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Vitamins & Minerals (Quickstudy: Health)
Vitamins & Minerals (Quickstudy: Health)
by Inc. BarCharts
Edition: Pamphlet
25 used & new from $0.96

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A handy reference covering many vitamins, May 18, 2010
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There is a lot to learn about vitamins and minerals, and opinions vary widely depending on who you ask. The Quick Study guide to vitamins and minerals is a good place to start your search for information. Three authors crammed a ton of information onto four sides of a page. With small print, they cover a lot of ground.

The guide contains three sections. The first section gives you what conditions a particular vitamin is good for, the signs of deficiency, normal dosage, typical sources, and toxicity symptoms. The next section gives suggestions for dealing with various conditions such as cardiovascular or gastrointestinal. And the last section gives details about interactions between vitamins, minerals, and prescription medicines.

I like that the guide is fairly detailed and comprehensive. It seems well laid-out and is visually appealing

Dislikes: It is so brief it's hard to get meaningful information out of it. For example, I know there are studies that show that selenium is associated with a reduced cancer incidence, and they do mention this briefly in passing, but to get a good understanding requires far more than this guide can provide. Also, the guide does not stay up to date; some of the recommendations are too low (like vitamin D) and others are too high (like vitamin A). For vitamin K they don't differentiate between K1 and K2, and they overlook many important benefits. They say a deficiency is rare except in newborns but I feel that is misleading advice. Nowhere do they say vegetarians ought to supplement with vitamin B12. Where is Coenzyme Q10? Resveratrol? Curcumin? Omega 3 fats? The list of quirks, flaws, and omissions is maddening.

But you have to start somewhere. For those who don't want to read a book or subscribe to Life Extension Magazine, this 4-page summary is a reasonable start. If you think of it as an invitation to explore further it's well worth the modest price.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 1, 2011 12:18 PM PDT

Power of Vitamin D: A Vitamin D Book That Contains the Most Comprehensive and Useful Information on Vitamin D Deficiency, Vitamin D Level
Power of Vitamin D: A Vitamin D Book That Contains the Most Comprehensive and Useful Information on Vitamin D Deficiency, Vitamin D Level
by Sarfraz Zaidi MD
Edition: Paperback
28 used & new from $3.95

87 of 91 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loaded with essential information, May 5, 2010
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Did you know that if you take a multivitamin containing 100% of the recommended daily level of vitamin D, drink milk, eat fish twice a week, and get a little midday sun, you are almost certain to be deficient in vitamin D? Did you know that many doctors desiring to monitor their patients' vitamin D levels, order the wrong blood test? Did you know that the reference range shown on the test results is wrong? (That is, even if it says you have enough, you are probably deficient.) Did you know that government guidelines on how much vitamin D you need are understated by a huge factor? Did you know that vitamin D has been found in medical studies to help significantly in the prevention and treatment of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and all autoimmune diseases?

Dr. Sarfraz Zaidi is an endocrinologist who has been evaluating and correcting patient's vitamin D deficiencies for ten years and has uncovered misconceptions, misinformation, and medical oversights that are shocking. In testing thousands of patients, Dr. Zaidi found only ONE person, a fair-skinned lifeguard, who had optimal vitamin D without taking megadose supplements. Similarly, he never encountered anyone whose vitamin D blood level was dangerously high. What this means is a major public health crisis comes inadvertently from doctors who warn you about overdosing, but in doing, so they actually cause you to be deficient which puts you at FAR GREATER RISK than an overdose.

The book contains interesting case studies. Read about Anna on page 55 who suffered MS which was partially caused by a vitamin D deficiency that no doctor thought to check for 13 years. When Dr. Zaidi reversed the deficiency the patient's condition improved.

Do you know how easy it is to correct a vitamin D deficiency that you probably have? Listen up; this is complicated. Step one is pick up a copy of Power of Vitamin D and read it carefully to get a solid background on the subject. Then go to your doctor and ask for a 25(OH)D blood test, also known as 25-hydroxy vitamin D. (Don't let your doctor talk you into a 1,25(OH)2D blood test. It's the wrong one as explained on page 127 and 128.) Get the results. If it's under 50 ng/mL or 125 nmol/L (and it's highly likely that it is), go to the chart on page 143 to determine your daily dose of vitamin D. Once you know the daily dose, go to a health food store and tell the clerk you'd like to take that dose of vitamin D3. It will probably set you back 10 to 20 cents a day. Take the vitamin D every day with food. In three months go back for another blood test. Keep increasing the dosage until you're over 50 ng/mL but under 100 ng/mL.

