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How to Know if Your Genetics Contribute to Blue Light Sensitivity and Poor Sleep — and What to Do About It

In a previous post, I discussed the role that vitamin A plays in generating our circadian rhythm and ensuring good sleep and alertness during the day by interacting with a protein in our retina known as melanopsin. There is a very small but growing body of literature suggesting that variations in the gene for melanopsinContinue Reading

14 Responses to How to Know if Your Genetics Contribute to Blue Light Sensitivity and Poor Sleep — and What to Do About It

  1. framistat says:

    Uh, no. 23andMe not genotyped with the V4 chip.

  2. Deborah says:

    Nice post, Chris, thanks! Sadly, that was one of the genes 23andMe didn’t genotype for me, BUT I know I’m enough of a delicate flower and light sleeper that I behave as if I’m CT or CC. Computer is off at least a couple hours before bed, and rowing in the early morning definitely helps set a better circadian rhythm getting me outside in the light.

  3. Christy says:

    Sadly, this wasn’t genotyped for me either. šŸ™ Boo….

  4. Indigo says:

    No such SNP on my chip!! Boooooo!! But I sleep really well so perhaps I’m TT.

  5. Christine says:

    23andme didn’t genotype this either for me- it’s really frustrating too because I have major issues with sleeping

  6. patricia says:

    Thanks for the useable suggestions about light exposure. What did you find to be optimal ratio of A/D/K to be in your case? Thank you.

  7. Steve says:

    Thanks!. I’m CT. Also, like you, I have light blue eyes. That explains a lot. This also may explain why I’m not a sun worshipper, and have been diagnosed with “Reverse” SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).

  8. Laura says:

    Mine isn’t genotyped either. I wonder why they do some and not others?

    Steve, interesting on the “reverse” SAD — I’ve never heard of it, but I relate to the description! And I have blue eyes.

  9. Donna says:

    I”m CC, blue eyes. Blue blocking glasses every night and blacked out bedroom, open window year round, and sleeping mask. Usually sleep like a baby but every once in a while I have trouble falling asleep. I am definitely not a sun lover. Don’t know about reverse SAD, but too much sun makes me irritable!

  10. Su says:

    From the V3 chip: I show as CT (also blue-eyed of course). While I’m sad to see that, it is consistent with my ongoing sleep difficulties. I make a point of heading outside as soon as I wake up although I started this more for SAD–even living in bright desert light, it feels too dark in winter.

    Night is where it really gets tough to carry out these recommendations, as I am a lifelong night owl. And with nearsightedness, it’s a bit hazardous to lurch around the house for hours in dim light. I am trying to wear them as much as I can stand in late evening, and sometimes they do seem to help induce a feeling of sleepiness earlier than I’d feel on my own.

    The strict consistency recommendation seems puzzling to me–what do you do when you travel and have less control over your schedule and environment? Seems like you’d be doomed to get no decent sleep on the road ever if you have become conditioned to a strictly consistent sleep routine. I have always preferred to adapt to some variability because life is more like that.

  11. patricia says:

    Hi Chris, still wondering what your thoughts are about a/d/k ratio? trying to figure out a safe daily dosage of vitamin a, which i assume would be partly dependent on keeping a good ratio with d & k. i think ideas about ratio could be helpful to all of us light-eyed people who may need more vitamin a. thank you.

  12. Joyce says:

    Thanks SO MUCH for this post Chris! I don’t know my TT/CT status yet, but I have light blue eyes, European ancestry and major insomnia problems for many years. I discovered the low blue lights site a couple of years ago, and have been a good customer! I now use the blue-blocking glasses, night lights, and other bulbs, flashlight, light blocking shades, etc, and it has helped a great deal, although I still have occasional tough nights. I will look into increasing my vitamin A intake via liver (cooked of course in lard so I get that vit. D balance). I agree with you about the strict consistency needed for this to work. I will show your article to my husband, who, while supportive of my efforts to get a good nights sleep, does sometimes think I’ll a little nuts about the lights :). Love your research!

  13. SunnySky says:

    Thank you! Very interesting.
    I looked up our 23andme SNPs and found my husband and daughter have at least one ‘C,’ so definitely passed on your article/blog.

    Husband is C/C
    I am T/T
    Our daughter is C/T

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As the Cholesterol Consensus Crumbles, the Stance Against Saturated Fat Softens

In the last year, we have seen the consensus against cholesterol shatter and crumble before our eyes. The consensus against saturated fat has remained strong, but in the last week we have seen it begin to soften. Here’s my take.Continue Reading

3 Responses to As the Cholesterol Consensus Crumbles, the Stance Against Saturated Fat Softens

  1. Pam Schoenfeld says:

    Common sense, not so common anymore, should prevail. Thank you for helping us make sense of this. Speaking as a registered dietitian and director of the Healthy Nation Coalition, your analysis will help free other RDs from the grip of the Dietary Guidelines and make us more effective practitioners.

  2. James Sola says:

    I will try and make this short. I come from three generations of really bad heart genes with MI’s and by-passes prior to age 50. I stopped statin drugs 4 years ago due to near fatal ventricular tachycardia. My cholesterol immediately jumped to the 300 level causing much concern.

    My cardiologist and I were not happy with the results of a stress test and scheduled a angiogram. Results were crystal clear arteries.

    I attribute results to K2. Albeit, I lean toward wild, organic and grass fed supplemented with fish oil ubiquinol and creatine for cardiac energy.

    Thanks for your work re-discovering K2.


    • Lyn Co says:

      I too have high cholesterol and am not going to take statins. Would you share with me the information to know how much K2, Ubiquinold CoQ10, and Creatine for thi s to take? Thank you.

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Vitamin A Plays an Essential Role in Setting the Circadian Rhythm and Allowing Good Sleep

Although I have long been aware of vitamin A’s essential role in creating vision, I only recently discovered that vitamin A plays an analogous role in setting our circadian rhythm. When blue light from sunshine enters our eyes, vitamin A translates it into a signal that tells our brain it is daytime. When this signalContinue Reading

15 Responses to Vitamin A Plays an Essential Role in Setting the Circadian Rhythm and Allowing Good Sleep

  1. Oya Paugh says:

    Excellent article. I would add that some people have a genetic variation, a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) A379V and/or R267S which cause them to be less efficient in converting carotenoids to retinol. I have been blessed with both SNPs which reduce my ability to convert carotenoids to retinol by about 69%
    For many years I had night blindness and respiratory issues. I was also often craving liver but didn’t make the connection to a possible increased need for Vitamin A. I tried taking beta carotene for the night blindness, but that didn’t help.
    The single most useful information I got from doing 23andMe genetic analysis was finding out about the SNPs relating to Vitamin A. I started to take cod liver oil regularly and this improved the night vision, and the respiratory issues went away completely.
    I blogged about this on my website
    quoting some of your work.
    BTW, I loved your presentations at the conference in Anaheim.

