Three years ago, in October 2010, we discussed the many benefits of vitamin D.  Since that time, the evidence in favour of vitamin D has been growing, and I’d like to provide you with an update.

I’m sure you’re aware that direct sun exposure (to UVB rays) is a major source of vitamin D, but in more northern climates, supplementation is necessary, especially when the days are shorter.  There are only sufficient amounts of UV light coming from the sun when the UV index is 3 or higher.
   What’s the Problem?

It has been estimated that one-third of Americans were at risk of vitamin D inadequacy (24%) or deficiency (8%) according to CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). This was based on analysis of more than 24,000 people aged 1 or over, surveyed as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 2001-2008.  The analysis used blood levels of vitamin D set in 2010 by the Institute of Medicine, which defined “at risk of inadequacy” as 30-49 nanomoles per litre (nmol/L).  “Deficient” was defined as less than 30 nmol/L.

In Canada, the situation is similar.  Analysis of Statistics Canada’s Canadian Health Measures Survey (CHMS), including data collected from 2009 to 2011, showed that just over two-thirds of Canadians (68% had blood concentrations of vitamin D of 50 nmol/L or over, and 32% were below the cut-off –  i.e., at risk of inadequacy or deficient in vitamin D.

  • Children aged 3 – 5 had the highest rates above the cut-off (89%), whereas those aged 20 – 39 had the lowest (59%).
  • Only 34% of Canadians took a supplement containing vitamin D.  A larger percentage of those taking supplements were above the cut-off (85%), compared with non-supplement users (59%).
  • About 40% were below the cut-off in winter, compared with 25% in the summer.
  • On average, women had a higher concentration of vitamin D in their blood than men.
  • The percentage of people with adequate vitamin D levels across age groups produced a somewhat U-shaped curve – highest among young children and seniors, and lowest in young adults.
  • The body’s ability to produce vitamin D from the sun declines with age.  A person aged 70, for example, makes, on average, 25% of the vitamin D that a 20 year old makes when exposed to the same amount of sunlight.
  • Other factors affecting absorption of the sun’s rays include latitude, season (and clothing worn), time of day, cloud cover, air pollution, and sunscreen use.  In addition, those with darker skin colour do not produce as much vitamin D from the sun.
It’s clear that there’s room for improvement, especially as we find more and more reasons that vitamin D is crucial to our health and well-being.
   Benefits of Vitamin D

A recap of the major benefits discussed in the October 2010 newsletter
Vitamin D

  • Lowers the risk of several types of cancer
  • Improves lung function
  • Helps build strong bones and teeth
  • Contributes to good cardiovascular health by reducing the risk of calcium build-up in the arteries
  • Helps our immune systems – note:  this is relevant to flu season!
  • Combats aging
  • Protects against MS (multiple sclerosis)

New information:

Diabetes and insulin resistance

  • While we referred briefly to vitamin D’s possible role in benefitting those with type 1 diabetes in the last newsletter, this has become clearer.1
    • Low levels of vitamin D may contribute to increased risk of complications in type 1 diabetes.4
  • Evidence has also been accumulating that higher levels of vitamin D are important in reducing insulin resistance in people considered to be pre-diabetic with type 2 diabetes, and also preventing and reducing complications of type 2 diabetes.
  • Based on some American studies, vitamin D is being considered to possibly prevent type 2 diabetes.  This needs to be confirmed in clinical trials.

Falls prevention

  • Vitamin D, combined with exercise, has been found to be one of the best ways to reduce the risk of falls in older adults.  According to a review of 54 clinical trials including 26,101 participants aged 65 and older, exercise was associated with a 13% reduction in the risk of falling, while trials of vitamin D supplementation saw a 17% reduction in falls.

Parkinson’s disease

  • Low serum vitamin D is correlated with increased risk of Parkinson’s disease and further associated with the severity of the disease.
  • Mechanistically, vitamin D may protect neurons from stressors although a deficiency does not appear to inherently increase the risk of neuronal damage on the cells associated with Parkinson’s.
  • A couple of small studies have suggested that maintaining sufficient levels of vitamin D may help slow the progress of Parkinson’s disease.  One study specifically linked the improvement to people with a certain gene. More research is necessary.

Cardiovascular disease

  • First, a correction: In the October 2010 newsletter, I quoted a reference stating that vitamin D helped to lower blood pressure.  We now know (see our July 2013 newsletter) that it’s the sun’s ability to stimulate the production of nitric oxide that helps to lower blood pressure, not actually its creation of vitamin D. 
  • Those with insufficient vitamin D levels are significantly more likely to develop heart disease than those who do not.
  • Vitamin D insufficiency is associated with increased arterial stiffness and vascular dysfunction in otherwise healthy humans. 

