Tag Archives: chiropractic

Big News!

Happy New Year everyone! After a full month without any posts, I feel like I’m seeing an old friend for the first time in while!

It’s good to be back and I have exciting news! Our clinic now offers in-office blood work. It is a wonderful tool for us to be able to help further evaluate our patients and so far it has been a raging success.  We’ve been able to catch things on patients that may have otherwise gone overlooked. Our ultimate goal is to help our patients be as healthy as they can.

We offer a wide range of services including chiropractic, nutritional counseling, dietary management, neurologic rehabilitation and, now, blood work done right in the office!  We are very excited.  Below is a video that discusses exactly how it works. We hope to have more and more “vlogs” (video blogs) so look for those this year!

I’ve listed below a complete list of the blood work that we can perform here in the office with our new Piccolo Xpress.  You may click each link to read more about that particular profile.  If you have any questions please let us know!

Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (Waived) – ALB, ALP, ALT, AST, BUN, Ca, Cl, CRE, GLU, K+, Na+, TBIL, tCO2, TP
Basic Metabolic Panel (Waived) – BUN, Ca, Cl, CRE, GLU, K+, Na+, tCO2
Lipid Panel (Waived) – CHOL, CHOL/HDL*, HDL, LDL*,TRIG, VLDL*
Lipid Panel Plus (Waived) – ALT, AST, CHOL, CHOL/HDL*, GLU, HDL, LDL*, TRIG, VLDL*
Liver Panel Plus (Waived) – ALB, ALP, ALT, AMY, AST, GGT, TBIL, TP
General Chemistry 6 (Waived) – ALT, AST, BUN, CRE, GGT, GLU
General Chemistry 13 (Waived) – ALB, ALP, ALT, AMY, AST, BUN, Ca, CRE, GGT, GLU, TBIL, TP, UA
Electrolyte Panel (Waived) – Cl, K+, Na+, tCO2
Kidney Check (Waived) – BUN, CRE
Renal Panel (Waived) – ALB, BUN, Ca, Cl, CRE, GLU, K+, Na+, PHOS, tCO2
MetLyte 8 Panel (Waived) – BUN, CK, Cl, CRE, GLU, K+, Na+, tCO2
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Sidney Crosby’s got a new weapon

Dr. Carrick and Sidney Crosby seated at a press conference.

If you follow the NHL at all, you know who Sidney Crosby is.  He is arguably the best hockey player in the world.  He is the face of the National Hockey league. He is not playing hockey at the moment.

At the beginning of this year, Crosby was leading the NHL in scoring.  His team was playing well and was expected to make a deep run into the playoffs. Then two hits sidelined his season and possibly his career.  These hits, which came just days apart from one another caused Crosby to have two concussions which he had a very difficult time recovering from.

His symptoms were so debilitating that he couldn’t watch TV, drive a car or even shop at the grocery store. He had post-concussive syndrome with a unique component.  His vestibular system was affected.

The vestibular system is basically our balance center.  It allows us to stay balanced in earth’s gravitational field.  It tells the muscles of our neck, back and eyes how to respond to changes in position without conscious intervention.  This is important because if we needed to think about staying balanced every time we changed position, we wouldn’t think about much else!  Without our vestibular system, you and I could not walk, run or play. And we definitely could not skate at the level Sidney Crosby is accustomed to!

Sidney Crosby’s progress was moving exceptionally slow.  It was so slow that people in the media began to question whether he would ever play hockey again. He had been seeing some of the most prominent neurologists and concussion experts in the world with little to show for it. Then, a chiropractor who works with many professional sports teams recommended that he go see Dr. Ted Carrick.

Dr. Carrick is a chiropractic neurologist and head of the Carrick Institute.  In addition to being a chiropractic neurologist, he has a Ph.D in neurology.  His focus is to help people functionally rehabilitate their brains when there has been injury.  The results he has achieved with Crosby are quite amazing.

What do I mean, functionally rehabilitate? The brain has many, many functions.  It is very powerful.  Even small changes in the way the brain processes, interprets and executes function can cause symptoms.  Despite this fact, when people have concussions they are told time is the only thing that can heal the brain.  They are given no advice on how to rehabilitate their brain.  We understand rehabilitation when someone sprains an ankle or tears and ACL.  Those patients are given aggressive rehab programs to strengthen and heal their ankle or knee.  Why wouldn’t we do this for someone with a brain injury?

