Panick Attacks ? Pffff….

Niacin & Anxiety

Niacin is the fancy word for Vitamin B-3.

Niacin has a long history of treating the symptoms of anxiety and depression, although it is not a cure for either condition

For some people, anxiety becomes excessive, difficult to control and massively affects day-to-day living and taking Niacin can help.

It helps me massively after suffering from mild to chronic anxiety and panic attacks over many years.

I take 500 mg per day and “LOVE THE FLUSH” – Read on……!!

Anxiety Symptoms

Anxiety has many emotional and physical triggers, although it is usually seen as a collection of symptoms, including nervousness, gastric issues, increased heart rate, high blood pressure, panic attacks and insomnia.

A significant cause of anxiety is chronic over-stimulation of your nervous system, which triggers the “fight-or-flight” response and floods the body with hormones and chemicals, such as adrenaline.

Perhaps most important with respect to anxiety, Niacin is an antidote to adrenaline, which is often over-produced in those experiencing anxiety.

Niacin and Anxiety

Anecdotally, it is claimed that Niacin reduces anxiety and depression, while promoting calmness and better sleep. It is possible that niacin’s ability to increase blood flow, reduce blood pressure, eliminate excess adrenaline and regulate hormones could contribute to feelings of relaxation in those who are stressed.

Niacin is Vitamin B-3, one of the water soluble B-complex vitamins.

Properties include:

  • The ability to help you naturally relax and get to sleep more rapidly at night.
  • Help reduce harmful cholesterol levels in the bloodstream.
  • It is one of the best substances for elevating high density lipoprotein HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol).
  • The ability to greatly reduce anxiety and depression.
  • Dilates blood vessels and creates a sensation of warmth, called a“niacin flush.” This is often accompanied with a blushing of the skin. It is this “flush” or sensation of heat that indicates a temporary saturation of niacin.


When you flush, you can literally see and feel that you’ve taken enough Niacin. The idea is to take just enough Niacin to have a slight flush. This means pinkness about the cheeks, ears, neck, forearms.

  • A slight niacin flush should end in about ten minutes or so.
  • If you take too much niacin, the flush may be more pronounced and longer lasting.
  • Large doses of Niacin on an empty stomach may cause profound flushing.
  • With each additional dose, the intensity of the flush decreases and should become a minor nuisance rather than an irritation. Niacin should always be taken immediately after eating.I have found that the best way to control the flushing sensation is to start with very small amounts of niacin and gradually increase the dose until you notice the first flush. Start with 25 mg three times a day after each meal. Continue to increase each dosage by 25 mg per day until your flush occurs.

    It is difficult to predict a saturation level for Niacin because each person is different.

If you flush on a low dose, you don’t need much niacin. If flushing doesn’t happen until a high level, then your body is obviously using the higher amount of the vitamin B3 (Niacin)

As a flush indicates saturation of Niacin, it’s better to repeat the flushing, just very slightly, to make sure that you are getting enough.

Don’t let the flush surprise you. You should remember that Niacin does that, and you can monitor and control it easily.

To get to sleep sooner at night, Niacin can be taken to saturation at bedtime, too. You might be asleep before you even notice the flush.

An important point is that Niacin is a vitamin, not a drug. It is not habit forming. Niacin does not require a prescription because it is that safe. It is a nutrient that everyone needs each day. Different people in different circumstances need different amounts.

Niacin tablets may be bought at many chemists or health food shops. Tablets typically are available in 50 mg, 100 mg, or 250 mg dosages.
If a Niacin tablet is taken on an empty stomach, a flush will occur (if it is going to occur at all) within about 20 minutes. If Niacin is taken right after a meal, a flush may be delayed.

In fact, the flush may occur long enough afterwards that you forgot that you took the Niacin!

Non Flushing Niacin
There is a non flushing version of Vitamin B-3 called Niacinamide.

There is nothing wrong with Niacinamide,. This form of vitamin B-3 is found in multiple vitamins and B-complex preparations.

Niacinamide does not cause a flush at all.

In my opinion, it is less effective in inducing relaxation and calming you down.