Protect your bones, reduce the risk of falling

  • Vitamin D supplements of at least 800 IU (International Units) were found to reduce the risk of both hip and non-vertebral fractures, particularly when study participants were compliant in actually taking the supplements.  The analysis pooled data from 11 controlled trials, and found that participants who actually took 792 to 2,000 IU of vitamin D daily had a 30% lower risk of hip fracture, and a 14% lower risk of non-vertebral fractures.

Disability prevention

  • A new Dutch study reports that 1,962 people aged 55 to 88 were at increased risk of developing limitations in performing everyday tasks if their blood levels of vitamin D (below 20 ng/mL) were low.  These tasks included:
    • Walking up and down 15 stairs without a rest
    • Dressing and undressing
    • Sitting down and rising from a chair
    • Cutting their toenails
    • Walking outside five minutes without resting
    • Using personal or public transportation
  • The number of disabilities increased from 1 to 2 in those with low levels of vitamin D over a follow-up period of 6 years for the younger participants (under 65) and 3 years for the older participants.
   Did You Know?

Mushrooms are a surprising source of vitamin D!  While the amount of vitamin D in most mushrooms is too low to make a significant contribution to your daily requirement, brief exposure (15 – 20 seconds) of mushrooms to ultraviolet light can produce more vitamin D than contained in a glass of fortified milk.  Mushrooms then provide significant amounts of vitamin D2, not D3 which is more highly recommended; however, findings from a small clinical trial showed that the D2 in mushrooms can boost blood levels of the vitamin as much as supplements.

   What Level of Supplementation of Vitamin D is Appropriate?

It depends.  How much sun exposure do you get?  Is your skin colour one that will easily absorb vitamin D from the sun or not?  Is it winter or summer, or somewhere in between?  What is your age?  There is clearly no one answer for everybody.  Looking for recommendations isn’t much help either – they’re all over the map, and in my opinion, many are low.  On the other hand, it is possible to get too much of a good thing. 

The following tables give you an idea of the variation in recommendations for daily and maximum doses.

Recommended daily intakes from various organizations


Vitamin D Council

Endocrine Society

Food and Nutrition Board


1,000 IU/day

400-1,000 IU/day

400 IU/day


1,000 IU/day per 25 lbs of body weight

600-1,000 IU/day

600 IU/day


5,000 IU/day

1,500-2,000 IU/day

600 IU/day,
800 IU/day for seniors

Upper limits set by various organizations


Vitamin D Council

Endocrine Society

Food and Nutrition Board


2,000 IU/day

2,000 IU/day

1,000-1,500 IU/day


2,000 IU/day per 25lbs of body weight

4,000 IU/day

2,500-3,000 IU/day


10,000 IU/day

10,000 IU/day

4,000 IU/day

Very high levels of vitamin D can develop if you:

  • Take more than 10,000 IU/day (but not equal to) every day for 3 months or more.  However, vitamin D toxicity is more likely to develop if you take 40,000 IU/day every day for 3 months or more.
  • Take 300,000 IU in a 24 hour period.

The more you weigh, the more vitamin D your body can handle; the less you weigh, the less vitamin D your body can handle.  The above cut-offs of 300,000 in 24 hours, or more than 10,000 IU/day for 3 months or more apply to average adult weight of 125 – 200 lbs.

How much vitamin D is too much for children?

Child’s weight

Too much vitamin D and potentially toxic amount


25 lbs or less

In 24 hours or less

For over 3 months

50,000 IU

2,000 IU/day

25 – 50 lbs

100,000 IU

4.000 IU/day

50 – 75 lbs

150,000 IU

6,000 IU/day

75 – 100 lbs

200,000 IU

8,000 IU/day

You need to know your blood levels of vitamin D in relation to the supplementation you are currently taking, and adjust it accordingly.  If you would like help with this complicated question, please contact me to arrange an appointment.


Please check out the following Nature’s Sunshine supplements containing vitamin D on our website.

Vitamin D3 1000 IU /store/#!/~/product/id=6402671

Super Vitamins & Minerals /store/#!/~/product/id=6402719

Sunshine Heroes Multiple Vitamin & Minerals /store/#!/~/product/id=6402735

Cal-Mag Plus D /store/#!/~/product/id=6402699

For additional information, please email; or call Ramilas Healing Arts Clinic at 613.829.0427 for an appointment. Please continue letting friends and family know about this newsletter. Also on our website, please see back issues of this newsletter, additional information about products, order products, and see information about our Clinic.

