Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Flu Shot? Waste of Time, Money and Your Health?

So I was recently asked by a patient to give an opinion on whether he should get a flu shot or not.  In the past month of September, there have been numerous places listing their ease of just walking in, rolling up your sleeve and getting stuck with this years guestimated batch of flu virus killer.

My favorite commercial appears to be an old one from 2011, for a chain called CVS Pharmacy.  They have been replaying it this year for the upcoming flu pandemic (sense sarcasm here).  The commercial is essentially branding the chain to be "your" CVS Pharmacy by having nice looking average people put their name above the CVS logo.  There are 3 videos and two of them are "Sarah's" and "Bonnie's" CVS.  "Bonnie's" CVS video is really the one that caught my eye. [Interestingly, there are no internet versions of this video to show you - all have been removed.....by whom?]

Essentially, Bonnie is on one of those Segway machines scooting around the store grabbing various items off the shelf.  The very FIRST thing she grabs off the shelf.......Vitamin D, then a few more items, finally stopping off at the Pharmacists counter to ask for a flu shot.  WHAT!?!?!  Wait a second.  She just grabbed a fresh bottle of Vitamin D...why does she need a flu shot.  To me, the people that made the commercial didn't do their research.  This is what I call and INCONGRUENT MESSAGE.  Why would she need Vitamin D AND a flu shot?  Just doesn't add up.

Let me explain.  And for the intent of full disclosure (for all the lawyers reading this), I DO NOT GET A FLU SHOT....EVER!  And I am in contact with patients all day long...some of them sick even.  I don't get sick with the flu (where is that piece of wood?).

What really needs to happen is a review of the literature to see what is said there.  So here goes:

"Randomized trial of vitamin D supplementation to prevent seasonal influenza A in schoolchildrenAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition, May 2010, No. 5, pp. 1255-60"  In this study they found:
  • “In this randomized clinical trial, daily supplementation with 1200 IU vitamin D3 in school children between December and March showed a significant preventive effect against influenza A.”
  • “Vitamin D may soften the clinical symptoms and signs of influenza by reducing cytokine secretion.”
  • Taking vitamin D3 supplements for 1 y in a dose up to 2000 IU per day in schoolchildren has been shown to be safe. It takes 3 months to reach a steady state of vitamin D concentrations by supplementation. [start once the fall season starts]
  • “In conclusion, our study suggests that vitamin D3 supplementation during the winter season may reduce the incidence of influenza A.”
There are other studies that show a cyclical pattern to sun exposure (the sunnier climates) and sickness rates.  In the summer lower, in the winter higher rates of sickness.

Then there is the EFFECTIVENESS of the flu shot itself, called Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness Among Children 6 to 59 Months of Age During 2 Influenza Seasons, Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, October 2008;162(10):943-951 (article can be found here), which states:

 "significant influenza VE [Vaccine Effectiveness] could not be demonstrated for any season, age, or setting after adjusting for county, sex, insurance, chronic conditions recommended for influenza vaccination, and timing of influenza vaccination (VE estimates ranged from 7%-52% across settings and seasons for fully vaccinated 6- to 59-month-olds."
Then there is this article that I think is a big kick in the pants, especially if you read between the lines.  Since I cannot say it any better, here is the abstract:

 "Influenza vaccines are efficacious in preventing cases of influenza in children older than two years of age, but little evidence is available for children younger than two years of age. There was a difference between vaccine efficacy and effectiveness, partly due to differing datasets, settings and viral circulation patterns. No safety comparisons could be carried out, emphasising the need for standardisation of methods and presentation of vaccine safety data in future studies. In specific cases, influenza vaccines were associated with serious harms such as narcolepsy and febrile convulsions. It was surprising to find only one study of inactivated vaccine in children under two years, given current recommendations to vaccinate healthy children from six months of age in the USA, Canada, parts of Europe and Australia. If immunisation in children is to be recommended as a public health policy, large-scale studies assessing important outcomes, and directly comparing vaccine types are urgently required. The degree of scrutiny needed to identify all global cases of potential harms is beyond the resources of this review. This review includes trials funded by industry. An earlier systematic review of 274 influenza vaccine studies published up to 2007 found industry-funded studies were published in more prestigious journals and cited more than other studies independently from methodological quality and size. Studies funded from public sources were significantly less likely to report conclusions favourable to the vaccines. The review showed that reliable evidence on influenza vaccines is thin but there is evidence of widespread manipulation of conclusions and spurious notoriety of the studies. The content and conclusions of this review should be interpreted in the light of this finding."