  2. Daria says:

    Hello Chris, thank you for the excellent article! Any thoughts on this relatively old study connecting vitamin A intake (as a supplement) to increased incidence of lung cancer? Sorry, if you have already commented on this.

    Thank you very much!

  3. Linda Maddison says:

    Thank you Christopher, great article! I have just downloaded f.lux hoping it will help me sleep better, big difference already with the lack of glare from my computer screen, seemed very dull at first but getting used to it. How many grams of liver in one serving? & should it be organic?

    • bejaka says:

      Hi there, I just read this article, I hope you only eat organic, grass fed liver… research it and you’ll understand why!… good luck. I have been dealing with insomnia for 3 years and hope to get some relief soon.

    • Christopher Masterjohn says:

      I think you could consider 100 grams a serving, but I don’t think it is very useful to weigh out the liver so precisely unless you are counting calories. I would say organic and pastured is highly preferable.

  4. Alex McMahon says:

    Great article!

  5. carri R foss says:

    I hope to hear Chris answer these questions soon.

  6. patricia says:

    Hi Chris, If you’re comfortable, please say more about how you determined you needed relatively higher doses of vitamin a. I think it would help others to understand your thinking and experience.

    I have always wondered about this myself, have keratosis pilaris on my upper arms, and keratosis on my tongue, dry skin since childhood, history of teen acne, and now rosacea, long time sleep difficulties, very light eyes. When I supplement with vitamin D things seem to get worse, although I know I still need some vitamin D. I have a hard time figuring out a right dose, since so much health info extols the virtues of high vitamin d, and says anything above 25k for vitamin a is dangerous.

    Thanks for sharing your experience/perspective.

  7. Melissa says:

    Experiencing sleep problems for the first time in my life, and trying to come to the bottom of it. I’m going on 2+ months of 3-5 hours a night, and I’m really suffering from it. I read this article when it first came out, and got a blue light filter for my computer. As a grad student with young children, I have no choice but to use my computer at night. I still make a point to be in bed no later than 11, though. I make it to bed by 10 many nights now, I just wake up after a few hours and get get back to sleep. I’m really trying to get this figured out, my cognition is starting to suffer greatly, and I’m not the mother I want to be. Interestingly. my sleep problems didn’t start until after I got the blue light filter for my computer.

    I have excellent night vision, would that rule out a vit A deficiency?

  8. David Sander says:

    One thing you can watch for Vitamin A Retinol concerns is the rate and complete healing of the skin and other protein rich tissues. I had my concern for a kind of standing injury on my knee from falls there during marathon training. The skin there was healed but thin and red for months after it should have healed fully. It’s status improved toward normal after I decided to go to taking 4000 IU of Retinol Vitamin A in cod liver oil. I was 62 at the time so many would have chalked this effect up to increasing age. Low vitamin A status is also known to reduce recovery from intense exercise as noted in other discussions by Chris. The discussion of an optimal ratio between Vitamin A and Vitamin D which both participate in many body reactions is ongoing.

    This is a concern, about three years ago I had an unusual for me hamstring pull that prevented my running for three months. After a year of this healing up slowly, I found out that the injury was likely due to a copper deficiency, copper being needed in balance with zinc for the making of connective tissue, red blood cells, and certain antioxidants. After adding 6 mg of copper to balance with my 50 mg of zinc, my connective tissue slowly got stronger, my anemia improved so there was a reduction of 30 seconds in my mile run time and training started to make me stronger again.

  9. Mufasa says:

    Hey, thanks so much for this article!

    I suffered from delayed sleep phase syndrome for the first 26 years of my life. And it is freaking horrible, you are basically in a jet lag all the time. I fall asleep between 2AM-4AM. I have searched the internet for cures, and I felt like I tried everything. Nothing freaking worked.

    Now I read this article last week, I begin getting 50.000 IU of vitamin A daily from liver or supplement (I take retinil from idealabs I lay in the grass in the park for this first 30 minutes of the day, trying to catch some sun. And I wear blue blocking glasses in the evening from around 9PM.

    Yesterday was the first time I fall asleep before 12 PM, I really can’t remember the last time this happened, thank you so much.

    Could you maybe add something about delayed sleep phase syndrome to this article? So that it is easier for people that search for this in google to find this article.

  10. David says:

    Hey Mufasa, thanks for adding the words “delayed sleep phase” to your comment! That got me here when I was searching for that plus vitamin D. I hadn’t thought about vitamin A until I saw this article. I will give it a try tomorrow.
    My doc never suggested it, even though I have crazy low Vit D in blood work. I was on Rx D2 50kIU for weeks and it was unchanged at rock bottom. Finally switched to D3 and it went up.

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When SAMe Helps, Consider Magnesium and Your Metabolic Rate

I have written quite a bit recently about the methylation cycle and its relation to nutrient balance. At Wise Traditions this November in Anaheim, one of my three talks will expand these ideas to include targeting methylation nutrition to individual needs based on genetics and health status. Here, I’d like to chip away at oneContinue Reading

8 Responses to When SAMe Helps, Consider Magnesium and Your Metabolic Rate

  1. D. Smith says:

    Several years ago I tried to use SAM-e because it was recommended to me for help with anxiety. This supplement was not that expensive at the time so I tried it for about 1 week and discovered it made my anxiety even worse, and also created a new problem – panic attacks. What type of methionine rich snacks are you referring to in your article?

    I have had homocystein checked (only once about 6 years ago) because my doctor’s office will not test for it, they do the useless cholesterol testing. I do not have a family history of cholesterol type issues, so to me that’s a useless, non-indicative “test”. But homocystein is different. Mine was perfectly normal at that time. I use magnesium in various ways (oils, soaking in epsom salt baths, Mag Asporotate capsules, etc) so I think my mag levels are adequate, but my metabolism is extremely slow. I’ve done the basal body temp testing many times and it shows no issues should be present. My sleep cycle is bad – I’m awake more than I’m asleep ever since menopause.

    We eat pasture raised meats, very little chicken however because we don’t have access, but we do consume pastured chicken eggs often. We drink good water, have only occasional alcohol, take few supplements, and we try to eat “organic” as much as possible, although the status of organic foods is up for debate. I try to grow a garden but for the past three years we’ve had such different weather patterns in this area and such a short growing season we’ve had little to no garden fresh homegrown veggies, so we must depend on farmers markets (also questionable) and food co-ops. Still, we try.

    Do you have any suggestions as to why my metabolism might be slow or my sleep cycle always being interrupted?

    • ROBIN WILLIAMS says:

      I hope you revisit this website to view my response. I did research on magnesium forms. The mag asportate was THE WORST for increasing anxiety. I quit taking it and went back to mag citrate.