  1. Vitamin D.  Accessed October 3, 2013.
  2. 1 in 3 low in vitamin D. Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter 2011;29(4):3.
  3. Janz T, Pearson C. Vitamin D blood levels of Canadians.  Health at a Glance. Statistics Canada, Catalogue no. 82-624-X, January, 2013.
  4. Devaraj S, Yun J-M, Duncan-Staley CR, Jialal I. Low vitamin D levels correlate with the proinflammatory state in type 1 diabetic subjects with and without microvascular complications. Am J Clin Pathol 2011;135:429-433.
  5. Vitamin D a possible tool in diabetes prevention. Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter 2012;30(4):1,3.
  6. Exercise and vitamin D rated best bets for preventing falls. Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter 2011;29(1):1-2.
  7. Berries linked to lower Parkinson’s risk plus new clues to the disease from ibuprofen and vitamin D. Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter 2011;29(4):1-2.
  8. Seaman AM. Vitamin D might help some Parkinson’s patients. Reuters Health, New York, Wed. March 27, 2013  Accessed October 10, 2013.
  9. Al Mheid I, Patel R, Munrow J, et al. Vitamin D status is associated with arterial stiffness and vascular dysfunction in healthy humans. J Am Coll Cardiol 2011;58:186-192.
  10. Higher doses of vitamin D required to protect your bones. Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter 2012;30(7):1,3.
  11. Are you getting enough vitamin D to prevent disability? Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter 2013;31(8):3.
  12. Mushrooms a surprising source of vitamin D. Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter 2013;31(6):7.
  13. Vitamin D Council Accessed October 21, 2013.
  14. Vitamin D Council  Accessed October 21, 2013
The suggestions and recommendations in this newsletter are not intended to be prescriptive or diagnostic. The information is accurate and up to date to our knowledge, but we are not responsible for any errors in our sources of information.

These newsletters will help you make better choices for better health. The choices that you make today can either have a positive or negative impact on your overall health. Begin by choosing better. It is a step toward longevity.


Ramila Padiachy
Ramila's Healing Arts Clinic



I hope you enjoyed a wonderful summer!  Since the season has passed for sitting outside in the shade with a good book, this month I’m doing the reading for you and reviewing a book by Joseph Murphy called The Power of Your Subconscious Mind.1  I highly recommend you read it for yourself – it was first published in 1963, but Dr. Murphy was way ahead of his time in many ways, particularly in understanding and applying the Law of Attraction. 

However, a word of caution is also in order.  The book reflects the values of the early 1960s, and things really have changed a lot since then.  Also, Dr. Murphy was a minister among other things; his language is often biblical, and there are many quotes from the bible. These aspects of the book may discourage a few readers, but there is a huge amount of excellent information.
   About the Author2,3

Very briefly, Joseph Murphy wrote, taught, counseled, and lectured to thousands all over the world for nearly 50 years.  He was born in 1898, and educated in Ireland and England before he moved to the US.  He first became a pharmacist in New York after completing a chemistry degree.  In addition to being an ordained minister of the Church of Divine Science in Los Angeles for 28 years and later, in Laguna Hills, he obtained a PhD in psychology from the University of Southern California, which led to a writing career.  He died in 1981 after publishing 25 books in addition to his career as a minister and lecturer.

   The Power of Your Subconscious Mind - Joseph Murphy

This book covers a multitude of topics – too many to review in detail in this newsletter.  Murphy devotes a lot of time to defining the subconscious mind and describing how it works.  He then covers many practical applications of the subconscious mind, e.g. “how to use the power of your subconscious for wealth.” 

He also gives many examples of the Law of Attraction at work.  Although the Law of Attraction has been recognized since biblical times, it didn’t become popular until quite recently, and Murphy was ahead of his time in his writing and understanding of it.  (See our newsletter of May 2012 for a review of The Secret, which discusses the Law of Attraction in detail.)

Murphy divides the mind into 2 spheres – the conscious mind and the subconscious mind.  His discussion of the conscious mind would correspond well with more recent writings.  In Murphy’s view, the subconscious mind includes not only the subconscious, but also what others refer to as the superconscious (e.g. Bruce Lipton in The Biology of Belief, see our newsletter of November 2012.)  Still others would call this the soul, or the part of us that is one with the universe/God or whatever you choose to call it.

The marvelous power of your subconscious
“You can bring into your life more power, more wealth, more health, more happiness, and more joy by learning to contact and release the hidden power of your subconscious mind.
You need not acquire this power; you already posses it. But, you want to learn how to use it; you want to understand it so that you can apply it in all departments of your life.”

This is a huge promise, but Murphy delivers.  He shows by giving many examples, as well as explaining in more detail how the subconscious works, how these statements are absolutely true.