And then there are the ingredients of the flu shot itself (see the list from the CDC website for yourself, or this one).  While the jury is still out on Thimerosal (a Heavy Metal Compound - Mercury), the flu shot still contains it.  And if you have ever had the pleasure of working in a cadaver lab (as I have - boy do your clothes STINK for weeks), embalming fluid contains Formaldehyde, which the flu vaccine also contains.  And just in case you start forgetting, (insert joke here), it also contains an Aluminum compound.  Three really good compounds for you to inject (yearly perhaps) directly into your system.  I think not.  Why you ask?

Oxidative stress and the production of Free Radical damage.  And what could cause Free Radicals to Originate?  Here's the list:
  • Heavy Metals
  • Inflammation
  • Stress
  • Environmental Toxins
  • UV Radiation
  • X-Ray Radiation
  • Low Magnesium (Mg)
  • Immune System Activation
  • Excitotoxins
 And when you get stuck by that poison needle, you inject 2 heavy metals and cause activation of your immune system to deal with the mainline ingredients.  There is a great book (the is almost impossible to read) by Keshav Singh called Oxidative Stress, Disease and Cancer, 2006 copyright.  It's about $350 for the book.  Why do I have this in here?  By adding unnecessary toxic material to your system on a yearly basis, over many years, it is suggested that you are adding one more piece to the cancer/disease machine.  And for what?


I have only presented a few articles on the subject.  But my opinion is this.  For healthy children, and adults, the flu shot is unnecessary and perhaps in the long run, dangerous.  You can do better.  Take your Vitamin D (in a good dosage), drink plenty of water, eat correctly (staying away from sugar which decreases your immune function) and you should be A-Okay.  Does that mean you won't catch a cold? Nope! But my experience has been that I have yet to be laid out like the commercials have sick people portrayed. And I am exposed to many people, some sick, on a daily basis. Now where is that piece of wood again?......

As always, the truth is out there, you just have to know where to find it....

Dr. Garreth MacDonald
Eugene Chiropractor

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Good Bugs/Bad Bugs - Probiotics

Cool article I just read in the June 2012 issue of Scientific American.  The cover story title was "Your Inner Ecosystem".  And if you have been to any of my Eat Well Food Talks then you are well aware that for the past 4 years I have been preaching the use of probiotics.

What are probiotics you say?  Well if you have ever had an infection you are most likely familiar with ANTIbiotics.  Antibiotics, of course, are designed to kill bacteria.  The problems with Antibiotics is that they don't pick-and-choose the bacteria/mircrobes (bugs) that they kill; they kill them all!  It is kind of like carpet bombing your entire intestinal tract when you consume antibiotics.  It kills the good and the bad bugs.  Hold on a minute....there are good bugs in your gut?  Yes there is.....let me explain.

You have about a Trillion cells in your body that make up you the human.  But you have about 10 Trillion bugs living in you right now!  Holy Cow!  If you could gather them all up the total bacteria would weigh about a pound or two.  Doesn't sound like much but remember, you need a microscope to see them. 

You have all the bugs in your system now to make you sick.  But you also have good bugs playing a protective roll also and through a process called "Competitive Inhibition" the good bugs keep the bad bugs in check.  However, through a variety of circumstances like stress, illness, toxicity from eating junk etc, you create an environment whereby the bugs begin to multiply very rapidly and outpace the good bugs ability to keep them at bay.  And now you have a bad bug infection.  If you cannot control the infection, then it is time to bring in the heavy artillery and bomb those suckers back.  Enter Anitbiotics.  And after a few days the environment for bacteria growth is gone.  And so are the good bugs.

If you have ever taken antibiotics, it is extremely important to replenish the good bugs in your gut by quickly taking probiotics after a round of antibiotics.  Obviously, avoiding antibiotics in the first place would be a good place to start.  But more on that later.

There is some published science that suggests that the use of antibiotics has inadvertently caused destruction of the beneficial bugs (bacteria also called microbes) which also suggests a connection to immune disorders and obesity.

If you consider that approximately 65% of your immune function exists in your gut, through tissue called Gut Associated Lymphoid Tissue (GALT for short), then you can understand how good bugs and bad bugs play a role in immune function.

There is even several studies published that show that bacteria have a role in energy production and also help with the breakdown of carbohydrates.  Bacteria also aids in digestion.

