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The great Health debate: is Sunshine a miracle cure? (by The Guardian)

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The great health debate: is sunshine a miracle cure?, The Guardian




"Indeed, for some health experts, the substance has virtually become a panacea for all human ills. Dietary supplements should be encouraged for the elderly, the young and the sick, while skin cancer awareness programmes that urge caution over sunbathing should be scrapped, they insist. We need to bring a lot more sunshine into our lives, it is claimed.




major health campaign, offering dietary advice and vitamin D supplements has since been launched. But for many doctors, it is not enough. The nation's health service needs to re-evaluate completely its approach to vitamin D as a matter of urgency; establish new guidelines for taking supplements; and scrap most of the limits on sunbathing currently proposed by health bodies.


These calls have been made not because of concerns about rickets, however. They follow the appearance of studies from across the globe that suggest vitamin D plays a key role in the fight against heart disease, cancer, tuberculosis, diabetes and multiple sclerosis. Vitamin D is not so much an important component of our diets as a miracle substance, they believe. It costs nothing to make, just some time in the sun, and lasts in the body for months.


A classic example of the potential of vitamin D was provided by a study published in a US journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, last year. This revealed that people with higher levels of vitamin D were more likely to survive colon, breast and lung cancer. In the study, Richard Setlow, a biophysicist at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in the US and an expert on the link between solar radiation and skin cancer, calculated how much sunshine a person would get depending on the latitude on which they lived.


Setlow - who worked with colleagues at the Institute for Cancer Research in Oslo - also calculated the incidence and survival rates for various forms of internal cancers in people living at these different latitudes. Their results showed that in the northern hemisphere the incidence of colon, lung and breast cancer increased from south to north while people in southern latitudes were significantly less likely to die from these cancers than people in the north.


"Since vitamin D has been shown to play a protective role in a number of internal cancers and possibly a range of other diseases, it is important to study the relative risks to determine whether advice to avoid sun exposure may be causing more harm than good in some populations," Setlow warned.


And then there is the impact of vitamin D levels on the heart. In a study published last year in the journal Circulation, scientists at the Harvard Medical School in Boston found that a deficiency of vitamin D increased people's risk of developing cardiovascular disease. In addition, other studies have connected vitamin D deficiency to risks of succumbing to diabetes and TB.


And there was last week's publication of the study by Professor Ebers which provided compelling evidence that lack of vitamin D triggers a rogue gene to turn against the body and attack nerve endings, a process that induces the disease multiple sclerosis. In each case, researchers urged that people ensure they take vitamin D supplements to help ward off such conditions.


[/b]But others believe such calls underestimate the problem. They point to a study, published in 2007, which indicates that more than 60 per cent of middle-aged British adults have less than optimal levels of vitamin D in their bodies in summer, while this figure rises to 90 per cent in winter. Given the links between deficiency and all those ailments, only a full-scale reappraisal of the vitamin's role in British health will work, says Oliver Gillie, of the Health Research Forum.


In a report, Sunlight Robbery, he calls for the scrapping of Britain's current SunSmart programme; the setting up of an international conference of doctors and specialists to establish vitamin D's importance to health; promotion of the fortification of food with vitamin D: and the creation of a new committee whose membership would include representatives of groups of patients suffering from multiple sclerosis, cancer and other conditions linked to vitamin D[/b]".



read here: "The great health debate: is sunshine a miracle cure?"

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Here are some questions adressed very convincingly through careful data analysis (as studies in themselves are easily manipulated) often overlooked as there is little commercial potential in sunshine:


Why are there high morbidity and mortality rates in the UK and northwest Europe?

Why do the populations of north-west England, Scotland and Northern Ireland have reduced life-expectancy compared to that of south-east England?

Why does living at a high altitude improve health and life-expectancy?

Why do poor people in north-west Europe have worse health and shorter life-expectancy than the wealthy?

Why do South Asian immigrants in the UK have a particularly high incidence of coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes and end-stage renal failure?