Niacinamide also does not significantly lower cholesterol. This is an important thing to remember when deciding what to use.



Vitamin B12 – (Cobalamin)

Vitamin B12 is important for the way the body works, and people who don’t have enough of it may feel tired or have a lack of energy

Vitamin B12 helps in the production of healthy red blood cells that carry oxygen around the body.

Not having enough vitamin B12 makes the body produce larger than normal red blood cells, which don’t do their job as well.

Once diagnosed, vitamin B12 deficiency can usually be treated successfully with B12 injections and with B12 tablets together with a change in diet.

Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency

Anaemia caused by a lack of vitamin B12 can result in symptoms which include:

  • Extreme tiredness
  • Being out of breath
  • Feeling faint
  • Tinnitus
  • Lack of appetite

More specific symptoms linked to a lack of  B12 include:

  • Yellowing of the skin
  • Sore, red tongue
  • Mouth Ulcers
  • Changes or loss of some sense of touch
  • Feeling less pain
  • Walking problems
  • Vision Problems
  • Mood changes, irritability, depression or psychosis
  • Symptoms of dementia

Causes of vitamin B12 deficiency

Vitamin B12 deficiency is more common in older people and affects around one in 10 over 75s.

The most common cause of vitamin B12 deficiency is pernicious anemia, an auto-immune condition that affects around one in 10,000 people.

B12 deficiency is risk for people who follow a strict vegan diet who don’t eat the major food sources of B12: meat, eggs and dairy products. Babies whose mums are vegetarians may have  B12 deficiency.

Other causes of vitamin B12 deficiency include:

  • Atrophic gastric, or thinning of the stomach lining
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Surgery to remove part of the stomach or small intestine
  • Digestive conditions such as Crohn’s, coeliac disease, bacterial growth or a parasite.
  • Medication, including proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) for indegestion.

Diagnosis of vitamin B12 deficiency

Blood tests and examination of blood cells under the microscope assess haemoglobin levels, the size of red blood cells and the level of vitamin B12 in the blood. The levels of folate are also usually checked for the related condition folate deficiency anaemia.

Once the diagnosis is confirmed, further tests may be carried out to try to find out what’s causing the anaemia.

A referral may be made to a specialist, such as a haematologist for blood conditions, a gastroenterologist for digestive problems or a dietician for advice on eating food containing more vitamin B12.

How vitamin B12 or folate deficiency anaemia is treated

Most cases of vitamin B12 and folate deficiency can be easily treated with injections or tablets to replace the vitamin you are deficient in.

Vitamin B12 supplements are usually given by injection at first. Then, depending on whether your B12 deficiency is related to your diet, you will either require B12 tablets between meals or regular injections. These treatments may be needed for the rest of your life.

Folic acid tablets are used to restore folate levels. These usually need to be taken for four months.

In some cases, improving your diet can help treat the condition and prevent it recurring. Vitamin B12 is found in meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, yeast extract (such as Marmite) and specially fortified foods. The best sources of folate include green vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts and peas.

Anaemia symptoms

General symptoms of anaemia (where you have fewer red blood cells than normal or you have an abnormally low amount of a substance called haemoglobin in each red blood cell) include:

  • extreme tiredness (fatigue)
  • lack of energy (lethargy)
  • breathlessness
  • feeling faint
  • headaches
  • pale skin
  • Palpitations
  • Tinnitus
  • loss of appetite and weight loss

Vitamin B12 deficiency

If you have anaemia caused by a vitamin B12 deficiency, you may have other symptoms in addition to those listed above, such as:

  • a pale yellow tinge to your skin
  • a sore and red tongue
  • mouth ulcers
  • pins and needles
  • changes in the way that you walk and move around
  • disturbed vision
  • irritability
  • depression
  • changes in the way you think, feel and behave
  • a decline in your mental abilities

B12 in Food

Vitamin B12  can only be manufactured by bacteria and can only be found naturally in animal products, however synthetic forms are available and can be added to food, such as cereals.

B12 can be eaten in large doses to no ill effect because any excess is excreted by the body or stored in the liver for use when needed for up to a year.

