Flashback Friday: Will You Live Longer if You Take Vitamin D Supplements & How Much Should You Take?

Flashback Friday: Will You Live Longer if You Take Vitamin D Supplements & How Much Should You Take?
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What do 56 randomized clinical trials involving nearly 100,000 people between the ages of 18 and 107 show vitamin D can do to our lifespan? And what is the safe dose of vitamin D supplementation to get most of the population to the optimal level is 2,000 IU a day?

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In 1822, a Polish physician was the first to publish that sunlight could cure the vitamin D deficiency disease rickets. His work was ignored by mainstream medicine for a century, not coming into widespread use until the 20th century, when wire cages were affixed to tenement buildings so babies could benefit from the sun. Are we in a similar situation now, where the medical profession has just not caught up with the science?

Researchers have documented correlations between all sorts of good things and higher vitamin D levels—even to the point of seeing whether vitamin D supplementation might reduce the adverse effects of earthquakes. Seems to help with everything else, so why not? It’s actually not as silly as it sounds. Traumatic events like natural disasters can have a significant psychological impact, which may be affected by vitamin D status.

But when researchers put supplements to the test, the purported links often didn’t pan out. This lack of effect may exist, in part, because low vitamin D levels may just be a marker for things like aging, obesity, smoking, and inactivity. Or maybe low vitamin D didn’t lead to disease, but maybe disease led to low vitamin D. Inflammation can drop D levels within the body. So, just because low D levels and disease seem to be correlated doesn’t mean that vitamin D deficiency is the cause.

While the majority of observational studies may show a link, where you just measure vitamin D levels and disease rates, in only a handful of conditions have interventional studies proven vitamin D to be effective—where you give people D supplements or placebos, and see what happens. But one of those conditions for which vitamin D supplements appear to genuinely work is helping to prevent mortality.

56 randomized clinical trials, involving nearly 100,000 people between the ages of 18 and 107, mostly women, randomized to four years of vitamin D supplements or sugar pills. Put all the studies together, and those given vitamin D supplements lived longer, also specifically lowering the risk of dying from cancer. Note this effect appeared limited to vitamin D3, though, the type derived from plants and animals—not vitamin D2, the type derived from yeast and mushrooms.

How large an effect was it? It would take 150 people taking vitamin D supplements for five years to save one life, and so if we were talking about a drug, you’d have to weigh that against the cost and side effects of dosing so many people. But when we’re talking about something as safe and cheap as vitamin D supplements, it seems like a bargain to me. A similar analysis pegged the benefit at 11% in terms of reduction of total mortality—which is pretty substantial, potentially offering a life extension benefit on par with exercise. Though no, it does not seem to reduce the adverse effects of earthquakes.

The only concern that was raised is that it may give people license to, like, order an extra doughnut or something. We still have to eat healthy—any longevity benefit from vitamin D would just be a small adjunct to a healthy lifestyle. But for those of us who want all the help they can get, the question then becomes okay, how much should we take? The question I’ll address next.

Randomized, controlled clinical trials have found that vitamin D supplements extend one’s lifespan. What is the optimal dose? What blood level is associated with living longest? In my nine-part video series on vitamin D back in 2011, I noted that the relationship between vitamin D levels and mortality appeared to be a U-shaped curve—meaning low vitamin D levels were associated with increased mortality. But so were levels that were too high, with the apparent sweet spot around 75 or 80 nanomoles per liter [nmol/L], based on individual studies like this one.

Why might higher D levels be associated with higher risk? Well, this was a population study; so, you can’t be sure which came first. Maybe the vitamin D led to higher risk. Or maybe higher risk led to the vitamin D, meaning maybe those who weren’t doing as well were prescribed vitamin D. Maybe it’s because these were Scandinavian studies, where they tend to take a lot of cod liver oil as the vitamin D supplement, one spoonful of which could exceed the tolerable upper daily limit of intake for vitamin A—which could have negative consequences, even if you don’t inject it into your penis.

I was surprised to see cod liver oil listed among the long list of things men have tried to inject into themselves because they felt they were coming up short, though may have ended up shorter after all the reconstructive surgery.

Anyways, the U-shaped curve is old data. An updated meta-analysis has shown that as population vitamin D levels go up, mortality appears to go down, and stay down—which is good, because then we don’t have to test to see if we’re hitting just the right level.

Routine testing of vitamin D levels is not recommended. Why? Well, it costs money, and in most people, levels come right up to where you want them with sufficient sun, or supplementation. So, they figure what’s the point?

But also because the test is not very good—results can be all over the place. What happens when you send a single sample to a thousand different labs around the world? You maybe expect a little variation, but not this. Results from the same sample ranged anywhere from less than 20 to over 100. So, depending on what lab your doctor sent your blood sample to, the results could have placed you here, or here; so, not necessarily very helpful.

So, what’s a safe dose that will likely get us to the purported optimal level? 1,000 units a day should get most people up to the target 75 nmol/L (which is 30 ng/mL). But by most people, they mean 50%. To get around 85% of the population up to 75 would require 2,000 a day. 2,000 international units a day would shift the curve from here to here. That way, we can take the average person into the desired range without fear of toxicity. You can take too much vitamin D, but you don’t tend to see problems until blood levels get up around 250, which would take consistent daily doses in excess of 10,000.

Note that if you’re overweight, you may want to take 3,000, or if obese, even more than that. If you’re over age 70, and not getting enough sun, it may take 3,500 units to get that same 85% chance of bumping your levels past the target. Again, no need for the average person to test and retest, since a few thousand a day should bring almost everyone up without risking toxicity.

Okay, but then why did the Institute of Medicine set the Recommended Daily Allowance at 600 to 800 units? In fact, official recommendations are all over the map—ranging from just 200 a day, all the way up to 10,000 a day. I’ll try to cut through the confusion, next.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to Peter Rosbjerg via flickr.

In 1822, a Polish physician was the first to publish that sunlight could cure the vitamin D deficiency disease rickets. His work was ignored by mainstream medicine for a century, not coming into widespread use until the 20th century, when wire cages were affixed to tenement buildings so babies could benefit from the sun. Are we in a similar situation now, where the medical profession has just not caught up with the science?

Researchers have documented correlations between all sorts of good things and higher vitamin D levels—even to the point of seeing whether vitamin D supplementation might reduce the adverse effects of earthquakes. Seems to help with everything else, so why not? It’s actually not as silly as it sounds. Traumatic events like natural disasters can have a significant psychological impact, which may be affected by vitamin D status.

But when researchers put supplements to the test, the purported links often didn’t pan out. This lack of effect may exist, in part, because low vitamin D levels may just be a marker for things like aging, obesity, smoking, and inactivity. Or maybe low vitamin D didn’t lead to disease, but maybe disease led to low vitamin D. Inflammation can drop D levels within the body. So, just because low D levels and disease seem to be correlated doesn’t mean that vitamin D deficiency is the cause.

While the majority of observational studies may show a link, where you just measure vitamin D levels and disease rates, in only a handful of conditions have interventional studies proven vitamin D to be effective—where you give people D supplements or placebos, and see what happens. But one of those conditions for which vitamin D supplements appear to genuinely work is helping to prevent mortality.

56 randomized clinical trials, involving nearly 100,000 people between the ages of 18 and 107, mostly women, randomized to four years of vitamin D supplements or sugar pills. Put all the studies together, and those given vitamin D supplements lived longer, also specifically lowering the risk of dying from cancer. Note this effect appeared limited to vitamin D3, though, the type derived from plants and animals—not vitamin D2, the type derived from yeast and mushrooms.