  2. Luis Martinez B says:

    I have solved my cold intolerance and low Matabolism . 3 changes have done. 1.- TS Supplementation from Dr. Wilson, 2.- HGH Glandular Stimuli via Peptides, Sermorelin and CJC No Dac ( females use with Dac..). And the inclusion of Nat’l Dissecated Thyroid extract Armour plus my 20 years levothyroxine supp. ( Actually I have dimiinished my levo dose due to higher metabolic rate…? ) LMB ( mexico) forgive my spelling. From the three factors I guess the most important is the first one, it took about 2 months to be felt but the change in body temp. was very noticeable…

  3. Allan says:

    Such a treat indeed to read an article that is able to blend complicated and vital science and nutritional issues together in understandable language that gives us useable and beneficial health information. SAMe does indeed carry a top shelf price, and it is pleasing to know that we have viable alternatives.
    Even though genetics is probably the most complex of sciences, we have learned more in the past few years that all that was ever known by humans. Genetic sciences are still in their infancy and there is little we can do now to intervene with genetic disorders, However, that is about to change in extraordinary and profound ways in the very near future (More on that later).
    Regarding relevant supplements and whole food suggestions, please consult your primary care provider before eating or drinking anything.
    For those of us who are cost conscious, research dug up some interesting facts:
    Magnesium: 400mg $.06 ea.
    D3 2000IU $.02 ea.
    K – K2 complex $.09 ea.
    A (as beta carotene from marine algae Salina) $.10 (every other day)
    A and E Red Palm Oil 1 tsp. $.10
    (Sources: Vitacost, Cosco, Sprouts, WalMart)

    For those of us who prefer AU-NATUREL :
    With a juicer/extractor, make two or more gallons (for less than $25) of super concentrated whole juice mix containing mixed berries, asparagus, brussel sprouts, broccoli, beets with tops, carrots, red cabbage, black grapes, kale, spinach, mushrooms, red bell peppers, tomatoes, and anything else you like.
    This concoction provides copious amounts of fiber, micronutrients and carbohydrates, all in the best whole foods form possible, and it forms the basis of a novel and extraordinary diet spawned from deep research that is a hybrid mix of the best parts of the paleo and Mediterranean diets blended with the dietary recommendations from the Weston A. Price Foundation’s Wist traditions…
    (More on this later)

  4. Oya Paugh says:

    Hi Chris,
    excellent information. Thank you. The most practical and cheapest way to check for basal body temperature that I know of, is to check basal temperature before getting up in the morning with a thermometer. Do you feel that this is a reliable way to determine basal body temperature? I am familiar with Broda Barnes’ work but wonder if you have any more information about this?

  5. Yinai says:

    Another approach to all of this is to consider that certain types of foods will lead to imbalances and thus problems with methylation etc, instead of saying that people are different. Yes, people are genetically different, and the bodies of people that are sick, aged etc may be less efficient in doing various processes, but people also eat differently.

    Today the average American probably eat around 150 gm muscle meat and 50 gm cheese. He eats less egg yolks, drinks less milk, and eats less organ meats than in the past.

    For example while 75 gm misc organ meats + 75 gm muscle meats plus 500 ml whole milk can provide 4 mg vitamin B5 and 400 mg choline, 150 gm muscle meats plus 50 gm cheese may provide just a little over 1 mg b5 and 100 mg choline.

    In other words vitamin B5 is a nutrient we should investigate more. It is related to all these things; metabolism, fatty liver, high LDL cholesterol etc. High doses (pantethine) seems to be able to help fix these things, but smaller amounts found in natural foods along with other co-nutrients (like choline) may be more effective, and there will be synergy effects.

    While human milk is low in folate, b12, methionine etc, it is relatively higher than other vitamins vs the RDA for choline and b5 (as well as for vitamin C and vitamin A).

    I think thereĀ“s a case to be made for eating leafy greens, to consider it a special type of needed food, not only a Ā«vegetableĀ» along with all the others. ItĀ“s not only because of nutrients like folate and K1, but likely many others, especially perhaps chlorophyll – I think chlorophyll, also related to the detox process, can be considered kind of a semi essential nutrient, that will greatly assist when other processes fails.

    In nature carnivores obtain relatively little magnesium, and often 10-30 times more calcium than magnesium. The human body also has around 30 times more calcium than magnesium. In milk itĀ“s like 10 times more. It is clearly a nutrient related mostly to carbohydrate metabolism, and lots of white sugar should cause a deficiency, and to a lesser extent refined grains, while fruits, tubers, potatoes etc will provide all the needed magnesium (and other nutrients). Whole grains would be rich in magnesium, but not in a very good form, and will miss many other nutrients needed for carbohydrate metabolism, such as potassium. The combination of refined grains and large quantities of vegetables, as in the case of Japanese and Italian cuisine, seems to be fine.

    Anyone living on pizza and soft drinks would obviously get all these problems. Supplementing magnesium will just fix the tip of the iceberg for them.

    It is common to observe that milk drinkers are slim, while heavy cheese eaters are often fat.

    The role of fruit and natural sugar and potassium in metabolism should also be investigated. ItĀ“s been shown in some of the paleo diet trials that just replacing whole grains with fruits effectively boost metabolism and leads to weight loss.

    But yeah, eating enough calories and calories is the most essential of all. But in conjunction with the required nutrients in a reasonable balance with each other.

  6. Terri DeCaire says:

    Thank you Chris for sharing such an interesting article. What type of health practitioner could help me diagnose and treat the nutrient imbalances related to the methylation cycle? My GP doesn’t seem knowledgeable about such issues, even though the lab has flagged many problems with my blood work related to folate, B12 etc.

    Kind regards,

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Are Kombucha and Other Fermented Foods Toxic Because of Their Aldehyde Content?

In my last post, I addressed the first of two questions raised by a reader in response to a newsletter circulated by a representative of Biotics Research Canada, citing articles from Dr. Lawrence Wilson and Dr. Mark Hyman. In that post, I addressed the question of whether we should avoid animal protein in order toContinue Reading

10 Responses to Are Kombucha and Other Fermented Foods Toxic Because of Their Aldehyde Content?

  1. Christina Fritz says:

    If kombucha is out, should we consider kefir to be okay or a substitute for those looking for pro-biotics in another form?

  2. So glad that I first read the comments on this at the Daily Lipid as the main retort there gave me a great “heads up” on this article – sparing me from needless anxiety about good old kombucha – a long-time fermented tea drink that I have been making and drinking consistently for over fourteen years with great enthusiasm along with many other blessings!

  3. Jennifer says:

    I make my own kombucha and drink 64 oz a day. It seems to help my digestion. I feel better drinking it.

  4. Tom Jeanne says:

    Chris, I don’t put much weight on the easy-to-find information on the Internet that suggests kombucha is beneficial, but I like the rest of your summary. Your biochemical reasoning is impeccable, though what we still need is empirical evidence of aldehyde content in various formulations of kombucha.