Great Sources of B12 Daily Value (%) per 100g

  • Liver (Beef) DV 1,386%
  • Fish – Mackerel 317%, Smoked Salmon 257%, Tuna 154%, Canned Sardines 126%, Trout 106%
  • All Bran 333%
  • Beef 100%, Lamb 45%
  • Egg Yolk 33%

Canned Fish that are high in B12 (Again Daily Value % per 100g

  • Atlantic Sardines 149 %
  • Sockeye Salmon 92%
  • Pink Salmon 83%
  • Tuna in Water 50%
  • Tuna in Oil  37%

Vegetarian sources of B12

  • Cheese – Swiss Cheese 56%, Feta 28%
  • Eggs – Goose 122%, Duck 63%, Chicken 33%
  • Whey Powder 42%
  • Milk and Yoghurt 10%
  • Marmite (Yeast Extracts) 8%










Vitamin K2, D and Calcium

Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin known for the important role it plays in blood clotting. However, there are different kinds of vitamin K, and they are completely different.

The health benefits of vitamin K2 go far beyond blood clotting, which is done by vitamin K1, and vitamin K2 also works in partnership with a number of other nutrients, including calcium and vitamin D.

The importance of Vitamin K2?

Vitamin K is actually a group of fat-soluble vitamins. Of the two main ones, K1 and K2, the one receiving the most attention is K1, which is found in green leafy vegetables and is very easy to get through your diet. This lack of distinction has created a lot of confusion, and it’s one of the reasons why vitamin K2 has been overlooked for so long.

The three types of vitamin K are:

  1. Vitamin K1,  is found naturally in plants, especially green vegetables; K1 goes directly to your liver and helps you maintain healthy blood clotting
  2. Vitamin K2,  is made by the bacteria that line your gastrointestinal tract; K2 goes straight to your blood vessel walls, bones, and tissues other than your liver
  3. Vitamin K3, is a synthetic form. It’s important to note that toxicity has occurred in infants injected with this synthetic vitamin K3

It also plays a role in removing calcium from areas where it shouldn’t be, such as in your arteries and soft tissues.

“K2 is really critical for keeping your bones strong and your arteries clear,

Vitamin K2 can be broken into two additional categories, called:

  1. MK-4 (menaquinone-4), a short-chain form of vitamin K2 found in butter, egg yolks, and animal-based foods
  2. MK-7 (menaquinone-7), longer-chain forms found in fermented foods. There’s a variety of these long-chain forms but the most common one is MK-7. This is the one you’ll want to look for in supplements, because in a supplement form, the MK-4 products are actually synthetic. They are not derived from natural food products containing MK-4.

Vitamin K1 exclusively participates in blood clotting — that’s its sole purpose.

K2 on the other hand comes from a whole different set of food sources, and its biological role is to help move calcium into the proper areas in your body, such as your bones and teeth.

The MK-7 – these long-chain, natural bacterial-derived vitamin K2 – is from a fermentation process, which offers a number of health advantages:

  1. It stays in your body longer, and
  2. It has a longer half-life, which means you can just take it once a day in very convenient dosing

How Much Vitamin K2 Do You Need?

The optimal amounts of vitamin K2 are still under investigation, but it seems likely that 180 to 200 micrograms of vitamin K2 should be enough to activate your body’s K2-dependent proteins to shuttle the calcium where it needs to be, and remove it from the places where it shouldn’t.

When we’re lacking K2, we’re at much greater risk for osteoporosis, heart disease, and cancer. And these are three concerns that used to be relatively rare. Over the last 100 years, as we’ve changed the way we produced our food and the way we eat, they have become very common.

Researchers are also looking into other health benefits. For example, one recent study published in the journal Modern Rheumatologyfound that vitamin K2 has the potential to improve disease activity besides osteoporosis in those with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Another, published in the journal Science, found that vitamin K2 serves as a mitochondrial electron carrier, thereby helping maintain normal ATP production in mitochondrial dysfunction, such as that found in Parkinson’s Disease.

The Interplay Between Vitamin K2, Vitamin D, and Calcium

Vitamin D is a critical nutrient for optimal health and is best obtained from sun exposure. However, many are taking oral vitamin D, which may become problematic unless you’re also getting sufficient amounts of vitamin K2.

