How to protect seniors -- older parents, relatives and loved ones -- who live alone. Tips on what to do in case of an emergency. Safety ideas.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

D is for Defense: Deterring MS and Cancer via Vitamin D

Based on the BromsaMS Wikidot web article “Vitamin D And Multiple Sclerosis” and the Nutrition Journal web article “Nutrition and cancer: A review of the evidence for an anti-cancer diet” by Michael S Donaldson

Edited (with Introduction) by Dr. Don Rose


Various studies indicate that higher levels of Vitamin D in the body are associated with reduced risk or recurrence of MS (Multiple Sclerosis) and cancer. While more study is needed to establish whether increasing Vitamin D levels with supplements will reduce the risk of disease, it appears that, in general, supplements can provide a very low cost and safe form of “insurance” for your health. In other words, there doesn’t seem to be much downside to taking supplements like Vitamin D, yet a very large potential upside. (Of course, always consult your doctor before taking any supplements.) Read below for more details. --D.R.



Vitamin D is produced primarily from the exposure of the skin to sunshine. Even casual exposure of the face, hands, and arms in the summer generates a large amount of vitamin D. In fact, simulated sunshine, equivalent to standing on a sunny beach until a slight pinkness of the skin was detected, was equivalent to a 20,000 IU oral dose of vitamin D2 [1]. (Note that the RDA is 400 IU for most adults.) It has been estimated that 1,000 IU per day is the minimal amount needed to maintain adequate levels of vitamin D in the absence of sunshine [1], and that up to 4,000 IU per day can be safely used with additional benefit [2].

Vitamin D and MS

Good news about Vitamin D: researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health have found that the risk of MS is lowest among people whose Vitamin D levels are high. While other research has suggested this link, the Harvard study is the first to indicate that increasing Vitamin D levels could help prevent MS, a chronic degenerative neurological disease that affects some 350,000 people in the United States and two million worldwide.

Working with researchers from the U.S. Army and Navy, the Harvard team analyzed stored serum samples from more than seven million individuals for levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D]. They found that the risk of MS among whites whose Vitamin D levels were highest was 62 percent lower than among those whose levels were lowest. No significant associations were found among blacks and Hispanics, perhaps because there were fewer of their serum samples available or because these groups tend to have low Vitamin D levels. More study is needed to establish whether increasing Vitamin D levels with supplements will reduce the risk of MS. The study was published in the December 20, 2006 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Vitamin D and Cancer

The concentration of the active hormonal form of vitamin D is tightly regulated in the blood by the kidneys. This active hormonal form of vitamin D has the potent anti-cancer properties. It has been discovered that various types of normal and cancerous tissues, including prostate cells [3], colon tissue [4], breast, ovarian and cervical tissue [5], pancreatic tissue [6] and a lung cancer cell line [7] all have the ability to convert the major circulating form of vitamin D, 25(OH)D, into the active hormonal form, 1,25(OH)2D. So, there is a local mechanism in many tissues of the body for converting the form of vitamin D in the body that is elevated by sunshine exposure into a hormone that has anticancer activity.

Indeed, 25(OH)D has been shown to inhibit growth of colonic epithelial cells [8], primary prostatic epithelial cells [9], and pancreatic cells [6]. So, the laboratory work is confirming what had been seen some time ago in ecological studies of populations and sunshine exposure.

The mortality rates for colon, breast, and ovary cancer in the USA show a marked north-south gradient [10]. In ecological studies of populations and sunlight exposure, sunlight has been found to have a protective effect for prostate cancer [11], ovarian cancer [12], and breast cancer [13]. Recently Grant found that sunlight was also protective for bladder, endometrial, renal cancer, multiple myeloma, and Non-Hodgkins lymphoma in Europe [14] and bladder, esophageal, kidney, lung, pancreatic, rectal, stomach, and corpus uteri cancer in the USA [15]. Several prospective studies of vitamin D and cancer have also shown a protective effect from vitamin D. It could be that sunshine and vitamin D are protective factors for cancers of many organs that can convert 25(OH)D into 1,25(OH)D2.


1. Holick MF: Vitamin D: importance in the prevention of cancers, type 1 diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis.Am J Clin Nutr 2004, 79:362-371. [PubMed Abstract]

2. Vieth R, Kimball S, Hu A, Walfish PG: Randomized comparison of the effects of the vitamin D3 adequate intake versus 100 mcg (4000 IU) per day on biochemical responses and the wellbeing of patients.Nutr J 2004, 3:8. [PubMed Abstract][PubMed Central Full Text]

3. Schwartz GG, Whitlatch LW, Chen TC, Lokeshwar BL, Holick MF: Human prostate cells synthesize 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 from 25-hydroxyvitamin D3.Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 1998, 7:391-395. [PubMed Abstract]

4. Tangpricha V, Flanagan JN, Whitlatch LW, Tseng CC, Chen TC, Holt PR, Lipkin MS, Holick MF: 25-hydroxyvitamin D-1alpha-hydroxylase in normal and malignant colon tissue.Lancet 2001, 357:1673-1674. [PubMed Abstract]

