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153 of 158 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars thorough & practical, 8 April 2010
This review is from: The Vitamin D Solution: A 3-Step Strategy to Cure Our Most Common Health Problem (Hardcover)
[2012 WARNING: None of the books on the benefits of Vitamin D3 warned about the need to also take vitamin K2! I have to wonder how all these self-claimed vitamin D3 experts, who also claimed so many successes, were ignorant that vitamin A (it seems most of us are deficient in this vitamin too), vitamin D3 and vitamin K (in the form of K2) must come together in balanced proportions. If you take calcium and vitamin D but are deficient in vitamin K, you may be increasing the risk of a heart attack.

Vitamin K is essential not only for preventing potentially deadly blood clots but also for bone building (including delaying tooth decay) and maintenance. Perhaps most important - K has powerful anti-cancer effects. It is known to be helpful for cardiovascular disease, varicose veins, brain health problems, including dementia and even prevents infectious diseases such as pneumonia. Some claim that most people need daily vitamin D3 of at least 2000 IU with 3000 IU of vitamin A and 100mcg of vitamin K2. The synergy between them is vital as there is evidence that the safety of high dose vitamin D is dependent on vitamin K, and that vitamin D toxicity (although very rare with the D3 form) is actually caused by vitamin K2 deficiency.

Also worth reading: "Primal Panacea" by Thomas E. Levy which explains that vitamin C is just as important for bones and very important for heart disease. In addition, vitamin C is uniquely suited to kill pathogens, neutralize toxins and supercharge the immune system.]

Of the 8 books on vitamin D I've now read, this is now my favourite pick. It's practical and he has a way with words: "vitamin D deficiency is our most common health challenge globally", "vitamin D is in a class by itself; its far-reaching effects on the body are aligned with how hormones act to influence metabolic pathways, cellular functions, and the expression of myriad genes", "in some respected medical circles, sunlight is being described as a 'wonder drug'". At 300 pages I also found it thorough and I specially liked the straightforward explanation that sunshine, when it's strong enough, is always better than supplementing with Vitamin D.

Dr. Holick is a professor of medicine, physiology and biophysics at Boston University Medical Center in the USA who has studied vitamin D for over 30 years and has received awards relating to health research and nutrition. He explains that he lost his teaching position as a Dermatologist in 2004 because he refused to agree with his boss and with the Dermatology profession generally that even the tiniest amount of UV/sunshine is bad for us. Unlike most of the other books, which recommend only vitamin D3, he says that either vitamin D2 or D3 is fine.

Of the other books, "The Vitamin D Revolution" by Soram Khalsa was previously the one I preferred while "Vitamin D Prescription" by Eric Madrid is also good but harder to find and more expensive. "Vitamin D" by Rona and "Power of Vitamin D" by Zaidi, both published in 2010, are both brief but quite good. "The Vitamin D Cure" by James Dowd is not basic, comprehensive or practical. Then there is "Vitamin D" by Michael Merrill which was too brief and simply inadequate. At the other extreme is the comprehensive but somewhat technical "Sunshine and Vitamin D" by Frank Murray - mainly brief compilations of hundreds of studies but no practical guidelines, so not really suitable for the layman who wants to experiment with high-dose vitamin D.

There are more and more books - and a great deal of media fanfare - on the recently discovered almost miraculous properties of vitamin D. It's also worth noting that over a decade ago several books were already lauding the much-overlooked benefits of sunshine, the best way to get vitamin D, although the further away from the equator, the less effective. Anyone living above the 35th parallel (England runs from the 50th upwards) is highly likely to have a sunshine/vit D deficiency that can also lead to many common symptoms. (Those who react badly to Vitamin D and/or sunshine may have a rare disease called sarcoidosis.)

