Saturday, June 26, 2010

Gwyneth Paltrow has osteopaenia

Just a brief mention. Poor girl. Wrecking your health on macrobiotics and fish. The things people do! Interestingly it reminds me of the vegetarianism and hypovitaminosis D in Glasgow. Meat seems to be more effective than D supplements, though D will do the job in big enough doses...


Still not a lot of net or thinking time but a post is cooking.


ItsTheWooo said...

It's funny, I used to post on ALC (before they banned me) and there was one time where I specifically mentioned gwenyth paltrow as one of those freak celebrities who looks like the walking dead health wise due to her bizarre low animal food/raw food/crazy diet.

There was this big fat b**** of a poster (this lady was like, out to get me, she was instrumental in getting me banned) who then proceeded to slam me and say she looked "radiant" implying I was being hateful/jealous.

I found her comment ridiculous. Gwenyth paltrow has looked *extremely* unhealthy for years now, years and years, specifically because of her weirdo diet.

Well, it's good to know I'm not just a "hater"... it's very abnormal for a healthy woman her age to be having fractures related to BMD.

Weight is very important for BMD, insulin and growth hormones are instrumental for it and thin women are very prone to get bone loss. Especially with a hx/of undereating, food restriction, or the more severe manifestation anorexia nervosa.
Extreme weight loss can also cause bone loss.

I used to have osteopenia (before I began leptin therapy) but after the end of it, combined with many months/years of eating better, my BMD is normal now. In my case it was caused by restrictive eating and severe weight loss, my diet is otherwise quite healthy and conducive to healthy BMD. In paltrow's case, she eats crappy low nutrient food that is deficient in amino acids and it is far from surprising this happened.

As stated, she's looked like complete unhealthy crap for several years now. I'm surprised no one has mentioned it in popular media... instead going on about how "healthy" she eats or whatever.

Willow said...

I myself was short of Vitamin D, and had weak bones and muscles, and badly fractured my right arm in 2007, but my skin is too delicate to spend much time in the sun, so early last year I started to take Vitamin D3 tablets, along with the calcium tablets I was already taking. The results have been really impressive: my muscle strength is very greatly increased and my balance has also improved. I am given to understand that because Vitamin D gets stored in fat in the body, the tablets are best taken with or after a meal containing fat.

It was Bill, of, who stressed to me the importance of taking Vitamin D3, rather than D2, and that I needed to take a higher dose than I had been taking initially, and I am very grateful to him for that advice, as it has undoubtedly done me good.

Peter said...

Tee hee. She might also get a better makeup artist before photoshoots. Actually it has struck me that some of the D deficiency in Glasgow may be cultural, due to the usual makeup practices. But not the blokes...

Oh, I actually mamaged to get a Glaswegian health care worker (advising vitamin D, it's routine advice up here) to admit that this summer has been fantastic in Glasgow and last winter nae sae bad either. Wow, thank you Dr Ornish.


3D Face Analysis said...

Fortifying soy milk with vitamin D will do a lot for vegetarians. So it's best for vegetarians to get their vitamin D by drinking fortified soy milk products.

I'm not saying that soy is good or anything, but at least fortified soy milk has enough vitamin D so there's no need for supplementation.

Drinking about forty glasses of soy milk will get your recommended dose of 4,000 IU of vitamin D. Soy is healthy, right? So stuffing forty glasses of it ain't much!

Plus, men will act more like pussies, so they will be more sensitive and caring to others. Or rather violent because testosterone enhances mood? What ever the case it would be, we all know that using animals for milk is immoral, so it's still better to stick with soy milk.

Vegetarians are more health-conscious, so they don't get much sunshine, thinking that it will cause skin cancer. So 4,000 IU ain't much, at least for 90% of vegetarians. The other 10% may overdose, but that's such a small number so we can forget about it.

But let's think about the positives. At least 50% of them won't deficient, if we choose not to fortify soy milk at all! The average vegetarian is just too stupid to consider vitamin D supplements. So we, the government, is a benevolent dictator for diluting soy milk for vitamin D!

End rant.

Peter said...

Hi Willow, yes you can be D deficient and it really does hurt at the extreme. You are not the only person to make that comment.

Organism, can't we just use soy milk to clean drains? I don't think even Tom Naughton could block a drain with soy milk, though arterycloggingwholesoybeans might just do the job...


Valda Redfern said...

"Wrecking your health on macrobiotics and fish." Well, but what's wrong with fish? I happen to love it, and I sometimes wonder if I shouldn't spend all my spare money on a lavish sea food diet (my tabbies would approve). Others, like Peter himself I think, can't stand fish. I have often wondered if personal food preferences are useful guide to optimal nutrition (once one has recovered from the tasted distortions of a government-approved diet).

Aaron said...

vitamin d deficiency, hypocaloric diet, excessive exercise could of all contributed to her problem. As can be genetic links.

I don't think her diet is to blame fully (of course I think she was using protein shakes, so that probably is a problem). Brown rice "may" have been a problem (phytic acid). But no more a problem then someone who overdose protein on a low carb diet. There are always potential problems with many types of diets.

I wonder if you'd have bone problems on a 0 carb diet where you go no sunlight, were hypocaloric, and exercised excessively.

Extreme diets make you pay.

Kindke said...

Low vitamin D is not the only cause of low bone density.

I have always had a strong feeling that nail hardness and bone density are linked.

I consume alot of dairy ( pasture fed animals ) along with supplementing 7500iu D3 most days I do not get adaquate sun. Since the switch to pastured dairy and D3 my nail hardness has gone up drastically.

.^ said...

The loyalty/commitment of followers of this blog is impressive.
A month since the last post, yet within a few hours of posting there are already 8 comments!

Alas, I've fallen hard off the LC wagon of late. The twin sirens of sugar and starch have lured me onto the rocks where I've been beaten relentlessly by the surf.

Oh well, at least I know what needs to be done, which is half the struggle. Hey wagon! Wait for me!

PJNOIR said...