This is what Dr. Carrick has done for Sidney Crosby and it is also what we do here in our clinic.  We use the same techniques that Dr. Carrick is using on Crosby to help patients in our office every day.  As a matter of fact, I have studied under Dr. Carrick and seen him lecture on these brilliant techniques many times.  It is quite amazing.

So what exactly do we do? We use many different therapies designed to re-educate the brain and help it to more efficiently process the information it receives.  If the information is processed correctly it can respond appropriately and that is when we begin to see symptoms of many brain disorders improve.  The types of therapies vary depending on what and where the problem lies in the brian.  But they range from eye exercises to sound and light therapy to balance exercises to general brain games.  The list really is endless.

Dr. Carrick is hopeful the Crosby will begin playing shortly.  The progress that Crosby has made with Dr. Carrick is astonishing, but it’s not a miracle, it’s neurology.  I’m glad this type of rehabilitation is getting a little mainstream media coverage.  In my opinion, it’s just the tip of the iceberg!

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Prescription Drug Deaths Outnumber Traffic Accident Deaths

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For anyone that considers prescription drugs safe and harmless, this is sobering news.  For the first time, deaths from prescription drugs now outnumber deaths from traffic accidents.

Deaths from prescription medication has been on the rise for years.  As a matter of fact, deaths in the last decade have doubled from drugs.  This is in contrast to deaths from motor vehicle accidents which have continued to decline as advancements in automobile safety mount.

In 2009 37,485 people died from prescription medication overdoses.  The primary culprits are anxiety medications and pain killers.  To put this astronomical number into perspective 37,485 deaths would be equivalent to a commercial jet carrying just over 100 people crashing everyday!  Can you imagine if the airline industry had this kind of record? Not only would no one fly but the government would shut them down permanently until the problem could be fixed.

The problem is not that these drugs exist, it’s the way we view health care.  We are too ready to accept the quick fix which, in reality, is not a fix at all.  It is simply a pill that covers up the symptoms we don’t want to experience.

I think we must also blame how easily these drugs are available.  It is all too easy to walk into a doctor’s office these days and walk out with a very powerful prescription.  These drugs are often very addictive and when combined with other drugs that are easily available, like alcohol, they become exceptionally dangerous.

Because these drugs are readily available, people tend to view them as safe.  They feel they can take high doses and not be at risk of any serious adverse event. Traditional medicine has done a very poor job informing the public of these dangers.  And the pharmaceutical industry doesn’t want people to know the dangers either.  That might reduce their bottom line!

What if we changed our health care paradigm?  What if instead of getting a pill for every ache, pain or uncomfortable feeling we changed the way we lived, ate well and exercised and sought more conservative but effective methods to our health issues?  Wouldn’t we be significantly less dependent on these drugs?  Of course we would!

I am not naive enough to think that this would eliminate the entire problem.  There will always be people who choose the abuse these drugs despite our best efforts.  But what about the people who die from these drugs who were taking them as prescribed?  Or the people who became addicted to the drugs even though they were taking them as prescribed originally?  Had those people sought alternatives to their conditions earlier, their fate may have been much different.

The answers to our health problems do not lie with the pharmaceutical industry.  Currently, drugs are our primary source of “health care.” Unfortunately, there is nothing healthy about it.  Drugs can serve a purpose.  They can help when used appropriately.  We find ourselves in trouble when we rely on them for everythingas we do now.

Our goal should be to take less drugs, not more.  The pharmaceutical industry is constantly investigating new ways to get us to take more and more drugs. As evidence, Pfizer would like nothing more than for Lipitor to be available over-the-counter. It would significantly increase sales.  Is it a coincidence that their patent is running out and it will now be available in generic form from it’s competitors? I think not. This is not health care.

The most effective way to stay healthy is to eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly.  Should a health issue arise, seek conservative care first.  Try things like chiropractic care, acupuncture, massage, talk therapy or a change in your lifestyle before you resort to a prescription.  It might just save your life.

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What’s that sound?

This is a transaxial slice of the brain of a 5...

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Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, is an exceptionally common problem.  As many as 2 million Americans experience this on a daily basis.  It can range from very minor to annoying to debilitating.

Tinnitus is often associated with hearing loss.  Prolonged exposure to loud noises is the most common cause of hearing loss.  It is this loss of hearing that is actually causing the tinnitus.  Say what? Hearing loss actually causes people to hear sounds that don’t really exist? Yes!