How large an effect was it? It would take 150 people taking vitamin D supplements for five years to save one life, and so if we were talking about a drug, you’d have to weigh that against the cost and side effects of dosing so many people. But when we’re talking about something as safe and cheap as vitamin D supplements, it seems like a bargain to me. A similar analysis pegged the benefit at 11% in terms of reduction of total mortality—which is pretty substantial, potentially offering a life extension benefit on par with exercise. Though no, it does not seem to reduce the adverse effects of earthquakes.

The only concern that was raised is that it may give people license to, like, order an extra doughnut or something. We still have to eat healthy—any longevity benefit from vitamin D would just be a small adjunct to a healthy lifestyle. But for those of us who want all the help they can get, the question then becomes okay, how much should we take? The question I’ll address next.

Randomized, controlled clinical trials have found that vitamin D supplements extend one’s lifespan. What is the optimal dose? What blood level is associated with living longest? In my nine-part video series on vitamin D back in 2011, I noted that the relationship between vitamin D levels and mortality appeared to be a U-shaped curve—meaning low vitamin D levels were associated with increased mortality. But so were levels that were too high, with the apparent sweet spot around 75 or 80 nanomoles per liter [nmol/L], based on individual studies like this one.

Why might higher D levels be associated with higher risk? Well, this was a population study; so, you can’t be sure which came first. Maybe the vitamin D led to higher risk. Or maybe higher risk led to the vitamin D, meaning maybe those who weren’t doing as well were prescribed vitamin D. Maybe it’s because these were Scandinavian studies, where they tend to take a lot of cod liver oil as the vitamin D supplement, one spoonful of which could exceed the tolerable upper daily limit of intake for vitamin A—which could have negative consequences, even if you don’t inject it into your penis.

I was surprised to see cod liver oil listed among the long list of things men have tried to inject into themselves because they felt they were coming up short, though may have ended up shorter after all the reconstructive surgery.

Anyways, the U-shaped curve is old data. An updated meta-analysis has shown that as population vitamin D levels go up, mortality appears to go down, and stay down—which is good, because then we don’t have to test to see if we’re hitting just the right level.

Routine testing of vitamin D levels is not recommended. Why? Well, it costs money, and in most people, levels come right up to where you want them with sufficient sun, or supplementation. So, they figure what’s the point?

But also because the test is not very good—results can be all over the place. What happens when you send a single sample to a thousand different labs around the world? You maybe expect a little variation, but not this. Results from the same sample ranged anywhere from less than 20 to over 100. So, depending on what lab your doctor sent your blood sample to, the results could have placed you here, or here; so, not necessarily very helpful.

So, what’s a safe dose that will likely get us to the purported optimal level? 1,000 units a day should get most people up to the target 75 nmol/L (which is 30 ng/mL). But by most people, they mean 50%. To get around 85% of the population up to 75 would require 2,000 a day. 2,000 international units a day would shift the curve from here to here. That way, we can take the average person into the desired range without fear of toxicity. You can take too much vitamin D, but you don’t tend to see problems until blood levels get up around 250, which would take consistent daily doses in excess of 10,000.

Note that if you’re overweight, you may want to take 3,000, or if obese, even more than that. If you’re over age 70, and not getting enough sun, it may take 3,500 units to get that same 85% chance of bumping your levels past the target. Again, no need for the average person to test and retest, since a few thousand a day should bring almost everyone up without risking toxicity.

Okay, but then why did the Institute of Medicine set the Recommended Daily Allowance at 600 to 800 units? In fact, official recommendations are all over the map—ranging from just 200 a day, all the way up to 10,000 a day. I’ll try to cut through the confusion, next.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to Peter Rosbjerg via flickr.

Doctor's Note

For an exploration of the purported links between vitamin D and obesity, diabetes, and hypertension, see my video Do Vitamin D Supplements Help with Diabetes, Weight Loss, and Blood Pressure?.

The “extra doughnut” effect can explain How Diet Soda Could Make Us Gain Weight.

You may also be interested in:

After all that work plowing through the science, the same 2,000 IU per day recommendation I made in 2011 remains: https://nutritionfacts.org/2011/09/12/dr-gregers-2011-optimum-nutrition-recommendations/

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

The original videos aired on July 1st 2016 and July 4th 2016.

113 responses to “Flashback Friday: Will You Live Longer if You Take Vitamin D Supplements & How Much Should You Take?

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  1. I’m pleased that Vitamin D has come around again, as I have a few questions that I’ve been unable to find the answers for.
    I understand that, whilst topping up on sunshine, we should avoid tanning as this indicates sun-damage to the skin, so ideally we should spend a period of time in the sun that just avoids tanning. Makes sense.
    1) How much sun is it safe to have, at midday at the equator?
    As the tropical sun is so very intense at midday, if I spend 5-10 minutes in full sun, assuming this is insufficient time for me to tan, then will this harsh sunlight actually still be causing my skin any damage? Would it be safer to spend a longer time in full sun at 3pm ?
    In addition to this, there must also be a huge difference in being outdoors with exposed arms and face, compared with sunbathing on a lounger in swimwear.
    2) Is there a simple calculation that links % of exposed skin with duration of sun exposure required?
    And as for vitamin D tablets –
    3) It sounds ideal to take 1 x 2000unit/day, but is it better to take half the amount twice per day? And what about double the amount each alternate day – is that still as beneficial?
    Thanks. :-)

    1. NutritionChat,

      One of my sisters was fond of saying: “Tanning is the process of turning skin into leather.” She was a redhead, and burned and freckled only. Sadly, we all got serious sunburns as kids, which does not bode well for us now as senior citizens.

      That said, I read a comment from a dermatologist in Australia who told his clients, upon their diagnosis of skin cancer (basal cell and squamous cell only, not melanoma): “Congratulations! You now have a longer life expectancy than those without skin cancer!” The reason being that sunlight has multiple health benefits, beyond just making vitamin D. Especially on our arteries.

      eg: “ Researchers have shown that when our skin is exposed to the sun’s rays, a compound [later said to be nitric oxide] is released in our blood vessels that helps lower blood pressure.

      The findings suggest that exposure to sunlight improves health overall, because the benefits of reducing blood pressure far outweigh the risk of developing skin cancer.” (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130507195807.htm)

      So I wonder what an optimal dose of daily sunlight for overall health is, and when and how one can obtain it. I would assume it would be low enough to decrease the risk of skin cancer, but high enough to make vitamin D and provide other health benefits. Presumably not all of which are known.

    2. Nutritionchat.net

      Dr. Greger has some videos and blogs and he even has a Vitamin D Dr. Greger Wiki page.

      It depends on your age, your skin color, your BMI, and the latitude where you live, your diet, and the time of year.

      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-optimal-dose-of-vitamin-d-based-on-natural-levels/

      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-best-way-to-get-vitamin-d-sun-supplements-or-salons/

      https://nutritionfacts.org/2011/09/12/dr-gregers-2011-optimum-nutrition-recommendations/

      Dr. Greger said that years ago he had a test where he found out that he had the levels so low that they were more like that of an institutionalized person.

