Monthly Archives: May 2016

High Dose Vitamin D for Autoimmune Disease

High Dose Vitamin D for Autoimmune Disease

Reference: DermatoEndocrinology,

Published: May 30, 2016 Archives at

Autoimmune illnesses have been associated with Vitamin D deficiency, if not resistance. Taking vitamin D has been a mainstay of treatment for decades in the functional medicine world, as we have reacted to the dramatic increase in autoimmune disease in the last 70 years. Now, four in ten women have one of the 140 presumed autoimmune illnesses, and many have more.

This study was an open label study of 25 folks with either vitiligo or psoriasis, two illnesses strongly linked to Vitamin D deficiency, and gave them 35,000 iu a day for six months. To avoid trouble with calcium and kidney stones, they were told to avoid dairy and high calcium foods and to drink 2.5 liters of water a day. Their calcium, parathyroid hormone, Vitamin D levels were monitored. No one got kidney stones or high blood calcium.

What they did get was response. All 9 of the psoriasis patients had PASI scores show improvement. Fourteen of the sixteen vitiligo patients had at least 25% improvement in pigmentation area. The study was open label as the authors did not feel they could ethically randomize someone to no treatment when their information was that there was some deficiency. The blood level of Vitamin D rose progressively to 106-130 range. The parathyroid hormone level dropped in half.

This is very interesting. Now, some 2776 genes have Vitamin D receptor activity, which accounts for about 10% of human genes. There is clear evidence that Vitamin D levels relate to relapse rates for RA and for Multiple Sclerosis. And there is a fair amount of accumulated evidence that many of us have a defective genetic tendency to process Vitamin D into its active forms, and that this tendency tends to result in autoimmune diseases. It’s hard to tease out because the problem is likely the conversion of Vitamin D inside cells to its active form. This is hard to measure. The premise of these authors in this study was to provide a much higher dose of Vitamin D in order to flood the body with sufficient substrate so that inside cells, a sufficient dose of active Vitamin D was achieved. The authors speculate that watching the parathyroid hormone level may be a means of assessing the body’s assessment as to whether it has had enough Vitamin D.

www. What Will Work for me. I’m in. I personally took 20,000 IU for two years to see how long it would take to get my level to 100. It took 2 years. I know that Vieth gave high doses to active MS patients (40,000 IU a day) and showed no toxicity and brain lesions dropped in half. What I like is the protocol for observing for safety. This paper gives us reasonable grounds and method for a more aggressive avenue to reduce autoimmune disease activity.

Pop Quiz

‪1. Vitamin D affects about 20% of the human genome. T or F

False. Just 10%

‪2. In this small study, 9 of 9 psoriasis patients improved. T or F


‪3. And 75% of vitiligo folks had at least 25% reduction in skin area that was depigmented. T or F


‪4. There was no documented bad side effect of calcium seen when all the study subjects did what?

Avoided high calcium food and drank 2.5 liters of water a da

‪5. Folks with autoimmune disease may be Vitamin D resistant, because they may have a gene that is less active than normal. T or F

That’s the speculation.

Whole Coffee Fruit Extract, Memory and BDNF

Whole Coffee Extract and Brain Growth

Reference:  British Journal of NutritionFuturceuticals Study,

Ever heard of BDNF? Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor. BDNF. It’s the Holy Grail of brain health. It’s the hormone that makes brain cells grow. You want BDNF. Folks with Alzheimer’s don’t have any. It plays a role in helping memory get cemented down. Making memory requires brain cells growing and connecting. Most of our brain cells live just about our entire lives, but memory requires new growth. Exercise boosts it. Niacin helps a bit. But increasing it is the goal of just about every who wants to prevent Alzheimer’s.

It’s known that caffeine increases BDNF too. That’s what led to this study being conducted. The researchers took 25 healthy human subjects and gave them oral doses of whole coffee fruit extract, green coffee caffeine powder, grape seed extract powder and green coffee bean extract powder to get sources of caffeine as well as polyphenols to see which worked best. A single 100 mg dose was given and then blood drawn every 30 minutes for two hours. Interestingly enough, the whole coffee fruit extract was the home run hitter with a 143% increase in BDNF increase, compared to only 31% increase for the green coffee caffeine powder and the grape seed extract.

