carol, I actually quickly reviewed the names you posted. I stand by what I wrote before: youtube is not a reliable source of information. I can't explain what makes a person make this stuff up and then just spout off as if they have proof. Generally they're just talking out their a**. As a scientist I can only ask: where are the repeatable results? That's what proof is. All you've pointed to are a bunch of hippies on the internet who've made up some confusing and misleading conspiracy theories vaguely disguised as arguments. I only know science, the hard and true facts that are repeatedly proven every time an experiment is carried out with predicted results. I know, based on measurements and careful repetitive, boring observation, that DNA/RNA are affected by radiation in certain ways. Based on this I can estimate the effects of irradiation on food components. I can estimate the effect of a big pharma drug on the human body because it has been characterized and its effects have been quantified on people of a range of genotypes. It's unfortunate but most people just don't have the time to put into learning the fundamentals of understanding these concepts. It's understandible because it takes a lot of effort and for the most part it isn't a lot of fun and it's very challenging. I think this makes the reasoning of the Gary Nulls of this world much more acceptable as he 'seems' to make sense and speaks in a common vernacular. Scientists can't just come out and say 'Cancer is caused by this' because a scientist knows that cancer is an array of thousands of diseases all of which are genetic and all of which can have many factors. However when some herbologist says that cancer is caused by pH it makes sense to many uneducated people because they don't even know what cancer is. Point: Without at least an intermediate background in chemistry/biology you can't really enter the debate with any credibility.
  14. Nonsibi Sedaliis from Antwerp, Canada writes: Carol massacres syntax as well as waking up, a potent combo-platter.
  15. Leo Baggerly from Encinitas, Calif, United States writes: About the sun. The part of the sunshine that produces vitamin D in the skin is the shortest end of the sun's spectrum, usually called UVB (290 to 315 nm, if that helps?) This part of the spectrum is strongly attenuated coming through the atmosphere. If the sun is directly overhead on a clear day, only about 1.5% of the UVB that hits the upper atmosphere gets to the ground. If the sunlight comes in at an angle, the attenuation is even stronger. A rule of thumb - if your shadow is longer than your height, you will NOT be making vitamin D in your skin. So, early in the morning and late in the afternoon does NOT do the job!

    With Jack Rip, moderation is a good general practice. But in this case 'excessive amounts' of vitamin D start at about 15,000 IU/day - WELL above any of the amounts being suggested.

    An interesting video on the experience of Finland and vitamin D supplements is found at, a presentation by Dr. Frank Garland, Vitamin D and Diabetes-Can We Prevent it?
  16. Maria MMR from Calgary, Canada writes: Leo - thanks for the correction. Again, the health authorities are saying to avoid the sun during mid day to avoid sunburn. They really make it difficult to get any vitamin D, don't they?
  17. Stan W from Winnipeg, Canada writes: Why wasn't this known before now? Why isn't Health Canada doing a census on nutrition with testing of sample groups representative of Canadians of various gender, ethnic, racial and geographic segments across the country every 5 years?

    We really need more rigorous research on human nutrition.

    The problem is there is little private money for it for legitimate researchers because it doesn't translate into products that can be patented and sold for profit (you can't patent vitamins).

    Kooks will do 'research' into it, for publicity, and quick-buck outfits will do 'research to create marketing material for bogus or needless products.

    This whole sunlight/vitamin D thing is shaping up to be a fiasco.

    1. Dermatologists have been recommending strictly limiting sun exposure for years/decades on the basis of it causing skin cancer.

    But now we find they were likely overlooking the big picture, and that vitamin D is required for the development of the immune system, to prevent genetically susceptible people developing MS, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, etc, later in life.