People often describe tinnitus as ringing in the ears.  However, the list of sounds that are considered tinnitus is very long.  Other sounds that people might perceive include ticking, clicking, whooshing and buzzing to name a few.

Recent research, published online in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggest several new approaches to treatment, including retraining the brain, and new avenues for developing drugs to suppress the ringing.

As a chiropractic neurologist the above statement about retraining the brain got my attention.  This is something that is near and dear to the heart of all chiropractic neurologists.  We use techniques that retrain the brain every day.  We use these techniques to help people with a wide variety of conditions ranging from anxiety to muscular imbalances and pain.

Traditionally, patients with tinnitus are told the problem stems from damaged hair cells inside of the ear.  They are told it is these hair cells that are sending the wrong signals into the brain which interprets them as noise. Turns out, this is not true.

Because each hair cell is tuned to a different frequency, damaged or lost cells leave a gap in hearing, typically a specific frequency and anything higher in pitch.  It is this gap which causes problems for the brain.

Chiropractic neurologists have been saying for a very long time that ringing in the ears is actually brain based.  This new research supports this assertion. Below is information from coauthor of the recent study Shaowen Bao, adjunct assistant professor in the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute at UC Berkeley

Experiments in the past few years have shown that the ringing doesn’t originate in the inner ear, though, but rather in regions of the brain — including the auditory cortex — that receives input from the ear.

Bao’s experiments in rats with induced hearing loss explain why the neurons in the auditory cortex generate these phantom perceptions. They showed that neurons that have lost sensory input from the ear become more excitable and fire spontaneously, primarily because these nerves have “homeostatic” mechanisms to keep their overall firing rate constant no matter what.

“With the loss of hearing, you have phantom sounds,” said Bao, who himself has tinnitus. In this respect, tinnitus resembles phantom limb pain experienced by many amputees. (From sciencedaily.com)

The neurons that have lost sensory input in the brain are the neurons that are responsible for the perceived noise that people hear.  These neurons have undergone a process called transneural degeneration.  To stabilize these neurons they need more input.  But because they cannot receive it from the hair cells in the ear that are damaged, other areas of the auditory cortex must take over.  This retraining of the brain takes time, but if performed diligently, the results can be phenomenal.

We know this is a possibility because the brain is plastic.  That is, it changes in response to the stress and environmental input it receives. When a finger is amputated, for example, the region of the brain receiving input from that finger may start handling input from neighboring fingers.

Drug therapy is aimed at increasing the levels of the neurotransmitter GABA in the brain.  GABA is the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter.  In order to slow down the firing rate of these over excited cells, we must increase the levels of this inhibitory neurotransmitter.  The good news is there are lots of natural therapies that work to raise GABA levels or drive GABA receptors in the brain.

One way is to use the amino acid taurine.  I use it frequently.  Another is a product called phenibut (Phen-i-bute).  It is a natural GABA derivative that crosses the blood brain barrier and binds to GABA receptors.  I also use this frequently in my practice. These supplements, however, I believe are temporary solutions.  The permanent solution is to retrain the brain.

Tinnitus is a complicated and elusive condition, but we appear to be headed in the right direction in terms of research.  Always remember, the brain holds the key!

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Chiropractic saves 40% on care for low back pain.

Chiropractic Caduceus

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My blogs generally focus on nutrition and other topics that relate to health.  That is the main focus of my practice.  But as a chiropractor by training I still see some patients that want just that – chiropractic.  I enjoy those patients because I feel as if it gets me back to my roots, so to speak.

Recently I came across a study that was just too good not to share with all of you.  It was about low back pain, its costs to patients and insurance carriers, and how starting your care with a chiropractor can save an astonishing 40%!  This is big news in this day and age with health care costs skyrocketing.  The medical profession and insurance companies should take notice and stop putting so many road blocks in the way of getting quality chiropractic care for people.

The new study showed that people who initiated care for low back pain with chiropractors saved an average of 40% over people who initiated care with a medical doctor.

The study collected data from 85,000 Blue Cross Blue Shield beneficiaries.  It concluded that insurance companies that restrict access the chiropractic will likely end up paying more for care.  This is precisely what insurance companies should be trying not to do.

The study was published in the December 2010 issue of the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. It looked at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee over a two year span.  The people in the study had open access to medical doctors and doctors of chiropractic through self-referral.  There were no limits applied to the number of MD or DC visits and no differences in co-pays.

