Select Page

Yes, Northern Hemisphere Summer is now with us and everyone?s thoughts begin to turn towards ?Holidays?.

Do you remember this one? Many of you won?t as it is from a long time ago, 1963. ?Summer Holiday? starring Cliff Richard.

Notice the bluish ?2CV? following the bus. I had one like that. Took my mother on holiday to Switzerland but we kept well clear of all motorways!

Summer Holidays are really good if you live north of latitude 30* or south of latitude 30.

Sorry, Australia you are in mid-winter at the moment. Why are they good? Simple really, they give everybody an opportunity to expose themselves to the healthy rays coming from the sun and that brings us to the topic of Vitamin D. This is a fat soluble pro-hormone. It is produced by the kidneys and it controls blood calcium levels as well as phosphorus. This combination is a super bone builder which can keep osteoporosis at bay. The kidneys convert D to calcitriol which is the active substance in the body. It has other names as well. Ergocalciferol also known as Vitamin D 2 is derived from a food source. Yes, it can come from food but in reality, only about 10 % of it does. True Vitamin D is called Cholecalciferol and that converts from sunlight. So why is it so important?

It works because it has a receptor that is present in all body cells. This regulates calcium levels and ensures the calcium is distributed to the right places and absorbed correctly.

Too much calcium in the blood produces the likelihood of it combing with fats to make a coating that lines arteries and blood vessels. This is atherosclerosis. Like furring in water pipes, this plaque can lead to high blood pressure and other heart related complications. Vitamin D protects against muscle shrinkage and weakness. Another important function is it acts as a guardian against the hormone-induced cancers like breast and prostate.

Men Dancing the Night Away


This wonderful pro hormone increases testosterone levels in men. A March 2011 study published in PubMed showed this can be by as much as 10%. That could explain why going away for two weeks in the sun so often shifts a man?s focus to sex, but there could be other factors at play here, too! Besides, I know the study was in place for longer than the statutory two weeks which is what you can expect in your package to Mykonos. As for the girls, well there is some mixed news there as well. A Canadian study showed the increased D levels led to a decrease in progesterone by a whacking 10% and estrogen by a more lowly 3%. Lower estrogen leads to easier periods but so does increased progesterone so this is a mixed bag. It doesn?t really help those approaching or passing into menopause though. There is some more good news but of a different kind. Vitamin D can help a malfunctioning thyroid, it increases immune efficiency, soothes arthritis decreases colon polyps and aids blood clotting. It also enhances mood and eases depression. There is a lot to say for going away on holiday isn?t there?

To really get the benefit of sunlight you need to bare your body to twenty minutes of sunlight daily. In the warm holiday destinations, this is best done when the sun?s rays are not at

Sunbathing enhances Vit D levels

Catching Vitamin D

Catching Vitamin D

their strongest namely early in the morning or later in the afternoon. Then you can absorb the sun?s ultra violet -B rays and not get burned. After that put on a big hat and shelter under an umbrella as you laze away the days on the beach. That?s the healthy way to do it. However, a trophy to show work–mates and neighbours of having gone away on holiday is a” suntan“. This means the majority of people slather themselves with sunscreen and lie out under the full ferocity of Mediterranean sunshine for the course of the day. No wonder they feel tired before dinner!

Sunscreens were invented in the 1930s.

Four chemists can between them take the prize for this. Franz Gretier?s ?Glacier Cream? originally?went on sale in 1938 and was the first real commercial product.
In 1962 this Austrian scientist introduced the concept of ?Sun Protection Factor Rating or SPF” This is the problem. These sunscreens are designed to filter out the harmful rays from the sun.
Here is how it works; the ultra-violet B-rays from sunshine stimulate the body to make Vitamin D3 in the skin as a reaction to cholesterol. The commercially available sunscreens are designed to filter out the UV-B because in excess this causes sunburn. But it also excludes UV-A rays which help make Vitamin D from cholesterol. That means it also filters out all the life-enhancing Vitamin D. The higher the sun factor the more of the healthy rays are blocked. The result is you are deprived of life-giving Vitamin D 3. With the advent of commercially produced sunscreens the Vitamin D deficiency syndrome arrived on the scene. That comment is only partially true as diet plays a role, too.

Vitamin D deficiency in the third world has been an issue. People with dark skins block Vitamin D formation from sunlight. To make matters worse the skin cancer scare hit the streets and sunscreen sales went through the roof. The result contributed to a growing deficiency of Vitamin D in the first world that caused another set of problems.