I have always like Gywneth and I hope she turns this around. If I judge against everyone that lives life to a different drummer, it would limit who I am in the long run. I have a cookbook on Spanish cuisine by Mario Batali and Gywneth Paltrow as they travel around Spain with a few friends. It isn't that bad a cookbook as it has a few nice paleo-ish recipes but poor Gywneth is often quoted saying things like she never eats any animal with four legs, etc. I work with many hard core vegetarians and they are all chronically ill with one thing or another- yet can't connect the dots.

Eva said...

Most of the vegetarians are just eating what the govt tells them is good for them. Even so, I think if they ate fish, diary, eggs, fruit, and veggies with a bit of sweat potato and tubers in moderation, they would probably be fine. Just cut out the grain, worthless flours and worthless sugars and don't overdo the other starches.

Dave, RN said...

Noticed when watching idol. That Ellen Degeneres looks terrible
I Googled her. Yup. Ellen Degeneres ia a vegan. She looked like death warmed over on idol this year.

Anonymous said...

As I understand it, she is not a vegetarian. The fish can't be the problem. The limitation of diary is good. So it must be the lack of sunshine/vitamin D and a regime that is too low in calories, saturated fat and much more.

Peter said...

Hi Valda,

My only real complaint about fish is that it has a lower protein score than meat from animals with four legs or from eggs. So you need more total protein to meet your needs for tissue maintenance. I do eat wild caught salmon. The occasional vegan I know who has realised meat is esential (they do exist and are usually bright people) has started with wild caught fish. A wild salmon lives a perfectly reasonable life until the last few minutes and we all have that to come eventually!

Aaron, yes lots of factors. And the worrying thing is how normal you get to think you are on your own particular way-out diet. I get reminded occasionally that I'm not quite normal!

Hi Kindle, yes, "sunshine rickets" is well recognised... One concept of eating well is that all systems should function correctly. Good bones, good nails.

OK Chainey, go drink that cream!

PJ and Eva, it seems a lot of my very close friends at actually vegetarian or ex vegan, oddly enough. Some are on vegetarian based OD (cream eggs cheese, not too many vegetables). And, snarky comments aside, you do have to respect the girl (GP) for coming out in public and sharing the information that she has a lifestyle related illness. Taking the pills and saying nothing would probably have been a lot easier. She might really benefit from a paradigm shift.

Dave, I'll go and google idol in a moment. I pick these snippets up from Yahoo when I sign in to my email account. We pay our TV licence fee to stop the heavies breaking the door down but so far I've not tuned the TV (or plugged in the ariel!) since we moved to Scotland! That's probably stranger than my diet.


Peter said...

Hi Hans,

I too doubt the fish is a problem. I do wonder if the FSA would approve her osteopaenia generating lifestyle. I suspect so.


TandooriChicken said...

Hi Peter,

Been following your blog for a while now, linked through by Stephan Guyenet's Whole Health Source.

Another contributing factor is Gwyneth Paltrow's exercise regime. Or, namely, her belief that "no woman should ever lift a weight greater than 3 lbs." No wonder her bones can't handle the compression!

Peter said...

That reminds me of health and safety while my wife was pregnant! She was only allowed to lift anything "as heavy as a shopping bag"! When cornered about the contents of the shopping bag... Never mind assembling the biggest centrifuge in the institute!


Ken said...

Paltrow didn't get osteopaenia from low vitamin D. people would have evolved to maximize vitamin D if 'low' D was so deleterious.

Well they don't!

A systematic review of the association between common single nucleotide polymorphisms and 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations.

"We speculate that recently identified U-shaped relationships between 25OHD concentrations and disease outcomes (i.e. increased risk at both high and low concentrations) may reflect a mixture of genotype-defined subgroups."

it's not just a handful of people

"At least two alleles reduce the effectiveness of the vitamin-D binding protein, and their homozygotes account for 9% and 18% of French Canadians (Sinotte et al., 2009)."

Which maybe explains why a study of highly sun exposed (tanned) heathy young skateboarders and surfers in Hawaii (where the sun is strong enough to make vitamin D all year) found levels below the putative minimum of 30 ng/ml in 51% of the subjects.

"We speculate that recently identified U-shaped relationships between 25OHD concentrations and disease outcomes (i.e. increased risk at both high and low concentrations) may reflect a mixture of genotype-defined subgroups."

Common genetic determinants of vitamin D insufficiency: a genome-wide association study

"Variants near genes involved in cholesterol synthesis, hydroxylation, and vitamin D transport affect vitamin D status. Genetic variation at these loci identifies individuals who have substantially raised risk of vitamin D insufficiency."

Vitamin D production after UVB exposure depends on baseline vitamin D and total cholesterol but not on skin pigmentation.

it's not just a handful

"At least two alleles reduce the effectiveness of the vitamin-D binding protein, and their homozygotes account for 9% and 18% of French Canadians (Sinotte et al., 2009)."

Which maybe explains why a study of highly sun exposed (tanned) heathy young skateboarders and surfers in Hawaii (where the sun is strong enough to make vitamin D all year) found levels below the putative minimum of 30 ng/ml in 51% of the subjects.

A while back there was a TV program about a someone on a calorie restricted diet, they found he had abnormally low bone density so maybe it's down to lack of calories. On the other hand Ron Rosedale claims high carb diets will lead to reduced bone density; I believe Paltrow's diet consists mainly of rice

Taking vitamin D supplements is far more dangerous than Paltrow's unusual diet.

Vitamin D and Osteogenic Differentiation in the Artery Wall

" Recent epidemiologic evidence suggests that there is a narrow range of vitamin D levels in which vascular function is optimized. Levels above or below this range seem to confer a significant increase in risk for cardiovascular disease. There is some evidence to suggest that dietary vitamin D may be carried by lipoprotein particles into cells of the artery wall and atherosclerotic plaque, where it may be converted to active form by monocyte-macrophages. These findings raise interesting questions regarding the effects of vitamin D intake on atherosclerotic calcification and cardiovascular risk"

Willow said...

Well my bone weakness was osteomalacia and that is caused by vitamin D deficiency. Maybe Ms Paltrow's bone weakness was also osteomalacia.