The study showed that people who started their care with a chiropractor instead of a medical doctor saved their insurance company almost 40%.  They calculated that would save BCBS of Tennessee $2.3 million annually.

I’m not one to listen to the insurance companies crying poor.  This story isn’t about saving insurance companies more money.  The point is that chiropractic has been shown to be more effective than conservative medical care and this study shows that it is also more cost effective.  Considering 85% of people will experience back pain in their life time and in a time when health care costs are on the national stage, this story should be front and center.

So next time you have back pain, make sure you see a chiropractor first.  Not only is it more effective, it will save you money!

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3 Medical Myths Debunked

Health care can be a confusing field.  There is so much information out there, much of it conflicting, that leaves consumers confused about their health.  Well, today I am here to sort some of them out for you.  Below are some common medical myths that people believe but are not necessarily true.

1. High Cholesterol Means a High Heart Attack Risk

This is perhaps the biggest one I see in practice.  Everyone thinks that having high cholesterol means they are at risk for having a heart attack.  They also think that having low cholesterol is protecting them from heart disease and heart attacks.  Neither is true!  As a matter of fact, 50% of the people who have heart attacks annually have high cholesterol and 50% have low cholesterol. To most people this is an astounding stat, but it’s true.  What has been shown in the research is that your total cholesterol is not actually a predictor of heart disease.  Looking at the break down of the HDL (the good) versus LDL (the bad) cholesterol is helpful but still is not the entire story.  What you should be looking at is the size of your cholesterol.  How do you do that?  It’s simple really.  It’s just a blood test.  It is how the lab analyzes your cholesterol that’s different.  Without getting to technical, small, dense particles of LDL cholesterol are bad because they can make their way into the lining of your blood vessels most easily.  Light, fluffy, large pieces of LDL are not problematic because they cannot readily get into the walls of your vessels and cause the atherosclerotic plaques that are so dangerous.  These are tests that several of the largest laboratories are performing now and give us better information about cardiovascular health.  I have begun measuring cholesterol in this fashion on all my high risk cardiovascular patients and the results have helped us tailor nutritional programs that will be most effective for them.

2. Bed Rest of Back Pain

I recently had someone visit my office on a Monday for an acute case of back pain.  She was in quite a bit of distress and discomfort.  So much so that she had been to the emergency room over the weekend.  There she was given test and test and finally told that her back pain was not life threatening and to go home, take some pain killers and get bed rest for 5 days.  The advice of bed rest is still being given out by many physicians around the country for back pain despite the evidence that overwhelmingly concludes that this only makes back pain worse. In fact, the research shows that if you do go with bed rest you are much more likely to develop a chronic back problem.  If you have an episode of back pain do not stay in bed.  Your best bet is to stay as active as possible.  Your goal should be to continue your normal activities, within reason, but modify these activities to fit your current limitations.  Now, if your normal activities include vigorous exercise you may want to hold off on that until your back is feeling better, but you should try to walk if you can.  Rest if you need to, but keeping the joints and muscles of the back active even when they are hurt is the best way for them to heal appropriately.  You should also see a chiropractor.  Chiropractors are trained extensively on the back and know how to provide nonsurgical relief for back pain.

3. Eating Fat Makes You Fat

This is a biggie.  People come into my office for a lot of reasons.  However, regardless of their initial reason I always ask about their diet.  Inevitably someone will tell me they eat a healthy diet because they eat low fat.  People assume that low fat is the best way to keep fat from accumulating around their midsection (and everywhere else!).  This simply is not true.  It seems intuitive that eating fat would make you fat just like saving money makes you rich.  However, things in the human body are hardly ever that linear.  The way the human body stores fat is by secreting a hormone called insulin.  Insulin is secreted when a person consumes carbohydrates (bread, pasta, sugar) and to some degree protein.  Insulin signals the body’s cells to take in the energy in the blood, in the form of sugar, and store it as fat or use it.  Notice that I did not say that fat causes insulin release?  That’s because it doesn’t!  If fat does not cause the body to secrete the hormone necessary for fat storage then how can fat make you fat?  It can’t!  This myth comes from the fact that fat is higher in calorie than other foods but somewhere along the line people made the leap that eating fat caused fat to accumulate in the body.  When fat is consumed it is actually slowly converted to sugar and burned, not stored.

