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February 2007: L-arginine, Vitamin D, & Metabolism

February 2007: L-arginine, Vitamin D, & Metabolism

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L-arginine and Vitamin D: Key Factors in Optimizing Metabolism

J. Joseph Prendergast, M.D.

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PubMed papers

Speaker’s CV

Speaker’s website: Endocrine Metabolic Medical Center (EMMC)

Speaker’s website: Dr Joe’s Rx for Managing Your Health book


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A summary of arginine info can be found here.

Dr. Prendergast had a hand in Cardio Cocktail, an L-Arginine supplement for reversing heart disease and generally improving health.

People mentioned in the talk

Vitamin D Updates

Update from Dr. Joe, 2007-09-20. Slowly all labs are to have this value (100ng/mL) be a long term target, and I now say the range should be 100–200 ng/mL. Times they are a changing.I now talk about 50,000 IU daily for 2 – 3 months then 50,000 weekly keeps people at a slightly higher lever than prior.I arrived at this through discussions with European and Asian researchers. They had boosted the dose after about 20 years of experience.

Another update: December 12, 2007 presentation by Stanford Professor David Feldman, M.D. for the Stanford School of Medicine Medcast lecture series explores the biological action of Vitamin D beyond its widely understood role in the information and maintenance of bone. Emerging therapeutic uses of the vitamin include the prevention and treatment of breast, prostate and colon cancer, chronic kidney disease and arthritis, among other conditions.

50,000 IU loading dose

Dr. Prendergast also spoke about the use of an initial loading dose of 50,000 IU per day of Vitamin D3 in treating disease. Speaking as an endocrinologist, he points out that Vitamin D is a hormone, not a vitamin, and that it makes all the other hormones work better and has other fundamental, far-reaching good effects when we get enough. He says recent research indicates that previous beliefs about how much we need were far too low, as were beliefs about dangers of taking too much (a toxic amount would be at least several times higher than 50,000 IU per day).

For someone not yet taking taking any D3 supplementation and not getting lots of sun, he says to start with 50,000 IU per day until your blood level rises into the range given below, which typically takes 3 months but can take longer. Then it’s time to drop down to 10,000 IU per day, which should be continued indefinitely. See below for information on blood testing for Vitamin D.

Buying vitamin D3

Always take the D3 form (cholecalciferol). Never take Vitamin D2 (which is becoming rare now). Here are good sources for 5,000 IU capsules made by Bio-Tech Pharmaceuticals, which are recommended by Dr. Joe:

To get an idea of scale, 5,000 IU of Vitamin D3 is 0.125 mg. One to three a day is reasonable. If you want to load up for a month on a higher dose, Bio-Tech makes a 50,000 IU capsule.

10,000 IU maintenance dose

Bio-Tech also makes a 5,000 IU Vitamin D3 capsule that would be appropriate for long-term maintenance. 5,000 IU capsules are also available through Life Extension Foundation and Pure Encapsulations (see Amazon search summary).

Vitamin D blood test

Dr. Prendergast uses Hunter Labs (800 762 9722) for a blood test to measure D,25OH, also known as calcidiol, also known as 25(OH)D or “Vitamin D, 25-Hydroxy”. The diagnosis code is “268.2” (Vitamin D deficiency). There are two ranges, depending on how the level is measured:

  • 100-200 ng/mL (updated 2007-09-20; was 60-80 in the talk) nanograms per milliliter
  • 250-500 nm/L (updated 2007-09-20; was 150-200 in the talk) nanomoles per liter

Life Extension Foundation offers blood tests that members can order online with the help of one of their staff physicians. You can order the vitamin D test separately, or you can save money by ordering it as part of a comprehensive panel.

Take D3 morning to midday

Steve Fowkes observes that for circadian rhythm reasons, Vitamin D3 should be taken morning through midday.

Other D topics

Dr. Prendergast talked about Dr. John Cannell, who is a principal of The Vitamin D Council. Their web site has a lot of good information.

In the online video of the talk at 17:15 Dr. Joe holds up a copy of the January, 2007 issue of his newsletter. In that issue, Dr. Joe links to this Vitamin D Council article which supports his recommendation that the daily maintenance dose of D3 should be 10,000 IU.

Byetta (Lizard spit)

This new drug is useful for regenerating tissue in Diabetes Type 2. Some younger people who have had Type 1 for not too long have some success with this drug.

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