193 of 194 people found the following review helpful
on March 4, 2008
Both my spouse and I are physicians. When we read this book, we were shocked to realize how little we had known about Vitamin D. Following Dr. Dowd's suggestions, we began taking Vitamin D from one of the sources listed in the book.
Within two weeks, we could each see significant improvement in the following:
1.) gums/teeth -- we had both had some gum recession over the years, with associated tooth sensitivity. We had asked dentists, orthodontists, periodontists, and oral surgeons why gum recession occurs. They all said, "It just happens." That never made sense to us, and it is now apparent that they simply did not know about the Vitamin D connection. Our gums now look healthier, and the tooth sensitivity is gone.
2.) tendon/ligament/fascia pain in the ankles and feet -- gone or greatly improved.
3.) skin -- smoother, fresher look with decreased prominence of pores. This isn't talked about in the book and so it was unexpected but most welcome. My personal belief is that it may be related to improved immune function with Vitamin D.
Within four weeks, we had increased muscle strength and decreased muscle fatigue on exercising.
An interesting aspect of this is that we live in Florida, where you might think it would be difficult to be Vitamin D deficient. However, we work inside all week, and when we go out on weekends we use sunscreen or sun-protective clothing.
This book is thoroughly researched and referenced. It is full of specific advice on testing for deficiency, supplements, dietary changes, sun exposure, and more. It discusses the various health problems that Vitamin D can make a difference in, including arthritis, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, heart disease, seasonal depression, diabetes, colon cancer, and many more.
It is important to note that magnesium is essential along with Vitamin D. Though this is discussed in the book, I strongly recommend also reading "The Magnesium Factor" by Mildred Seelig, M.D. It is also excellent and extremely helpful. We have added more magnesium-rich foods to our diet based on Dr. Seelig's advice, and also decided to take one of the magnesium supplements she mentions.
In summary, I think most people could benefit from reading this book and "The Magnesium Factor".
77 of 79 people found the following review helpful
on March 29, 2008
I have been fortunate enough to have been a patient of James Dowd for 1 1/2 years. He suggested the Vitamin D Cure (diet, exercise, supplements,& blood work,) for my severe arthritic pain. It has been an amazing transformation for my physical life. When we first met, I was grosseley overweight, unable to keep my balance and had severe pain in every joint of my 60 year old body. I was clinically depressed, loosing my hair, pre-diabetic and unable to rebound after any cold or illness. I was unable to walk more than ten feet without a rest and forced to retire early. I have a new life thanks to Dr. Dowd and his solutions. I bought other books about pain and diet before "The Vitamin D Cure"was printed. None covered or explained as well how important our diets are to our physical well-being. My hair is no longer falling out. My skin is no longer sandy and gritty, but smoother. Some of my age spots have disappeared. I can walk around big box stores without riding in an Amigo cart. I can bend over and pick up some of my grandson's toys without fear of falling over. My pain is now minimal,although when storm fronts blow through I still have painful periods. The natural diet (as a hunter gatherer) helped take off some of the weight. Slowly, I'm feeling healthier every month. My blood pressure is down and I'm alive! I would highly recommend this book, and its suggestions.
77 of 82 people found the following review helpful
on August 4, 2008
After reading this book, 3 months ago, I started Vitamin D supplementation at 4000 IU's per day. The information in the first-few chapters, alone, was compelling enough to persuade me to supplement with Vitamin D. In fact, I bought Vitamin D supplements before I even finished the 4th chapter. Normally, I am very skeptical of information pertaining to health and wellness; that is, I force myself to find several other sources and corroborate the facts before I finally commit to make suggested dietary changes. However, after reading only a few chapters detailing Dr. Dowd's personal story and the chronicles of his patients and their case histories - I realized I was Vitamin D deficient. I saw such a eerily similar comparison between the case histories in this book and what I was currently suffering from. I knew I was missing Vitamin D. I was completely convinced that I should start Vitamin D supplementation. I realize this review is not a review on Vitamin D supplementation, nor is it a chance for me to ramble on about me. I'm supposed to review this book and tell you whether or not I think it's a good read. And just so we're clear, the book is not only a good read, but a must read. Oh and I'm getting to the review part.