The conscious and subconscious minds
Murphy suggests getting to know the 2 functions of your mind by thinking of yourself as a gardener planting seeds (thoughts) in your subconscious mind all day long, based on your habitual thinking.  “As you sow in your subconscious mind, so shall you reap in your body and environment.” 

Beginning now to sow thoughts of peace, happiness, good will, “right action,” and prosperity, and accepting them fully in your conscious (reasoning) mind will result in your subconscious bringing about harmonious conditions.

Outstanding differences and modes of operation
Murphy likens the conscious mind to the navigator or captain of a ship who directs the ship and signals orders to men in the engine room.  These men do not know where they are going, but they follow the orders.  If the captain were to issue faulty orders, the ship would go on the rocks; the men in the engine room obey orders automatically.  The men in the engine room are, of course, analogous to the subconscious mind.  It does not reason, it bases its conclusions and actions on the information it is given, rightly or wrongly, given that the conscious mind accepts the information as true.  For example, if you repeatedly say you can’t afford something, your subconscious mind takes you at your word and sees to it that you will not be able to afford what you want. 

Change your beliefs, and your circumstances will change; Murphy provides several examples to illustrate this (page 21).

How your own mind works
In this chapter, Murphy explains in more detail the roles of the conscious and subconscious minds.  For example, he clarifies that there are not 2 minds, but 2 spheres of activity within one mind.  Your conscious mind reasons.  The subconscious does not.  It, however, is creative.  It works by association and uses every bit of information collected over a lifetime to accomplish its mission.  The conscious mind is viewed as the objective mind, and the subconscious as subjective.

Murphy provides a number of examples of the power of suggestion both for good and for ill.  He notes that a suggestion has no power in and of itself except if you accept it mentally.  Positive examples of autosuggestion include overcoming fear, restoring memory, and overcoming a nasty temper.   He gives examples of negative suggestions made by other people, and how we can either fall victim to them or ignore or overcome them. 

He makes it clear, with examples, that false information accepted by the conscious and subconscious minds can literally create disease and even death – totally unnecessarily, of course.  This brings to mind the third of The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, “Don’t make assumptions,” (see our newsletter of July, 2012).

 We can choose to reject negative suggestions, and choose only positive ideas.  “Choose life!  Choose love!  Choose health!” 

The miracle-working power of your subconscious
“Your subconscious mind controls all the vital processes and functions of your body and knows the answer to all problems.  Your subconscious mind never sleeps, never rests.  It is always on the job.” 

Murphy claims that the reason there is so much chaos and misery in the world is because people do not understand the interaction of their conscious and subconscious minds.  He says that when they work together as they should, you will have health happiness, peace and joy. 

He says there is no sickness or discord when the conscious and subconscious work together harmoniously and peacefully.  He gives an example of how he had healed himself of a skin cancer that had been getting worse and not responding to treatment, many years earlier, based on the advice of a clergyman with “deep psychological knowledge.”  The clergyman used the analogy of a watch that had been made by a watchmaker, who knew how to repair that watch.  Likewise, the subconscious mind that had created his body from a single cell, knew exactly how to recreate it and heal it.  Murphy developed a simple prayer that he repeated for about 5 minutes 2 or 3 times a day, and in about 3 months his skin was completely clear.  The prayer can be found on pages 38-39 (of the ebook).

Murphy discusses how to get the subconscious to work for you, by keeping you conscious mind busy with positive thoughts.

Healings in ancient and modern times
Murphy actually devotes separate chapters to healings in ancient and in modern times, with many extremely impressive examples.  He emphasizes that in all cases, the subconscious mind, and belief, were the healers.

The tendency of the subconscious is lifeward
You may not realize that over 90% of the brain’s activity is in the subconscious mind, and that only a small percentage of activity occurs in the conscious mind.  The subconscious mind not only oversees all vital functions but it is the source of intuition, hunches, impulses, intimations, urges, and ideas.  Murphy assures you that your subconscious works continually for your common good, and that it is always trying to help and preserve you from harm.  He emphasizes that it is normal to be healthy and abnormal to be sick.