    Even now, what is the recommended amount of sunlight? In the British press I've read 'as little as 10 minutes a day of summer sun'. But if that is true, how can anyone (other than those in burkas) have a deficiency?
  18. J S from Canada writes: In Toronto it's probably because the sun has a hard time penetrating the vehicle exhaust that hangs over the city turning the sky brown.
  19. Raymond P from Canada writes: Oily cold water fish contain vitamin D. Wrong. If the oil is taken from the liver it has vitamin D. If you eat fish you do not get vitamin D. There was no mention of sunscreen and its use decreasing vitamin D production. Follow this with fear of strangers, computers and parents fear of their kids getting skin cancer by being exposed to the sun and you start to see the problem. Kids don't go outside enough with or without sunscreen.
  20. Maria MMR from Calgary, Canada writes: Stan W says In the British press I've read 'as little as 10 minutes a day of summer sun'. But if that is true, how can anyone (other than those in burkas) have a deficiency?
    In summer, this assumes you have face, arms and a bit of chest exposed to the sun, maybe some leg or ankle. In winter, not only is the sun much weaker, but you're only exposing your face, so you need 30 to 60 minutes of direct sunlight to make enough vitamin D. Most of us are trying really hard to not be outdoors that long, and we travel to and from work in the dark, and don't get outside at lunchtime, that's how we get deficient.
  21. crafty kd from Canada writes: Stan W, I'm with you. Why didn't we know this before? I have MS, and my neurologist and clinic have me on higher doses of D (currently on 4,000 IU/day, may go higher if my levels are not climbing as desired)... We have my young daughter on 1,000 IU/day, and we're watching her levels, too.

    But I don't know, how do they even know what 'level' is good enough? The recommended daily intake is apparently now being shown to be ridiculously low, so why was it so low in the first place? The word 'toxic' crops up a lot around vitamin D, particularly when a pharmacist finds out how much I am taking. ;-) Why is that? Is it in fact toxic? Only at certain doses? Why did we feel the need to keep the 'dose' low (400 IU), but now it's huge? Is it somehow way less toxic than we thought it was? The nurses at the clinic tell me some patients are on tens of thousands of IU per day.

    Will we all be ODing on D now, and then realize we were wrong again at some point? It's enough to make your head hurt... :-)
  22. Brian Bishop from Before you know it, Canada writes: D ster from North Vancouver, Canada writes: I am c: educated in biochemistry and a critical/analytical thinker.

    Educated in Biochemistry - That makes a great deal of sense after previously not knowing the affects of irradiation!

    (critical/analytical thinker) - So you can problem solve & like to take charge of every situation, whether your competent or not! The power broker, the team leader, the saviour. Basically your typical egomaniac!
  23. D ster from Canada writes: I give in.
    Brian, Carol, you guys are right. The government is a spying, manipulative facade organized and funded by heartless corporations whose single vision is to entrap us in a cycle of pointless consumerism.
    Release yourself from the grip of this police state by buying my $40/ounce Whistler birch bark tea. I guarantee it will stop hair loss, bone loss, enhance your sex lives, cure cancer, diabetes, prevent/treat menopause and andropause, and many other conditions too numerous to name. Don't believe me? Ask nancy of Kingston: 'I used it and my acne cleared up within days, and my cholesterol is lower'. Buy now and save 30% on unpasteurized organic gaots milk.
    signed - a typical, frustrated, egomaniac
    p.s.: eat lots of vitamin D - you're not getting likely enough sun
  24. Vancouver Island Voice from Canada writes: There is no point in arguing with a commited student of the alternative treatments. They are generally so narrow minded as to not acknowlege scientific data as it doesn't apply to their world. No kidding so much of the alternative stuff never has any side effects, there is nothing in it.

    People do die from some medications but if you look at the cost versus benefit we have lived FAR more years because of modern medicine than those that have suffered because of them. In general those who have significant complications are very ill to begin with. Why are there no naturopathic or 'complimentary' hospitals? Who do these people run to when they truly get sick?

    Get a grip and don't ask for rational people who examine the evidence, yes 'gasp' evidence, to support these airy fairy interventions. Show me some clinical trials that work and I'm in. Until that, you're just flogging snake oil.
  25. David Stevens from Halifax, Canada writes: Without SUNSHINE, vitamin D is useless. It hasn't been converted into a form that can be used by the body. It is like putting crude-oil in your gas-tank.

    What we need isn't tablets, it's a few hours a day for our children to spend outdoors.

    How about building schools with large windows instead of lots of fluorescent tubes.
  26. Brian Bishop from Everywhere, Canada writes: D ster from Canada writes: I give in.
    Brian, Carol, you guys are right. The government is a spying, manipulative facade organized and funded by heartless corporations whose single vision is to entrap us in a cycle of pointless consumerism.

    I don't believe our government to be spying, I'd say politician's are agenda driven like most everyone else. Those agenda's for the most part are trivial!

    Are there external forces involved, well the growing body of evidence (whether 100% factual or not) does suggest this to be the case.

