When I was 10, I had a friend who was a terrific playmate and fellow canyon explorer. We’ll call him Tom. He had a suspicious streak in him. He told me he thought that doctors knew how to prevent cancer and other diseases, but were not disclosing this to the public. I did not believe his ideas on this topic. I discounted Tom as a young fanatic, a conspiracy theorist.
For about 20 years we have known that sunlight deficiency is the main cause of a terrible and progressive, ultimately disabling disease. People who grow up in Seattle have 10 times the incidence of the disease as people who grow up in San Diego. This applies across the globe – the higher the latitude, the higher the MS incidence rate. It is a law of nature and disease and has been shown through many epidemiological studies.
There are a few exceptions, but they are tiny. One is a highly inbred population, such as that of Sardinia. This island is 190 miles west of the coast of Italy, 14 hours by boat. It is extremely isolated and was settled in the Stone Age. Its population grew without access to a large gene pool, and interbreeding inevitably occurred.
Interbreeding is common in isolated island populations. When it is extreme, it causes diseases. This is well-known as a founder effect. So the main exception to the latitude rule can be readily explained. Still it is often mentioned by skeptics as an exception to the latitude rule. They say this exception proves sunlight does not prevent MS.
Sunlight is not high-tech. It can’t be patented. It does not require the complicated new technology of genetics of the genome. As a result there is no money in it, only the ability to prevent disease. Even the main product of being in the sun, vitamin D3, cannot be patented. Any hope to patent D3 ended many decades ago and cannot be renewed.
We know that sunlight, and probably vitamin D3, prevent MS beyond any reasonable doubt. Raising serum 25(OH)D to 40-60 ng/ml maintains a barrier that protects myelin sheath cells that surround nerve cells from viral invasion and autoimmunity. Sadly, though, virtually no one is taking any action based on this important scientific discovery. Pediatricians should get mothers and their children to seek daily noontime sunlight exposure for children, for about 10-15 minutes, but it is not part of their standard of care. They weigh a child, measure its length or height, check a growth chart and give immunizations. It takes time to get a history of sun exposure of a child, and it takes more time to explain why getting sunlight every day is necessary to prevent MS. Third parties do not pay for counseling about the importance of sunlight.
“Raising serum 25(OH)D to 40-60 ng/ml maintains a barrier that protects myelin sheath cells that surround nerve cells from viral invasion and autoimmunity.” – Dr. Cedric Garland
When I realized this, I contacted the Multiple Sclerosis Society headquarters a few years ago and explained to their representative that MS is almost 100% preventable. They said they were not interested. The representative informed me that they were heavily invested in a mouse model of MS known as the shaky mouse. They said they were making good progress with the shaky mouse, and that they were not interested in mounting a program to prevent MS by restoring adequate exposure to sunlight and higher concentrations of vitamin D. They also mentioned that most of their members already had MS or had a relative or friend who had it, and just would not be interested in prevention. Prevention is not of much use for fundraising. It was a total cool brush-off.
I finally realized that we scientists, and a minority of progressive informed doctors, know exactly how to prevent 100% of incidence of a progressive, destructive, demoralizing disease, but we are doing nothing to act on this scientific discovery. This realization hit me recently – there is no organized constituency for preventing bad diseases. There hasn’t been any constituency at all. Nobody has cared enough to organize this.
Thousands of new cases of MS have occured each year and nothing has been done at all to prevent it. It has been, simply put, a scandal.
Now, I am delighted to be part of the only organization I know that is using the information we already have to fight for the prevention of MS, namely GrassrootsHealth.
More power to GrassrootsHealth! The same organization that is working so hard to prevent cancer and premature births with vitamin D is also the organization with a program in the works to prevent MS with vitamin D. And I hope they will. It is amazing what a small group of people can do to conquer a terrible disease. It is happening with GrassrootsHealth.
My boyhood friend Tom was right after all. I will have to find him and apologize for disbelieving his theory. Doctors and medical scientists know how to prevent MS and have been doing nothing–until now.
