Category Archives: fish oil


Dr Neil D Burman MBChB(UCT) 1966, MRCP(UK 1974) Senior  Family General (all-ages) & Internist  practitioner in Claremont Cape Town,  has left Grove Bldg moved his rooms to
 13 Stafford St Harfield  Village, 50m down from Harfield station subway above corner of 1st Ave. .
Consultations  by appointment only 1600-1800, sometimes from 0900 weekdays and public holidays/weekends.   .  Holistic integrative chronic natural medicine practice (HRT, pain relief, infection eg HIV AIDS, TB, /cancer/obesity screening & prevention) .
(No emergencies or surgery- these must go to nearest polyclinic or hospital ER). .

or consultations by Telephone/email  where appropriate.

appts: ph Reception office hrs  021 6717797.   .
doctor personal email  or sms or whatsapp (or as last resort  try ph) 0836299160 all hrs 07.00 – 21.00. .   or    or fax 0865657215
Fellow of  Kronos Longevity Research Foundation Phoenix Arizona.

MEMBER OF  Royal Society SA; Kidney Association;Faculty of Consulting Physicians of South Africa; Kingsbury Hospital Forum;  and Local & International Societies for Study of: ; Menopause and Aging Males, Hypertension, Sexual Health, Vitamin D3-Autoimmune Disease  CGCoimbra network;  SASIM SA Society of Integrative Medicine; LDN Trust; .  Insurance, and Professional Driving Permit Assessments. mornings SASSA Disability Grant med officer Cape Town Clinics.  (formerly practicing/lecturer  in Port Elizabeth;  Hypertension, Renal & Transplant  med   GSH UCT, Leeds Hospital  England: Tygerberg Hospital Univ Stellenbosch; Libertas Hospital G/wood; and Univ W Cape.

Preferred Provider: Discovery Health & FedHealth

4 August 2015 VITAMIN D: FOR INDOOR TYPES, HOW MUCH eg 50 000iu/d IS ENOUGH, AND SAFE? & 2million iu loading dose is not toxic for adults. Especially for infants, acute illness- ICU, INFECTIONS:


see previous vit D updates:  at  23 Mar 2015 womens’ day: the crucial role of vitamin D as HRT in reducing all major diseases . Salute Dr Walter Stumpf



PREFACE WARNING: nb black italics are abbreviated quotes; for the link click on blue italics  eg McKenna ea.            NB conclusions depend, are based on, apparently reliable formal  randomized controlled RCTs trials  and team experiences, (but RCTs, metaanalysis, reviews and case reports   are also notoriously  vulnerable to vested interests of authors and sponsors, statistical errors, omission of inconvenient results, even subtle blatant fraud and fabrication;  to small numbers, heuristics and bias   – confusing causality, type 2 statistical errors ie sheer random chance; per  eg per Nobel prizewinner – the American  Daniel Kahneman : Thinking, Fast and Slow: New York 2011; the Briton   Oliver  Gillie 2014; Vit D, Sunlight, mortality, causality  and The Scots   Paradox, the Swiss Paradox;  the Flu, MERS, AIDs-TB-ebola epidemics: Can Sun Exposure, or  Lack of it, Explain Major Paradoxes in Epidemiology;;biography); the Semmelweis Paradox;  the current epidemics in Central and South Africa, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, cities & refugee camp  ghettos, 1918-19 et seq;  the German Gerd Gigenzer

4 August 2015 update: why do new trials/ reviews keep referring to mediocre dose vitamin D3 as high dose?    Karen Hansen’s  Univ Wisconsin  trial compared placebo, with baseline  vit D3  24000iu /month and as high dose 5 fold more ie  124000iu/month- finding no significant benefits. BUT  124000iu/month is still only about 4000iu/day, which on average increases 25OH Vit D3 only by about 40ng/ml. This is hardly high dose when vigorous levels are at least double this ie close to 100ng/ml; and vigorous safe dose long term is around 50 000iu/day ; with up to 150 000iu/day, up to above 250ng/ml blood level,  having been taken for decades, or single dose of 2million units,  without toxicity... Of course safety depends on adequate water, magnesium and vit K2 intake, and not adding  calcium supplements since average city diet is low in magnesium, iodine  and vit K2, not calcium or toxic fluoride or bromine. 

                      2015 Aug 3  JAMA Intern Med. . Treatment of Vitamin D Insufficiency in Postmenopausal Women: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Hansen, Marvdashti ea . Experts debate optimal 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) levels for musculoskeletal health. Objective  randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial was conducted at a single center in Univ Wisconsin   from  2010, completed 2014. A total of 230 postmenopausal women 75 years or younger with baseline 25(OH)D levels of 14 through 27 ng/mL and no osteoporosis were studied.  Interventions: Three arms included daily white and twice monthly yellow placebo (n=76), daily 800 IU vitamin D3 and twice monthly yellow placebo (n=75), and daily white placebo and twice monthly 50,000 IU vitamin D3 (n=79). The high-dose vitamin D regimen achieved and maintained 25(OH)D levels ≥30 ng/mL. Main  Results:  After baseline absorption was controlled for, calcium absorption increased 1% (10 mg/d) in the high-dose arm but decreased 2% in the low-dose arm (P = .005 vs high-dose arm) and 1.3% in the placebo arm (P = .03 vs high-dose arm). We found no between-arm changes in bone mineral density, trabecular bone score, muscle mass, and Timed Up and Go or five sit-to-stand test scores.  High-dose cholecalciferol therapy increased calcium absorption, but the effect was small and did not translate into beneficial effects on bone mineral density, muscle function, muscle mass, or falls. We found no data to support experts’ recommendations to maintain serum 25(OH)D levels of 30 ng/mL or higher in postmenopausal women. Instead, we found that low- and high-dose cholecalciferol were equivalent to placebo in their effects on bone and muscle outcomes in this cohort of postmenopausal women with 25(OH)D levels less than 30 ng/mL.
26 JULY 2015 UPDATE:
1,   Calcium supplements are no longer recommended for adults:  they promote vascular calcification and worse.

J Intern Med. 2015 Jul 14. Calcium supplements: benefits and risks. Reid , Bristow , Bolland .University of Auckland, New Zealand. Calcium is an essential element in the diet, but Calcium Study demonstrates no relationship between dietary calcium intake and rate of bone loss over 5 years in healthy older women with intakes varying from <400 to >1500 mg day. Thus, supplements are not needed within this range of intakes to compensate for a demonstrable dietary deficiency, but might be acting as weak anti-resorptive agents via effects on parathyroid hormone and calcitonin.  As a result, anti-fracture efficacy remains unproven, with no evidence to support hip fracture prevention (other than in a cohort with severe vitamin D deficiency) and total fracture numbers are reduced by 0-10%, depending on which meta-analysis is considered. Five recent large studies have failed to demonstrate fracture prevention in their primary analyses. This must be balanced against an increase in gastrointestinal side effects (including a doubling of hospital admissions for these problems), a 17% increase in renal calculi and a 20-40% increase in risk of myocardial infarction. Each of these adverse events alone neutralizes any possible benefit in fracture prevention. Thus, calcium supplements appear to have a negative risk-benefit effect, and so should not be used routinely in the prevention or treatment of osteoporosis.
        Rather it is vits D3, C,  K2 ;  and magnesia supps that are recommended for multisystem benefits-  magnesia especially for prevention of common renal stones- since the classic paper from Harvard  Am J Clin Nutr. 1967;20:393-9. Effect of daily 200mg MgO   and 10mg vitamin B6   administration to patients with recurring calcium oxalate kidney stones. Gershoff & Prien.
2. for preventing eg calcium stones and mortality etc, vit D3 in high enough dose to switch off hyperparathyroidism. eg Clin Nutr. 2015 Mar 24.    Vitamin D3 supplementation and body composition in persons with obesity and type 2 diabetes in the UAE Sadiya , Abusnana ea The study was executed in 3 phases in two arms vitamin D arm (n = 45) and placebo arm (n = 42); in Phase 1 the vitamin D arm received 6000 IU vitamin D3/day (3 months) followed by Phase 2 with 3000 IU vitamin D3/day. During follow up (phase 3) both the arms were un-blinded and supplemented with 2200 IU vitamin D3/day for another 6 months . On supplementation no significant changes in anthropometric dimensions was observed. S-25(OH) D peaked in phase 1 (77.2 ± 30.1 vs 28.5 ± 9.2, p = 0.003) followed by a decrease in phase 2 (62.3 ± 20.8, p = 0.006) paralleled by a decrease in parathyroid hormone in phase 2 (5.9 ± 2.4 vs 4.5 ± 1.8, p < 0.01) compared to baseline in vitamin D group. Supplementation was safe, improved s- 25 (OH)D also reducing the incidence of eucalcemic parathyroid hormone elevation.
      Crit Care Med. 2015 Jul 16.   A Randomized Study of a Single Dose of Intramuscular Cholecalciferol in Critically Ill Adults.  Nair, Center ea   Univ Sydney & Brisbane, Australia.  LMU, Munich, Germany.    To determine the effect of two doses of intramuscular cholecalciferol on serial serum 25-hydroxy-vitamin-D levels and on pharmacodynamics endpoints.Prospective randomized interventional study.
Fifty critically ill adults with the systemic inflammatory response syndrome.Patients were randomly allocated to receive a single intramuscular dose of either 150,000 IU (0.15 mU) or 300,000 IU (0.3 mU). Secondary hyperparathyroidism was manifested in 28% of patients at baseline. Parathyroid hormone levels decreased over the study period with patients achieving vitamin D sufficiency at day 7 having significantly lower parathyroid hormone levels (p < 0.01).  Although in-hospital mortality rate did not differ between the groups, patients who did not mount a parathyroid hormone response to vitamin D deficiency had a higher mortality (35% vs 12%; p = 0.05). No significant adverse effects were observed.
     3  universal vitamin D3 deficiency:   our local population, as in virtually all populations worldwide who no longer work and live bare in the sun and eat plenty of raw fish(eg unfiltered cod liver) (oil) have average blood 25 OH vit D levels at or below 20ng/ml, whereas it is  incontestable that all diseases decline steadily as this marker vit D3 level is elevated by sunshine to the probable maximum natural achievable level around 40ng/ml- and with vigorous supplements eg 50 000iu/wk  up to around 80ng/ml, but in sickness to around >100ng/ml.
 4.    But the vit D overdose literature shows that while the highest adult vit D3 doses that have been prescribed are about 640 000iu as monthly dose (Salhuddin N ea , Karachi Pakistan 2013- with 40% improvement in TB recovery after only 2 months compared to TB pts given antiTB Rx alone), and 40 000iu/day in South America for months  for serious pemphigus and albinism. The Pakistan Endocrine Society is a pioneer professional group in endorsing vigorous vit D3 dosing.
But the threshold for toxicity- hypervitaminosis D– seems to be above 2million units single dose in nonagenarians (Netherlands 2 pts) or 88 000iu/day longterm (Canada); and blood 25OHvit D above 250 – 500ng/ml. one 70yr old women was reported to present with Hypervit D only after 10 years  taking 100 000ium/d ie over ~300million iu.. Another women was reportedly  unharmed after 5  times that ie @ 150 000iu/day ,  1.5 billion vit D2 iu over 28yrs –Stephenson & Peiris 2009.
small Subcontinent people–  Pakistanis, Indians etc may be more prone to overdose with vit D, often from massive doses given by injection weekly ie no chance of reducing absorption plateauing as oral overdose increases, as normally happens.
VIT D2 VS D3:  note that as one of the most backward Govts in the world, RSA   STATE  authorities- at least in W Cape eg state hospitals and  day hospitals- still distribute and promote vit D2 for osteoporosis, altho these tabs falsely labelled Strong Calciferol are in fact fraudulently labelled,  only their manufacturer website Lennons-Aspen reveals that they are in fact ergocalciferol vit D2, which experts have long condemned as only about 1/4 the strength of vit D3, and which D2 in two studies actually worsens not improves rheumatoid arthritis. This in contrast to the all-disease beneficial  anabolic steroid vit D3 which wholesales in bulk at around R200/kg.a different independent website eg does reveal that Strong calciferol is in fact D2, but not that it is a xenohormone manufactured only by yeasts, not animals; and that it elevates 25OH vit D2– not D3- in our blood, thus blocking both our D3 receptors and formation.   Wiki does detail that it is made only by lichen, mushrooms and alphalpha- but not by any animals.
Already in 2006 Houghton and Veith (Univ Toronto Canada) published The Case Against vitamin D2.. Vitamin D2, or ergocalciferol, should not be regarded as a nutrient suitable for supplementation or fortification… no successful clinical trials to date have shown that vitamin D2 prevents fractures..The poorer stability of and greater impurities in vitamin D2 powders may also lead to a higher risk of toxicity than that associated with the vitamin D3 metabolites. However, it is more likely that the weaker affinity of vitamin D2 metabolites to DBP produces higher and more biologically available proportions of free 25(OH)D2 and 1,25-(OH)2D2 and may thus be responsible for the greater risk of D2 toxicity .  Taken together, the most plausible explanations for the greater bioefficacy of vitamin D3 are conceivably due to the higher affinities of vitamin D3 and its metabolites than vitamin D2 for hepatic 25-hydroxylase, DBP, and VDR and because vitamin D3 is not directly metabolized to 24(OH)D as is vitamin D2.”D2may be safe in mega-overdose, but this  2009 abstract from a Tennessee Veterans’ Admin unit  begs the question of whether the D2 tablets were indeed genuine vitamin D, of any benefit to the patient? who apparently consumed over a billion iu of vit D2 in  half a lifetime – at least 20 times the aggressive dose of 50 000iu/week. :

South Med J. 2009 Jul;102:765-8..  The lack of vitamin D toxicity with megadose of daily ergocalciferol (D2) therapy: a case report and literature review.   Stephenson & Peiris .The maximum daily dose of vitamin D currently recommended is 2000 IU. Ergocalciferol (D2) 50,000 IU orally weekly for 8-12 weeks is often used to treat vitamin D deficient patients (25(OH) vitamin D <20 ng/mL). The lack of vitamin D toxicity after massive doses of ergocalciferol has yet to be reported in the literature. We report a case of a 56-year-old woman who received supratherapeutic doses of ergocalciferol (150,000 IU orally daily) for 28 years without toxicity. We discuss the possible mechanisms which may account for a lack of toxicity despite intake of massive daily doses of ergocalciferol in this patient.
                    1 July 2015 update:  The  2008  report from Kimball & Veith, Toronto concludes:  The lowest observed adverse effect level for vitamin D, said to cause hypercalcaemia in normal adults, is officially 95 mg/day ie 4 000iu/d. But collective  reports  indicate that serum 25(OH)D concentrations need   to exceed 700 nmol/L ie 280 ng/ml chronically   before vitamin D3 toxicity becomes  evident ie from at least ~40 000iu D3 /day or perhaps a million iu monthly. .

update 30 June 2015: The Univ Toronto team  in the previous decade published more evidence of safety and benefit  of vit D3 up to 40 000iu a day 280 000iu/week; but   not 88 000iu/day: the warning is that calcium supplement should be avoided in such high vit D3 dosage. They were not yet advising supplement vit K2 and magnesium.                       Neurology . A phase I/II dose-escalation trial of vitamin D3 and calcium in multiple sclerosis.   Burton JM1, Kimball S, Vieth R   ea  St  Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, Canada.     Low vitamin D status has been associated with multiple sclerosis (MS) prevalence and risk; .  to assess the tolerability of highdose oral vitamin D prospectively, an open-label randomized prospective controlled 52-week trial matched patients with MS to treatment or control groups. Treatment patients received escalating vitamin D doses up to 40,000 IU/day (280 000iu/wk) over 28 weeks to raise serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] rapidly and assess tolerability, followed by 10,000 IU/day (12 weeks).. Calcium (1,200 mg/day) was given throughout the trial. Endpoints were mean change in  biochemical measures,  biomarkers, relapse events, and Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score.    RESULTS:   Forty-nine patients (25 treatment, 24 control) were enrolled [mean age 40.5 years, EDSS 1.34, and 25(OH)D 78 nmol/L]. All calcium-related measures within and between groups were normal. Despite a mean peak 25(OH)D of 413 nmol/L 164ng/ml, no significant adverse events occurred. Although there may have been confounding variables in clinical outcomes, treatment group patients appeared to have fewer relapse events and a persistent reduction in T-cell proliferation compared to controls.   Highdose vitamin D (approximately 10,000 IU/day) in multiple sclerosis is safe, with evidence of immunomodulatory effects.    This trial provides Class II evidence that highdose vitamin D use for 52 weeks in patients with multiple sclerosis does not significantly increase serum calcium levels when compared to patients not on highdose supplementation. The trial, however, lacked statistical precision. , providing only Class level IV evidence for these outcomes.

          Ann Clin Biochem. 2008;.   Self-prescribed highdose vitamin D3: effects on biochemical parameters in two men.     Kimball S1, Vieth R.   , University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada. ..  The lowest observed adverse effect level for vitamin D, said to cause hypercalcaemia in normal adults, is officially 95 microg/day 4000iu/d. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) concentrations associated with hypervitaminosis D remain undefined. Reported 25(OH)D concentrations resulting from prolonged excessive vitamin D3 intakes have exceeded 700 nmol/L 280ng/ml. We report self-prescribed high dose of vitamin D3 over 5-6 years by two men.               Subject 1 had been taking 100 microg/4000iu day for 3 years followed by 3 years of 200 microg/8000iu/day. Serum 25(OH)D concentrations averaged 130 nmol/L 52ng/ml while taking 100 microg/4000iu day of vitamin D3. While taking 200 microg/8000iu/day of vitamin D3, mean serum 25(OH)D concentrations were 260 nmol/L 102ng/ml with no hypercalcaemia or hypercalcuria over the 6 years of vitamin D3 intake.                                                  Subject 2 was a 39-year-old man diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.  his own dose-escalation schedule  increased from 200ugm 8000iu  to 2200 microg/ 88000iu/day over 4 years. The  evidence of a potential adverse effect was that urinary calcium:creatinine ratios showed an increasing trend, which preceded serum calcium concentrations above the reference range (2.2-2.6 mmol/L). His serum 25(OH)D concentration was 1126 nmol/L 450ng/ml  when total serum calcium reached 2.63 mmol/L. He stopped vitamin D3 supplementation at this point. Two months later, all biochemistry values were within reference ranges; serum 25(OH)D concentrations fell by about one-half, to 656 nmol/L 260ng/ml . These results help to clarify the human response to higher intakes of vitamin D3. Close monitoring of biochemical responses confirmed that an increase in urinary calcium:creatinine ratio precedes hypercalcaemia as serum 25(OH)D concentrations rise.

update 28 June : a landmark trial in Brazil 2 years ago finally shows what a really high dose of Vit D3 – 35000iu/d  can do safely over 6 months, a cumulative safe dose of 6million iu A pilot study assessing the effect of prolonged administration of high daily doses of vitamin D on the clinical course of vitiligo and psoriasis:  Dermatoendocrinol. 2013  Finamor,  Coimbra ea    University São Paulo, Brazil     Autoimmunity has been associated with vitamin D deficiency and resistance, and vitamin D metabolism gene polymorphisms   frequently described. May high dose vitamin D3  compensate for inherited resistance to its biological effects?.  To assess the efficacy and safety of prolonged high-dose vitamin D3 treatment of patients with psoriasis and vitiligo, 25 patients with psoriasis or  vitiligo received vitamin D3 35,000 IU once daily for six months ie >1million iu/mo,  >6 million iu over 6mo  in association with a low-calcium diet (avoiding dairy products and calcium-enriched foods like oat, rice or soya “milk”) and hydration (minimum 2.5 L daily). Psoriasis patients were scored according to “Psoriasis Area and Severity Index” (PASI) . All patients presented low vitamin D status (serum 25(OH)D3 ≤ 30 ng/mL) at baseline. After treatment 25(OH)D3 levels significantly increased (from~16 to ~120ng/mL)  ie increase of +- 100ng/ml by 35000iu dly – a flattened highdose response curve, only 10ng/ml rise per 3500iu/d;    and PTH levels significantly decreased (from ~57 to 27 pg/mL. PTH and 25(OH)D3 serum concentrations correlated inversely. The PASI score significantly improved in all nine patients with psoriasis. 14 of 16 patients with vitiligo had 25–75% repigmentation. Serum urea, creatinine and calcium (total and ionized) did not change and urinary calcium excretion increased within the normal range. High-dose vitamin D3 therapy may be effective and safe for vitiligo and psoriasis patients. WHAT WAS THEIR BMI? my 25OHvit D level runs at ~90ng/ml on ~9000iu vit D3 a day; and my  patient’s level runs at ~150ng/ml on ~15000iu/d… so perhaps the Brazilians with these skin disorders (unlike us) have  resistance genes that block higher levels of 25OHvit D. So without doing costly genotyping, we in practice need to check vit D level response early where very high dose is indicated in severe disease. .

Mediocre chronic dose vit D3 supp  eg 2000iu/d , 25OHvitD well > 30ng/ml-   is not enough– it needs high loading eg >400 000- 600 000iu  for acute illness, and good maintenance dose eg >5o 000- 75 000iu/wk  for blood level >60ng/ml, for chronic prevention, to maintain good vit D level and thus real protection:    BMJ Open Respir Res. 2015 Jun   Association between prehospital vitamin D status and incident acute respiratory failure in critically ill patients:  retrospective cohort study.  Thickett , Christopher ea:      Boston, Massachusetts , USA     Intensive care units of Boston teaching hospitals.  1985 critically ill adults admitted between 1998 and 2011    Exposure of interest was prehospital serum 25(OH)D categorised as ≤10 ng/mL, 11-19.9 ng/mL, 20-29.9 ng/mL and ≥30 ng/mL.  In the cohort, the mean age was 63 years,     25(OH)D was ≤10 ng/mL in 8% of patients, 11-19.9 ng/mL in 24%, 20-29.9 ng/mL in 24% and ≥30 ng/mL in 44% of patients. Eighteen per cent (n=351) were diagnosed with acute respiratory failure.  Prehospital 25(OH)D  30ng/ml  in our critically ill patient cohort.  

