Fast-forward information

The internet has accelerated the conversation in health . . . enormously.

The discussions we have in Blogs, places like the Track Your Plaque Forum, and websites have accelerated the exchange of information and ideas so much that it is making traditional "official" sources of information IRRELEVANT.

Dr. John Cannell's unfailingly interesting and insightful comments in his most recent Vitamin D Newsletter brought this issue to mind. In his discussion of the vitamin D needs of pregnant women and his frustration with the failure of the National Institute of Health to take action despite the evidence, he states:

Whenever you see a child with asthma, diabetes or autism, just think: American Medical Association, American Pediatric Association, Institute of Medicine, Centers for Disease Control, National Institutes of Health, or Food and Nutrition Board.

Dr. Cannell is upset with the misguided advice of these agencies for mothers and babies to totally avoid sun while failing to provide advice on vitamin D supplementation, a combination of unhealthy factors that will increase the incidence of both type I and II diabetes, childhood asthma, and perhaps even childhood autism.

But this got me thinking: Here we are listening to a very credible source in Dr. Cannell, who has proven a discriminating judge of the evidence, along with vitamin D experts like Tufts University's Dr. Michael Holick, who has written a book on vitamin D (The UV Advantage: The Medical Breakthrough that Shows How to Harness the Power of the Sun for Your Health) ; University of Toronto's Dr. Reinhold Vieth, whose wonderful webcast on vitamin D was certain to convince you of many aspects of this nutrient's vital importance in health (unfortunately, it must have been taken off the hosting server, since I can no longer locate it); among others.

We all have access to this information. They are providing discussions on the topic that have long ago made the comments of "official" agencies like the FDA or the Institute of Medicine's Food and Nutrition Board (charged with setting RDA's for vitamins) irrelevant. While information is conveyed at lightning speed through internet media sources, discussion boards, and chats, the committees of "experts" often sit on their hands, fearful of speaking out, often themselves unfamiliar with the scientific literature or the conversations being conducted, not uncommonly having hidden agendas of their own that might interfere with their impartiality.

Information on health (and other subjects, as well) is being conveyed to the interested public faster and faster. The FDA, the USDA, the Food and Nutrition Board, the American Heart Association are increasingly being viewed as behind the times. They often also provide tainted information. Among the most glaring examples of biased information is the Heart Association's endorsement of "heart healthy" products in its Heart Check Mark program, including Cocoa Puffs, Cookie Crisp cereal, and Berry Kix, pure unadulterated junk foods thinly veiled with the Heart Association stamp of approval. Or the American Diabetes Association failure to speak out on the increasing penetration of carbohydrate and sugary junk foods in the American diet, while maintaining relationships and funding from its number one financial contributor, Cadbury Schweppes, the number one candy, soft drink, and snack manufacturer in the world.

The collective knowledge we are gaining through our own efforts will supplant the mis-information provided by official agencies. Just as Wikipedia represents collective knowledge on a broad range of topics, such a collective wisdom will develop in health, as well.

Comments (11) -

  • John

    10/24/2007 2:31:00 PM |

    We at agree.

    We loved for you and others to join us for further debates and the sharing of information regarding the positives of uv expsosure.

  • Anonymous

    10/24/2007 4:35:00 PM |

    Great post! Thanks for writing your thoughts and sharing your knowledge on this blog, it is very useful.

    I have just ordered some 2000 ui gelcaps vitamin D supplements because of what I have read here.

    I used to take 1000 ui/day, but from dry tablets.

  • Anonymous

    10/24/2007 8:15:00 PM |

    Dr. Davis,
    November's issue of Scientific Amercian has a great article on vitamin D. The article was about how important vit. D is in fighting autoimmune diseases, cancer, and other inflamatory disorders. It also stated that many people are deficent in vitamin D and they are paying the price.
    I read your blog and info on TYP so I was aware of most of what was written. What is good about the article is that more people will read it and start thinking for themselves and realize the AHA et al don't know what they are talking about. They are IRRELEVENT!

  • Dr. Davis

    10/24/2007 8:41:00 PM |


  • Anonymous

    10/25/2007 2:04:00 AM |

    Webcasts about MS & D3 by Reinhold Vieth:

    Someone named narkia has some links saved in their tagged as Vieth:


  • Mo

    11/2/2007 11:54:00 PM |

    In England the problem I've surmised is that the JBS (an alliance of the British Cardiac Society, the British Hypertension Society, Diabetes UK, HEART UK, the Primary Care Cardiovascular Society and the Stroke Association) base their guideline proposals based on research that most likely comes from drug companies that advocate their own products. And worse still we probably just ape US evidence without examining it.