How hard was that? If everyone in the US followed these safe, simple steps, the number of deaths due to chronic degenerative disease would drop sharply. The CDC tells us about 1.5 million Americans die each year of chronic disease. The actual number saved if everyone optimized their vitamin D is not knowable exactly but it is certainly in the hundreds of thousands EACH YEAR. The great part is you get to choose which group to be in: Currently you are probably in the larger group that is deficient in vitamin D and twice as likely to die prematurely of horrible degenerative diseases. Or you could join the smaller group with optimized vitamin D; hundreds of medical studies clearly show this group to be largely protected from those diseases. Obviously, there is no silver bullet that can protect you 100% and no one is claiming vitamin D has that power. But if you want to stack the deck in your favor, this is an extremely easy, safe, low-cost approach that requires no major effort or lifestyle change. But you need to know what you're doing and that's where this book comes in.

Power of Vitamin D is a fantastic introduction to this sometimes confusing subject. It is relatively short, very easy to read, fairly comprehensive, and offers clear explanations. Here are some things I like about the book: a list of diseases on the front cover that medical studies have definitively linked to vitamin D deficiency; absolutely clear statements in several places advising what your blood level should be for optimal health; an explanation of the two types of "units" that blood test use, and how to interpret and convert between the two; instructions as to which blood test to get and why; a clear description what it takes to overdose (instead of a bland warning not to take too much); it mentions serious flaws with government guidelines on vitamin D that have been loudly criticized by many longtime vitamin D researchers; and it includes interesting case studies involving real patients.

Because Dr. Zaidi covered these points in such a clear, concise, and convincing manner, I am happy to give Power of Vitamin D the highest rating of 5 stars. Whether you are just beginning the journey or have already read many articles, this book has lots to offer on every page. But don't forget, you're not "done" when you finish reading the book. It only can help you if you follow the steps outlined three paragraphs ago and stated in far greater detail in Chapter 23. If you are part of the 97% that haven't yet optimized your vitamin D level, implementing the suggestions in this book may well change your life for the better.

Note to medical professionals: If you happen to be a medical professional, I GUARANTEE your patients will be far better off if you arm yourself with this knowledge and follow through with further study. And I wouldn't be surprised if your practice flourishes once your patients understand you are protecting them against future serious illness.

The Vitamin D Solution: A 3-Step Strategy to Cure Our Most Common Health Problem
The Vitamin D Solution: A 3-Step Strategy to Cure Our Most Common Health Problem
by M. F. Holick
Edition: Hardcover
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191 of 199 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An authoritative reference on the nutrient that could revolutionize healthcare, April 26, 2010
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Learning about vitamin D from Michael Holick is like learning the art of magic from Harry Houdini. Greatly reducing the likelihood chronic degenerative disease such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes (and many more) is easier than you think once you know the secret. Although no supplement, diet, exercise, or lifestyle change can completely eliminate risk, The Vitamin D Solution will give you incredibly powerful, life-altering information that's as easy as getting some sensible sun exposure or popping a safe, inexpensive pill.

Michael Holick, the world's leading expert on vitamin D, is your guide on this journey of discovery. His pioneering efforts in that field go back to his days as a graduate student when he synthesized the active form of vitamin D, finding it to have extraordinarily powerful therapeutic effects. His contributions as both a scientist and practitioner have made profound advances in every aspect of vitamin D research. Dr. Holick has been a tireless researcher, advocate, author, educator, and legendary lecturer for over 30 years. He stands as the most prolific author of articles published in peer-reviewed medical journals including the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine.

I have a few predictions. The latter 2/3 of the 20th century will become known as the dark ages, when they demonized the sun, a situation that led to untold suffering and literally millions of largely preventable deaths. Dr. Holick will emerge as a central figure ushering in a new age where sunlight and vitamin D (along with other well-known lifestyle changes) eradicate millions of needless cases of chronic disease. Mainstream medicine will embrace the preventive and therapeutic power of vitamin D, and for his pivotal role bringing about the sea change in the practice of medicine, Dr. Holick will earn a well-deserved Nobel Prize. You heard it here first.

Dr. Holick contends that vitamin D deficiency is the most common medical condition in the world. Being both a researcher and clinician gives him tremendous insights to fortunate readers of this excellent reference. The book opens with two hypothetical pre-teen girls, one living in poverty near the equator and the other living a typical middle class American lifestyle. The list of diseases and medical conditions that are far more common for the middle class girl is shocking. It is no longer debatable that sunlight and vitamin D play major role in preventing a long list of serious chronic diseases, a reality that is becoming more and more accepted by the medical community.