Peter said...

Hi Ken,

Nice links. At the level of vitamin D that Paltrow seems likely to be living at, I feel she is at the sharp bit on the left hand side of the U curve. By the time that people get their D to levels where a week on 2000iu per day takes away their mysterious joint and muscle pains they are likely to be at CVD risk as well. I think it would be interesting to know exactly which diet choices she has made to get where she is, a little fish is hardly the same as 200g of ruminant fat. I can see nothing wrong with taking D if you have gotten yourself in to such a mess, though it's clearly an elastoplast on the wound.

As you know I don't supplement D (though I still enjoy the sun) and the "be cautious with D" message has gotten through a reasonable chunk of the LC bloggers. Stephan, Don and Jenny come immediately to mind.

I'm quite curious as to where I drop in on the U curve under my current circumstances but, alas, we're back on the Special OD again so not in a position to spend the money on testing!

I had read in some random place that D is made on the skin surface and I can see the logic that tanning to prevent burns might well still allow surface D formation. The fact I'm sitting here with a cholesterol coming out of my ears suggest I might make more than average even in Glasgow. Where the summer has been glorious (I still enjoy the sun...).

I remember a post ages ago by Dr Davis commenting that well tanned patients of his were coming in with low D levels. Apart from what is the definition of low, he's the most saturophobic of the LC world I've read. I wouldn't be surpised if slugging canola oil to drop your LDL levels didn't deplete your D levels... That then begs the question of whther supplementing under these circumstances does anything more than normalise a lab number.


Peter said...


It's a U curve. The spike at the low end is a bad place to be. I have no trouble with supplementing here. The question is how high is good and how do you get there. Vitamin D is amongst the most controversial things on the net. I would also point out that both insulin and hyperglycaemia cause renal excretion of Ca, PO4 and Mg. I like the phrase "peeing your bones down the loo". There's more to it than D. Though D matters.


Peter said...

Ken, I notice from the Nature paper that the increase in D was inversely proportional to baseline level of D before UVB exposure. Does this not argue in favour of a homeostatic mechanism looking to increase levels to a certain minimum? Where is that minimum? Do you have the absolute numbers from the full paper?


Willow said...


Yes. As a steroid victim and extremely sensitive to salt, calcium loss was a big problem and I even suffered from tetany. It was all a long, ghastly, excruciating, exhausting time. Far too long and horrifying a story for a post here.

Peter said...

Aye, steroids are no fun.



Recently Paltrow's name was listed as one of several high-profile female celebrities who are devotees of the "baby food" diet. Actresses are under immense pressure to stay skinny, and will, like Madonna, Jessica Parker and Jennifer Anniston, resort to eating nothing but multiple jars of baby food throughout the day.

gunther gatherer said...

Hi Peter. I didn´t catch that you had dropped the 10,000 IU of D3 per day. Am I correct that you're now supplement-free entirely?

Just want to stay abreast of any changes you may have made. I'm still religiously LC-HF as ever, but I don't find myself eating so much meat anymore as a result of stuffing myself on cream and lard. Maybe once or twice a week there will be a chance at some liver for dinner, but that's it...

Peter said...

Hi Kayumochi, people do weird stuff!

Gunther, yes, I'm supplement free and look to get my vitamins from eggs and liver and have just gotten round to making bone broths, which fell badly by the wayside on the move north. JK describes the OD as quite low in meat, lots of the protein comes from egg yolks. I occasionally skip my breakfast yolks to have a bigger meat meal in the evening as that's what I like, but eggs and dairy fat cover an awful lot of my calories.

Oh, I take a couple of grams of fish oil about once a week. Having a little DHA around beyond UK dairy still seems worth while. I don't think it takes much. I have a paper looking at 1g/d to reverse fatty liver over a year. Single author paper though...

Are you staying well?


gunther gatherer said...

Very well, thanks! I'm still considered about as weird as can be by friends and family, but since I moved to fat-friendly France a month ago, I'm feeling a bit more comfortable eating in public.

The great thing here in Normandy is that they serve grass-fed ruminant organs at every restaurant, and they're not very hard to find at supermarkets either. This way, you can ditch the muscle meat entirely. Even when you eat out!

Like you and another poster here, I do have a sensitivity to salt in my diet. I find it puffs me up considerably the next day, so I have to keep my diet almost entirely salt-free.

I have been following Stephan's posts about vitamin D also, and I agree supplements aren't necessary in the context of an otherwise LC-HF diet. But it's ironic that one can eat so much fat, he/she doesn't have time for meat!

Maybe it's not the meat that keeps our bones together, but the saturated fat? Or maybe just that eating so much fat crowds out otherwise nutrient-blocking and mineral-leeching vegetables?

. said...

Maybe it's the low-fat, macrobiotic diet -

Peter said...

I envy you Normandy Gunther. My impression was a bit like Cornwall but sunnier and even more cream about!

I had to give up recreational salt poisoning due to the wheat flour in donner kebabs. Normal food quanities of salt do very little and it's not uncommon for me to add some salt to all sorts of dishes. BP trickles along at 110/70mmHg.

OP, there do seem to be some almonds in her diet but that's the closest to even remotely acceptable I could see... Still, she does seem to be something of an icon for ill health nowadays. Maybe people will think. Maybe she will think!


Ken said...

Sorry I can't access the full text, of the Nature paper but here is some food for thought.

Maternal Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Concentrations Are Associated with Small-for-Gestational Age Births in White Women"After confounder adjustment, there was a U-shaped relation between serum 25(OH)D and risk of SGA among white mothers, with the lowest risk from 60 to 80 nmol/L. (24 to 32ng/ml) Compared with serum 25(OH)D 37.5–75 nmol/L, SGA odds ratios (95% CI) for levels <37.5 and >75 nmol/L were 7.5 (1.8, 31.9) and 2.1 (1.2, 3.8), respectively"

A U-shaped relation between serum 25(OH)D and risk, the optimum range is centred at the US average and risk increases from the proposed new minimum level of 32ng/mL.