I have never written a book review before (or at least to the best of my knowledge). I took the time to review this book because it changed my life in a very positive way. I believe that if you follow the advice written in this book, it will change your life as well. Sounds like a big statement, but it's very true. Before reading the book I was suffering from all sorts of ailments. I was in a mt. bike accident in 1997, where I suffered 13 fractures and started my lifelong journey of tolerating pain in nearly every bone and joint I had. Here's where it gets interesting.
I used to own a landscaping business that I had started in college, so I was constantly out in the sun. When my "real" job was enough to pay the bills, I sold my landscaping business. About 8 months after selling my business, what used to be "tolerable" pain, soon became pain I could barely deal with. , I had pain ranging from fatigue to arthritis, tendonitis to muscular atrophy; I even started getting acne (I'm 31 years old and never had it before). I went to a plethora of doctors to see why I was falling apart: Internists/Generalists, Endocrinologists, ENT's, Orthopedic Surgeons and Dermatologists. Unfortunately, they didn't help much. They tried to help by prescribing anti-inflammatories, antibiotics for the acne (which came back every time I stopped the antibiotic), physical therapy, and pills that I never took, but nothing worked. Even more unfortunate was the fact that not one doctor tested me for Vitamin D deficiency. I find that very odd since I visited nearly every specialty doctor I could find and not one of them mentioned Vitamin D deficiency. This goes to show just how groundbreaking and revolutionary the information presented in this book is.
The Vitamin D supplementation was so effective, I decided to take it a step further and follow a few of Dr. Dowd's dietary suggestions. More recently, I've decided to cut out cheese and whole grains as I really thought moderation was OK. Then I noticed, every time I ate cheese or whole grains, I felt kind of crummy. Now, I am 100% committed to Dr. Dowd's diet and D supplementation. I noticed the more suggestions I followed from this book, the better I felt. The end-result is, I now feel great - and I will be purchasing more copies of this book, as every family member and friend that I have, will be receiving the Vitamin D cure for Christmas.
38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on November 28, 2008
Before I get into the review, let me mention I have read many articles from online medical journals and the popular press, and several books on Vitamin D. The Vitamin D Cure, when combined with some extremely authoritative online articles, will give anyone an excellent background on this somewhat complex, confusing, but important subject.
In the world of vitamin D there are laboratory researchers, epidemiologists, cell biologists, academicians, those who approach it from the dietary/nutritional angle, medical writers, and enthusiasts of alternative medicine. They all bring valuable insight into the fold, and I am sincerely grateful for the wisdom and contributions of all of them. But without question the most valuable information comes from clinicians with years of hands-on experience with real live patients presenting various sets of symptoms. Dr. Dowd's experience as a rheumatologist who has been treating patients with vitamin D for over 20 years gives him great insight.
Reading the book you will be introduced to case studies of actual patients where you can see their initial condition and track their progress. He uses a 5-point rating where a patients subjectively assess bodily functioning, level of pain, fatigue, perception of overall health, and quality of sleep. Looking at these along with standard test results gives him and the reader a snapshot of overall health and a handy way to track progress. He places his patients on a regimen consisting of 5 components, what he calls his 5-step plan:
Find out how much vitamin D you need
Use sunlight and take supplements to reach optimal levels
Alter your diet to reduce acid excess
Take other mineral supplements
Begin an appropriate exercise program
To me one the most useful part of the book appears on page 49 - a chart that relates your weight, starting vitamin D blood level, desired level, and daily dosage to bring you to the desired level. Warning: The chart is a little tricky to decipher but once you figure it out, it gives you absolutely critical information not found elsewhere. Once you know your current blood level and you learn how to decipher this chart, you will never be buffaloed by one-size-fits-all recommendations from well-meaning but misguided sources.