Ideally you should read the entire book in linear fashion, but even if you open the book to random pages you'll find useful information everywhere, such as a new model of cancer that can't grow in a vitamin D-rich environment (page 87); the role of vitamin D in preventing Parkinson's and Alzheimer's (page 140); how vitamin D repairs pancreatic beta cells and thus is an important tool in the fight against diabetes (page 97); the only accurate way to test for vitamin D deficiency (page 147); and a new perspective on what killed the dinosaurs (page 28). I can't go over all 300 pages in this review but I hope you get the idea there is a lot of important information we all need to learn. The book is easy to read, devoid of oppressive jargon, easily accessible to the curious layman, covers the subject reasonably well, and would make an extremely good addition to the library of anyone who understands that good health comes from wise lifestyle choices. For these reasons, I am D-lighted to give the book a solid 5-star rating and the heartiest possible endorsement.

One of my favorite anecdotes involves a baby gorilla on the brink of death when Dr. Holick was called in to help. Classic symptoms of rickets led to an infusion of 5000 IU of vitamin D per day. The patient staged a remarkable recovery and Dr. Holick was the guest of honor at Kirmani's first birthday when she was clearly a happy, healthy, active gorilla. When Dr. Holick presented this story at a vitamin D conference in San Diego (complete with before and after photos) the audience burst into applause. I was there and can attest it was a magic moment. Read about it on page xxiv.

Another amazing story involves a lawyer who supplemented with vitamin D, developed symptoms of overdose, and called Holick to state he was planning to file a malpractice lawsuit. Dr. Holick had the lawyer send him the bottle of capsules which he thoroughly tested, only to find that due to a horrific manufacturing error the lawyer was actually taking over 1,000,000 IU a day. So instead of facing a grueling lawsuit, Dr. Holick acquired an important body of data since vitamin D overdoses are exceedingly rare. (Read about it on page 47.) The lawsuit was dropped, the lawyer quickly recovered, and we have valuable information about diagnosing and treating vitamin D overdose. Everyone wins.

Are there any negatives or downsides to this book? All my comments speak to the controversial nature of vitamin D where experts disagree in many areas. For instance, Holick states that D2 is equally as effective as D3 (page 217), yet the vast majority of researchers state that D3 is more bioavailable and stays in the system longer. On page 251 Holick states magnesium is unrelated to the uptake of vitamin D, which directly contradicts other experts. Holick generally avoids the details of studies that lead to various conclusions, which could be viewed either as a plus (easier to read) or a minus (lack of supporting evidence). There are more like this but I don't want to dwell on minutae. No two vitamin D experts see eye-to-eye on all aspects of this complex, confusing, confrontational subject. But this book contains so much solid, essential information it would be recommended reading for anyone even if they have minor disagreements here and there.

On page 214 Dr. Holick touches on a subject of utmost importance: Why can't the Institute of Medicine get it right when determining recommended vitamin D supplementation levels? The problem lies primarily in the guidelines of evidence-based medicine that only allows input from research reported in peer reviewed medical journals. Because pharmaceutical companies have no incentive to support research costing tens of millions of dollars to prove the value of an extremely inexpensive supplement, vitamin D studies tend to be of the lower-credibility observational type. Because medical science views this as a lack of compelling evidence the industry is hesitant to actively endorse vitamin D, and we all suffer as a result. I wish this flaw was exposed in a more forceful way but I'm glad at least was mentioned to give readers of this book some valuable insights. As a side note, The Institute for Functional Medicine promotes a system that sidesteps the flaws inherent in evidence-based medicine, and Dr. Mark Hyman, their most visible spokesman, provided a strongly supportive testimonial appearing on the back cover.