When you take vitamin D, your body creates more of these vitamin K2-dependent proteins, the proteins that will move the calcium around. They have a lot of potential health benefits. But until the K2 comes in to activate those proteins, those benefits aren’t realized. So, really, if you’re taking vitamin D, you’re creating an increased demand for K2. And vitamin D and K2 work together to strengthen your bones and improve your heart health.

… For so long, we’ve been told to take calcium for osteoporosis… and vitamin D, which we know is helpful. But then, more studies are coming out showing that increased calcium intake is causing more heart attacks and strokes. That created a lot of confusion around whether calcium is safe or not. But that’s the wrong question to be asking, because we’ll never properly understand the health benefits of calcium or vitamin D, unless we take into consideration K2. That’s what keeps the calcium in its right place.

IMPORTANT: If You Take Vitamin D, You Need K2

This is a really crucial point: If you opt for oral vitamin D, you need to also consume in your food or take supplemental vitamin K2.

There are so many people on the vitamin-D-mega-dose bandwagon, taking more and more of vitamin D. And it could absolutely be causing harm if you are lacking the K2 to complete the job to get the calcium where it’s supposed to be,.

About 150-200 micrograms of K2 will meet the need for the “average” healthy person.

The good news is that vitamin K2 has no toxicity. No toxic effects have ever been demonstrated in the medical literature.

If You Need Calcium, Aim for Calcium-Rich Foods First

For those who are calcium deficient,  look to food sources high in calcium, before opting for a supplement. This is because many high calcium foods also contain naturally high amounts of vitamin K2!

Nature cleverly gives us these two nutrients in combination, so they work optimally. Good sources of calcium include dairy, especially cheeses, and vegetables, although veggies aren’t high in K2.

Additionally, magnesium is far more important than calcium if you are going to consider supplementing. Magnesium will also help keep calcium in the cell to do its job far better.

If you do chose to supplement with calcium, for whatever reason, it’s important to maintain the proper balance between your intake of calcium and other nutrients such as:

  • Vitamin K2
  • Vitamin D
  • Magnesium

The Importance of Magnesium

Magnesium is another important player to allow for proper function of calcium. As with vitamin D and K2, magnesium deficiency is also common, and when you are lacking in magnesium and take calcium, you may exacerbate the situation.

Vitamin K2 and magnesium complement each other, as magnesium helps lower blood pressure, which is an important component of heart disease.

Dietary sources of magnesium include sea vegetables, such as kelp, dulse, and nori. Few people eat these on a regular basis however, if at all. Vegetables can also be a good source, along with whole grains. However, grains MUST be prepared properly to remove phytates and anti-nutrients that can otherwise block your absorption of magnesium.

How Can You Tell if You’re Lacking in Vitamin K2?

There’s no way to test for vitamin K2 deficiency. But by assessing your diet and lifestyle, you can get an idea of whether or not you may be lacking in this critical nutrient. If you have any of the following health conditions, you’re likely deficient in vitamin K2 as they are all connected to K2:

  • Do you have osteoporosis?
  • Do you have heart disease?
  • Do you have diabetes?

If you do not have any of those health conditions, but do NOT regularly eat high amounts of the following foods, then your likelihood of being vitamin K2 deficient is still very high:

  • Grass-fed organic animal products (i.e. eggs, butter, dairy)
  • Certain fermented foods such as natto, or vegetables fermented using a starter culture of vitamin K2-producing bacteria. Please note that most fermented vegetables are not really high in vitamin K2 and come in at about 50 mcg per serving. However, if specific starter cultures are used they can have ten times as much, or 500 mcg per serving.
  • Goose liver pâté
  • Certain cheeses such as Brie and Gouda (these two are particularly high in K2, containing about 75 mcg per ounce)

Fermented vegetables, which are one of my new passions, primarily for supplying beneficial bacteria back into our gut, can be a great source of vitamin K if you ferment your own using the proper starter culture.