The results suggests that the stimulatory effect of whole coffee fruit on the BDNF blood level is not from the amount of polyphenols or caffeine per dose. Instead, the effect may be better explained by either the amount of procyanidins or to the unique coffee polyphenol profile of the whole coffee fruit material. That makes coffee fruit a rather unique product. Not the green coffee bean. Not the coffee per say, but the whole fruit. This is interesting.
www. What Will Work for me. I heard that Dr Bredesen from UCLA is intensely interested in it. If he is, I am too. I’ve Googled Whole Coffee Fruit Extract and have not found how to purchase it. I bet it show up pretty soon. This is something we need to follow!

Pop Quiz

1. BDNF is a protein hormone design to make brain cells grow, T or F

In a nutshell, true.

2. The best way to stimulate BNDF is with sleep. T or F

False. Exercise is the best. Sleep isn’t so bad, but exercise is it

3. This study shows that WHOLE coffee fruit extract is now the supplement that increases BDNF the most. T or F

Yes! Coffee helps a little, but 143% for the Whole Coffee Fruit is amazing

4. To cement memory down, you have to grow new brain connections and cells, particularly in the hippocampus part of your brain. T or F

That’s the Cliff Notes version.

5. I need a prescription to get BDNF. T or F.

False. You just need to walk around the block and find the Whole Coffee Fruit Extract, which is not widely available, yet!

B3 Nicotinamide, The Anti-Aging Silver Bullet

B3 – Nicotinamide, the Anti-Aging Silver Bullet

References: Science May 2016,  Published May 16, 2016

Nicotinamide is the B vitamin your body makes after taking Niacin. Niacin makes you flush when you take a bunch of it, and that is caused by the conversion to Nicotinamide. Our bodies being as crafty and complex as they are, probably each has separate functions as well, but their functions is thought to be identical. The production of nicotinamide is the next step in the B3 vitamin production, and eventually becomes the compound NAD which plays a critical link in the electron transport chain. This is the key process of extracting energy from fat and sugar that goes on in our mitochondria. It is at the very core of life. The amount of each and their ratio determines how much energy you have to burn. That makes nicotinamide and its offspring, NAD a key player in keeping us alive.

That is what this week’s paper speaks to. In the journal Science is published an article about examining the role of NAD in regenerating mice muscle. As we age, our key organs, heart, liver and kidneys, muscles can no longer regenerate themselves as well as they used to. That leads to a lot of the basic diseases of aging as those organs wear out and can’t replace themselves. Part of them wearing out may just be that their energy source isn’t what it used to be. If you can’t make energy, you can’t repair. This is particularly important in stem cells.

In this paper, the authors looked at the stem cells in muscles and their ability to renew and repair themselves. They showed the importance of the amount of the oxidized form of cellular nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) and its impact on mitochondrial activity as a pivotal switch to modulate muscle stem cell senescence.. Given nicotinamide, those mouse stem cells showed a dramatic increase in the mitochondria unfolded protein response. And that correlates with younger, longer living mitochondria, and thereafter stem cells. Simply said, those mice lived longer.

This isn’t the first report of B3 helping mitochondria. A couple of years ago, reported that milk contains B3 and is shown to treated injured mitochondria. Well, that has turned out to be prescient!

WWW.What will work for me! Wow. This is pretty big. We don’t have human studies yet, but we have given Niacin to people for decades in the ill fated attempt to raise HDL cholesterol. With Niacin, I could get my HDL from 28 to 31 with 30 minutes of facial flushing every day. That didn’t work. I may have been prolonging my life, however, with that strategy, without knowing it. The issue is the amount of NAD+ and NADH, their ratio and how we can manipulate that to our benefit. That would be huge. I’m waiting eagerly for that advance, once we learn how to do it right.