What?s the solution?

I gave it to you a few moments ago. Go out and expose your body to the sunshine for no more than 20 minutes when the sun?s rays are not at their strongest. Namely earlier or later in the day. For the rest of the time cover up. Of course, it?s also perfectly OK to slather on copious amounts of sunscreen after you have completed your sun exposure as this action will block out the UV-B rays as you have had your ration of healthy Vitamin D for the day. However, some ingredients in the sunscreen are far from healthy but we?ll save that discussion for another day!

The next solution Is location.

If you want to fully benefit from the power of the sun?s rays you must first live somewhere the sun shines sufficiently strongly to promote the necessary reaction. If you live north of latitude 30* which in Europe places you above of the Mediterranean whilst in North America it is everywhere except Florida and Hawaii. In Australia you are OK in Darwin but certainly not in Sydney, Melbourne or Adelaide for that matter. Yes, you can go to sunny places in your respective summer, but what happens in the winter? In the winter you will be sunshine deprived, but you still need Vitamin D. What can you do about it?

Live south of or north of the 30*s

The sunshine latitudes

You could move somewhere sunnier, but that does not always work. I live in Thailand and I can see lots of people who are Vitamin D deficient. Why is that? Simple answer they don?t go out in the sun enough. People have to go to work and cannot afford to spend twenty minutes daily exposing themselves to the health-giving sunshine! So what is the solution in this case?

There is only one really. Sun tanning lamps are not going to do the trick so you will need to look diet and supplements. The first place to start is with foods. These foods will boost Vitamin D levels.

  • Eat more oily fish. Mackerel is good.
  • Take cod liver oil. ( Be careful many brands can be rancid which does more harm than good)
  • Sweet Potatoes are a good source of D and they are much healthier than ordinary potatoes.
  • Sardines are good but they can contain unacceptably high levels of mercury.
  • Eat the yolk of eggs. Why do people say egg yolks are unhealthy? The best part of the egg is in the yolk.
  • Liver
  • Drink water that is rich is silica. You can buy a supplement to add or certain brands of bottled water like Evian and Volvic are generously high
  • Take supplements
  • Vitamin D Supplements are generally made from lanolin. This is the fat of lamb?s wool.

A 2008 study suggested Vitamin D 2 was a preferable alternative this is made from shiitake or chanterelle mushroom. The product is usually irradiated!!.

That?s an excellent solution but sadly only 10% of Vitamin D derived from foods is actually converted to calciferol. The RDA for Vitamin D supplementation is 400 IU daily. In view of the preceding comment, this is not enough. In my book ?A Cat Has Nine Lives And So Do You ?I recommend 1500 IU daily. Now, you can overdose on Vitamin D, so I would suggest 1500IU for 1 month and then cut back to 1000 daily. It might be a good idea to get your Doctor to check your levels from time to time.

However, recall an earlier comment. You only absorb about 10% of your Vitamin D requirements from food or supplements for that matter. Why is this? Absorption can be blocked by an unhealthy liver or malfunctioning kidneys. A fatty liver, poor bile production via the gallbladder will all block vital vitamin D absorption. In ?A Cat Has Nine Lives? The first step is to clean the kidneys.

A Cat Has Nine Lives

The key to wellness and detox

Let?s begin

Two ever popular green herbs, rich in vitamins and minerals serve as powerful ?kidney cleansers?. These are Parsley and Coriander (Cilantro). Both play a big part in fighting inflammation forming free-radicals. Inflammation is the first step on a road that can lead to cancer, heart, kidney and lung disease as well as degenerative bone problems such as osteoporosis.

Studies have shown how Coriander leaves bind to the heavy metals because they contain biochemical magnets that include citric acid, phytic acid and certain electrolytes. The result is an effective free-radical scavenger. It is so powerful that simply placing a bunch of Coriander leaves in a bowl of suspect water can purify it.

The answer is to take a small bunch of cilantro (Coriander) and parsley and steep it in a cup of boiling water and drink first thing every morning for a month.

The second step is to do a Liver Cleanse. Remember if your liver is toxic for whatever reason you cannot properly absorb Vitamin D.

Here?s the test: mix some sea salt into a large glass of carbonated spring water (it must be carbonated). A half teaspoon of sea salt should give the water a salty ?tang?. Squeeze the juice of half a fresh lemon into the mixture. This gives it a zesty ?salty/lemon flavor. ?Drink slowly; the results are determined by the condition of your liver. If it?s ?sick?, you?ll get diarrhea pretty quickly. Diarrhea is not bad, remember this! It?s one of the main ways the body rids itself of toxins. If the liver is ailing and diarrhea ensues, drink two glasses of the carbonated spring water and lemon/ salt mixture every morning for a week. After that, you are ready for the Liver Cleanse itself.