Current research shows that two bacteria, B.thetaiotaomicron and B.Fragilis play crucial rolls in gut function.  B. thetaiotaomicron plays a key role in consuming complex carbohydrates known as polysaccharides and converting them into short-chain fatty acids that can be used as a fuel.  This way these bacteria can salvage calories out of something that would otherwise be indigestible.

B.fragilis is also created some exciting news lately.  This common bug (in about 70-80% of us) has recently been shown to help keep the immune system in balance by boosting anti-inflammatory function.  This has powerful implications for people suffering from chronic conditions such as Crone's disease or IBS.

You also need to understand that on their own, bacteria do not survive very long either.  We slough off billions daily, especially with alcohol consumption.  Therefore, it is wise to consume a good probiotic, with several billion bugs in a capsule and has multiple strains (minimum 8).  With regular use of probiotics, it is possible to keep the bad bugs at bay and allow the good bugs to function like they are supposed to and can most likely keep you from having an infection in the first play, thus eliminating the need for ever taking antibiotics.  And if you do start taking probiotics, take one with every meal, and take it at the end of the meal so the little buggers have something to feed on.

Happy Eating!

As always, the truth is out there, you just have to know where to look.

Dr. Garreth MacDonald
Eugene Chiropractor




Friday, May 4, 2012

Artificial Sweeteners - The Beginning (Part I)

This might be a lengthy post so this might end up being a two or three parter!

I want to start this off with a simple examination of the words "Artificial Sweeteners".  I think the dead give-a-way is the use of the word "ARTIFICIAL".  From here I wish to expose some issues behind their origins, use, and how they became ubiquitous in our food supply.  And finally explore the health issues attached to using these sweeteners.

As a professor of mine once stated "If it comes in a blue, pink or yellow package, don't eat it".  A good mantra to follow, as you shall see.

There are 3 main Artificial Sweeteners, Aspartame, Sucralose, and an oldie but a goodie, Saccharin.

Aspartame was discovered in a lab in 1965, accidentally.  Aspartame was supposed to be a drug to treat peptic ulcer disease, but when the scientist licked his fingers to turn a page he noticed the sweet taste and Voila.....a peptic ulcer drug was abandoned for an artificial sweetener.

Sucralose (trade name Splenda) was also discovered accidentally in a lab in 1975,while the scientists were attempting to discover a new insecticide (yummm and you want to put that in your body?)!  The experiment required them to take sulfuryl chloride (highly poisonous) and adding it to a sugar solution.  The result is:

1',4,6,6'-tetracholor-1',4,6,6'-tetradeoxygalactosucrose.  

Definitely not sugar as claimed in the ads.  In fact in 2006 & 2007, Splenda came under fire in the US and France for the use of the term "Made from sugar, so it tastes like sugar".  Now there slogan is "It starts with sugar. It tastes like sugar. But it's not sugar."  It's not sugar!  Yet people are lead to believe it is so.

 In 1879, two researchers at John Hopkins University were playing around with some dangerous chemicals, such as toluene (used in the process of making gasoline from crude oil and in paint, paint thinners, fingernail polish, lacquers and adhesives).  Serendipitously this chemical soup was spilled in the lab and got onto the scientists fingers and later was noticed to taste sweet.  This marked the beginning of Artificial Sweeteners namely Saccharin.

Monsanto was formed in 1901 for the sole purpose of producing Saccharin.  By 1903, Monsanto began producing saccharin for Coca-Cola.  By 1912, saccharin was banned due to the public's concern over possible health risks.  But by 1914 and WWI, sugar was rationed and the ban didn't last long.

I should mention that there have been a few other Artificial Sweeteners along the way, between Saccharin and Aspartame.  Dulcin was developed a few years after saccharin and used until the 1950's when a long term study showed the toxic effects even in small doses.

Some of you might remember Cyclamate.  This one was discovered in 1937 with a grad student working on an anti-pyretic (fever-reducing) drug in the lab.  After placing his cigarette on the lab bench (good lab techniques back then), he noticed a distinct sweet taste.  If you still cannot remember Cyclamate, then you may remember "Sweet'N Low".  It was a mixture of Saccharin and Cyclamate.

In 1969, Cyclamate was suddenly banned by the FDA.  Studies suggested that it caused cancer, although a weak one.  Some conspiracy theorists might like that idea that just about the same time, a rival competing Artificial Sweetener, Aspartame, was making a bid to the FDA seeking approval for use in foods.  Interesting!  But hardly evidence.