Here's the good news: You don't have to wait for the Institute of Medicine, the medical profession, or even your family doctor to jump onboard in order to benefit from the magic of vitamin D. However, you need to do your homework and that's where The Vitamin D Solution comes in. Dr. Michael Holick has done a superb job presenting information that will help you achieve optimal health. Read, it, study it, think about it, understand it, and most importantly, put it into action to get your 25(OH)D level above 50 ng/mL. (For most people that requires daily regimen of about 5000 IU.) The life you save may be your own.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 8, 2013 8:03 AM PST

The Sunlight Solution: Why More Sun Exposure and Vitamin D are Essential to Your Health
The Sunlight Solution: Why More Sun Exposure and Vitamin D are Essential to Your Health
by Laurie Winn Carlson
Edition: Paperback
Price: $17.63
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good background information and practical advice, November 22, 2009
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Knowledge of vitamin D is important for anyone wishing to improve their odds in preventing cancer, heart disease, and a long list of chronic degenerative diseases. Hundreds of university studies published in thousands of articles in peer-reviewed medical journals suggest that adequate vitamin D reduces your risk of serious disease by about half, and in some cases, even more. Laurie Winn Carlson, a professor of the history of medicine, spent years researching this important subject and consolidated the results in this book for your benefit. The book provides a rich historical background of heliotherapy and vitamin D through the ages (as you would expect from a historian) and practical advice to follow today.

Here are some highlights: I was enchanted with the story of the author's young grandson, Brian, whose numerous and lingering medical problems slowly disappeared once she provided a kid-friendly form of vitamin D. Brian's story, along with knowledge that vitamin D deficiency poses a major threat to public health, became the inspiration to write this book. It is clearly a labor of love.

Page 128 sums up vitamin D beautifully. "Vitamin D is clearly a vital and essential element our bodies manufacture with the help of sunlight. While it appears integral to many of our body's functions, we seem to have discovered only the tip of the iceberg as we begin to understand how it works. (snip) There's plenty of work to be done on what appears to be a budding new frontier of medicine. Understanding exactly how sunlight and vitamin D affect our bodies and our health promises to open up new possibilities for healthier futures and a way to curb the misery from chronic disease."

pp43-63 Chapter 3: "Dogs in the dark and the development of vitamin D" offers a glimpse of the work of Weston Price and several other pioneers who revealed the benefits of sunlight and vitamin D many years ago.

pp90-91 gives an excellent overview of the role of omega 3 oils in protecting against skin cancer. Too many people are scared to death of even a little sun and they would benefit greatly if they understood how to obtain the therapeutic value of gentle sun exposure while minimizing negative consequences.

pp113-114 "The Generation Effect" discusses how a vitamin D deficiency in pregnant women causes an unborn child to be predisposed toward developing serious diseases much later in life. The book makes this vitally important point very effectively, and it is something every woman of childbearing age needs to know.

pp131-149 Chapter 7: "Canaries in the Coal Mine" discusses the most important group in need of vitamin D: pregnant women and girls in their formative years. I was amazed to learn the possible role played by vitamin D in the extinction of Neanderthal Man.

p70 shows a list of 22 diseases and families of diseases (like cancer and autoimmune diseases) that have been associated with vitamin D deficiencies in numerous medical studies. Every item on that list is supported by years of research studies at prestigious universities and medical centers.

The take home message for all vitamin D books is how can you use it to greatest advantage. On p71 the author suggests you increase your vitamin D level so 25(OH)D blood test results come in at 45-50 ng/mL (nanograms per milliliter). How do you get there? On p72 she suggests taking "at least" 2000 IU (international units) a day. On p73 she points out that research suggests published limits are too low and healthy people can take 10,000 IU and even 20,000 IU a day without a problem. Since typical blood levels are around 10 to 20 ng/mL, and the danger zone is well above 100 ng/mL, the message is clear. You are probably deficient and that makes you far more vulnerable to a long list of chronic diseases. Achieving optimal vitamin D from the sun is ideal but most people require supplements.

Despite a wealth of good information, there are some errors, puzzling statements, and things I wish the author had included.

p118 names Frederic Garland when it should be Cedric Garland, a well-known expert in vitamin D.

On p56 a headline contains the typographical error, "heliopathy" when the author meant "heliotherapy" or the healing power of the sun.

In discussing the two possible vitamin D blood tests, 25(OH)D and 1,25(OH)2D, the author offers this explanation on p71: "Experts disagree over which test is better, but the 25(OH)D test for calcidiol is most commonly used." I find this statement puzzling; there is no disagreement among the experts that I can see. Every expert, every book, and every article I have read states that only the 25(OH)D blood test gives significant information about vitamin D status.

Although authors are free to include whatever they want in the scope of a book (and they obviously can't include everything), there are several areas I wish the author had included.

the definition of an international unit (IU) of vitamin D3: It takes 40,000 IU to make one milligram. 400 IU could also be expressed as 10 mcg (or 10 µg).

typical dose-response curve, or how much can you expect your blood level to rise for each 1000 IU. (You can expect an increase around 10 ng/mL for each 1000 IU when you start your program, trailing off to about half that amount when you approach the optimal range.)

