Sunday, December 19, 2010

Vitamin D-Too Good To Be True?

VitaminD-Too Good to Be True?
I have heard from a couple of people regarding my latest posts on Vitamin D. “This is great Annette, but I don’t know if I actually buy into this. It seems like a bunch of hype to me.” First of all, thank you for letting me know your thoughts. Your feedback will only help this blog get better. As for having doubts, I don’t blame you! It does sound too good to be true! We have all been burned before. This is why you should look at several different sources for your information. Pubmed is an excellent resource for information on the latest studies. Here is a listing of some other resources for you to check out:
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” George Santayana. This is not the first time that the world has faced a health care epidemic that was caused by a vitamin deficiency. In the late 1800’s in parts of Japan and Southeast Asia, people had replaced their traditional brown rice with white rice. This caused a deadly epidemic known as Beriberi. Eventually scientists figured out that while stripping the rice of its bran, they also depleted the rice of thiamin (B-6). Beriberi has now been virtually eliminated with the introduction of “enriched rice”.
More recently, between 1906 and 1940, there was an epidemic of pellagra in the southern part of the US. This is a very serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by the lack of the B vitamin Niacin and the amino acid tryptophan. It is estimated that 3 million developed it and at least 100,000 people died from it. It was caused by the excessive consumption of corn based cereals. Loren Cordain, Ph.D.  Colorado State University.  Author of The Paleo Diet pg54.
The present recommended dosage of vitamin D is based on eliminating rickets as a disease in children. More recent research into Vitamin D has discovered how it plays a key role in the proper function of the autoimmune system. While Vitamin D is surely not the only factor associated with many different autoimmune diseases, heart disease and cancer, numerous studies have shown a very strong correlation involving low Vitamin D levels in people having these diseases. For these reasons many doctors involved in the research are calling for the levels of Vitamin D to be raised from the 25ng/mL level to 50-80ng/mL range.  Bottom line: There is a huge upside potential for you or your loved ones to avoid many very serious diseases by supplementing your diet with vitamin D with very little risk. While we are waiting for the official medical establishment to catch up with what researchers and other doctors have been recommending for years, we are putting our health at risk!  Had we known a year ago, what we know now, perhaps we could have avoided this unfortunate situation with Nick. Then you would be reading my delightfully witty Christmas letter instead of this blog. Don’t just take it from me, check out the research yourself!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

"Thank God my kids are healthy!" Part 2

“It is projected that raising the minimum year-around serum 25(OH)D level to 40 to 60 ng/mL (100–150 nmol/L) would prevent approximately 58,000 new cases of breast cancer and 49,000 new cases of colorectal cancer each year, and three fourths of deaths from these diseases in the United States and Canada, based on observational studies combined with a randomized trial. Such intakes also are expected to reduce case-fatality rates of patients who have breast, colorectal, or prostate cancer by half. There are no unreasonable risks from intake of 2000 IU per day of vitamin D3, or from a population serum 25(OH)D level of 40 to 60 ng/mL. The time has arrived for nationally coordinated action to substantially increase intake of vitamin D and calcium.” Annals of Epidemiology, Volume 19, Issue 7 July 2009 pages 468-483
In years past, the normal recommended range for vitamin D3 was 25-30 ng/ml. Now researchers are advising 50-70 ng/ml for healthy individuals, and 70-100 ng/ml for people with health issues. Levels over 100 are considered potentially toxic. According to the recommended dosage for Vitamin D3 supplementation is:
Age                                                  Dosage
Below 5                                            35 units per pound per day
Age 5-10                                          2500 units
Adults                                              5000 units
Pregnant women                             5000 units
WARNING!!! There is no way to know if the above recommendations are correct unless you test your blood!! Ideally your blood level of 25 OH D should be 60ng/ml.
How many lives could be saved? How many families lives would not be shattered? Had I known this a year ago, would Nick not have gotten sick?
So what about the recent news article from Food and Nutrition Board advising caution in supplementing vitamin D3 and calcium to 600 i.u. a day regardless of age? If you look at the money trail, big Pharma is seeing the potential of this supplement and is quietly preparing a synthetic version of their own. In an article in , some experts have estimated that we could save 4.4 trillion (yes with a t) in health care costs over 10 years! Now do you understand why the Institute of Food and Nutrition’s board (FNB) made this recommendation in light of the fact that one of the Ph.Ds on the panel is an advisor for the same pharmaceutical company developing this drug?
Unfortunately this situation with Nick has provided us with the wake-up call we needed to look beyond the “one-size fits all” medicine, big profits for the drug companies regardless of the side effects they cause, that have been forced on the American public at the expense of its families. It is time for all of us to stand up, take responsibility of our own health, and become more educated about what we put in our bodies. Join me in telling big corporations to “Stop making us sick!!”

Next blog: Excitotoxins!