Thorax. 2015 Jun 10.Double-blind randomised controlled trial of vitamin D3 suppl for the prevention of acute respiratory infection ARI  in older adults and their carers (ViDiFlu).    Martineau , Griffiths ea.Univ London.  clinical trial of high-dose versus low-dose vitamin D3 supplementation for ARI prevention in residents of sheltered-accommodation housing schemes and their carers in London, UK.    137 individuals were allocated to the active intervention (vitamin D3 2.4 mg = 100 000iu once every 2months +10 μg =400iu daily for residents= 62 000iu/mo; carers 3 mg once every 2 months =60 000iu/mo);  and 103 participants to placebo once every 2 months +vitamin D3 10 μg daily = 12000iu/mo for residents, placebo once every 2 months for carers) for 1 year. RESULTS:Inadequate vitamin D status was common at baseline:  92% of 240  participants had serum 25(OH)D concentration < 30ng/ml. The active intervention did not influence time to first ARI (adjusted HR (aHR) 1.18, 95% CI 0.80 to 1.74, p=0.42). When URI and LRI were analysed separately, allocation to the active intervention was associated with 50% higher  risk of URI (aHR 1.48, 95% CI 1.02 to 2.16, p=0.039) and increased duration of URI symptoms (median 7.0 vs 5.0 days for active vs control, adjusted ratio of geometric means 1.34, 95% CI 1.09 to 1.65, p=0.005), but not with altered risk or duration of LRI.   CONCLUSIONS: Addition of intermittent bolus-dose vitamin D3 supplementation to a daily low-dose regimen to average  ~2000iu/d did not influence risk of ARI in older adults and their carers, but was associated with increased risk and duration of URI  over 400iu dly ie 12000iu spread over the month.

Thorax. 2015 May.   Double-blind randomised placebo-controlled trial of bolus-dose vitamin D3 supplementation in adults with asthma (ViDiAs).  Martineau ,Griffiths ea    London  University UK. Asthma exacerbations are commonly precipitated by viral upper respiratory infections (URIs). Vitamin D insufficiency associates with susceptibility to URI in patients with asthma.  randomised controlled trial of vitamin D3 supplementation for  prevention of asthma exacerbation and URI. 250 adults with asthma in London, UK were allocated to receive six 2-monthly oral doses of 120 000iu 3 mg vitamin D3 (n=125) or placebo (n=125) over 1 year.   206/250 participants (82%) were vitamin D insufficient at baseline. Vitamin D3 did not influence time to first severe exacerbation (adjusted HR 1.02, 95% CI 0.69 to 1.53, p=0.91) or first URI (adjusted HR 0.87, 95% CI 0.64 to 1.16, p=0.34). No clinically important effect of vitamin D3 was seen on any of the secondary outcomes listed above. The influence of vitamin D3 on coprimary outcomes was not modified by baseline vitamin D status or genotype. Bolus-dose vitamin D3 supplementation – 60 000iu/mo = average 2000iu/d – did not influence time to exacerbation or URI in a population of adults with asthma with a high prevalence of baseline vitamin D insufficiency.

update 27 June 2015  another review Safety of vitamin D3 in adults in multiple sclerosis  Kimball ,Vieth ea  2007 University  Toronto, Canada confirms that  up to at least 40 000iu daily for 28 weeks  is safe. Patients’ serum 25(OH)D concentrations reached twice the top of the physiologic range without eliciting hypercalcemia or hypercalciuria. The data provide objective evidence that vitamin D intake beyond the current upper limit is safe by a large margin.

      update  20 June 2015 : the  10th  HIGHDOSE VIT D STUDY  (100 000 to  600 000iu stat, or up to 55 000iu/day):       Quraishi,  Bhan ea 2009 Harvard Univ Boston: Effect of  Highdose VIT D Supplement on Vitamin D Status and Cathelicidin Levels in Sepsis: Crit Care Med. 2015 Jun 17: RCT  to compare changes in vitamin D status and cathelicidin (LL-37) levels in 30  adult ICU patients given  Placebo (n = 10) vs 200,000 IU cholecalciferol (n = 10) vs 400,000 IU cholecalciferol (n = 10), within 24 hours of new-onset severe sepsis or septic shock in a single Boston, MA teaching hospital.  Blood samples  at baseline (day 1) and on days 3, 5, and 7. At baseline, median (interquartile range) plasma 25-OHvitD  was 17 ng/ml,  peaked by day 5 in  intervention groups.  On day 5, median change in biomarkers for placebo, 200,000 IU vit D3 cholecalciferol , and 400,000 IU vit  D3 groups, respectively, were as follows: 1) total 25OHvitD, 3% (-3% to 8%), 49% (30-82%), and 69% (55-106%) (p < 0.001); 2) bioavailable 25OHvitD, 4% (-8% to 7%), 45% (40-70%), and 96% (58-136%) (p < 0.01); and 3) LL-37 : -17% (-9% to -23%), 4% (-10% to 14%), and 30% (23-48%) (p = 0.04). Change in high-sensitivity CRP levels did not differ between groups. A positive correlation was observed between bioavailable 25OHvit D and LL-37 (Spearman ρ = 0.44; p = 0.03) but not for total 25OHvitD and LL-37. CONCLUSIONS:High-dose vitD3 supplement rapidly and safely improves total  and bioavailable 25OHvitD  levels in patients with severe sepsis or septic shock. Changes in bioavailable 25OHvitD are associated with concomitant increases in circulating LL-37 levels.

Clin Nutr. 2015 Apr 14.    Increases in pre-hospitalization serum 25(OH)D concentrations are associated with improved 30-day mortality after hospital admission: A cohort study in Boston, Mass.. Amrein , Christopher ea   in two Boston univ. hospitals .Pre-hospital vitamin D status may be a modifiable risk factor for all-cause mortality among hospitalized patients.  4344 adults hospitalized between 1993 and 2011..  INTERVENTION(S):  None.  The main outcome was 30-day all-cause mortality.  In an adjusted logistic regression model, absolute changes of ≥10 ng/mL in patients with initial 25(OH)D  < 20 ng/mL (n = 1944) decreased the odds of 30-day all-cause mortality by 48% (adjusted OR 0.52, P = 0.026).  A causal relation may not be inferred from this observational study.
      Conversely, another new study this month confirms the hazard of gross overdose of anything:   Kaur, Mithal ea .India Vitamin D toxicity resulting from overzealous correction of vitamin D deficiency  Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2015 Jun “Vitamin D toxicity, wrongly  considered rare, can be life-threatening,  with substantial morbidity, if not identified promptly. In 16 patients with vitamin D toxicity seen between January 2011 and January 2013  Clinical manifestations included nausea, vomiting, altered sensorium, constipation, pancreatitis, acute kidney injury and weight loss. Median (range) age was 64.5 (42-86) years. Median  serum 25(OH)D level  371 (175-1161) ng/ml, serum total serum calcium level  13.0 (11.1-15.7) mg/dl . Irrational Overdose of vitamin D caused by prescription of mega doses of vitamin D was the cause of vitamin D toxicity in all cases. Median (range) cumulative vitamin D dose was 3,600,000 (2,220,000-6,360,000)”– but the abstract doesnt mention the timespan . Generally, after loading dose for urgent risk,  maintenance dose  need  not exceed about 80 iu/kg/d eg 7000iu/day ie ~50 000iu/wk or 2500 000 iu/yr, ideally with ideally occasional blood vit D, calcium & creatinine tests. .

           UPDATE FOR KIDS: Pediatr Rheumatol Online J. 2015 May .  Vitamin D-update for the pediatric rheumatologists.    Vojinovic J1, Cimaz R2. University of Nis, Serbia.   ” So in accordance with new vitamin D recommendations, we recommend that a child with rheumatic disease, especially if treated with steroids, needs at least 2-3 time higher doses of vitamin D than the dose recommended for age (approximately 2000 UI/day). Vitamin D supplementation has become an appealing and important adjunct treatment option in PRD

      17 June update : Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Jun 15. pii: 201500909.           High-dose vitamin D3 reduces deficiency caused by low UVB exposure and limits HIV-1 replication in urban Southern Africans.  .Cape Town, South Africa, has a seasonal pattern of UVB radiation and a predominantly dark-skinned urban population who suffer high HIV-1 prevalence. This coexistent environmental and phenotypic scenario puts residents at risk for vitamin D deficiency, which may potentiate HIV-1 disease progression. Coussens ,  Jablonski   ea  from Univ. Cape Town & Stellenbosch conducted a longitudinal study in two  Cape Town ethnically distinct groups of healthy young adults, supplemented with 50 000iu weekly  vitamin D3  for 6 weeks  in winter, to determine whether vitamin D status modifies the response to HIV-1 infection and to identify the major determinants of vitamin D status (UVB exposure, diet, pigmentation, and genetics). Vitamin D deficiency was observed in the majority of subjects in winter and in a proportion of individuals in summer, was highly correlated with UVB exposure, and was associated with greater HIV-1 replication in peripheral blood cells. High-dosage oral vitamin D3 supplementation attenuated HIV-1 replication, increased circulating leukocytes, and reversed winter-associated anemia. Vitamin D3 therefore presents as a low-cost supplementation to improve HIV-associated immunity.
    16 June 2015  REVIEW: ADULTS: WHAT VIT D DOSE IS ENOUGH? Because of our increasingly government-encouraged soporific  TV lifestyle and western processed- food-factory low-fat high-carbs HCLF diet, vitamin D has turned out to be as important as >vitamin C as the seriously deficient primary major nutrients in far higher than scurvy/rickets prevention doses.
Just as we ‘only’ need vitamin C 10mg/d to prevent scurvy, the historical DAILY recommended allowance RDA dose of vitamin D for rickets is ‘only’ ~10mcg 400iu/d.
But current expert opinions advocate  effective multisystem chronic prevention against infections, cancer, neurological, cardiovascular and bone disease in adults  vit C between 1gm  and 30gm/day; and

       vit D between 100mcg 4000iu and 250mcg 10 000iu/d (ie 80-100iu/kg/d); or about 25000 to 70 000iu/week or equivalent spacing;
to a blood 25hydroxyvit D 25OHvitD level of ~60 (40 to 80ng)/ml for global prevention; but around ~100ng/ml depending on severity of illness being targeted.

     DONT REJECT A SUPPLEMENT AS OF NO VALUE JUST BECAUSE IT TESTED INEFFECTIVE  IN  LOW DOSE:   eg Martineau , Griffiths ea.Univ London Thorax. 2015 Jun   Double-blind randomised controlled trial of vitamin D3 supplementation for the prevention of acute respiratory infection in older adults and their carers (ViDiFlu). CONCLUSION: Addition of intermittent bolus-dose vitamin D3 supplementation to a daily low-dose regimen did not influence risk of ARI in older adults and their carers, but was associated with increased risk and duration of URI.   BUT like so many trials,this trial in  240 London Seniors and carers is not about high dose, but mediocre dose, in small numbers: it  confirms that 100 000iu vit D3 every 2 mo ie average ~extra  1666iu/d is no better protection than just 400iu dly ie 12000iu spread over the month.

Since like all steroids the many vitamin Ds are vitamin C-cholesterol-derived oils stored and carried in fat, the fatter the patient the higher the maintenance dose vit D3 (eg 100 iu/kg/d) to maintain a good steady optimal bloodlevel.                                Fortunately, unlike the other essential physiological human anabolic steroids (eg androgens, progesterone and estrogens that are poorly absorbed , and trans-hepatically dangerous if swallowed), vitamin D3 is well absorbed either by mouth, by injection; or transdermally / intranasally; and apparently not degraded to risky byproducts in the liver as are the “sex” steroids. .

And of course for best absorption, fat-soluble essentials like vits A, D, E , K; CoQ10 & alphalipoic acid ALA are best eaten with fat not carbs eg veggies, cereals or on empty.
To minimize risk of stones and vascular calcification from imbalance, it is important to take vit D3 with                                                                                      *liberal water, magnesia and vitamin K2; perhaps                                                 *~30gms fresh marine oil /wk eg a tsp of cod liver oil 3 x a week; and                       * a few tsp/d of virgin coconut oil (and for cooking/frying in);
*at least half of daily non-protein energy as FATS- animal, dairy and avocado &
*while minimizing moderate omega6 as nuts and raw olive/ oil; and avoiding/minimizing diabesogenic insulin-resistance-causing refined carbs, and synthetic junk fats like margarine, and other seed oils- eg sunflower and canola – certainly not for frying.

A new university study from Ireland ( Endocr Connect. 2015 June. McKenna ea) confirms that average vitamin D levels there are still well below sufficiency let alone good levels, although it finds Rising trend in vitamin D status from 1993 to 2013: “The Institute of Medicine 2011 Dietary Report specified higher Vitamin D intakes for all age groups compared to 1997, but also cautioned against spurious claims about epidemic vitamin D deficiency and against advocates of higher intake requirements. 40 years have seen marked improvement in vitamin D status, but we are concerned about hypervitaminosis D. Time series sequence chart demonstrated a steady upward trend with seasonality. The average 25OHD increased by ~50% from ~15ng/ml in 1993 to ~23ng/ml in 2013. CONCLUSIONS: Vitamin D status improved over the past 40 years, but there is a dual problem:                             *groups at-risk of vitamin D deficiency, who need public health preventative measures; and                                                                                                     *random members of the public  taking unnecessarily high vitamin D intakes for unsubstantiated claims. “

       Last year Autier, Mullie ea from Lyon France and Bolland, Reid ea from Auckland NZ published major reviews concluding that “In elderly people, restoration of vitamin D deficits due to ageing and lifestyle changes induced by ill health could explain why low-dose supplementation leads to slight gains in survival.  And “vitamin D supplementation with or without calcium does not reduce skeletal or non-skeletal outcomes in unselected community-dwelling individuals by more than 15%. Future trials with similar designs are unlikely to alter these conclusions
But Gillie from Health Research Forum, London 2014 in Controlled trials of vitamin D, causality and type 2 statistical error  rebuts Autier ea, Bolland ea:    “In Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol, Autier, Mullie ea. (2013) , and Bolland, Reid ea. (2014) , concluded that low levels of vitamin D are not a cause but a consequence of ill health brought about by reduced exposure to the sun, an association known as ‘reverse causality’ Denial of the possible benefits of vitamin D, as suggested by insistent interpretation of studies with reverse causation, may lead to serious harms, some of which are listed.” So Gillie affirms the focus of this June 2015 review on vigorous dose vit D without chronic toxic overdose, that Autier ea and Bolland ea overlook, that their conclusions were based on lowdose vitamin D, not vigorous dose eg loading dose 600 000iu  monthly with or without ~50 000iu weekly that has been increasingly validated.

While  human sex hormones in good youthful balance are all essential physiological anabolic ie growth-promoting steroids, Atif ea at Emory University, Atlanta, 2009  and 2015   showed that in rats, Vitamin D with progesterone P4 supplement affords significantly better brain protection against excitotoxicity in cultured cortical neurons  and in traumatic brain injury in vivo than progesterone or vit D alone. In their 2009 braincell culture experiment, the optimal ratio of the hormones given was Prog:Vit D 1000:1 (Prog 20 umol/L: vitD 20nmol/L); whereas in their 2015 in life study the ratio was 8000:1– the rats were injected intraperitoneally  Prog 16mg/kg and VitD 1ug  one and 6 hours after the brain injury, and at 24 hours after brain injury they were killed and the brain damage compared. The optimal ratio, balance of the two steroid  hormones  for rat brain protection (1000:1 in a bench cellculture  and 8000:1 in an acute living rat model) is noteworthy for human dosing although the absolute doses cannot be extrapolated to living humans.   In humans this review below shows that the optimal acute dosing thus far reported seems to be  about 1000mg progesterone injection ie ~13mg/kg (some disputed trial evidence for protecting human brain injury after 50 years of research), and vit D for acute global protection about  600 000iu = 10 000iu/kg= 250 ug /kg ie P:vitD ratio about 50:1.

But vit D3, & androgens, and progesterone (eg Roeder 1986 & Starkov 1997), are the classic muscle-bone anabolic (ie growth- protein-water-salt-retaining) steroids. So we should always combine them in appropriate dose if needed for men, and even women. Estrogen is essential for reproduction, bone strength and femininity, but is muscle-anabolic only for the female reproductive tract; and for fat and glandular tissue ie breasts: estrogenic  dominance doubles cancer; adiposity;  sarcopenia;  and urinary incontinence ie weakens the pelvic floor; so should never be given unopposed by progesterone/androgen and vigorous vit D3 .

          ACUTE LOADING DOSE OF VIT D?: Like antibiotics, for acute (antimicrobial or ICU metabolic eg vascular, brain, cancer ) disease, adult vitamin D3 LOADING dose 540 000 to 600 000iu monthly – but not much lower loading dosing – has been recommended and proven major benefit, eg

1. New Zealand 2009 Osteoporos Int. ;20:1407-15.. Bacon ea :              High-dose 500 000iu oral vitamin D3 supplementation in the elderly were concerned that: vitamin D doses are frequently inadequate; compliance with daily medication is likely to be suboptimal; large loading doses of vitamin D(3) rapidly and safely normalize 25OHD levels; and monthly dosing is similarly effective only after 3-5 months. With baseline 25OHD > 20ng/ml, vitamin D supplement does not reduce parathyroid hormone PTH levels. This randomized double-blind trial RCT compares “high-dose” vitamin D3 regimens and estimates optimal 25OHD levels, from changes in PTH & procollagen type I propeptide (P1NP) in relation to baseline vit D . Sixtythree elderly participants were randomized to three regimens of vitamin D supplementation: a 500,000-IU loading dose; the loading dose plus 50,000 IU/month; or 50,000 IU/month. the Loading and Loading + Monthly groups showed increases in 25OHD of 23+/- 11ng/ml from baseline to 1 month. Thereafter, levels gradually declined to plateaus of 27 +/- 2 ng/mlL and 36 +/- 2 nmol/l, respectively. In the Monthly group, 25OHD reached a plateau of ~32 +/- 8 ng/dl at 3-5 months. There were no changes in serum calcium concentrations. PTH and P1NP were only suppressed by vitamin D treatment in those with low baseline 25OHD level.. CONCLUSIONS: Large loading doses of vitamin D(3) rapidly and safely normalize 25OHD levels in the frail elderly. Monthly dosing is similarly effective and safe, but takes 3-5 months for plateau 25OHD levels to be reached.

2, Pakistan 2013 Salahuddin N ea:  600 000IU Vitamin D monthly for 2 doses improves clinical recovery from tuberculosis. 259 patients with pulmonary TB were randomized to receive either 600,000 IU of Intramuscular vitamin D3 ie ~20 000iu/day, or placebo for 2 doses. After just 12 weeks, the vitamin D supplemented arm demonstrated significantly greater ~40% improvement: mean weight gain (kg)+3.75, (3.16-4.34) versus+2.61 (95% CI 1.99-3.23) p 0.009 and lesser residual disease by chest radiograph; number of zones involved 1.35 v/s 1.82 p 0.004 (95% CI 0.15, 0.79) and 50% or greater reduction in cavity size 106 (89.8%) v/s 111 (94.8%), p 0.035.

3. Austria 2014  Amrein ea, 540 000iu loading dose in 475 ICU pts significantly reduced morbidity and mortality by 40% in 492 vit D deficient pts,  ie is anabolic ie reverses muscle wasting – sarcopenia. as also found by Aganostis 2015 metanalysis

4. Canada/USA universities 2014 Ekwaru, Holick ea: “in a survey, 17,614 Healthy volunteers reported vitamin D supplement ranging from     0 to    55000iu/day= ~1.65million iu/mo; and had serum 25(OH)D levels ranging from 4 to 160ng/ml. The dose response relationship between vitamin D supplementation and serum 25(OH)D followed an exponential curve. On average, serum 25(OH)D increased by 5ng/ml per 1,000 IU in the supplementation interval of 0 to 1,000 IU /day; and by 92% less eg 0.4ng/ml per 1,000 IU in the supplementation interval of 15,000 to 20,000 IU per day. BMI, relative to absolute body weight, was found to be the better determinant of 25(OH)D. Relative to normal weight subjects, obese and overweight participants had serum 25(OH)D that were on average 8 and 3 ng/ml lower, respectively (P<0.001). We observed no increase in the risk for hypercalcemia with increasing vitamin D supplement.”