5. Friedrich M, Rafi L, Mitschele T, Tilgen W, Schmidt W, Reichrath J: Analysis of the vitamin D system in cervical carcinomas, breast cancer and ovarian cancer.Recent Results Cancer Res 2003, 164:239-246. [PubMed Abstract]

6. Schwartz GG, Eads D, Rao A, Cramer SD, Willingham MC, Chen TC, Jamieson DP, Wang L, Burnstein KL, Holick MF, Koumenis C: Pancreatic cancer cells express 25-hydroxyvitamin D-1alpha-hydroxylase and their proliferation is inhibited by the prohormone 25-hydroxyvitamin D3.Carcinogenesis 2004, 25:1015-1026. [PubMed Abstract] Epub 2004 Jan 1023.

7. Mawer EB, Hayes ME, Heys SE, Davies M, White A, Stewart MF, Smith GN: Constitutive synthesis of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 by a human small cell lung cancer cell line.J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1994, 79:554-560. [PubMed Abstract]

8. Holt PR, Arber N, Halmos B, Forde K, Kissileff H, McGlynn KA, Moss SF, Kurihara N, Fan K, Yang K, Lipkin M: Colonic epithelial cell proliferation decreases with increasing levels of serum 25-hydroxy vitamin D.Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2002, 11:113-119. [PubMed Abstract]

9. Barreto AM, Schwartz GG, Woodruff R, Cramer SD: 25-Hydroxyvitamin D3, the prohormone of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3, inhibits the proliferation of primary prostatic epithelial cells.Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2000, 9:265-270. [PubMed Abstract]

10. Sunlight, Nutrition And Health Research Center[]

11. Hanchette CL, Schwartz GG: Geographic patterns of prostate cancer mortality. Evidence for a protective effect of ultraviolet radiation.Cancer 1992, 70:2861-2869. [PubMed Abstract]

12. Lefkowitz ES, Garland CF: Sunlight, vitamin D, and ovarian cancer mortality rates in US women.Int J Epidemiol 1994, 23:1133-1136. [PubMed Abstract]

13. Gorham ED, Garland FC, Garland CF: Sunlight and breast cancer incidence in the USSR.Int J Epidemiol 1990, 19:820-824. [PubMed Abstract]

14. Grant WB: Ecologic studies of solar UV-B radiation and cancer mortality rates.Recent Results Cancer Res 2003, 164:371-377. [PubMed Abstract]

15. Grant WB: An estimate of premature cancer mortality in the U.S. due to inadequate doses of solar ultraviolet-B radiation.Cancer 2002, 94:1867-1875. [PubMed Abstract]


The BromsaMS Wikidot article cited above is covered by a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. The referenced Nutrition Journal article is governed by an Open Access license.

Dr. Don Rose writes books, papers and articles on many topics, including computers, the Internet, artificial intelligence, science and technology, and issues related to seniors.

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Friday, January 12, 2007

Six Ways to Exorcise Exercise Excuses

Press Release -- Courtesy of

Introduction by Dr. Don Rose


Life Alert is known nationwide for providing personal protection in case of falls, home intrusion, medical emergencies or other dangerous scenarios, sending help fast in order to prevent injury or even death. But, as Exercise Physiologist and Fitness Consultant Joey Atlas points out, fitness and weight loss excuses can (eventually) kill you as well. One can conclude from Atlas’s views that we need to provide our bodies with a kind of “fitness protection” by exercising regularly and maintaining optimal weight. While fear of fitness and weight loss failure are major contributors to obesity around the world, Atlas provides a message of hope, encouraging the use of simple home workouts that can help fight fat and improve poor fitness levels. –D.R.


Ponte Vedra Beach, FL (PRWEB) November 7, 2006 — According to official figures from a 2006 report compiled by The Trust for America’s Health, the adult obesity rate rose from 15 percent in 1980 to 32 percent in 2004. Combine that with the number of Americans who are overweight but not obese, and the figure stands at 64 percent. And the childhood obesity rate more than tripled between 1980 and 2004, from 5 percent to 17 percent.

“I don’t have enough time for exercise.” “I’m too out of shape to workout.” “I don’t know what to do.” “I’m too afraid to ask the fitness instructors.” “The gym is too crowded.” “The health club members are rude.” “I don’t have the willpower.” These are some of the top excuses revealed by a 2004 survey conducted by the American Council on Exercise of San Diego.

“For the general population, excuses are just excuses. They are not valid reasons for poor levels of fitness and health. That being said, I can understand why so many people use these excuses. They just don’t know any better,” said Exercise Physiologist and Fitness Consultant Joey Atlas. “There is so much fitness and weight loss information out there. It’s hard for people to make sense out of it and see how or if it applies to them,” according to Atlas.