    On that note, given the wonderful wildness of homebrewed kombucha, with local strains of bacteria and fungi playing a role, I worry about fungal toxins. Aflatoxin, which typically is a contaminant of cereal grains in poor storage conditions, is one of the most potent carcinogens known. It doesn’t seem unreasonable to worry about Aspergillus or another toxin-producing fungi growing on kombucha, especially if the initial ferment is in warm conditions. The last few batches I made had various tastes ranging from interesting to alcoholic to weird…. I don’t know if I should try to acquire a taste or dump them–precautionary principle would say the latter, even though I would admit the potential for a high risk toxin is probably low.

  5. WILL BOYDEN says:


  6. Kenny says:

    And he advises drinking dairy products. Pure nonsense from your typical SAD advocates.

  7. Doris says:

    Chris – Thank you so much for the article. Is there any concern with the aldehyde content of raw sauerkraut? My kraut ferments in the high 60’s to low 70’s temperature range of my apartment. I think Dr. Wilson advises minimal to no consumption of kraut. I welcome any insight you might have.

  8. Ken says:

    Excellent information. My wife and I have just starter making kombutcha and drinking it nearly every day. Appreciate clarifying this issue.

    Good job!

  9. Alex says:

    I’ve heard this mentioned before elsewhere but no one ever explained the details, thanks!

  10. Maria says:

    Some animal research…
    And chemical compositions

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Should We Avoid Animal Protein to Optimize Methylation?

A reader asked me to respond to a newsletter recently distributed through email by a representative of a company called Biotics Research Canada that cited two older articles by Dr. Lawrence Wilson and Dr. Mark Hyman arguing that animal protein should be restricted to optimize a biochemical process that is incredibly important to our healthContinue Reading

4 Responses to Should We Avoid Animal Protein to Optimize Methylation?

  1. Jaron du Preez says:

    Outstanding article! I love the work, effort and research your Foundation does.

  2. Alan says:

    Very interesting subject.

    One little off-track question: I understand that cats have to have Taurine in their diet otherwise they go blind. Is that because they lack the ability to digest plant matter and therefore do not have a source of B6? I think understanding that will help understand the cycle in humans.

  3. Peter says:

    Cats are true carnivores, with a short and acidic digestive system. They lack enzymes to digest plant matter, and their acidic digestion are suited toward animal foods. Their teeth cannot chew, only tear and rip apart animal flesh.

    Cats die from heart failure in taurine deficiency, and doesn’t only become blind. Do a google search on “felines taurine”, and educate yourself.

    Some useful info –

  4. Christian says:

    Nicely written – easy to read and understand.

    I couldn’t quite get that one:
    “A diet rich in fruits and vegetables will increase the synthesis of glutathione, thereby increasing the amount of the amino acids needed to synthesize glutathione.”

    As far as I understood the lack of amino acids won’t let the methylation cycle run.
    Could you explain it once again please.

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Did Cod Liver Oil Contribute to the Historical Decline in Measles Mortality and Mortality From Other Infectious Diseases?

Measles has been in the news a lot lately. It therefore seems timely to fulfill my now more than two-year-old promise to write a blog on the possibility and evidence that cod liver oil may have contributed to the historical decline in mortality from measles and other infectious diseases.Continue Reading

2 Responses to Did Cod Liver Oil Contribute to the Historical Decline in Measles Mortality and Mortality From Other Infectious Diseases?

  1. Robert says:

    But vitamin A looks so unscientific and commercial!
    But vaccines are scientific and non-commercial. Unlike with cod liver oil, there are no patents involved with vaccines, and they are always safe to everybody. But cod liver oil comes from the liver, which means it will cause gout. And all fish are full of deadly anisakis.

  2. fouad says:

    Studies that vitamin d can injures TB also the clo can boost injuring arthritis inflammation

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An Ancestral Perspective on Vitamin D Status, Part 2: Why Low 25(OH)D Could Indicate a Deficiency of Calcium Instead of Vitamin D

In the first post in this series, I critiqued the “naked ape hypothesis of optimal serum 25(OH)D,” which I believe influences many researchers to interpret uncertainties in the scientific literature in a way that is biased towards recommendations for high intakes of vitamin D that could be harmful to some people, especially without appropriate attentionContinue Reading

23 Responses to An Ancestral Perspective on Vitamin D Status, Part 2: Why Low 25(OH)D Could Indicate a Deficiency of Calcium Instead of Vitamin D

  1. Jeremy says:

    This is an excellent series. I am looking forward to the next parts.

    • Hilary says:

      At last some rationality about vitamin D!

      I have been exasperated by the lack of science behind the support for extraordinary levels of supplementation that are often supported by seeminly intelligent people.

      Measuring 25OHD is just silly. It is a storage mechanism for excess vitamin D because we cannot readily excrete it. Raising levels of this makes no sense.

  2. jesse says:

    Looking forward to part 3. I had a few questions on the calcium and vitD supplementation. Are there downsides to supplementing calcium and vitD together besides the “missed opportunity” of getting the other nutrients that come from the calcium rich foods? Are you mentally differentiating pastured raw milk from factory farmed ultra-pasteurized milk here or is that irrelevant with respect to calcium content? Are all calcium forms equally bioavailable, or are there some forms and co-factors that are preferable?

    I hope this request for slightly more detail doesn’t distract from my appreciation of the information in the current form šŸ™‚

    Thanks in advance.

    • JP DC says:

      One of the keys to health for the body is, the ease at which it can maintain it’s homeostasis or balance in spite of an ever changing environment. Stress in the form of mechanical, emotional or nutritional/chemical continually challenges homeostasis. Using high doses of any isolated substance challenges this balance. One reason drugs have side effects is because they challenge the homeostasis, or in other words they make certain organ systems work hard at detoxification (which uses up valuable resources) but also detracts the organs from contributing to maintaining balance. The drug is a stress to the body which makes it work harder. High dose supplements are also a stress which makes it work harder (just not as hard as a “drug”). The key to health is to make the body’s job easier not harder.

  3. Gary Ogden says:

    Do you think taking cod liver oil/high vitamin butter oil through the winter for A/D/K2 is sufficient to maintain good status of those vitamins, in a dairy-rich and nutrient dense diet? What about the necessity of taking them during the summer? BTW your Foreword to “Death…” is a fine piece of writing. I had no idea you had literary talent. (You do) Also, I liked the natto in Atlanta, but don’t plan to make a habit of it.

  4. Hi Dr. Masterjohn, many years ago I wrote and article on my my website regarding the issues with oral vitamin d supplement and it role in calcium metabolism. While all my assertions where about the basic calcium metabolism it definitely raises the questions about oral supplement issues. When I saw your series on Vit d I was excited in that I knew it would go way more in depth than my article. Thanks so much for doing this series. Here is the link to my article that explains the potential pitfalls of oral Vit D.