      1. Good Morning Fred Lehmann from Pretoria South Africa here. I have a light skin type and burn easily in sun and take Vitamin D3 Supplement Powder. my concern is that I may take more than recommended dosage. Like every day if it is accumulated. Is it dangerous if taken more than allowed? and what is the limit?
        May I use this opportunity to thank you, Dr Greger and the Team for the Wonderful work you do, the way you Communicate it and for the GIFT of sharing it with us!
        May you have even greater success and wider acceptance to use Plant based Products. I try to follow as much of the advise given in the Books and Videos

        1. Sun derived vitamin D has been shown to be superior to supplements in preventing disease and premature death. Burning comes from excess sun exposure. I’m light skinned and live in Hawaii. I lay out in the sun at noon for about 7 minutes front and 7 minutes on my back with swim trunks on every day. That raises my blood levels of vitamin D into the normal range. I never burn with these short time periods. You just need to find the right time for you and your latitude. That said, there are certain genetic conditions that preclude any sun exposure, but they are quite rare. Also, some medications will sensitize you to sun exposure (tetracycline) so if you’re not sure, you should ask your doctor. There is a limit to how much you’d want to supplement with Vitamin D, so again, best to talk to your doctor.

    3. NutritionChat.net, There’s no benefit to splitting your daily dose of vitamin D. Taking 2,000 IU per day may be preferable to taking 4,000 IU every other day, but I doubt it’s a big deal

    4. An actual doctor would know that vit D production from sunlight varies widely from genetics, race, age, and how much sunscreen the person is wearing to prevent skin damage.

      1. Thanks everyone for your replies and suggestions, although I’m still unsure about midday tropical sun as melanoma in countries like Australia is a big problem.

        1) & 2) – The UV rays in sunlight are a “complete” carcinogen (class-1), meaning they initiate cancer and promote its progression.
        https://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-best-way-to-get-vitamin-d-sun-supplements-or-salons/

        3) I think I will continue to take 4000u every alternate day, for periods when I spend little time outdoors (like lockdown!)

      1. Thanks Joan. That’s interesting for sure, but I’m fair-skinned, hence my extra concern trying to balance Vitamin D with skin cancer risk.

        Despite the abundance of sunlight, ~75% of the Indian population suffers from Vitamin D deficiency.
        In urban Indian men, >1 h of ‘casual’ (face, forearm, hands) midday sunlight exposure daily was required to maintain serum 25(OH)D concentrations above 50 nmol/L.

  2. I started taking 5000 IU of Vegan D3. I bought about 3 bottles at a time with each pill having this much. I got this dose because that is what my
    Doctor suggested. Am I taking too much, or is it alright to finish these bottles and then after I finish them order bottles of pilsl of 2000 or 2500? I know this video says the upper limit is over 10,000, but many authorities say 4000 is the upper limit.

    1. The FNB concluded that serum 25(OH)D levels above approximately 125–150 nmol/L (50–60 ng/mL) should be avoided, as even lower serum levels (approximately 75–120 nmol/L or 30–48 ng/mL) are associated with increases in all-cause mortality, greater risk of cancer at some sites like the pancreas, greater risk of cardiovascular events, and more falls and fractures among the elderly. The FNB committee cited research which found that vitamin D intakes of 5,000 IU/day achieved serum 25(OH)D concentrations between 100–150 nmol/L (40–60 ng/mL), but no greater. Applying an uncertainty factor of 20% to this intake value gave a UL of 4,000 IU which the FNB applied to children aged 9 and older and adults, with corresponding lower amounts for younger children.’
      https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/#h8

    2. Daniel,

      Your doctor may have had a reason for saying that much. I believe that Dr. Greger said that when he writes his books and knows he will get zero sun that he takes 5000 IU. He said that he had a test where his levels were more like an institutionalized person.

      There are factors such as age, weight, diet, skin-color, latitude, and diet that can cause people to need to supplement more.

    3. Also, notice the sentence in the video:

      An updated meta-analysis has shown that as population vitamin D levels go up, mortality appears to go down, and stay down—which is good, because then we don’t have to test to see if we’re hitting just the right level.

      Sounds like you don’t have to worry all that much.

      There are people who take exceedingly high levels and I don’t believe that proved useful or good. But that was my take on the studies that I read and I don’t understand all of the nuances of approaching the studies. My friend’s doctor has her taking 50,000 iu per day and I ruffled her feathers challenging that, but other people come against me taking any at all and I maybe get a few minutes of sun a few times a week and it isn’t necessarily ever mid-day sun.

  3. For those interested in following the literature on vitamin D status and Covid19, at present either (weak) association studies and speculative reviews, I’ve been regularly updating a collection.

    1. HARD PASS, that is a great way to get a virus from a complete stranger. Why bother when any search engine does a better job?

      1. Rbites, Say what?

        Darryl has been posting on this website for many years and everyone of his references and posts has led me to verifiable trustworthy information. And I scrutinize everything I read very carefully no matter who posts it.

        1. To be fair, so much of the 70k papers that have come out this year are still in the preprint stage, not yet peer-reviewed and not accepted for publication. So much is just speculation by researchers arguing that their favorite compound is somehow relevant in treatment. Didier Raoult has been pushing hydroxychloroquine to be repurposed for viral diseases for 13 years, and it’s tragic how much research attention was diverted there due to his influence.

          Vitamin D is similar: yes its important for immune function, but there’s some familiar names rolling out new versions of their Vitamin D and immune system reviews for this event. So my stance is that, its all circumstantial evidence at this point, but its possible it has a benefit, and vitamin D deficiency might account for some of the racial disparities in Covid19 outcomes. I await the well conducted placebo controlled randomized trials.

  4. HI Can you comment further on the research I have read about excess Vitamin D, causing depletion of magnesium in the body? thank you

    1. I am not aware of any research that suggests vitamin D supplementation depletes magnesium. Some low carb/keto chiropractor has speculated that this might occur (but that’s hardly research). Can you cite any studies that show this?

      This animal study below suggests that vitamin D supplementation actually increases magnesium absorption.

      https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7669504/

    2. lisaschicker,

      From what I have read, Vitamin D can improve your body’s calcium absorption and calcium levels have an influence on how you absorb magnesium.

      But also Vitamin D’s bioavailability depends on magnesium. The enzymes in the liver and kidneys that enable vitamin D metabolism can’t work without sufficient levels of Magnesium.

    3. Hi Lisaschocker,
      Thanks for your question. Researchers at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center in Tennessee say that magnesium raises levels of vitamin D in people who need more of that substance and lowers levels among those who have too much of the vitamin in their system. So they work well together.

      The researchers reached their conclusions after conducting a randomized clinical trial involving 250 people considered at risk of colorectal cancer.
      https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/108/6/1249/5239886

    4. Because magnesium is used in vitamin D metabolism, some researchers theorize that supplementing with high levels of vitamin D could cause an even greater magnesium deficiency in an already deficient population.

      It is a theory.

    1. Hi Mei,
      Dr Greger mention that within 30 minutes of exposure to the ultraviolet rays in sunlight, you can get a significant drop in blood pressure and improvement in artery function, thanks to a burst of nitric oxide-releasing compounds that flow into your bloodstream. You can even measure the nitric oxide gas, gassing straight off of the skin. Of course, you have to eat greens or beets in the first place for this to happen, but that combo of greens and sunlight may help explain some of the protection that plant-based eaters experience.