In 1977, Canada banned the use of Saccharin with studies that suggests a cancer link.  Saccharin is still widely used in the US and is commonly found in children's toothpaste such as Crest and Colgate.

Recently, there has been a new kid on the block called Acesulfame-K (Acesulfame-Postassium).  It is made with the same ingredients as your lawn fertilizer: carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, sulphur and potassium.  Ace-K was discovered in 1967, also spilled on a finger and licked.

Acesulfame-K has a checkered history of dispute as to whether it causes cancer or not.  Interesting to note that Ace-K contains methylene chloride, a known carcinogen.  The FDA in a "Final Report 59 FR 61538" on Ace-K admitted:

"Methylene chloride, a carcinogenic chemical, is a potential impurity in acesulfame-K resulting from its use as a solvent in the initial manufacturing step of the sweetener".  

Please Sir, can I have some more?

Then there in Neotame.  In 1985, as the patent for Aspartame was running out, Monsanto developed a newer version of Aspartame in which they combined aspartame with 3-di-methyl-butyl.  Just in case you were wondering, 3-di-methyl-butyl is on the US's EPA list on most hazardous chemicals.  But unlike aspartame, neotame is not broken down in your body into phenylalanine.  By the way, phenylalanine is toxic to those with the rare disorder phenylketonuria (PKU).

So it is lunch time.  Off to have a diet soda with my fast food lunch, after my morning coffee filled with Splenda.  Just kidding...are you CRAZY?

The above story, although a good one, is my no means proof that these chemicals (and that's what they are) made in a lab (dubbed "Artificial Sweeteners") are by any means bad for you.  If you just ignore that they ALL came from a lab while playing with dangerous chemicals while looking for some other product then an artificial sweetener.  But, alas, that's a story for my next blog.....so stay tuned.

As always...the truth is out there...you just gotta find it.

Dr. Garreth MacDonald
Eugene Chiropractor
Cascade Health Center


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

More Cholesterol Schtuff!!!!

So in case you aren't buried in Peer Reviewed Scientific Journals, I have found another interesting read for the Cholesterol debate.

The following article "Is the use of cholesterol in mortality risk algorithms in clinical guidelines valid?  Ten years prospective data from the Norwegian HUNT 2 study."  Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice. February 2011; Vol. 18; No. 1; pp. 159-168, found the following.

"Total cholesterol is a frequently used variable in the risk estimates for cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention. Some studies indicate that the predictive properties of cholesterol might not be as straightforward as widely assumed." and in the conclusion "Our study provides an updated epidemiological indication of possible errors in the CVD risk algorithms of many clinical guidelines. If our findings are generalizable, clinical and public health recommendations regarding the ‘dangers’ of cholesterol should be revised. This is especially true for women, for whom moderately elevated cholesterol (by current standards) may prove to be not only harmless but even beneficial."

You might want to read that again..........for women, in particular, a little cholesterol might actually be beneficial.  Think about that!  How long has our North American society been sold a bill of goods about the desperate need to drop the cholesterol levels only to find out later...oooops...we might be wrong.  And they are!

Among women, serum cholesterol had an inverse association with all-cause mortality as well as CVD mortality".  Which means elevated total cholesterol levels reduced CVD mortality rates.  

"In women, the association with ischaemic heart disease (IHD) mortality appeared to follow a U-shaped curve".  Both low levels and high levels increased IHD mortality.

Among men, cholesterol did not seem to be linearly associated with mortality but rather the association followed a U-shaped pattern, with the lowest mortality appearing in the second cholesterol category (5.0–5.9 mmol L-1 [195–228 mg/dl]).  This was apparent in all mortality categories. Consequently, cholesterol analysed as a continuous variable did not show a statistically significant linear association with mortality.

This means that higher cholesterol did not translate into high cholesterol = high death rate.  There seemed to be an optimal level. "Having cholesterol levels above 5.5 mmol L-1 [213 mg/dl] was not associated with increased mortality, either among smokers or among non-smokers."

We found total cholesterol to be an overestimated risk factor” for CVD prevention.

Our results contradict the guidelines well-established demarcation line (5 mmol L-1 [195 mg/dl]) between ‘good’ and ‘too high’ levels of cholesterol. They also contradict the popularized idea of a positive, linear relationship between cholesterol and fatal disease.

Guideline-based advice regarding CVD prevention may thus be outdated and misleading, particularly regarding many women who have cholesterol levels in the range of 5–7 mmol L-1 [195-271 mg/dl].