  5. Mary E says:

    The above is consistent with my experience. I get vitamin D from the sun and cannot tolerate D from supplements or UVB lamps. The amount I get is consistent every year. My 25D usually quickly jumps up to the high 40’s ng/ml from sun exposure. Last summer it was only at 26. I had occasional carpopedal spasms suggestive of tetany, and my parathyroid hormone was below the reference range (I believe from supplementing vitamin A for dangerously low vitamin A per blood test). My 1,25D was at the top of the reference range, 60.5 pg/ml–way too high. I lowered the vitamin A amount, and parathyroid returned to normal. (Never toxic on A per blood tests.) I experienced similarly elevated 1,25D several years ago for another reason, and my 25D was again in the 20’s rather than the usual 40’s.

  6. Jacquie says:

    This is a terrific series, Chris. It’s personally relevant and I’m very interested in learning the other potential causes for low Vitamin D levels. I especially appreciate the effort you make to explain these topics in a way that is understandable to a non-scientist such as myself.

    A couple of years ago, my 25(OH)D level was measured at 11 ng/mL, despite my taking 2000 IUs of D3/day during the two or three years preceding the test and getting weekend sun exposure. (My doctor thought that amount of supplementation was too much and wanted to make sure my D level hadn’t gone too high.) At the time, I was eating dairy, sardines or salmon with bones, and plenty of calcium-rich vegetables daily.

    But I was also eating a lot of raw seeds and nuts, particularly almonds. Almonds look to be a decent source of calcium, but I’m guessing the calcium and other minerals were less available — or not available at all — due to their phytic acid content. I’ve since taken to soaking and then drying almonds and sunflower seeds in a low heat oven, a la Sally Fallon, in an effort to decrease phytic acid and increase mineral availability.

    What I’d like to know, though, if you have the opportunity to respond, is whether the phytic acid and/or other anti-nutrients in grains, nuts, legumes, etc., not only interfere with the bio-availablity of the minerals in those items, but also in the absorption of the minerals in foods eaten along with them?

    For example, would eating oatmeal along with sardines keep some or all of the calcium in the bones from being absorbed? Or the calcium in cheese mixed with whole wheat pasta? If that’s the case, then I’m probably not getting nearly as much (absorbable) calcium as I thought I was and the daily menus will have to be adjusted accordingly.

  7. Mike says:

    Very interesting, I also once wondered whats up with vitamin d and animals that never go into the sun or eat any vitamin D like bats or deep water fish. Its seems bats are vitamin D deficients but not mineral deficient.

  8. Rs711 says:

    Hi Chris,

    Have you seen this study discussing 25(OH) Vit. D’s apparent anti-carcinogenic effects in vivo (in rats)? Considering how widely useful calcitriol/25(OH) Vit Ā D are in many many metabolic processes – shouldn’t we expect the level(s) to change significantly depending on metabolic issues that may be present?

    Looking forward to the rest of the series!


    [1a,25(OH)2-Vitamin D and a Nongenomic Vitamin D Analogue Inhibit Ultraviolet Radiationā€“Induced Skin Carcinogenesis

  9. David I says:

    Hey, Chris–

    A bit off-topic, but your mention of cruciferous veggies and their downsides raised a question in my mind about preparation. All the info I seem to find on vitamins and antinutrients seem to be on steaming vs boiling vs microwaving.

    Where does roasting fit into all this? My favorite method for brussels sprouts or cauliflower is 350 F for 20-40 minutes. That to raise the internal temp quite high, but doesn’t drain anything away via cooking water…

    Any thoughts?

  10. Patrick Taylor says:

    Thanks for your excellent work.
    I just got some lab results. My 25(OH)D is a bit low (it’s 22). However, my calcium was also measured and is well within normal range (it’s 9.3 mg/dL). Is that calcium measure a reliable indicator that my calcium intake is probably sufficient and is unlikely the cause of my low 25(OH)D?
    Thanks again,

  11. Jack Cameron says:


    The information you have provided debunking the “naked ape theory” of vitamin D has clarified the findings of a couple of studies on vitamin D levels and mortality that found the lowest CVD and all cause mortality at vitamin D levels that are much lower than vitamin D levels widely promoted by the “experts”.

    A 2010 study, “Plasma vitamin D and mortality in older men: a community based prospective cohort study”, found the lowest hazard ratio of mortality and cancer incidence when the range of vitamin D was between 18 and 37 ng/ml

    A 2008 study “25-hydroxyvitam D levels and risk of mortality in the general population” found the lowest ratio of all cause and CVD mortality in the quartile of vitamin D (3rd highest quartile) with vitamin D levels between 24.4 and 32.1 ng/ml.

    The two aforementioned studies kept me from being concerned about achieving the high Vitamin D levels that have been widely promoted. Your explanations given in the series have been very reassuring

    • Josefina says:

      Then there is the study about breast cancer and vit D status showing those with the highest concentration were more likely to survive. The last study you cited says that women are more likely to have low D levels.

  12. Gary Via says:

    I’ve had a comment “awaiting moderation” for nearly a month (posted on Dec. 31).

    Do you find my question threatening? Is Trevor Marshall’s work (right or wrong) being censored on your site?

    If censorship is not your goal, what exactly is the problem with my comment?

  13. Sara says:

    Chris, will topical application of coconut oil on the skin block UV, necessary for Vit D sythesis? thanks

  14. Lauri P says:

    2 weeks before I gave birth to my daughter I started shuffling my feet when I would get up. I had terribly stiff joints. Moving on to 2 years later I had 3 episodes of pseudo gout and a frozen shoulder due to calcium deposits the Dr. said. Continue with heavy leg symptoms, stiff joint and joint pain. then kidney stone (biggest one they ever saw) Finally found out I was low Vit D at 22. Took supplements felt better, winter came started to have joint pain and hurting legs again and found out back to low D at 25. On supplements again. Any ideas to guide me to what the problem may be?

  15. Hank says:


    I haven’t found a proper forum in which to ask this in yet, so I hope it’s okay that I ask the question here:

    I’ve been trying to follow a diet of traditional foods for about 3-4 months now and I think I have the most crucial parts down.

    You see in Sweden, where I live, proper “oldschool” food is kind of hard to come by. (What with the lobbyism of dairy companies and so on.) But I’ve managed to secure the things that I have found to be the most important.

    Now, i eat the same lunch every day because I really don’t care about it, I just want the nutrition. Proper nutrition. It consists of the following:

    Natrol Multivitamin (It seems to be the most natural supplement for multivitamins.)
    Carlson Labs CLO gelcaps. (Can’t really afford the green pasture CLO Butteroil blend)
    Now Foods Vitamin K-2 (Again, can’t afford the butter oil)
    Garden of life expeller pressed coconut oil.
    Raw Multiple (Compound of dried organs, can’t stand eating liver or brain)
    Braggs ACV.