5. Pakistan 2015 April 22nd Endocrine Society seminar RCT : Vit D3 up to 600 000iu loading dose : Prof Muhammad Masood, Consultant Endocrinologist of Aga Khan University : “ How Much Vitamin D We Need?” vit D deficiency VDD has resurfaced as significant health problem in recent years. In Pakistan region, VDD is very prevalent despite adequate sunshine throughout the year. A huge number of studies associate Vitamin D deficiency with almost any disease. Recently, concerns about the safe upper level of vitamin D have been raised and a reverse J or U shaped relation has been described with 25-OHD level and mortality. Increasing number of patients are being reported with vitamin D toxicity because of excessive intake of vitamin D resulting from misinterpretation of prescription, manufacturing errors, inappropriate prescription of excessive vitamin D doses for vague musculoskeletal complaints without monitoring 25-OHD concentrations. A study conducted at our center revealed important implications, first a dose of VD3 ranging from 200,000-600,000 IU given orally or IM will correct the deficiency in more than 70% of individual at 2 months. A dose of vitamin D 600,000 IU given IM will correct the deficiency in more than 90% of individuals and maintained levels > 20ng/ml in 84% of individuals at 6 months. Multiple mega doses may pose the risk of toxicity.”
6 Belgium 2014.:Vitamin D status after a 100 000iu highdose cholecalciferol in healthy and burn subjects. Rousseau ea Burns patients are at risk of vitamin D (VDD) deficiency and may benefit from its pleiotropic effects in acute phase. Two groups received an oral dose of 100,000IU VD3 RESULTS:A total of 49 subjects were included: 29 in GHealth and 20 in GBurns. At D0, prevalence of VDD was higher in GB: 25OH-D was 21.5 (10.1-46.3) ng/ml in GH vs 11 (1.8-31.4) ng/ml in GB. DBP and ALB were lower in GB. At D7 In GB, changes in 25OH-D extended from -36.7% to 333.3% with a median increase of 33.1%. This study highlighted the differences in VD status and in response to a high dose VD3 in burn patients when compared to healthy patients. 25OH-D measurement needs cautious interpretation, should not prevent burn patients to receive VD supplements during acute care. Higher doses than general should probably be considered

7 Canada 2015 Jan; up to 300 000iu vit D3 loading: McNally Univ Ontario ea Rapid normalization of vitamin D levels: a meta-analysis.. systematic review of pediatric clinical trials of high-dose vitamin D with 25[OH]D.., selected 88 Uncontrolled and controlled trials reporting 25(OH)D levels after high-dose (≥1000 IU) calciferol. Two of 6 studies that administered daily doses approximating the Institute of Medicine’s Tolerable Upper Intake Level (1000-4000 IU) to vitamin D-deficient populations achieved group 25(OH)D levels >30ng/dl within 1 month. Nine of 10 studies evaluating loading therapy (>50 000 IU) achieved group 25(OH)D levels >30ng/dlL. Adverse event analysis identified increased hypercalcemia risk with doses >400 000 IU, but no increased hypercalcemia or hypercalciuria with loading doses 300 000 IU. . CONCLUSIONS: Rapid normalization of vitamin D levels is best achieved by using loading therapy that considers disease status, baseline 25(OH)D, and age (or weight). Loading doses >300 000 IU should be avoided until trials are conducted to better evaluate risk and benefit.
Australia: some Australians are fearful in claimed cautious ignorance: Sanders ea University of Melbourne 2013 ask Is high dose vitamin D harmful? With potential to minimize risk of many chronic diseases, and apparent biochemical safety of ingesting doses of oral vitamin D several-fold higher than current recommended intakes, recent research has focused on supplementing intermittent, high-dose vitamin D. However, two recent randomized controlled trials (RCTs) both using annual high-dose vitamin D reported an increase, rather than a decrease, in the primary outcome of fractures.” So annual megadose doesnt help in prevention?.
but they are planning bold highdose trial:                                                                                    8. BMC Cancer. 2014 Saw ea Melanoma Institute, SydneyAdjuvant therapy with 500,000 IU high dose vitamin D following primary treatment of melanoma; Patients with primary cutaneous melanomas that are ulcerated and >2 mm in thickness, or nodal micrometastases, have few options for adjuvant treatment. Recent studies suggest a role for vitamin D to delay and improve overall prognosis. This pilot placebo-controlled randomised phase II trial will assess feasibility, safety and toxicity of an oral loading dose of Vitamin D (500,000 IU) followed by an oral dose of 50,000 IU of Vitamin D monthly for 2 years in patients treated by wide excision…”

        9 INDIAN PEDIATR 2014 :   300,000 IU or 600,000 IU RCT. Mittal ea Delhi. 76 children (median age 12 mo) with rickets. Oral vitamin D3 as 300,000 IU (Group 1; n=38) or 600,000 IU (Group 2; n=38) in a single day. 25(OH)D levels increased from baseline to 12 weeks after therapy :[Group 1: 7.58 to 16.06 (12.71– 20.29) ng/mL, P<0.001]; Group 2: 6.57 (4.66–9.25) to 17.60 . ie 25(OH)D levels were deficient (

But while all the data above are too heterogenous to do a metaanalysis, we now know as well as the South Africans, Pakistanis, Indians, Americans, Canadians, ANZIOs and Austrians do from this literature analysis and collective experience that a level of 25OHvit D of 20 or 40ng/ml is not adequate protection; conversely a bloodlevel of ~>200ng/ml has to be exceeded long term to incur risk. And a loading adult dose orally in adults of at least 600 000iu vit D3 – more likely >1 million iu- (that’s 6gm of 100cwt vit D concentrate powder, costing perhaps $0.25 in South Africa) taken with fat -may be needed to achieve safe high enough bloodlevel to have acute protective effect- and the vit D bloodlevel will drop below vigorous levels within weeks without maintenance doses, as the Austrian study used after their loading dose 540 000iu..

so even 50 000iu every week – my standard chronic illness adult maintenance dose that I take- is ineffective initially for acute protection in eg TB adults (Daley ea India 2015) or ICU . It seems such adults (pneumonia, TB, acute AIDS, ICU) need ? 600 000iu (or ? a ~ million iu orally) to start, then eg 100 000iu/wk till better, then drop to maintenance. .

Infantile bronchiolitis is a severe and common occurrence and killer under a year of age in South Africa as in the northern hemisphere; especially in tiny premmies; in the majority due to RSV respiratory syncytial virus rather than coronavirus, ‘flu etc; with no conventional therapy except support- leaving the doctor actively doing nothing except comfort, while the nurse nurses…
BUT eight papers since 2011 on Bronchiolitis strongly support vit D: that vitamin D deficiency/ polymorphism plays a major role from pregnancy on:
Three studies from 2011-2014 show that such bronchiolitis infants have low vitamin D or vitamin D polymorphisms that make them vulnerable; Two studies in 2014, from Harvard (Randolph ea ) and Ottawa (McNally ea) Universities in RSV bronchiolitis infants show vit D-binding haplotype, or Vitamin D receptor (VDR) polymorphisms;      And a 2011 study from Belderbos ea Utrech Univ Netherlands 2011 that Cord blood vitamin D deficiency is associated with respiratory syncytial virus bronchiolitis- Neonates born with 25-OHD concentrations <20ng/ml had a sixfold (95% confidence interval: 1.6-24.9; P = .01) increased risk of RSV LRTI in the first year of life compared with those with 25-OHD concentrations ≥ 30ng/dl. These studies thus point to brisk vitamin D supplement as likely major benefit against both RSV and subsequent asthma./COPD.

and Five recent team reviews 2011 to 2014 of RSV bronchiolitis from Italy—Baraldi ea ;   Canada- Poon ea ; Ireland – Clancy ea; and USA: Herzog ea-Cornell Univ NY, and Massachusetts-Maxwell ea – thus encourage the use of vigorous vitamin D and A and omega3 supplements in pregnancy or infancy to prevent  our  high RSA risk of bronchiolitis and future asthma/COPD.  eg
Curr Drug Targets. 2011.Herzog ea Cornell Univ. Immunologic impact of nutrient depletion in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Maternal smoking may diminish interferon response secondary to micronutrient deficiency, particularly of Vits A & D, and support persistence of RSV into adult life , Muscle wasting and cachexia systemic features of COPD. Nutritional depletion is related to poor survival and is a rational target for therapeutic intervention also in advanced and critically ill patients. Preliminary studies and suggest that supplementation with omega-3 and Vitamin A, Vitamin D3, and zinc may have beneficial effects in COPD.

now    2015  Salimi ea in Iran show in  Association between vitamin D receptor polymorphisms and haplotypes with pulmonary tuberculosis  in  Biomed Rep.   “The vitamin D receptor (VDR) is an important factor in activating immune response in different infectious diseases. Case control study on 120 PTB patients and 131 healthy controls with  Genetic analysis  by polymerase chain reaction.. The VDR Fok1 Ff genotype was associated with TB and the risk of PTB was two times higher in individuals with the Ff genotype. A higher frequency of f allele was observed in PTB patients and therefore, the f allele may be a risk factor for PTB susceptibility. In addition, haplotype analysis showed that the f-T-B and f-t-b haplotypes (Fok1, Taq1 and Bsm1) may have the potential to increase PTB susceptibility. In conclusion, the Ff genotype and f allele of the VDR Fok1 polymorphism were associated with PTB susceptibility. In addition, the f-T-B and f-t-b haplotypes may be the susceptible haplotypes for PTB.”

     THE RSA HOLOCAUST ESPECIALLY FOR WOMEN AND KIDS:  This new cumulative data above  is crucial given that while men fight ruthlessly for power, sex, money- even wars- the high birthrate in poor malnourished teenage girls in RSA, (especially with prevalent violence, alcohol, smoking and other drug abuses, AIDS and pulmonary and abdominal/ meningeal TB), who are thus ill-equipped both to breastfeed and parent with the myriad burdens of illiteracy and joblessness poverty, single parenting, starvation, male violence, refugee squatter survival, and then having to take ARVs, antiTB drugs or at least INH, cotrimoxazole and frequent other antimicrobials.

It is controversial, but Marks DF1.Br J Health Psychol. 2007 Department of Psychology, City University, UK argues that Literacy not intelligence moderates the relationships between economic development, income inequality and health: ” Kanazawa (2006) presented data allegedly supporting a racist version of evolutionary psychology that claims that the populations of wealthier and more egalitarian societies live longer and stay healthier, not because they are wealthier and more egalitarian, but because they are more intelligent. The objectives of this study are: (i) to determine the relationship between IQ and literacy in Kanazawa’s sample of countries and (ii) to reanalyse Kanazawa’s dataset using measures of literacy in lieu of national IQ test scores. RESULTS:National literacy scores across the countries in the sample are highly skewed. In spite of this, the literacy measures are highly correlated with alleged differences in national IQ (r = .83-.86). The measure of literacy together with economic development (GDPpc) and income inequality (Gini coefficient) control at least 59-64% of the variance in national life expectancy at birth.CONCLUSIONS:There is no scientific justification for believing that alleged intelligence differences play any role in explaining international differences in health status. Measures of alleged national IQ scores are highly confounded with differences in literacy. Literacy is a key factor in the health of any community and policies designed to enhance the literacy of a population are expected to lead to significant improvements in health status.
For these intellectually challenged illiterate women from remote rural villages  – many of whom cannot even write their initials let alone a signature, or understand English or Afrikaans-   anything but their tribal dialect-  pregnancy and AIDS/TB are the only relative escape from starvation and manual ie servile labour- which marginally paid drudgery is disappearing with the government-caused collapsed SA economy, power supply and industry. But the disability grant of ~R1500 ($125pm ie <$1/work hour) ) pm, and child welfare grant of perhaps R300 ($25)pm, is a drop in their ocean of despair. And given the mushrooming STD rates and costs thereof from male recklessness , from worsening corrupt central-government- led illiteracy and effective mass unemployment – state HIV-TB clinics and hospitals seldom have a little B6 or C to give these women, let alone regular supplies of ARVs or essential healing nutritionals eg vits A, Bco, minerals D, iodine, zinc, and biologicals eg  cod liver oil etc.

In the private sector, medical aid schemes also dont pay for supplements, only synthetic designer drugs that ignore underlying causal immunodeficiencies – since Only Disease Pays.
OVERDOSE? Between the two topic headings Hypervitaminosis D and Vitamin D toxicity, there are already 1798 refs on Pubmed alone. Hypervitaminosis D  428 reports on Pubmed since the first, from Harris & Moore, The Nutrition Lab, Cambridge 1929; Hypervitaminosis and vitamin balance: ..        and there are 1436 entries under Vitamin D toxicity since the first Vitamin D Toxicity by Leake 1936 at  UCLA .
ADULTS: But experts and numerous overdose reports ( only a few of which are noted below) reveal the truth,  that at least oral DAILY, well over 50 000iu to 1 MILLION iu/d of vitamin D for months, LONGTERM to up to 100 000IU/D for months to 365 million iu over 10 years has to be taken to cause illness ie symptomatic hypercalcemia .
Conversely, Chakraborty ea at Roy Research Center, Kolkata, India, report (Lab Med. 2015) A nontoxic case of vitamin d toxicity, a woman who developed very high serum Vitamin D levels (746 ng/mL, RI: 20 to 50) as a result of medication error. In spite of such high serum concentrations the patient was without any clinical symptoms and had normal serum calcium. The evidence base regarding the safety profile of Vitamin D supplementation in humans has been build through case reports, not dose titration RCTs to astronomical levels- which would be unethical.

So while routine maintenance dose eg 600 000iu/month, or 4000- to 10 000iu/d, or 100 000iu/wk in adults has never been reported to cause overdose toxicity,
on vigorous chronic vitamin D3 (not calcium or D2) dosing for disease, obviously ideally baseline (or at least after say 2-3 months of trial of conservative vitamin D replacement) calcium, vitamin D and kidney function levels should be measured since very rarely, unexpected silent hypercalcemia may already be present. .
But numerous reports eg from Netherlands 2014 show that a single overdose of even 2million iu vit D (=~100 000iu/d over 30days given the T 1/2 of vit D of 2 wks to 2 months), while kicking the bloodlevel up a few hundred ng/ml, does no harm even in two Dutch nonagenarians.

Relative hypovitaminosis D (bloodlevel below 30ng/ml) is prevalent locally and internationally in an indoor-working sunburn-fearing over-dressed city population not taking supplements more than the usual 400iu vit D in a daily multivite – especially in alcoholics, and the undernourished poor, and those following the government -recommended disease- promoting diabesogenic high- carbs low- fat diet marketed by commercial interests and bad science the past 50 years..

Already in 1999 Vieth at Univ Toronto wrote in Am J Clin Nutr. “Vitamin D supplementation, 25-OH vit D concentrations, and safety. . for adults, the 5-microg (200 IU) vitamin D RDA may prevent osteomalacia in the absence of sunlight, but more is needed to help prevent osteoporosis and secondary hyperparathyroidism, and prevention of some cancers, osteoarthritis progression, multiple sclerosis, and hypertension. Total-body sun exposure easily provides the equivalent of 250 microg (10000 IU) vitamin D/d, suggesting that this is a physiologic limit. The assembled data from many vitamin D supp. studies reveal a curve for vitamin D dose versus serum 25(OH)D response that is surprisingly flat up to 250 mcg (10000 IU) vitamin D/d. To ensure that serum 25(OH)D concentrations exceed 40ng/ml, a total vitamin D supply of >100 microg (4000 IU)/d is required. Except with conditions causing hypersensitivity, there is no evidence of adverse effects with serum 25(OH)D concentrations <55ng/ml, which require a total vitamin D supply of 250 microg (10 000 IU)/d to attain. Published cases of vitamin D toxicity with hypercalcemia, for which the 25(OH)D concentration and vitamin D dose are known, all involve intake of >/= 1000 mcg (40 000 IU)/d. Because vitamin D is potentially toxic, intake of >1000 IU/d has been avoided – even though the weight of evidence shows that the currently accepted, no observed adverse effect limit of 2000 Iu)/d is too low by at least 5-fold ie >10 000iu/d long term.”
O/Dose INFANTS: to avoid vitamin D poisoning and permanent damage to infants, of course dose needs to be scaled down accordingly on the 100iu/kg/d basis; but infants have a much bigger body surface area and thus meds requirement & tolerance. Human breast milk vit D is usually inadequate especially for swaddled darker-skinned babies and mothers; so conventionally at least 1000iu/d supplement vit D is for babies up to 6 months, 2500iu/d above 1year, and 4000iu/d from 9 years; or a pro rata loading dose, is advised eg Canada and USA Heaney ea Conversely, serum 25(OH)D concentration consistently >200 ng/mL is considered to be potentially toxic [5].” Without a fingerprick vit D and calcium assay (lab cost here is ~R300 ie $25), monitoring here is tedious and costly…
ALLERGY TO VITAMIN D3? That vigorous vitamin D3 replacement can improve immunodeficiency and even relieve dermatitis is common cause.
But since Vit D’s discovery in 1914 (USA McCollum and Davis) and soon commercial production and marketing the past 90 years, not a single documented verified ALLERGY case (not overdose) can be found on Pubmed or Google?.Such true allergy cannot be anything but very very rare, since with vit D3, like all other bioidentical human hormones, and vitamins, allergy (unlike overdose) is almost inconceivable- although receptor loss or blockade may create resistance to eg thyroid, testosterone, vit D etc. . Allergy could conceivably occur to some carrier/ additive to the vitamin D3- but not even in the lungs from inhalation of old high-vit D oil droplets in fish factory workers
VitaminDwiki puts it in perspective. Designer ie prescription synthetic meds, and common foods, and tap water, are more likely to cause problem.

None of the 14 refs on Pubmed reports allergy to vitamin D. Google merely notes some anecdotes from users.

The last and urgent word today  -on medical and parental responsibilities- is by Wolfgang Högler ,Birmingham Children’s Hospital, UK ,Clin.Endoc. 2015: Complications of vitamin D deficiency from the foetus to the infant: One cause, one prevention, but who’s responsibility? The supplier of bone Calcium and phosphorus is the hormone calcitriol, which originates from vitamin D, itself made by sunshine in human skin. Requirement for bone minerals is highest during phases of rapid growth, and no one grows faster than the foetus and the infant, making them particularly vulnerable. Deprivation of calcium, whether through low calcium intake or low vitamin D, leads to serious health consequences throughout life, such as hypocalcaemic seizures, dilated cardiomyopathy, skeletal myopathy, congenital and infantile rickets, and osteomalacia.                                                                                                                    These 5 conditions are often summarised as ‘symptomatic vitamin D deficiency’, are fully reversible but also fully preventable. However, the increasing prevalence of rickets and osteomalacia, and the deaths from hypocalcaemic cardiomyopathy, demand action from global health care providers. Clarification of medical and parental responsibilities is a prerequisite to deliver successful prevention programmes.     The foetus and infant have the human right to be protected against harm, and vitamin D supplementation has the same public health priority as vaccinations.

And Dr John Cannell of The Vitamin D Council comments today : Dr. Hogler does not discuss the growing evidence that maternal and infantile vitamin D deficiencies may lead to neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism. I have always thought that the only way obstetricians and pediatricians will prescribe adequate doses of vitamin D is if they are charged for malpractice from failing to identify and treat vitamin D deficiency. If it is established that vitamin D deficiency causes autism, the malpractice attorneys will swarm like sharks to blood. Given increasing evident harms from numerous vaccinations, and often lack of real longterm supporting evidence of good eg the (swine and seasonal) flu and cervix HPV vaccines, we must consider vitamin D supplementation as far more proven benefit and safety than intensive multiple vaccinations.
-And on sepsis and brain salvage:  Dr Cannell promotes   –  vitamin D is a viable treatment for sepsis?, the landmark work of Drs William Grant and Ray Matthews.

The evidence is strong that vigorous natural supplements (vits, minerals, human hormones and some natural biological like marine oil and chondroglucosamine) are priorities especially in both acute emergencies, chronic diseases and prevention, from conception at all ages, over vaccinations and antibiotics and all synthetic designer drugs. .

BMC Cancer. 2014 ;14:780 Adjuvant therapy with high dose vitamin D following primary treatment of melanoma at high risk of recurrence: a placebo controlled randomised phase II trial Saw RP1, Thompson JF. ea Melanoma Institute Australia,North Sydney , Australia. .

  Indian Pediatr. 2014 ;51:265-72. 300,000 IU or 600,000 IU of oral vitamin D3 for treatment of nutritional rickets: a randomized controlled trial. Mittal , Gupta ea University College Medical Sci,, New Delhi.
Calcif Tissue Int. 2013 ;92(2):191-206. Is high dose vitamin D harmful? Sanders KM1, Nicholson GC, Ebeling PR., University of Melbourne

Med J Aust. 2005 Jul 4;183(1):10-2. Annual intramuscular injection of a megadose of cholecalciferol for treatment of vitamin D deficiency: efficacy and safety data. Diamond TH1, Ho KW, Rohl PG, Meerkin M.University of New South Wales, Australia.

Geriatr Orthop Surg Rehabil. 2011 May;2(3):94-9. . Improving mobility and reducing disability in older people through early high-dose vitamin d replacement following hip fracture: a protocol for a randomized controlled trial and economic evaluation. Mak JC1,  Cameron ID ea. , University of Sydney, Australia .Hypovitaminosis D is particularly common among older people with a proximal femoral (hip) fracture and has been linked with poorer lower extremity functioning, falls, and fractures.