About Dr. Garland
Dr. Garland joined the Epidemiology Division in the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of California, San Diego in 1980 and is currently Professor Emeritus. Garland’s research program of 35 years has focused on discovering the causes of cancer and helping advance understanding of the causes and prevention of type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Garland and his colleagues were among the first scientists to discover that passive smoking causes ischemic heart disease (heart attacks), a finding that led to banning smoking in restaurants in California. He has taught in the core epidemiology track for medical students as well as public health and preventive medicine electives. He also trains and serves as a mentor for doctoral students. His recent work with colleague Dr. Edward D. Gorham and others shows that a high concentration of a vitamin D metabolite, 25-hydroxyvitamin D, in the serum is associated with substantially lower incidence of colorectal and postmenopausal breast cancers, as well as type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Garland is confident that improvements in vitamin D status, resulting from higher dosages than are common at present, will lead to the eradication of colorectal cancer and type 1 diabetes, and greatly reduce or eradicate the incidence and mortality of 11 cancers including postmenopausal breast cancer, brain tumors, and adult forms of leukemia.
How can you track your vitamin D levels?
To help you track your vitamin D intake, status, and other nutrient levels, GrassrootsHealth has created an online tracking system called myData-myAnswers. This will help you know how your supplementation and intake may be affecting you and impacting your health. Check it out today!
What Does it Take YOU to Get Your D to 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L)?Did you know your health could be greatly affected by making sure you have a vitamin D level of at least 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L)? Help us help you.
STEP 1 - Do you know what your vitamin D level is? If not, be sure to test today to find out.
STEP 2 – Determine your target level. Are you at your target level? Experts recommend a level of at least 40-60 ng/ml (100-150 nmol/L).
STEP 3 – Need to boost your level? Use the D*calculator to see how much vitamin D it may take to reach your target. Opt for the Loading Dose for a quicker boost.
STEP 4 – Optimize how your body absorbs and utilizes vitamin D with co-nutrients and these simple steps.
STEP 5 – Re-Test! This is an important step to make sure you have reached your target level, and to ensure you are not taking too much! Re-testing after 3-4 months is recommended.
STEP 6 – Adjust, Repeat…
Give your immune system the nutrients it needs to support a healthy you and protect yourself from unnecessary diseases, especially COVID-19.
The first Randomized Controlled Trial on vitamin D and COVID-19 has shown a 96% lower risk of ICU admission for those receiving vitamin D (as 25(OH)D to quickly boost vitamin D blood levels) along with the standard treatment, compared to those receiving standard treatment alone.
These results support many previous observational studies showing a relationship between vitamin D levels and intake and COVID-19 severity.
GrassrootsHealth Nutrient Research Institute has launched the new Immune Boost project with the use of our myData-myAnswers nutrient health system that nearly 15,000 people are already using for their health. Specific markers that influence immune health are suggested for testing as part of this project including:
- Vitamin D
- Omega-3 Index
- Essential elements magnesium, selenium, and zinc
Our goal is to demonstrate how one can use the Nutrient Research Model established by Dr. Robert Heaney to show the effect of vitamin D serum levels of at least 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L) on risk reduction for all ethnicities in the population. Status and intake of other nutrients will also be analyzed for any type of relationship to immune status and symptom severity. Join the project today!
Please let us know if you're interested in helping sponsor this project.
Through GrassrootsHealth Nutrient Research Institute, you can also test your essential elements magnesium, copper, zinc and selenium, toxins such as lead, mercury and cadmium, as well as your omega-3 levels, inflammation levels and thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) level. Find out your levels today! Log on to the test selection page (click the link below) to get your tests and see for yourself if your levels can be improved.
Make sure you track your results before and after, about every 6 months!
How can I track my nutrient intake and levels over time?
To help you track your supplement use and nutrient levels, GrassrootsHealth has created the Personal Health Nutrient Decision System called
For each specific supplement, you can track what days you take it, how much, and many other details. This will help you know your true supplemental intake and what patterns of use work for you to reach and maintain optimum nutrient levels. Check it out today!