    And there clearly is need for some doctors to learn more about vit D. One endocrinologist I know (but an otherwise very good one) suggests that any value between 9-125nmol/L is fine and proposed 400IU, whereas another recognised that 50nmol/L+ is sufficiency. However both prescribe D2. I'm not even sure D3 is available via prescription here - but go to a basic health food shop and you can find 1000IU D3 and not behind the counter.

    Some people don't have families that show patterns of symptoms related to vit D deficiency, but mine overwhelmingly does. All that I've heard from the vit D council makes complete sense because it's true. It makes me angry that we're still prescribed by outdated texts.

  • Dr. Davis

    11/3/2007 1:25:00 AM |

    Thank goodness we are entering the age of rapid information dissemination and self-empowerment!

  • Anonymous

    11/5/2007 11:19:00 AM |

    Hi Dr. Davis!

    Thought I would revisit this blog posting because of my positive findings.  I purchased the UV Advantage book and in it the author talks about other substances created in the body by sun light - other than vitamin D.  I personally had found this true as I not only take vitamin D but also will use a sun lamp a few times a week, and have noticed using the lamp caused a euphoric feeling, much as described by the author.  

    In the book there is a chapter dedicated to sun boxes and how they help with the winter blues.  I thought with fall weather here I would buy a box & give it a try - and I'm glad I did.  I've only been using the box for a few days but what a difference, I feel more energetic, have slept better, eat less, and in general feel warm and sunny all over.  I don't know how to describe it other than amazing.  

    Since it has been mentioned that a positive upbeat demeanor is very helpful in the TYP program thought this mentioning might help others.  

    I'm going to experiment some more.  I've talked with the boss about bringing the light box to work - will see if others get the same "high" as I've gotten.

  • Dr. Davis

    11/5/2007 12:44:00 PM |

    That's great! Let us know how it goes at work.

  • Anonymous

    11/9/2007 10:13:00 PM |

    Hi Dr. Davis,

    Thought I would ring in with what was found with the light box at work.  Basically it helped better our mood we all though.  The light was used during our morning meeting, which is easy to do since there are just 3 of us.  And we all thought that we had more energy and felt "sunny" through the day.  I plan to continue bringing the box to work.    

    I also told my 83 year old grandmother of the light box and she wanted to try as she has trouble sleeping - (and eventually wanted it for her own.  I was more than happy to buy a new one.)  She tells me that it has helped with her sleep.  God bless her soul, like many at her age, grandma is ornery, and I was/am hoping the light will help with her mood, as is advertised on the box.  It's only been a week and results might change but so far results havn't been what was hoped for.  Grandma has been grumpy and prone to believing odd conspiracies for a few years now, but she normally keeps them to her self only mentioning them in private.  She now seems to have more energy and it was noticed by several family members as she called a few members out of the blue accusing them of such and such acts against her.  So in all honesty, the box worked for her too, but not with the upbeat demeanor hoped for.  

    My personal observation is that the box works great for sleep - and it worked pretty much right away for me.  I use it again in the evening around 5:30 as I have trouble staying awake when the sun goes down, but then would wake up very early in the morning - and as a result of using the light my sleep has been wonderful.  I have been going to bed at 10:00 and wake up at 5:00 with out waking up during the night.  I find this further confirmation of the importance of sunlight on our body’s health.  I plan to continue using it, and am glad you mentioned the book.  

    As a side note - I signed up for the trial fish oil capsules.  Received them - fantastic packaging, the capsules are some of the best we have ever seen.  (Both my father and I used to work in the health food industry and have seen many soft gels before.  Also dad used to work for encapsulator RP Scherer in the early 80s as head of marketing.) I gave the fish oil to my father to use as he follows the TYP program somewhat - and i wish he would become more involved.  

    He is reporting that the fish oil capsules have a very very strong fish after taste - much more so than the regular fish oil capsules he was previously using.  We are afraid the peroxide values might be high.  Dad mentioned that he is going to have the capsules tested, but i don't know when or if he will do that.

  • G

    11/13/2007 2:33:00 AM |

    If you store the fish oil caps in the freezer and take out as you need, there is less of a 'fishy' taste and burps.  Really works according to my patients... and cheaper than the enteric coated stuff! Heard that from the cardiologists I work with...