      Morning sun exposure may help those with seasonal affective disorder, as well as improve the mood of wheelchair-bound nursing home residents. I’ve talked about the benefits of avoiding light at night, but underexposure to daytime sunlight may also affect our melatonin levels—which doesn’t just regulate our circadian rhythms, but may also be helpful in the prevention of cancer, and other diseases.
      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-best-way-to-get-vitamin-d-sun-supplements-or-salons/

      1. There is always a burst of sunshine when Spring shows up.

        So, I guess that is the argument for salad for breakfast.

        Or maybe not. I wonder how close to the sunlight you need to eat the greens?

        It might be an argument for eating salad outdoors for lunch.

  5. PROBLEM:

    I was taking 400 IU of D3 4id and then 1000IU 2id and I found the skin on my knuckles HARDENING. I finally realized (I think) that the Wheat Germ Oil, lots of which I had been drinking to get Vitamin E, also contained a lot of D3. So I stopped the D3 capsules and now I only drink the Wheat Germ Oil for both E and D3. The skin on my knuckles is now soft again.

    Am I correct in surmising that Wheat Germ Oil contains sufficient quantities of both D3 and E?

    1. Sydney,

      Skin can harden at some times of the year, particularly the Summer, so it could possibly be the time of year more than the Vitamin D supplement.

      Wheat Germ oil gets Vitamin D3 by being exposed to UV so the levels will vary.

      I throw up taking oil.

      Luckily, I can get Vitamin E through things like butternut squash, tomatoes, mango, broccoli, spinach, kale, nuts, seeds, avocado, and chickpeas

    2. Sydney,

      I guess that since even if you are getting excess D through sunshine, your knuckle skin can temporarily harden, that you may be right that you are already getting enough.

      I wonder how accurate hard-skinned knuckles would be as the body’s way of saying, “No thank you, I am full of Vitamin D now.”

      I guess I could ask my friend who takes 50,000 IU if she has hard knuckles.

      I don’t have them and I take more than 2,000 IU, but way less than 50,000 IU.

      1. I am also wondering about the Vitamin D lotions. I read that you can get calories from the various oils that you put on your skin and that you can absorb vitamins that way.

        It seems symbolically interesting to me to rub Vitamin D on the skin. (Some of us hate taking pills.)

        I had used topical Magnesium (but it stung)

        The calorie thing caused me to worry that I might also get some of the other anti-benefits of oils.

        But I did see one oil that had a few of the supplements that I take.

        I don’t trust dosing that way and I don’t really trust that it won’t end up being liquid viagra or prozac or some creepy cockroach oil or something like that, but it just did sound conceptually interesting to me.

  6. Living in the upper Northern Hemisphere we get alot of sun in the summer months but not in the winter. What’s a good time of the year to start supplementing D3 to keep levels up thru winter?

    1. Hi David, Dr Greger has these recommendation. Thanks to Deb for sharing the link too. Here are my vitamin D recommendations for those in the northern hemisphere:

      Below approximately 30° latitude (south of Los Angeles/Dallas/Atlanta/Cairo)
      15-30 minutes of midday sun (15 for those with lighter skin; 30 for those with darker skin)
      or 2,000 IU supplemental vitamin D daily
      Between 30° latitude (sample cities above) & 40°latitude (Portland/Chicago/Boston/Rome/Beijing)
      From February through November
      15-30 minutes of midday sun (15 for those with lighter skin; 30 for those with darker skin)
      or 2,000 IU supplemental vitamin D daily
      From December through January
      2,000 IU supplemental vitamin D daily
      Between 40° latitude (sample cities above) & 50° latitude (Edmonton/London/Berlin/Moscow)
      From March through October
      15-30 minutes of midday sun (15 for those with lighter skin; 30 for those with darker skin)
      or 2,000 IU supplemental vitamin D daily
      From November through February
      2,000 IU supplemental vitamin D daily
      Above approximately 50° latitude (north of Edmonton/London/Berlin/Moscow)
      From April through September (or even briefer above 60°latitude (Anchorage/Stockholm)
      15-30 minutes of midday sun (15 for those with lighter skin; 30 for those with darker skin)
      or 2,000 IU supplemental vitamin D daily
      From October through March (or even longer above 60°latitude (Anchorage/Stockholm)
      2,000 IU supplemental vitamin D daily
      https://nutritionfacts.org/2013/08/01/vitamin-d-from-mushrooms-sun-or-supplements/

      1. Hello, thanks for the information. Do you happen to know the best time to take vitamin d supplement, ie with, before or after food as I have read that stomach acid can interfere with Vitamin D. The bottle I have just says take in accordance with health practitioner instructions, but my doctor didn’t give any and just said to take over the counter vitamin D.

  7. I take D3 at 2000 IU per day–usually. I can experience severe stiffness in muscles and joints, more so in the winter months. I suspect this is a form of age related (60 y.o.) arthritis. I’m aware that seniors can lose the ability to absorb Vitamin D into their muscles. This may cause stiffness. I get plenty of sunlight, when available, in winter months. I also do stretching exercises, walk and have been sucessful at recovering some running ability.

    Off topic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dz5WE3hgvBY
    This is a link to: Nova: The Breakdown of COVID 19.

    1. Dan,

      Is the stiffness even with the sunshine you get, plus the supplement?

      I watched the Nova link.

      Honestly, I am quite discouraged about the public response to COVID. My friend from Maine, just sent her daughter to Florida because she thinks it is just a hyped up scam. She also pre-set a boundary of her saying that and not wanting one sentence of response.

      People get authoritative and are not at all open to discussions about anything and they are less informed because of that.

      It doesn’t matter, because her daughter has zero immune system and she is in the school system and both her and her daughter get every single cold and flu that ever happens year after year after year and they aren’t going to listen even if I did speak and I do now feel alienated because I am in a society that won’t look at things from both directions. She is on Dr. Popper and the sports announcers team and will not look at the CDC or the WHO or the hospitals or the death rate.

      I already just feel alienated from them on so many subjects and I guess that is a side effect from researching everything from both sides every single day.

      The sports announcer’s main thing is to stop people from talking about COVID so that people can just die like the flu without scaring anybody. A whole team may be positive and the lag time for the other teams they interacted with may mean that it will have already spread like wildfire, but he said, “Stop making a big deal about it. If people would just stop talking about it, then it would just be like the flu.”

      Well, I guess we will see what happens when it starts reading the owners and the other old guys on the teams.

      1. Deb, The CDC now wants the schools open! The advantages of opening them outweigh any advantage of keeping them closed.

        “The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Congress on Friday of “significant public health consequences” if schools don’t reopen in the fall.

        Millions of children get nutritional and mental health services at schools, CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield told a House Select Subcommittee hearing on containing the coronavirus outbreak. He said school reopenings to be done “smartly.”

        It’s important to realize that it’s in the public health’s best interest for K-12 students to get back into face-to-face learning,” Redfield testified. “There’s really very significant public health consequences of the school closure.”

        https://www.cnbc.com/2020/07/31/cdc-warns-congress-of-significant-public-health-consequences-if-schools-dont-reopen-in-the-fall.html

        1. Darwin Galt,

          “The advantages of opening them outweigh any advantage of keeping them closed.”

          Advantages to whom?

          I think it is not possible to compare the advantages of re-opening schools in a pandemic with how schools operated and performed before the pandemic. It’s a false equivalence.