    Those are the supplements I’m taking. Now on to the smoothie:

    Organic raspberries, frozen.
    Organic raw eggs.
    Organic Kefir (Not homemade, haven’t found kefir seeds that I want to try yet.)
    Raw milk (Managed to find, after 10 hours of searching, an organic dairy farm willing to sell)
    Raw honey, locally produced (also very hard to find)

    For extra safety of the milk I blend the other ingredients first, then add the milk in a shaker.

    Oh, and I shouldn’t forget to tell you. I eat no breakfast, I keep a 12-8 pm (16/8 diet) eating schedule, so I take Garden of Life Primal Defense ultra probiotics in the morning. I do drink coffee every morning at 10, and it’s my only real health crime in the morning.

    Now, as I can’t afford the pricier CLO+Butteroil blend, I can’t afford eating only pasturized grass-fed cowmeat, so the dinners are usually just normal, but with low carbohydrate intake. I try buying all the things that aren’t that much more expensive when bought organic (cream, vegetables and so on.)

    Is there something crucial I’m missing? I’m a student now which limits my funding for food, but when I start earning money it will get better. So for now, just something that I’m missing.

    Also, I have to say, I’m doing this for the future, not because I have any certain issues right now.


  16. cristina says:

    All the vitamins are very important for our body to make it healthy. i respect your thought and the way you share this with all of us thanks for sharing this blog with us.

  17. Dr. Masterjohn, Thank you for this excellent article on calcium deficiency as a cause of low 25(OH)D. I look forward to future articles about other potential causes of low 25(OH)D besides poor vitamin D exposure. We sorely need a systematic approach for interpreting the likely cause of low 25(OH)D. You may be interested to read our paper “Inflammation and Vitamin D: the Infection Connection” which was recently published in Inflammation Research.

  18. joel says:

    so whats the bottom line? increase calcium intake before taking vitamin D supplements?

  19. wendell says:

    I drink plenty of fresh raw milk and take cod liver oil, high vitamin butter oil and k2, but my vitamin d is at 29. What can I do to improve my levels and feel better. my ph is also 5 and I’m concerned about this.

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An Ancestral Perspective on Vitamin D Status, Part 1: Problems With the “Naked Ape” Hypothesis of Optimal Serum 25(OH)D

It has become increasingly common for health enthusiasts and now even typical patients in the doctor’s office to have a lab estimate their vitamin D status by measuring serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D, abbreviated 25(OH)D, and use vitamin D supplements to bring this value into the “sufficient” range. While even this basic practice is problematic, the extraordinaryContinue Reading

17 Responses to An Ancestral Perspective on Vitamin D Status, Part 1: Problems With the “Naked Ape” Hypothesis of Optimal Serum 25(OH)D

  1. Interesting.

    So in practice, one should really measure:

    1. 25(OH)D3
    2. 1,25(OH)2D3
    3. PTH
    4. Blood calcium
    5. Urinary calcium excretion

    To get an idea of vitamin D status in a more functional manner?

    Also, you might find it of interest, that Dr. Henrik Hey her from Denmark, has done some interesting studies on vitamin D.

    He is of the basic opinion, that a lot of people are in some stage of insufficiency and correcting that will improve individual well-being and public health.

    However, supplementation is not the only way.

    He did one study of school children, where they found that when the kids are healthier overall (exercising more, eating more vegetables, fruits, whole grains as opposed to refined grains, getting more sun, more sleep etc). they 25(OH)D2 levels improved.

  2. Thanks a lot Chris!

    This is awesomely brilliant! I appreciate your honest and humble approach that is the hallmark of a true science researcher. Can’t wait for the next episodes of this series.

    Regards from France.

  3. Cat says:

    Thanks for the great article, Chris!

    I was going to ask what you think about mid-day being when the UVB/UVA ratio is optimal, given your points about how humans and other primates all seek shade mid-day, but I assume you will address that in your how-to guide. Can’t wait!

    Totally agree on different optimal serum Vitamin D levels between different groups. That actually makes more sense than treating humans as genetically homogeneous, which general public health recommendations always unfortunately seem to do.

    I wonder about the lifeguards who didn’t get kidney stones; it would have been great if there was a dietary analysis so we could see if they had a different diet: more vitamin A? more citrate? The synergy angle is really interesting.
    An anecdote: I remember reading your articles on balancing Vitamin A and D, but whenever I increased A I would have an increased frequency of colds unless I really ramped up the Vitamin D as well. Recently I started eating oysters a couple times a week, and now I can eat liver once a week without any ill effects. I thought only Vitamin A and D influenced each others’ tolerances, but zinc seems to have that effect for me at least. (I will try with some actual isolated zinc to see if it’s actually that, but it seems plausible.)

  4. Kathleen says:

    Thank you! So interesting and quite coincidental, as I was reading my daughter’s blood work just as the post arrived. Her one low result was vitamin D. I look forward to the next posts.

  5. Lynne says:

    Excellent – thank you.
    Looking forward to further posts and your conclusions.
    Important work as we are all carried away on the wave of high vitD recommendations in pursuit of better health.
    Kindest Regards
    Lynne (UK)

  6. Gary Ogden says:

    Fascinating. Makes excellent sense. It seems to me to be a near-universally normal human (and animal) behavior to seek shade during the hottest part of the day. Thank you so much for sharing your good work with us.

  7. Colleen says:

    Interesting analysis. One reason I like it is that it reinforces the notion that popping a bunch of pills (here a vitamin) isn’t the answer to health.

  8. newbie says:

    As usual, your thought processes as you dissect a topic are so well articulated – looking forward to your series.
    Looking for your comments on the following – In Ontario, Canada, the normal range for 25-OH Vit D is 75-200 nmol/L (30-80 ng/ml), so our bottom end is your max zone. We are told a value of 175 is great, especially if it comes without supps, and other indices are normal – ie PTH, urine and serum cal, PO4, Zn, Mg. The only time we are allowed to run this test is in the context of osteoporosis investigation, I say this to explain why the other parameters are also being measured, as your first comment referred to these tests. We actually encourage people to get their numbers high, I’m wondering if we are doing people a disservice. I look forward to your future analysis and explanations.

    • Thanks Newbie.

      I don’t consider 30 ng/mL a maximum, but I think getting over 50 ng/mL or so is really pushing into the potentially dangerous region. Of course this is complicated by which assay you are using and so on, but I’ll try to clarify all this as the series progresses.


  9. Having listened to Vieth a lot, I think you’re missing a couple of his points. One is that dark skin doesn’t actually reduce the amount of vitamin D that people can synthesize — it just makes it so that you need more sun to synthesize that amount. That is because after a certain point, the vitamin D precursors that are generated by ultraviolet light start being broken down by ultraviolet light. People with white skin hit the maximum pretty quickly, but even with dark skin, if you’re running around in the sun all day (or even a good fraction of the day), you can easily max out, at least on the portion of your skin that is uncovered. (And I’m prepared to believe an argument that humanoids a hundred thousand or a million years ago likely had and used furs, but that they routinely covered most of their skin, in the daytime in Africa, seems quite implausible.) The vitamin D maximum about coincides with the “minimal erythemal dose” — the dose that just produces a hint of sunburn; and if primitives were using oils or other substances as sunscreens, they likely were doing so to prevent the serious sunburns that result from going far beyond that dose. That wouldn’t detract much from their vitamin D production.