Pop Quiz

‪1. Mitochondria are our cells energy factories? T or F

Bingo. We have about 200 per cell.

2. Mitochondria age, just like cells age.

Also true.

3. Nicotinamide appears to turn on the regeneration of stem cells in critical organs. T or F

Again, that’s the key

‪4. I can prolong my life taking B3. T or F

Whoops! Hold on. Works in mice and mice are a pretty good model for humans when it comes to basic science, but not quite proven in humans.

5. The ratio of NAD to NADH might be a useful thing to know about oneself, once we know what it all means. T or F



SIRT-1 and Saving Your Brain

Sirt-1 and Saving Your Brain
References:  PNAS 2013,
Published May 9th, 2016  Archives at

We need three things to make it to healthy aging: our eyes, our knees and our brains. At the current rate, 50% of us are getting Alzheimer’s if we get to age 85. Bummer. The means by which Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) causes its havoc is gradually being understood. This reference might be one of the most seminal articles to show the way forward. Let me explain the details.

We know that AD is characterized by several processes. One is the brain shrinking, with loss of executive neurons in the front of the brain leading the way. Premature cell death of neurons is part of that. Another is a loss of connections between neurons. And finally, there is accumulation of abnormally formed amyloid proteins.

Enter the APOE-4 gene. It is now pretty well known that having two copies of the APOE-4 gene has risk of developing AD (on the order of 70-80%). Having even one copy confers a doubling of risk. The amyloid precursor protein (APP) can but chopped up into different end results, and that’s what the APOE-4 gene does. It chops at a place that makes a different protein.
This is where we introduce the SIRT-1 effect. SIRT-1 exists in balance with SIRT-2. SIRT-1 is the good stuff. SIRT-2 is not so good. SIRT-1 reduces the production of beta amyloid. And it’s APOE-4 that lowers SIRT-1. Ha, that’s how APOE-4 wreaks its havoc. With enough SIRT-1, you don’t make beta-amyloid.

I don’t mean to make this any more complicated than it has to be. And I’m not sure it’s any better known than this right now, except for by the best of brain scientists. But the nitty – gritty is, we want to have more SIRT-1. If we can up regulate SIRT-1, we can counteract the nasty tendency of APOE-4 genes to make beta-amyloid accumulate in our brains.

How do we do that? What can we do to stimulate SIRT-1? That’s the Holy Grail of medicine. Now, enter Resveretrol. The red stuff in red wine. Turns out it stimulates SIRT-1, and many other cellular functions. In fact, there is so much conflicting evidence about resveretrol’s effects that we are only at the beginning of understanding the SIRT system and how it works.

Guest what else stimulates SIRT-1? If increasing life span of brain cells is what resveratrol does, what do you think would be the most potent method of increasing mammal life span – and how does it work? The answer: calorie restriction, which markedly increases SIRT-1 activity.

WWW. What will work for me. I’ve taken resveratrol off and on for several years as a supplement. Hearing that Dale Bredesen uses it at UCLA in all of his Alzheimer’s patients, with the specific target of increasing SIRT-1 activity suggests we may all be interested in it. So, I added it to my supplement list a couple of months back. I don’t know how to measure it, except to take it on faith. We don’t have a SIRT-1 test yet. It might be one of our most useful if we did.

Pop Quiz

1. SIRT-1 is a protein that prolongs life? T or F

A. True

2. The Alzheimer’s associated gene, APOE-3 lowers SIRT levels. T or F

A. False. The Alzheimer’s associated gene is the APOE-4, and that does lower SIRT-1 levels.

3. Resveretrol raises SIRT-1 levels, thereby balancing out the tendency of the APOE-4 gene to cause trouble. T or F

A. Now we are true.

4. Resveretrol reliably increases human life span. T or F

A. Not so fast. It affects many cellular functions and its research conclusions are still far from certain. But it’s brain effects seems pretty sure.

5. I should be on resveretrol if I want to preserve my brain.

A. That is the current best wisdom we have in a not-certain complex picture still being elucidated.