Celebrate the Winter Solstice with Vitamin D

Happy Holidays and Welcome to the Vitamin D Blog/Newsletter! I will attempt to keep you up on what I feel to be the most interesting vitamin D research. I have a very busy clinic in adult and pediatric rheumatology at The Arthritis Institute of Michigan in Brighton, Michigan, so my time available to post new blogs is limited to once a week. My interests in medicine extend far beyond vitamin D and I hope to share some of that with you in future books. I also supply blog information to eVitamins.com. I receive no compensation from them, only exposure.

Recipe of the Month
Remember our recipes are courtesy of Chef Kelly (kellychez@gmail.com). If you have recipes you would like to share or convert to follow the rules of The Vitamin D Cure send them to contact@thevitamindcure.com . This week I asked her for a dessert recipe. It still complies with our Paleolithic principles. So, enjoy a little something sweet for the holidays.

Pear Berry Cinnamon Nut Crisp
Fruit filling
5 to 6 cups sliced pears–peeled, (2.5 to 3 pounds)
1 to 2 cups berries of your choice, fresh or frozen
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 T. ground flaxseed
1 to 2 tablespoons sugar
Crisp Topping
¾ cup chopped nuts of your choice
¼ cup ground flaxseed
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons brown sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
2 to 3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
Preheat the oven to 400*F

Place the fruit in a medium-sized bowl, and toss with the lemon juice. Sprinkle in the flaxseed and sugar and toss until evenly coated, then transfer the mixture to an ungreased 9- or 10-inch pie pan. Don’t clean the bowl.

Use the same bowl to make the crisp topping. Combine the dry ingredients; use your fingers, if necessary, to mix in the brown sugar. Add the oil and mix with a fork and/or your hands until uniformly moistened. Carefully crumble the topping mixture over the fruit, and pat it into place. Place the pan on a baking tray, and bake in the center of the oven for 20 minutes, or until brown on top. Cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.
Serves: 4 to 6
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes to bake

Vitamin D in the News
This week past there was a series of articles published in the International Journal of Endocrinology. This article was most interesting to me. This journal is open access, so you can read the full text of these papers. There are some good reviews of information we discuss in The Vitamin D Cure.

Vitamin d levels and lipid response to atorvastatin.
Int J Endocrinol. 2010;2010:320721. Epub 2009 Aug 19.
Department Internal Medicine, Rio Hortega Universitary Hospital, C/ Dulzaina 2,
University of Valladolid, 47012 Valladolid, Spain.

Objectives: Adequate vitamin D levels are necessary for good vascular health. 1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol activates CYP3A4, an enzyme of the cytochrome P450 system, which metabolizes atorvastatin to its main metabolites. The objective of this study was to evaluate the response of cholesterol and triglycerides to atorvastatin according to vitamin D levels. Design and Methods: Sixty-three patients with acute myocardial infarction treated with low and high doses of atorvastatin were included. Levels of total cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol were measured at baseline and at 12 months of follow-up. Baseline levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OHD) were classified as deficient (50 nmol/L). Results: In patients with 25-OHD <30nmol/L, there were no significant changes in levels of total cholesterol (173 +/-47 mg/dL versus 164 +/- 51 mg/dL), triglycerides (151 +/- 49 mg/dL versus 177 +/-94 mg/dL), and LDL cholesterol (111 +/- 48 mg/dL versus 92 45 +/- mg/dL); hereas patients with insufficient (30-50 nmol/L) and normal vitamin D (>50 nmol/L) had a good response to atorvastatin. Conclusions: We suggest that vitamin D concentrations >30nmol/L may be required for atorvastatin to reduce lipid levels in patients with acute myocardial infarction.

Comment: In short “Statins” (Lipitor, Zocor, etc…) appear to require a minimum amount of vitamin D (25(OH)D3) substrate (>12 ng/mL or 30 nmol/L) to produce their lipid lowering effects. And, this effect was dose dependent with more dramatic lipid lowering effects at vitamin D levels above 20 ng/mL or 50 nmol/L. More interesting than their lipid lowering effects is their effect on inflammation. We now know that coronary heart disease is an inflammatory disease. Vitamin D is essential for a normal and controlled inflammatory response. We also know that low levels of vitamin D are associated with increased cardiovascular mortality and all cause mortality. Does vitamin D deficiency impair the anti-inflammatory response to statins as well?

Quality of diet and potential renal acid load as risk factors for reduced bone
density in elderly women.

Bone. 2009 Dec 11.
Area di Geriatria, Università Campus Biomedico. Roma, Italy; Fondazione Alberto
Sordi Onlus. Roma, Italy.

BACKGROUND: Bone mineral density (BMD) may be influenced by the general dietary pattern and the potential renal acid load (PRAL). METHODS: We compared the
dietary intake (estimated using the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and nutrition questionnaire) of 497 community-living women (60 years of age and older) grouped according to tertiles of baseline total, trabecular and cortical BMD estimated using tibial peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT), and of BMD variation over 6 years. RESULTS: None of the other nutrients taken into account nor PRAL was associated with total BMD, with the exception that the intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) was slightly higher among women with the highest total BMD. Similar results were found for trabecular BMD. Cortical BMD was associated with serum 25-OH vitamin D (38.8, 43.2, and 49.5nmol/L in the first, second, and third tertiles, respectively; P=0.042). In the longitudinal analysis, a lower BMI was associated with greater loss of total BMD, while lower serum 25-OH vitamin D at baseline was associated with smaller loss of cortical BMD. CONCLUSIONS: We found no relationship between dietary acid load and BMD. We also confirmed the role of well-recognized risk factor for osteoporosis.

Comment: This study confirms the association between vitamin D levels and both cortical and trabecular bone over time. The higher the vitamin D level was between 15 and 25 ng/mL, the higher the bone mass. This study also confirms the bone protective effect of polyunsaturated fats in the diet that is well described in animal studies. In other words, omega-3 fats make for stronger bones. There was no relationship between dietary acidosis and bone mass. This contradicts previous epidemiological data.

Vitamin D Success Story
Please share your successes at success@thevitamindcure.com or online at Amazon. Your success story has a powerful impact on motivating others to change their lifestyle.

Dear Doctor Dowd:

Thank you for your response! … My rheumatologist gave me no hope and told me the only thing I could do to keep down the inflammation is to take Tylenol or ibuprofen around the clock for the rest of my life (and have my kidneys checked yearly). If I had a flare-up, they would give me colchicine or if it got really bad, a cortisone shot. I showed her your book and one of the case studies that sounded exactly like me and she pooh-poohed it. I had worried about ending up like my grandmother who had rheumatoid arthritis and was almost totally crippled from it.

I’ve since visited a naturopath, and–against my endocrinologist’s and regular doctor’s advice–have begun taking 5,000 IU of vitamin D. My D3 level was 28 at that time. A re-test after 1.5 months showed I had improved to 46, and for the first time in years my C-reactive protein was normal–NOT high…

My knees feel better since I got a cortisone shot and had them drained (20 ccs each) in August. The shot has worn off and some pain returned, but not to the previous levels, and no noticeable swelling. I notice less swelling in my fingers, too, and am totally off ibuprofen.

By the way, our UV level is 1 today, even though it’s clear and bright (not raining!) in Seattle.

Thanks, again.