There are many more to choose from, but these are some of the most common that I see in my office.  If you’d like to know more, let me know in the comments section and I’ll post about your questions.

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1 in 100 Children have Autism…Find Out Why

My recent studies have focused very much on vitamin D and all of its wonderful benefits.  A quick perusal of the other articles on our blog will confirm this!  Recently, I came across information that was too good not to share with all of you.  A link between Autism and vitamin D deficiency has been established.  As some of you know, we see many children at The Vreeland Clinic for interventions with autism.  We provide nutritional and neurological rehabilitation programs to further assist in the development of the brains of these children.  In this article I would like to share with you groundbreaking information regarding vitamin D and autism.

Autism now affects 1 in 100 children in the U.S.

Autism statistics are staggering.  Twenty-five years ago an autism diagnosis was a 1 in 10,000 chance.  Today, 1 in 100 children will be diagnosed with autism.  Many researchers point to the increase in diagnosis as nothing more than more accurate methods and increased awareness.  They believe that the number was always about 1 in 100, but it was not reported.  Although there is some truth to more accurate diagnosis, it does not account for such a meteoric rise.  What’s more likely is that there has been some change in our environment over the last 20 to 25 years that, in combination with a more accurate system of diagnosis, has caused the number of autistic children to rise to epidemic proportions.

Autism involves poor social and verbal functioning accompanied by a host of other issues that range from poor digestion to fixed and repetitive behaviors.  Also included in the Autistic Spectrum Disorders is a series of problems with fine or gross motor control, all of which can have a devastating effect on a family.  The range is so broad in fact that many scientists and healthcare professionals often do not agree on a diagnosis.  What is presently known is that this condition can cause subtle developmental delays or profound issues that can require long-term care is specialized facilities.  The dichotomy is obvious, but there seems to be a link between the two.  This link is vitamin D.

There are many proposed causes of autism.  Most agree that there is some genetic predisposition.  This has been suggested because of the increased frequency of autism that tends to occur in families and in studies of identical twins.  Although there is a genetic link, it is also accepted that some environmental trigger must occur to cause autism.  The majority of scientists have come to a consensus that identifies both genetic and environmental factors as being relevant in the cause of autism.  Many theories have focused on environmental toxins, especially heavy metals, as a culprit in autism.  Another theory is low levels of vitamin D during pregnancy and infancy.

Many times when speaking about autism people are very confused by the recent rise in autism diagnoses.  Most times,

A link between Autism and vitamin D deficiency has been found

people rightly point out that a purely genetic theory makes no sense because our genes certainly are not any different than they were 20 years ago.  They also make the point that our environment, while different, is not significantly different than it was 20 years ago.  If both of these previous statements are true, and I believe they are, then what could possibly be causing the rise in the diagnosis of autism?  Dr. John Cannell, a leading researcher in vitamin D has a theory.  He agrees that genetically we are the same today as we were 20 years ago and that the environment, while altered, is not so significantly altered to cause an epidemic of autism.  He argues that our behavior with regard to our environment has changed.  He states that these changes have had an effect on our nervous systems that can and does account for a rapid rise in autism diagnoses.

Our understanding of what vitamin D does in our body has exploded in recent years.  Although most physicians know that vitamin D is critical for healthy bones, most do not know about its other benefits.  Vitamin D is critical for a healthy heart.  It has been shown that it is critical in preventing many forms of cancer.  We know that it regulates the immune system by keeping it prepared but also keeping it from overreacting.  Vitamin D is a potent anti-inflammatory.  It has also been shown that the active form of vitamin D, called calcitriol, is an important neurosteroid hormone.  A neurosteroid hormone is a compound that is extremely important for brain development and behavior.  Calcitriol is a potent neurosteroid that controls brain cell growth and acts on brain cells from the time of conception.  Recent research has suggested that vitamin D offers “neuroprotection, antiepileptic effects [antiseizure effects], immunomodulation, impact on several brain neurotransmitter systems and hormones as well as regulation of behaviors.”  The last statement makes it very obvious that vitamin D is critical for pregnant mothers, newborns and children alike.

