Hi, I’m Dr. John Cannell, founder and Executive Director of the 10-year-old nonprofit the Vitamin D Council and medical advisor to Bio Tech Pharmacal. I founded the Council knowing that a majority of the public is deficient in vitamin D.
To this day, my passion is vitamin D and my concern is vitamin D deficiency in the general public. I have written peer-reviewed scientific publications on the topic and have listed some of them below. My influenza and autism papers are some of the most all-time accessed papers in their respected journals.
Today, I am writing to you today to tell you about a relatively new product that Bio Tech Pharmacal has for sale called “D3Plus.” It is the only vitamin D on the market endorsed by the Vitamin D Council. Here at the Council, we spend a lot of time looking at vitamin D research and know the importance of a quality vitamin D supplement.
Every day we publish a short concise easy to read blog on the most recent vitamin D study in the medical literature and still we cannot keep up with all of the new remarkable studies. Most of them show some new benefit of vitamin D.
For example, today a study was published about the importance of vitamin D in human reproduction; yesterday, a study showed vitamin D helps prevent against some of the lung damages of smoking (still doesn’t mean you can smoke, however); and earlier this week, one study about vitamin D and diabetes. All of these findings were published in reputable medical journals. The “Vitamin D Era” is upon us. You may not know it, but you are living through the early part of that era.
Plain vitamin D will benefit you greatly if you take the correct amount, which is 5,000 IU per day for adults for the rest of your life, and 1000 IU/day/25 pounds of body weight for children. Pregnant and lactating women should take 6,000 IU/day, 5,000 for the woman and a 1,000 IU for the fetus or infant. Women who do this do not have to supplement breastfeeding babies with vitamin D, as their breast milk will have adequate quantities of vitamin D for the suckling infant. After weaning, the toddlers need vitamin D supplements.
However, to work properly in the body, vitamin D needs a number of cofactors:
- Some of which Americans have in excess, such as vitamin A in the form of retinyl acetate or retinal palmitate or in cod liver oil (which should never be taken).
- Some of which Americans probably are sufficient in, like most of the B vitamins, due to diet and the high use of multivitamins.
- Some of which we do not get enough of. Vitamin D needs four cofactors that most Americans are often deficient in, sometimes seriously. I will explain how all four of these co-factors interact with vitamin D in your body.
The first is magnesium. The clear majority of Americans have inadequate intakes of magnesium, by itself a serious problem. Magnesium is involved in almost 300 chemical reactions in the body, including more than 10 involving vitamin D, including some reactions on DNA itself. Case studies imply magnesium deficient individuals do not always metabolize vitamin D properly. So take magnesium, at least 200 mg/day extra over and above diet, and eat vegetables, seeds and nuts as well.
The second needed cofactor is zinc, found in red meats, chicken, some seafood, whole grains, and dairy products. The total amount needed is contested. The vitamin D receptor located on your genome is like a glove, designed to grasp the vitamin D molecule so the vitamin D receptor complex can regulate the involved gene. At the base of the fingers of the glove sits a zinc molecule. Take at least 10 mg/day extra.
We know less about boron, also found in vegetables. We do know that it is involved in the cell wall actions of vitamin D; the rapid, non-genomic mechanisms. Some scientists believe that most Americans are boron deficient, again because they seldom eat enough vegetables. Studies show boron, on its own, helps joint health and increases testosterone secretion in men. The U.S. Department of Agriculture conducted an experiment on boron and postmenopausal women. The results showed that boron reduced excretion of calcium by over 40% in the kidneys, and helped activate vitamin D, suggesting a possible role in the suppression of osteoporosis. Take at least 2 mg/day of extra boron, besides what you get in your diet.
Finally, vitamin K2, which most Americans get little of, works with vitamin D to act like a police officer in the body, directing calcium to bone and away from arteries. Studies show that vitamin K2, on its own, helps bone health and perhaps heart health. It is very difficult to get from diet (small amounts in organ meats and hard cheeses) and is an expensive supplement. I recommend at least 80 mcg extra per day. The only food containing significant amounts of K2 is the fermented Japanese product called Natto. It is an acquired taste, to say the least.
The Vitamin D Council endorses D3Plus because it contains these four cofactors in amounts, that when combined with your diet, will be sufficient. Thus, a daily serving size of D3Plus (three capsules per day), will supply you with your 5,000 IU per day of vitamin D, plus all the cofactors to assure that you are getting the right amount of each cofactor (when combined with the usual American diet). Children can take fewer capsules based on their weight.
In my experience, many people feel better and do better on D3Plus than on regular vitamin D.
Feel free to contact me with questions.
John Cannell, MD
The Vitamin D Council
1. Cannell JJ, Vieth R, Willett W, Zasloff M, Hathcock JN, White JH, Tanumihardjo SA, Larson-Meyer DE, Bischoff-Ferrari HA, Lamberg-Allardt CJ, Lappe JM, Norman AW, Zittermann A, Whiting SJ, Grant WB, Hollis BW, Giovannucci E. Cod liver oil, vitamin A toxicity, frequent respiratory infections, and the vitamin D deficiency epidemic. Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 2008 Nov;117(11):864-70. Review.
2. Cannell JJ, Hollis BW, Zasloff M, Heaney RP. Diagnosis and treatment of vitamin D deficiency. Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2008 Jan;9(1):107-18.
3. Cannell JJ, Vieth R, Umhau JC, Holick MF, Grant WB, Madronich S, Garland CF, Giovannucci E. Epidemic influenza and vitamin D. Epidemiol Infect. 2006 Dec;134(6):1129-40. Epub 2006 Sep 7. Review.
4. Cannell JJ, Zasloff M, Garland CF, Scragg R, Giovannucci E. On the epidemiology of influenza. Virol J. 2008 Feb 25;5:29. Review.
5. Cannell JJ, Hollis BW. Use of vitamin D in clinical practice. Altern Med Rev. 2008 Mar;13(1):6-20. Review.
6. Cannell JJ. Autism and vitamin D. Med Hypotheses. 2008;70(4):750-9. Epub 2007 Oct 24.
7. Cannell JJ. On the aetiology of autism. Acta Paediatr. 2010 Aug;99(8):1128-30. Epub 2010 May 19