     J Nutr. 2014;144:2002-8. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with progression of knee osteoarthritis. Zhang FF1, McAlindon TE EA2.usa uNIVERSITIES

    Lin Chung Er Bi Yan Hou Tou Jing Wai Ke Za Zhi. 2014 ;28(14):1031-3. [Effect of nasal instillation of vitamin D3 on patient with allergic rhinitis symptoms]. [Article in Chinese] Gong, Jiang Y EA

      Nutrients. 2014 ;6(9):3403-30. doi: 10.3390/nu6093403. Does sufficient evidence exist to support a causal association between vitamin D status and cardiovascular disease risk? An assessment using Hill’s criteria for causality.Weyland PG1, Grant WB2, Howie-Esquivel J3., University of California,
Eur J Clin Nutr. 2014 ;68(5):632-4..Pharmacokinetics of daily versus monthly vitamin D3 supplementation in non-lactating women.Meekins ME1,, Thacher TD2Mayo Clinic, Rochester,& University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg,
Mol Med. 2009 ;15(9-10):328-36. Vitamin D affords better neuroprotection against excitotoxicity in cultured cortical neurons than progesterone alone. Atif F1, Sayeed I, Ishrat T, Stein Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 ;87(6):1952-8. Vitamin D intake to attain a desired serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration. Aloia, Yeh ea Winthrop University Hospital, NY.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2008:87(3):688-91.Pharmacokinetics of a single, large dose of cholecalciferol.  Ilahi M1, Armas LA, Heaney Creighton University Omaha, .
Curr Opin Lipidol. 2007 ;18(1):41-6. Vitamin D and vascular calcification.Zittermann Schleithoff Koerfer Ruhr University Bochum, Germany.
J Am Coll Nutr. 2003 Apr;22(2):142-6. Calcium absorption varies within the reference range for serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D. Heaney RP1, Dowell MS, Hale CA, Bendich A.Creighton University, USA.

         Diabetes Care. 2015 May. pii: dc150323. Effect of LOWDOSE Vitamin D Supplementation on Glycemic Control in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes (SUNNY Trial): A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial. Krul-Poel YH1, Simsek S7 eu .

          Horm Metab Res. 2015 May 4 Effects of High-Dose Vitamin D Supplementation on Metabolic Status and Pregnancy Outcomes in Pregnant Women at Risk for Pre-Eclampsia. Karamali M1, Asemi Z ea.
J Am Geriatr Soc. 2014 ;62(8):1546-50..Effectiveness and safety of a high-dose weekly vitamin D (20,000 IU) protocol in older adults living in residential care. Feldman F1, Green TJ.ea. Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, Canada.

    Maturitas. 2015 Mar 27. Sarcopenia in post-menopausal women: Is there any role for vitamin D? Anagnostis P1, Goulis DG ea Greek Universities
J Adolesc Health. 2015 Apr 11. Vitamin D =<2000iu/d Fail to Increase 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Levels or to Alter Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Obese Adolescents: A Pilot Study.
Shah S1, Wilson DM2, Bachrach LK2.

     Lancet Infect Dis. 2015 May;15(5):528-34.Adjunctive vitamin D 400 000iu in 6 weeks for treatment of active tuberculosis in India no benefit : a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Daley P1, Vieth R4, , Mathai D ea .
Thorax. 2015 May;70(5):451-7. doi: 10.1136/thoraxjnl-2014-206449. Epub 2015 Feb 27.
PLoS One. 2015 Feb 23;10(2):e0117123. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0117123. eCollection 2015. Vitamin D₃ supplementation in Batswana children and adults with HIV: a pilot double blind randomized controlled trial. Steenhoff AP1, Stallings ea .
Eur J Endocrinol. 2015 Mar;172(3):235-41. doi: 10.1530/EJE-14-0870.Vitamin D3 increases in abdominal subcutaneous fat tissue after supplementation with vitamin D3. Didriksen , Jorde R3 ea

44-9987.12279. Epub 2015 Feb 6. Effects of a single, high oral dose of 25-hydroxycholecalciferol on the mineral metabolism markers in hemodialysis patients. Merino , 2, Quereda ea, .
Pediatr Neurol. 2015 ;52:160-4.Vitamin D supplementation in children with epilepsy and intellectual disability. Snoeijen-Schouwenaars , Majoie MH ea .:.
J Acad Nutr Diet. 2015 Feb;115(2):225-30. .Dietary fat increases vitamin D-3 absorption.Dawson-Hughes B, Rasmussen H.
Eur J Clin Nutr. 2015 ;69(2):193-7 The effect of a single, large bolus of vitamin D 250,000 IU in healthy adults over the winter and following year: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.Kearns MD1, Tangpricha V3

Sleep Breath. 2015 May;19(2):579-83. doi: 10.1007/s11325-014-1049-y. Epub 2014 Aug 23. The effect of vitamin D supplements on the severity of restless legs syndrome. Wali S1, Krayem A.

Endocr Pract. 2014 ;20(12):1258-64..The vitamin d dose response in obesity.Dhaliwal R1, Aloia JF1.

BMC Infect Dis. 2013;13:22. Vitamin D accelerates clinical recovery from tuberculosis: Salahuddin N ea.
Curr Drug Targets. 2011;12(4):489-500. Immunologic impact of nutrient depletion in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Herzog R1, Cunningham-Rundles , Cornell University, NY.

    Ital J Pediatr. 2014 Oct 24;40:65. Inter-society consensus document on treatment and prevention of bronchiolitis in newborns and infants. Baraldi , Corsello EA -Società Italiana per le Malattie Respiratorie Infantili, Italy.
Pharmacol Ther. 2013;140(2):148-55.Vitamin D deficiency and severe asthma. Poon AH1, Mahboub B, Hamid Q. McGill University,
Clin Exp Allergy. 2014 Feb;44(2):231-7. doi: 10.1111/cea.12247.Vitamin D-binding protein haplotype is associated with hospitalization for RSV bronchiolitis. Randolph, Bont EA Harvard Medical School.
Pediatr Pulmonol. 2014;49(8):790-9. Vitamin D receptor (VDR) polymorphisms and severe RSV bronchiolitis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. McNally1, Little ea. Univ Ottawa, Canada.
Pediatrics. 2011;127):e1513-20. Cord blood vitamin D deficiency is associated with respiratory syncytial virus bronchiolitis. Belderbos, Bont ea, University Utrecht,Ndl.

     J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2013;26;639-46.Vitamin D and neonatal immune function. Clancy ea Ireland
Nutr Rev. 2012;70:548-52. Better newborn vitamin D status lowers RSV-associated bronchiolitis in infants.Maxwell CS1, Carbone ET, Wood RJ. University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA.
Am J Clin Nutr. 1999 ;69:842-56.Vitamin D supplementation, 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations, and safety. Vieth.   University of Toronto, Canada.

     Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2015 Jun . doi: 10.1111/cen.12836. Vitamin D toxicity resulting from overzealous correction of vitamin D deficiency. Kaur, Mithal ea Delhi.

     J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2015 Apr;148:14-8. Iatrogenic vitamin D toxicity in an infant–a case report and review of literature. Ketha, Singh EA

    Einstein (Sao Paulo). 2014;12(2):242-4. Vitamin D intoxication: case report.
[Article in English, Portuguese] Marins TA1, Korkes H1.ea Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein, São Paulo, Brazil.
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011;96(12):3603-8. .Vitamin D intoxication with severe hypercalcemia due to manufacturing and labeling errors of two dietary supplements made in the United States.Araki T1, Holick MF, Newman LG.ea

Ann Pharmacother. 2011 ;45(10):e52. Hypervitaminosis D associated with a vitamin D dispensing error. 4.5million iu over 3 mo. Jacobsen , Schilling ea.

Am J Public Health. 1995 ;85(10):1418-22. Subclinical health effects in a population exposed to excess vitamin D in milk. Scanlon, Falk H.ea
N Engl J Med. 1992 ;326(18):1173-7. Hypervitaminosis D associated with drinking milk. Jacobus CH1, Holick MF, Seely EW.:ea .

Q J Med. 1986 Oct;61(234):911-9. The osteodystrophy of hypervitaminosis D 365million iu over 10 years: a metabolic study. Davies M, Mawer EB, Freemont AJ. A patient received 2.5 mg vitamin D2 ie 100 000iu/d daily for 10 years ie 365 million iu total, presented with increasing skeletal pain and hypercalcaemia. The limbs were painful to touch especially at the insertions of ligaments and tendons, and radiographs showed osteosclerosis with calcification in the periosteum, blood vessels, tendoachilles and plantar fascia. A negative external calcium balance was documented in the presence of enhanced intestinal calcium absorption and an increase in urinary hydroxyproline excretion. Cortisone improved calcium balance and corrected the hypercalcaemia by reducing serum 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D levels and urinary hydroxyproline excretion.

Nouv Presse Med. 1981;10(36):2965-7.[Vitamin D metabolites in a new case of drug-induced hypercalcemia (author’s transl)]. [ French] Ulmann A, Bourdeau A, Lair M, Bader C. the authors report on a new case of severe hypercalcaemia induced by prolonged oral treatment with high doses of vitamin D2. (6 mg ie 240 000iu/day ie for 9 months ie 23million iu).

     Lancet. 1978 ;2(8090):621-3. The continuing risk of vitamin-D intoxication.
Davies, Adams . Eight cases of vitamin-D poisoning are described.
Arch Intern Med. 1975 Jul;135(7):986-8. Protracted vitamin D intoxication.
Shetty , Hagen ea   A 56-year-old woman underwent subtotal thyroidectomy for Graves disease in 1963. After the operation, hypoparathyroidism developed and therapy was begun with vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol), 100,000 units daily.  Four months later, ie 12 million iu vit D, after hypercalcemia (14 mg/100 ml) had been noted, vitamin D therapy was discontinued

    Dtsch Med Wochenschr. 1975 ;100(9):415-6, 419-23. [Observations in vitamin D and dihydrotachysterol poisoning]. [German] Ziegler R, Delling ea. In three women intoxication with vitamin D or dihydrotachysterol occurred. Two patients died from complications despite successful lowering of the serum calcium, the third died after a pulmonary embolus during hypercalcaemia 5 months after cessation of vitamin D. .

    Br Med J. 1972 ;3(5820):205-7. Vitamin D intoxication treated with porcine calcitonin. Buckle RM, Gamlen TR, Pullen IM.Southampton UK Porcine calcitonin was used to treat three Southampton women in their sixties with hypercalcaemia due to accidental chronic vitamin D intoxication with 30 000 to 500 000iu/d for 4 to 13 weeks (vit D 9 million iu over 4wks; 4.5million iu over 13 week; and 29 million iu over 2 months). Normocalcaemia was achieved in 3 to seven days, with rapid full recovery.



dedicated;  for inspiration and help,  to: Drs YK Seedat; Roy Keeton;  Norman Kaplan; Colin Dollery, Harry Seftel; Josh Barzilay; Tony Bunn; Mark Blockman;  and pharmacists  Allan Taylor and Joe Talmud.    for previous reviews see

update:  16 Dec 2014 THE RISKS OF MODERN ANTIHYPERTENSIVE DRUGS:  Pubmed search for ANTIHYPERTENSIVE DERMATITIS REACTIONS brings up >156 papers from 1970 (on practolol, propranolol, atenolol, labetolol, hydralazine, ACEI); we first encountered practolol (BBlocker) problems  in the ’70s;  and captopril (ACEI) dermatitis about 1980; Dermatitis  has also been reported since 1987 with calcium channel blockers. WHY USE ACEI/ARBS and BETABLOCKERS -with their added airways and circulatory risks -EXCEPT AS LAST RESORT?   when these are now routinely combined with other synthetic designer drugs clopidogrel (a sulfonamide) , or /and non-sulfonamide warfarin, aspirin, other NSAIDs and statins; sulphonylureas, glitazones, which cause serious multiple complications including dermatitis.

The problematic Bblockers, ACEI, ARBs, aspirin, NSAIDs,  clopidogrel, warfarin  and  statins are rarely indicated; whereas  the hypersensitiviy  risk with thiazide (hydrochlorothiazide – a sulfonamide – halflife ~10hrs  ) PLUS AMILORIDE (halflife ~7.5hrs,  not a thiazide)  is rare;  and reserpine (not a sulfa, half-life ~10days)  actually suppresses allergic risk;

and natural extracts- fish oil, coconut oil,  vigorous vitamins B, C, D3, E, K2;   magnesium, zinc, selenium, boron, iodine,   garlic, curcumin, gymnema, metformin, reserpine, cayenne, MSM/DMSO, arginine, carnitine, ribose, CoQ10, proline, alphalipoic acid, acetylcysteine- do far more good without harm (than heavily marketed designer synthetics) in addressing the root causes of the common degenerative  diseases of aging rather than addressing just their symptoms, as drug companies do. .

Refs: 1. Immunopharmacol Immunotoxicol. 2013 :35:447-50 “Cutaneous antihypertensive adverse drug reactions (ADRs) have been frequently reported. Vena,  De Simone ea  University of Bari, Italy reported Eczematous reactions due to angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors ACEIs or angiotensin II receptor blockers ARBs  in 23 hypertensive patients patients aged 66-87 years; 19 of them were taking another drug in addition to the suspected antihypertensive medication and 15 were on polytherapy with three or more drugs to treat multiple comorbidities. The antihypertensive culprit agents were (ACE) inhibitors in 9 patients, ACEI combined to hydrochlorothiazide (HCT) in 7 subjects, ARBs  alone in 2 patients and associated with HCT in 5 cases. Eczema was generalized in 16 patients and localized in 7 cases, with predominant involvement of lower limbs. Such lesions developed after a latency of 4-30 months and were associated with moderate-to-severe itch, usually unresponsive to oral antihistamines. Histopathology  was spongiotic dermatitis with possible associated psoriasiform skin changes.”

2.  In the Textbook  Adverse Drug Reactions 2nd Ed by Anne Lee, Pharmaceutical press 2006,  the chapter Drug Skin Reactions exhaustively lists all causative drugs – only  reserpine/ rauwolfia is not mentioned since it prevents hypersensitivity:

  3. J Exp Med. 1985 Dec 1;162:1935-53. Reevaluation of reserpine-induced suppression of contact sensitivity. Evidence that reserpine interferes with T lymphocyte function independently of an effect on mast cells. Mekori YA, Weitzman GL, Galli. Harvard & Tel Aviv Universities  “ reserpine blocks expression of delayed hypersensitivity (DH) by depleting tissue mast cells of serotonin (5-HT), preventing a T cell-dependent release of mast cell 5-HT necessary to localize and to amplify the DH response; findings strongly suggesting that whatever effects reserpine might have on immunologically nonspecific host cells, it’s effects on sensitized T cells are sufficient to explain its ability to block cell-mediated immune responses in vivo.

No recent review gives objective evidence-based opinion free of drug industry vested influence about optimal initial antihypertensive  drug therapy that contradict the above evidence.

13 December 2014: latest analyses of all antihypertensive trials confirm that LOWDOSE (potassium-sparing) diuretic- eg amilozide-   LOWDOSE reserpine, and if needed as 4th drug, calcium channel blocker eg amlodipine,  each  individually lower all major events including MORTALITY, ( and refractory lowers refractory pain).  Betablockers, ACEI and ARBs do not reduce mortality- and have major adverse effects. .

Thomopoulos ea (Univs Athens & Milan) J Hypertens Dec 2014   Effects of various classes of antihypertensive drugs on outcome incidence in hypertension, asks which  BP-lowering drug classes  are  effective in reducing MORTALITY?  In 55 RCTs (~200 000 individuals) all  common antihypertensive drugs lowered  BP , stroke,  and major cardiovascular events; but in 2014 use, only  a diuretic (even lowdose); and calcium antagonists  gave  significant reductions of all outcomes including mortality.

PAIN SUPPRESSED BY RESERPINE:    S Afr Med J. 1991;80:176-8.  Significant cost-saving with modification of antihypertensive therapy. Keeton & Monteagudo, Univ.Cape Town.    30 patients  on nifedipine for hypertension or chest pain were followed up for 6 months after alternative therapy- Reserpine combined with a thiazide- was instituted: blood pressure control improved and no serious side-effects were encountered. This  reduced the monthly cost by  73%. Although a self-assessment depression inventory was completed by 21 patients, our study does not fully evaluate the impact on quality of life. The likelihood of side-effects is  small–provided  the maximum daily dose of reserpine does not exceed 0.1 mg. A more considered approach is needed in the choice of antihypertensive agents.

Arch Inst Cardiol Mex. 1977 ;47:101-8. Prinzmetal’s angina Response to  treatment with reserpine. Review of physiopathological mechanisms. Guadalajara , Horwitz , Trevethan  present a case of Prinzmetal angina refractory to classic medical treatment, in which the angina attacks were suppressed with  reserpine .Coronary spasm due to alteration in the regulation of the coronary arterial tone from  autonomic nervous system illness is established, an abnormal coronary vascular reactivity is also reviewed. It is emphasized that Prinzmetal angina is an original entity, different from  coronary arteriosclerotic heart disease, which may coexist with it but which cannot be treated in the same way, because its physiopathologic mechanisms are different.

Cardiovasc Dis. 1974;1:194-201. PRINZMETAL ANGINA PECTORIS WITH NORMAL CORONARY ARTERIOGRAMS: EFFECT OF LONG-TERM RESERPINE TREATMENT.   Hernandez-Casas, Leachman ea . Baylor  St. Luke’s Houston, Texas

7 December 2014:  Medscape 2013 : the modern theory  Pathogenesis of essential hypertension HBP  is highly complex: Multiple factors modulate blood pressure (BP) for adequate tissue perfusion : Humoral (ie in the blood- hormonal, immune, nutritional), Vascular reactivity , Circulating blood volume, Vascular caliber, Blood viscosity, Cardiac output, Blood vessel elasticity, Neural – autonomic stimulation.                          Over the course of its natural history, essential HBP progresses from occasional to established HBP.  After a long invariably asymptomatic period, persistent HBP develops into complicated HBP, in which target organ damage to the aorta and small arteries, heart, kidneys, retina, and central nervous system is evident.

The progression of essential HBP begins with prehypertension in persons aged 10-30 years (by increased cardiac output) and then advances to early HBP in persons aged 20-40 years (increased peripheral resistance ), then to established HBP in persons aged 30-50 years, and finally to complicated HBP in persons aged 40-60 years.

Hence to prevent HBP becoming established and complicated by midlife, both the lifestyle/ nutritional factors, and the neural- stress and the RAAS renal-aldosterone- angiotensin systems – need to be optimized in young adulthood, in the early workplace  if not childhood ie at school: with reintroduction at  school of compulsory physical education/sport;  banning of  tobacco,  refined sugar  and retail salt sale; universal ingestion  3 times a week at least of a tsp of codliver oil  equivalent (before it becomes unobtainable;)  and a tblsp of virgin coconut oil; and if bloodpressure does not normalize, addition of at least 3 times a week 1/2 reserpine  ie 0,125mg and 1/2 amilozide ie 27.5mg , to address most of the risk factors, as detailed below a week ago. .

Kostis  ea, Univ Harvard; Rutgers,. Columbia,Texas, Am J Cardiol. 2014 Feb examined Competing cardiovascular and noncardiovascular risks and longevity in the Systolic Hypertension in the Elderly   Program SHEP with  chlorthalidone-based stepped care (n = 2,365) or placebo (n = 2,371) for 4.5 years,. all participants were advised to take active therapy thereafter. At the 22year follow-up,  gain in life expectancy free from CV death in the active treatment group was 145 days  ( p = 0.012). The gain in overall life expectancy was smaller (105 days)because of a 40-day (95% CI -87 to 161) decrease in survival from non-CV death. Compared with an age- and gender-matched cohort, participants had markedly higher overall life expectancy ( p = 0.00001) and greater chance of reaching the ages of 80 (81.3% vs 57.6%), 85 (58.1% vs 37.4%), 90 (30.5% vs 22.0%), 95 (11.9% vs 8.8%), and 100 years (3.7% vs 2.8%). In conclusion, Systolic Hypertension in the Elderly Program participants had higher overall life expectancy than actuarial controls and those randomized to active therapy had longer life expectancy free from CV death but had a small increase in the competing risk of non-CV death

The 2013 Statement by the International & American Societies of Hypertension( including all continents and South Africa) includes amiloride-HCTZide  ; and reserpine 0.1 mg/day in the array of drugs to be combined for optimal  BP control.  “Thiazide-like Diuretics: reduction of major cardiovascular CVD and  stroke events have been established. Main side effects are metabolic (hypokalemia, hyperglycemia, hyperuricemia), which  can be reduced by using low doses (eg, 12.5 mg or 25 mg of HCTZ) or by combining these diuretics with  potassium-sparing agents eg angiotensin-blockers, amiloride etc .    Note: Thiazides plus   b-blockers are also an effective combination for reducing blood pressure, BUT since both  increase blood glucose concentrations,  use with caution in patients at risk for diabetes.  Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor ACEIs’ main side effect is cough (most common in women and in patients of Asian and  African background). Angioedema is an uncommon but potentially serious complication that can threaten airway function, and it occurs most frequently in  black patients.

Given the above -quoted longstanding established dangers of bblockers and ACEI; and that the  majority of older State chronic  patients around Cape Town are black and Asian women,  overweight hypertensive diabetic smokers, it is negligence on the part of State authorities that most State patients are treated with deleterious betablockers (atenolol), Angiotensin blockers and HCTZ ; instead of primarily with the longproven optimal lowdose reserpine, amilozide and amlodipine.

    30 Nov 2014  NEW  studies below  confirm  that the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system RAAS  and the autonomic nervous systems ANS  are the two networks that primarily regulate bloodpressure.   In baseline treatment of common essential HBP, Increasing recent research points to the prime role of amiloride  –  thiazide combination  eg Moduretic, Amiloretic –  and arginine (nitric oxide stimulant) – addressing the RAAS;  – with reserpine  addressing the  ANS and anxiety.   