I wish the author described the logical fallacies that cause the medical profession to officially recommend a daily dosage that is far too low. It is a very interesting, highly contentious topic.

I wish the author utilized charts, diagrams, photos, and an index to make the book more readable.

I wish the author had attempted to provide proof of vitamin D's effectiveness in preventing disease, instead of asking us to take it on faith; another interesting, contentious topic.

But with or without these subjects, "The Sunlight Solution" is a very worthwhile read because it gives you an important, lifesaving message: sunlight and vitamin D will help you prevent serious disease, move toward optimal health, and increase your odds of living a long vibrant life.

Vitamin D Prescription: The Healing Power of the Sun & How It Can Save Your Life
Vitamin D Prescription: The Healing Power of the Sun & How It Can Save Your Life
by Eric Madrid
Edition: Paperback
Price: $8.95
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40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A highly recommended guide to an important subject, October 25, 2009
Everyone knows that preventing a disease is infinitely better than waiting for its onset and then treating it. With that in mind, we should all be focused on the notion of optimal health. If you were lucky enough to live in Temecula, CA and have Eric Madrid, MD as your family physician, you would already be guided toward that rare state of health. Fortunately, the rest of us can read "Vitamin D Prescription: The Healing Power of the Sun & How It Can Save Your Life."

Looking at a half dozen books on vitamin D, there are three things that stand out most clearly about this one. The first is that most books and articles make bland warnings about being careful not to overdose or be deficient. Without knowing the numbers you have no way to determine what is too much or too little. This is poor journalism. In stark contrast, Eric Madrid provides dozens of thumbnail conclusions of medical studies that state health benefits of specific vitamin D levels based on standard blood tests.

For example, please read this excerpt from page 96: "In 2008 Edward Giovannuucci, MD, ScD (Harvard School of Public Health) published in the Archives of Internal Medicine a study which showed that people with vitamin D levels less than 15 ng/ml (37 nmol/l) were over 2 times more likely to have a heart attack when compared to those with vitamin D levels above 30 ng/ml (75 nmol/l)." When you realize that most people have a blood level between 10 and 20 ng/ml, this is shocking in its simplicity and ramifications. If you are anywhere near the norm, the message is clear: You need more vitamin D. However, without clearly stated blood levels, the information is close to useless.

Imagine learning similar statistics regarding diabetes, any coronary-vascular disease, osteoporosis, arthritis, MS, Parkinson's, any autoimmune disease, and many others. There is a whole section covering the protective effect of vitamin D on many forms of cancer. In every case, the summaries distill years of medical research into a simple statement, and in every case, these chronic degenerative diseases are clearly associated with a vitamin D deficiency. Please note that the medical profession does not regard the various study results as irrefutable proof, but the author wisely advises to begin a regimen of vitamin D supplementation while studies continue, since there is much to be gained and little, if any, risk.

The next noteworthy aspect of this book is the overall approach to health care. Dr. Madrid emphasizes eliminating the risk factors that make serious disease more likely. You already know you should attain a healthy body weight, improve your diet, lay off the junk food, quit smoking, get some exercise, learn to manage stress, get a good night's sleep, reduce chemical exposure, etc. But let's be honest: Rome wasn't built in a day and you are not going to develop better habits overnight, but there is NO EXCUSE for being vitamin D-deficient. Anybody can pop a safe, inexpensive pill. Think of vitamin D as low hanging fruit.

If you dredge up the tired old excuse that you prefer to wait for clinically observable symptoms to appear before taking action, I have some bad news for you. By that point, the damage has already been done, and the only possible interventions are highly invasive, risky, and expensive. This book is about taking personal responsibility for your own health, so you have the best chance of eliminating the problem before it starts.

The third item on my list is a specific call to action. After reading 30 or 40 or 50 summaries of clinical studies, you will learn so much about the widespread protective value of vitamin D that eventually you might loudly slam down the book, yelling, "THAT'S IT - I'VE SEEN ENOUGH!", and vow to boost your vitamin D level above 50 ng/ml. That is clearly the intent of "Vitamin D Prescription"; to give you, the reader, information and motivation to get you to spring into action.

True to the book's title, on pages 166 and 167, Dr. Madrid actually gives you a "prescription" for vitamin D supplementation based on blood test results. If you do nothing else, you would be wise to read it, make sure you understand it, and follow the prescription to bring your blood level into the optimal range (50 to 100 ng/mL based on the 25(OH)D blood test).