 “Our finding of significant discrepancies between epidemiological data and clinical guidelines, suggesting a linear relation between total cholesterol and mortality from CVD is in accord with other studies.

Many individuals who could otherwise call themselves healthy struggle conscientiously to push their cholesterol under the presumed ‘danger’ limit (i.e. the recommended cut-off point of 5 mmol L-1) [195 mg/dl], coached by health personnel, personal trainers and caring family members. Massive commercial interests are linked to drugs and other remedies marketed for this purpose".

This is yet another large study (using 510,297 person-years) that questions the dogma pertaining to cholesterol levels. The authors also suggests that this dogma may persist as a consequence of “massive commercial interests [that] are linked to drugs and other remedies marketed for” lowering cholesterol levels.  Need I say more?


As always the truth is out there...you just have to find it.....
Dr. Garreth MacDonald
Chiropractic Physician
Eugene Chiropractor
Cascade Health Center

Monday, March 12, 2012

Recent Headlines.......#1

So I can read.  And I read the paper (still - since most of you now use the web to find your news).  I am always looking for headlines that support the notion that Medicine isn't always working from a clear "Evidence Based" approach.

"Evidence Based" is a catch phrase that is tossed around by many to somehow support the idea that ALL of medicine has 100% evidence of success and thus strongly indicated above ALL else.  This standard brings everyone's "feet to the fire" if they provide a service that is "not evidence based", an approach for which they hold the rest of us to.

So the words are key to really unraveling what is being said.

This may be hard to read so I will hit the highlights for you.

"Rare risk of memory loss, diabetes and muscle pain" for one.

This is a "new" warning for the FDA on the use of Statins, but many patients have been reporting these problems for years.  According to an FDA medical spokesperson, "the value of statins in preventing heart disease has been clearly established Their benefit is indisputable, but they need to be taken with care and knowledge of their side effects."

So now let's examine what is really being said here; the subtext.

Basically, it is ok to take this drug, to prevent heart disease, and the side effects that you get, well, take care and be knowledgeable about them.

And just in case you don't read the paper....it was on T.V. too.

How about this headline: "Statins and Cardiovascular Disease: Not as Protective as We're Led to Believe".  I find this far more evidence based then a drug designed to lower cholesterol which study after study after study after study after study after article after study (wow....I could keep going, you get the point? so I think I will stop here) have shown this "truth" based on "evidence" to be a false.

Let's consider the studies that I have listed above and what they say.  After that what else could you be doing to properly control your risk of heart disease and stoke instead of taking dangerous statins.

In the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA - Newman & Hulley, 1996) a study of Statins and Carcinogenicity (cancer causing) was asked and reviewed. Most statins can be taken for up to 30 years or more, and yet the FDA only approved the use of these drugs upon clinical trials that were for a fraction of this time.  "Thus, millions of asymptomatic people are being treated with medications, the ultimate effects of which are not yet known".  They concluded that "most cholesterol-lowering drugs cause or promote cancer".  They also stated that "meta-analyses of randomized clinical trials have suggested that cholesterol-lowering drugs may increase noncardiovascular mortality".  Wow...let's try and save you from a heart attack or stroke but kill you from something else you weren't expect to die from!  It is possible that these drugs are not carcinogenic, but rather that it is the lower cholesterol levels they cause being responsible for the adverse effects. "Persons with low cholesterol levels have higher cancer death rates in cohort studies".

 In the Lancet study (Schatz et al., 2001) the authors stated "results of several studies have shown an inverse relation, or no relation, between total cholesterol concentration and risk of death in elderly people" and "Kaplan-Meler survival curves showed lowest survival rates for those with the lowest serum cholesterol concentrations".  That means that if you try to artificially lower your cholesterol, which your body needs, you INCREASE your risk of death NOT decrease it like you are lead to believe by taking a Statin. And the final nail in the coffin (pun intended) was "thus, the earlier that patients start to have lower cholesterol concentrations, the greater risk of death". Sign me up!

In the Neurology study (Gaist et al., 2002), stated that this study and previous studies "strongly suggest a toxic effect of statins on peripheral nerves" and "long term exposure to statins cause structural and functional changes of the neurons".