"Thank God, my kids are healthy!" Part 1

Wow! Thank you for all of your positve comments regarding mylast post. This is truly a labor of love, not only for my family but yours as well. Best wishes for a happy and Healthy holiday and a very happy new year!

I can’t tell you how many times I have said that every time I heard about some poor child being afflicted by some illness or disease. Both my kids were healthy. Sure, we had the occasional cold or bout with the stomach flu but I can count on one hand the number of times either kid had been on antibiotics. Nick did have seasonal allergies but in this day and age who doesn’t? I was not one of those moms that kept the house in pristine condition either. My kids were quite familiar with dust bunnies and probably had names for them too! There goes the hygiene theory. So how does a normal, healthy 14 year old boy end up with an autoimmune disease? First let’s look at some statistics:
Per the American Autoimmune Association, more Americans are affected by autoimmune disease (24 million and rising) than cancer (9 million) or heart disease (22 million).
Per “The Autoimmune Epidemic” by Donna Jackson Nakazawa, “The Mayo Clinic has reported the incidence of lupus has nearly tripled in the US over the past four decades, rising even more quickly in the African American population.” Lupus affects 1.5 million Americans.
“Type 1 Diabetes has increased five-fold over the last 40 years. The incidence of childhood-onset type 1 diabetes is increasing at an alarming rate, increasing 6% a year in kids four and under and 4% in kids aged 10-14.”
From the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center, Celiac Disease strikes 1 in 133 healthy people affecting at least 3 million Americans (97% are undiagnosed). 60% of children and 41% of adults in a landmark prevalence study were asymptomatic.
Other autoimmune diseases include; Crohn’s disease 500,000 people, Rheumatiod Arthritis-2.1 million and Multiple Sclerosis-400,000 people with 200 new cases being reported each week.
There are at least 100 different autoimmune diseases and at least 40 more that have an autoimmune basis. For a complete list, go to
I could go on and on, but you get the idea. Autoimmune diseases are on the rise at an alarming rate. Why? What can I do to protect myself and my family?
Most people have a genetic predisposition to something (i.e.  autoimmune, cancer, heart disease, etc.)
Having a predisposition does not mean you will get the disease; only that you are more susceptible.
According to the Autoimmune Epidemic, genetics only plays about a 30% role in actually getting the disease.  Seventy percent is based on environmental factors such as diet and exposure to chemicals.
One of the biggest things you can do to prevent you or someone you love from becoming one of these statistics is to have your Vitamin D levels checked!!!! Call your Doctor right now!!
There are literally hundreds of studies showing a link to autoimmune diseases and low vitamin D levels. There is also a link to heart disease and cancer as well. In an article in the July 2009 issue in the Annals of Epidemiology, scientists predicted that we could reduce some cancer deaths by 50%.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

For those of you that do not know me, my name is Annette Plutt. I am a 40-something stay at home Mom living in suburbia. I have two kids, Nick age 15 and Kaity age 10. We are the typical American family. What we are not is one of “those” families. You know, the rasta-haired, Birkenstock-wearing, patchoulie-scented, organic Lola Granolas. We were about as far from that as you could get. The freezer was stocked with convenience foods bought in bulk. I thought I was being efficient and providing variety for my picky eaters. What I didn’t realize is that I was slowly poisoning my family. Our summer started in the typical crazed fashion, jam-packed with activities, plans for vacations and looking forward to the fall when Nick would be starting high school. Our world came to a standstill that fateful July day, two days before we were supposed to leave for vacation, when we got the phone call that would change our lives. My son, Nick, had been diagnosed with a very rare autoimmune disorder that had robbed him of the sight in his left eye. He would have to undergo a procedure very much like dialysis that filters out the antigens in his blood that were causing the problem and be replaced by synthetic plasma. He would need to be on immune suppressants to prevent future attacks and more damage. My husband Dan and I spent the next month in shock and fear as we sought a second opinion and researched all we could about treatment options and the cause of this disease. As friends and co-workers learned of our situation, we started hearing more and more about other children being affected by other autoimmune diseases. Thinking this was not just a coincidence, we dug deeper. We were shocked by what we found out and I feel a responsibility to share with you all what I have learned. I do not want one more child to be effected by this very preventable disease and not one more family to live through the hell we have been through. Lastly, I want to leave you with hope. Autoimmune disease is not inevitable. You can take steps right now to make sure that this does not happen to you!! For those touched by autoimmune, new information to help improve your symptoms and outcome.
I will be posting regular updates to share with you the important information we have learned so you can protect yourself and your family. Please keep in mind, I am not in the medical field but all of this information comes from very credible sources. I will reference web sites, books, etc. so you can do more research on your own.
Next blog: Thank God my kids are healthy or so I thought! Don’t be lulled in this false sense of security!
The Autoimmune Epidemic by Donna Jackson Nakazawa
The Inflammation Syndrome by Jack Challem
An Unhealthy Truth by Robin O’Brien
The Paleo Diet by Loren Cordain, Ph.D       “Sweet Misery”