Abstract PL04-05: Vitamin D: Panacea or a Pandora's box for prevention

The nuclear vitamin D receptor controls the expression of genes encoding factors which feed the "Fountain of Youth" to mediate healthful aging

"Many of these pathologies are also the consequence of hypervitaminosis D [37]. [...] Thus, excess vitamin D and its actions actually reduce lifespan, meaning that the level
of 1,25D as well as the sequelae of its effects through VDR must be "detoxified" and
sustained in an optimal range to maintain healthful aging"

Vitamin D, nervous system and aging

gunther gatherer said...

Incidentally, I forget to mention that, in an effort to more closely imitate the paleo pattern of protein intake and restriction ("good hunts and bad hunts") I did make one major change in the regime in the last few months:

I restrict protein almost entirely for several days, eating fat and leafy green vegetables, then I choose a day to have a "kill", where I eat lots of protein. I never measure how much this is, but let's just say I allow myself all the proteins I crave: cheese, organ meats, etc.

Research shows that methionine and tryptophan restriction, and amino acid restriction in general, is the factor which causes the benefits of calorie restriction. It also stands to reason that this is the paleo experience we evolved with. During protein restriction (at least in mice), the cells "clean house" and enter into autophagy. In addition, glutathione levels skyrocket. Studies have shown much-reduced visceral fat stores in mice without restricting calories after 80% methionine restriction.

Let's not forget also that amino acids hinder tight-junction barrier function. Hence, I don't think we were made to eat it every day. Any chance of a methionine restriction post?

lightcan said...

The thing is that when there was no kill there was no fat either, but I know we're not trying to do 'reenactment'. I had some creme fraiche d'Isigny, great taste!

Hi Peter,
So, should we only supplement D in winter? As it's not good to just stop supplementing, from your posts, Peter, would gradually lowering the dose be a good idea? It's hard to know in the morning when you take the vitamin if it's going to be sunny around lunchtime for half an hour (in Ireland)

Neonomide said...

Nice discussion here.

Bruce Hollis has his own minimum 25(OH)D levels suggestions here:

"We hypothesize that as humans live today, the 25-hydroxylase operates well below its Vmax because of chronic substrate deficiency, namely vitamin D3. When humans are sun (or dietary) replete, the vitamin D endocrine system will function in a fashion as do these other steroid synthetic pathways, not limited by substrate. Thus, the relationship between circulating vitamin D and 25(OH)D may represent what “normal” vitamin D status should be."
- -
"At a maternal intake of 6,400 IU vitamin D3/day, circulating vitamin D3 increased dramatically. Maternal circulating 25(OH)D also increase; however, the increase appeared to be limited and controlled (Figure 2). A similar relationship was observed in the sun-exposed individuals (Figure 1). In these individuals, sun exposure was greater than fifteen hours/week—although not all had total body exposure, some only hands, arms, and head. The data from our study suggests the following: The relationship between circulating vitamin D3 and 25(OH)D is not linear in either case; rather it appears saturable and controlled. This suggest either/or product-substrate inhibition of the vitamin D-25-hydroxylase. Optimal nutritional vitamin D status may occur when approaching equimolar concentrations of circulating vitamin D3 and 25(OH)D (>100 nmol). At this point, the Vmax of the enzyme appears to be achieved. It is important to note that as humans live today, the vitamin D-25-hydroxylase operates well below its Vmax because of chronic substrate (vitamin D) deficiency. Not a single other steroidal hormone system in the body is limited in this fashion since their starting point is cholesterol. When humans are sun- (or dietary-) replete, the vitamin D endocrine system will function in a fashion as do these other steroid synthetic pathways, not limited by substrate availability.

This study also demonstrates that individuals can be vitamin D deficient with significant sun exposure if the skin area exposed is limited as was suggested several years ago (19). Finally, whether one receives their vitamin D3 orally or through UV exposure, the vitamin D-25-hydroxylase appears to handle it in an equivalent fashion with respect to maintaining circulating 25(OH)D levels. Thus, we believe that the relationship between circulating vitamin D and 25(OH)D may define adequate nutritional vitamin D status."

A long quote, but I think iit speaks for itself.

Since William Davis is on the map again, he wrote this the other day:

"This makes sense when you realize that intestinal absorption of calcium doubles or quadruples when vitamin D approaches desirable levels. Full restoration of vitamin D therefore causes a large quantity of calcium to be absorbed, more than you may need. In addition, two studies from New Zealand suggest that 1200-1300 mg calcium with vitamin D per day doubles heart attack risk."

Any comments ?

Byt the way - I virtually stopped higher-end D3 supplementation (80-200 µg/day) many (too many) months ago and have not been so much in sun. Yet my Crohn's remains better than ever since I started D3 thing. Something happened in genetic level or something to do with D3 changing my gut flora. Any suggestions ?

I have even ate potatoes, wheat and sugar just to test myself and nope - problems solved. Occasional sternal pain associated with taking Vitamin D still haunts now and then, yet it's not bad.

Bris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bris said...

I saw a documantary on the Samburu people last night. The women were all as tall and as thin as supermodels. Which proves you don't need a low fat diet to be skinny.

Bris said...

Bone mineral density is actually a very poor predictor of potential fractures. This is because bones are made almost entirely of protein not minerals.(If you cremate a 70kg human you only get a cup of ash). The purpose of bones minerals is to provide rigidity (as well as storing minerals. It is a lack of protein that makes bones brittle not a lack of minerals. Low mineral levels make bones soft and flexible not brittle.

Long term low-protein diets cobmbined with low-impact physical activity such as cycling or jogging causes protein to be lost from non-stressed bones. HGs regularly lift and carry very heavy objects.

Peter said...

It's Monday morning here and I've had my weekend of net access on the practice computer with a quiet on call session, so I'm about to drop off of the face of the internet again while I return to where I've been for the last few weeks!

Might get a few posts up which are mostly roughed out on my own non-net accessed laptop when I get home and it talks to my wireless network...