A chart appearing on page 34 shows typical seasonal variations of vitamin D blood levels. My only gripe with it is that what is stated as "normal" should be labeled "optimal". Normal (i.e., the most common) is the same as deficient for well over half the population, but I understand where the author is going with that.
The Q&A in the back has some great practical information. There are hundreds of academic references listed but they are not numbered so you can't tell where specific information came from. However, this is a minor drawback.
Overall, I am giving The Vitamin D Cure a solid 5 stars because it loaded with important information on a subject that everyone would be well-advised learn. It is easy to read, authoritative, the case studies give you good insight, and the advice on vitamin D and everything else is sound.
Like all things promoting health practices, the advice in this book seems overwhelming at first. Following every suggestion in the Vitamin D Cure will take a major commitment, but the good news is boosting your blood level of vitamin D to 50 nanograms per milliliter is easy, inexpensive (under 10 cents a day), has virtually no risk, and will provide some protection against the onset of chronic degenerative diseases that kill millions. The more of Dr. Dowd's 5-step plan you follow, the greater the protection. But even if you do nothing else, medical research strongly suggests that supplementing with vitamin D will give you a major step toward optimal health and a long, vibrant, disease-free life.
Star Trek's Mr. Spock is known to wish upon guests that they live long and prosper. An idle wish is not nearly as good as LEARNING to live long and prosper. Reading The Vitamin D Cure is a good way to start. After reading this highly recommended book, I hope you choose to expand your knowledge of vitamin D still further by reading: Sunshine and Vitamin D by Frank Murray, Vitamin D: Is It the Fountain of Youth? by Paul Stitt, The Healing Sun by Dr. Richard Hobday, The UV Advantage by Dr. Michael Holick, Solar Power for Optimal Health by Dr. Marc Sorenson, and Light: Medicine of the Future by Dr. Jacob Liberman.
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2009
At the ripe old age of 44, I found that I was having problem with hand movement...Why is this is significant, you ask? I am a professional Piano Instructor! In September, I was referred to Dr. Dowd by my orthopedist. My orthopedist diagnosed arthritis, with a possibility of RA.
Later that month, Dr. Dowd saw me in The Arthritis Institute in Brighton, MI. He spent a SIGNIFICANT amount of time, reviewing my medical history, discussing my diet, and my lifestyle. After a series of testing, Dr. Dowd recommended 2000 mg of Vitamin D per day with a suppliment of Omega 3 Fatty Acids (since I DO NOT eat fish!).
Although I thought that there was NO WAY that I could successfully follow a diet of no grains and no cheese, I vowed to try to follow the diet until my 2 month follow-up appointment. One week after following the diet, I definitely needed some scientific research to boost my moral,so I bought "The Vitamin D Cure".
Within a few weeks of following the diet and taking the supplements, I had significant mobility of my hands back. I have followed his diet guidelines closely (I, however, find that I can only stomach a banana first thing in the morning)and have seen remarkable results. It's been over three months, and in addition to playing the piano again, I am ALEVE FREE (and have been for 3 months)! The unforeseen, but welcome, side effect is that I lost 10 pounds and will probably never have to worry about stomach fat again!
THANKS Dr. Dowd for your informative and life-changing book!
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on September 17, 2008
I am a retired person who reads many "health" books each month. This is one of the three best health books I have read in the past six months, and that is saying a lot! I was diagnosed by my doctor as being low in Vitamin D (a 22, when we should be much higher). Aside from the stunning fact that a conventional doctor " actually caught a vitamin deficiency, I was shocked that I, a vitamin chomper of the first order, could be deficient in any nutrient. I got Dr. Dowd's book to check up on my own doctor's recommendation and realized she was more than right. In the bargain, I learned about this incredible steroid and its importance to our entire body. This information is crucial because most of us are very careful to "protect" ourselves from the sun. I did,--very successfully apparently. I am recommending this book to many friends and relatives for its relevance to cancer, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and a host of medical conditions.