After describing how to get the results you want, Murphy then deals with a large number of specific topics as follows:

  • How to use the power of your subconscious for wealth
  • Your right to be rich
  • Your subconscious mind as a partner in success
  • Scientists use the subconscious mind
  • Your subconscious mind and the wonders of sleep
  • Your subconscious mind and marital problems
    • While you might think that this topic would be more dated than some, it gives excellent examples of the Law of Attraction, and is therefore much less dated than you might expect.
  • Your subconscious mind and your happiness
  • Your subconscious mind and harmonious human relations
  • How to use your subconscious mind for forgiveness
  • How your subconscious removes mental blocks
  • How to use your subconscious mind to remove fear
  • How to stay young in spirit forever

Selected points to remember

  • Your subconscious mind is the builder of your body and can heal you.  Lull yourself to sleep every night with the idea of perfect health, and your subconscious will obey you.
  • Use only positive affirmations, e.g., I can do all things through the power of my subconscious mind.
  • The law of life is the law of belief.  A belief is a thought in your mind.  Do not believe in things to harm or hurt you.  Believe in the power of your subconscious to heal, inspire, strengthen, and prosper you.
  • Change your thoughts and you change your destiny.
  • Think good, and good follows.  Think evil, and evil follows.  You are what you think all day long.
  • Your subconscious mind does not argue with you.  It accepts what your conscious mind decrees.
  • You have the power to choose.  Choose health and happiness. . . . Choose to be cooperative, joyous, friendly, lovable, and the whole world will respond.  This is the best way to develop a wonderful personality.
  • The suggestions and statements of others have no power to hurt you.  You can choose to reject the negative thoughts of others and accept only the good.
  • Do not let others do your thinking for you. Choose your own thoughts and make your own decisions.
  • Your subconscious mind controls all the vital processes of your body and knows the answer to all problems.
  • Prior to sleep, turn over a specific request to your subconscious mind and prove its miracle-working power to yourself.
  • The law of action and reaction is universal.  Your thought is action and the reaction is the automatic response of your subconscious mind to your thought.  Watch your thoughts!
  • You can interfere with the normal rhythm of your heart, lungs, and other organs by worry, anxiety, and fear.  Feed your subconscious with thoughts of harmony, health, and peace, and all the functions of your body will become normal again.
  • Keep your conscious mind busy with the expectation of the best, and your subconscious will faithfully reproduce your habitual thinking.
  • The symptoms of almost any disease can be induced in you by hypnotic suggestion.  This shows you the power of your thought.
  • A mental picture is worth a thousand words.  Your subconscious will bring to pass any picture held in the mind backed by faith.
  • When your mind is relaxed and you accept an idea, your subconscious goes to work to execute the idea.
  • The feeling of health produces health; the feeling of wealth produces wealth.  How do you feel?

There is an enormous amount of information packed in this fairly short (180 pages) book.  Again, I think it’s well worth reading yourself.  If you think you would benefit by discussing any issues regarding the workings of the subconscious mind with me, please do not hesitate to contact our office to arrange an appointment.  Happy reading!

For additional information, please email; or call Ramilas Healing Arts Clinic at 613.829.0427 for an appointment. Please continue letting friends and family know about this newsletter. Also on our website, please see back issues of this newsletter, additional information about products, order products, and see information about our Clinic.

  1. Murphy J. The Power of Your Subconscious Mind. Radford VA: Wilder Publications, 2007.
  2. Joseph Murphy. Wikipedia.  Accessed July 31, 2013.
  3. Joseph Murphy (1898 – 1981) Prosperity writer extrordinaire [sic].  Accessed July 31, 2013.
The suggestions and recommendations in this newsletter are not intended to be prescriptive or diagnostic. The information is accurate and up to date to our knowledge, but we are not responsible for any errors in our sources of information.

These newsletters will help you make better choices for better health. The choices that you make today can either have a positive or negative impact on your overall health. Begin by choosing better. It is a step toward longevity.


Ramila Padiachy
Ramila's Healing Arts Clinic



For years now, we’ve been told to stay out of the sun, and if that’s not possible, to wear a sunscreen with a suitably high SPF, or a hat and long sleeves etc.  Well, now there’s good evidence that some sun is actually good for us.  The key, of course, is moderation.  The benefits are very impressive.  Have a safe and happy summer!

   Sun Exposure – The Big Picture

While there’s no denying that too much sun can be unhealthy, overall, excessive UVR (ultra-violet radiation) exposure accounts for only 0.1% of the total global burden of disease in disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) according to the 2006 World Health Organization (WHO) report, The Global Burden of Disease Due to Ultraviolet Radiation. DALYs measure how much a person’s expectancy of healthy life is reduced by premature death or disability caused by disease.  Many diseases linked to excessive UVR exposure tend to be relatively harmless (with the obvious exception of malignant melanoma) and occur in older age groups, due to the long lag time between UVB exposure (and its accumulation) and the occurrence of disease. Therefore the burden of disease is fairly low in spite of high prevalence of some conditions.

In contrast, the WHO report noted that a much larger annual disease burden of 3.3 billion DALYs worldwide may result from very low levels of UVR exposure.