Gunther, I tried to do a few low protein days. About 7pm I get to crave protein. Must be some sort of addict! You would have thought that with the chaotic life I've had over the last 2 months that skipping food and glugging cream would have been easy, but that wasn't the case! I wonder if that reflects my high casein and casmorphin intake????

gunther gatherer said...

Peter, anything that compromises tight-junction barrier function, in this case, amino acids, you could classify as an allergen if it gets beyond the endothelium of the gut.

Once it get On The Wrong Side, as we know, you might just get symptoms of addiction! I know that craving for protein well, as has paleo man for millenia. It's that craving that's brought us to hunting, big brains, fire, and maybe even to technology, civilization, etc.

Kindke said...


Anecdotally I've noticed that the alpha2-adrenegic areas of my body fat (area around and below belly button, and the lobes on lower back) are considerably less flabby and puffy on days where I consume almost exclusively whey protein shakes.

Days where I consume alot of butter,cream, avacado's,egg yolks for fat etc these areas feel more flabby.

Also when I restrict protein I have severe depression and intense cravings for umami foods.

Celeste said...

A protein-sparing autophagy post please Peter! I read once you weren't interested in life extension, I would say though; it's not the extra years that matter but rather the less crap ones you have to live with. Autophagy = youth extension = more health now!

Ken said...

“Pregnant women need to take 4,000 IU of vitamin D a day,” says Bruce Hollis,

[...]There are no risks,” Hollis adds. The conventional wisdom about the dangers of too much vitamin D was “manufactured and based on flawed data,” he says. “There was never any real harm, just misconceptions.”

I think that speaks for itself in view of the study linked to above. The vitamin D 'Council' and associated researchers don't know what they're talking about.


even in Ireland you're making plenty of vitamin D in the shade, no need to deliberately go out your way to get direct sunlight normal activities provide all the UV-B exposure necessary. The body stores vitamin D and that summer synthesized reserve will see you through the D - less winter.

gunther gatherer said...

Kindke, I would say try protein restriction for several days to a week (hey, hunter-gatherers did it for up months at a time when they had to), then check your results. I think it takes more than 24 hours to signal to your cells that they are protein-starved. Don't forget also that your body stores amino acids, so those stores must be depleted for a cell-level response.

I'm with Celeste. But until then, can we get your thoughts on autophagy-inducing techniques? The studies I've read on methionine and tryptophan restriction are impressive (40% more lifespan in rats, WITHOUT calorie restriction on a per-weight basis).

gunther gatherer said...

Here are some follow-up links for those interested in further protein restriction:

Vladimir Heiskanen (Valtsu) said...

About that protein restriction thing, Ray Peat has written:
"Restricting only tryptophan, or only cysteine, produces a greater extension of the life span than achieved in most of the studies of caloric restriction."

Though, I dunno how reliable his comments are. Peat has very unique opinions on many things... He says that fructose > glucose, all PUFA is toxic etc...

Eva said...

According to the Vitamin D Council, you can have symptoms of low Vit D, including rickets, if deficient in other impt vitamins needed in the vit D process. I don't remember all details, but one was K2. SOme people have had acceptable blood levels of D but developed rickets, which was cured by taking K2.If surfers are in the sun all day but eat a crappy diet, they might still have probs resembling vit D defiency. Also, according to vit D council, much D production occurs in skin oils including the stuff on top of your skin that can be washed off by soap and lots of bathing. Looks like not yet enough research to indicate how much washing can influence D absorption, but looks like probably it will affect it at least some. If the answer is a lot, then that opens a whole new can of worms and would explain why people in the ocean and probably bathing with soap afterwards, might still not absorb enough D. Also, a heavy tan without exterior skin oils might be even worse. The tan will block penetrating rays and with the skin oils removed, D production on top of the skin would be severely impaired as well. The prob is with so many other factors in D production as well as genetic factors, the story is a complex one.

Kindke said...

Yo Gunther, sure I'll give 1 week protein restriction a try, always interested in trying out new things to see what happens!

What are the guidelines for this? Maximum protein intake per day? What are the good sources of fat calories during this time?

I guess butter, cream, egg yolks ( they have some protein), coconut oil, animal fat from steaks etc?

gunther gatherer said...

Hi Kindke, there aren't many guidelines, since the authors of the study just restricted methionine by 80%. In tryptophan, I believe it was 40%. What this means practically is that you restrict your protein intake as much as possible during the day.

The problem I run into is how to do this without eating lots of carbs. I guess it all depends on how much fat you can get down, otherwise it will become simply calorie restriction. Tricky stuff.

Here is a well-researched view on this which has helped a lot:

Ken said...

Sorry Eva but the way the vitamin D 'Council' interprets scientific evidence is just wrongheaded. Your genes have not evolved to make you sick.

Their advice will have unpleasant consequences for those foolish enough to conform to it.

The intensity or duration of UVB/sun exposure isn't the primary determinant of the vitamin D levels attained in an individual. (Hollick 95., Veith 99) Vitamin D synthesis shuts off after 20 minutes with full body exposure ( swim trunks) giving 10,000IU. Black Africans take 6 times longer but make the same over a day. Black Africans with 100,000 years of adaption to excessively extreme UV with full body exposure year round don't get any more vitamin D than north Europeans who have been wearing clothes and living where the UV is never very strong and seasonaly absent for several months for 30,000 years.(Hoffecker 2002).

Now why is that - coincidence? Or, could it be that the 10,000 IU limit on synthesis continued to work fine because actual UVB and hence potential vitamin D levels were still excessive in northern Europe over a year(even though vitamin D had to be stored for the UVB-less period).

The various mechanisms that determine vitamin D levels do not show a pattern of evolution towards maximization of those levels in north Europeans compared to Africans.

* the skin synthesis limit

* the system of Vitamin D enzyme kinetics and control ("remarkably inefficient" says Vieth)

Don't get me wrong, apart from the cancer risk whites probably are harmed by the level of sun exposure which is now common in activities such as sunbathing. Even in Britain the sun is too strong for the skin colour of Europeans and thats why their skins tan: for protective purposes.