Atlas offers these six tips to put an end to your fitness excuses:

1) Develop this mindset: Fitness is not a leisure pursuit. It’s an obligation and a means for you to protect the gift of life you have been given.
2) Create a simple home gym with a little bit of space and a floor mat for core exercises.
3) Learn compound leg exercises, such as the touch-down, that do not require fitness equipment.
4) Perform daily flexibility and stretching exercises for increasing energy and injury prevention.
5) Use the floor mat for abdominal exercises and thigh exercises that provide a smart foundation for a more advanced fitness program.
6) Incorporate butt exercises and stomach exercises that do not require weights or exercise machines.

“There is so much that can be done with little or no fitness equipment. There is no need to be a member of a health club to be in great shape and healthy,” says Atlas. “I have some of my best workouts on the local playground. A ten-minute ab workout, a quick leg exercise series, a simple core workout and eight minutes of stretching for flexibility will give you a good sweat in less than thirty minutes.”

Atlas offers five free exercises, with photos and instructions via his main website,

Joey Atlas, M.S. - Exercise Physiology, is a fitness consumer advocate, professional trainer and fitness writer. He has been in the fitness industry since the late 80’s. Atlas is a contributing writer for OnFitness Magazine. Joey Atlas Fitness Resources provides fitness consulting services and products to individuals, families and companies all over the world.

Dr. Don Rose writes books, papers and articles on many topics, including computers, the Internet, artificial intelligence, science and technology, and issues related to seniors.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

High-Yield Living™ Launches Site for Baby Boomers and Offers 10 Tips for Getting What You Want in 2007

Press Release from Linda Franklin of
High-Yield Living (Courtesy of

Introduction by Dr. Don Rose


A new company called High Yield Living (HYL) aims to show boomers how to successfully deal with “reverse puberty” – the term HYL uses to describe emotions and physical changes boomers go through that often mirror or reverse the feelings and changes experienced during regular (teenage) puberty. One of HYL’s goals is to change how we age in health, beauty, relationships, finance and spirituality. –D.R.


(PRWEB) November 14, 2006 -- Linda Franklin, a passionate advocate for the baby boomer generation, has launched High Yield Living LLC, a website and a blog High-Yield Living™ (HYL) offers boomers cutting edge strategies for successfully managing their aging process. HYL’s research has identified that the key categories that boomers find most challenging as they age are health, beauty, relationships, finance and spirituality. "Age is inevitable; how we age isn’t," says Linda, who firmly believes that aging is a kind of reverse puberty. "There is the old paradigm that says ‘we’re getting old and there’s not much we can do about it.’ I subscribe to the new aging paradigm that says ‘there is plenty we can do about it’".

Linda has a natural talent for thinking outside the box. She was the first Canadian woman to own her seat on the New York Stock Exchange. She then became managing partner in charge of arbitrage trading for a leading Wall Street investment firm. Now, in "Act Two," Linda has developed winning strategies for boomers who feel "we’re just not that old."

Here are High-Yield Living’s 10 Tips Baby Boomers Need to Know for the New Year.

1. Me, For Better Or Worse
My body is changing like it or not. How I take care of myself now will shape my life for years to come.

2. It’s Never Too Late to Dream
I will always have a dream. My dreams are the voice of my soul.

3. Playtime
I always have energy for things that makes me happy. Playtime is something I do just for me.

4. Letting Go
Sometimes a relationship just runs its course. It’s okay to let go.

5. Changing Priorities
My wants are changing. I accept the change and move forward. If not now, when?

6. Getting off the Fence
Over thinking doesn’t help me. Action does! Today I move forward.

7. Intimacy
It’s easier to be intimate with other people when I take the time to become intimate with myself.

8. Reaching Out
I will do what I can to help other people. Giving back is a gift.

9. Changing Others
I’ve learned I can’t change other people and have stopped trying.

10. Clutter
I release what no longer serves me. Cleaning up makes room for something new and exciting.

High-Yield Living™ is about changing the aging paradigm and these tips are a great way for boomers to start off 2007 with passion and excitement.


Dr. Don Rose writes books, papers and articles on many topics, including computers, the Internet, artificial intelligence, science and technology, and issues related to seniors.

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Life Alert is the leading emergency response company, dedicated to solving home safety issues. With a touch of a button, Life Alert sends help fast, 24/7, whether it’s for a medical, fall, fire, or home invasion emergency, even when you can’t reach a phone. Life Alert saves a life from a catastrophic every 10 minutes and has received over 25,000 testimonials from grateful customers since 2008, and was the ONLY company former Surgeon General, Dr. C. Everett Koop, endorsed until his death in 2013. Founded in 1987, Life Alert has become the industry leader in personal protection but also has become a pop culture icon with their classic slogan, “Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” which was ranked #1 by USA TODAY in its list of the most memorable TV commercials. In 2008, “The Martha Stewart Show” featured Life Alert and recommend them to all of the patients at the Martha Stewart Center for Living while pointing out that Life Alert is "so inexpensive yet so vital for people." Life Alert, their slogan and/or pendant have been featured in many T.V. shows such as 30 Rock, Supernatural, The Goldbergs, and Jay Leno frequently referred to their famous slogan on The Tonight Show.