Those of us who live at higher latitudes (usually interpreted as farther north, but also true for far south) know that we see the sun a lot more in the summer than the winter.  We’re also aware that the sun is not nearly as high in the sky in the winter.  This means the sun’s rays are passing through a thicker layer of the earth’s atmosphere, which filters out many of the sun’s rays.  Therefore, we can’t get the UV exposure in winter that we can in summer – or the health benefits.

Living at higher latitudes is associated with higher risk of dying from Hodgkin’s lymphoma as well as breast, ovarian, colon, pancreatic, prostate and other cancers.  Low sun exposure (or low levels of vitamin D) or residence at higher latitudes has been associated with increased risk of multiple sclerosis.  Also, UV exposure can suppress the clinical symptoms of multiple sclerosis independently of vitamin D synthesis.  

There is a similar latitudinal gradient for type 1 diabetes.  There is also a connection with metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes, as well as heart disease.  However, not all of this may be attributable to low levels of vitamin D – see the next section.

In summary, much more ill health can be attributed to too little sun exposure than too much.

   Big News from a Recent Study

A recent study has shown that sun exposure protects against heart disease, and this protective effect is not due to higher vitamin D levels.  Scientists at the University of Edinburgh have gone as far as to say that the heart-health benefits of sun exposure may outweigh the risk of developing skin cancer.  In this landmark study, Richard Weller and colleagues found that when sun touches our skin, a compound called nitric oxide (NO) that helps lower blood pressure, is released into our blood vessels. 

Dr. Weller, a senior lecturer in dermatology, says that the effect is such that overall, sun exposure could improve health and even prolong life, because the benefits of reducing blood pressure, which cuts the risk of heart attacks and strokes, far outweigh the risk of getting skin cancer.  The researchers noted that rates of high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease rise in winter and are tied to geographic latitude; i.e. they are higher farther north than closer to the equator.  They also point out that in northern Europe, for every death from skin cancer, about 100 people die of stroke and heart disease linked to high blood pressure. 

This is the first study to show that NO is produced as a result of sun exposure from nitrates and nitrites which are stored just underneath the skin.  This is a big plus in addition to the long-known benefits of vitamin D from sun exposure.  Dr. Weller points out that the benefits of sun exposure are even greater in older people (“older” not precisely defined, since he was talking about people his mother-in-law’s age, who, he claims, he only knows is older than his wife!).

I highly recommend watching Dr. Weller’s TED talk (see third reference for link).  It’s only 13 minutes, a small investment of your time, and he’s very entertaining as well as informative.  Also, you might want to review the benefits of NO that we discussed in the February 2013 newsletter (available at

   The Sun and Vitamin D Production

The sun is best known for its ability to boost your body’s vitamin D supply. Vitamin D can be synthesized in the skin as a result of exposure to UVB radiation. The initial photosynthesis produces vitamin D3, most of which undergoes additional transformations starting with the production of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D), the major form of vitamin D circulating in the blood stream and the form that is routinely measured to determine a person’s vitamin D status.  Although some of this conversion can take place in certain types of skin cells, most of the conversion takes place in the liver.  Another set of transformations occurs in the kidney and other tissues, forming 1,25(OH)D.  This form of the vitamin is actually a hormone, chemically similar to the steroid hormones. 

1,25(OH)D accumulates in cell nuclei of the intestine, where it enhances calcium and phosphorus absorption, controlling the flow of calcium into and out of bones to regulate bone-calcium metabolism.  Michael Holick, a medical professor and director of the Bone Health Care Clinic at Boston University Medical Center, says, “The primary physiologic function of vitamins D is to maintain serum calcium and phosphorous levels within the normal physiologic range to support most metabolic functions, neuromuscular transmission, and bone mineralization.”

   The Melanoma Paradox

Note that the UVA light that we’re exposed to indoors actually breaks down vitamin D3 formed by UVB (sun) exposure.  This has led to the finding that safe sun exposure can actually protect you from melanoma (the dangerous form of skin cancer).  In a study, indoor workers were found to have increased rates of melanoma because they were only exposed to UVA light, which is associated with skin damage and skin cancer.  These workers were found to get 3 to 9 times less sun exposure than outdoor workers and had correspondingly lower levels of vitamin D.   

Most melanomas occur on the least sun-exposed areas of the body, and occupational exposure to sunlight actually reduced melanoma risk in a study reported in the June 2003 Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

Moreover, although excessive sun exposure is an established risk factor for melanoma, continued high sun exposure was linked with increased survival rates in patients with early-stage melanoma in a study reported in 2005 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

   Other Benefits of Sun Exposure
  • Several skin diseases can be treated with solar radiation or UV radiation. (phototherapy) including psoriasis, vitiligo, atopic dermatitis and localized scleroderma. 
  • UVA-induced NO, in addition to its beneficial effects on blood pressure, may also have an anti-microbial effect and even act as a neurotransmitter
  • UV exposure is known to improve mood, reduce anxiety and stress through the release of endorphins.
  • Gradual tanning increases melanin which acts as a sunscreen.
  • Prevents some muscle pain.
  • Helps prevent bone diseases:  Vitamin D prevents rickets and also helps prevent osteoporosis and falls in older people. 
  • Fights seasonal affective disorder.
  • Fights cavities, especially in children.
  • A better night’s sleep – a good amount of daylight exposure is vital to maintain a normal circadian rhythm.
   Moderation in Excess!