I am happy to give "Vitamin D Prescription" a 5-star rating for a variety of reasons. Dr. Madrid's advice agrees with the best-known vitamin D experts. He doesn't insult the reader by avoiding numerical data; he EDUCATES the reader to understand the numerical data. Patient case histories give you good insights about real-world situations. The book is graphically appealing with charts, maps, bulleted lists, and boxed excerpts that make it easy to scan. I also enjoyed the author's personal anecdotes and easy-to-read style.

If your approach to healthcare is not already centered on minimizing known risk factors, "Vitamin D Prescription" will help you make this important paradigm shift; and if you already are of that mindset, it will give you many compelling reasons to optimize your vitamin D level. For those wishing to march down the path toward a long, healthy life, "Vitamin D Prescription" is a great roadmap for the journey.
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 23, 2011 10:07 AM PST

The Vitamin D Revolution: How the Power of This Amazing Vitamin Can Change Your Life
The Vitamin D Revolution: How the Power of This Amazing Vitamin Can Change Your Life
by Soram Khalsa
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.88
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70 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good information clearly written, April 25, 2009
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Dozens of medical research studies leave no doubt that having enough vitamin D will provide strong protection against cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and diseases that collectively kill over 2 million Americans every year. The studies typically show that after 5 years or so, those in the highest quartile of vitamin D status die from chronic degenerative diseases less than half as much as those in the lowest quartile. Dr. Soram Khalsa does a good job of explaining the benefits and cutting through the confusion and misinformation. The Vitamin D Revolution is a good starting point for anyone wanting to prevent serious illness or supercharge their immune system.

There is so much good information contained in this book I would recommend it to anyone. It is clearly written in non-technical language and is carefully and extensively researched. Starting on page 67, Dr. Khalsa's explanation of long-latency vs short-latency deficiency diseases sheds important light in how and why the government recommends an inadequate daily dose of 400 international units. (They were addressing bone disease but were unaware at the time of vitamin D's role in other far more serious diseases that take decades to develop.) There is an excellent description on page 8 on what makes vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) better than D2 (ergocalciferol). On page 140 he points out doctors sometimes mistakenly prescribe the 1,25(OH2)D blood test whereas the only reliable test is the 25(OH)D.

The ultimate message of the book is that we should all be trying to obtain a blood level around 50 mg/mL based on the 25(OH)D blood test, which in most people requires supplementing with 5000 IU of vitamin D3. Semiannual blood test are a good idea to track your progress and insure you don't overdose. If you take away nothing more than this message you and vow to follow through on it, you will be well on your way to better health.

I am giving this book a rating of 5 stars. Dr. Khalsa is to be highly commended for his dedication to the health of his patients and readers of this excellent book. If everyone everywhere became knowledgeable on vitamin D and optimized their blood level, the impact on public health would be extreme. Dr. Khalsa states that widespread vitamin D supplementation has the very real potential of putting a serious dent in the health crisis that costs over $2 trillion per year in the US alone.

The Vitamin D Revolution starts with you, and reading this book and implementing its suggestions will place you squarely at the front lines of this important grassroots movement.
Comment Comments (8) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 5, 2013 2:54 AM PDT

Solar Power for Optimal Health
Solar Power for Optimal Health
by Marc Sorenson
Edition: Paperback
21 used & new from $0.27

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book will change (and maybe save) your life, March 1, 2009
Vitamin D - the Sunshine Vitamin - is a mysterious substance made by your body that everyone needs in far greater amounts than they are now getting. The consequence of this deficiency is greater incidence of degenerative diseases such as cancer, heart problems, diabetes, or 100 other illness that claim over 2 million American lives per year. It is well-known among world-class researchers that vitamin D is vastly under-appreciated by the medical community and warnings about potential overdose are greatly overblown. In fact, after you read Dr. Marc Sorenson's book you will reach the conclusion that reversing a deficiency of this one little nutrient will probably save hundreds of thousands of lives each year in the US alone. Even if you do everything else right, a vitamin D deficiency can compromise your immune system and contribute to a long list of health disasters. Once you read this book the solution to the enormous public health crisis becomes clear. A daily regimen of 5000 international units (for most people) is an important component of a comprehensive program to give your body what it needs to prevent disease. It's easy, inexpensive, free of risk, and it is backed by hundreds of research studies conducted at major universities and reported in prestigious medical journals. My immediate family and I are on this dosage or more. The 400 international units found in most multivitamins (the amount recommended by the government) is completely inadequate, and the amount you get in milk and other foods is trivial.