Why do their children born in the UK have an even worse health profile?

Why do they share these risks with immigrants from Africa and the Caribbean?


Blog of the Book "Vitamin D and Cholesterol: The importance of the sun" by Dr David Grimes


I intuitively observed that too many Somalis suffered chronic conditions but now experts put them in the same category as those highly Vitamin D deficient South Asians disproportionally affected by diabetes etc, particularly whith pollution and chemicals, processed food, and the much lower levels of physical activity in Northern latitudes.

Children born from already highly deficient mothers in Northern latitudes also tend to be particularly unhealthy with many conditions much more common.


Vitamins and other artificial supplements may do more harm than good in general (not equivalent to natural vitamins, disturbances in the digestive system etc) and Vitamin D3 do not fully replace sunshine as Vitamin D3 is only part of the many benefits of sunshine, albeit a crucial one.

But the case of Vitamin D3 is very different (it is actually an hormone) and that is why experts now recommend these following doses: an average of between 4000 and 10 000 IU (dark skinned individuals in Northern latitudes need the highest doses, likewise requirements increase from around 35 years of age and with illness (the commonly available form of vitamin D2, sold in tablets or added to regular food, is much less effective than D3).

Fat persons may need even more (up to 3-4 times more than the regular dose, as the Vitamin D3 hormon is fat soluble, to get similar blood concentration as others).


(how no sunshine and direct sun radiations, no gardens/open sky homes, buildings and pollution, wholly covered bodies combine into absolute local health disaster, especially among immigrants).

At the 33 th minute, the chapter 58 about pregancy is quoted as the most interesting of Dr David Grimes Book: women wanting to get pregnant are advised to go on holiday in the sun (the child share the mother reserves, which may often be already too low).

This is your child's best gift and as important as proper nutrition or fish omega 3 for his brain.

Additional presentations by renowned medical professors are also available online.

It is possible and common to be very deficient in Vitamin D even in tropical countries (covered housing, fully covered bodies etc).


Caution: Taking 50,000 international units (IU) a day of vitamin D for several months has been shown to cause toxicity[...]Doses higher than the RDA are sometimes used to treat medical problems such as vitamin D deficiency, but these are given only under the care of a doctor and only for a short time.

Although vitamin D toxicity is uncommon even among people who take supplements, you may be at greater risk if you have health problems, such as liver or kidney conditions, or if you take thiazide-type diuretics. As always, talk to your doctor before taking vitamin and mineral supplements


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Interesting. The illnesses in our qurbo communies could be due to, mainly, an inactive lifestyle (I'm talking about the older folks here). Poor diet of rice and meat, too much tea, too much sitting around and a lack of sunshine could all be reasons. Back home you will see elderly folk of 80s+ who are active and still running around. Genetics and lifestyle.

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What shocked me most as an avid reader, with an interest in health & science, is that how often we could be incredibly misled and ignorant, even when thinking we already "know" much.

For instance, I used to look down as mere "superstitions" suggestions by Somalis that sunshine is a "miracle cure" (when it is now known that it even directly affect hair loss).


Of course, many of our rural folks back home enjoy an almost perfectly optimal lifestyle.

I visited my grand-mother's siblings back in 2000 in Gogeysa miyi, by Gabiley, and was surprised at how healthy and fit grand parents could be (long walks are daily routine).

Not having processed food available (eg, white flour and rice are just sugar with little nutrients), cosmetics, TVs and other deadly "comforts" is also another part of the story.

Then, when exposed daily to optimal sunshine, your genes expressions and every single cell's process (from replication, to toxins elimination and immunity) are already functioning optimally.

It is quite possible however that sunshine is the single biggest factor of all, in general.


Talking about genetics, if you know a bit about epigenetics (factors that direct genes expression), it is now more and more realised that genes are not as crucial as thought, since their very expression (activation and time of activation) is influenced by the environment and lifestyle.

