My journey into this curiosity of mine about what is happening to the human body and extra readings on the subject started a long time ago. How does civilization effect my health and those I care about? What can I change that has very low or of no risk and it will improve my life and maybe even live longer, better. Let me say this, it has been a consuming interest over the years and has won me some very dubious looks from those I have broached the subject to. So be it.
Back in 1969 I was called upon to work in a blood drive clinic put on by the USAF. I was a Captain in the Nurse Corps and had a reputation for being able to draw blood and start iv's. So I found myself looking at all these blood bottles we had drawn for the boys in Vietnam. One caught my interest out of thirty or so, we had drawn that day. It was layered at the top with this yellow looking substance. It looked just like spaghetti sauce with a layer of grease on it a quarter inch thick. Wow, I thought that must be cholesterol and triglycerides sitting there. So here we are today with just about half the population on Statin Drugs. By the way there is a new paper just out stating that raising the HDL with Niacin does no good. That is, it does not reduce heart attacks. Then there is the fact that about 15 % of the population will benefit from Statin use by use of Statins. By that statement I mean a reduction in heart attacks. Oh by the way, about 15 % of the population will suffer from "side effects" of Statins. If you start getting muscle aches for unexplained reasons, consult your doctor right off. It could be a problem. One of those side effects is losing your kidneys. Now I understand that the percentage of people benefiting from stains can be doubled if a special coronary artery study is done. How does that sound to you. I am very lucky and do not have indications to use Statins and I would not if I did have those indications!
Vitamin D. Surprised, I don't think so if you have read anything of mine. Show me a person who spends one half hour or two in a half hours in the sun ( Caucasian or black skin respectively), lives on the equator, wears no clothes and I will tell you this person is probably vitamin D adequate. All bets are off if you are sixty or older ( you need more time in the sun at that age to get the same amount of vitamin D). One other group gets enough vitamin D naturally and that is the Eskimo. Surprised? No sun up there to speak of, but they eat the native fish and I suspect the "whole" fish, which is full of vitamin D. Again all bets are off if you are Eskimo and eating non native foods. So with supplementation we are just replacing what our ancestors got " naturally"! What I am doing is suggesting a way of going " natural" in a supplemental way!
This next deficiency may surprise you a little. It is magnesium. There are quite a few bad things that can happen if you are deficient. Heart irregularity is one of them if you eat the American regular or normal ( really abnormal from what our ancestors ate) you are deficient. I will tell you a couple of stories. Back in the early nineties I went into give blood and they would not do it. My heart was very irregular. I checked it and indeed it was. 10 to 15 times a minute it would do a flip flop. So did studies etc and they confirmed that it was indeed doing premature ventricular contractions or pvc's. I started reading about heart irregularities and found that magnesium was frequently deficient in that condition. So I started taking magnesium and increased my consumption of nuts ( high in magnesium) and the irregularity went away and never came back. I still eat nuts and take magnesium and my heart is fine.
Next story. A friend of mine who I have know for over fifty years started taking vitamin D and felt great, but then after a time he did not feel so good. Noticed that his heart would have short runs of irregularity. He cut back on his vitamin D and felt better heart wise and every time he tried to increase the vitamin D his heart acted up again. What is this I thought. Vitamin D is good for you! Then I did some more reading. It seems 1) everyone is probably deficient in vitamin D AND magnesium. 2) When you take vitamin D magnesium it used to convert Vitamin D to the prohormone calcitriol which is the active ingredient! So if you do not increase your amount of magnesium in your diet blood levels will drop and possibly cause you to "not feel good".
Interesting heh? Well now for the rest of the story. It gets better. When he was taking 10,000 iu of vitamin D a day he had a blood level of 86. That is good and he felt good until he started feeling bad, as noted above. So after corresponding with him he decided to increase his magnesium level with a supplement and increase (he had dropped the amount he was taking) his vitamin D level up to 6,000 iu. A couple of things happened. 1) his heart irregularity went away. 2) He felt better. Maybe the best in years! Now a very interesting thing happened. After three months or so of this regime he had his vitamin D level drawn (the 25(oh)D test). His blood level was 91. He took less vitamin D and had a higher level and I would say it was all due to a more healthy level of magnesium and vitamin D. So magnesium, calcium, vitamin D and vitamin K all work together. A quick list of symptoms of magnesium deficiency.
- irritability or anxiety
- muscle cramps/twitching ( could this be a cause of "Restless leg syndrome")?
One more fact. The most popular form of Magnesium is in the form of Magnesium oxide. Only about four percent of it is in a absorbable form. Not a good choice if you decide to supplement. If you start supplementing with magnesium this may bounce your level up. Test in three months a adjust accordingly.
My Dad used to say some very interesting things which have stuck with me over the years. One was ( he was a farmer and a good one), " you can lead a horse to water, but you can not make him drink". Another saying is, people are adults and they have the right to live their lives as they wish, but ideally it should be done with information they can either decide in favor or not. So be it.