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Vitamin D

Over-the-counter vitamin D tester would be a boon to public health, cancer prevention

Wednesday, August 09, 2006
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com (See all articles...)
Tags: vitamin D, natural sunlight, medical technology

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There's a piece of technology we really need in the world that could vastly improve the health of people living not only in wealthy nations, but also Third World nations. This is a piece of technology that does not exist today, but could conceivably be invented and mass-produced in the next decade or two. If it were created, it would have profound consequences.

I am talking about a low-cost, consumer vitamin-D-sensing device. It would be a device like a thermometer that you would put in your mouth, or snap onto your finger, to give you a vitamin D reading (detailing how much vitamin D is in your blood). Ideally, it should be available without a prescription like a thermometer, and it should be low-cost, meaning something under a hundred dollars in today's market. It should also feature one-button operation in order to be easy to understand and use.

Why is such a device a desperately needed piece of technology that stands to improve the health and lives of so many people around the world? Today, vitamin D deficiency is widespread among the populations of the world, and especially in wealthier nations where people spend less time outdoors. This problem is even worse in countries at Northern latitudes like Canada, Germany and the U.K. These are all regions that don't get much sunlight. Since sunlight creates vitamin D in your skin, living at higher latitudes typically results in vitamin D deficiency in the population.

And yet we're learning that vitamin D is quite simply one of the most important nutrients in the human body. I call it a super vitamin. It is a vitamin that, all by itself, can reduce the risk of some cancers by 50 percent. No prescription drug even comes close to achieving that kind of success record in preventing or treating cancers.

Vitamin D prevents disease like a miracle drug

Vitamin D also prevents rickets, a disease that is increasingly common among black infants because their mothers are almost universally deficient in this essential nutrient. When we don't have vitamin D, we are far more prone to both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. We are also more likely to become schizophrenic or depressed. We are more prone to osteoporosis, heart disease and several types of cancer, including breast cancer, prostate cancer and cervical cancer. If we don't have adequate supplies of vitamin D in our bodies, we tend to have more gum disease as well. Without enough vitamin D, we cannot absorb calcium efficiently, meaning we suffer from all kinds of disorders related to calcium deficiencies, including bone disorders, heart disease and nervous system disorders.

Vitamin D is indeed a super nutrient. It is important for our health and I truly believe that the vast majority of diseases we're treating in modern society today, whether it's cancer, diabetes, heart disease or high cholesterol, are the result of nutritional imbalances. This can be from the lack of nutrients or from the ingestion of toxic nutrients such as hydrogenated oils or refined sugars. Vitamin D plays a pivotal role in the metabolism of so many diseases that it seems ridiculous not to do everything we can to make people more aware of this vitamin's power. The development of the portable vitamin D sensor would be the answer that we need.

Testing your Vitamin D levels at home

If vitamin D sensors were available for $100, or even $1,000, then people could easily get their vitamin levels checked by a doctor. Or, if the devices were available over-the-counter, then people could buy them, take them home and check their own vitamin D levels. Right now, consumers check their own blood pressure, temperature and cholesterol level with home testing kits, so it wouldn't be unusual for there to be a vitamin D testing kit.

The trick is that vitamin D is a hormone, which is not the easiest thing to test. Currently, it can only be measured through blood tests, but it is my understanding that one laboratory is planning on a vitamin D saliva test, which would really be a breakthrough, especially if it were cost-effective. If it could be done for something less than $50 per test, it would open up vitamin D testing to a huge number of people who could use this test to raise their awareness of potential vitamin D deficiencies. Then, with the help of a qualified health practitioner, they could adjust their vitamin D levels accordingly so that they could experience all the benefits of adequate vitamin D intake.

Current vitamin D testing requires a blood draw. Click here to read a description of modern vitamin D testing procedures (plus illustration).

Being a fat-soluble vitamin, vitamin D does have a toxicity level. It's unwise to simply start ingesting large amounts of vitamin D if you don't know where your current levels are, and that's why this vitamin-D-sensing technology could be such a positive breakthrough. It could not only help people treat and reverse vitamin D deficiencies, it could also help people make sure they don't overdose on vitamin D to the point of toxicity.

Sunlight is the safe, natural way to produce vitamin D in your own body, with no chance of overdose

The easiest way to get vitamin D on your own is through sunlight. When you expose your skin to ultraviolet radiation, your skin generates vitamin D on its own. If you already have sufficient stores of vitamin D in you body, then additional exposure to the sun will never create an overdose of vitamin D. It will only create the amount you need and no more.