Put it in other ways, you can greatly influence your own genes and even rewrite them through a healthy mental and physical lifestyle: being positive, helping others and building good relationships while consuming unprocessed food and avoiding indoor pollution of chemicals and cosmetics (indoor pollution inside homes is now known to be much worse than outdoor pollution due to car traffic etc).

And sunshine is crucial here as vitamin d is crucial to genes expression (so sunshine is the key factor in good health and healthy children, after good relationships with others).




Book Review

Long live nature via nurture!

Nature via Nurture: Genes, Experience and What Makes us Human by Matt Ridley. Fourth Estate, 2003; ISBN 1-84115-745-7 hbk

Iver Mysterud, Department of Biology, University of Oslo, PO Box 1050 Blindern, NO-0316 Oslo, Norway. Email:


The nature-nurture debate is one of the most heated and exciting minefields of all academic discourse. In the tradition wanting to contribute consilient (Wilson 1998) or vertically/conceptually integrated (Barkow 1989; Cosmides, Tooby, and Barkow 1992) approaches to link scientific results from different fields, Matt Ridley has presented Nature via Nurture: Genes, Experience and What Makes us Human. He is a superb writer, well-prepared to the task, after having presented three acclaimed and excellent books on evolutionary approaches to animal and human behavior (Ridley 1993; Ridley 1996) and genetics (Ridley 1999) in the last decade.


The main thesis of Nature via Nurture is that nature versus nurture is a false dichotomy. Even though all seem to acknowledge this and that humans are a product of an interaction between the two, the debate still continues. Let’s stop this futile debate, get rid of the strawmen and move forward! Ridley’s point is that the discovery of how genes actually influence human behavior, and how human behavior influences genes, is about to recast the debate entirely. No longer is it nature-versus-nature, but nature-via-nurture: Genes are designed to take their cues from nurture. The more we lift the lid on the genome, the more vulnerable to experience genes appear to be. Ridley explains easily that genes are not puppet masters pulling the strings of our behavior (a common misunderstanding), but are puppets at the mercy of our behavior. Instinct is not the opposite of learning, and environmental influences are sometimes less reversible than genetic ones.


In ten chapters, Ridley presents twelve pioneers who put together the chief theories of human nature that came to dominate the twentieth century: Charles Darwin, Francis Galton, William James, Hugo De Vries, Ivan Pavlov, John Broadus Watson, Emil Kraepelin, Sigmund Freud, Emile Durkheim, Franz Boas, Jean Piaget, and Konrad Lorenz. Ridley’s claim is that all 12 men were right in the sense that they all contributed an original idea with a germ of the truth in it. In other words, they all placed a brick in the wall. Ridley writes (p. 6):


Human nature is indeed a combination of Darwin’s universals, Galton’s heredity, James’s instincts, De Vries’s genes, Pavlov’s reflexes, Watson’s associations, Kraepelin’s history, Freud’s formative experience, Boas’s culture, Durkheim’s division of labour, Piaget’s development and Lorenz’s imprinting. You can find all these things going on in the human mind. No account of human nature would be complete without them all.


But nearly all went too far in trumpeting their own ideas and criticising each other’s. And one or two of them deliberately or unintentionally gave birth to grotesque perversions of ”scientific” policy that will haunt their reputations forever.


Ridley’s main point is that to understand each of these topics, one needs to understand genes (p. 6):


It is genes that allow the human mind to learn, to remember, to imitate, to imprint, to absorb culture and to express instincts. Genes are not puppet masters, nor blueprints. Nor are they just the carriers of heredity. They are active during life; they switch each other on and off; they respond to the environment. They may direct the construction of the body and brain in the womb, but then they set about dismantling and rebuilding what they have made almost at once – in response to experience. They are both cause and consequence of our actions. Somehow the adherents of the ’nurture’ side of the argument have scared themselves silly at the power and inevitability of genes, and missed the greatest lesson of all: the genes are on their side.