Owen said...

I also suggest reading the Peat article that Valtsu mentioned. It's main thrust is to promote consuming a higher ratio of gelatin to muscle and discusses the different amino acid compositions of various tissues:

"It happens that gelatin is a protein which contains no tryptophan, and only small amounts of cysteine, methionine, and histidine. Using gelatin as a major dietary protein is an easy way to restrict the amino acids that are associated with many of the problems of aging.

The main amino acids in gelatin are glycine and proline; alanine is also present in significant quantity. Glycine and proline are responsible for the unusual fibrous property of collagen."

This all seems especially beneficial to someone with muscle/joint pain and inflammation from what I can glean...

Owen said...
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Owen said...

While on the subject of gelatin...

I've been thinking about Kindke's comment regarding nail hardness and bone density as well as Bris's about bone density being primarily a question of protein and not minerals. And then there're the old wives' tales about taking gelatin for hair and nails, so...

Could it be true that a different amino acid profile (from muscle and even to some extent dairy) might be beneficial to these hard tissues as well?

Owen said...

Correction: Re-reading my post above, especially the part referencing Bris's post, I really should have said "bone brittleness" and not "bone density" as that distinction was the whole point.

I have a relative who was diagnosed with osteoporosis and prescribed Fosamax a month ago. A little reading on bisphosphonates and you get the idea that it's entirely possible to increase bone density and still end up with a massively broken femur!

Peter said...

Just a brief lunch-time (pot of cream) at work comment. I followed three sequential references of Peat's in one of his essays and none of them supported the point he was making. Two abstracts and one full text. Always check refs and think carefully. Obviously I've not bothered with any more of his essays. That may be a mistake but, if you have a point to make, the references should support it! That was several years ago and I can't remember the essay and did not feel the need to save it.


Neonomide said...

Regarding comments from Ken on Vitamin D, I think I'll pass the excess critique thanks:

I got my Crohn's into 90% remission with Vit D 1½ years ago AND do much better even without supplementation at the moment. In addition, my food tolerances simply vanished. It may be because of the antibiotic effect and/or the more known immunomodulatory effects of Vit D - frankly I don't really care. It simply worked for me. Seems to work for many others as well.

My current feelings are (I've written/contributed magazine articles + read like a madman on the subject) that many people can benefit tremendously if they get their Vit D 25(OH)D levels around 90-100 nmol/l, at least in somewhat short term. Skin color may well be a confounder. Lessening Vit A intake may help as well, yet getting more magnesium and definitely less calcium may be mandatory. The K2 question remains far too controversial to make any overall recommendations - except perhaps for eating those K2 rich cheeses and natto.

Neonomide said...

Owen said...

"I have a relative who was diagnosed with osteoporosis and prescribed Fosamax a month ago. A little reading on bisphosphonates and you get the idea that it's entirely possible to increase bone density and still end up with a massively broken femur!"

Apparently Vit D administration (125 µg/d for a year) can and will raise bone density a lot more than bisphosfonate in a lot shorter time period:

In the full text (mail me if interested) authors claim that giving calcium WITH Vit D may be be more safe than without. I haven't a clue why, esp when looking those two new New Zealand studies that hinted hypercalcemia. Elderly people get less anyway because of worse intestinal absorption ?

Bisphoshonates make bones harder yet more fragile as well - which shows in weaker bone formation years later. Here in Finland these have been in a serious discussion for a some time now. I haven't got a glue why no K2-menatetrenone or more aggressive D3 exists in treating manuals here. Former definitely works and seems save, while D3 SHOULD work as well, yet is very little studied so far.

For me it seems that neolithic calcium intake sucks anyway, just like excess retinol intake seems to suck.

No Vit D only group in Lappe et al. study, which showed 77% reduction in cancers after one year. We obviously need calcium, but get more of it simply by adding Vit D intake the way we please.

Neonomide said...

Ken, you really should check out David Grimes' new book Vitamin D and Cholesterol:

His hypothesis simply makes sense, regardless of you believe in cholesterol hypothesis or not. His Crohn's hypothesis (he is gastroenterologist after all) already has been shown to be somewhat therapeutically valuable (check my second message).

Neonomide said...

Peter said...

"I remember a post ages ago by Dr Davis commenting that well tanned patients of his were coming in with low D levels. Apart from what is the definition of low, he's the most saturophobic of the LC world I've read. I wouldn't be surpised if slugging canola oil to drop your LDL levels didn't deplete your D levels... That then begs the question of whther supplementing under these circumstances does anything more than normalise a lab number."

You said it! ^^

There are umpteen studies that show how lifeguards have D3 levels over 120 nmol/l and get on with it. Those israeli lifeguards also happen to live in one of the biggest omega 6 using countries around. I haven't got a clue on their calcium intake, though.

Ken - that study on Hawaii with low D3 levels was done during Hawaiian winter, so I would be a bit cautious on the results. Adapting to seasonal *fluctuations* with Vit D is obviously somewhat adaptive, but is it unconditionally healthy ? Maybe not.

Owen said...

Peter- It's true, a lot of people I've pointed towards Peat have complained about his essays (it usually seems to stem from one of his weirder, philosophical ideas that seems unsupported...) But I'll defend reading them because they've turned me on to ideas and people (like Barnes and his thyroid research) that have been very useful. Anyway, in this case the relevant part about gelatin being a good way to restrict methionine and tryptophan (but not protein overall) does seem to check out:

I also see it being supported by the basic paleo (folk) logic of realizing that humans in the past who were eating more parts of the animal and were healthy, simply must have been consuming a higher ratio of gelatin (and therefore less methionine and tryptophan) than most are now. That is, except for those of us who still enjoy a lot of Jello cups!

Neonomide- I should mention that I think I've been somewhat successful in convincing the family member to flush the Fosamax and try something like a gluten-free, high dairy, low o-6 diet. It helped that the femur breaks had just been all over the news here and it worked as a scare tactic. The main hurdle is lactose intolerance (most likely caused by gluten) which might take awhile to go away... so dairy will probably seem less attractive in this case than it did to me when I went on something like the optimal diet. Of course getting rid of the antagonizing factors alone should help to make the most of whatever D3 and calcium is there...

