Discover Magazine Excerpts and Comments

Comments on Selected Excerpts from Discover Magazine's January 2008 TOP 100 Science Stories of 2007

Can Vitamin D Save Your Life?

  1. Lack of Vitamin D is linked to prevention of these diseases today: colon, breast and prostate cancers; TB; schizophrenia; multiple sclerosis; hip fractures; chronic pain.
  2. We now know that most cells in the human body have receptor sites for Vitamin D. Vitamin D is needed for overall health, not just calcium homeostasis.
  3. Vitamin D, either directly or indirectly, controls over 200 genes!
  4. Average Vitamin D intake in Americans is 230 IU per day.
  5. Results of new research showed that Vitamin D in dose of 1100 units per day compared to no supplementation reduced all cancers by 60%! New recommended dosage by the researchers is 1500-2000 IU per day. The US has not acted on this advice, but Canada has recently recommended 1500-2000 IU per day for pregnant and nursing mothers.
  6. Multiple sclerosis was 62% less likely to develop in individuals that had the top quintile of Vitamin D blood levels compared to the bottom quintile in a recent retrospective study of stored blood samples.
  7. Activation by Vitamin D allows the arming of white blood cells that produce a peptide to destroy the infectious bacillus of TB, thusly preventing infection!
  8. Vitamin D comes from only three sources: ultraviolet sun rays penetrating the skin, fatty fish oil, and fortified foods or supplements.

Does more Vitamin D intake and more sun exposure seem like a no-brainer to you?

To me, it seems like the advice for years to cover up and/or use sunscreen just may have increased our cancer rates. Very little over dosage risk exists with either Vitamin A or Vitamin D, and so much upside potential! That Dr. Weston Price seems to get smarter and smarter...

Proportion of Male Babies Decreasing Since 1970

  1. Proportion of male babies born in the US and Japan has steadily declined since 1970, with 17 less males per 10000 births in the US, and 37 less per 10000 in Japan.
  2. Cause is unknown, but speculation by the experts is that estrogen –mimicking chemicals in the environment are responsible. These include pesticides, solvents, plastics and PCBs.
  3. These experts believe that these facts and the growing reproductive problem in our human species are signals for further examination and hopefully explanation.

Organic food for anyone?

Pesticide Effects on Sex Last Generations in Rats

  1. Male rats whose great-grandmothers had been exposed to the fungicide vinclozolin, where shunned by healthy female rats.
  2. The male's behavior appeared normal in every way, but the females act as if they are undesirable.
  3. The male rats developed sperm abnormalities, infertility, breast tumors and kidney disease as they aged.
  4. This study suggests that the effects of pesticides can last for generations modifying behavior and health.
  5. Researchers speculate that perhaps the smell of the affected male rats was the turn-off, and further speculate that the damage is caused by epigenetic forces. The effect is to errantly change the expression of genetically controlled development and behavior.

Fish Fats Protect Mice Retinas

  1. Researchers fed one of two diets to each of two groups of nursing mice mothers. One diet mimicked a typical Japanese diet with 2% more omega-3 essential fatty acid and the second diet mimicking a typical US diet with 2% more omega-6 EFA.
  2. Each of the groups was exposed to excess oxygen, a stimulus for increased retinal blood vessel growth once the excess oxygen is removed.
  3. The Omega-3 spiked diet mice kits had normal vessel growth while the oega-6 spiked diet kits all exhibited the abnormal, excessive vessel growth.
  4. This type of low oxygen stress vessel overgrowth is the common problem in vision loss that accompanies diabetes, premature infants, and the elderly. This vision problem affects 4 million people in the US alone.
  5. The same researchers are completing a like study of vision problems and omega-3 versus omega-6 diets in humans. Results are expected to be available sometime in 2008.

Grassfed meat, milk or eggs for anybody?