Nature via Nurture is written by a scientist and science writer (Ridley is both) in the genre for the educated part of the lay audience in addition to scientists of all stripes – in the tradition of Richard Dawkins and Stephen Jay Gould. Even technical topics in genetics and neuroscience are presented so it is easy and fun to follow Ridley on his intellectual journey. The ten chapters each start with one or two pioneers, an evaluation of their ideas and a discussion of what science has achieved to add improved insight or – in some cases - to solve certain problems and paradoxes. This is public education at its best!


Writing as a synthesising generalist has its price: Most experts will claim that certain nuances or pet theories are left out. For example, Ridley makes an argument that ”supports the conclusion that the progressive evolution of culture

since the Upper Paleolithic revolution happened without altering the human mind.” (p. 228) without mentioning that another leading hypothesis claims that the opposite is most probable (Mithen 1996). I, for one, missed more about nutrition in an otherwise excellent presentation of various approaches to a very serious behavior disorder, schizophrenia. Although Ridley mentions that essential fatty acids seem to be important in explaining and treating this disease, he does not mention niacin (vitamin B3). There are ample clinical experience (and success) in treating schizophrenia with large doses of niacin (Osmond and Smythies 1952; Hoffer, Osmond, Callbeck, and Kahan 1957; Hoffer 1998), even though this fact is ignored or neglected by many mainstream psychiatrists. Such a treatment approach has interesting implications for several other phenomena he discusses.


These remarks aside, I learned a lot from Ridley’s great synthesis and superb presentation. Our culture desperately needs persons like Ridley who uses a brilliant pen and a clear mind to make sense out of scientific contributions in many different fields. I hope all of us can agree on his conclusion (the book’s last two sentences): ”Nature versus nurture is dead. Long live nature via nurture.” But to fully grasp the implications of these statements, you simply have to read Nature via Nurture yourself.



PS::"Nature via Nurture: Genes, Experience and What Makes us Human" by Matt Ridley, Fourth Estate, 2003 is indeed a fascinating read, shedding a new light on crucial issues such as learning, intelligence or mental illnesses; convincing overall (evolution theory aside).

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Very informative. The article doesn't mention it, but I'm guessing higher vitamin D levels would also reduce the risk of diseases like osteoporosis. It seems to effect a lot of people among the Somali communities in the northern hemisphere, especially women.


There were some studies a few years ago that linked a lack of sunlight to autism. The researchers looked at autism among the Somali communities in Minnesota and Stockholm, which both have high rates of the disease, and found that the common denominator was a lack of sunlight or vitamin D deficiency.

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There were some studies a few years ago that linked a lack of sunlight to autism. The researchers looked at autism among the Somali communities in Minnesota and Stockholm, which both have high rates of the disease, and found that the common denominator was a lack of sunlight or vitamin D deficiency.

Which is not surprising, since Vitamin D act on cells 's detoxification and mercury has been linked to autism by other experts: toxins such as mercury involved in the many vaccines administered may well overload a baby already severely deficient (his pregnant mother reserves already very low, he's born with very little vitamin D).


Also, as hinted by Dr David Grimes in his book, infections by microorganisms may well be involved in the pathogenesis of conditions such as heart diseases; It is also hinted by Matt Ridley, that virus and other infections aside, there may be a nutritional side to even mental illnesses or pseudo "illnesses" that may just be normal reactions to some factors (more fatty-acids such as Omega 3 or niacin may control even schizophrenia).


It is now more and more admitted everywhere, for instance, that the field of psychiatry and their DSM supreme reference is anything but "scientific" (eg, long work of Professor Edouard zarifian in France), while drugs prescribtions in that field, where "normality" is culture specific etc, were already controversial: invention of "illnesses" followed by their "diagnostic" and commercial "treatments", most ridiculous in the case of ADHD or the so-called attention deficit disorder that has put countless children under drugs, particularly in the USA but also increasingly in other countries (this is not the place for it, but even the whole related concept of long regular classroom education is controversial in itself).