Note that not every strain of bacteria makes K2. For example, most yoghurts have almost no vitamin K2. Certain types of cheeses are very high in K2, and others are not. It really depends on the specific bacteria. You can’t assume that any fermented food will be high in K2.



Vitamin D “Enormous potential to beat cancer”

The last ten years has seen a huge body of research evidence showing that:

* Vitamin D is an important factor in cancer prevention.

* Vitamin D activates the immune system to work against rogue cells.

* Vitamin D has the ability to normalise and correct cancer cells.

So it boosts the immune system, could prevent cancer, AND (according to several research studies) may even help beat it.

Furthermore, it seems to play an important role in preventing illness!

Vitamin D

* Research in 2012 in Cancer Causes and Control presented findings that former/never smokers were 44 per cent less likely to die from lung cancer if they had blood levels of vitamin D above 44nmo/litre. That applied to whether or not they had cancer – it seems to prevent, and reduce deaths.

* In 2013, researchers from St Louis University showed that women with a BRCA1 mutation are more likely to develop an aggressive breast cancer but vitamin D can block this pathway. BRCA1 is not just behind breast cancer but other cancers too like some prostate cancer.

* Another 2013 study,  in the Journal of Cellular Biology showed that vitamin D blocks cathapsin L which makes cells grow uncontrollably in cancers.

 Vitamin D works like a hormone

Vitamin D could be an important ingredient in any anti-cancer package.

It comes from sunshine.

A week lying on a beach will provide about 70,000 International Units, or I.U.s.

5,000 IU’s is the daily recommended level for people with cancer. Vitamin D may sound like a vitamin, but it acts more like a hormone with receptor sites on healthy cells and even more on cancer cells.   Three of the areas in which it acts are:

  1. Low Vitamin D levels are linked with higher rates of cancer

The Boston Medical School has completed a great many research studies on vitamin D. Their Professor Hollick quotes, “If women obtained adequate levels of vitamin D there would be 25 per cent less deaths from breast cancer.

Hollick is not alone in stressing the importance for women and breast cancer.  St Georges Hospital in London calculated from their studies that women with low levels of vitamin D in their breast tissue have three and a half times greater risk of breast cancer.

  1. Immune booster

When it comes to fighting cancer, there seems little doubt about the virtues of Vit D. Many experts believe it is more like a hormone having receptor sites on both the cell and nuclear membranes – especially in cancer cells! According to research from the University of Copenhagen in 2010, when T-lymphocytes of the immune system come across a pathogen, the first thing they do is bind to a vitamin D molecule to ´activate´ themselves.

Recent studies suggest that the action of vitamin D is enhanced by vitamin K.

Unfortunately,most adults are increasingly short of both D and K vitamins.

  1. A Natural Cancer Cure?

Research published in the Journal of Cell Biology November 17, 2008; 183(4):697-710 has shown that vitamin D can adjust almost everything in the cancer cell, from its genetic messaging to its cytoskeleton. It can switch genes on and off, and it can reduce cell division, and it can calm the cancer cells so that they settle rather than spread. It seems vitamin D can actually return a cancer cell to a normal and healthy state. One pathway seems to control everything.

There is more than enough research to be clear that vitamin D could help prevent cancer.

From the latest studies, it is increasingly clear that every cancer patient should be having a daily half hour in the sunshine, or supplementing with Vitamin D.

The problem is: The sunshine factorWhen it comes to vitamin D, are you getting enough?”

Cancer charities and cancer bodies continually deliver the message that  sunshine is bad for you and that sunshine cause skin cancer, and even melanoma?

 There are several studies which show over 90 per cent of people with melanoma are deficient in vitamin D; and others which show that people who have regular exposure to sunshine develop LESS cancers! Furthermore, 2011 research showed half of melanoma is found in locations not exposed to the sun.

Vitamin that cuts risk of cancer

Two studies in the USA showed that women with the highest levels of vitamin D were up to 50 per cent less likely to develop breast cancer. One study involved St. Georges Hospital Medical School in London and US researchers at Harvard and University of California; the other was carried out by Canadian researchers at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. Both were presented at a meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in Washington. The doctors in the research concluded, “Women with high exposure to the sun as teenagers may be protected against breast cancer in later life, and Boosting levels of vitamin D could be beneficial at a time when breast cells are developing.”