    Consumerism! Is there any other motivation beyond power & greed? Consumerism is a means to both ends! Our entire global society is based on one thing & that is consumerism!
  27. Carol Waking Up from Provost, Canada writes: D ster; you obviously have no idea with regard to Naturopathic Doctors, their knowledge and their very successful treatments. Main stream medicine and pharma drugs have their place. So do natural remedies, natural vitamins and natural nutrients. You can joke all you like about herbal teas; and, you can avoid natural health care products if you wish - All I'm asking is that you and Health Canada stay out of my face, and leave my Natural Medicine alone. It hasn't caused a death yet. Can you say that for pharma?
  28. Kim Philby from Canada writes: Carol Waking Up says mainstream education is overrun by socialism. Hmm...where can I get some of that Whistler birch bark tea, so I can send Carol a packet. If it cures everything, it must cure stupidity, too.
  29. Richard Killey from Toronto, Canada writes: As a 50 something, it seems to me that today's kids do not get outside as much. They are playing video games and watching TV. In some cases, the parents might actually prefer this as they consider the outdoors a dangerous place, filled with all sorts of perps.
  30. Nancy Wilcox from Canada writes: Boy, there is idiots on both sides, defending their point of views. As for vitamin D, my mother back in the 50s and 60s, may me go out in the sun as much as possible in the summer time, to ensured a relatively longer stretch of time, that my body was free of rashes and hives in the winter time. If it was today, I would be receiving vitamin D supplements, as I and my children are receiving them on a regular basis. We rarely get sick, but when we do get sick, it rarely does require a visit to the doctor and the use of prescriptions. Some may think that Health Canada or other health organizations have our best interests when it comes to our health, but I view it in a filter that takes into consideration the powerful lobbies of big Pharma, whose best interest is to keep people sick, so they will continued to buy their products. The lack of Vitamin D in children is no surprise, but the lack of common sense and reasons given by our health authorities are lamed to say the least. It is the price of milk, fish products and other foods rich in vitamin D that has led to the decline of the consumption and the increasing reliance on using drugs as the only solution to health problems. As for the health nuts, take a good look at the industry built up by taking advantage of the fears and health concerns of people. This is another outgrowth that is just as bad as big Pharma, where there is no middle ground. Both are concern with extracting the greatest amount of money from the ordinary person's pocketbook, and to ensured the long term use of whatever medicine they are hawking. As for the swine flu, just watch in the fall when we are lining up for the flu shot, paying extra for protection of this particular swine flu virus. Watch while the other half of the world has no access to the vaccine, due to the fact they do not have the money to take advantage. People should wake up that governments and people who work within, are protecting their own interests first!
  31. J Planet from Everywhere, Canada writes: Nonsibi Sedaliis from Antwerp, Canada writes: Carol massacres syntax as well as waking up, a potent combo-platter.

    And bludgeons spelling. Witness 'allot of shares..' Mmm. Mighty fine. 'Allot' means to assign a share, but not in that context. But why should good spelling and clarity of meaning count when the rant is all- important?

    Keep it coming, D ster.
  32. Carol Waking Up from Provost, Canada writes: J Planet; You are correct! My spelling leaves something to be desired. I grew up where school bus drivers refused to trod; many times arriving at school about noon hour after shovelling snow all morning to get there; and was working at 15, earning my own living. It seems to me that some educated people are so stupid they think they are intelligent. Those of us who are not quit so smug are more inclined to dig in and research. Our minds are not completely cluttered with what 'someone else thinks' and therefore have room to learn on our own.
  33. Vancouver Island Voice from Canada writes: Sorry Carol, I had no idea it snowed so much in the trailer park.
  34. Carol Waking Up from Provost, Canada writes: Vancouver Voice; No, I didn't grow up in a trailer park, but would not be ashamed if I did. There is no end to 'nasty' is there?
  35. Theo Zivo from Canada writes: Carol Waking Up from Provost, Canada writes: D ster; you obviously have no idea with regard to Naturopathic Doctors, their knowledge and their very successful treatments.
    These defenders of so-called naturopathic treatments just burn me up.

    A very dear friend of mine decided against proper medical treatments including chemotherapy and spent tens of thousands of dollars on naturopathic treatments to fight her bowel cancer.

    She lasted six months. I attended her funeral last week.

    Her children got next to nothing because she had spent most of her money on useless, fraudulent treatments. Her so-called doctor is now living in Spain on her blood money.