Ken said...

Again, Hawaii doesn't have a winter where the sun is weak.
Low Vitamin D Status despite Abundant Sun Exposure

"There are umpteen studies that show how lifeguards have D3 levels over 120 nmol/l"

Yes but my point is that lifeguards are getting an extreme amount of sun on exposed skin; the UV-B exposure of the lifeguards was an order of magnitude greater than the average person but in not a single case were their vitamin D levels 10 times higher. Evolution has provided us with complex regulatory mechanisms for ensuring a narrow range of vitamin D levels despite the excess that is availlable from the sun Levels above or below the natural homeostasis of vitamin D - which are difficult to attain through sun but are easily achieved by supplementation - increase mortality. There is indeed such a thing as being too low but a homeostatic mechanism increases levels as necessary, this means you'd have to stay out of the sun and out of the shade and totally avoid UB-B to stay below your minimum healthy level.

Lifeguards of European descent who spend all day virtually naked in Hawaii where the UB-B is much stronger than in Europe and is never too weak to make vitamin D are going to have vitamin D levels higher than is good for them because they're going to get more sun than their metabolism has evolved to deal with.

Taking massive doses in pills - and 4000 IU is indeed a massive dose to be regularly ingesting - overwhelm the evolved homeostasis and allow the attaining abnormally high concentrations of vitamin D in the blood.

Good luck with your health.

Neonomide said...


As I wrote, at the moment I do not take D3. I don't know, maybe I should ? I happen to live at circa 63 degrees north and this is the only time of the year when UVB could be called "adequate" for D3 synthesis (UVI 4-5 at best days). For the rest of the year I and others living here must make decision to take or not to take. The Finnish Nutrition Board has already risen D3 recommendation of > 60 year olds to 20 µg per day.

I haven't seen anywhere direct evidence that D3 supplements per se increase mortality. Death from D3-induced hypercalcemia remains extremely rare in medical literature - though even extreme D3 promoter like Reinhold Vieth admits that the data showing 25(OH)D levels and toxicity remain lacking because measurin it while knowing the amount of D3 ingested remains sparse. Even measuring of 25(OH)D remains unprecise at the moment AND there are tens of Vitamin D metabolites that form in the skin and we don't know donkey about them.

I very much prefer being healthy more than not and no - I don't think wheat or potatoes do anything good for me. I just *can* eat them first time for around 15 years or so. It empowers me and many other (former) IBD patients with whom D3 has worked so far.

Regarding the effect on overall mortality, if we agree for a moment that it isn't a statistical fluke, I think the association may occur because people drink all too much milk (calcium), take simultaneously D3 and even try to get a tan - slow calcification of arteries may ensues. We just don't know yet. I'd prefer moderation, just like you, so I don't know if and why are we arguing here ?

Of course, citing William Davis' posts purposefully may hide the fact that he honestly seems to believe that D3 supplementation clears arteries in many of his patients:

He *really* seems to believe it's more about D3 (reportedly 50-300 µg/day) than anything else:

So there we go. Are we left here with the most powerful single antiatherogenic agent around, or a deadly and silent poison ? If 150-175 nmol/l levels that Davis forcefully promotes and that seem to epidemiologically to promote(?) excess mortality AND reverse arterial calcification - can these two notions be conciled ?

Neonomide said...

Obviously we need to add pregnant women to the 4000 IU exception list as well ?

Ken said...

I would never dispute that low D levels are associated with illness. However you may recall the case of antioxidants, there is a precedent for such an association misleading researchers as to the effect of supplements. When the results the results of well designed longitudinal studies are in we will know if vitamin D is different.

Introduction of oral vitamin D supplementation and the rise of the allergy pandemic

By my way of thinking Hollis draws a perverse conclusion from the following paper which shows just how limited vitamin D levels which are attained by the most extreme sun exposure are compared to his putative optimum vitamin D level.

Circulating Vitamin D3 and 25-hydroxyvitamin D in Humans: An Important Tool to Define Adequate Nutritional Vitamin D Status

Hawaiian surfers are getting an abnormal amount of strong sun but had lower D than breastfeeding mothers in Wisconsin who were given 6400IU of vit. D / day.

The 60ng/ml which Davis recommends would be easily attained from the sun even at in your lattitude without a limiting mechanism . The idea that we are not maximizing Vitamin D because we are still adapted to the savannah is absurd.

LeenaS said...

As someone who lives just as high up north as Neo, I fully agree with Ken.

As for personal experiences, I have not supplemented with vitamin D in ten years, and very seldom before that, as an adult. However, both my ability to tan, my skin health and my overall health improved incredibly when I stopped eating plenty of wholegrain and other carbs, almost a decade ago.

I do not know my vitamin D levels, but flus and allergies have shunned me (and the family) since we turned into LCHF type of eating. Before LCHF we seemed to catch them every single time... which may or may not be related with our D-levels deteriorated by rye, canola and healthy diet - but they were definitely correlated with the healthy diet itself.

With regards,

Anek Dodl said...


My lifelong susceptibility to viruses ended when I quit eating gluten grains over a decade ago.

blogblog said...

Humans evolved from tropical fructo-insectivores. Therefore our diet should logically contain almost no calcium after weaning, plenty of magnesium, very little sodium and a lot of potassium and vitamin C. In addition we should be getting a lot of sun exposure - just like Australian aborigines.

Neonomide said...


Could you please be more specific what you mean by "limiting mechanism" in this context ?

Jablonski et al. has theorized that excess UVB destroys folic acid in the skin and may be detrimental to - among other things - male fertility. This would explain there is some evidence that people have migrated south and developed darker skin again. It would also perhaps explain why women often are lighter - which again seems to be conected to sexual selection (which of course is in many ways connected to evolutionary benefits).

On the other hand, I think lighter skin has mostly evolved because rickets causes female pelvic structure to grow "in" which makes impossible to bear children. Vieth and I think also Jablonsi believes this.