All this means that the very core of biology (epigenetics) but also pathogenesis (key role of mental states and relationships, sunshine and nutrition, allergies or infections etc) as well as treatments for various health challenges will be thorougly revised as a more complete picture will appear (less commercial band aids or drugs with sad side effects but a focus on the root issues)...

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^^interesting articles & perception put forth..but you confused me at what your perception is precisely. N' point out Ridley's Nurture vs Nature theory.......gene expression vulnerability.. ----(now speaking of susceptibility if indeed sunshine could/is the cure in relation w/role of Vit D mechanism is the the body..or genetics)...what about the flip-side of UV light & other harmful radiation exposure accelerating & more contributing to the malignancies of either skin cells in turn accelerating DNA proliferation adversely when naturally there is gaps in gene expression that counters such problem?- hence Skin cancer etc.


As well-in the case of MN somali families/children to have been diagnosed w/Autism/ADHD...the conclusion is yet to be made-studies are in progress about could be that the swedish scientists linked those families to Vit D deficiency et cetera..but that's not the case in MN (at least yet)..except the typical rumors of the British study & other linkages related worldwide. Now i know in USA-prenatal care enforces mothers to be to take prenatals + Vit D or the former only if the levels are higher (since VIT D has toxicity levels in the body...therefore monitored) but could be that the mother is not adherent or has slanted 'cultural & religious' or personal misconception about taking vitamins et cetera...nonetheless, let's not jump to conclusions yet..

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The possible UV and other risks are minimal compared to the benefits according to experts (I'm not one), and as for skin cancers, rates in Australia are lower than those in the UK which has of course much less sunshine or outdoor activities (hence the absurdity of warning against sun exposure).

In the UK, even inner cities whites of modest background are largely deficient as there is little direct sunshine most times, so imagine the case of immigrant ladies, well covered and living mostly indoor, in places where tall buildings and pollution further limit direct sunshine even in a sunny summer day.

It is interesting that heavy metals like mercury, which tends to accumulate in the body, is notorious for brain damage, lower IQ, dementia and other cognitive impairments; Yet, they are omnipresent in vaccines, artificial baby milk formulas etc.

So, given the importance of the Vitamin D hormone in cellular processes and detoxification in particular (regardless of whether experts finally agree or not on the link between autism and vaccines adjuvants such as mercury or other toxins, deficiencies etc), it is clearly a case of the lesser risk (just like drinking sodas is less risky than no water at all).


The scandal according to UK experts is thus that immigrants are not routinely monitored and offered Vitamin D3 (only low doses of D2 tends to be available without prescription) when these should be urgently generalised in all primary care settings according to some specialists (tests or low doses prescriptions are offered, particularly in cases of illnesses, but it is all currently discretionary).

It is very progressive if all American clinicians, in Minnesota at least, monitor and prescribe decent doses of D3 for those largely unable to get it naturally and particularly pregnant mothers whoses reserves are transmitted to the child; it is still a long fight elsewhere as those groups are not a priority.


In the light of present knowledge however, I think the vitamin D controversy is a bit irrelevant for the public;

toxicological studies show signs of toxicity (for those without other conditions) starting at around 50 000 IU and beyond ( for most of us.

However, experts recommend at most supplements of 4000-10 000 IU for dark skinned individuals in Northern latitudes (age higher than 35, preexisting deficiency or illness requiring the upper estimates); so the average recommended supplement is at least ten times lower than the threshold at which some troubles may start.

3-4 times those maximal doses may be necessary for those fat or obeses, but they would then only have similar blood concentrations to those of average individuals taking the maximal recommended doses.


"The guidelines say children and pregnant women should have 400 units a day of vitamin D, but that is far less than is recommended elsewhere. In America, experts have suggested 4,000 units.": Vitamin D awareness in decline, say doctors.