New research draws some interesting conclusions:

  • Moores Cancer Centre at UCSD, San Diego concluded from a mega study of previous research that up to half the cases of breast cancer, and two thirds of the cases of rectal cancer in the USA could have been prevented if people had had adequate blood levels of vitamin D.

– The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology reviewed two studies concluding that women with the highest blood levels had the lowest risk of breast cancer 15 to 30 minutes in the sun every day, or 2000 IUs of supplement were recommended. One study showed that the lower blood levels of vitamin D, the more dense (and dangerous) the breast tissue.

What if you already have cancer?

Research published in the Journal of Cell Biology November 17, 2008; 183(4):697-710 has shown that vitamin D can adjust almost everything in the cancer cell and return it to the normal, healthy state. Another study has shown that vitamin D can bind to mutated cancer cell receptor sites and cause cell death.


  • Researchers at the Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health have concluded that good levels of vitamin D in the body may help people with early stage lung cancer survive longer after surgery. Patients who had surgery in the sunny summer months where vitamin D levels are higher were more than twice as likely to be alive 5 years after surgery compared with those with low vitamin D levels having winter time surgery.

Dr David Christiani said the survival differences were dramatic; the highest levels of vitamin D saw 72 per cent 5- year survivals compared with just 29 per cent for people with the lowest levels.

  • A study in September 2008, led by Pamela Goodwin, MD, Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto, research concluded that women with vitamin D deficiency at the time of breast cancer diagnosis were 94 per cent more likely to experience cancer spread and 73 per cent more likely to die over the next 10 years compared to women with adequate vitamin D levels.
  • Breast cancer cells have been shown to have vitamin D receptor sites on their surface. Since women who have had breast cancer in one breast are clearly interested in preventing breast cancer in the other, supplementation of vitamin D seems an essential part of their anti-cancer programme.

Vitamin D supplementation is being used as part of breast cancer treatment programmes in some US hospitals; it is being used in conjunction with radiotherapy in others.

What is becoming clear in all the recent scientific studies on vitamin D is that:

  • A deficiency plays a crucial role in increased risk of cancer and a number of other illnesses
  • Most people in our the Western world are deficient. This is hardly surprising as they may live in colder, rainier climates with little winter sun; they may live out of the sun – watching TV indoors and working in offices; they may even refrain from enjoying sunshine because several major charities have warned them against sunshine!
  • You can only obtain reasonable quantities of this vitamin through exposure to sunshine; a far lesser amount may be obtained through consuming oily fish. After that, other foods contribute very little. So the third option is to take supplements!

First Discoveries

In 1919 Sir Edward Mellanby was working indoors with dogs and horses during the winter and concluded that if they didn’t get sunlight they developed bone disorders. He concluded that the essential action of fats preventing these problems was due to a vitamin; and that cod liver oil was a strong preventative agent

The chemical structure of this vitamin, which he named factor X, was identified in the 1930s by Professor A Windaus. And thus vitamin D came about. Bone disorders had also been noted in humans – typically rickets in children.

Vitamin D And Bones

Vitamin D is essential for maintaining bone density and preventing osteoporosis as it helps the absorption of the bone-building materials calcium and phosphorus. In this action it is helped by magnesium.

Vitamin D and cortisol (the stress hormone) have recently been shown in the USA to be the crucial determinants in osteoporosis. Not oestrogen.

Cortisol can bind with receptor sites on bone cells normally used for natural progesterone (not natural oestrogen) and this weakens bone structure. Apart from taking HRT many doctors will advise more dairy. Dairy foods provide high levels of blood calcium (and a tiny amount of vitamin D). However this calcium surge actually depresses vitamin D levels and the bodys ability to absorb magnesium. Catch 22. Dairy gives you high blood calcium, but low bone calcium.