According to most of the books on vitamin D, the vast majority of us are deficient in vitamin D whereas adequate levels can alleviate chronic pain, stroke, osteoporosis, heart disease, cancer, autoimmune diseases, depression, arthritis, diabetes, gum disease, psoriasis, fibromyalgia, autism and much more. Perhaps it's just my cynicism from decades of reading endless books singing the praises of so-called miracles such as DMSO, MMS, DHEA, vitamin C, magnesium, iodine, omega 3 EFAs, breathwork, oxygen therapy, hydrogen peroxide, water, thyroid hormone, adrenal hormone, liver cleanses, detoxes, fasts, exercise, neutralising electromagnetic stress, juicing, mangosteen, noni juice, superfoods, organic foods, wholefoods, celiac diets, dairy-free diets, veggie diets, protein diets, carb diets, food combining, acid-alkaline balancing diets, Glycaemic Index diets, high fibre diets, raw food diets, candida/fungus elimination, parasite cleansing - oh dear, the list of my gullibility seems endless.

Yes, I've tried all of these; yes, thoroughly and sometimes repeating them in various combinations and on each occasion with enthusiasm and bright-eyed hope but I saw no measurable benefits. "Trick and Treat" by Groves explains in detail just why so many of my efforts were doomed. Nowadays, when I read about health wonders, I wonder how many claims of success are made up or at least tweaked - and I wonder what proportion of actual patients were successful in any way, much less miraculously so, as is always claimed by books touting miraculous benefits.

I was startled to learn in this book that about a third of the population has kidney disease (which never gets diagnosed until too late and allegedly little can be done for it apart from horrible treatments like dialysis) and that about the same number are obese (hello... anyone making a connection here?) and that their bodies may not be able to produce enough activated vitamin D even when taking high-dose supplements: as compared to the non-obese, vitamin D levels rose only 50% as much in the blood levels of the obese when using a tanning bed or getting a dose of 50,000iu of vitamin D. The obese get a lot of blame for what is not actually their fault: studies now show that calcium also plays a key role in reducing obesity (elsewhere I have seen studies showing large weight loss in about 30% of obese women who take both calcium and vitamin D).

Holick recommends activated vitamin D (calcitriol) for those whose bodies have difficulty converting vitamin D into the active form, such as older people or those who have a wheat/gluten intolerance (much more common than realised). However, none of the books are clear enough that many with poor health simply cannot produce enough activated vitamin D in their bodies even when taking high-dose vitamin D.

Based on my personal experience of taking 10,000iu daily of vitamin D3 for 6 months (but Rona's book mentions Norm Shealy, a physician who has taken 50,000iu per day for 18 months), I'm not convinced that vitamin D supplementation of the non-prescription kind is a panacea, as so many of the books are claiming - and I am not convinced that all these authors got the unanimously fantastic results they allege. While I believe that vitamin D supplementation at 5,000ius daily is beneficial, too many such books have a way of sounding a little overzealous, attributing every malady to whatever deficiency they're tackling and proposing it as the magic solution across the board.

[Later notes: I feel it's important to mention the new mental/emotional healing process explained in "The Healing Code" by Loyd/Johnson/Eble. There are hundreds of personal successes listed in the reviews on

For those looking for general health improvements, I also suggest:
- "Oil Pulling" by Fife - worked immediately for me, to sooth an abscessed tooth, and has long-term systemic benefits;
- "Outsmart Your Cancer" by Tanya Harter Pierce is a considered and thoughtful review of successful alternative remedies;
- "Never Fear Cancer Again" by Raymond Francis a superb distillation of what is truly needed for health
- "Trick and Treat" by Barry Groves or and "The Diet Delusion" by Gary Taubes or "The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living" by Phinney and Volek , all of which turn upside down everything governments have told us to eat for health;
- "Primal Panacea" by Thomas E. Levy which explains that vitamin C is just as important for bones. In addition, vitamin C is uniquely suited to kill pathogens, neutralize toxins and supercharge the immune system.
- "Niacin : The Real Story: Learn About the Wonderful Healing Properties of [mega-dose] Vitamin B3" by Abram Hoffer;
- "Transdermal Magnesium Therapy" by Sircus on the amazing benefits of magnesium - a fundamental supplement for a healthy body;
- "The XXL Syndrome", basically a booklet, about the essential part potassium plays in health (especially potassium bicarbonate);
- "Sodium Bicarbonate - Full Medical Review" also by Sircus;
"Iodine: Why you need it, Why you can't live without it" by David Brownstein and " The Iodine Crisis: What You Don't Know About Iodine Can Wreck Your Life" by Lynne Farrow.