This combination overcomes much of the pathophysiology of  essential HBP ie raised cardiac output, and  aldosterone excess  sodium retention vascular load increase, potassium-magnesium wasting,  endothelial swelling ie stiffness  from low nitric oxide; vascular spasm;  and insulin resistance from aldosterone (and  thiazide and betablocker);  and counterbalances the harms of higher-dose thiazide (glucose intolerance-lipidemia, potassium-magnesium-wasting, hyperuricemia), but also avoids the numerous adverse effects of  spironolactone (a steroidal antihormone) and triamterene;

and the cardiorespiratory risks of betablockers, and ARBs. The evidence in fact supports use of amiloride lowdose preventatively in a highrisk prehypertensive population. just as the prohormone metformin is used preventatively in reversing weight gain to prevent diabetes, atheroma and PCOS inferti9lity..

refs: 1.  Nutr Hosp. 2014 Dec.   ALDOSTERONE: A CARDIOMETABOLIC RISK HORMONE?    Pereira Bressan  ea.University of Viçosa, Brazil..  Aldosterone is a component of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, classically known for its role in sodium and water retention. Besides its renal effects, aldosterone is associated with the pathogenesis and progression of metabolic syndrome components. Diet can affect plasma aldosterone levels; high fructose and fat intake can lead to increased aldosterone levels, whereas the effect of sodium intake remains controversial. Adipose tissue, particularly visceral tissue, appears to produce a lipid-soluble factor that increases aldosterone production. Patients with metabolic syndrome have higher aldosterone levels; moreover, an increased cardiometabolic risk associated with insulin resistance could be partially mediated by the action of aldosterone via mineralocorticoid receptors. Even a subtle activation of this hormonal system may have deleterious effects on the glucose and lipid metabolism related to metabolic syndrome.

2. Semin Nephrol Sept  2014 . . Pathophysiology and Treatment of Resistant Hypertension: The Role of Aldosterone and Amiloride-Sensitive Sodium Channels.    Judd EK1, Calhoun DA2, Warnock DG2. University of Alabama.    Resistant hypertension is a clinically distinct subgroup of hypertension defined by the failure to achieve blood pressure control on optimal dosing of at least 3 antihypertensive medications of different classes, including a diuretic. In the absence of demonstrable renal, vascular and common endocrine causes, pathophysiology of hypertension can be attributed to aldosterone excess in more than 20% of patients with resistant hypertension. Dogma attributes increase in blood pressure seen with increases in aldosterone to its antinatriuretic effects. However, emerging research,  has identified and defines the function of amiloride-sensitive sodium channels eNaC and mineralocorticoid receptors in the systemic vasculature, challenges impaired natriuresis as the sole cause of aldosterone-mediated resistant hypertension. It thus highlights the cardinal role of amilozide in hypertension therapy.

3. Pflugers Arch. 2014 Nov:  Salt controls endothelial and vascular phenotype.Kusche-Vihrog ,  Brand ea. University of Muenster,  Germany. High salt (NaCl) intake promotes  development of vascular diseases independent of  rise in blood pressure, whereas reduction of salt consumption has beneficial effects for the arterial system. We focus on  endothelial Na+ channel (EnNaC)-controlled nanomechanical properties, since high Na+ leads to an EnNaC-induced Na+-influx and subsequent stiffening of endothelial cells. Mechanical stiffness of the endothelial cell (i.e., the endothelial phenotype) plays a crucial role as it controls the production of the endothelium-derived vasodilator nitric oxide (NO) which directly affects the tone of the vascular smooth muscle cells. In contrast to soft endothelial cells, stiff endothelial cells release reduced amounts of NO, the hallmark of endothelial dysfunction. This endothelium-born process is followed by the development of arterial stiffness (i.e., the vascular phenotype), predicting the development of vascular end-organ damage such as myocardial infarction, stroke, and renal impairment. In this context, we outline the potential clinical implication of arginine, direct (amiloride) and indirect (spironolactone) EnNaC inhibition on vascular function.

4. J Clin Hypertens (Greenwich). 2014 Jan  Epithelial sodium channel eNaC inhibition by amiloride on blood pressure and cardiovascular disease risk in young prehypertensives.   Bhagatwala , Dong  ea, Regents University, Augusta, GA.. Overactivity of epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) is considered to be one mechanism underlying obesity-related blood pressure (BP) elevation. In a nonplacebo-controlled clinical trial , the authors aimed to comprehensively evaluate the effects of amiloride monotherapy, an ENaC blocker, on BP and cardiovascular risk in young adults with prehypertension (n=17). Following 10 mg daily amiloride for 4 weeks, peripheral systolic BP (SBP), central SBP, and carotid-radial pulse wave velocity were significantly reduced by -7.06±2.25 mm Hg, -7.68±2.56 mm Hg, and -0.72±0.33 m/s, respectively, whereas flow-mediated dilation was significantly increased by 2.2±0.9%. Following amiloride monotherapy for 4 weeks, a significant increase in serum aldosterone was observed (5.85±2.45 ng/dL). ENaC inhibition by amiloride may be used as an early intervention to halt the progression to full hypertension and cardiovascular disease in young adults with prehypertension.
5. J Hum Hypertens. 2013 Nov Diastolic blood pressure reduction ontributes more to the regression of left ventricular hypertrophy: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.  Zhang  Huang ea Sun Yat-sen University, ChinaLeft ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) is an independent cardiovascular risk factor; however, the key strategy necessary for LVH regression in hypertensive patients is not clear. A meta-analysis was conducted to study the effect of blood pressure reduction on LVH regression. A total of 17 randomized controlled trials comprising 2196 hypertensive patients (mean age, 56.3 years; 64.1% were men) were identified. The most significant decrease in LVH was seen in patients with a mean age over 60 years in the DBPM10 group. The renin-angiotensin system inhibitor was found to be the most effective antihypertensive drug for LVH regression. This meta-analysis result indicates that proper DBP reduction plays an important role in the regression of echocardiographic LVH in hypertensive patients.

6. Hypertension. 2012 .Double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial comparing the effects of amiloride and hydrochlorothiazide on glucose tolerance in patients with essential hypertension. Stears, Brown ea University of Cambridge.    Hypertension guidelines advise limiting dose of thiazide diuretics and avoiding combination with β-blockade, because of increased risk of diabetes mellitus. We tested whether changes in the 2-hour oral glucose tolerance test could be detected after 4 weeks of treatment with a thiazide and could be avoided by switching to amiloride. . For similar blood pressure reductions, there were opposite changes in glucose between the 2 diuretics (P<0.0001).  There was a negative correlation between Δpotassium and Δ2-hour glucose (r=-0.28; P<0.0001). In 2 crossover studies, 4 weeks of treatment with a thiazide diuretic impaired glucose tolerance. No impairment was seen with K(+)-sparing diuretic or β(1)-selective blockade. Substitution or addition of amiloride may be the solution to preventing thiazide-induced diabetes mellitus.

7.   Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2008  Dimethyl amiloride improves glucose homeostasis in mouse models of type 2 diabetes.  Gunawardana , Piston ea .Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN. Dimethyl amiloride (DMA) enhances insulin secretion in the pancreatic beta-cell. DMA also enhances time-dependent potentiation (TDP) and enables TDP to occur in situations where it is normally absent. As we have demonstrated before, these effects are mediated in part through inhibition of neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS), resulting in increased availability of arginine. Thus both DMA and arginine have the potential to correct the secretory defect in diabetes by enabling or enhancing TDP. In the current study we  demonstrated the ability of these agents to improve blood glucose homeostasis in three mouse models of type 2 diabetes. The pattern of TDP under different conditions indicates that inhibition of NOS is not the only mechanism through which DMA exerts its positive effects. Thus we also have explored another possible mechanism through which DMA enables/enhances TDP, via the activation of mitochondrial alpha-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase.

8.  Circulation. 1995 Comparison of five antihypertensives and placebo on nutritional-hygienic therapy in  Treatment of Mild Hypertension Study (TOMHS). Liebson, Stamler ea . St Luke’s Medical Center, Chicago, in a double-blind, placebo-RCT  of 844 mild hypertensive participants randomized to nutritional-hygienic (NH) intervention plus placebo or NH plus one of five  antihypertensive agents: (1) thiazide (chlorthalidone), (2) beta-blocker (acebutolol), (3) alpha-antagonist (doxazosin), (4) calcium antagonist (amlodipine ), or (5) ACEI (enalapril).  Changes in BP averaged 16/12 mm Hg in the active treatment groups and 9/9 mm Hg in the NH only group. All groups showed significant decreases (10% to 15%) in LVM from baseline that continued for 48 months.  chlorthalidone  caused the greatest decrease in LVM at each follow-up visit (average decrease, 34 g),  (average decrease among 5 other groups, 24 to 27 g). Participants randomized to NH intervention only had mean changes in LVM similar to those in the participants randomized to NH intervention plus pharmacological treatment. The greatest difference between groups was seen at 12 months, with mean decreases ranging from 35 g (chlorthalidone group) to 17 g (acebutolol group) (P = .001 comparing all groups). 

9.  Arch Intern Med. 1981  Multiclinic comparison of amiloride, hydrochlorothiazide, and hydrochlorothiazide plus amiloride in essential hypertension. Multicenter Diuretic Cooperative Study Group.   [No authors listed}  A randomized, double-blind, multicenter study comparing amiloride hydrochloride, amiloride hydrochloride plus HCTZ, and HCTZwas conducted in 179 patients with mild to moderate essential hypertension (diastolic pressure, 95 to 115 mm Hg). After 12 weeks of treatment, significant reductions in pressure were observed for all three treatment groups. Systolic pressure reduction was greatest for amiloride plus hydrochlorothiazide. Baseline vs 12-week average supine pressures were 153/101 vs 139/93ie -14/8 mm Hg for amiloride, 160/100 vs 137/90 ie -23/10mm Hg for amiloride plus HCTZ, and 154/101 vs 134/89 ie -20/12mm Hg for HCTZ. Baseline vs treatment mean serum potassium levels were 4.24 vs 4.47 mEq/L for amiloride, 4.24 vs 3.86 mEq/L for the combination, and 4.15 vs 3.56 mEq/L for HCTZ. The changes in serum potassium level from the baseline for amiloride plus HCTZ were significantly different from those for HCTZ throughout the study (except for week 6). All drugs were well tolerated, and no drug-related toxic reaction was detected. This study demonstrates the efficacy of amiloride and amiloride plus HCTZ as diuretic antihypertensive potassium-conserving agents.

27 Nov 2014 THE IMPORTANCE OF NORMALIZING RESISTANT HYPERTENSION : THE ALLHAT TRIAL Furberg ea  December  2002 was the biggest  trial that compared a thiazide with other standard antihypertensive drugs in highrisk patients, and confirmed thiazide’s  superiority over amlodipine, lisinopril, and especially doxazosin. This was confirmed in the smaller shorter CONVINCE multinational trial Black ea a few months later, which showed that as single therapy, verapamil was inferior to a thiazide or atenolol.

The latest report of the landmark  5 year USA ALLHAT trial by Munter ea  now reports  on apparent   Treatment-resistant hypertension aTRH  and the incidence of cardiovascular disease and end-stage renal disease: “These results demonstrate that aTRH increases the risk for cardiovascular disease by almost 50%, doubled end-stage renal disease, and increased all-cause mortality- heart and peripheral circulatory failure  – by 30%. Although a high prevalence of aTRH has been reported, few data are available on its association with cardiovascular and renal outcomes. We analyzed data on 14684 (ALLHAT) participants to determine association between aTRH (n=1870) with coronary heart disease, stroke, all-cause mortality, heart failure, peripheral artery disease, and end-stage renal disease. We defined  Apparent treatment-resistant hypertension aTRH as blood pressure not at goal (systolic/diastolic blood pressure ≥140/90 mm Hg) while taking ≥3 classes of antihypertensive medication or taking ≥4 classes of antihypertensive medication with blood pressure at goal during the year 2 ALLHAT study visit (1996-2000). Use of a diuretic was not required to meet the definition of aTRH. Follow-up occurred through 2002.

24 Nov 2014  NOTE  how Big Pharma has lied in corrupting the Wikipedia section (in italics below)  on reserpine so as to try to further sideline this excellent natural drug: the adverse  highlights below  in red are based on ancient data from when Reserpine  was used decades ago in the West in 5 to 50 times higher doses than have been used without adverse effects in trials the past  20 years, and for centuries in India as the parent Rauwolfia:

Reserpine:because of the development of better drugs for these purposes and because of its numerous side-effects, it is rarely used today.Nonsense. This ignores the numerous side-effects of betablockers, ACEI, ARBs and CCBs other than amlodipine.  The reserpine-induced depression is considered by some researchers to be a myth, while others claim that teas made out of the plant roots containing ie lowdose reserpine has a calming, sedative action that can actually be considered antidepressant.[4] Notably, reserpine was the first compound shown to be an effective antidepressant in a randomized placebo-controlled trial.[5]      It may take the body days to weeks to replenish the depleted VMAT, so reserpine’s effects are long-lasting- a major advantage if patients take drugs irregularly. Tryptophan is the starting material in the biosynthetic pathway of reserpine, and is converted to tryptamine by tryptophan decarboxylase enzyme. Various enzymatic conversion reactions lead to the synthesis of reserpine from strictosidine.[8]

This depletion of dopamine can lead with reserpine overdose to drug-induced parkinsonism. THIS IS ONLY IN EXCESSIVE RESERPINE DOSE.  Reserpine has been discontinued in the UK for some years due to its numerous interactions and side effects. nonsense it was discontinued to protect Big Pharma newer antihypertensive drugs eg  Cardura, metoprolol, lisinopril; ARBs, Exforge etc .

“THE Reserpine-THIAZIDE  COMBINATION (WITH OR WITHOUT OTHER OLD DRUGS EG POTASSIUM-SPARERS AND HYDRALAZINE)  is one of the few antihypertensive medications that have been shown in randomized controlled trials to reduce mortality:

“The Hypertension Detection and Follow-up Program,[14] the Veterans Administration Cooperative Study Group in Anti-hypertensive Agents,[15] , the Systolic Hypertension in the Elderly Program, and now the Chinese reserpine trial 2011- which outstanding results  the Wiki article  doesnt bother to  mention. .

Reserpine is rarely used in the management of hypertension today. NONSENSE – that is merely the explicit wish and intent of Big Pharma.  Reserpine is listed as an option by the JNC 7.[17] Reserpine is a second-line adjunct agent for patients who are uncontrolled on a diuretic when cost is an issue.[18]   The daily dose of reserpine in antihypertensive treatment is as low as 0.1 to 0.25 mg – IN FACT 0.0625 t0 0,125MG/dAt doses of less than 0.2 mg/day, reserpine has few side effects, the most common of which is nasal congestion- SO WE NEVER PERSIST WITH  above 0.125mg/d

ONLY IN GROSS OVERDOSE:”There has been much concern about  Reserpine causing: depression leading to suicide; nasal congestion, nausea, vomiting, weight gain, gastric intolerance, gastric ulceration , stomach cramps,diarrhea.. . hypotension, bradycardia; Congested nose,erectile dysfunction drowsiness, dizziness,.. nightmares. Parkinsonism … General weakness, fatigue … may worsen asthma ; hyperprolactinemia… dangerous decline in blood pressure at doses needed for treatment. Early suggestions that reserpine causes breast cancer in women (risk approximately doubled) were not confirmed. . The above litany conveniently omits that these problems were reported in uncontrolled studies using reserpine doses averaging 0.5+ mg per day.[22][23] they do not occur at effective  low antihypertensive reserpine dose combined with lowdose diuretic. “

Nine years ago we reviewed in the BMJ  why reserpine plus thiazide is  The best-proven two-drug hypertension regime in primary care,

update 20 Nov 2014  the Sept  2014 influential French review Prescrire Int reviews the available evidence Treating essential hypertension- As in 2004, the first choice is usually a thiazide diuretic TZD  .. The current treatment threshold for hypertensive adults without diabetes or cardiovascular or renal disease is blood pressure above 160/90-100  mmHg. Apart from certain diuretic-based combinations, the use of combinations of antihypertensive drugs as first-line therapy has not been evaluated in terms of the complications of hypertension. systematic  meta-analyses of  tens of thousands of patients have compared the main classes of antihypertensive drugs against each other and against placebo. Compared with placebo, only low-dose TZDs and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACEI) inhibitors have been shown to reduce all-cause mortality in hypertensive patients. They prevent  about 2 to 3 deaths and 2 strokes per 100 patients treated for 4 to 5 years. Systematic reviews conclude that neither calcium-channel blockers CCBs, ACEI nor beta-blockers BBs are more effective than thiazide diuretics TZDs  in reducing mortality or the incidence of stroke. The efficacy of the TZD chlorthalidone is supported by the highest-level evidence, three comparative clinical trials versus placebo, an ACEI, or a CCB, in more than 50 000 patients. In one of these trials, chlorthalidone was superior to the ACEI lisinoprilin preventing stroke; and  to the CCB amlodipine in preventing heart failure. The effect of hydrochlorothiazide HCTZ , combined with amiloride or triamterene, on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality has been demonstrated in three comparative clinical trials versus placebo, BBs, or a CCBHCTZ appeared more effective than the BB atenolol in reducing the incidence of coronary events.  Indapamide another TZD is less convincing that it is more effective than chlortalidone or HCTZ. None of the antihypertensive drugs appears to have a better overall adverse effect profile than the others. Thiazide diuretics can provoke hyperglycaemia and diabetes, although this does not reduce their efficacy in the prevention of cardiovascular events. As in 2004, in 2014, the first-choice treatment for hypertension in nondiabetic adults without cardiovascular or renal disease should be a thiazide, possibly combined with amiloride or triamterene. When a diuretic cannot be used, it is better to choose an ACEI: captopril, lisinopril or ramipril.

But TZDiuretic halflife is at best 15hrs (HCTZ); and for smoother hypertension control they need to be gentle and not major diuresis-inducing,  so that they do not disturb sleep or daytime function. and TZDs dont damp down compensatory heart speedup and arrhythmia, or lipidemia-hyperglycemia- which reserpine does. and lowdose reserpine doesnt cause the cough or breathlessness that ACEI, ARBs or BBs may.

This review needs to be read with Shamon & Perez‘  2009 University of British Columbia Canadian Cochrane report : the first systematic review of reserpine for essential hypertension  “Many antihypertensive agents exist today for primary hypertension (systolic blood pressure >/=140 mmHg and/or diastolic blood pressure >/=90 mmHg).  Reserpine was  a second-line therapy in some of those trials.   Included studies were truly randomised controlled trials comparing reserpine monotherapy to placebo or no treatment in patients with hypertension.  MAIN RESULTS: Four RCTs (N =237) were found that met the inclusion criteria. The overall pooled effect demonstrates a statistically significant systolic blood pressure (SBP) reduction on reserpine compared to placebo (WMD –8mm, 95% CI -14.05, -1.78).   None of the included trials reported withdrawals due to adverse effects.   AUTHORS’ CONCLUSIONS: Reserpine is effective in reducing SBP roughly to the same degree as other first-line antihypertensive drugs. But this analysis is outdated because it has long been common cause that  the best firstline treatment of hypertension is the balanced combination of reserpine with a potassium-sparing diuretic.

Lowdose Reserpine is the sole anxiolytic antidepressant antipsychotic antiserotoninergic antihypertensive drug that lasts, acts  for weeks  rather than days (amlodipine) or  hours (the TDZs, ACEI, ARBs)- and has no adverse effects; so it doesnt matter when it is taken;  when stopped, it takes weeks for it to completely wear off. And severe stress anxiety insomnia is so often a major component of severe essential hypertension. “Reserpine is an ancient tranquilizer, derived from a plant used in India for centuries. It has a powerful tranquilizing action, has been used to treat hypertension, and was found to be an antidepressant (Davies and Shepherd, 1955)”

Hence combining lowdose eg 0.125mg/d or less reserpine – even 3 days a week ie 0.05mg/d-  with amilozide 13-27mg/d as a morning or midday  dose  is ideal- especially when nighttime systolic hypertensionNSBP  is the strongest predictor of CVEs cardiovascular events, as shown in a new international study in Europe, Brazil, and Japan by Universities of USA, UK and Europe:  Roush, Zamalloa ea The ABC-H Investigators ; Journal of Hypertension (Oct 2014)   Prognostic impact from clinic, daytime, and night-time systolic blood pressure NSBP in nine cohorts of 13 844 patients with hypertension;     To determine which SBP measure best predicts cardiovascular events (CVEs- coronary artery disease CAD and stroke) independently, systematic review was conducted for all patients with hypertension,>1+ years follow-up..   Nine cohorts (n = 13 844) were from Europe, Brazil, and Japan. Results: Overall, NSBP’s dispersion exceeded DaySBP’s dispersion by 22.6% with nonoverlapping confidence limits. Within all nine cohorts, dispersion for NSBP exceeded that for ClinicSBP and DSBP ( P = 0.004)  Considered individually, increases in NSBP, DSBP, and CSBP each predicted CVEs: hazard ratios (95% confidence intervals) = 1.25 (1.22-1.29), 1.20 (1.15-1.26), and 1.11 (1.06-1.16), respectively. However, after simultaneous adjustment for all three SBPs, hazard ratios were 1.26 (1.20-1.31), 1.01 (0.94-1.08), and 1.00 (0.95-1.05), respectively. Cohorts with baseline antihypertensive treatment and cohorts with patient-specific information for night-day BP classification gave similar results. Within most cohorts, simultaneously adjusted hazard ratios were greater for NSBP than for DSBP and CSBP:  In hypertensive patients, NSBP had greater dispersion than DSBP and CSBP in all cohorts. On simultaneous adjustment, compared with DSBP and CSBP, increased NSBP independently predicted higher CVEs in most cohorts, and, overall, NSBP independently predicted CVEs, whereas CSBP and DSBP lost their predictive ability entirely. This trial confirms the 2012 Hosomi ea Japanese trial showing that to minimize (repeat) stroke from night BP variance, Antihypertensive medication taken in the evening or at bedtime is the most effective in treating morning hypertension when the patient adheres to the medication regimen.