    Fact: There is no proof that naturopathic treatments generate anything other than placebo effects. If someone is telling you otherwise, I'd bet that they've got something to sell you.

    Carol Waking Up, I humbly suggest that you do exactly that: WAKE UP.

    And out of respect for my recently-deceased friend, I'm bowing out of this.
  36. Carol Waking Up from Provost, Canada writes: Theo; I lost two immediate family members to cancer; both taking the recommended treatments. Then, I worked for a lady
    that chose to follow the Naturopath route. They wanted to remove both breasts, do radiation and chemo. She said no; and more than 15 years later is alive and well, both breasts intact. I'm not trying to tell anyone which route to follow. All I'm asking is that Canada Health leave my choice alone instead of working so hard to destroy it. I believe in educate, not dictate; and, would like to make my own choices.
  37. Chris W from Toronto, Canada writes: Wow. Quite a bit of rumour and ad hominem attacks in here. Not much in the way of evidence, or fact, unfortunately. Well, here are the facts:

    Number of deaths annually in the US due to iatrogenic (doctor-caused) medical error: ~100,000

    Number of heart attacks and/or deaths caused by painkiller Vioxx/Rofecoxib before it was pulled from the market: ~140,000

    Number of heart attacks and/or deaths caused by diabetes drug Avandia/Rosiglitazone so far (it's still on the market!): >100,000 (most likely WELL over 100K, estimated),8599,1623580,00.html

    Number of deaths annually in the US caused by Aspirin/ASA, alone: ~60 [see AAPCC annual reports, linked below]

    Number of deaths annually in the US caused by Acetaminophen/Paracetamol, alone: ~140

    Number of deaths annually in the US caused by lightning strikes: ~54
  38. Chris W from Toronto, Canada writes: CONT'D:

    Number of deaths annually in the US caused by any and all vitamins: ~1. Yes, roughly ONE death per year. There has never been a single death attributed to a vitamin in Canadian history.

    And I'll throw in two more links, just for fun:
    Do Cholesterol Drugs Do Any Good?
    The contribution of cytotoxic chemotherapy to 5-year survival in adult malignancies

    I won't go into Codex Alimentarius right now, but agree very much that it is a major threat to the freedoms of all to be able to choose their own medical treatment. Governments should NEVER* have the right to dictate medical treatments to their citizens under any circumstances. To do otherwise is to grossly violate one's most personal right and freedom to choose.

    'Fact: There is no proof that naturopathic treatments generate anything other than placebo effects. If someone is telling you otherwise, I'd bet that they've got something to sell you.'

    Actually, not a fact at all. There are literally *THOUSANDS
    of peer-reviewed studies which illustrate the efficacy of orthomolecular/naturopathic/holstic treatments. There are many more which delve into the biochemical effects of each individual vitamin, mineral, amino acid, fatty acid and food item. If you don't believe me, please use the PubMed search engine, and/or simply head here-

    You can start with 'selenium', 'zinc', 'magnesium' and 'olive'. Don't worry; there are more than 100 others you can try.

    I think that's enough for now. Don't you?
  39. Carol Waking Up from Provost, Canada writes: Chris W; I'm loving it! Google video Shawn Buckley, LLB. Some interesting insights from a lawyer who in his younger years worked for Canada Health; now working to protect Natural Health Care Products.
  40. Chris W from Toronto, Canada writes: Yes, I am well aware of Mr. Buckley's work at the NHPPA ( I shook his hand last June.

    In the US, they have their freedom to their guns. Here, I want my freedom to my vitamins (wouldn't mind more gun freedom up here though, too).

    I don't want anyone in ANY government telling me I'm not allowed to purchase natural constituents and extracts of food, and life, on earth; natural elements that have been on the GRAS (generally recognized as safe) list for decades. That's simply abominable and unjustifiable.