          I wonder about teachers. I know older teachers aren’t eager to return. What happens when someone in a class tests positive for Covid-19? Someone on the staff? And that includes kitchen staff, assistants, janitors, everybody, substitute teachers. (I know at least one substitute who doesn’t plan to do that any more.)

          What does “face-to-face” learning look like with masks, social distancing, hand washing and sanitizers, etc? Recess, for younger kids? What does re-opening “smartly” mean? Look like? How does it function?

          1. Dr J, It’s not a comparison between a “before” and an “after”. It’s a comparison between a “closed” school system and a “modified open” school system. I’m just reporting here to Deb what the CDC is now saying. Deb said her friend would not listen to the CDC. Maybe she is now listening to the CDC. Who knows.

            And no need to worry. The virus hysteria will be over in mid-November … maybe ;-)

            https://amgreatness.com/2020/07/30/the-misery-compact/

            1. Darwin Galt,

              There is no “virus hysteria.” It’s real, and It’s dangerous and deadly: it’s damaging some survivors long-term, as well as killing others. 150,000+ fatalities does NOT equal HYSTERIA. To say otherwise is ignorant or cruel.

              I have a friend, a retired teacher who will no longer substitute teach due to concerns about this virus, say that schools have been distributing food since March. And that health care is available in neighborhood clinics. (Though no doubt not nearly enough.) Many schools don’t even have a school nurse; how are they providing health care?

              Perhaps some schools may somewhat safely re-open. But you have not addressed even one of my questions. Other than to refer to this pandemic as “virus hysteria.” If you have answers, you could share them with the rest of us, with supporting evidence.

          2. Darwin,

            I have read that from the CDC and Dr J., I agree with you.

            There are places where there are so few cases that it doesn’t matter but children are going to end up killing their parents and grandparents and teachers and that may impact the rest of their lives.

            They might have their hearts damaged and might have Misc or might have the version with psychotic breaks.

            They might be like the children who are speaking out about how terrified they are that they and their parents have tested positive.

            There was an article today that the USA is not likely to have the same type of easy school year as Seeden or other countries because we are starting with more cases and more comorbidities.

            The children here have been being fed (which is one of their arguments) and suicide rates among school-aged children is lower when they aren’t in school, so once the stress of going back is added on, the suicides are likely to start again.

            Suicide is one of their arguments but the rates were so low during lock down and these children are going back to schools where they won’t be allowed to socialize normally at all.

            The only logic that they used that stands up is that parents have to eventually go to work (unemployment lasts until December) but the families have been making more than half of them have ever made and abuse drops 10%when even $1 is added to minimum wage.

            The main logic is that teachers aren’t turning in abusive parents at the same rate but doctors are turning them in.

            There are 35% fewer parents being turned in for abuse, but the families are being paid good unemployment and are being fed and that might already bring the rates down 10%.

            I guess I am going to look up how many parents are turned in over the course of 6 months to a year.

            1. Darwin,

              I will add the reality that nobody will be forcing any parents to send their kids to school, except the foster kids, so parents abusing kids can just keep them home anyway.

              Plus, the teachers were still seeing most of the children online.

              Schools bought all this technology to do online classes, spending 54 million in one place.

              Teachers were watching their kids probably more closely with the online meetings.

                1. I started looking up abuse statistics and when there is economic hardship the number of abuse cases go up 1.9 fold. Once the unemployment goes away, the abuse might increase again.

                  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5371750/#!po=0.819672

                  But minorities are the most reported on and are way more likely to be evaluated as abusers and when the cases are medically evaluated, doctors are more likely to do a process to have it called abuse.

                  Also, when I looked up abuse and neglect by age, by far, the most cases are infants and toddlers. That obviously won’t be impacted by schools opening.

                    1. Also, I will add that the kids who are removed from their parents house are often put in foster care and at least 28% are abused in that setting, too, and the neglect of foster kids education is so high that it is in the 70+% who don’t get basic reading and writing.

                      I have a community of friends who were abused as children and we had an interesting conversation about how happy all of us were that we never became foster children or orphans because then you tend to lose all of your support systems.

                      We looked up how those groups fared in adulthood versus the fact that so many children are abused but the ones ripped from their families fare worse.

                      Yes, they may have also been more abused or they may have been Native American or Black or another minority.

                    2. The fact that parents abused and neglect out of poverty and the abuse and neglect goes down when they have money and yet foster families neglect 75% of the time and they believe the abuse rate to be much higher than the 28% statistic because the foster kids are afraid to talk, I guess I would rather help the parents get financially stronger because they tend to actually love their kids.

                    3. The concept that the kids removed from families are 60% likely to become prisoners or homeless and we find ways to budget for that…

                      But low income housing and increases in food stamps and cheaper child day care for single mothers and parenting classes and free methadone for people with addiction might be the real answers.

                      But, hey, let’s just open the schools during a pandemic and see if the minorities who are more likely to be reported are also more likely to die from COVID-19 and enter foster care and be abused anyway.

                      Oh yeah, they were more likely to be turned in for neglect from poverty.

                      And the kid is just as likely to be neglected after being rescued.

                    4. They are much more likely to be removed for neglect but will be placed somewhere they are 28%+ likely to be abused on top of neglect.

                      That is my math.

                    5. Near the beginning of Covid a woman had her child removed because she was a single mother and left the child alone to go shopping.

                      Unless she has disdain for the child, they won’t be healthier going to foster care.

                      Single mothers need more guidance about what to do with their kids.

          1. Barb, Thank you for posting the link. I had heard about this doctor, but had not seen this particular interview. This is one brave woman!

            I also watched a video about the “White Coat Doctors” who have front line patient cases that look encouraging regarding a “cure”. But the video was censored on all the video hosting websites, so I can’t find it now to post a link here. It’s frightening to hear about all the censorship taking place in the USA today.

      2. Deb,
        I’m really just flying by the seat of my pants on my stiffness, but I’m thinking now it may be a form or arthritis. I don’t go to the doctor and I’ve not had any testing done. I don’t take drugs. I am staying consistent with Vitamin D and I make sure to get enough B-12. I do much better in the summer months which has me guessing there could be a circadian component at play. In the winter, I sleep so much I think I am hibernating. I am currently sleeping quite a bit. My mood is good. I’m consuming a good amount of calories, something I learned to do a few winters ago when I was cold, slow and sleepy. I turn up the heat in the winter and bundle warmly. I used to have the strength of an ox and ten wild horses. I would slam basketballs off the back board from the other end of the court. I would swim the length of a competition pool under water. Now, I struggle to do one push-up. I had a knee injury around 2012 which left me limping for years, but I still worked in my painting business. Now I walk normal and can work up a run after stretching and warming up. This fall I expect my flexibility to diminish and I will be back to just walking. I am happy to have made some recovery and willing to recover more.

        The Nova program on Covid-19 pointed out the virus will run it’s course, short of a vaccine that works. Herd immunity may be reached after one million deaths. There are that many deaths each year from just malaria. There are 1.5 million deaths, per year, from the #1 killer–food. It was good the program pointed out the source of pandemic viruses. Making changes here would be promising, but I’m not holding my breath.
        Of personal interest, the program pointed out the young, Chinese man, with no co-morbities, who had been to hell and back with the virus and is just glad to be here.