Technically, as Dr. Michael Hollick explained in an interview, the excess vitamin D created through exposure to ultraviolet radiation is broken down and consumed by the body. It is essentially created and then destroyed, so the net effect is that your body will never, on its own, create too much vitamin D from sunlight exposure. The only way to overdose on vitamin D is to do it through supplementation or the mass consumption of substances like fish oils. Given the fact that people don't eat very much fish oil, it's very difficult to overdose unless you're actually chugging processed fish oil by the cupful. Cod liver oil is probably the best source of vitamin D, which is why I consider cod liver oil to be a superfood crucial for those people living in Northern climates who don't have access to natural sunlight.

Tanning beds are actually medical devices

Another alternative for those living in Northern climates or cloudy climates such as Seattle or Northern Oregon would be tanning beds. Tanning beds induce your skin to produce vitamin D. Obviously, it's not the same as natural sunlight, because it's a limited spectrum of light, but it is a way to produce vitamin D. It's common sense that tanning beds are actually medical devices. If you put your skin under ultraviolet radiation, whether it's a tanning bed or sunlight, you skin is going to produce vitamin D. That makes a tanning bed a rather useful medical device (as long as it is used safely).

Thus, tanning beds can actually treat -- yes, treat -- osteoporosis, depression and even various cancers. You can quote me on that. But of course, thanks to our modern environment of FDA-enforced medical censorship and oppression on anything related to real health, tanning salon operators would be arrested if they made such claims. In my view, tanning salons should have the right to explain this process to their customers and I think that in the near future, we may see a whole new wave of interest in tanning booths for health purposes. Get a tan and help prevent prostate cancer. It's not an exaggeration. It sounds ridiculous at first, especially if you've believed all the crazy hype about sunlight being dangerous, but the truth is that if you have a healthy tan, your odds of ever getting prostate cancer or breast cancer, or suffering from these many other diseases are dramatically reduced.

Just remember that tanning is not smart if you don't have lots of antioxidants in your diet. It is the dietary antioxidants that help protect your skin from UV damage. So eat lots of blueberries, superfoods and nutritional supplements. Get the garbage out of your diet (refined sugars, refined grains, fried foods, etc.) and you'll be able to experience the health benefits of sensible UV light exposure.

Vitamin D works better than prescription drugs

Did you know that most prescription drugs don't even work on most people? This was admitted by one of the top executives of a leading drug company. He said that most drugs simply don't work on most people and he gave actual numbers, such as Alzheimer's drugs only working on about a third of patients. You can go on down the list, drug by drug, but the bottom line is that prescription drugs only work on a fraction of the people who take them.

But did you know that sunlight works on everybody? If you go out and get natural sunlight on your skin, you will automatically produce vitamin D. The only exceptions are people with extremely rare genetic defects that interfere with the enzymatic reactions necessary for the production of vitamin D. So sunlight works on virtually everyone. It lifts your mood. It balances and regulates your hormone levels. It eliminates depression and seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and the vitamin D coursing through your blood will boost calcium absorption, bone density and brain function, as well as help eliminate behavioral disorders and greatly reduce your risk of cancer.

The positive effects from vitamin D are absolutely astounding. It is simply one of the most miraculous nutrients to yet be observed. What we need to complete the loop is an affordable vitamin D sensor. This would allow us to self-diagnose our vitamin D deficiencies in our homes, in our public schools or our medical clinics. Anywhere that we could get people to participate in this test, we could help dramatically reduce the vitamin D deficiency across the population, which would have enormously positive consequences for the health of newborns especially.

Vitamin D detector would have strong supporters, but vehement opposition from the sunscreen industry

However, if such a device existed, I can tell you right now who would be against it. Sunscreen manufacturers apparently don't want people to get more sunlight. They want people to block sunlight, because that's how they sell their products. As long as people believe that sunlight is dangerous, the sunscreen makers will sell more sunscreen products, but the minute the population realizes that sensible sunlight exposure is not dangerous and that it is, in fact, crucial for long-term health, sunscreen sales will plummet.

This is exactly why sunscreen manufacturers would be outspoken critics of portable consumer vitamin D sensors. I predict this will happen in the future. Dermatologists, who are closely aligned with sunscreen manufacturers, may even join the outcry against the vitamin D sensor. In doing so, they will cause great harm because they will prevent the smooth and rapid introduction of this key technology that has the potential to save literally millions of lives and improve the quality of life for several billion people around the world.

