William S. Eidelman, MD
Dear NY Times Editor,
Your article (8/18/18) on the shadowy money behind the sunshine vitamin, Vitamin D3, was wrong on almost everything, in my humble opinion.
I have been one of the doctors on the Vitamin D3 bandwagon for many years. I make no money from any manufacturers or lab companies. In my practice and in my life, I have seen remarkable, even amazing results from Vitamin D3.
Remember, humans evolved naked in the sun. We evolved with high vitamin D3 levels in our blood and tissues. It should not surprise anyone (too much) that it has a wide range of functions. It turns out that Vitamin D3 has many important roles, some epigenetic, meaning they turn on and off genes. Among others, they turn on the genes of the immune system.
I tell my patients they can do a search on their favorite search engine, pairing Vitamin D3 with any disease or condition they can think of, and they’ll find the disease associated with low levels of Vitamin D3. Despite what you’ve quoted in your article, low D3 levels are pandemic.
I’ve used Vitamin D3 in recommending healing protocols. Anyone with a chronic viral infection will almost certainly have low levels of D3, and by bringing up the levels with a dreaded nutritional supplement, and possibly making a few other intelligent decisions regarding food and herb choices, will find the viral infection disappear. I’ve seen it with AIDS and herpes.
At the very first sign of a viral infection such as a cold or flu, take 50,000 units of Vitamin D3. If taken with the first 15 minutes, the infection will disappear in a few minutes (if the D3 is taken in a form that absorbs in the mouth). At the hour mark a second dose might be necessary. There are numerous other natural products that can be helpful, but D3 is number one on my list. I’ve personally used this successfully many times!
I’ve seen it help in patients with heart disease, cancer, and depression. And the arthritis family (rheumatoid, lupus, psoriasis, etc). And multiple sclerosis.
The statements in your article that higher levels of D3 haven’t been proven to be associated with better health appear false to me. It is noted that one major review of Vitamin D3 and disease was mixed, but that is because study design is critical, dosage is critical. My own experience will be validated by the appropriate research, if such is ever done!
Then the article criticizes lab testing and financial interest to those pushing the Vitamin D bandwagon. The amounts this doctor got were paltry compared to the hacks who are paid much larger amounts by the pharmaceutical industry. What are the financial interests of the naysayers quoted in your article? And you’re wrong in your conclusion that money is wasted on D3 testing. The amount of money saved by being certain your D3 levels are high enough to keep you healthy is incalculable. This will be discovered by future research. In the end, if such studies are ever done, it will be seen that matched populations with decent D3 levels are healthier in almost every way, reducing health care costs dramatically.
Luckily, there is one way to get around the frequent lab tests. Depending on what supplements you take, you can assume your D3 level is low. Then start taking 5000 international units daily (or 10,000 if you are sick with some serious disease). (Have 50,000 units always nearby in case you suddenly start feeling a cold/flu coming on.) Pay attention to how you feel. It’s definitely a good idea to have a test once a year, but unless you’re sick, every few years is okay. It’s almost impossible to overdose on10,000 units a day. If you’re taking a smaller amount, closer to the official recommended amount of 400-600units a day, or even 1000 or 2000 units a day, you should do once a year to make sure you’re at a good enough level.
Your article goes so far as to suggest that levels recommended by doctors on the D3 bandwagon might be dangerous: “In 2015, an article in the American Journal of Medicine linked blood levels as low as 50 nanograms per milliliter with an increased risk of death.” However, the article itself was not research on this question at all. It made only this one statement, with no references, no proof of where it came from. That’s bad science and bad journalism and bad medicine.
The really shadowy money wants to keep us sick, and low D3 levels will make sure that happens. That’s one of the reasons all types of diseases have risen and keep growing rapidly.