A couple of things stand out about this book. The quality of the writing is superb. Chapter 1 gives an excellent overview of terminology you will need to grasp the major concepts. Dr. Sorenson's explanation on the role dietary fat in the development of skin cancer sheds extremely important light on this highly misunderstood concept. Those who think that they need to avoid sunlight should read page 61: "for every death caused by excessive exposure to ultraviolet light, at least thirty are due to insufficient exposure to ultraviolet light." (And it's extremely easy to get all the benefits while avoiding the risk.) Chapter 16 points out those with deeply pigmented skin are less able to synthesize vitamin D, therefore have a higher disease rate, and therefore stand to gain even more benefits from supplementation. Almost every one of the 200+ pages contain information you need to know.

You may be wondering how this book stacks up to others on vitamin D. There are about ten books written specifically or mostly on this subject and I have read most of them. Vitamin D3 and Solar Power for Optimal Health, in my humble opinion, best covers the range of issues to give you a broad understanding along with some necessary details of this somewhat complex, misunderstood, and important topic. As one reviewer put it, "This book is a compelling call to arms." I greatly appreciate that the book references 800 published studies and articles so you can deepen your understanding or validate any claim. This is not a book to be quickly read and stored on a shelf. You should study it, conduct your own Internet research, make sure it is solid in your mind, and embark on a program toward optimal health with confidence. Doing so will not only change your life, it might well save your life.

If you can't find it elsewhere on Amazon, you can always go to [...]

The Vitamin D Cure
The Vitamin D Cure
by Diane Stafford
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.13
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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great resource of benefit to everyone, November 28, 2008
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This review is from: The Vitamin D Cure (Hardcover)
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.

Sunshine and Vitamin D: A Comprehensive Guide to the Benefits of the "Sunshine Vitamin"
Sunshine and Vitamin D: A Comprehensive Guide to the Benefits of the "Sunshine Vitamin"
by Frank Murray
Edition: Paperback
Price: $15.40
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent review of a very important topic, November 8, 2008
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Frank Murray has done an impressive job amassing a huge quantity of facts, statistics, studies, and testimony of experts which he presents to you in Sunshine and Vitamin D: a comprehensive guide to the benefits of the "Sunshine Vitamin". The main theme can be summarized in these statements:

Vitamin D deficiency is a worldwide pandemic
Vitamin D can aid in preventing dozens of serious diseases
Fear of overdose is greatly overblown
Vitamin D is poised to be the nutrient of the decade

Most of the chapters describe how vitamin D affects various medical conditions such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease, MS, etc. The final chapter addresses the critical question how much is too much. (Hint: it is much higher than you will ever have.)

To anyone who has spent more than a few minutes looking into the issue, published research leaves no doubt that vitamin D plays an important role in achieving optimal health. The vitamin D receptor present in the nuclei of cells that constitute most internal organs allows proper functioning when the receptor site bonds with a vitamin D molecule. This condition takes place to an optimal degree when a person has a 25(OH)D blood level around 50 ng/mL, which is why most of us need to supplement with around 5000 international units (IU) daily. Vitamin D is safe even at much higher levels according to those with the most research experience. Although the government cautiously warns against a daily dosage greater than 2000 IU, the experts assert that 2000 IU leaves most people somewhat deficient and therefore vulnerable to many of the serious diseases of modern times. Carefully reading Frank Murray's book will take you far along the road of understanding vitamin D's key role in preventing (and in some cases, treating) disease.

"Sunshine and Vitamin D" joins these others on the recommended reading list:
The Vitamin D Cure by Dr. James Dowd
Vitamin D: Is it the Fountain of Youth? by Paul A. Stitt
Solar Power for Optimal Health, by Dr. Marc Sorenson
The Healing Sun, by Dr. Richard Hobday

To gain a full understanding of this complex subject it would be wise to read all of these books along with conducting a thorough Internet search for articles in the general press and in medical journals. In my search, I have found no other information source containing a broader range of information on vitamin D than Murray's book. I also appreciate that Frank Murray does not shy away from including tons of numerical data which is essential for achieving a full understanding of Vitamin D's role.