        1. Dan,

          I am glad that you are back to walking normally. I had an injury like that. I limped for a few years. My ICES-PEMF worked miracles for me. It brought the inflammation down almost overnight. For years, I had one leg swollen and one normal. Somehow the inflammation just came straight down after the pulsed magnet and never went back up and suddenly I could walk up and down the stairs normally and I could take my dog out on the snow and my foot and ankle suddenly had range of motion and flexibility. Boy, the years of not being able to walk properly really make me grateful for now.

          Dan,

          I am very aware of the malaria situation. I have supported a few missionaries who almost died in Africa from malaria. Right now, they are shepherding and trying to feed 211,000 people displaced by Islamic insurgents during the middle of a pandemic, while having a malaria season with a more complicated net and meds distribution, and still recovering from a drought with no water, and no food and no seeds, plus, having the HIV meds having a delayed schedule. They bring boatloads of things in, but I know that the needs are greater this year with the insurgency killing people. They have had missionaries murdered, but they are a love-oriented people. I have not gone there, but I have gone to see them when they do appeals in the USA and they tell stories of their young people throwing out there arms like the cross of Christ while angry mobs throw stones at them and the wife is getting older and those stones have affected her back, which makes sleeping on the ground harder. I respect them highly and know that I have to stop spending money so I can help them. Working on it.

          1. Dan,

            I guess what I am trying to say is that it is cumulative.

            Poor people are more affected by covid
            People with heart disease are more likely to die this year because of covid.

            People in Africa are struggling so much more because of having COVID added to malaria and AIDS and poverty and drought.

            The missionaries that I support build hospitals and schools and feed people and help with dealing with human waste and COVID caused them to have to quarantine a few times and they can’t do their projects as easily.

            Autistic kids may kill themselves from being socially isolated. Autistic kids die twice as much from the disease. Tonight, there was an article about a child with anxiety because he and his parents tested positive and autistic kids have killed themselves thinking they had it and group homes have high rates of death and doctors choose who to save with bias against people with handicaps, etc.

            It affects the vulnerable people left and right in a cumulative way.

                1. If that sports team has even a few people damage their heart with asymptomatic covid, that would be the real answer about schools and sports.

                  Are there sites to suggest Things like that?

            1. I am concerned that. Christians aren’t going to church and when they don’t tithe or give offerings, millions and millions of poor people may not get food or medicine or school supplies. I know that a lot of people sponsor children or families, but I can use the example of that one couple. They run orphanages and feed over 10,000 children every single day. They have their own ship to bring in food and clean water and just not being able to have that ship running affects hundreds of thousands of people.

              1. I found out that there are farm communities that sent tractors and plows and seeds on top of food and they have been starting farms over there.

                That made me happy.

          2. Deb,
            I’m glad the magnets worked for your knee injury. Again, I am clueless as to how healing takes place. I’ve seen studies where placebo is just as good or better for knee injuries. The same for stents and other procedures. Runner’s World published a study showing people with joint injuries who ran had better joint health than those who didn’t. This gave me the excuse to get back in to some running. I feel better now. I run up a hill behind my place and on an abandoned bridge.

            I will confess to sticking my head in the sand about all of the world’s ills. I know many of the statistics. There is a claim that 1 in 4 kids go hungry in my state. I think some of the rush to get schools running again is to get needed services back in place. Fumbles cited a CDC report where 50 % of our population will need mental health services. A few years ago the CDC reported half of the males, in one cohort, will acquire AIDS. Then there is increasing rates of suicides and the epidemic of opiod deaths. Oh, and then a pandemic like COVID-19 comes along. What I’ve mentioned so far is just skipping across the surface. I just try to live my life in peace and remain hopeful. I think it is important to support good causes and try to make a difference.

      3. “The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubt, while the stupid people are full of confidence.”

        1. That is a good quote.

          It brings me back to Dr Greger talking about how 90% of doctors don’t understand statistics but the more arrogantly certain they were, the more ikey they were to be wrong.

        2. Fumbles, Thanks for that quote. I was always wondering why I tend to doubt everything I read. Now I have an explanation ;-)

      4. Deb,

        Is the stiffness even with the sunshine you get, plus the supplement?

        Mowing and trimming the lawn yesterday left me a bit sore and stiff, even though I’ve been getting lots of sunshine and supplementing with Vitamin D. I was able to do my walking and some running this morning.

  8. I guess I am still learning about the culture wars and how they will affect every single thing in our lives.

    I ended up wondering where director Michael Apted got in the 7 Up series and if any of them will have died from COVID.

    I found out that he got up to 63 Up.

    I guess I am going to just keep socially isolating and wondering about Lonie

    And let go of everybody else’s opinions and just enjoy the weekend and watch some documentaries.

    I thought I might go back to Roger and Me and see if it holds up, but 63 Up came out and they look cheerful this time.

    1. Deb,
      I’ve enjoyed following the 7 Up series. I’m guessing that with the challenges we are having in our lives that there will be rapid change in culture, technology and other phenomena. I can list some changes that I see so far:
      –I don’t shake hands with anyone anymore.
      –I’ve been using battery tools for years. There used to be electric cords.
      –My next auto will likely be battery powered.
      –I’ve been completely vegan for years. It is now known this is beneficial on many levels.
      –There is world wide Internet with communication every where and self learning and information available on just about all topics. Students are getting educations online.
      –The world has gotten smaller. I watch newscasts from other countries.
      –People are researching their own health care. The CDC has reported medical errors are responsible for 1 in 3 deaths.
      –Women predominate in many professions.
      –We’ve had a black president.
      –Gender recognition has made advances.
      –The old Cold War is over.
      –There is a world wide pandemic on the loose.
      –The Pentagon has released footage of UFO’s.
      –The way we do energy is rapidly changing.
      –We had (have) an opioid pandemic that was initiated by drug companies.
      –Our social fabric is changing (coming apart).
      –Debt far exceeds revenue and is growing exponentially.
      –We are swimming in our polution. Poor air quality kills millions of life forms.
      –We are in the Anthropocene Era where species are rapidly disapearing.

      *I will stop here to take a break. I imagine this list could go on and on. . . and on.

      1. Changes (cont.):

        –AI is rapidly progressing. Elon Musk has said we are summoning the devii. Deep AI, perhaps some years off, will be more intelligent than the world population combined.
        –The mission to Mars has begun.
        –Astronomy can see back to the Big Bang. Some astronomers think Big Bangs could be champaign bubbles effervesing in an infinite, cosmic ocean.
        –3D printing has been around for years. All kinds of objects can be 3D printed, including submarines and body parts.
        –The brain, the most complex organ known, is largely a mystery, as is consciousness.
        –Quantum physicists say there are many dimensions beyond our 3D world, and we are in those dimensions, but not the same person.
        –The components of nutrition, water, fat, carbohydrates, proteins and minerals are hotly debated in many nutrition schools of thought. Food tops the list as the #1 cause of death. Some ways it is produced is killing our planet.

  9. I was told by my doctor to supplement with Vitamin D. The bottle doesn’t give any instructions when to take it and I have read conflicting reports about taking before food, with food or after food. Can anyone please answer this for me?

      1. All foods contain fat. That’s why the standard advice is to take vitamins etc with meals.

        Whether concentrated fats or very high fat foods are necessary or desirable in all cases is moot.

        1. Tom,

          I won’t disagree.

          I have never looked up the fat of watermelon.

          But I am trusting that fruitarians get enough fat.

          So you would get enough fat in steamed spinach to absorb plenty of vitamin D?