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on January 18, 2009
This book had some very good information on vitamin D, but I disagreed with his nutritional advice. Regarding vitamin D, he points out that it's not really a vitamin as our bodies can produce it given enough sunlight. Vitamins are organic substances that we have to get from our diet. Vitamin d is actually a hormone that belongs to the group called the steroid hormone family.
The Mayo clinic found that 93% of patients with widespread musculoskeletal pain for a long time were deficient in vitamin D. Another doctor found that 83% of patients with chronic back pain were vitamin D deficient. Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency include:
* Fatigue, poor concentration or memory,
* Joint pain and swelling, chronic pain, headaches,
* Cramps, muscle pain or weakness
* Uncontrolled weight gain, high blood pressure
* Bowel and urinary problem
The good news is vitamin D
* Relieves symptoms of seasonal depression
* Slows or prevents many types of arthritis
* Reduces the chances of a heart attack
* Improves insulin release and utilization
* Some of it's favorite partners are vitamin A, thyroid hormone, and variations of growth hormone, meaning they develop partnerships to bind to nuclear receptors
* Vitamin D also works with vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids
* If you supplement vitamin D, you don't need to supplement calcium
He gives you websites, charts, and skin types to figure out how much direct sun exposure you need at least three times per week. That requires you to have on shorts, a short sleeved shirt, no hat and no sun screen. For me here in Indiana, that would require 20-30 minutes per day between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. in the winter, and it's below zero this week, so I'm certainly not going outside in shorts. Therefore I need to supplement my vitamin D. If you don't want to hassle with the blood tests, he recommends 20-25 IU per pound of body weight.
If you have a blood test, he says your levels need to be at a minimum 35 and ideally they should fluctuate between 50 & 70. He says if you're going to have the blood tests you should have it rechecked every three months. Some people notice an increase in energy and a decrease in pain in as little as two weeks, but more commonly it takes up to three months. Magnesium is also often deficient. I loved the book The Magnesium Miracle if you like reading about nutrition, you'll like it too.
The diet suggestions I didn't like. I felt they were overly harsh. Which is why I gave this otherwise great book only 4 stars. He believes you should eat primarily fresh produce and meat based protein. The subject of how much protein is hotly debated. Dr. Jensen in his classic book Chemistry of Man (Man Series, Second Edition) said that of the longest lived peoples from around the world, they did eat meat, but in small quantities. If you like to read about nutrition, I also loved Putting It All Together: The New Orthomolecular Nutrition.
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on May 29, 2008
This book is very informative. I was tested for Vitamin D lately and came up 27. Desired range is 70-100. So I was really ready for this information. I had been taking cod liver oil for ages but now I need to add more D3 supplements.
The diet info is very good also, although he's preaching to the choir with me.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on March 30, 2008
This book is a real eye opener. Being a foreigner from a land full of sunshine, I now begin to understand why I have the issues I have with my health. After a couple of weeks following this advice, I am getting better rapidly. Wonderful detail, great recommendations for good health for those who need it.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on June 4, 2009
My son was lucky to be referred to Dr. Dowd when he was 13 years old. Dr. Dowd discovered he didn't have rheumatoid arthritis (like his MD has suspected) or even "growing pains" like I suspected , but had low levels of vitamin D. After 4-6 weeks of vitamin D supplements, all his joint pain was gone! In addition, he stays much healthier (colds, flu, etc.) and much to our surprise, the warts on his feet finally went away...after three different doctors and three different methods of treatment for the warts!
Having the opportunity to meet Dr. Dowd is amazing. He is so smart and able to explain the immune system and the role of vitamin D in language even my 13 year old son could understand. Three years later, and my son is still symptom free as long as he keeps taking the vitamin D.