The trees are alive with the colors of autumn.  Different colors of maples lead the pack.  Ash, beech, birch, poplar (aspen), locust, sumac, hickory, horse chestnut, redbud, and others chime in with differing nuances of texture as well as color.

Savor the world around you.  Enter the Blue Zone of leaf-peeping, pumpkins, apples and cider.  The Upper Mississippi Valley, where I live, is beautiful.  Where I grew up, New England-NY-NJ-PA, is even more spectacular every fall.  There is no part of the world without natural beauty.  You must take the time to enjoy it.

Are We Cabbages?

October 20, 2013 @ 8:32 pm
posted by Dr Ginther

A patient recently insisted on Vitamin D2 instead of D3.  She told me that she always uses plant sources because they are “more natural”.  Indeed Vitamin D2 (Ergocalciferol) is more natural if you are a cabbage or other plant.  But all humans naturally make and use Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol).  Why not D2?  Did God make a mistake designing humans to make and use D3?

Activated Vitamin D3 is a hormone used by our bodies in well over a hundred different functions including absorption of calcium from food, nerve functioning, and our immune system.  Vitamin D2 is similar enough to D3 that we can also use it.  However, we need much higher doses, and the waste products of D2 build up in our bodies.

October 20th is World Osteoporosis Day

October 17, 2013 @ 7:57 am
posted by Dr Ginther

World Osteoporosis Day recognizes the ravages of osteoporosis on women internationally.  Worldwide the risk of Hip Fracture is equal to the risk of Breast Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, and Uterine Cancer combined.  For many, death comes much sooner after hip fracture.

Osteoporosis is not limited to richer countries like the US, EU, Japan, etc.  Osteoporosis is even more devastating to poorer families in countries without welfare, where every member of the family must work their entire lives to ensure family survival.  The International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) focuses on all women (and men).  World Osteoporosis Day is the day to learn about the IOF 5 point plan for better bone health.

We have “known” for years that 25-hydroxy Vitamin D levels over 50ng/ml are “too high” (hypervitaminosis D) and often cause high Calcium levels (hypercalcemia).   The Mayo Clinic designed a 10 year study to confirm that causal relationship.  It was presented at ASBMR.

NOF and others have called for higher Vitamin D supplementation and higher blood levels.  Mayo researchers expected to find many more cases of hypercalcemia related to many more cases of hypervitaminosis D.  The numbers of Vitamin D levels above 50ng/ml have doubled during the 10 years.  Levels above 80 and 100ng/ml have not increased.  The numbers of high calcium levels have not increased.  Those patients with the highest Vitamin D levels were not the patients with the highest Calcium levels.