Weiss’s Herbal Medicine  2001 pp 151-157 reviews why lowdose reserpine/rauwolfia is the prime baseline antihypertensive, via the central especially  autonomic nervous system as a major anxiolytic.

There is no evidence in chronic treatment of common essential hypertension to justify loop diuretics eg furosemide , as is common practice locally. .

update 12 Oct 2014     For the past decade we have advocated  for uncomplicated patients the gold-standard evidence-based combination of reserpine  0.0625 to 0.125 mg with  1/4  Amilozide (ie hydrochlorothiazide  HCTZ 12,5mg and amiloride 1.25mg) ie HAR daily as the most cost-efficient baseline treatment of hypertension.    Sometimes patients require the lower doses 1/4 tab each reserpine and Amiloretic 55mg) only 3 times a week for good control once on some cod liver oil, coconut oil and multivite-multimineral  to reverse arteriosclerosis, insulin resistance, reactive oxygen species,  and promote nitric oxide.

For more resistant cases we add  dihydralazine 25 mg/d or amlodipine 5 to 10mg as add-ons if required  – if necessary both-  occasionally for optimal HBP control around 120  to 130 systolic (the new international  Guideline target). With this regime of up to five drugs all more than 40 years in use, for hypertension we rarely find need to add the more costly / troublesome old eg methyldopa, or betablockers, spironolactone,   or new eg ACEI or ARBs ,  with   their  cardio-respiratory risks that are so rare with the  multi-low dose reserpine- amilozide- amlodipine- dihydralizane  combination.

There are now 250 000 antihypertensive drug studies on Pubmed since 1947.

 The latest  and definitive study  published on reserpine for HBP in Clin Drug Investig. 2011;31:769-77 is   Long-term efficacy and tolerability of a fixed-dose combination of antihypertensive agents: an open-label surveillance study in China a  massive  3 year (4500 patient-years) study  by  Wu Y, Li L. ea of   Peking University Health Science Center, China   .  A fixed-dose combination (FDC) of four compounds, hydrochlorothiazide  HCTZ 12.5 mg, triamterene 12.5 mg, dihydralazine 12.5 mg and  reserpine 0.1 mg (HTDR), is widely used as an antihypertensive treatment in China. Although used in China for more than 30 years, there have been few comprehensive evaluations of this treatment.          METHODS  open-label surveillance study in Shanghai in local primary healthcare settings. Subjects  with  essential hypertension, aged ≥35 years at the time of enrolment. Patients with secondary hypertension, myocardial infarction or stroke within 6 months of screening, impaired renal or hepatic function, history of cardiomyopathy or chronic heart failure, or were pregnant or lactating were excluded. HTDR was administered as one or two tablets per day in the morning. If necessary, additional HCTZ was added. Blood pressure (BP) was measured every 3 months.    RESULTS: A total of 1529 patients (65%  female; mean age 65.7 years) entered the study with mean BP 149/89. After the 36-month treatment period, 93.1% of patients had achieved the SBP target, 97.9% had achieved the DBP target, and 92.1% had achieved both. The mean decreases in SBP and DBP were 15.3 mmHg and 9.9 mmHg, respectively. Overall, 127 adverse events in 119 patients (7.8%) occurred during the follow-up period, most of which were mild to moderate. Plasma lipids, uric acid and potassium improved.                                                               CONCLUSION: HTDR was found to have good long-term efficacy and tolerability in Chinese patients with essential hypertension.

The mean  15/10  BP lowering  from a mean baseline BP of 149/89 after 3 years of the four-drug Chinese combination  in China   compares  starkly with the mean ~51/30 mm Hg lowering (from untreated HBP of 200/120 down to ~149/90)  over 4 months reported  below  by Alan Taylor in his 1989 thesis study in local rural Africans with similar doses of reserpine, HCTZ and dihydralazine- Taylor’s study achieving in rural Blacks  in 4 months the starting BP of the Chinese some 25 years later.  But  the long Chinese study speaks to to the tolerance of the HTDR combination.

The China reserpine study  of 1500 pts, 4500 pt years, strongly complements the ~13 trials  of reserpine   between 1977 (the Veterans’ Admin trial) and 1997(the German reserpine research group trials)  in 7500 patients for 1 to 3 years;   showing that low dose reserpine (and lowdose  thiazide ) together are  as good as or better than all more modern drugs- especially when augmented by amiloride.

(As Prof YK Seedat reported  here  in 2000), the China   paper reports zero noteworthy dihydralazine  risks at 12.5mg/d :     J Hum Hypertens. 2000 ;14:739-47. Hypertension in developing nations in sub-Saharan Africa. Seedat YK. University of Natal,  South Africa.  There is a rapid development of  ‘second wave epidemic’ of cardiovascular disease that is now flowing through developing countries and the former socialist republics. It is now evident from WHO data that coronary heart disease and cerebrovascular disease are increasing so rapidly that they will rank No. 1 and No. 5 respectively as causes of global burden by the year 2020. In spite of the current low prevalence of hypertensive subjects in some countries, the total number of hypertensive subjects in the developing world is high, and a cost-analysis of possible antihypertensive drug treatment indicates that developing countries cannot afford the same treatment as developed countries. Control of hypertension in the USA is only 20% (blood pressure <140/90 mm Hg). In Africa only 5-10% have a blood pressure control of hypertension of <140/90 mm Hg. There are varying responses to antihypertensive therapy in black hypertensive patients. Black patients respond well to thiazide diuretics, calcium channel blockers vasodilators like alpha-blockers, hydralazine, reserpine and poorly to beta-blockers, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and All receptor antagonists unless they are combined with a diuretic.  There are social, economic, cultural factors which impair control of hypertension in developing countries. Hypertension control is ideally suited to the initial component on an integrated CVD control programme which has to be implemented.  The existing health care infrastructure needs to be orientated to meet the emerging challenge of CVD, while empowering the community through health education.

Interestingly, a new  metaanalysis of HCTZ trials  by Musini ea Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014 May   Blood pressure-lowering efficacy of monotherapy with thiazide diuretics for primary hypertension. shows that BP lowering  over the dose range 6.25 mg, 12.5 mg, 25 mg and 50 mg/day is 4/2 mmHg, 6/3 mmHg, 8/3 mmHg and 11/5 mmHg, respectively. For other thiazide drugs, the lowest doses studied lowered blood pressure maximally and higher doses did not lower it more. Due to the greater effect on systolic than on diastolic blood pressure, thiazides lower pulse pressure by 4 mmHg to 6 mmHg. This exceeds the mean 3 mmHg pulse pressure reduction achieved by ACE inhibitors, ARBs and renin inhibitors, and the 2 mmHg pulse pressure reduction with non-selective beta-blockers as shown in other Cochrane reviews. 

2009:     ABSTRACT: When modern antihypertensive drugs cost far more than the old and tried, and have around 40% risk of adverse effects (Girerd 2002 Paris),  and give inferior risk reduction, it is unethical for routine hypertension patients initially to  be  prescribed modern drugs singly or in combination in uncomplicated cases before trying the gold standard old risk-free lowdose reserpine-amilozide combination.

2009 has been a landmark year of published studies on first-line  hypertension treatment.


i. hypertension  (with or without overweight- excessive waist girth) is today the commonest presenting, simply detectable, monitorable and controllable chronic lifestyle degenerative disease;

ii. the bedrock prevention and therapy  of essential hypertension is  public- patient  education – exercise, stopping smoking,  and minimizing salt (since 1904) , sugar, alcohol and cooked fat intake so as to reduce overweight;

iii. genetics and the above risk factors aside, three  of the primary “endogenous”  and easily correctable causes of essential hypertension are water deficiency; marine omega3 (EPA eicosapentanoic and DHA docosahexanoic acid) deficiency; and insulin resistance if not frank adiposity/overweight and diabetes.

So adequate water intake, and fish oil, and metformin/galega to tolerance, (in appropriate adipose/overweight  cases) are cornerstones of antihypertensive therapy along with diet and lifestyle changes before any antihypertensive drugs are added.

Recently there have been contentious suggestion  (eg Law and Ward UK 2009)  that target bloodpressure should be that of youth- 120/70 down to 100/60 – as long as it does not fall so low that the patient gets dizzy on standing up. But the non-contentious gold standard remains  that no one should be left with bloodpressure above at most 140/90 sitting.

ANTIHYPERTENSIVE DRUGS: There are over 34 000 RCTs, reviews and metaanalyses  (since 1965) on Pubmed on these drugs.

Controlling   hypertension asymptomatically  before it causes damage and symptoms is the heart of successful prevention.

It is now claimed  that hypertension risk starts as low as >120/70, that we should be targeting this level if tolerated.

This can only be done gently and slowly, if possible by optimising diet , lifestyle and natural supplements.

But prevention in asymptomatic patients must especially be at most a once-a-day regime, and avoid causing symptoms, and still give stable cover even if taken erratically. Only reserpine provides gentle cover lasting weeks, thus avoiding wide BP variation due to erratic dosing.

Apart from the notorious adverse effects of the older antihypertensives like guanethidine, methyldopa and atenolol, search of Pubmed under  ‘ARBs, ACEI Cough;’ and under metaanalysis ‘antihypertensive cough’  with the established drugs, reveals 10 abstracts since the mid 1990s.

The nub of the matter is, the lowest-cost multiple-combination therapy (lowdose reserpine -amiloride – hydrochlorothiazide) gives the best bloodpressure and risk reduction with zero adverse effects – especially when combined with probably the best pluripotential drug of all,  fish oil..   A new Cochrane metaanalysis from Univ Brit Columbia confirms that lowdose thiazide gives the best reduction of all antihypertensives in both all-morbidity and mortality outcomes -RR 0.89 (CI 0.82-0.97, p=0.0067 = highly significant) . And that metaanalysis didn’t deign to mention reserpine in the abstract.

There are at least a dozen trials each of reserpine and thiazide  showing that they are the best,  ideally in lowdose combination .   As always, one fixed-dose combination pill (eg Brinerdin, Rautrax Imp) may work for many. But it is both cheaper, more efficient and scientific to prescribe the components separately so that reserpine and amilozide can  each be titrated individually to tolerance, starting with eg reserpine (0.25mg tab ) 1/4/day and amilozide (55mg tab) 1/4 a day (costing locally retail  perhaps US$0.5/month, $6/year) …

In some patients eventually this dose 3 days a week is all that is needed. With sensible advice about omitting sugar and smoking, and minimal alcohol, salt and cooked fats, and adding a multinutrient including magnesium, vitamins and the many favourable biologicals (including appropriate physiological sexhormone replacement), few patients need more than 1/2 a tab each of reserpine and amilozide for optimal BP and metabolic-vascular risk control. In the rare still- resistant cases, amlodipine is the next safest effective antihypertensive  drug to add, starting with 2.5mg/d. But of course in those with insulin resistance (ie most cases), metformin is the most appropriate pluripotential drug.

Yet no trial has shown  lower cost, and better superiority and safety  of any modern-drug  or combination over the triple-combination  lowdose amilothiazide (thiazide since 1956, amiloride since 1967)  with  lowdose reserpine (from the ages-old rauwolfia – extracted  as reserpine since 1949). Since the German Reserpine trials, and results of ALLHAT and SHEP showing that reserpine as add-on gave  by far the best clinical outcomes, no head-on trials against modern drugs dare be done by drug companies or the clinicians they employ.

Over a year ago this column   reviewed that fifty year old treatments of overweight -hypertension – diabetes are still best, echoing an SAMJ analysis 24 years ago of New antihypertensive drugs–blessing or costly nemesis? .

In 1989 pharmacist Alan Taylor published his MPharm thesis (Rhodes University)  on Cost Effective Antihypertensive Therapy at A Day Hospital. – showing in a prospective randomized controlled trial for 4 months that stepped outpatient care (starting with a mean untreated BP of about 200/120) achieved the target BP ( then <165/95) in 73% compared to 11.5% on individualized treatment, and with a cost saving of 36%, with somewhat lower incidence of side effects. Hydrochlorothiazide HCT 12.5 to 25mg/d was the first step;  methyldopa 250-500mg/d or reserpine  0.1mg/d  as the 2nd; hydralazine 10-50mg/d  low dose as the 3rd, alternatively atenolol  100mg as the 3rd or 4th step. Individualized treatment reduced bloodpressure by a mean  32.6/19 whereas stepped-care did so by 51.6/29.5mm Hg.. The HCT-Reserpine- Hydralazine-atenolol regime was the most frequently prescribed (in 61.6%),

Obviously today methyldopa, hydralazine  and atenolol have become last-ditch add-ons, with amlodipine being the 1st- choice 4th drug to add to reserpine and amilozide. ,

and  in 2007 Rayner, Blockman ea from the Hypertension Clinic    at Groote Schuur Hospital found that at two community  health clinics  in Cape Town, only 40% of patients achieved a bloodpressure below 140/90, on a mean of 2.4 drugs per patient   – clinics where reserpine and amilozide were unwisely  removed from the available drug list years ago, for no plausible reason, leaving hydrochlorothiazide, atenolol, hydralazine and amlodipine as the choices- with invariably poor results in poor patients attending such free clinics.

MODERN DRUGS?  But why should patients be subjected to the multiple and indisputable major risks of modern antihypertensive drugs compared to the gold standard lowdose reserpine and low dose amilozide?


ABs angiontensin blockers – ACEI agiotensin converting enyme inhibitors and ARBs angiotensin receptor blockers like enalapril, candesarten  – pervasive cough, rashes, but far worse, lifethreatening angiodema, asphyxiation, skin sloughing; and now well-recognized acute or slowly progressive loss of kidney function- which doesnt always reverse on stopping the drug (Onuigbu ea  2008, 2009); Suissa ea  2006 at McGill University published the first major longterm – > 10year- followup (1982-1997)  of hypertensive diabetes patients, showing that compared to thiazide, only  ACEI increased the risk of endstage kidney failure 4.2 fold.

betablockers like atenolol, metoprolol – too slow heart rate, cold extremities, more depression, impotence,  asthma, glucose intolerance/ diabetes, heart failure, deaths;

and even calcium channel blockers -the gold standard of which is amlodiopine- have a formidable list of potential adverse effects (that lowdose reserpine and amilozide lack), of which some may be major nuisance if not dangerous eg (from the Sandoz product sheet): Often: dizziness; palpitations; muscle-, stomach– or headache; dyspepsia; nausea – in 1 in 100 users; Sometimes: blood disorders, gynecomastia, impotence, depression, insomnia, tachycardia – in 1 in 1,000 users;  erratic behavior, hepatitis, jaundice – in 1 in 10,000 users; Very rarely: hyperglycemia, tremor, Stevens-Johnson syndrome – in 1 in 100,000 users. ”

From the trials and experience, lowdose amlodipine is certainly the modern drug of choice to add if counselling plus ceiling doses of reserpine and amilozide, plus fish oil plus  metformin for underlying adiposity/insulin resistance,  do not adequately control hypertension and other risk factors.

Why use modern drugs with their major potential hazards  except for special circumstances last ditch?; when lowdose reserpine plus lowdose amilozide titrated to best effect rarely need a 4th drug added for good BP control;  and practically – unlike methyldopa, guanethidine and more modern drugs-  never causes persisting symptoms.

THIAZIDE ADVERSE EFFECT possible in even very low dose: anaphylaxis: Goetschalckx ea in 2007 could find exactly 49 case reports of allergic thiazide-induced pulmonary oedema in the literature after 50 years of use ie millions of patient-years. Thiazides are obviously sulphonamides, but fortunately serious- anaphylactic- reactions like lupus vascullitis and shock – are extremely rare. Wikipedia does not even mention these under thiazides, and no abstracts on Pubmed even guess at their rare  incidence. 50 cases in at least 10million patient years is an incidence of below 5 per million.

RESERPINE:   In 2007 Jos Barzilay ea documented Getting to goal blood pressure: why reserpine deserves a second look.

We last year examined closely the trials on thiazides and reserpine 1, 23.

and we published on line the only ever tabulation of all accessible trials  of thiazides and reserpine, showing in the ~12 thiazide trials between 1985 (the UK MRC trial)  and 2003 (the CONVINCE trial) that  in 115000 patients for a mean of 4 years,  thiazide is as good as or better than all more modern drugs;

and that reserpine in ~13 trials between 1977 (the Veterans’ Admin trial) and 1997(the German reserpine research group trials)  in 7500 patients for 1 to 3 years is as good as or better than all more modern drugs. Of course  the 2003 ALLHAT  and CONVINCE papers were by far the biggest trials validating thiazide as the gold standard in 50 000 patients for  3 and 5 years respectively;

and the VA trials of 1977, 1982 and  and 1990 in 1479 patients showing reserpine as equal or superior to betablockers,  and the German trials of 1997  in 400 patients (Griebenow, Pittrow ea 1997) validating reserpine as equivalent to thiazide or a CCB, and the combination of thiazide and reserpine superior to an ACEI.

Now in 2009:

Shamon ea’s Cochrane review last month confirms that reserpine  alone is at least equivalent  in antihypertensive effect to any  modern first line antihypertensive alone ;

Wald and Law’s metanalysis of single or combination antihypertensives confirms that  “The extra blood pressure reduction from combining drugs from 2 different classes is approximately 5 times greater than doubling the dose of 1 drug.”

Wright ea’s Cochrane review confirms that

“thiazides reduce all-cause mortality by 11%;   Low-dose thiazides (8 RCTs) reduced CHD  by 28%;

Beta-blockers and CCB reduced stroke by 17% and 42%, but not CHD  or mortality .        ACE inhibitors reduced mortality 17%; stroke  35%.

No RCTs were found for ARBs or alpha-blockers.”

However, that abstract does not enumerate the major adverse effects of betablockers and ABs.

Wright ea’s   ALLHAT reanalysis confirms that thiazide was superior to the ACEI, CCB, betablocker and especially the alphablocker doxazocin. neither alpha-blockers, ACEI nor CCBs  surpass thiazide-type diuretics (at appropriate dosage) as initial therapy for reduction of cardiovascular or renal risk. Thiazides are superior in preventing HF. new-onset DM associated with thiazides does not increase CVD outcomes.”

Costanzo ea’s Italian study confirms that CCBs reduce the risk of stroke by 14% compared to ACEI; reduce allcause mortality by a trivial 4%; increase heart failure by 17% compared with ‘active’ treatment;

Hoffman ea’s review from New York confirms that, in autopsies of Alzheimer cases, those on antihypertensives had far less plaques that those without hypertension.

Sozen ea confirms that “ABs- Drugs with blocking effects on the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system –  do not improve endothelial dysfunction long-term in hypertensive patients”.

Mackenzie ea’s Comparison of the effects of antihypertensive agents on central blood pressure and arterial stiffness in isolated systolic hypertension shows that central Pulse Pressure was only reduced significantly by perindopril, lercanidipine, and bendrofluazide, whereas atenolol had no effect. Lercanidipine reduced the augmentation index, whereas atenolol increased it. Aortic pulse wave velocity was not changed by any of the drugs. In summary, despite similar reductions in peripheral systolic and PPs with the 4 classes of drug, changes in central pressure and augmentation index varied. Because central PP and increased wave reflections are considered important risk factors in patients with isolated systolic hypertension, the choice of therapy may be influenced by these findings in the future.”

Landmark’s Norwegian abstract confirms that thiazides (and betablockers)  increase insulin resistance and blood glucose risk (let alone lipidemia), but simply – selectively- as usual ignores that neither lowdose amilozide nor reserpine do this.

Nothing illustrates better why the triple combination of amilozide and reserpine is the best.

It has previously been pointed out that in the long term Cache County study, potassium-sparing diuretic was the only antihypertensive that lowered- in fact by 75% – the incidence of new Alzheimers disease;  and amilozide-like combinations are more effective than either component alone in safely and effectively lowering hypertension. – Patterson Dollery & Haslam in 1968; Rosenfeld in 1980; and the Multicenter Diuretic Cooperative Study Group in 1981.

CONCLUSION:  Reserpine has indisputable central and peripheral benefits in lowering central pressure via peripheral vasodilation, and via mild lowering of anxiety, cardiac rate and cardiac output; while thiazide and amiloride both lower both excessive body salt and water, while thiazide vasodilates and conserves calcium,  and amiloride  reverses the  potassium -magnesium depletion  seen in hypertension and with thiazide. .

Since the lowdose combination of reserpine and amilozide is superior to all other first-line drugs alone or in combination, and retail costs about   US$1 a month in South Africa, (with negligible adverse effects compared to all other antihypertensive drugs), this combination is the mandatory  firstline therapy for all  hypertensive patients, with rare exceptions. This regime  starts with amilozide 13.75mg (1/4 tab) and reserpine 0.0625mg (1/4tab) /d- and many patients can eventually be controlled with these doses just 3 days a week; with other antihypertensives added only if hypertension is not controlled with these increased to the ceiling tolerated eg of amilozide 27.5mg/d and reserpine 0.125 mg/d (maximum reserpine 0.25 mg 5/week ie 0.18mg/d if tolerated).

Since roleplayers are there to serve patients, not the Drug and Disease Industry, all roleplayers ( National Hypertension societies, provincial and national health and medical school authorities, medical schemes and all health practitioners)  have no choice but to obey the gold-evidence-based medicine set out herein, and reinstate reserpine and amilozide as mandatory 1st-line therapy of essential hypertension, with motivation  for alternatives to be provided in the  exceptional cases.