The question remains, however.  What could have possibly changed so greatly in the past 20 years that it would account for the rapid rise in autistic cases?  Dr. Cannell believes it is a simple answer.  He believes that in an effort to reduce our risk for skin cancer we have created a very serious deficiency in vitamin D.  Remember, it is through the sun’s UV rays that most of our vitamin D is produced in the body.  By lathering up with sunscreen every time we go out side, we block those UV rays from ever reaching our skin, thus preventing synthesis of the all important vitamin D.  Dr. Cannell also believes that because we have become a much more sedentary society that we do not get outside nearly as much as we used to.  And is this so hard to believe?  Twenty years ago marks the real beginning of home video game systems.  Cable television was still in its infancy 20 years ago.  The iPod did not exist and hand held electronic games were not nearly as popular and complex as they are today.  So this, in combination with sunscreen, creates a dangerous, yet easily overlooked scenario.

Our unfounded fear of the sun has lead to an epidemic of low vitamin D levels - even in sunny climates.

So what evidence links autism with vitamin D deficiency?  Is it more that just a coincidence?  Calcitriol acts as a molecular switch in brain tissue that turns on favorable genes that facilitate brain development.  In fact, there are about 1,000 genes already known that are targets of calcitriol.  Vitamin D is unique in that is it the only vitamin that relies on the sun for its production rather than dietary intake.  Because pregnant women are getting into the sun less and less they require more and more to be taken orally.  Unfortunately, the prenatal vitamins that most women take are far too low in vitamin D to be of any benefit.  From an evolutionary perspective, our bodies are not used to getting the majority of our vitamin D from a pill.  It is used to getting massive amount from the sun.  The skin’s production of vitamin D is far more effective than ingesting it orally.  Take the following into consideration; in just 10-40 minutes of sunbathing by a fair skinned adult about 20,000 IUs of vitamin D will be produced over the next 24 hours.  It is important to note that the FDA claims 400 IUs per day through diet is sufficient for health.  There is quite a difference between 20,000 and 400.  Now consider this; in order to get 20,000 IUs from diet, one would have to drink 200 glasses of milk or take 50 prenatal multivitamins.  Obviously neither of those is a viable option.

Dr. Cannell points out that people have been avoiding the sun for the past 20 years.  It is exactly in the last 20 years that we have noticed a rapid rise in the diagnosis of autism.  Now, just because the rise in autism parallels a decrease in sun exposure in industrialized nations does not necessarily mean it is a cause and effect relationship.  There are other astounding biochemical reasons this theory makes sense.  A very large amount of animal studies have shown just how crucial calcitriol is to brain health.  In rats, it has been shown that the offspring of vitamin D deficient mothers had abnormal cell growth, structure and functions in their brains and alterations in learning and memory.  A group of French researchers found that 36 important brain proteins are disrupted when vitamin D is deficient during fetal development.  We discussed earlier that vitamin D is a potent anti-inflammatory.  Often in autism, children have problems with immune function similar to those affected by vitamin D – including increased inflammatory cytokine levels.  These high levels of inflammatory cytokines cause oxidative stress in the brain and are known to cause cognitive impairment.  Vitamin D reduces this oxidative stress on the brain.  Calcitriol also helps increase levels of glutathione in the brain.  Glutathione is a critical antioxidant for detoxification.  This may explain the link between heavy metals and autism.  Without the calcitriol, children cannot actively detoxify the small amounts of heavy metals that accumulate in their body on a daily basis.  In time, this results in a toxic load that retards brain development.  As we can see, there are many reasons why vitamin D is important for proper brain function.  It serves to regulate nerve cell growth, it regulates protein structure, it regulates the immune system and it regulates oxidative stress that may damage brain cells.

So now the question is, how much vitamin D do I need?  This is a good question.  Most people cannot obtain enough vitamin D through diet.  Ideally, a good blood level of vitamin D is 50-60 ng/mL.  This can be measured through a simple test.  In order to get to that number most people will have to supplement their diet with a quality form of vitamin D.  Generally speaking, we start adults on at least 2,000 – 4,000 IUs per day and recheck the levels in 2-3 months.  Recent research indicates that even that might not be enough (remember we are told the standard for Americans for adequate health is 400 IUs).  Children over 1 year of age can safely take at least 1,000 IUs but we usually start at 800 IUs and check the levels in 2-3 months.  Vitamin D is very safe to take and as a matter of fact, the risk of not having enough far out weighs the risk of vitamin D toxicity.  In fact, if vitamin D is taken responsibly, the risk of toxicity is virtually zero.  Should you have any questions regarding vitamin D supplementation, please contact you health care professional and talk to them about vitamin D.

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