PS: the role of epigenetics and other perceptions of a "new biology" or medicine offering fresh perspective on pathogenesis and treatments (role of mental states, sunshine, nutrition etc), such as those put forth by Matt Ridley, are another topic though a related one. It offers many promises and more convincing explanations particularly in areas where modern medicine is most unscientific (causes and cures of those real mental illnesses rather than the pseudo ones etc).

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Vitamin D deficiency: Has this long, cold winter left your levels dangerously low?


Interesting comment that sum up the complexity of exposure (skin color multiply the need), accuracy of the usual testing ect:


"Read Oliver Gillies Sunshine Robbery and Scotland's Health Deficit online for more detail. There is so much more to understand about sun exposure. For instance after being out in the sun it takes up to 24 hours for the VitD3 to be absorbed by the body. Most people will wash it off with soap. You then have wasted the benefit of exposure. There is no point in sunbathing when your shadow is longer than your height as you will be exposing your body to UVB rays which cause skin cancer. You need UVA rays to create VitD3 so its 20 minutes exposure a couple of hours either side of mid day it is considered such exposure will create in excess of 10,000iu".


They say that even tanning beds (UV) are more efficient than pills (oil based vit D supplements and sprays seem better absorbed);

took 450 000 IU around a year ago (knee pain etc), my levels shifted from 17 to 42 nmol/L or disastrous to insufficient (optimal levels start at around 76 but supplementation is individual as people benefit differently from a given dosage).


It's alarming routine doctors are never adressing the root causes of diabetes, cancers ect, ie stress and lack of sun exposure, but are eager to prescribe.


It's also universal, even in sunny countries where people are not exposed: High prevalence of Vitamin D deficiency in UAE women and girls.

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Dr.Abu-Salman, thanks for the usefull info and advice. I can recommend every Somali abroad(specially in the more colder areas) to take Vitamin D dosis on regular basis. It will for sure make you more effective and more energized.

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I am not Dr mate so all the thanks should go to the clinicians;

Dr Ahmed Omar Abdi ( Ahmed Bashi) from Sweden recommended us a good D3 supplement of 5000 IU, which is available online, to be taken daily in his last visit (you are almost certain to be more or less severely deficient in many places):


The Health Challenges in Cold Countries.


Now that seems pretty conservative (even higher levels of 10000 IU may be optimal or several times that if fat, as it dissolves the hormone vit D so obese people may need much higher doses to achieve the same concentration).

Of course severe deficiency, which is very common, requires higher dosages in addition to the routine one so to correct it.

I guess at this stage, it's prudent to read more about it and discuss it with doctors, pharmacists and others for very high dosages.


Here is what the good Dr had to say:


"The old definition of vitamin D deficient level in the blood which was <15ng/ml (or

<37nmol/L), has been widely condemned, as this is related to only the rickets and

osteomalacia, but the prevention of other diseases needs a higher level of

25(OH)D3 which is >40ng/ml (or >80nmol/L), although some researchers suggest

that the optimal level is around 60ng/ml (or 120nmol/L). So to maintain the level

of 40ng/ml, the person may need to take 75 IU/Kg body weight per day or more;

which is an average of 5,000IU/day in adults. But if the patients are already

deficient they will need to take more doses to recover from deficiency. On the

other hand as in many studies, it is shown that taking up to 30,000IU per day for

long time does not cause any side effects and toxicity occurs at levels of 500

nmol/L or higher.


The worst consequences of vitamin D deficiency affect children, as this capable

inflicting irreversible brain damage, especially during their life in pregnancy, and

mothers will be responsible if that could be prevented by taking vitamin D (as I

believe). For the breast feeding infants the best way to supply vitamin D is to give

their mothers at least 5000IU/day or supplement like other children. Hollis and

Wagner discovered that breast milk is always a rich source of vitamin D – enough

to maintain healthy levels in infants – as long as the lactating mothers took 4,000

units (100 mcg) per day.40 So mothers should take the high dose of vitamin D or

get exposed to sunshine during pregnancy and lactation for both her benefit and

her baby.Everyone, regardless the age, living the high latitude area should take

vitamin D supplement of 75 IU/kg/day after correcting the deficiency or

200,000IU once every 2 months.[...]