Much work has been done on the effect of vitamin D with bones. For example, in 1991 Tufts University, Boston showed that vitamin D was essential for improving bone density and supplementation was important in the winter months. This work was confirmed in Lyon, France in 1992 where a group taking 800 IUs of vitamin D and 1.2 gms of calcium per day had 43 per cent fewer hip fractures and 32 per cent fewer other, non-vertebral fractures. So for osteoporosis think vitamin D and a healthy intake of greens, rather than dairy and HRT supplements!

Sources of Vitamin D

Sunlight on our skin is now thought to be the main source of vitamin D. Night shift workers have lowered blood levels of vitamin D. Heavily tanned, or black people have real problems making vitamin D through the effect of sunlight in their skin. On the other hand, people with Celtic, or Type I skin (ginger hair/ freckles/ burn easily but dont tan), could be said to have skin designed to pick up on any stray bit of UV light in their northerly natural habitat. These days, though, they do tend to avoid the sun, for good reasons, but this can land them with a vitamin D shortage.

Whilst a little is found in dairy foods, the major food source is fish liver oils (omega-3 fish oil supplements dont contain much, though). Cod liver oil is unfortunately a poor source of vitamin D compared to halibut liver oil, while most of the top brands actually contain an added D supplement. Unfortunately, in order to get a useful dose of vitamin D from fish liver oil, you would simultaneously be getting an even bigger dose of vitamin A, which then can interfere with the beneficial effect of vitamin D on bone density – catch 22. (Really this is a biological, practical system of checks and balances. But its thrown out of balance by our near-universal vitamin D deficiency).

Kidney or liver disease (and alcohol) depress vitamin D levels; indeed anything that interferes with the digestion and absorption of oils and fats will – including any form of diarrhoea, diseases such as coeliac and Crohns, and pale bowel motions for whatever reason.

So also do antacids and acid-inhibitors like Zantac, cholesterol-lowering drugs (e.g. statins), mineral oils, anticonvulsants and toxic chemicals in the environment (e.g. smog).

Recommended Daily Allowance

On a sunny summer day, a young adult exposing a fair amount of skin for 15-30 minutes will manufacture about 20,000 IUs of vitamin D; this goes down with age to 10,000 IUs or less.

The best supplementation to take is vitamin D3. D3 provides vitamin D in its most usable form.

Most anticancer experts suggest people with cancer ensure that they are getting at least 2,500 IUs a day, and ideally 4,000 IUs..

What Is The Situation With Skin Cancer?

Although excess and burning sunshine can give rise to skin cancer, the charities that scare people against sunshine are doing the public a huge and dangerous dis-service.

The University of New Mexico (Journal of Nat Cancer Institute 2005, 97) has shown that its research findings conclude people with high exposure to the sun are less likely to die from melanomas. They conclude vitamin D might be the protecting factor.

Increasing levels of skin cancer and melanoma are largely due to increasing levels of  chemicals in the body and particularly on the skin, together with low levels of protective, antioxidant nutrients such as vitamins C, E, and omega-3 oils and minerals.

One research study showed that with identical women, the one on the oestrogenic contraceptive pill had twice the risk of developing melanoma. Some sun screens have had chemical ingredients banned in Scandanavia as they mimic the action of oestrogen on the skin. And melanoma is driven by oestrogen, not simply excess sun light.

Conversely, very recent evidence indicates that high blood levels of vitamin D actually help to prevent burning by speeding up tanning of the skin!

It is quite clear that everyone who is unable to achieve regular, gentle sun exposure would be well advised to supplement with a vitamin D3 supplement, at a dose of at least 400 IUs for prevention and 2,500 IUs to 4,000 IUs if they already have cancer.

There appear to be no reported contraindications with cancer drugs or cancer treatments in fact, exactly the opposite seems true.

Anybody with cancer, or at high risk of developing it, will do themselves no harm with a daily dose of up to 10,000 IUs, and may very well help themselves greatly. Some hospitals have been using vitamin D supplementation with breast cancer patients, and/or during radiotherapy, and/or as a part of a general programme of cancer therapy.

Vitamin D, are you getting enough?

If you cannot get adequate levels of daily sunshine nor eat large amounts of oily fish, then you might think seriously about Vitamin D supplements as part of your disease- prevention thinking. And if you want to supplement make sure it is the best, naturally-sourced supplement you can find.