    Carol, please keep spreading the word. With Brazil, Russia, India and China rising to ever greater economic heights, big pharma is in for a mighty fall over the next decade or so. And quite deservedly so.
  41. Chris W from Toronto, Canada writes: Oops. Looks like a couple of my links were gutted by the G&M processor. It just won't accept that underscore, no matter what. It also highlighted a bunch of text it shouldn't have. Oh well. Let's try again:

    Number of heart attacks and/or deaths caused by painkiller Vioxx/Rofecoxib before it was pulled from the market: ~140,000

    Number of deaths annually in the US caused by lightning strikes: ~54
  42. A H from Canada writes: Well I think a big part of the problem is the overzealous use of sunscreen. what little exposure kids are getting to the sun is being hampered by the scrupulous use of sunscreen. Case in point, we just had to sign the sheet at the daycare for permission to use sunscreen and both my husband and I had to ask that sunscreen not be applied in the morning (as i considered the risk of burn to be low, 45min to 1 hour before 11am) in order that my 2 year old daughter might have a hope of generating some vitamin D.... My husband asked in the morning and the teacher was reluctant and so he dropped it and then i asked again (different teacher in the afternoon, not realizing he'd asked in the morning) and again she was reluctant. took the head of the daycare overhearing to confirm that of course it was okay for us to opt out of the morning application and all i had to do was initial the form per my even with that, i'm not sure if the sun will be high enough in the sky for her to make any vitamin d...maybe we should think about supplementing...
  43. Rocky Balboa from United States writes: Another reader posted this link on Vitamin D several weeks ago and I found it helpful:
    The presenter's name is Reinhold Vieth, Phd, who is considered one of the world's authorities on Vitamin D and he happens to be a professor at the University of Toronto. Unlike the drugs you'll see advertised on US television, Vitamin D is not patentable and is very inexpensive (around 5 cents for a 1000 IU pill in bottles of 100).
  44. Chris W from Toronto, Canada writes: Great link, Rocky. Thanks for sharing. Here are 3 more:
    Everything you always wanted to know about vitamin D, but were afraid to ask, by Dr. John Cannell (he personally takes 5,000-10,000 IU daily), by Dr. Michael F. Holick (he personally takes 2,000-3,000 IU daily)
    Risk assessment for vitamin D, by Vieth et al. (Vieth personally takes 10,000 IU daily)
  45. Mike Barnes from Boston, United States writes: This is not the first study to show children are very deficient. Even kids in the far east are in the same situation. Living in a sunny country does not help when everyone has been brought up to believe the sun is bad for us. Take a look at it has some good summaries of the data
  46. john kenyon from Toronto, Canada writes: Some excellent and well informed comments here. There is no argument that would support the denial that being this far north of the equator puts us in a very Vitamin D deficient state for a significant part of the year. And yes even in the spring & summer months you are not getting any D if, generally speaking, your shadow is longer than your height, due to the angle of the sun. And yes the you are quite safe taking under 10,000 iu's a day. But perhaps the best point made in this comments is also the one that costs the least: get the kids outside more.
  47. Michele . from Canada writes: Carol Waking Up from Provost, Canada writes: .... leave my Natural Medicine alone. It hasn't caused a death yet. Can you say that for pharma?

    I think claiming that Natural Medicine hasn't caused a death yet is a little presumptuous.

    As a single example (thereby disproving your claim):

    September 6, 2001 - Doctors from Western Australia report that a 25-year-old woman died of a heart rhythm upset after drinking a 'natural' health food product containing guarana. The woman collapsed soon after finishing a bottle of drink containing guarana and ginseng, and could not be revived.

    Just because something is natural doesn't mean that it's guaranteed safe. Or, for that matter, guaranteed effective. It's also not guaranteed to be either dangerous or ineffective.

