At under 100 pages, this is a very short book. It also contains only basic practical information for those wanting to supplement vitamin D, although the information given is well referenced. Most of the book is taken up with sections on different conditions and how vitamin D can be useful in treating them.
I don't think I'd have been totally convinced about the importance of vitamin D testing and supplementation if this had been the first book I read on the topic. It was just too brief for me... but then that may be just the kind of book some people want; brief and to the point. So each to their own I guess! I preferred the much more detailed 'The Vitamin D Cure.'
I read lots of books and websites on vitamin D some months ago, in order to write a paper about vitamin D and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis patients. This book to ages to arrive from the library I ordered it in from, so mostly I was just looking at what Rona had to say that was different to what other experts had said, and what his stance was on the basic issues such as the optimum levels of vitamin D on testing etc. These are my notes:
- Always test ionised calcium levels when vitamin D is taken
- Vitamin D supplementation helps pain form ALL causes
- Statin drugs can lower vitamin D levels significantly, and so testing is recommended for these patients
- Low vitamin D levels can cause insomnia
- Vitamin D supplementation will usually show positive effects in 3 - 4 months, but sometimes effects are seen much earlier or much later
- Most sunscreens contain carcinogenic chemicals and should be avoided
- 10 - 20 minutes of sun a day is adequate, never allow yourself to burn
- 10 000 IU of vitamin D daily through supplementation is recommended for everyone so long as they have 3 monthly calcium and vitamin D tests. Rona comments that none of his patients have had problems with this protocol for the 30 years he has been prescribing it.
- Rona recommends 4000 IU of vitamin D daily as the bare minimum dose.
- Rona talks about Shealy and his recommendation of doses of 50 000 IU of vitamin D for diseases such as cancer, MS, autoimmune conditions and allergies etc.), and claims that this dosage can control cancer, cure MS and improve allergies in some patients etc. It is noted that patients must weigh at least 140 pounds to follow this protocol, and take NO calcium supplements whatsoever.
- Rona does not recommend the flu shot and explains why it is only 20% effective (and that it contains ingredients which are carcinogenic), and why vitamin D is a far better option.
According to Rona, vitamin D from supplements is just as effective and as safe as vitamin D from the sun, and vitamin D2 is just as safe and effective as taking vitamin D3. This is different to what most experts say on these issues.
Rona's opinion on optimal vitamin D levels on testing is fairly standard. He recommends levels of 40 - 100 ng/ml.
Like almost every book on nutritional medicine, of course the author claims that his protocol can cure 'CFS' - yawn! Never mind that 'CFS' is a wastebasket diagnosis and those with the diagnosis do not have any one distinct disease, but instead any one of hundreds of different diseases - some of which may respond in some way to vitamin D treatment and some which will not. False hope and misinformation of this kind is NOT helpful!
The best part of this book, for me, was his two page section talking about the unscientific nature of the 'Marshall Protocol.' (This dangerous protocol is sometimes tried by desperate patients given a diagnosis...or rather MISdiagnosis... of 'CFS' - unfortunately.) Zoltan Rona M.D. writes, 'I have witnessed a lot of crazy treatments over the past 30 years, but none are as abusive as the Marshall Protocol. This protocol is not only illogical but also downright dangerous. At best, it can be labelled as a pretence of scientific thought.' Rona goes on to talk about the fact that 'Dr' Marshall is in fact NOT a medical doctor, but is an electrical engineer! He explains that the protocol, which promotes attaining very, very low vitamin D levels and taking antibiotic drugs long-term, is 'damaging to one's health and can lead to death.' He advises anyone that is currently following this dangerous and illogical protocol to 'get off it immediately.'
I was very happy to read this section on the Marshall Protocol scam. It has given so many very ill patients false hope and left them even sicker than when they began it, and also risked their lives. So three cheers to Rona for including some serious warnings about it in his book. I hope so much they will be heeded by those following the protocol and those aggressively promoting it to others. This scam has claimed ENOUGH innocent victims!
In short, this is a good first/brief book on vitamin D, and I recommend that patient's check to see if they can order it through their library. Vitamin D testing and making sure your levels are optimal is absolutely ESSENTIAL if you have M.E. (or any other serious disease).
(Patients with M.E. might like to read the HFME paper 'Vitamin D and M.E.' for more information.)
Jodi Bassett, The Hummingbirds' Foundation for M.E.
Excellelnt book. Teaches you not to be afraid of the sun, skin wise - got your fill of vitamin D in 15 minutes, just don't rubbed off, it takes 48 hours to be absored!, therefore, the need for vitamin-D supplement.