    Also, Vieth’s hypothesis, the last I heard, is not that humans evolved a biochemical dependence on vitamin D sometime in the last two million years, but rather that it’s something we inherited from monkeys. Fur-bearing animals, he argues, get vitamin D largely by secreting the precursors into their fur then licking the fur. I haven’t looked into this in any detail myself, so can’t defend it; but Vieth has been known to participate in informal online discussions in the past, so if you give him a heads-up, he might comment.

  10. Lava says:

    In the “Problems with the Latitude Hypothesis” paragraph above, you contradict yourself.

    First, you say Caucasians far from the equator *decrease* 25OHD. The next sentence, Caucasians there have *higher* levels of 25OHD.

    • Hi Lava,

      I’m sorry if the way I wrote the sentence was in any way unclear, but there is no contradiction. Caucasians far away from the equator have lower 25(OH)D than Caucasians living close to the equator but higher 25(OH)D than non-Caucasians close to the equator.


  11. sara says:

    Chris, thanks for the great information. Read part 2 also and looking forward to future series info. So based on this information, is it best not to apply coconut oil topically on the skin if one only gets out 30-60 minutes /day for best Vit D production?

  12. Ev says:

    “During the evolution of our species, requirements for vitamin D were satisfied by the life of the naked ape in the environment for which its genome was optimized through natural selection.” – how any theory based on the theory of evolution can be free of mistakes is unclear – if there is no one solid piece of an evidence to support Darwin theory? – and what is most amazing that organization like Weston Price or Paleo movement in general are – they are trying to figure out our past in order make our future better still refer the theory of evolution as reliable base for understanding of human beings and developing new theories – it is very very very strange situation!!!

  13. Ron says:

    I am 40 years old and of English heritage but tan very easily. Since my early 20’s my calcium has always been around 11.1. It was not until 2008 that I had my PTH taken and its usually in the 90s, sometimes low 100’s but then a few months ago, normal. My vitamin D tends to run low – 30. Supplemental vitamin D does not seem to influence the calcium level in my body and despite my love for the sun, my vitamin D levels will not elevate unless a take a lot orally. The medical community would like to simply explore my parathyroid glands and remove one BUT I refuse to go the mainstream route, especially when my levels are hovering near normal but slightly elevated. I’d like to learn more about the vitamin D gene mutation which I have heard of but no one talks about. I believe I have issues with Vitamin D conversion – I should note I have severe gluten intolerance and poor absorption of minerals. After a few mineral IV treatments, my PTH returned to normal, BUT my calcium still hovered around 11.

    Thanks for any insight.

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Undercarboxylated Osteocalcin: Marker of Vitamin K Deficiency, or Booster of Insulin Signaling and Testosterone?

Osteocalcin is a vitamin K-dependent protein that our bones produce. The job of vitamin K is to activate this protein by adding carbon dioxide to it, which in scientific jargon we call “carboxylation.” Vitamin K researchers widely regard the ratio of undercarboxylated to carboxylated or total osteocalcin as a marker of inadequate vitamin K status.Continue Reading

20 Responses to Undercarboxylated Osteocalcin: Marker of Vitamin K Deficiency, or Booster of Insulin Signaling and Testosterone?

  1. Interestingly, vitamin E elevated undercarboxlated prothrombin, but not osteocalcin, in this human study

    if tocopherol does protect undercarboxylated osteocalcin in rodents, this might explain why it is a fertility factor.

    There are no animal studies in Pubmed and just one other relevant human study:

  2. Chris Heppner says:

    Chris, thanks for a very interesting, though deliberately inconclusive, study. I hope that in the follow-up you will also deal with the issue of arterial and heart valve calcification, since this process seems to be connected with bone mineralization, and K2 has a history (maybe now being questioned) of assisting in directing calcium into bones and keeping it out of arteries and valves.

    There are documented cases of K2 supplementation reversing valvular calcification (from Japan mostly, but William Davis also records a case history of aortic valve stenosis much improved by addition of K2). I have a personal interest here–in 2004 I was found to have a “severely stenotic and heavily calcified aortic valve,” which was replaced by a bioprosthetic valve. As you know, these are also suject to calcification; I have been supplementing K2 (as well as eating a diet rich in K1), and 9 years out my valve is still functioning and looking (on echo) well. I won’t give up my K2 without some more definitive evidence!
    Thanks again, Chris Heppner

    • Hi Chris,

      I think it’s clear that K2 protects against soft tissue calcification and promotes bone mineralization. But that’s mainly the function of matrix Gla protein, not osteocalcin.


  3. rocks2stocks says:


    To what were you referring when you wrote:
    “and a variety of high-dose nutritional supplements, …, could interfere with the process of bone resorption.”

    • Hi Rocks2stocks,

      There are a variety of nutrients that at high doses could inhibit bone resorption, tocotrienols and K2 are among them, but I need to do more research before I conclude anything about it. Coming in the next post!


  4. Erella says:

    It is great to see you reevaluating your older publications and updating it as new information comes out. Your ability to get difficult and convoluted information across to your reader in an organized fashion is without parallel. I am grateful to be a recipient.

    I was not sure in which venue to ask you this question, and I thought that your article today relating to bone health/bone hormones is a good place to post this question.
    Taken from “Why Broth is Beautiful: Essential Roles for Proline, Glycine and Gelatin”- 18 June 2003 – by Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD, CCN
    “You can use the stock as is, or chill to remove the fat that congeals on the top. (There is nothing wrong with the fat, but culinary purists point out the clearest sauces are achieved with stock from which the fat has been removed).”
    Is there any nutritional value in the fat? Are any of the fat soluble vitamins( ?or other nutrients) extracted from the marrow or other fat content of the simmered bones preserved in the fat that congeals when the broth is put in the fridge? If the liquid part of the bone broth does not become jellylike on refrigeration, does that mean that the gelatin was not extracted properly (I cooked the broth for 72 hours)?

    Since vitamins A/D/K are fat soluble vitamins( vs the unstored water-soluble vitamins), would be giving your child liver once per week, as well as full fat yogurt/cheese/sauerkraut regularly be enough, or would you suggest supplementing (eg. with Thorne vitamin K2)? I understand that you don’t have the data, I am asking for your best guess.

    I thank you.

    • Hi Erella,

      Thank you for your kind words.

      I don’t know the answers to any of these questions for sure, but my best guesses are as follows:

      1) All the fat-soluble nutrients in the marrow should be present in the fat. Some of them may suffer some heat damage, however. Also, the fat itself could suffer some heat damage, especially if it is from chickens, which tend to have fat high in PUFAs (though not intrinsically so — see my blog post “Good Lard, Bad Lard” on that topic).