    Arguably, there are traditional (natural) medicines that have been studied by pharmaceutical companies and used as the basis for new western medicines. Yes, there can be value in 'natural medicine'.
  48. Carol Waking Up from Provost, Canada writes: I'm sure one could over-dose on practically any medicine. There are likely some allergies also. I still maintain that natural remedies are safer, and treat the condition instead of just masking the symptoms. I have several family members who turned to natural medicine when main stream medicine failed them. In our case, the results have been nothing short of outstanding. The recommended path to wellness may take a little extra effort but the results are undeniable. Why would the government want to interfer? Why would they dictate that natural remedies be stripped of the required strength? They keep spouting 'safety'. Such nonsense! That there is corruption amoung government officials is undeniable. This has more to do with the World Trade Organization; another outfit controlled by large corporation. Nothing short of dictatorship.
  49. D ster from North Vancouver, Canada writes: Chris W Big pharma exists because people with money get sick and need well made proven medications for treatment. If China, Brazil, and India become more wealthy that's just in increase in the 'big pharma' customer base. The Mercks and Roche's might change names but millions more will be able to treat their conditions. And I agree, indeed we should have the freedom to eat whatever the heck we want, vitamins, herbs, unpasturized whatever. But what you SHOULD NOT be able to do is lie about the efficacy and scope of a treatment thereby giving false hope to people who don't deal with this stuff enough to know the difference. I think it's pretty obvious about how people can be suckered in by great sounding theories which with some in-depth study ultimately are disproven. For the most part I find it all very entertaining except when I see a friend pay hundreds to thousands of dollars to some therapist who claims they know exactly what the problem is and what needs to be done. Anyone who says that about a complex health issue - MD or naturopath - is just plain lying or too stupid to know the difference. More interesting is the thought that the angle of the sun might not be sufficient here in Canada to provide enough UVB for vitamin D conversion.
  50. Carol Waking Up from Provost, Canada writes: D ster; you seem to know a lot about medicine. Have you ever wondered why some fully qualified and licenced Medical Doctors convert to Naturopathic treatments? Is it because they are uneducated? I would suggest that it is very likely that they studied the remedies, studied the results and truly cared about their patients. I'm not opposed to main stream medicine. My life has been saved by it several times; but, to suggest that qualified Naturopathic Doctors are some kind of money grubbing witch doctor is just blatently false. I don't understand why you would be so hostile toward these dedicated health professionals.
  51. D ster from North Vancouver, Canada writes: Carol, I'm opposed to people fraudulently promoting "natural" treatments that have not been proven. That in itself is not so offending, the bad part is that many of these people misrepresent themselves and the treatments they recommend as being somehow inherently better than a pharmaceutical therapeutic due to it being "natural" or some other ambiguous but homely description. They rarely tell you what can go wrong with these things, why they work, why they won't work, etc. If you've had luck with a "natural" remedy then as far as I'm concerned you've had just that - good luck. You may have been lucky enough to meet a competent naturopath who didn't think they knew it all, you may have been lucky to buy herbs from an honest source who knew how to store them, and then you might have been lucky enough to take the right dosage for you. All of those are chance events that add risk to the venture of taking "natural" medicine. As far as I'm concerned we should all be free to pursue these as we wish. However it's too common for therapists to describe their ability to diagnose and treat far beyond any reasonable limit. The "mainstream" system keeps tight control over those who are allowed to give that kind of advice. "Big Pharma" is held accountable at every corner to provide products of exacting specifications. The pharmacy provides people who administer therapeutics and are held accountable. There is fantastically less risk in legitamate medicine than in "natural" medicine. That is not to say I disagree with "natural" therapies. The problem is the outright fraud committed by many "natural" therapists and "natural" pill pushers that don't tell you about the risks and limitiations of some therapies - mostly because they don't know, but I suspect in doing so they are trying to preserve their reputations - why? For profit. I'm out.
  52. Chris W from Toronto, Canada writes: [I tried responding to the comments on Brazil, India and China, but it's not going through for some reason. Here is the rest of my post.]

    "I'm opposed to people fraudulently promoting "natural" treatments that have not been proven."
    "But what you SHOULD NOT be able to do is lie about the efficacy and scope of a treatment thereby giving false hope to people who don't deal with this stuff enough to know the difference."

    False hope??!!? Did you read ANYTHING I posted above? If you did, you would see that statins are a placebo for most and highly ineffective for the few they benefit. And you can't forget those deadly side-effects. You would also see the effectiveness of chemotherapy: 2.3% 5-year survival for all patients and ~1% for patients with the top 5 cancers. Talk about false hope! And you would also see how Vioxx and Avandia sickened and killed hundreds of thousands of people in America, alone. Plus, you would see some studies which documented the efficacy of orthomolecular substances; studies which number in the thousands. The evidence is there, but obviously you couldn't care less about it. If it's not stamped with the big pharma seal of approval, it doesn't matter. Right?

    What I didn't document is how pharmaceutical companies doctored reports on the effectiveness of some of their drugs, in order to get them to market. Or how they've paid off countless doctors at medical schools across the US- especially Harvard- to teach students to prescribe drugs in which they have a silent, vested interest in. No, that would take too long to get into.

    "There is fantastically less risk in legitamate medicine than in 'natural' medicine."

