Category Archives: Well Being

Vitamin D vs Dementia

Vitamin D Pills

Most individuals are aware that vitamin D is necessary for a healthy, strong skeleton. But you may not be aware that vitamin D is also necessary for a healthy brain. One way to aid in preventing dementia is to make sure that your body is optimized for vitamin D. 

Vitamin D helps to regulate the immune system by suppressing inflammation.

Recent research has shown that dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s Disease, is associated with an inflammatory response. That is, Alzheimer’s Disease [AD] is an autoimmune disease where the immune system overreacts to normal cells by viewing those normal cells as invaders and activating the immune response to fight and destroy those cells.

This could also explain why AD is more prevalent in women than in men since women are more susceptible to many types of autoimmune diseases than are men.

As it happens, vitamin D moderates the immune system and has been shown to be effective in lowering the risk of contracting autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and autoimmune thyroid disease. 

Two different research studies (one at Tufts University and the other at Brigham and Women’s Hospital) were published in 2022 that showed the vitamin D supplementation had a positive effect on brain health. Both studies showed a reduced incidence of AD in those individuals who took vitamin D supplements.

Karen Costenbader, senior author of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital study, recommends that women 55 and older and men 50 and older take 2000 IU/day of vitamin D supplementation.

Kyla Shea, an author of the Tufts’ study, is much more conservative in her recommendation of 600 IU/day up to age 70 and then 800 IU/day for those who are older than 70.

Frankly, I think Shea’s recommendations are far too low. Only individuals who have extremely low blood levels of vitamin D will show any improvement at 600 or 800 IU/day of vitamin D supplementation.

Extensive research has shown that supplementation up to 10,000 IU/day is safe. To maintain optimal blood levels of vitamin D (25 OHD) between 40 and 60 ng/ml (100 -150 nmol/l), recent research has shown that daily intake of vitamin D must be in excess of 5000 IU/day. If an individual is overweight or obese, they will need at least 10,000 IU/day.

Vitamin D receptors are present on nearly all cells in our bodies. Therefore, sub-optimal levels of vitamin D are associated with a wide variety of health problems including autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular function, cancers, musculo-skeletal issues, and, as has now been shown, dementia. 

During the summer months, I take 2000 IU/day of supplemental vitamin D which I gradually increase to 5000 IU/day during the winter months. But after reading these articles, and, given my age, I plan to increase my baseline intake to 5000 IU/day rising to 7000 IU/day during the winter months.

Vitamin D supplementation is an easy, relatively inexpensive way to optimize your health and protect your brain.

Vaccines and Life Expectancy

In the US, there is a positive correlation between the development of vaccines for different diseases and an increase in life expectancy. This positive correlation holds from the development of the polio vaccine to Covid. But Covid vaccine resistance has ended this positive trend.

Watch Vaccines & LIfe Expectancy to learn more.

Human Food and Agriculture

Dr. Anth Talks released several videos that form an important collection.  The topics discussed include what humans are meant to eat and how the development of agriculture created major changes to ecology, diet, and human health.

Those videos are collected in this post for ease of access and viewing.

Check out the Dr. Anth Talks You-Tube Channel for all the Dr. Anth Talks videos.

Dr. Anth Talks YouTube Channel

Greetings, Everyone,

Between March 2, 2021 and April 19, 2021, I published 15 short videos on my Dr. Anth Talks Channel. Each week, 2 short videos are published on topics related to being human in a complex world.

Dr. Anth Talks

Check out the past videos and make sure not to miss any in the future by subscribing to my Dr. Anth Talks Channel.

Thank you!

Bridges or Walls

I just finished reading Our Political Nature: The Evolutionary Origins of What Divides Us by Avi Tuschman, an appropriate topic for this election year.  While well-written, this  heavily-researched, scientific analysis of where and why individuals fall on the political spectrum of left to right might not be everyone’s idea of summer reading, so I will give a very brief summary of its main points.

Conservatives are extremely concerned with protecting their in-group from all those who are in the out-groups, which is the vast majority of the rest of the world.  Fear drives their ideology, leading them to want to build walls, both metaphorical and actual, to protect their in-group from ‘invasion’ and change.

Liberals are open to new experiences and groups.  They are drawn to those who are different from themselves and don’t really see the world in terms of in-groups and out-groups.  Rather, they see everyone’s humanity.  Because of their desire to connect, liberals build bridges.  They view change as a virtue rather than as something to fear.

As with all traits, physical and behavioral, genes and environments interact to produce a bell-shaped distribution curve.  Most individuals fall in the middle: they are conservative in some ways and liberal in others.  In political terms, this means that compromise is possible.  However, as one moves towards the tails (i.e. ‘right-wing’ and ‘left’wing’), individuals become more ideologically rigid and less compromise is possible.  In fact, at the extremes, compromise is disdained and vilified.

The ideologies of the extreme right (rigid hierarchies, extreme inequality, little individual freedom) and the extreme left (extreme equality, much  individual freedom, little hierarchy) are utopian in nature: both believe that they are creating the perfect world.  However, both become authoritarian regimes where the rulers are treated as semi-divine.  Tuschman considers communist regimes as exemplars of the extreme left.  Although he does not explicitly state this, it appears that he would place the social democracies of Europe more within the liberal section of the curve than the extreme left.

Our Political Nature was published in 2013, well before the current election cycle, so I am extrapolating from Tuschman’s analysis for the remainder of this essay.  While the US has yet to devolve into either extreme form of authoritarian control, the current US House of Representatives is under the sway of individuals who express an extreme right-wing ideology.  Compromise is evil and their patron saint is the semi-divine Ronald Reagan whose name has been plastered everywhere.

Until this election cycle, the US has not had an extreme-left candidate who managed to obtain national prominence, but this changed with the candidacy of Bernie Sanders who has a utopian, leftist ideology of revolution leading to extreme equality.  As with right-wing extremists, left-wing extremists are unwilling to compromise.  Their ideology is right and just; therefore, compromise is not possible.  I imagine this is why Sanders and his staunchest followers are finding it almost impossible to accept defeat.  It also explains the cult of personality Bernie has engendered.  If he somehow became president, I would expect that his name would be plastered everywhere.  Fortunately for the US, Bernie Sanders will not be president as, according to Tuschman,  the extremes always lead to an authoritarian government no matter what their utopian intentions were.

Compromise is not a dirty word.  It is what enables liberals and conservatives to work together to create a functioning, democratic government; one where there can be tariffs (walls) to protect the country while also having treaties (bridges) to bring differing groups closer together.