Unlike the USA and the East  where reserpine is still in national recommendations,  Authorities, regulators, suppliers and prescribers  in South Africa, Australia, the UK and Europe can no longer continue to defraud the public and deny patients this best treatment, since the two tablets (cheap amilozide and reserpine) are freely and universally available for  at most the retail South African prices quoted (less in bulk buy).

There is no shortage of reserpine, HCT or amiloride;  and the evidence for them over all modern antihypertensives  is binding under  rules of evidence and therefore medical ethics. The current evidence discussed shows that this  old lowdose combination is superior to all modern drugs and modern marketted combinations in both reduction of all-cause endpoints, adverse effects, and cost.

As Henry Black said recently, triple antihypertensive therapy is simply Back to the Past – and it can be both very low cost and risk-free..

And if proof is wanted, we must agree on a simple long term multicentre trial of the lowdose reserpine-amiloretic regime versus modern marketed combinations.- as in  ALLHAT but comparing combinations..But who is to pay for yet another trial to prove what is already so well proven?

35 years after Illich’s Medical Nemesis, it is very sad to have to be fighting overwhelming profiteering vested interests for what is now by far the commonest and most easily correctable major common degenerative disease – mild to moderate hypertension.



Aspirin,  paracetamol, other NSAIDs,  and codeine  in periodic conservative analgesic use have  not been reported to cause hypoglycemia eg a few gm a day solo or in combination  in well adults-  despite  deliberate overdose of these being  notorious for causing fatal bleeding or  liver failure with hypoglycemia, or respiratory failure.

But increasingly tramadol is incriminated in dangerous hypoglycemia: Tramadol Use and the Risk of Hospitalization for Hypoglycemia in Patients With Noncancer Pain Fournier, Suissa, eaJAMA Intern Med.December      Tramadol is an increasingly widely used  weak opioid analgesic , associated with adverse events of hypoglycemia.  Analysis  in United Kingdom Clinical Practice of treatnent with tramadol or codeine for noncancer pain between 1998 and 2012  included 334 034 patients, of whom 1105 were hospitalized for hypoglycemia during follow-up (incidence, 0.7 per 1000 per year) and matched to 11 019 controls. Compared with codeine, tramadol  associated with  increased risk of hospitalization for hypoglycemia  in the first 30 days of use (OR, 2.61 [95% CI, 1.61-4.23]). This 30-day increased risk was confirmed in the case-crossover analyses (OR, 3.80 [95% CI, 2.64-5.47]). Conclusions  tramadol (in contrst to codeine), TRIPLED risk of hypoglycemia requiring hospitalization. Additional studies are needed to confirm this rare but potentially fatal adverse event.

update 4 March 2013  BAN DICLOFENAC?  four years on, another call comes  for the virtual banning of diclofenac, from no less than the Canadian Medical Association Journal , based on a new metanalysis of NSAID risks by University  Toronto’s McGettigan and Henry .

As this column has long pointed out, diclofenac is apparently still the only NSAID that can kill suddenly without warning.  There are many far safer alternatives eg naproxen, ibrufen; and no compelling clinical evidence or reason to use it let alone cox2 inhibitors  except false beliefs and heavy marketing.

So as this columnist concluded in 2009,  it is blatant fraud, negligence and potential indefensible homicide  to continue recommending  let alone  using diclofenac simply for profiteering.

21June 2009 It is 4 months since this column last addressed nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs NSAIDs.

A new study (from USA, UK and Canada – Ray 2009) of NSAIDs  claims that in those with ischemic heart disease, the popular NSAIDS -diclofenac, ibuprofen or rofecoxib(Vioxx) – increased serious heart disease/ death by about 50-67% compared to nonusers; whereas naproxen over some 111000 patient years of use gives no significant risk or benefit.

A new study from Denmark (Fosbol 2009) this year looked at a million healthy individuals with no hospital admissions or selected therapy. Compared to no NSAID use, ibruprofen and naproxen gave no added risk of death/ myocardial infarction; diclofenac gave 67% increased risks, and the two coxibs (rofecoxib Vioxx; celecoxib Celebrex)  increased risk 100%.

So we are led to believe that naproxen or ibuprofen is the NSAID  mild-to-moderate analgesic  of choice. Naturally the American Colleges and academia – who represent the Disease Industry, not patients- recommend yet other potentially toxic drugs- like  the magical proton pump inhibitors- to counteract the adverse NSAIDS..

But is this just a myopic view beloved of big pharma, to promote their snake oils.?

Another new study from Denmark (Gislason 2009) of 110 000 patients after admission for heart failure in the 12 years 1994-2005, showed that 57% died; 9000 (8%) were rehospitalized with acute heart attack  and 40 000 (38%) were rehospitalized with heart failure. Thus heart failure in a well-nourished population has a poor prognosis. In 36 000 who had used NSAIDs compared to non-users, risk of death was doubled on  diclofenac; increased~67% on  (rofe-or cele)coxibs; and was  significantly increased 22-31% by all other NSAIDs including naproxen and ibruprofen.

It is common cause after 20 years that injected diclofenac is the only NSAID that can unpredictably cause sudden death. So it’s administration risks culpable homicide when it is totally unwarranted. No cases of sudden death from any oral NSAID   including aspirin appear on Medline, apart perhaps from the risk of hyperacute asthma (Asamoto 1999).

But what of gastrointestinal bleeding  risks of NSAIDS? a 2007 study in Japan (Yajima) scoped all orthopaedic patients who took NSAIDs for more than 4 wks: oral diclofenac increased risk of erosive gastric lesions sixfold. A new review from Seattle (Schlansky 2009) refers to Helicobacter synergism in all NSAID use.

WHAT IS THE NEED FOR NSAIDS? The Wikipedia entry on NSAIDs  sums it up: it has almost four times as much text on the numerous  adverse effects of NSAIDs as on their uses- in fact the  article does not discuss the advantages of NSAIDS as analgesics; in fact it states plainly  that alone  just  “their gastrointestinal effects  are estimated to result in 103,000 hospitalizations and 16,500 deaths per year in the United States”.

All designer drugs are dangerous in overdose. Without overdose, paracetamol has no risk – and the Wikipedia entry thereon is balanced and highly favourable even for infants. We know well that paracetamol- a fatal liver toxin in overdose- should not be marketed without a built-in simple liver (and antineuritic) protective of  eg (carbo-or N-acetyl-)cysteine, alphalipoic acid and vitamin BCo.  But the Disease – Big Pharma Industry is not interested in prevention- Only Disease Pays. And Regulators, lobbyists and legislators  protect their source of work and income- the Drug Industry.

Fish oil (EPA+DHA) is probably  the most beneficial NSAID supplement we have (- perhaps ahead of other front-runners like vitamins C, D, magnesium and CoQ10-) halving all sudden deaths, and reducing by at least a third all major chronic degenerative diseases from CVD to diabetes, arthritis, learning, depression, behaviour disorders. Industry wont pay for head-on comparative trials. But the trial evidence suggests that fish oil and oral EDTA have better risk-benefit than aspirin and other antiplatelet agents, NSAIDs and warfarin.

We know that for moderate trauma and small – medium (even knee) joint pain/  contusions, self-massage with any natural NSAID like arnica or wintergreen is all that is needed, combined if necessary orally with up to 3 to 4gm paracetamol /day +- if needed a little codeine.   Prior 2002 found no significant difference in pain relief between paracetamol and naproxen in tension headache.

For more serious pain,  short of strong opioids, there is in fact no overall trial evidence that weak opioids or NSAIDs are better than eg hypnotherapy, or acupuncture,  or judicious paracetamol; to which latter if necessary a little codeine can be added as step-up analgesia. The latter  agents have none of the deadly risk of NSAIDs. Amadio 1984 showed that of Peripherally Acting Analgesics: ” paracetamol at up to 4 g per day compares favorably in analgesic potency to aspirin and other NSAIDs, and  should be considered the treatment of choice for mild-to-moderate pain”.  Skovlund 1991 showed no significant difference between naproxen and paracetamol in postpartum uterine spasms.

Six RCTs – five in mostly European peoples and one in Hong Kong- found paracetamol equal to diclofenac (Voltaren) – March 1994 in arthritis; Brevik 1999 and Kubitzek 2003 in dental surgery; Hoogewijs 2000 and Woo 2006 after trauma; and Munishankar 2008 after Caesarian section.  In a Cochrane analysis 2003, Towheed showed that in the one placebo-controlled RCT in osteoarthritis, paracetamol was clearly superior to placebo with a similar safety profile. And the general principle of therapy applies, that if required, combination of analgesics from different groups is better than single drug therapy. But given the many potentially fatal risks of the NSAIDs – compared to paracetamol, opioids and if indicated  aspirin –  there is no compelling reason to add NSAIDs  for pain.

We know that it is negligent to initially sentence people with  spontaneous mild-moderate head/neck/backache or tendonitis at the shoulder, elbow, knee etc to bedrest, NSAIDS, opioids or referral for xrays, scans or surgery. 95% will settle rapidly with reassurance, posture instruction and simple topicals and paracetamol analgesia. Otherwise most pain will disappear with firm reassurance with brief simple laying on of hands eg massage and traction with gentle rotational manipulation and instruction in auto-reinforcement –  pressure point eg earlobe pressure, or acupuncture, or hypnosis. And most of the remainder resolve quickly with  simple targeted injection with a little local anaesthetic plus depot steroid.

And we know that with judicious use, topical corticosteroid injection – never mind judicious brief systemic steroid (corticosteroid, calciferol, testosterone) has little or no risk and far greater target and multisystemic benefit than NSAIDs; and for chronic conditions, like fish oil at least address the underlying pathogenic mechanisms/causes- whereas NSAIDs and paracetamol ignore these.

Is drug-speeded resolution of inflammation essential and beneficial except for the drug vendor? A careful RCT by Bradley ea from Indiana University in 1992 observed that “joint tenderness and swelling, presumptive evidence of synovitis, may not be a priori indications for use of an antiinflammatory drug, or predict greater responsiveness to treatment with an antiinflammatory drug than to a pure analgesic, in symptomatic treatment of patients with knee osteoarthritis”.

So why are synthetic  NSAIDs and especially the Coxibs  still used? Why do academics and Regulators still allow, promote  them for  routine use, other than to profit Big Pharma, and cause perhaps a quarter million deaths a year globally?


  The  Mail and Guardian Health supplement (11 April 2013)  featured the dynamic South African Health Minister   Dr Aron Matsoaledi legislating lower salt -sodium chloride-  in staple processed foods  eg in cereals, butter, potato crisps,     by about half  over the next 6 years.
         This is long overdue since salt-related hypertension and often associated.  obesity are  historically  major killers not just in Afro-Americans  but in any longer-living people and especially stressed poverty-stricken  peoples as in Africa.

The linked bad nutritional -and lifestyle – choices – Salt-Stroke  – smoking- – hypertension- obesity – diabetes – heart – kidney disease – are  quoted by S.A. Stats  2010 from death certifications as rising  to 24%  of deaths after age 50 years, leading even infections at  20%  as the commonest causes  of  seniors’ death in South Africa. Nonnatural causes ie violence account for only 5%, and cancers only about 4%.

           This in a population that ( both by self- choice and by State- and supply-chain corporates)   heavily self-poisons with industry-promoted salt,  concentrated   fructose-   sucrose, ethanol , unsafe sex, and smoking –  the deadly self-abuse quintet  causing the great majority of premature deaths and  disability – diabesity- brain-heart-vascular-renal-cancer -arthritis, infections, Alzheimers(type 3 diabetes) and violence. – ie the team of  high-profit horsemen (alcohol, smoking, sugar, fructose, salt and other addictive drugs; television, sex, guns, knives, fast motoring, and ruthless medical practices)  of the global marketting corporates .
          But not a word was  said in those two salty  pages  about simultaneously legislating for  processed consumables  the other greatly needed adjustments:
REMOVING from the environment, from  consumables (water and processed food , toothpaste, sweetened  drinks and sweeteners, baby milk formulae, hygiene products, vaccines, etc,)  or at least steadily reducing, other notorious and unnecessary  toxic  marketed hazards- aluminium, aspartame + sucralose, mercury, fluoride, bromine, refined sugars, cooked fats, and pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, and estrogenics eg soya ( unless fermented) used in food, medicine,  and vaccines ; and REPLACING in processed foods commonly and increasingly deficient  micronutrients in the regional diet especially for the poor masses and children – eg minerals (magnesium, calmag phosphate, zinc, iodine, lithium,  selenium,  sulphur, boron); vitamins (especially A, B, C, D3, K2, coQ10; and other crucial  essential  antiinflammatory  antioxidant  anti-obesity insulin sensitizers eg virgin coldpressed  coconut oil and uncooked marine omega3.
      From scientific studies there is little doubt that hypertension is proportionate to sodium chloride overload, as it  is especially to deficiency of magnesium, potassium, iodine, water, and vits  B, C, D3 and K2.  But scientific evidence is still unclear as to whether it is just the excess  essential halogen mineral CHLORINE.  in NaCl that  is the dietary cause of  hypertension,  not SODIUM in NaCl- but not in other essential forms eg with carbonate.
HALOGENS  in nature are the four major  elements – fluorine, chlorine, bromine and iodine from the lightest, ie lowest atomic number,  upwards.  Fluorine as  the lightest  is one of the most reactive ie corrosive of all materials. Halogens with metals eg sodium form sea- salts. As their weight/atomic number rises, they become less reactive,   Apart from  bromine they are disinfectants.
 IODINE is certainly  the heaviest and thus least reactive halogen iodine is the  essential  mineral that in adequate intake is  major anti infection- (among the strongest antimicrobials we have)-  anticancer, healer, thyroid metabolism and thus heart regulator, and major chelator – detoxifier- against the lighter  halogens – the toxic bromine and fluorine, and excess chlorine.
 The food and drug industry needs cudgeling to stop polluting water, medicines and food with unhealthy fluorine, chlorine and bromine.
FLUORINE is still misguidedly used , promoted in drinking water , toothpaste and antibiotics ; while  for obscure reasons BROMINE.  has replaced iodine in eg bread. FLUOROSIS and BROMaiSM  are notorious poisonings – and unlike iodine and chlorine,  the fluorine and bromine have no human essential  biological benefit as even trace elements. Fluorine – like aluminium, bromine, cadmium, mercury, iron, – may be invaluable in industry, but Fluorine is not essential for mammals or humans. Its use in dentistry has with mercury amalgams long been scientifically debunked as harmful and unnecessary, and is being phased out by preventative dentists everywhere. .
         Tricyclics and other pre-1980s antidepressants had several side effects due to their nonselective interference with neurotransmitters other than the serotonin target; the fluorinated fluoxetine was selective and one of the first avoiding this problem. but the serotonin deficiency hypothesis has never been proven to be a major factor in depression.  Many current antidepressants receive this same treatment, including the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors citalopram But antidepressants have major adverse effects, are rarely as good as talk therapy, and often do  worse than natural mood-improving nutrients eg vitamins and fish oil.
Quinolones are artificial antibiotics often fluorinated to enhance their effects,eg ciprofloxacin. But these antibiotics are notorious for terrible advese effects including crippling weakening  – rupture of tendons, and are never essential. 
 BROMINE. Africa.   is still listed as a food supplier to the baking industry in South Africa!    But Wiki writes: bromine has no proven essential function or need in humans. an unwanted side effect is ozone depletion. As a result, many organobromide compounds that were formerly in common use—such as the pesticide, methyl bromide—have been abandoned. It reacts vigorously with metals, especially in the presence of water, to give bromide salts. It bonds easily with many elements and has a strong bleaching action. Like chlorine, bromine was used as a wartime poison gas, and disinfectant / pesticide- ie a poison! so bromines were removed from medical/vet use in the 1970s. Long-term use of potassium bromide (or any bromide salt) can lead to bromism. Yet it is used in: production of brominated vegetable oil, which is used as an emulsifier in many citrus-flavored soft drinks (for example, Mountain Dew). After the introduction in the 1940s the compound was extensively used until the UK and the US limited its use in the mid 1970s and alternative emulsifiers were developed. But .Soft drinks containing brominated vegetable oil are still sold in the US (2013).  Bromine, like chlorine, is used in maintenance of swimming pools, Water purification compounds, disinfectantsinsecticides, and photographic processes. .
        Dr Joe Mercola wrote in the Huffington Post 2010: “Bromines are common endocrine disruptors. What makes it so dangerous is that it competes for the same receptors that are used to capture iodine. If you are exposed to a lot of bromine, your body will not hold on to the iodine that it needs. And iodine affects every tissue in your body — not just your thyroid.  You are already exposed to far too much chlorine and bromine. Bromine can be found in a number of places in your everyday world, including: plastics, Bakery goods and some flours often contain a “dough conditioner” called potassium bromate; •Soft drinks (including Mountain Dew, Gatorade, Sun Drop, Squirt, Fresca and other citrus-flavored sodas), in the form of brominated vegetable oils (BVOs); Medications such as Atrovent Inhaler, Atrovent Nasal Spray, Pro-Banthine (for ulcers), and anesthesia agents; Fire retardants (common one is polybromo diphenyl ethers or PBDEs) used in fabrics, carpets, upholstery, and mattresses       According to van Leeuwen, who has extensively studied the effects of sodium bromide on thyroid function:   “Although the bromide ion is widely distributed in nature, the main route of exposure in humans stems from bromide residues in food commodities as a result of the abundant use of bromide-containing pesticides, like methylbromide and ethylene dibromide, for soil fumigation in intensive horticulture and for postharvest treatment.”      One clinical consequence of overexposure to bromine is suppression of your thyroid, leading to hypothyroidism, .
   Another is bromide toxicity: .Bromine — The Bully of the Halide Group:  When you ingest or absorb bromine, it displaces iodine, and this iodine deficiency leads to an increased risk for cancer of the breast, thyroid gland, ovary and prostate — cancers that we see at alarmingly high rates today. This phenomenon is significant enough to have been given its own name — the Bromide Dominance Theory.   Aside from its effects on your endocrine glands, bromine is toxic in and of itself. Bromide builds up in your central nervous system and results in many problems. It is a central nervous system depressant and can trigger a number of psychological symptoms such as acute paranoia and other psychotic symptoms.  In fact, in an audio interview, physician Jorge Flechas reported that, between 1920 and 1960, at least 20 percent of all hospital admissions for “acute paranoid schizophrenia” were a result of ingesting bromine-containing products. In addition to psychiatric problems, bromine toxicity  eg from the old BromoSelzer can manifest as the following: Skin rashes and severe acne; Loss of appetite and abdominal pain; Fatigue; Metallic taste; Cardiac arrhythmias. . These effervescent granules, developed by the Emerson Drug Company of Baltimore, were used to treat heartburn, upset stomach, indigestion, headaches and hangovers. Bromides were withdrawn from the American market in 1975 due to their toxicity.  Bromo-Selzer still  on the market  no longer contains bromide.                                                                                                                   
          Bromines in Your Bread Box: Potassium Bromate:  The ban on bromines have not prevented them from sneaking into your foods and personal care products.  You probably are not aware of this, but nearly every time you eat bread in a restaurant or consume a hamburger or hotdog bun you are consuming bromide, as it is commonly used in flours.  The use of potassium bromate as an additive to commercial breads and baked goods has been a huge contributor to bromide overload in Western cultures.  Bromated flour is “enriched” with potassium bromate. Commercial baking companies claim it makes the dough more elastic and better able to stand up to bread hooks. However , successful companies manage to use only unbromated flour without any of these so-called “structural problems.”  Potassium bromate is also found in some toothpastes and mouthwashes, where it’s added as an antiseptic and astringent. It has been found to cause bleeding and inflammation of gums in people using these products. Mountain Dew, one of the worst beverages you can drink, uses brominated vegetable oil as an emulsifier. Not only that, it contains high fructose corn syrup, sodium benzoate, more than 55 mg of caffeine per 12 ounce can, and Yellow Dye #5 (tartrazine, which has been banned in Norway, Austria and Germany.)  A weapon of mass destruction — in a can.   .Even drinking water can be a source of bromide. When drinking water containing bromide is exposed to ozone, bromate ions are formed, which are powerful oxidans.
   Sodium bromate can also be found in personal care products such as permanent waves, hair dyes, and textile dyes. Benzalkonium is used as a preservative in some cosmetics.    Finally, bromine and chlorine were the most common toxic elements reportedly found in automobiles, according to  David Brownstein, MD (March 2007). They showed up in the seats, armrests, door trim, shift knobs and other areas of the car.  The United States is quite behind in putting an end to the egregious practice of allowing bromine chemicals in your foods. In 1990, the United Kingdom banned bromate in bread. In 1994, Canada did the same. Brazil recently outlawed bromide in flour products.    Iodine Levels and Cancer Risk:  Iodine levels have significantly dropped due to bromine exposure; declining consumption of iodized salt, eggs, fish, and sea vegetables; and soil depletion. In the U.S. population, there was a 50 percent reduction in urinary iodine excretion between 1970 and 1990. What’s this doing to our country’s health?   The Japanese consume 89 times more iodine than Americans due to their daily consumption of sea vegetables, and they have reduced rates of many chronic diseases, including the lowest rates of cancer in the world.
            The RDA for iodine in the U.S. is a meager  0.15 mg/day, which pales in comparison with the average daily intake of 13.8 mg/day for the Japanese.  There is a large body of evidence suggesting that low cancer rates in Japan are a result of their substantially higher iodine levels. Iodine has documented antioxidant and anti-proliferative properties.   A strong case can be made that your iodine RDA should be closer to what the Japanese consume daily, if breast cancer rates are any indication. Low iodine can lead to fibrocystic breast disease in women (density, lumps and bumps), hyperplasia, and atypical mammary tissue. Such fibrocystic changes in breast tissue have been shown to reverse in the presence of iodine supplementation after 3-4 months.   If youwant to be tested  for iodine deficiency, the urine iodine challenge test is the best way to assess your iodine level.
              Bromine and Your Thyroid   Adding to the negative health effects of bromine, the damage to your thyroid health deserves special mention. bromine exposure depletes your body’s iodine by competing with iodine receptors. Iodine is crucial for thyroid function. Without iodine, your thyroid gland would be completely unable to produce thyroid hormone. Even the names of the different forms of thyroid hormone reflect the number of iodine molecules attached — T4 has four attached iodine molecules, and T3 (the most biologically active form of the hormone) has three–showing what an important part iodine plays in thyroid biochemistry.   Hypothyroidism is far more prevalent than once thought in the U.S. The latest estimates are that 13 million Americans have hypothyroidism, but the actual numbers are probably higher. Some experts claim that 10 to 40 %  of Americans have suboptimal thyroid function.   Many of these folks may actually have nothing wrong with their thyroid gland at all — they may just be suffering from iodine deficiency.
        Seven Tips for Avoiding Bromine and Optimizing Iodine   Trying to avoid bromine is like trying to avoid air pollution — all you can do is minimize your exposure. That said, here are a few things you can do to minimize your risk:
       1. Eat organic as often as possible. Wash all produce thoroughly. This will minimize your pesticide exposure. 2. Avoid eating or drinking from (or storing food and water in) plastic containers. Use glass and safe ceramic vessels.
        3. Look for organic whole-grain breads and flour. Grind you own grain, if possible. Look for the “no bromine” or “bromine-free” label on commercial baked goods. 4. Avoid sodas. Drink natural, filtered water instead.          .
         5. If you own a hot tub, look into an ozone purification system. Such systems make it possible to keep the water clean with minimal chemical treatments. 6. Look for personal care products that are as chemical-free as possible. Remember — anything going on you, goes in you,                                                                                          
        . 7. When in a car or a building, open windows as often as possible, preferably on opposing sides of the space for cross ventilation. Utilize fans to circulate the air. Chemical pollutants are much higher inside buildings (and cars) than outside.
           Avoid Unfermented Soy Another major contributor to thyroid dysfunction that I did not discuss above is unfermented soy. Soy isoflavones – estrogenics- can wreak havoc on your thyroid. Kaayla Daniel’s groundbreaking book, The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America’s Favorite Health Food is a powerful exposé that reveals the truth about the soy myths that have infiltrated our culture. So if you want to keep your thyroid healthy, you’ll definitely want to avoid bromines, and unfermented soy products of all kinds, including soy milk.”
               These changes  – removing fluoride, bromine, aluminum, mercury, lead, unfermented soy-  from consumables, and cutting added iron and chlorine – may possibly add fractional cost to production?  but will hugely improve educability and health, productivity and employability, and reduce premature disability and death  far more than just  hypertension- vascular risks;  and greatly reduce acute and chronic illness and infections, hospitalization and need for risky modern  chronic prescription medication..  And since iodine deficiency is widely endemic ,  increasing population iodine intake up to 12mg a day  like Japanese get,  – not 0.15 mg/ d – will  hugely reduce premature aging,  common goiter and hypothyroidism, infections, vascular disease  and cancer
But of course Corporates, Governments and the Disease , Drug and Hospital Industries  dont want disease ,  jobs and profits to be decimated by natural supplements avoiding most common diseases- the Fraud of Modern Medicine since Only Disease Pays.