          1. Deb

            I have no idea. Too much fat can apparently hinder vitamin D absorption though. However, it’s possible that existing fat stores may even facilitate absorption even if you take no fat with your vitamin D.

            According to this study, you are still going to get more or less the same plasma vitamin D levels with supplements whether you take them with fat or without.
            https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23427007/

            There’s even some reason to think that some fats actively impair vitamin D absorption.

            I personally don’t worry about taking fats with meals or supplements, other than Dr G’s marine omega 3 supplement recommendation that is..We will absorb some vitamin D dietary fat or no dietary fat. Low fat consumption and low dietary vitamin D idn’t seem to do the Okinawans on their traditional diet much harm.

            Also, there is reason to think that high fat diets and obesity are risk factors for cancer. This below might be a reason why.
            https://www.thedonnellycentre.utoronto.ca/news/when-cancer-cells-cant-make-their-own-fat-they-eat-more-it-donnelly-study-finds

            To be honest, I largely avoid fats even so-called healthy fats …. even if they supposed to boost absorption of this or that. The one exception is the daily 250 mg on marine omega 3s.

        2. B-12 is supposed to be taken on an empty stomach. I keep my tank topped off but maybe some of it gets through. Somewhere I heard that Vitamin D is not a vitamin, but a hormone.

    1. Although you received some plausible approaches from others, it appears the science does not indicate that a definite answer. Check out these scholarly reviews:
      Factors influencing the absorption of vitamin D in GIT: an overview https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5643801/ “More supplementary studies are required to understand the effect of food amount on bioavailability of vitamin D.”
      Vitamin D bioavailability: state of the art https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24915331/ “…The main conclusions are:…(iii) the amount of fat with which vitamin D is ingested does not seem to significantly modify the bioavailability of vitamin D3, (iv) the food matrix has apparently little effect on vitamin D bioavailability…In conclusion, further studies are needed to improve our knowledge of factors affecting vitamin D absorption efficiency…”
      Is seems more research is needed to answer your question.Some studies do indicate taking Vit D with food and certainly that approach can work, but it’s not clear if foods with high fat enhance absorption.

  10. This is supported by the observation that Maasai herders and Hadza tribesmen maintained serum 25(OH)D in the range of 40–60 ng/mL (100–150 nmol/L) [12,13]. To maintain these blood levels, a person would require ingesting approximately 4000–6000 IUs daily. This would therefore maintain circulating levels of vitamin D in the range of 20–40 ng/mL (50–100 nmol/L). The observation that in vitro vitamin D3 was much more effective than either 25(OH)D3 or 1,25(OH)2D3 in stabilizing endothelial membranes thereby reducing inflammation may help explain the interesting clinical observations that extremely high doses of vitamin D have been effective in treating or at least reducing symptoms of some autoimmune disorders including psoriasis, vitiligo, and multiple sclerosis [37,85]. The observation that children with congenital autosomal recessive ichthyosis and epidermolytic ichthyosis had a dramatic improvement in their skin disease when treated with 60,000 IUs of vitamin D once a day for 10 days adds strength to the argument that vitamin D itself may have its own important role in the maintenance of good health [199]. There are still open questions that need to be further investigated in order to take full advantage of the effect of vitamin D on the immune system for clinical practice. The bottom line is that there is no downside to increasing our intake of vitamin D to maintain serum 25(OH)D at at least 30 ng/mL (75 nmol/L), and preferably at 40–60 ng/mL (100–150 nmol/L) to achieve optimal overall health benefits of vitamin D.

    https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/12/7/2097/htm

    2000 IU/day may be too conservative.

    1. June,

      You’re on the mark and indeed the key words here are “it depends” when it comes to doses. One of the large-scale studies evaluated people taking vitamin d with or without a fat containing meal and the results were substantially different.

      Also, as we move inside with many studies claiming 90% indoors time for most people daily the need for supplementation is obviously on the table. My clinical experience has shown results that ranged from a low intake of 2K IU/d that was adequate to the higher levels of 10K IU/d.

      As a note this could be 2nd to the genetic variations seen in vitamin receptor SNP’s testing. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2879406/, time of ingestion as well as lipids present coupled with seasonal variations…… you get the idea. By being conservative we may be safer but not effective.

      Test don’t guess ! We are all so different metabolically……

      Dr. Alan Kadish moderator for Dr. Greger http://www.Centerofhealth.com

        1. Dr Kadish, I second Marilyn’s comment. Real world experience with individuals is extremely valuable. Theory and statistics are nice to get in the right “ball park”, but with the complexity of the human body, science has just begun to understand all the interrelated factors involved.

      1. ‘The mean 12-hour increments in vitamin D3 , after adjusting for age and sex, were 200.9 nmol/L in the no-meal group, 207.4 nmol/L in the high-fat meal group, and 241.1 nmol/L in the low-fat meal group (p = 0.038), with the increase in the low-fat group being significantly greater than the increases in the other two groups. However, increments in 25(OH)D levels at 30 and 90 days did not differ significantly in the three groups. ‘
        https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23427007/

        In this area as elsewhere, short term effects may not be a reliable guide to longer term effects.

  11. PCRM posted an interview with a Whole Food Plant-Based eater who went through COVID

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIbLnE_HvG0

    Also, for those who have children, there have been outbreaks with children recently.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/children-staff-georgia-overnight-camp-test-positive-coronavirus-cdc-says-n1235503

    A lot of states, young children make up over 10% of the cases.

    https://www.wcnc.com/article/news/health/coronavirus/covid-19-cases-in-kids-are-on-the-rise-in-north-carolina/275-1bc75e2c-b6b4-4471-a7da-a80630e92698

    And if you have children with autism or disability, they are dying at a higher level and there may be bias against caring for people with disability. Doctors have chosen not to put disabled people on ventilators.

    https://www.npr.org/2020/07/31/896882268/one-mans-covid-19-death-raises-the-worst-fears-of-many-people-with-disabilities

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/sfrost/2020/07/06/deadly-discrimination/#6eebb29a2b93

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8487799/Death-rates-people-learning-disabilities-autism-DOUBLED-Covid-19-crisis.html

    1. Also, the Arizona detention center situation shows that young people can spread it on the bus.

      https://www.azmirror.com/2020/07/08/covid-19-outbreaks-in-az-child-detention-centers-worry-advocates/

      And, foster care is one of those groups that states are deciding about and some states they won’t be able to be homeschooled and that might be good since most of them never learn to read or write and are statistically likely to end up homeless.

      https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-child-welfare/2020/07/29/arizona-foster-kids-must-attend-school-in-person-department-child-safety-says/5448118002/

  12. I have been worried about the school year, but I guess we are going to get scientific answers about COVID.

    Bexar County, Florida, Utah, North Carolina, Georgia.

    We will know soon how well kids get it and how much they spread it to teachers and principals and to their parents and grandparents.

    Many of the teachers that I know are not following it even.

    They just feel like the kids are pretty safe and they want to be back in the classrooms rather than online.

    Two of them are special ed teachers and they worry about the autistic kids being at home too long where I worry about the disabled kids being twice as likely to die.

    I don’t know if I will turn out to be right. I just hate that as a society we can’t have a more civilized discussion of these things.

  13. I think that these organisations have a voluntary code which requires social media to remove false claims about covide ‘cures’. It seems like a good idea given the number of myths, crackpot claims and claims made without credible evidence regarding eg cancer. Covid 19 also appears to have drawn out quacks, cranks and crackpots in the thousands. We’ll probably never know how many people have died because of such misinformation.