There is no single recommendation for how much sun is the ideal amount, partly because the answer depends on your skin colour.  Fair skinned people need less sun than those who are darker because darker skins do not absorb the UVB rays as readily.  It also depends on how deficient your levels of vitamin D are – the lower they are, the more sun you need to bring them back to a good level.

Many experts are recommending a middle-ground approach that focuses on modest sun exposures.  The American Academy of Dermatology and most dermatologists (in the US) suggest sun protection in combination with vitamin D supplementation as a means of minimizing the risk of both skin cancer and internal cancers.  Brief, repeated exposures are more efficient at producing vitamin D.  Longer sun exposures cause further sun damage to skin and increase the risk of photo-aging and skin cancer, but do not increase vitamin D production, according to one expert.

So what does all that mean?  Well, there are many different estimates of ideal amounts of sun exposure out there, but one that is in line with most others suggests that 12-15 minutes per day in sunlight could confer significant health benefits together with 2000 IU of vitamin D3. Without sun exposure, 4000 IU of vitamin D3 is recommended (as well as Arginine Plus Mixed Berry for NO, of course).

Some sunlight enters the skin even through high SPF sunscreen, so people can maximize their dermal vitamin D production by spending additional time outdoors while wearing protection.

It is always important to avoid burning!


Vitamin D3 1000IU /store/#!/~/product/id=6402671

Arginine Plus Mixed Berry /store/#!/~/product/id=8132592

For additional information, please email; or call Ramilas Healing Arts Clinic at 613.829.0427 for an appointment. Please continue letting friends and family know about this newsletter. Also on our website, please see back issues of this newsletter, additional information about products, order products, and see information about our Clinic.

  1. Mead NM. Benefits of sunlight: a bright spot for human health. Environ Health Perspect 2008;116:A160-A167  Accessed July 2, 2013.
  2. Juzeniene A, Moan J. Beneficial effects of UV radiation other than via vitamin D production. Dermato-Endocrinology 2012;4:109-117.
  3. Weller R.  Accessed January 24, 2013.
  4. Paddock C. Sun exposure benefits may outweigh risks say scientists.  Medical News Today Accessed July 2, 2013.
  5. Borreli L. Sun exposure: vitamin D and other health benefits of sunlight. Medical Daily June 4, 2013.   Accessed July 2, 2013.
  6. Feeling sunny? 25 health benefits of sensible sun exposure.  Accessed July 2, 2013.
  7. Mercola JM. Are you making these sunshine mistakes?  September 29, 2012.  Accessed July 2, 2013.

The suggestions and recommendations in this newsletter are not intended to be prescriptive or diagnostic. The information is accurate and up to date to our knowledge, but we are not responsible for any errors in our sources of information.

These newsletters will help you make better choices for better health. The choices that you make today can either have a positive or negative impact on your overall health. Begin by choosing better. It is a step toward longevity.


Ramila Padiachy
Ramila's Healing Arts Clinic

Anti-Aging Strategies - June 2013 - Volume 5 Issue 3


Almost 3 years ago (August 2010) our newsletter was on the topic of anti-aging strategies.  New information is becoming available all the time, so I thought an update would be a good idea.  I hope you’re ready to enjoy a wonderful summer and that you find this information interesting and helpful.

Aging affects our bodies and our minds to a certain extent, but it’s becoming more and more evident that our minds, i.e. how we think, can strongly affect how our bodies and minds actually age.  Pessimistic beliefs about aging generate negative health outcomes whereas positive beliefs result in positive health outcomes (See our November 2012 newsletter on The Biology of Belief by Bruce Lipton).  Of course, we also need a healthy diet, adequate sleep, physical and mental activity, and social engagement to age well.

A recent British survey finds that people now consider middle age starts at 55 (as opposed to much earlier in previous surveys) and lasts until almost age 70.  However, almost 20% thought middle age only began at age 60, and 20% said that middle age is a state of mind, not something that begins at a certain age.