      2) Lack of gelling is probably from insufficient gelatin, or destruction of the gelatin. It may be the case that cooking too short a time or using too few bones or not using any more gelatinous materials like chicken feet is responsible for inadequate gelatin, or that cooking too long a time breaks down the gelatin. Try to find the happy medium.

      3) Liver once a week and yogurt/cheese/fermented veggies should be good, but for vitamin D make sure to get sunlight or use cod liver oil. Overall I think this should be decent for most children without the need for supplementation but there could be individual cases where supplementation is warranted.

      Hope that helps,

  5. David says:

    Here is my anecdote for you: based on my reading of your and Stephen Guyenet’s writings about K2, as well as my own reading of the original journal articles 2.5 years ago, I have supplemented myself and my family with K2, approximately .5mg of MK-4 menaquinone per day per person. I started this when my first child was in utero. My second child has been supplemented since conception. Both are exceptionally healthy, quite lean, and certainly don’t show any signs of insulin insensitivity. We didn’t have any trouble conceiving the second child while I myself was supplemented.
    As a younger man I had a poor diet and occasionally suffered some mild post-meal hypoglycemia, so I feel I’m pretty aware of my blood sugar. I think it has never been better.

  6. Erella says:

    If I can impose again, from Kaayla’s article ā€“
    “Whatever form of gelatin is used, it should never be cooked or reheated in the microwave. According to a letter published in The Lancet, the common practice of microwaving converts l-proline to d-proline. …..In other words, the gelatin in homemade broth confers wonderous benefits, but if you heat it in the microwave, it becomes toxic to the liver, kidneys and nervous system”

    Do you believe this to be true (in which case I will know longer reheat the mug of broth in the microwave) ?

    • Hi Erella,

      I’m not sure about that one. You might want to ask Kaayla or look up the original study. I haven’t researched microwaves much myself in part because I rarely use them for anything.


  7. Amy B. says:

    My mind is reeling a bit. Very difficult to make sense of this all. Thanks so much for digging into things, Chris. The story of vitamin K is clearly far from being well understood, but your deep-dives into the research and generous sharing of your thoughts with is can only help.

    I wonder what role — if any — these nuances of osteocalcin might play in PCOS:

    “When we consider that these mice have no obvious bone defects yet are fat, infertile, and metabolically damaged, it would seem that in the mouse the primary role of osteocalcin is to regulate energy metabolism and fertility rather than to do anything particular to bone.”

    When I hear “insulin and testosterone,” my mind jumps right to PCOS. The line I quoted above leans in that direction, too. (And also to men with gynecomastia and other feminizing conditions…am I wrong in that insulin upregulates aromatase, leading to some testosterone being converted to estrogen? Elevated levels of both insulin *and* testosterone sounds like it might tip the scales in this direction. Not sure what the effect would be of increased *sensitivity* to insulin, though, which is another effect of the uncarboxylated osteocalcin, right?)

    Lots of questions…few concrete answers.

    True science is a harsh mistress! Thanks for all you do, Chris!

  8. Bill says:

    Interesting to me, as I have a cousin who has been suffering stress fractures (osteoporosis) AND is extraordinarily thin, lacking both lean and fat mass at the extreme of normal human body types, AND seems to have excellent metabolic health without any special attention to diet (triglycerides very low, HDL very high, etc.).

    Of course we know that this body type is considered a “risk factor” for osteoporosis.

    But . . . maybe if your line of reasoning is correct her body type, osteoporosis, and insulin signaling are closely related: maybe her K2-dependent carboxylation is for some reason (genetic; she’s been like this since birth) very weak, leading to extreme leanness, lack of muscle, metabolic health, but, unfortunately, osteoporosis.

    So . . . maybe lots of K2 would move her toward a better balance, with fewer fractures and more body mass she desperately needs. Maybe worth a try?

  9. David I says:

    It sounds as if the mice reseachers may be not only be leaping to conclusions, but leaping in entirely the wrong direction.

    It reminds me of the dialogue in the movie “Top Secret”:

    Doctor Flamand: This giant magnet is capable of removing the salt from 20 millions gallons of seawater every day. Do you understand what that could mean to the starving people of this world?

    Nick: Wow!…they’d never have to buy salt again!

    • David,

      Is this an in-joke between you and yourself? If so, why post it here?

      If it is meant to communicate something, why not communicate your point in a way the rest of us can understand?


  10. Would this also explain a slower growth and later puberty onset among children fed adequate or high amount of dietary vitamin K2 (i.e. diets high in animal produce)?

  11. MIchele says:

    Hi… I have a couple of questions for you.. I am going to get a biologic dentists opinion.. but our 13 year old fell about 4 years ago and now all of a sudden his tooth (chipped) was hurting.. so took him to a regular dentist and he said from the trauma he needs a root canal… I am gonna try raw milk, cheese and cod liver oil.. idk if will heal… Also we have a 16 year old who has not gone through puberty. He does drink raw milk and we eat raw cheese.. He also eats lots of eggs.. just wondering what your thoughts are… thanks. Michele H.

  12. B.S. Bharath Kumar says:

    Dear Chris,

    With respect to the role of undercarboxylated osteocalcin (ucocn) in male fertility, Oury et al. (2011) observed a dose dependent increase in testosterone levels between the doses of 0 and 3 ng/ml of ucocn and a dose of 10 ng/ml of ucocn failed to elicit the increase in testosterone. However, they failed to demonstrate the effect of ucocn between the doses of 3 and 10 ng/ml. Ferron et al. (2010) and Lacombe et al. (2013) observed the normal serum ucocn levels to range between 3-6 and 7-20 ng/ml, respectively. Owing to the normal levels of serum ucocn, it would be presuming to examine for its physiological role in reproduction and the lack of data regarding the stimulatory effects of ucocn between the doses of 3 and 10 ng/ml compels me to agree with you.
    P.S. Kindly forward the references related to normal serum ucocn levels in mice.

  13. BNYC500 says:

    A prescribed testosterone may change your ability to control blood-glucose levels and sensitivity to insulin. You have to use testosterone that is natural. I have been using the Dr Max Powers Testosterone Boost (bought online) and have had no side effects and it helps with ED (I am 73). . .

  14. Karl says:

    An epidemiologist friend of mine attended a lecture recently by one of the researchers responsible for determining osteocalcin/endocrine connection, and I have a few questions I wasn’t able to find answers for online. You may or may not have information or speculation on these.

    1) Does osteocalcin survive the long slow heating involved in making bone broth, or is it destroyed in the process?

    2)Does osteocalcin make it to the bloodstream if ingested or is it broken down in the GI tract?

    3) Is there any evidence for or against the prospect that ingested osteocalcin has the same effect on the endocrine system as endogenously produced osteocalcin?

    Thanks for the great article.

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