I have blogged before about the excellent results I obtained supplementing with Michaels Vitamin D3 lozenges. My levels boosted from a low of 65 or a high of 78 to an impressive 117. There is evidence supporting how even more important this need for Vitamin D is among the black population residing in the northern hemisphere. It appears that they have greater needs and suffer more from the lack of sunlight.
Researchers are now saying that not only is the 800 international units IU’s traditionally recommended inadequate but could be out by a factor of at least 10 meaning that any concerns one may have about the 5,000 IU’s that I take being too high are probably without foundation. Vitamin D3 deficiency is one of those conditions that seems to crop up time and time again when you look into various medical conditions, whether it be heart disease or breast cancer.
You can read about the study here http://www.creighton.edu/publicrelations/newscenter/news/2015/march2015/march172015/heaneyrdatoolownr031715/
After my drop in Homocysteine levels to a normal range after around 6 weeks of Vitamin B12, B6, B2 and Folate supplementation I decided to see if they would shoot back up if I came off the supplement. I spent 2.5 weeks without supplementing. Now I have to admit that I am not sure if this represents a length of time in which levels can be expected to rise but nevertheless I did expect to see some significant raise even if it was not back to the alarming level of 22 that I had recorded some 3 months ago. My number came in at 8.28, only slightly above what I recorded 2.5 weeks ago after a period of supplementing. Now I am not sure what this means other than I am now feeling a little suspicious of the original reading of 22. I am wondering whether the recording was an accurate figure or something went wrong with the testing. It does seem very high given that all of my other markers are in respectable ranges. I think under the circumstances I will resume vitamin B12 etc supplementation and then at some point in the next 6 months retest with the original test supplier Blue Horizon. The last two tests were with a different provider. If all test results are accurate then it does suggest, as many have testified, that getting a hold on Homocysteine levels is easily achieved with the right supplementation. The trick for most people is finding out in the first place that you should get it checked. Your cholesterol obsessed doctor is unlikely to mention it. I am also currently reading the book Could it be B12 which I can recommend. There seems to be a strong link between B12 deficiency and Alzheimer and Parkinson type symptoms particularly in older people. In fact there could be a direct link but of course proving this would require the kind of investment only the drug companies have and they are not going to go out of their way to prove a link between a simple vitamin supplement and possible assistance in the treatment of a common condition. A Swedish study found that seniors with low intake of B12 and Folate were twice as likely to develop Alzheimers as people with healthy B12 levels. Samples were taken before any signs of Alzheimers appeared which showed that the low B12 levels were not a result of the Alzheimers disease. There was also a Dutch study in which 2.400 subjects were tracked and those with high Homocysteine levels were twice as likely to break a hip. Increased levels of Osteoporosis as well as low B12 having an effect on balance were the likely reasons. Vegetarians are the most likely candidates for B12 deficiency due to the high content of B12 in meats.
The drug companies have got everybody obsessed with their cholesterol levels. Take a look at any of the heart related forums and someone will be asking if anyone knows of a statin that can get their cholesterol down to a negative number. The guy who first alerted the medical profession to the link between Homocysteine and heart disease did so in the late 1960’s but had his research grant withdrawn as a result as the system went all in on cholesterol and low fat. I only discovered the role of Homocysteine because it was a thrown in test when I had my LDL particle size tested. If it had not come back elevated I may never have learnt about it. Why has my doctor not suggested at some point in the last 24 months a routine test. Here is just one Pubmed research publication in which all cause mortality was increased 98% amongst the group with the highest levels.
When it comes to heart disease a number of areas seem to create disagreement of different degrees but none is splitting the community at the moment like the question of Saturate Fat. Some are saying that Saturated fat can actually be heart friendly whilst others are adamant that it should be limited. There was an interesting, albeit one sided program, on BBC radio recently which argued that despite headlines recently saying Sat’ Fat is good we should still limit it.
There is also the improvements in heart health in Finland who in the 70’s had probably the worse record for heart disease in the world. To get HD by the age of 50 was the norm’ out there, but a regional followed by a national program centred around amongst other things, lowering Sat’ Fat, has spawned remarkable improvements.
There are others who feel that the data that is meant to support Sat’ Fat as a major cause of HD is flawed and flimsy at best.
Zoe Harcombe makes a convincing case for why saturated fat is not the enemy wheras processed food and simple carb’s are at
Doctors like Dr Dean Ornish are sticking to their theory that reductions in Saturated fat is needed in order to reverse heart disease and here lies the problem. Population studies are difficult to sort the wheat from the chaff (unfortunate idiom given what we know about wheat !!). We don not know whether the Finish turn around is mainly due to their complete lack of vegetable consumption prior to the social intervention or maybe the fat reduction. There are certainly heart healthy populations that have high fat diets.
My personal slant is to keep saturated fat in check, not because I have both feet in that camp. I simply do not know for sure, something that the radio interviewee admits doctors and researchers should get better at admitting. So what can most if not all experts agree on. Here is my starter for 10 upon which perhaps some of you might like to suggest additions. Remember it has to be a component that most if not all ‘experts’ would agree.
1. Get more sun
2. Get regular daily but moderate exercise
3. Stop smoking
4. Reduce body fat, especially stomach fat, get your weight down to an ideal weight for your height
5. Incorporate fish oil (supps or diet). this one is tentative as Dr Ornish may disagree
6 Eat more veggies
7 Minimize sugar intake