Thursday, June 3, 2010

New Evidence of Vitamins A and D Synergism, Can They Cure Diabetes? Chinese Researchers Cite My "Cod Liver OIl Debate" Article

by Chris Masterjohn

Chinese researchers provide new evidence that vitamins A and D work together in cooperative fashion, each increasing production of the other's receptor. In pancreatic stem cells, they synergize to flip on the "neurogenin-3" switch, involved in turning stem cells into fully functional insulin-producing cells. Neither vitamin is effective alone, however. This suggests that vitamins A and D may hold the key to curing type 1 diabetes. In their discussion, they provide a brief defense of the use of cod liver oil in pregnancy and cite my 2009 Wise Traditions article "The Cod Liver Oil Debate: Science Validates the Benefits of Our Number One Superfood."

You can read the full blog over on the Weston A. Price site by clicking here:

New Evidence of Synergism Between Vitamins A and D -- Can They Cure Diabetes?

Read more about the author, Chris Masterjohn, here.

18 comments:

  1. Great post Chris. There is a WAPF guy at Jefferson where the Myrna Brind protocol comes from. Are you familiar with his work or practice?

    Vitamin A synergism with D (RAR+VDR Heterodimerization) (I apologize for the sauciness --- the links support your thoughts)

    Myrna Brind--Oncological Integrative Approach using high dose vit A + vit D ([25OHD] 50-100ng/ml goal concentration)

    Some FHC and hypertriglyeridemia patients however cannot take vitamin A -- there are genetic aberrations to requirement -- just as there are a few individuals who produce plenty of calcitriol and cannot take vitamin D (small subpop of indo-asians).

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  2. Thanks DR. BG. I agree with most of the vitamin A/D article. 50-100 ng/mL for 25(OH)D, however, is not evidence-based and of questionable safety, in my opinion. It might be reasonable under close medical supervision. I would like to see controlled clinical investigations using this as an endpoint and testing the effects of vitamins A and K2 on its efficacy and safety.

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  3. Actually I'd like to see controlled studies with all the nuclear receptors
    PPAR -- ALA EPA DHA saturated fats (yes -- these are all promiscuous ligands)
    VDR -- vitamin D
    RAR -- vitamin A
    RXR -- carotenoids
    ??! -- K2 MK4 to MK7s
    TR -- adequate T4 T3
    AR -- adequate testosterone
    ER -- adequate estriol, estradiol (no estrone which is cancer and inflammation causing)

    And some probiotics -- bifida, lactobacillus, etc

    That would be cool... BTW You don't know any practicing WAPF'ers at Jefferson?



    Adequate repletion of vitamin D has many benefits in fact -- it raises thyroid levels as well. There are some (lame) seasonal observation studies from the northern hemi's.

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  4. Dr. BG,
    I disagree that repletion of Vit D raises thyroid levels. It may in some people, but I have hashimoto's and have seen many people say it actually causes their TSH to rise and there actual thyroid hormone levels to decrease. In fact, there was someone on many of the thyroid forums doing an informal survey about this and a fair amount of people reported this same phenomenon. And a few said it did lower their TSH and raise their thyroid hormone levels. So it seems it affects various people differently. For me, Vit D made me feel dreadful even with a blood 25 OH D level of 24. I get terrible chest pains, body aches, and fatigue and can only reverse it by adding Vit. A, E. and K.

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  5. Dr BG,

    I agree there are lots of important studies to conduct. :)

    I know anyone from Jefferson, or where Jefferson even is.

    I'm confused by your last comment. There are lame observational studies showing vitamin D raises thyroid hormone levels? It is not possible for an observational study, whether lame or meticulously conducted, to show that vitamin D raises thyroid hormone levels. And if the study is lame, why would be interested?

    Chris

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  6. That should say I don't know anyone from Jefferson.

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  7. Menomom,

    There are two basic reasons one's 25(OH)D could be low: decreased input (from sun and diet), or increased conversion of 25(OH)D to the active 1,25(OH)2D. Your extreme sensitivity to supplemental D3 could reflect dysregulation of vitamin D metabolism. And in fact in this case excessive 1,25(OH)2D can bind to the thyroid receptor and dysregulate thyroid hormone. If you have unresolved symptoms, you may want to investigate the Marshall Protocol, which specializes in treating dysregulation of vitamin D metabolism by L form bacteria.

    Chris

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  8. menomom,

    When I started vitamin D (25OHD=20ng/ml close to yours), I didn't feel well and couldn't take it initially. Like all hormones, there are dose-dependent adverse effects. I experienced metallic taste and mild dizziness. I attribute it to being deficient in UV/vitamin D for 30 decades. After starting a low dose and gradually increasing, then I noticed the benefits. Receptors have to be formed (DNA transcription and protein translation) -- these take 4-8wks.

    There is an epidemic of hypothyroidism -- vitamin D alone won't raise thyroid levels to appropriately optimal and normal levels. Estrogen/progestin hormone replacement raises thyroid levels in studies as well; to point practitioners advise scaling back on thyroid dosing.


    Hey Chris, I meant from a statisticially standpoint, observational studies are not are reliable as RCTs. I agree -- in sarcoidosis (for Marshall's protocol) where errant cells self-produce calcitriol and vitamin D, suplementation of vitamin D is harmful.