    Absolutely laughable. Please, next time you decide to rebut someone's argument, take the time to actually READ what they've presented and referenced, instead of just spouting off a bunch of unsubstantiated nonsense.
  53. D ster from North Vancouver, Canada writes: Chris W,
    Wow. That's amazing. The fact that you used the word "unsubstantiated" that is. You've pretty much made my point by showing statistics regarding the efficacy and risk of regulated therapeutics. You're correct in that I didn't follow up on the plethora of links you posted, and FYI I still won't bother. Using survival data from chemotherapy - how many people survive without it? Can you quote similar data from natural methods? By data I mean statistics, and by statistics I don't mean 20-30 examples of people who write in.
    Are there some oharma people who are underhanded? I'd say yes, but not most, just as most natural doctors probably aren't frauds.
    Statins aren't a placebo. They work in a very specific way on specific types of patients and it's well documented. The fact that we know this is a testament to a working, but not perfect, healt system.
    I know I'm beating a dead mule here (ie: you), but you're wrong. This isn't politics or economics where there's an equivalent argument both ways. Numbers don't lie, people do.
  54. Chris W from Toronto, Canada writes: "You're correct in that I didn't follow up on the plethora of links you posted, and FYI I still won't bother."

    You're in a pretty big hole. I'll let you keep digging by writing even more.
  55. Carol Waking Up from Provost, Canada writes: D ster; how can you say that these remedies are unproven. Many have been in use for thousands of years; early Egyptian, England in the middle ages; and, right up until about a hundred years ago were sole treatments available. Yes, a lot more people died years ago, but they didn't even understand germs. There are still many, many tried, true and proven remedies. Corruption had a great deal to do with the demise of Naturopathic hospitals also.
  56. Overtaxed Taxpayer from Canada writes: Thank you for the links Rocky and Chris. I found the information helpful. I know that I have a Vit D defiency at present and wondered about taking more than 1,000iu/day. I knew that Vit D is a fat-soluable vitamin and therefore isn't flushed from the body if you take to much. It puts the vitamin in a different light to think of it as a hormone. I have some more reading to do.
  57. Peter Seitl from Canada writes: Surprise Surprise! All one has to do is peruse the shopping carts at the grocery checkout for contents and that would tell the whole story. No need of course to mention the wonderful convenience stores with their abundance of "healthy" snacks. And "we" need a study to figure this out... good thing the coffers are full with nothing better to spend tax money on.
  58. B H from Toronto, Canada writes: Someone asked the question "The recommended daily intake is apparently now being shown to be ridiculously low, so why was it so low in the first place?" It was so low because up until recently how much vitamin D they recommended was based on the amount below which you started to see rickets, which is a form of extreme vitamin D deficiency that causes problems with bones (they grow too soft and kids end up bow-legged). At that point, they thought that's all vitamin D really did, so that's what they based the recommendation on. Since it's hard to prove what's 'normal' and what of that 'normal' is really necessary to health, they often base recommendations on what is known to cause specific problems - i.e., rickets.
  59. Maria MMR from Calgary, Canada writes: Carol Waking Up says, "how can you say that these remedies are unproven. Many have been in use for thousands of years; early Egyptian, England in the middle ages; and, right up until about a hundred years ago were sole treatments available."

    Carol, there are good arguments for alternative medicine, but you're not making them. Your lack of logic is such that perhaps you should let others do the talking. Remedies used in the past include swallowing mercury to treat syphilis, eating dog hair to cure rabies, and using lead powder for makeup. Are these practices you would recommend because they were so popular for so long?
  60. Carol Waking Up from Provost, Canada writes: Marie; I have never met a Naturopathic Doctor that would recommend the ridiculous things you mention; nor will I. Again, I would wonder why you would attack the natural health care industry; or the people that choose to follow that route. Maybe you would like to spout off your many qualifications also. I don't pretend to be a trained Doctor, but I am very concerned when I see Canada Health working so hard to destroy the industry. I have many loved ones that count on their treatments. Where is my lack of logic?
  61. J F from Canada writes: Vitamin D in the news:

    Supplementation/fortification of Vitamin D in food chain will come to be accepted as one of the biggest medical errors...after all the controversy and political-infighting diminishes.
  62. Thomas Anderson from Canada writes:

    Vitamin D was identified as a dangerous hormone at least 25 years ago and scientists were warning against taking it as a supplement or even putting it in milk. See this Globe and Mail article by Paul Taylor:

    The legendary Fred Kummerow has also warned about vitamin D -- starting in 1983. This is the same scientist who warned about trans fats as early as 1956 and no one would listen.

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