[...]Everyone should try for sun exposure and avoid the sunblock creams.[...]


If you want further information, there are many articles published, some of

them mention in the reference, and even many video lectures are available

in YouTube under vitamin D. example go to . This

field needs further research and increasing public awareness."

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N.O.R.F;823134 wrote:
Interesting. The illnesses in our qurbo communies could be due to, mainly, an inactive lifestyle (I'm talking about the older folks here). Poor diet of rice and meat, too much tea, too much sitting around and a lack of sunshine could all be reasons. Back home you will see elderly folk of 80s+ who are active and still running around. Genetics and lifestyle.

Back home? Isn’t that the same place where TB is prevalent, Malaria is all over the place and there isn’t much healthcare? I love your anecdotal proofs, Norf. :]

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N.O.R.F wrote:
Interesting. The illnesses in our qurbo communies could be due to, mainly, an inactive lifestyle (I'm talking about the older folks here). Poor diet of rice and meat, too much tea, too much sitting around and a lack of sunshine could all be reasons. Back home you will see elderly folk of 80s+ who are active and still running around. Genetics and lifestyle.

Back home? Isn’t that the same place where TB is prevalent, Malaria is all over the place and there isn’t much healthcare? I love your anecdotal proofs, Norf. :]

TB and Malaria are called infectious diseases; basic hygiene and prevention (washing hands at births, maternal milk, malaria nets, water, nutrition ect) plummet rates of such "basic" illnesses. Once done, mortality rates at birth and in early years basically resembles those of much more "advanced countries", that is why populations grow so quickly whereas some of such measures where introduced.


Now, diabetes, cancers, cardio-vascular diseases, alzheimer ect are much more complicated to control, while being by-products of industrialisation; now you have to deal with stress or lack of sunshine exposure as the biggest killers and causes of diseases, whether it be through urban planning (green areas, walking over cars etc) or recommending meditation (clinicians promoting yoga, churches or mosques, relaxation etc).

Pollution is much easier to control and anyway much pollution (80% and more) occurs at home through chemicals such as cosmetics etc but community spirit or family having meals together etc is way beyond any clinician control;

a seminal study about the powerful influence on health of such factors as cohesion and group is the one done about the Italian enclave of Roseto where villagers have half the rate of heart diseases ect than other Americans, even with the same junk diet etc.

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I thought cardiovascular /diabetes & diseases whose rooted etiologies are in diet/environmental factors such as pollution/toxins were managable (easier to control in some ways as you can trace them back to their root causes) unlike superbags that mutate (in the case of MALARIA, TB-a slow acting bacterium)? NO?


Hygiene management could lessen the problems of a food-borne/water-born ilnessness/disease such as cholera, typhoid etc rather than Malaria.

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The point was that overall chronic diseases such as CVD, metabolic syndrom (diabete is now said to be a symptom of this more general disruption) or alzheimer (said now to be like "diabete of the brain" or stress killing neurons) ect, are often expensive to treat and requires constant care whereas infectious ones such as malaria for instance can be controlled with low tech, low cost interventions such as nets ect (TB is likewise manageable through nutrition, screening and education in primary care).


This is the reason why we witness a big shift these years in terms of global public health focus and pressure on WHO ect to put these chronic conditions into the priority list too as many countries see their healthcare needs burdened by CVD, cancers ect with increasing stress, pollution and junk food consumption (export factories, greater communities disruption and reliance on cars, marketing ect) alongside more "traditional" problems such as TB or malaria (often prevented in primary care and with much lower costs).


Anyway, the chronic conditions VS infectious disease was not the point but the crucial importance of the current findings on vitamin D (epigenetics is very interesting too and linked as gene expression is influenced by the vit D just like with stress).

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