Other possible D3 driven evolutionary explanation towards lighter skin color probably is driven by (seasonal) infections. Less sunlight -> more infections -> more selection pressure towards adaptations in immunity. Vitamin D is crucial to innate immunity and has been it for millions of year for primates. Of course we should have evolved more adaptations to D3 than any other primate, but still.

I think grain consumpion may explain it a bit as well - like Peter Frost (and Peter here ^^) has theorized.

Pardon me if this is sidetracking from your points - I just wanted to open the topic a bit.

Oh and regarding supplements - I would be more than happy to not take any. But obviously the world, biology, we and definitely me aren't perfect and I happen to live not-too-far-from polar bears, like Leena does. Sunlight sucks around 3/4 of the year, depending how you define it. We have to make choices. My choice is not to be unable to eat 70-80% of foods that I like. And no - I'm not too low-carb yet to make any meaningful comparison either. I'm just making an example here.

LeenaS said...

To Neo:

Could be? Or then again, maybe not. I find hard to accept the part, where you said that biology (or nature or evolution) would be far from the perfect - and that being said after my 40+ years as a chronic.

On the contrary, the more I learn, to more I respect the fantastic adaptation power in all the living things/systems (including ourselves), enabled by the evolution itself.

... which is why I'm more and more reluctant in changing homeostatic balances (in this ecosystem called me) by any modern innovation or remedy, including pills and drugs.

And surprisingly enough, this seems to work much better than any previous try, even for such an old, non-paleo lifestyle office rat lady, high up north. Even more surprisingly, this "diet" is fully satiating even if I would have never before thought that soft egg yolks, butter and bone broths can compete (and easily win) over my former favorites... or that I would choose those even now that I can eat almost anytihng without instant problems.

Life is pretty wonderful :)

Peter said...

"Life is pretty wonderful :)"

Yes yes yes


Winalot said...

Hi Peter,

Great info. gleaned from the comments as always. Random questions and observation;

- How do you make your bone broths?

- What is the Special OD consisting of right now (I'm guessing this is the budget version)?

- Where do you sit on exercise requirements? I see it as good for fitness, not so much for health / longevity?

- re: Kindke; as someone who's pretty lean (veins on lower abs) I notice that cream consumption (double, whipping or good old Roddas, being the Devon lad I am) causes my definition to blur. I know it's "only" lipid but I can't argue with what I see and it does echo the bodybuilders who restrict dairy prior to shows to glean that last bit of definition. Probably doesn't matter but your comment reminded me of it.



Ken said...
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Ken said...

Not sure what this means in light of 'Vitamin D and Osteogenic Differentiation in the Artery Wall' linked to above.

Investigation of the potential association of vitamin D binding protein with lipoproteins.

"DBP was found to be present in very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL). Gel permeation chromatography revealed a bimodal DBP distribution with a lipid-bound fraction besides the known free fraction. Ultracentrifugation confirmed the presence of DBP and 25(OH)-vitamin D(3) in the VLDL particle. Total serum DBP concentration and the actin-bound DBP/DBP ratio correlated significantly with total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, triglycerides and albumin. The 25(OH)-vitamin D(3)/DBP ratio correlated negatively with serum triglyceride concentration and body mass index (BMI). "

Peter said...

Hi Winalot,

Place bones in stock pot, cover with water, bring to boil, simmer for 4 hours, strain, drink. I like some salt in it too but that's about it. I like lamb bones best. Beef bone stock doesn't taste as good. Pork bones are good too.

Currently economy beef of any sort, which ever butter is on offer, some cream still, cheese of the buy one get one free variety! Life is settling down a bit and I'll put up some sort update when we know exactly what's happening.

I still do some resistance training and walk a great deal, fast rather than slowly (I got named Tigger or Tigs in my last job...). I'm not sure how it relates to health though.... I love hill walking but you have to wonder at the stress damage to coronary arteries when your heart is pounding on a steep section! I keep thinking about those marathon runners. At least I'm on FFAs, not Powerbars!

Ken, I'm not sure what to make of that either, but the antioxidants and neurodegenerative diseases abstract is a cracker. Are you aware that the standard lab mouse model for ALS genetically overproduces antioxidants? Need to pull those two snippets together as a post.


Winalot said...

Hi Peter,

Thanks for taking the time to reply, I really do appreciate it.



Lee said...

Hello Peter,

For once, we are behind the times. Carnivores do not need vitamin D because meat, and especially eggs, contain vitamin D metabolites that mean they are in effect much better sources of D than previously thought.

cavenewt said...

I know the last comment here was 10 years ago... I had a cancer diagnosis a year ago at age 65 (2019) and part of that was a bone test. Despite 10 years of low carb, avoiding PUFA, and getting lots of sun and a good bit of dairy & fermented food, I was diagnosed with osteopenia. This is concerning to them because part of the cancer treatment is an estrogen blocker which apparently can cause osteoporosis/osteopenia. So they keep reminding me to take vitamin D. Every time they do I mention I also take K2. They look at me in puzzlement.

But given my long term mostly-paleo lifestyle, I'm wondering how I could've gotten into this ostopeniacal condition. I get some pretty good load bearing exercise but it's seasonal. Summertime is spent outdoors in skimpy clothing under harsh desert sunshine (no sunscreen, no sunburn). Wintertime is spent huddling in front of a space heater aside from a daily 2 mile walk.

Gwyneth I am not :)

Peter said...

Well cave,

That's a very interesting reality check. No help to yourself of course. In some ways I am fortunate (or unfortunate, both really) that my wife has intractable chronic hemiplegic migraines which are utterly non responsive to deep, deep ketosis. As ketosis is quite effective at migraine suppression for many, many migraineurs, this is a right bugger when it fails. But I have to accept that we certainly don't know everything and diet may be a huge part but it's not 100%...

Interestingly the Paleomedcina people pick up many patients from a paleo background, mostly with cancer or auto immune problems. Makes you think.


cavenewt said...

Yes indeed, a reality check. Helps keep one humble and not assuming that we know completely what's right!