 In the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, (Thompson & Temple, 2004), these researchers asked the question "has the case been made for the use of statins?"  Well "NO"!  Here's what they said. "with respects to data on deaths the most important endpoint is all-cause mortality. This can be manipulated only by fraud and is the one primary concern to the recipients of the treatment-are they less likely to die soon, whatever the reason, if they take this drug?" and "if a drug or other intervention neither extends life nor improves its overall quality, then it is of no value" Damaging to the "positive" statin studies, the authors further stated was "there is no rigorous reporting of all-cause mrobidity, nor of measurement of changes in overall quality of life, in any of the [statin drug] studies".  "Statin drug trials show absolute differences of less then 1% to a maximum of 3.3% in all-cause mortality between the control and treatment groups.  These are not impressive results". "The case for statin drugs, especially for primary prevention, has not been made".  Read that last sentence again.

The last study listed, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine (Kausik et. al., 2010) looked at Statins vs. all-cause mortality.  Their simple conclusion was that the literature based meta-analysis "did not find evidence for the benefit of statin therapy on all-cause mortality in a high-risk primary prevention set-up".  Furthermore, "there is no evident that prescribing cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins to patients at risk of heart disease reduces their chances of premature death in the short term."  And just in case you were only worried about your ticker, "people taking statin drugs may have higher risks of liver dysfunction, kidney failure, muscle weakness and cataracts".  Yippie!

But wait, don't order yet, there's more..................

Here is a link from a Cardiologist's postings that state that it is not your shortage of Statins in the body that need increased and therefore a decrease in Cholesterol but low grade chronic inflammation (among other things) that needs controlled. "These recommendations are no longer scientifically or morally defensible. The discovery a few years ago that inflammation in the artery wall is the real cause of heart disease is slowly leading to a paradigm shift in how heart disease and other chronic ailments will be treated." and "Despite the fact that 25% of the population takes expensive statin medications, more Americans will die this year of heart disease than ever before." and more "Simply stated, without inflammation being present in the body, there is no way that cholesterol would accumulate in the wall of the blood vessel and cause heart disease and strokes. Without inflammation, cholesterol would move freely throughout the body as nature intended. It is inflammation that causes cholesterol to become trapped." Enough said.

So the next time your medical provider offers you statins because your cholesterol is high...I would say 2 things.  Why?  And is Cholesterol seasonal (but that's for another post)?  If you don't get a solid answer on both then you can be sure that provider has NO CLUE about the literature and has been pushed by the legalized drug rep.

As always the truth is out there...you just have to find it.....

Dr. Garreth MacDonald
Chiropractic Physician
Eugene Chiropractor
Cascade Health Center

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Winter 2012, My first post and Vitamin D

2012.  My first blog of the year.  Being February in the PNW, we are used to a certain amount of cloud cover and rain.  We get the occasional day of sun but that is more for the summer.  As a result of the lack of sunshine come a lack of Vitamin D.

I usually ask my patients "how much vitamin D are you taking", and before they can answer I have already said "probably not enough".  Occasionally I am wrong, but the vast majority of the time the answer is around 1000 I.U. in an adult.  "Not enough" I say again.

I start by quoting some recent research of Japanese school children the took 2000 I.U. to ward off the flu and I say "you are much bigger then a child", then it begins to sink in that maybe I am right that 1000 I.U. is not enough. 

As a blanket statement I minimally advise 5000 I.U. daily (and this is not medical advice for you I might add).  I will also do a blood draw showing that in fact the Vit D levels are in the low range of "normal" or below.  With one patient (with MS) we measured 41, considered normal but not for an MS patient.  With the addition of 15,000 I.U. daily the recheck blood test only moved him up to 65.  Good, but we could do better.  So 20,000 I.U. was recommended with even better results.

20,000! Crazy you say?  Not really when you consider that with a health dose of sunshine the body will produce between 18,000-23,000 I.U. of Vitamin D daily.

So what can you do?  Get your Vitamin D level checked.  Some peer reviewed medical journal articles have suggested that we might need supplementation around 9,000 I.U. daily.  Based on your initial lab findings start taking 5,000 I.U. and retest.  Some other research suggests that the lab "normal" of 30-80 is too low and should be closer to 60-120.  In my opinion, based on the science that I have read, the higher the better. 

A word of caution.  Research also suggests that going over 30,000 I.U. daily for an extended period could be harmful, so be cautious.  Seek professional care.  Taking a lump some of 50,000 I.U. weekly is also useless since all of that will be metabolized within 2 days causing your Vit D levels to ebb and flow.  We want steady levels.

For more information you can check out my website at www.cascadehealthcenter.com and also an article on Vitamin D.

The truth is out there, always.
Dr. Garreth MacDonald,
Chiropractic Physician
Cascade Health Center
Eugene OR