    The video you refer to appears to have been of the crackpot variety.
    https://www.ctvnews.ca/health/coronavirus/social-media-giants-remove-viral-video-with-false-coronavirus-claims-that-trump-retweeted-1.5043342

    1. Not sure why this is here. It was intended as a response to Darwin’s earlier post expressing concern about censorship.

  14. Anica,

    I’m assuming your referring to this study https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21716260/ ? Keep in mind that they were using a receptor stimulator, not vitamin d per se. There are other suggestive studies such as the one at: https://academic.oup.com/ndt/article/33/12/2139/4985804 which suggested that increased vitamin d has a negative direct effect on eGFR.

    There are toxicity levels that can be achieved with excessive vitamin d and influence the kidneys. A singular patient based outcry from Canada, https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/911444 is an extreme example. Keep in mind that the subject was not repeatedly tested and took an excessive amount of vitamin d supplementation for years, then coupled with extensive sun exposure in south east Asia.

    The take home message should be that regular testing and using an appropriate amount of vitamin d is both prudent and different for each of us. There is no one level that is consistent for any population given the multitude of variations, genetically, dietarily, or via exposure.

    Dr. Alan Kadish moderator for Dr. Greger http://www.Centerofhealth.com

  15. Dr, Greger, have you seen fat fiction? I would appreciate a response to the poorly and half truth support in this movie focused on the benefits of the Keto diet!!!

    1. In my opinion, the only thing we have to remember is that well founded high quality studies demonstrate that an animal based keto diet increases the risk of premature death by 31%. Unless I’m missing something, I can’t think of ANY possible purported benefit of a keto diet that would outweigh the risk of death.

  16. I ended up looking up racism and teachers and clinicians turning in minorities for abuse and neglect at a different level, even when there are similar circumstances and similar injuries.

    It turns out that I am not the only one thinking that we end up turning parents into criminals and have it become harder for them to find jobs and we probably are culturally-biased and racially biased and have different concepts of raising children and of what is neglect and what is abuse and what is disciplining children, etc.

    I ended up finding some interesting articles and what I am going to say is that mandated reporting is similar to the police in dealing with the black communities. What are we going to do? And the answer is that with police, we don’t back up to the training and methods of policing that the officers are taught to use and we don’t back up to the laws themselves. Do we want people arrested and have their lifetime of working and parenting affected by the rules being designed by whites who have things that maybe are biased against minority cultures in the first place? I already know that when talk about the terrifying failure of foster care, people will end up fixing that and not backing up and help the families. Fixing prisons, but not backing up to the fact that the prisons are where poor people and foster children and homeless people and PTSD vets ALSO end up, along with the prisoners. They go there sometimes on purpose because they can’t find jobs or food or because a child wants to be with their parent who is imprisoned. Sometimes for piddly stupid things. Sometimes for addiction. Sometimes for mental illness. Sometimes for stealing diapers. (Yes, that is a real one) Mostly, they are poor and don’t have safe housing or earning potential and they also lack education, lack discipline because they never learned discipline, have things like insulin resistance causing them to be passive and have learned helplessness from institutionalization.

    Yes, I am not as eager as the CDC for that process to come back. I tend to want to speak, “Black Lives Matter” over the mandated reporting process, too.

    I didn’t know that someone else had ever even thought about it. It is humbling that every thought I ever have has been studied throughout time.

    https://medium.com/race-law-a-critical-analysis/systemic-racism-in-child-abuse-reporting-by-clinicians-f2fec0f94ee6

    Refusing to be Complicit in our Prison Nation: Teachers Rethinking Mandated Reporting
    https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/194554949.pdf

    https://www.nichq.org/insight/our-systems-meant-help-are-hurting-black-families

    https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubpdfs/racial_disproportionality.pdf

    Anyway, don’t use that system to make it seem like we need to open schools to make the majority-minority children who will be removed “safer” when they will be more likely to lose their families and also more likely to die from COVID and also more likely to end up accidentally killing their loved ones, plus, they are more likely to already be foster kids and where the privileged children get to choose whether to go to school or not, they have already been called a category as if they are “an other” and that sticks with kids emotionally and they might be twice as tormented this year already. Non-whites are dying more from COVID. Non-whites are more likely to have lost their jobs and had to be essential workers and more likely to have gone to the hospital. On top of that, there have been protests and the fear of authority is so strong already. They are more likely to be behind in education and, when that happens, they are more likely to have the teachers become more authoritative and meaner and they have the shame and anger from that. They are more likely to have a parent in prison and more likely to have a single-parent household and less likely to have role models and less likely to have someone helping them with their homework, and their family is more likely to not be able to afford school supplies and they are more likely to live in crime-filled areas and not to have vacations and they are more likely to get bullied by gangs and to be in areas where gangs compete and way, way, way more likely to have had a friend or sibling murdered.

    Plus, they are more likely to be in food deserts and to not have fruits and vegetables or toothpaste or shampoo or garbage bags.

    Even learning the history at all of the treatment of minorities in the USA is so traumatic for them and I know that because I watch it on PBS and Vox and it is traumatic for me.

    This is my vote to use this time to figure some of this out, rather than doing a political process at this time.

  17. I do wonder that the CDC is focused on the mandated reporting being lower as to how to proceed during a pandemic.

    Okay, so 50%+ of people are divorced. Vulnerable children are often being raised in single-parent homes with no grandparents and often do have one parent in prison, so what happens when Mommy or Daddy has to go to the hospital?

    Does the kid go straight into the foster care system where they are at least 28% likely to be abused and maybe 75% likely to have their education neglected?

    Or do we wait to see if their parent dies?

    Some of these people are in the ICU for up to 100 days.

    Am I the only person who has single mother friends?

  18. 65% of black children are being raised in single-parent homes.

    53% of Native Americans are being raised in single-parent homes.

    41% of Hispanic children are being raised in single-parent homes.

    You can’t tell me that opening schools might cause more problems for those vulnerable kids if their only parent gets sick.

    Even if they get sick for 2 weeks and they are more likely to be renters and are more likely to be evicted.

  19. By far, the highest amount of reported cases are neglect cases and may just involve poverty and lack of support systems.

    And yet, when we remove these kids, they are almost 30% more likely to be abused, and yet the experts aren’t as worried about those statistics and I mean, not just during COVID-19.

  20. I looked up the age the parents gave birth and blacks and Hispanics are much, much more likely to have children younger than age 15.to 24 and whites are much, much, much more likely to wait to have children between the ages of 25 to 34.

    I wonder how much of the real abuse comes from the maturity of 14-year-olds trying to figure out how to raise children as single parents on $9000 to $12,000 per year.

    And yet, we will worry about not being able to turn them in, rather than starting an effort to support them during these times.

  21. I watched the PBS special where women intentionally went to jail to get exposure for the cause.

    I know that people go for that, for food, to get out of the cold, because they can’t find jobs, etc.

    But when I was reading about it, I came across this article and they said that all those reasons and things like just to see what it is like are reasons, but 80% we’re there because of drug use.

    When it is that high, you might as well turn the prison into a rehab and not have these people have handcuffs come upon their Google searches.

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.businessinsider.com/jail-getting-arrested-deliberately-2018-3%3famp

  22. How many people are in their just to be with their friends or siblings or parents and now they can never get a job again.

    We have such a stupid system.

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