Liver Flush (5 Day Program)

Day 1. Take the juice of 1 lemon, one lime and half an orange. Place in blender with some spring water and ice. Add 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil plus a small chunk of ginger and a slice of raw turmeric as well as 1 clove of garlic. Blend and drink

Day 2: Take the juice of 1 lemon, one lime and half an orange. Place in blender with some spring water and ice. Add 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil plus a small chunk of ginger and a slice of raw turmeric as well as 2 cloves of garlic. Blend and drink.

Day 3: Take the juice of 1 lemon, one lime and half an orange. Place in blender with some spring water and ice. Add 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil plus a small chunk of ginger and a slice of raw turmeric as well as 3 cloves of garlic. Blend and drink.

Day 4: Take the juice of 1 lemon, one lime and half an orange. Place in blender with some spring water and ice. Add 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil plus a small chunk of ginger and a slice of raw turmeric as well as 4 cloves of garlic. Blend and drink.

Day 5: Take the juice of 1 lemon, one lime and half an orange. Place in blender with some spring water and ice. Add 5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil plus a small chunk of ginger and a slice of raw turmeric as well as 5 cloves of garlic. Blend and drink.

Take 4 ?Propolis? tablet on each day of the cleanse. Propolis is a resinous substance that the bees take from buds and flowers to seal off spaces in the hive. This creates a healthier environment for their colony. Chinese researchers have found that this brownish substance incorporates?isoferulic, sinapinic and caffeic acids? .These are powerful antibacterial agents, which will kill-off the pathogens you release during the ?liver cleanse?.

This is a semi-fast. Eat salads, soups and raw foods during the 5-day program. Drink lots of water, and use herbal teas. Avoid sugar and simple carbohydrates.

Eat Parsley to take away the garlic breath. Eat ?living foods? Salads, Carrot Salads, Beet Salads, Gazpacho, Avocados, Potassium Broth Soup (this is cooked), Beet Juice, wheatgrass juice. Drink, as well Green Juice that has been freshly made, and include smoothies, only vegetables for the five days.

When making smoothies with leafy green or cruciferous vegetables, it?s recommended you cook them before use. Place in a pan, bring to the boil and then allow the water to cool off, remove vegetables and / place them in a blender. Brassica and other leafy greens should never be eaten raw as they contain lectins which are often toxic,

Certain medications also get in the way of Vitamin D absorption. These include over the counter antacids as well as prescription drugs such as statins and other cholesterol lowering medications, cortisone and diuretics like Thiazide.

Vitamin D builds strong and healthy bones. Rickets, a disease in children which shows alteration in bone growth Incidence of rickets is increasing post the year 2000 according to a study conducted by the Mayo Clinic. Increasing Incidence of Nutritional Rickets: A Population-Based Study in Olmsted County, Minnesota

The cause was not always poor diet and a lack of Vitamin D due to sunshine deprivation and other factors have to be considered. However, this is shocking as rickets is not considered a first world disease. This condition is known as Osteomalacia in adults.

In 2017 The New England Journal of Medicine ran a study that showed there was a 57% deficiency in older people with dangerously low levels of D-25 hydroxyvitamin D-3 (the usual marker used by the medical profession). This was taken as the reason for the increasing number of cases of osteoporosis in an aging population Broken hips are becoming very common and there is very little that can be done once the accident has occurred. Prevention is always better than cure.

  • Be sure to expose yourself to the sun. Summer sunshine holidays are always good.
  • If you live above latitude 30 in the northern hemisphere or below in the south you are sure to be sun-deprived for much of the year.
  • Eat foods that are rich in Vitamin D
  • Tale a 1000 IU supplement daily. Take the pill with your multivitamin which contains calcium for better absorption.
  • Drink filtered water to avoid fluoride and chlorine. These interfere with the assimilation of Vitamin D.
  • Take regular exercise. Thirty-five minutes per day is all that is required but you need to get out of breath. Walking around the shopping mall, won?t do the trick!

Hope that all helps. Please feel free to ask a question or leave a comment below and better still if you have questions or queries drop us an e-mail and we can arrange a cost-free Skype or What?s app call to discuss and hopefully answer your questions. The e-mail is

Speak again soon

Dr. Alister