And who knows what the cancer industry would do. Cancer is big, big business, and anything that could actually prevent half of all cancers would be viciously attacked by the cancer bosses who depend on the continuation of this disease for their own power, profits and egos. It's no exaggeration to say that the cancer industry prevents prevention and, instead, focuses on profitable treatments for the disease. Even today, the American Cancer Society still runs silly public service ads that try to scare people away from sunlight exposure. Click here to see an example ACS ad.

That is why I think we need such technology so desperately. If I had the research money, I would try to research and produce such a device. I'm sure there are better-qualified individuals and companies out there who have expertise in this area, and I hope that this kind of information encourages them to move forward with the knowledge that, if such a device existed, I would be one of its strongest proponents.

I'm guessing Dr. Michael Hollick would support it as well. More and more doctors are becoming aware of the benefits of vitamin D, and they would gladly recommend patients test their own vitamin D levels at home so they could increase their consumption of healthy fish oils or vitamin D supplements, or boost their sensible exposure to sunlight so that they could be healthier individuals.

I think a low-cost vitamin D sensor represents one of the most desperately-needed technologies for enhancing public health and preventing disease in a way that would make much of today's expensive cancer treatments utterly obsolete. And that, my friends, is exactly why you'll never see this technology. Anything that prevents cancer at near-zero cost, without drugs, surgery or chemotherapy, would spell disaster for the multi billion-dollar cancer industry -- an industry that depends on the continuation of disease to guarantee next quarter's profits.

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About the author:Mike Adams (aka the "Health Ranger") is a best selling author (#1 best selling science book on Amazon.com) and a globally recognized scientific researcher in clean foods. He serves as the founding editor of NaturalNews.com and the lab science director of an internationally accredited (ISO 17025) analytical laboratory known as CWC Labs. There, he was awarded a Certificate of Excellence for achieving extremely high accuracy in the analysis of toxic elements in unknown water samples using ICP-MS instrumentation. Adams is also highly proficient in running liquid chromatography, ion chromatography and mass spectrometry time-of-flight analytical instrumentation.

Adams is a person of color whose ancestors include Africans and Native American Indians. He's also of Native American heritage, which he credits as inspiring his "Health Ranger" passion for protecting life and nature against the destruction caused by chemicals, heavy metals and other forms of pollution.

Adams is the founder and publisher of the open source science journal Natural Science Journal, the author of numerous peer-reviewed science papers published by the journal, and the author of the world's first book that published ICP-MS heavy metals analysis results for foods, dietary supplements, pet food, spices and fast food. The book is entitled Food Forensics and is published by BenBella Books.

In his laboratory research, Adams has made numerous food safety breakthroughs such as revealing rice protein products imported from Asia to be contaminated with toxic heavy metals like lead, cadmium and tungsten. Adams was the first food science researcher to document high levels of tungsten in superfoods. He also discovered over 11 ppm lead in imported mangosteen powder, and led an industry-wide voluntary agreement to limit heavy metals in rice protein products.

In addition to his lab work, Adams is also the (non-paid) executive director of the non-profit Consumer Wellness Center (CWC), an organization that redirects 100% of its donations receipts to grant programs that teach children and women how to grow their own food or vastly improve their nutrition. Through the non-profit CWC, Adams also launched Nutrition Rescue, a program that donates essential vitamins to people in need. Click here to see some of the CWC success stories.

With a background in science and software technology, Adams is the original founder of the email newsletter technology company known as Arial Software. Using his technical experience combined with his love for natural health, Adams developed and deployed the content management system currently driving NaturalNews.com. He also engineered the high-level statistical algorithms that power SCIENCE.naturalnews.com, a massive research resource featuring over 10 million scientific studies.

Adams is well known for his incredibly popular consumer activism video blowing the lid on fake blueberries used throughout the food supply. He has also exposed "strange fibers" found in Chicken McNuggets, fake academic credentials of so-called health "gurus," dangerous "detox" products imported as battery acid and sold for oral consumption, fake acai berry scams, the California raw milk raids, the vaccine research fraud revealed by industry whistleblowers and many other topics.

Adams has also helped defend the rights of home gardeners and protect the medical freedom rights of parents. Adams is widely recognized to have made a remarkable global impact on issues like GMOs, vaccines, nutrition therapies, human consciousness.

In addition to his activism, Adams is an accomplished musician who has released over a dozen popular songs covering a variety of activism topics.

Click here to read a more detailed bio on Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, at HealthRanger.com.

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