who says Large doses of fish oil don’t prevent heart attack or stroke?

update 8 August 2013 the  OregonUniversity Linus Pauling Institute website still promotes the numerous benefits of fishoil.

update 2 August 2013    the Topol- Rowen- Peskin rejection of need for  fish oil EPA+DHA was  not supported by the recently NEJM-published  R&P 5 year trial in Italy, which compared  modified ie patented ethylester marine essential fatty acids with olive oil.

This R&P  trial was thus not a trial of fish oil (concentrate or otherwise), nor placebo-controlled, since olive oil is hardly a placebo- in the 13.4year Spanish EPIC trial  published last year , olive oil dramatically reduced all-cause mortality by 1/4 and CVD mortality by 44%. The full 2013 NEJM R&P paper is inexcusably silent in omitting this cardinal fact that it was no ways placebo-controlled- placebo means an inert comparator.

Thus  it can only be concluded from the Italian R&P trial that addition of patented processed EthylEster EFAs for only 5 years  gives no more benefit than the already major protection of olive oil and  mediterranean lifestyle alone. Contrary to Topol-Rowen-Peskin, this  R&P trial says nothing about the longterm benefits of vigorous fish oil intake in a high-risk population eg in USA/ other populations (especially smokers)  not  on a mediterranean/ Asian  high-fish intake.

the 2010 Nordic study ( Dyerberg  ea  Copenhagen University- who first reported in 1978 the association between marine omega3 PUFA and health in Eskimos) details the better bio-availability of natural ie triglyceride- bound fish oil- EPA+DHA compared to that in processed ethylester low-triglyceride omega3 products-   as used in the R&P and GISSI trials of patented commercial designer products. .

2 June 2013 Its some 4 years since this healthsite started promoting marine oil for optimal development and health.

    what say you to the latest hype about the  predictable negative result of the Italian N-3  Cardiovascular Risk and Prevention trial  R&P from the NEJM? ie that omega3 oil was no better than olive oil.
the major problem is that the R&P trial didnt use  natural clean FISH OIL, nor    in primary prevention.
Nowhere does it say it used fish oil- it says N-3 ie omega3, and in patients with multiple vascular disease. Nor does the original 2010 R&P plannng paper  state that in fact  it used  a patent formula of  chemically changed ethyl esters in tertiary  prevention,

like the GISSI trial used apparently patent branded altered  Om3  after heart attacks – it wasnt  natural clean fish oil..
the GISSI abstracts 1999 and 2008 also dont mention fish oil.
 So  it wasnt natural   fish oil  like I use and promote- clean codliver oil or clean om3  concentrate from clean factories in northern Europe and now even from Cape Town..  The R&P abstract paper cleverly doesnt mention  the brand Omega3  name- but Pfizer funded the trial…
Its the “top” journals  likely up to their  old tricks, publishing probable infomercials paid for in this case by Pfizer and mates,  without making that clear.
I cant see if these Italian trials used Lovza/Omacor or whatever  Big Pharma  chemically altered snakeoils.
But looking at the extensive debate already around Dr Topol’s condemnation of real fishoil  supplement,   many commentators  fell into the same trap- they didnt notice that  R&P didnt use fish oil, but about 850mg/day  ethyl esters of omega3.

Synthetic patent designer drugs dont do what the natural  food/supplement/human biophysiologic product  does.

   Ethyl esters eg ethinylestradiol, and xenohormones eg Premarin,  are  dangerously different from  estradiol.  Look at the controversy, the danger in using  altered natural products eg:
slowrelease niacin instead of natural niacin.
or  neurontin/lyrica or benzos  instead of natural  GABA to bind to the GABA receptors.                                                                                  or  anabolic steroids eg methyltestost instead of testosterone.         or methylprogesterone Provera instead of progesterone.                 or margarine instead of butter !.                                                             or  methanol  –   dangerously different from  ethanol;                        or synthetic substitutes for natural digoxin…      

or the Women’s Health Initiative- which through gross misrepresentation stopped many women from using beneficial physiological human HRT for 10 years, despite the bad design of the WHI that used  long-proven risky xenohormones (premarin, provera) at dangerous older age, while in the first 6 years it enormously benefitted women in the first decade after menopause.. .

It’s  dis-ingenouos of Messrs Rowen,  Topol  and Peskin  not to state this, that the R&P TRIAL  DIDNT USE FISH OIL..
Dr Rowen and Mr Peskin are heavily promoting their own PEO Parent Essential Oil  Brand of Omega6 plant oils. The evidence is that such combination is excellent benefit- but I see no science, no reason not to balance it with clean fish oil since this is now so deficient in general diet.
But surely Prof Topol is doing patients a huge disservice in backing the R&P trial in dumping fish oil  -when that trial didnt use fish oil, and makes no conclusion about fish ol?

I await the full  copy of the R&P study – which the NEJM mysteriously doesnt  make available on line as they usually do with any seriously important  new  study.. .

No-one doubts that good plant oils , good mixed diet have benefit.
there is no doubt that a few gms of fish oil a day have huge  benefit.
Its the balance that matters- and the avoidance of  smoking, sloth, adiposity, refined sugars and cooked animal fats that matters.
so I see no reason to change from taking/ recommending   daily  a tsp (or 4)   of codliver oil (ie about 800 – 3000mg EPA+DHA) ,
and olives/ mixed nut/plant/olive oils on salads/pasta etc ,
     and a tsp of DMSO, and  2 tsp coconut oil/day.
   A recent Australian paper analyses usefully the growing problem of dwindling resources and  the inestimable health importance   of marine  oil – but does not mention viable  marine  om3   synthesis. Like a cure for HIV-AIDS,  the latter  is an elusive  improbability.  .  There is still no objective independent eg  Cochrane review of  prescription omega-3-acid ethyl esters (P-OM3), despite Omacor being on the market for over 20 years .  Why is this?
      Wikipedia specifically notes that  Lovaza/Omacor  has not been shown to lower the rates of all cause mortality and cardiovascular mortality, or the combination of mortality and non-fatal cardiovascular events.[3]It is .. fishoil that has been  chemically altered”…  and the USA FDA still hasnt licensed such derivatives for anything but severe hypertriglyceridemia.   And the US Supreme Court banned patenting of any natural marine oil extract.  Whereas in stark contrast, unpatentable  natural marine omega3  EPA+ DHA–   clean  marine  oil- lowers all  major morbidity  from conception,  and all-cause mortality.

what say you?…



18 months ago a warning was published about   the risk of Negligence  Damages for  Prescribing Bisphosphonates- Fosomaxes- for common osteoporosis. 

 A year later an updated review of the evidence rebutted    the attempt by an Australian group (Phillip Sambrook  MD, BS, LLB, FRACP  ea )  to promote routine use of bisphosphonates, blame the news media for wrongly sensationalizing these largely unnecessary drugs’ rare but lethal  adverse effects. 

 Now three other eminent Australian professors, of   Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and  Endocrinology  (Paul Sambrook, Chris Nordin and Alastair Goss) publish a further rebuttal  of Phillip Sambrook ea for serious errors in underestimating by at least twentyfold both the incidence and the seriousness of bisphosphonate risks.

 In  a USA case for damages against Merck,  for irreversible  osteonecrosis- resulting in jaw amputation-  following Fosamax, a patient was last year awarded $1.5million . This American class action is about over 1500 Fosamax cases against Merck.  So far two related case against Merck  have been  dismissed. But all such cases are on appeal. The robust American tort system may yet hammer Merck. .

 As recently as october 2010 Merck staunchly defends Fosamax’s safety for osteoporosis.

The FDA has recently added a warning about Fosamax-related thigh fractures.

But no evidence has ever been published that the catastrophic risk of bisphosphonates- however rare-  is justified for routine osteoporosis when

1.In common osteoporosis, Bisphosphonates have no multisystemic benefits  except for halving fracture risk, and

2.Appropriate combination of natural supplements- as this column has repeatedly revewed -approximately halve all risks ie of both osteoporosis fractures and all other common major diseases of aging, and thus chronic disability and deaths, without any significant risks.

Curent Authority statements eg from the Mayo Clinic simply fail to say this- why risk bisphosphonates?  New reports  in November-December of dozens of osteonecrosis cases on bisphosphonates  have just appeared on Pubmed  from Italy, Germany, Romania and Spain.

In fact a major international study has just beeen published showing the obvious, that survival in the elderly is strongly linked to gait speed and mobility. It is common cause that such integrated function is dependent on optimal joint, neuromuscular and cardiovascular integration- to which (- unlike the score of natural human micronutrient supplements that deplete with age-) bisphosphonates and strontium contribute nothing except bone density.

Fosamax lobbyists studiously avoid the plain  truth that it is not osteoporosis; but frailty – falls –  that is the chief cause of major elderly fractures- and that bisphosphonates and strontium may make bones appear denser.

Its too early to judge strontium ranelate (which also has rare but catastrophic risk- the DRESS syndrome); but fosamaxes in some cases  make bones more brittle; without in the slightest combating senescence frailty ie muscle, mobility, vascular, cancerous, arthritic, immune, mood, cognitive and neurological deterioration (unlike the multinutrient microsupplements – vitamins, minerals and biologicals like fish oil, chondroglucosamine, sex hormones which together halve all chronic major degenerative diseases and premature mortality) ..

August 15, 2010 Regulators like the FDA  and WHO the world health organization and  their worldwide equivalents are notorious for bowing to their chief funders- Big Pharma- in registering new designer drugs on the flimsiest evidence, often despite vociferous objection from some honest assessor at the Regulator; then waiting till there is an uproar of complaints over the drug before they belatedly demand more evidence of cost-benefit from the manufacturer, and admit that key adverse data were  suppressed from the outset- as happenened and is still happening most notoriously  in the case of aspartamate Canderal.

And what was obvious from the word go,   that  in the case of last year’s swine flu vaccines and the spurious pandemic declaration, the Regulators/WHO expert committees were  heavily loaded with biased specialists paid by  vaccine  manufacturers.

But why are the fosamaxes and other  bisphosphonates  still allowed to be prescribed  for osteoporosis? When the first report of long bone fracture associated with them first appeared on Pubmed 16 years ago (Guanabens 1994) and they are unnecessary -indeed contra-indicated – for osteoporosis.   Not for nothing does a  recent ABC Good Morning America broadcast   ask: “Fosamax: Is Long Term Use of Bone Strengthening Drug Linked to Fractures”?  

This review is in fact an update on The Fraud of Modern Medicines.

 A recent review from Oxford    lists the myriad adverse effects of bisphosphonates. They say “All four  currently approved nitrogen-containing bisphosphonates have a favorable tolerability and safety profile.” But why don’t they discuss the reality which is that although all these adverse effects  may be infrequent, why risk such serious  complications  such as 30% incidence of oesophagogastric symptoms?; oesophageal stenosis and cancer?, toxiderma, atrial fibrillation, eye, muscle bone joint pain?; or incapacity from jaw and teeth loss or  longbone fracture related to bisphosphonates for osteopororis?,  when bisphosphonates  are clinically unnecessary and unjustified for osteoporosis.

 Why dont they state the truth, that there are no head to head trials against the basket of proven natural supplements, comparing fracture and global benefits versus risks of bisphosphonates ? Most reviews eg Wikipedia say bisphosphonates are “ the leading prescription for osteoporosis”; but this is simply for the same reasons that statins are for lipidemia, angiotensin blockers for hypertension and sulphonylureas/ glitazones are for type 2 diabetes, and aspartame is for artificial sweetening- because drug companies market such hoped-for $billion rainchecks overwhelmingly, and fund no comparative trials against the gold standard old supplement basket that makes most hazardous modern drugs like statins, glitazones and bisphosphonates mostly redundant.

Filleul ea from Univ Mona, Belgium have just reviewed the world literature from 2003-2009, finding 2400 cases of BIOJ bisphosphonate induced osteonecrosis of the jaw. of these about 215 were not cancer cases. Such cases very rarely occur without cancer. So why risk them?

 So why does an Australian team bewail decreased use of the fosamaxes? Impact of adverse news media on prescriptions for osteoporosis:effect on fractures and mortality. Their statistical modelling is perhaps no more than promotion of bisphosphonates since it ignores the high number of adverse effects that bisphosphonates cause long term; and the major reduction in allcause disability and premature mortality that balanced appropriate supplements ( instead of bisphosphonates ) produce. Why would the lead author of so many papers- Professor Phillip Sambrook – promote bisphosphonate as the prime pharmacological prevention, and only calcium and vitamin D as the supplementary prevention of osteoporosis fractures?  when the evidence so strongly favours safe multisupplements including appropriate lowdose hormone balance as preventative against all major chronic diseases? Can a new-drug proponent who sits on the medical advisory boards of and has received speaker fees from Amgen, Merck Sharp & Dohme, Novartis, Sanofi-Aventis and Servier. be considered objective ? Their critique of the media for publicizing the potential disaster from bisphosphonates is hollow when they fail to mention the numerous potential risks, and the numerous benefits instead from supplements.

Geusens, Sambrook ea in 2008 published  a major review on Drug Insight: choosing a drug treatment strategy for women with osteoporosis-an evidence–based clinical perspective.. ‘The most important clinical determinant in the clinical choice of drug therapy for fracture prevention is a woman’s fracture risk; second is the evidence for fracture prevention in terms of spectrum, size and speed of effect. Other determinants include the potential extraskeletal benefits and safety concerns of the drugs.” But they again studiously avoid considering supplements (vitamins plus minerals plus appropriate hormone combination) as one of the drug regimes, especially as osteoporosis is simply one of the co-morbidities of aging, and far less of a risk for premature death and disability than stroke, cardiovascular, cancer, diabetes, frailty, dementia, arthritic disease and premature death – all of which can along with fractures be avoided and mitigated by the basket of supplements. So their review is surely biased in excluding all but new designer patent drugs while excluding the best and safe anabolics. .

 It is well proven from observational studies that longterm use of appropriate natural supplements reduce all-cause mortality by at least a third:              In the Womens’ Health Initiative WHI, appropriate hormone replacement HRT reduced all-cause mortality i.e. deaths from vascular disease, cancer and  fractures by 1/3 as well.    In the UKPDS the plant extract metformin reduced all-cause mortality also by 1/3. Understandably, metformin halves the incidence of new diabetes by reducing insulin resistance,  hence it also reduces fracture risk let alone cancer and vascular disease risk .   

 Incontestable data shows that epidemic deficiency  of vitamin D ,  vitamin C, magnesium, vitamin B especially B6,   vitamin K,    fish oil,    and prime hormone dysregulation  (thyroid, insulin,  cortisol vs androgens and estrogens)   in first-world aging populations are associated with increased mortality from all degenerative diseases especially fracturing, cardiovascular and cancer. It also showed that  vigorous supplements of balanced vitamins,  minerals (especially B,C,D,K, and Ca, Mg, Zn, Bo, Mn, Se, Cr), fish oil,  and human sex (co)hormones (testosterone, progesterone, estradiol, metformin) drastically reduce all morbidity and especially fractures  even  (perhaps especially )  in the well-off over nourished..  

  In contrast to bisphosphonates- which are aimed solely at reducing fracture in the at-risk elderly and thus reduce all-cause mortality by perhaps 10%-  these supplements in appropriate doses and balanced combination  reduce all-cause aging disease and preventable premature mortality by at least 50%, without any adverse risks. .  

Neville-Webbe ea (2010)  note that bisphosphonates have anti-cancer potential. So use it for terminal cancer fracture pain. Why use it for anticancer potential in those with just osteoporosis when the basket of supplements (including approriate HRT, vigorous dose vitamin D and if approriate metformin) gives safe  global protection against all the major aging diseases?

 Just the reduction in excess diet omega6 oils will mean that only 10% of the current necessary omega3 daily allowance (3.5gm) will be essential.  

 In 2007 a leading team from the International menopause Society  Genazzani ea  warned that “Recent controversies with hormone replacement therapy (HRT) have caused much concern in women and their health-care providers. As a result, the number of HRT users in USA has fallen dramatically. Consequently, the potential HRT-induced reduction in fracture risk is lost so that, in the next few years, we can expect an excess of 43,008 fractures per year in women aged 65 – 69 years. In addition, the recent evidence on the merits of early initiation of HRT on cardiovascular disease risk and neurocognitive function and the effect of type and combination of hormones on breast cancer risk now require an urgent review by the regulatory authorities of their recommendations about HRT.”

 Now – 8 years after the  debacle the WHI caused – the Endocrine Society has at last come out with a Position Statement admitting the grave consequences from the hysterical misinterpretation of the early release of the Womens Health initiative results in 2002-2004, especially in rising fracture and colon cancer rates from avoidance of appropriate HRT in menopausal women across midlife. . Let alone, as Genazzani ea said above and we discussed at international, UK and European menopause meetings in 2003-2006, the potential loss of benefit against breast cancer, heart, stroke, depressive, diabetic and neurocognitive problems.

 In conclusion: A major intervention is required from governments, world authorities  to reduce all-cause morbidity and mortality : by drastically curtailing the marketing and prescription of rarely essential prescription designer drugs like bisphosphonates, and strontium ranelate for osteoporosis;  by insisting on increasing universal intake of proven natural multisupplements that are increasingly deficient in the food chain for the poor,  for infants, youngsters and the multiplying  aging- in the latter, including appropiate HRT;  and by forcing the processed food industry to stop stuffing foods and drinks with not just salt  and aspartame but also fructose, sucrose, various growh hormones, and omega6 oils.

But neither Big Pharma manufacturers, governments, so-called independent regulators, nor university and private practice leaders or retail pharmacists will do so, promote evidence-based supplements over risky new drugs- there is too much money at stake from lost taxes. research funding, lower under-patent snake-oil sales and far less major disease and hospital admissions.

So it is up to patients and honest healthcare providers to insist that evidence-based supplements – not trading practice based on huge marketting and snakeoil preaching for profiteering – be prescribed for prevention/ managing the major diseases of aging including osteoporosis.