There’s a good reason for brushing off the cobwebs here on this hot day to create a new post – the UK government has achieved a milestone (enough to pop one party popper) by recommending that everyone takes vitamin D pills in the darker seasons. Unfortunately, the recommended amount is still an almost worthless 400 IU (better than nothing, I guess) and many of us will need pills throughout the year. The media also seem to be reporting the classic skeletal benefits only.
If you’re interested in the SACN report you can find the PDF here.
It’s also nearly the 4th anniversary of the publication of Prescribing Sunshine. While the book hasn’t set the world on fire (no thanks to my admittedly limited and lacklustre promotion attempts) it does trickle across to new readers and I’m happy at some reach over none at all. In hindsight I probably would have omitted some topics or tried for greater sensitivity, but in not doing that I think my book stands out and delivers a mix of anger, sadness, optimism and awe. (If you haven’t read it yet click the link on the side.) I have no plans to revise it, I’m interested to see how it stands the further passage of time.
This year has also seen cholesterol scepticism go mainstream. Media figures like Dr. Aseem Malhotra are pointing at excessive sugar intake as the enemy (though how dangerous is sugar to the vitamin D replete?) and though statins are still being dispensed, it’s less ‘mad’ to champion fat consumption.
Most of my activism time is directed towards HIV scepticism these days because it’s still a subject that’s not gaining much ground. When the 2015 Penrose Inquiry report was released regarding the alleged HIV infection of Scottish blood recipients, the news was unfortunately overshadowed by the Germanwings plane crash tragedy. I read the executive summary of the inquiry and I wrote about the even greater miscarriage of justice, for the Immunity Resource Foundation’s blog. Read here. Most of the posts there are mine too.
I’m not going to lie and say that I’m fully back to blogging here (or even tweeting, for that matter) but until vitamin D is fully appreciated by the masses, in the words of Arnie, I’ll be back.
Although the odds of death were not associated with the baseline vitamin D level, they “decreased significantly by 46% for a 2-fold higher level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D,” Dr. Viard reported.
…”Similarly, CRP [C-reactive protein] was higher in cases than in controls at the latest sample for AIDS-events and death, and it was also higher at baseline for people who were going to die. CD14 levels were higher in cases and in controls for AIDS events and death.”
…CD4 counts increased by 7.00% per year for people deficient in vitamin D and by 11.14% per year for people nondeficient in vitamin D (both P < .01), but not at all for patients who were severely deficient.
…Asked for perspective on these findings, session cochair Andrea Antinori, MD, from the National Institute for Infectious Disease in Rome, Italy, who was not involved with the study, told Medscape Medical News that he found the results interesting because “probably we don’t have much information about the role of vitamin D, and more interestingly, not only its role in bone mineral density and fracture in the long term but even in immune activation inflammatory pathways” that can increase other risks, for example, for cardiovascular disease.
In other words, remaining haziness on vitamin D’s immune-enhancing functions makes it hard to discern if AIDS is exclusively or at all caused by HIV.
This year’s annual Alternative AIDS Conference will be taking place in Manchester, England, and I’m delighted to say that I have been invited to discuss and promote Prescribing Sunshine…
There may still be some places available for the 2-day conference in mid-September, so if you’re interested in hearing opposing viewpoints on AIDS, I suggest you attend. Full details here.
Many thanks to Henry Lahore of the fabulous resource Vitamin D Wiki for referring me to a new review article on the interactions of low vitamin D in HIV infection, here.
If you’re wondering what the alternate AIDS hypothesis is and how it could align, read my book.
Due to my very high interest in holes in HIV/AIDS theory – as reflected by a disproportionate number of posts on the topic in this broad vitamin D blog – I have decided to create another blog solely dedicated to this subject, titled: AIDS Dissident
AIDS Dissident will not promote vitamin D or any alternative treatment for AIDS. It will simply outline glaring problems in the theory, which I may occasionally reblog here. I have undertaken this division because I do not wish Repeat Prescription to be a focal dissident AIDS platform.
I hope you will follow this new blog. If not, some posts from that blog will be reblogged here.
Few people will have failed to catch the story yesterday that doctors seemingly cured a baby of HIV. However, as a subscriber to the dissident position, my view is somewhat consonant with the following paragraph from this article.
“Other scientists, however, are still sceptical of drawing too many conclusions over this one case. They would, for instance, like to see more hard detail in a properly peer-reviewed paper that responds to serious questions, such as whether the baby was truly infected with HIV in the first place.”
Sometime this year, Hollywood will ensure that you hear the probably moving tale of Ron Woodroof.
Take a look at Ron and the actor portraying him, who has lost weight for the role, and tell me what’s a little off when you read this paragraph:
“He was a drug user and had many girlfriends – leaving his family unclear exactly how he contracted HIV.”
Has it been investigated that Woodroof contracted or passed on HIV to any of his girlfriends? I can’t find any evidence of that. But doesn’t a junkie who’s lost weight look awfully similar to an AIDS patient?
The Daily Mail (notorious for being quite awful, but fairly occasionally on the ball) also makes a mistake in one of its info boxes. Under ‘Celebrities with the disease’ Magic Johnson is listed. Johnson does not have ‘the disease’, he is only HIV+. And his wife and unborn child prior to diagnosis were tested HIV-.
Johnson being black American is of note, as is the fact that he is still healthy and alive while Woodroof is not.
Woodroof died in ’92 while Johnson was diagnosed in ’91. By this decade the dosage of AIDS drugs had thankfully lowered; that was of help to Johnson but probably wouldn’t have made a difference to Woodroof. But still, without Johnson having ever been ill we don’t know if his medication is necessary. Johnson is treated for a spurious blood marker, not a manifestation. Him and Woodroof differ.