On the flip side, parts of it are not easy to read if you are not into medical jargon. It is a little light on specific suggestions and information you can immediately put into practice. I wish he would do a better job keeping the units understandable, like the conversion between nanograms per milliliter and nanomoles per liter in a vitamin D blood test, or micrograms and international units. In addition, the author makes no attempt to unravel some of the confusing and wildly differing opinions on this subject. He simply presents it and it is up to you to determine who and what to believe.

If there really is a widespread deficiency, and if Vitamin D is safe, free of side effects, inexpensive, and shows a clearly demonstrated ability to help prevent many life-threatening diseases, then common sense should tell you to begin a regimen as a precaution. Before embracing something, the medical community consistently waits until scientific proof of its efficacy is irrefutable. Meanwhile, 1˝ million people die per year in the US alone of chronic degenerative disorders, some of which, unnecessarily, if they supplemented with vitamin D. Fortunately, you don't have to wait for the rest of the world to catch up if you are willing to do your homework and take personal responsibility for your health. Reading Sunshine and Vitamin D is an efficient way to join the leading edge of this populist revolution.

Despite a few minor grievances, I gave this book five stars because it presents a wealth of information that everyone everywhere ought to know if they seriously wish to pursue good health and a long disease-free life.

Vitamin D: Is It The Fountain of Youth?
Vitamin D: Is It The Fountain of Youth?
by Paul A. Stitt
Edition: Paperback
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good summary of a big topic, August 28, 2008
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We hear a lot about Vitamin D these days and it makes you wonder how much of it is hype. Paul Stitt has done a pretty good job explaining this somewhat complex topic in a concise, easy-to-read format. Having done many hundreds of hours of research on vitamin D myself, it is abundantly clear Mr. Stitt has done his homework and hits the nail on the head every time. He states several times that life-threatening medical conditions cannot rightly be called diseases; they are manifestations of nutritional and lifestyle deficiencies. Yes!! When he makes a recommendation on how much vitamin D to take, he is right on the money. When he recommends blood levels of 25(OH)D, he is spot on. These values are not generally agreed upon, and it is easy to see why there is general confusion in the medical community. Any reader of this book will be privy to sound information based on up-to-date research.

If I have a complaint it is that he tends to reduce hugely complex, authoritative studies into a single bland sentence, such as this one:
"Dr. Holick says that fibromyalgia is just another word for vitamin D deficiency. Same for MS."
This is big, important stuff based on multiple studies from highly credible sources. I wish the author would convince the reader with supporting evidence so compelling it amounts to irrefutable proof. Instead he asks you to take it on faith based on superficial claims. At the very least, it would be nice to see references, those little numbers leading to the published studies where the curious could validate each claim, but there are none. But overall these flaws are forgivable since it keeps the book brief and easy to read.

My favorite anecdote illustrates that even massive overdoses of vitamin D, while not recommended, are not that dangerous. A Canadian woman wanted to kill her husband and father-in-law by mixing what she believed to be a lethal dose of pure vitamin D into the family sugar bowl. Seven months later the two men suffered gastrointestinal distress and came to the attention of Dr. Reinhold Vieth, the leading expert on vitamin D overdose. An investigation revealed they consumed 1.7 million IU per day and had blood levels of 622 and 1480 ng/mL, multiples more than the known toxic level. The treatment was simple, there were no lasting effects, and the only complication was how to deal with the would-be murderer. Dr. Veith published his finding in Lancet in 2002. This anecdote provides an essential puzzle piece in evaluating the risk of avoiding vitamin D supplementation versus the risk of a possible overdose. (In case you missed the point, at least tens and probably hundreds of thousands of deaths result from vitamin D deficiency and there are NO DEATHS from a vitamin D overdose.)

The epilogue makes a case for the societal benefit of fortifying food plus a public awareness program so that nationally everyone receives a healthy amount of vitamin D. The monetary savings to society would be enormous - in the hundreds of billions - not to mention the untold suffering and death that would be prevented. This is the dream of every vitamin D fanatic - a world where everyone knows their vitamin D blood level, and special status is conferred upon those with 25(OH)D over 50 ng/mL (or 125 nmol/L).

It is obvious to any reader of this book that Paul Stitt is an idealist trying to make the world a better place by spreading essential information on an important, often-overlooked, life-giving vitamin. If you have not begun taking a daily dose of 4000 or 5000 IU of vitamin D, this book is a good place to start because in a few hours you can get a pretty good grasp of the big picture. I think the book should give you enough information to motivate you to begin a regimen of vitamin D supplementation, but if you are still not convinced, The Vitamin D Cure by Dr. James Dowd, goes into far more depth.

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