    I think evolutionarily hominids obtained vitamin D from sources other than sunlight. The pygmies who live under the canopy consume a high diet of grubs which are rich in vitamin D. Mushrooms have ergocalcfierol and are another source. Salmon is high in vitamin D as well during certain seasons.

    -G

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  9. Dr BG,

    I would state the difference between RCTs and observational studies quite differently.

    What determines the strength of reliability of the statistics generated is the design and execution of the study, including the design and execution of the statistical methods. There is nothing more reliable about an RCT compared to an observational study or vice versa. Some RCTs are very poorly conducted and some are meticulously and conscientiously conducted; the same is true of observational studies.

    The difference is the logical inferences one can make from the statistics generated. One cannot infer causation from an observational study, but one can infer causation from an experimental study (of which an RCT is one type). An observational study showing that 25(OH)D positively correlates with parameters of thyroid health does not show that high 25(OH)D causes good thyroid health, nor does it even suggest that this is the case. Instead, it allows us to infer that 25(OH)D correlates with thyroid health in the general population from which the sample was taken in addition to within the study sample, and forms a basis for promoting several related hypotheses that would be capable of explaining the observation: that 25(OH)D increases thyroid health; that thyroid health increases 25(OH)D; and that any number of other factors might be simultaneously increasing both. It does NOT offer support for ANY of these hypotheses, but merely forms an observation that one can use to speculatively brainstorm these hypotheses. The ONLY thing it shows is that the correlation exists and is likely to exist in the population from which the sample was derived.

    A controlled experiment, on the other hand, allows one to conclude that differences in the outcomes of the control and experimental groups are due to effects of the treatment, and that the treatment causes the outcome seen in the experimental group.

    Both are reliable forms of study, but the logical inferences allowed from each are categorically different.

    Chris

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  10. Chris,

    I totally agree. Personally results from observational studies are valid IMHO but I've inquired among staticians and as you stated, 'the logical inferences' from observational studies are quite different.

    Whoops --meant '3 decades' of vitamin D deficiency.

    Personally, my observations from n=4 self experimentation and hundreds of people who have started vitamin D supps (like food sourcing, as I mentioned) is that naturally there is value. My husband, my 2 children and I all avoid clinical intermittent asthma (cough, wheezing, colds) when we take our supplementation. We are dark-skinned and rarely spend more than 1-2 hrs in the UV naked or little clothing.

    Dr. Tourgeman recently wrote about the how VDR and RXR are conserved in primates for 55 mya as part of immune system. It supports your views, from the evolution standpoint. Would love to hear your thoughts!
    http://nephropal.blogspot.com/2010/06/vitamin-d-and-evolution.html


    I dug up the WAPF contributing writer, Dr. John Foster.

    Are you familiar with his work? I would love to contact him and ask about the Integrative Medicine group and their outcomes with vitamin D combined with vitamin A, and any new progressive updates. I've looked for publications from their group but find nothing...

    Thank you kindly in advance for any facilitation or coordination! Email to nephropal (at) yahoo (dot) com or ramaramax (at) gmail (dot) com


    http://www.westonaprice.org/component/content/article/56-bios/643-foster-john.html

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  11. Dr. BG,

    I agree that observational studies are "valid." What is invalid is making unjustified (il)logical inferences from them.

    I also agree that vitamin D supplementation has value, and I'm glad you've found a way to control your and your family's asthma.

    I'll try to remember to read the Tourgeman article when I have a chance but that might be some time from now.

    I'm not very familiar with Dr. Foster's work, but thanks for pointing him out!

    Chris

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  12. I know you are busy. How do you do all the wonderful things you do?! I appreciate all your consideration!

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  13. It said that stem cells into insulin-producing cells has the potential to create a renewable supply of replacement beta cells with tremendous utility in the treatment of diabetes.

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  14. Very cool indeed. With the Vitamin D researchers being a relatively small group among the larger population of researchers, and the Vitamin A and D researchers being yet another small group, it's interesting to see your colleagues from the other side of the world collaborate with you on your vitamin D and A research. Looking forward to hearing more about this cooperation and its findings.

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  15. vitamin D plays an integral role in insulin sensitivity and secretion. Vitamin D deficiency predisposes individuals to type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and receptors for its activated form-1alpha,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3-have been identified in both beta cells and immune cells. Vitamin D deficiency has been shown to impair insulin synthesis and secretion in humans and in animal models of diabetes, suggesting a role in the development of type 2 diabetes

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  16. Vitamin D plays an integral role in insulin sensitivity and secretion - now i know. So, if you are diagnose to have type 2 diabetes, it should be necessary to have vitamin D together with your diet and insulin intake. Right?

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  17. There are evidences that tells us that cod liver oil can also be good for people with kidney disease in type 2 diabetes. If tested, protein should be reduced in urine. This indicates kidney disease severity.

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  18. Vitamin D3 plays an integral role in our whole life and any section to insulin sensitivity and secretion.
    I think cod liver oil can also be perfect for people with kidney disease in type 2 diabetes.
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    ReplyDelete

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