LATEST NOTE: : I turned out to have serious adrenal fatigue and serious low thyroid issues. The thyroid issue had been getting worse for 2 decades, whilst "standard" medicine denied I had either, repeatedly assuring me all their tests "proved" this. `Hypothyroidism Type 2' by Mark Starr ("type 2" meaning the thyroid problems for which there are no lab tests and therefore they don't get diagnosed) explains how all chronic pain is linked to low thyroid, including those involved with diabetes, heart problems, both bleeding & blood clots (including strokes) and some cancers. If you have any kind of chronic pain, you need to know 1. some are calling low thyroid the silent epidemic (silent because officially denied) and 2. there are no lab tests for most causes of low thyroid and your doctor only treats lab tests, not you.

The FREE basal (at rest) temperature self-test is THE gold standard for low thyroid problems and - with your symptoms - means more than any lab test (although most conventional doctors, including endos, won't agree but then they're not trained to understand thyroid problems - thyroiduk[dot]org[dot]uk offers a list of the very few thyroid sympathetic doctors in this country). The basal temperature test will pick up conditions that current lab tests don't, such as thyroid resistance. The stopthethyroidmadness website has excellent instructions for this self-test, as well as several for adrenal fatigue, which often goes hand-in-hand with low thyroid.
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 25 Aug 2010 17:18:43 BDT
C. Hand says:
So does this mean that vegetables, high protein diets, supplements have not helped you? How do you know the supplements, like vitamin D have not helped improved your bones or done something you could not feel. Supplements may of improved your liver, in fact your liver can be very fatty and you would not feel or be aware of it. I do not know what your trying to get better from, but I read and read.. have you ever tried the bible/anti-cancer diet.... fruit and vegetables, nuts.
Maybe meat is your enemie, or did you mean that with veggie diet? You did not mention herbs against bacteria/viruses, for example, lymes disease is not treated right and hard to shift, very much ignored serious condition.... caused via deer ticks. It apparently in some individuals actually increase 1, 25 dihydroxy vitamin D and this makes vitamin D3 look deficient when it is just the body trying to balance out the problem.

Posted on 15 Feb 2011 12:06:48 GMT
Jon Shaw says:
Did you get your blood levels tested. That's critical to see how much you need. As for all the other "miracles " you list. You have to understand their purpose and what they can realistically do for you. Some such as MMS are overhyped or even dangerous. You can't lump them together with essential minerals or a healthy diet

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Aug 2011 09:39:18 BDT
Dawn Bel says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on 4 Sep 2012 11:59:38 BDT
Smokeycat says:
I wouldn't recommend taking vitamin A. Even Low Amounts of Vitamin A Can Negate the Benefits of Vitamin D.
Beta carotene is okay. It is the retinoic acid (retinol) form of vitamin A that is problematic.

Posted on 17 Dec 2012 19:40:09 GMT
Dean Coelho says:
Why are you and what are your qualifications? Why do you feel the need to tell us so much? Why don't you write a book as well?

Posted on 5 Feb 2014 20:53:22 GMT
J. Maher says:
Thank you for your thorough review and the time you took to write this. I appreciate your opinion.

Posted on 18 May 2014 01:56:28 BDT
Last edited by the author on 18 May 2014 01:57:07 BDT
Arya says:
Hi I thought Vitamin K is positively involved in the clotting cascade rather than preventing it.

In reply to an earlier post on 18 May 2014 16:28:49 BDT
D&D says:
Hi Arya

The book"Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox: How a Little-Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life" by Kate Rheaume-Bleue is a good one to explain its benefits.
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