   Physical Activity

Muscle mass and strength.  We stressed the importance of maintaining a good ratio between muscle mass and fat as we age, particularly since people with a higher ratio of muscle to fat have a higher metabolism, so they burn more calories and have less to worry about gaining weight.  We also noted that age does not decrease the ability of muscles to benefit from strength training such as weight training.  Anyone can regain muscle mass and strength, no matter what shape they’re in now.  It is well known that physical health has a direct impact on mental functioning as well.

Exercise has been shown to offset a genetic marker for Alzheimer’s disease.  Researchers used PET scans to image the brains of 163 participants aged 45-88 who scored normally on a clinical assessment for cognitive functioning.  They identified 52 of the participants as carriers of AOPE-Ɛ4, a genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. Among sedentary APOE-Ɛ4 carriers, the scans showed greater build-up of amyloid plaques in the brain, which is associated with the development of Alzheimer’s disease.  However, the carriers who were physically active, meeting the American Heart Association guidelines for regular exercise, showed no more build-up of amyloid plaques than the brains of non-carriers. 

Combining aerobics and weights is best to battle metabolic syndrome.  Brisk walking alone will help to ward off metabolic syndrome, but for best results, you should combine aerobic exercise with weight training according to an 8-month study of 198 men and women aged 18-70, who were overweight and had unhealthy levels of blood lipids such as triglycerides.  Participants were randomly assigned to weight training 3 days a week, 120 minutes a week of walking or a combination of the two.  Weight training did boost strength as expected, and aerobics improved fitness as measured by peak oxygen consumption.  But only the combined group experienced a drop in the prevalence of metabolic syndrome.  The researchers cautioned that they could not determine if the benefits seen by the ‘combined group’ were simply due to exercising more than the other groups.  Among the single activities, aerobics showed a greater improvement in health measures including weight.

Omega-3s may enhance the effects of strength training.  Supplementing strength training with the omega-3s found in fish oil may make the weight training work better according to a small Brazilian study of 45 senior women.  It is believed that fish oil that is rich in omega-3s plays a role in the plasma membrane and cell function of muscles which may enhance the benefits of training.

Even 15 minutes of exercise a day prolongs your life.  Even if you can’t convince yourself to get at least 30 minutes of exercise a day, a Taiwan study showed that 15 minutes of exercise a day was associated with a 14% lower mortality rate and an extra 3 years of projected life expectancy, compared to no exercise at all.  Every bit of exercise helps!

Avoid too much sitting!  A Scottish study reported that people who spend at least 2 hours a day sitting in front of the computer or TV were more than twice as likely to suffer a cardiovascular event than those with less than 2 hours average daily screen time.  The heavy “recreational sitters” were also 52% more likely to die.  Even those who exercised when they weren’t sitting did not lower the risks associated with longer periods of sitting.  The study analyzed data on 4,512 participants in the 2003 Scottish Health Survey aged 35 and up and followed the participants for about 4 years.

 A second study in Australia measured activity by having participants wear accelerometers for an average of 14.6 hours a day.  Among 4,757 adults, average age 46.5, longer sedentary time was associated with less healthy measures of HDL, cholesterol, insulin, insulin resistance, fasting triglycerides and C-reactive protein, as well as greater waist circumference.

What can you do if your job demands a lot of sitting?  Get up and move around for as little as 1 minute.  Do this at least every 45 minutes.  This will improve your circulation, keep you mentally sharper, and even burn a couple of calories.

Your brain benefits from exercise.  While some scientists may still say that the theory is speculative, improved circulation (blood flow) to the brain has to benefit the brain, as it does all other parts of the body.   Recent evidence links aerobic exercise to volume in the hippocampus, a part of the brain that’s key to memory.  Researchers assigned half of a group of 120 men and women in their mid-60s to a program of aerobic walking 3 times a week.  The other half enrolled in stretching classes and served as a control group.  Participants were tested for fitness and memory ability and given MRI scans to measure hippocampal volume.  It is normal for the hippocampus to shrink 1 – 2% per year with advancing age, contributing to memory loss and risk of dementia.  After a year, the participants in the aerobic walking group had gained an average of 2% in hippocampal volume, whereas the control group lost an average of 1.4%.  For those in the walking group, increases in hippocampal volume were related to improvements in memory.  This study also demonstrates that it’s never too late to start exercising for the benefit of your brain!


It’s equally true that it’s never too late to eat right.  An American nation-wide study of nutrition found that among 3,884 people aged 65 and over, those who ate the healthiest diet were less likely to die of cardiovascular disease and of all causes of mortality over a 13 year follow-up period. 

Fibre from grains has been linked to living longer.  The US National Institutes of Health – AARP Diet and Health Study reports a link between dietary fibre and a reduced risk of death from cardiovascular, infectious and respiratory diseases, as well as from all causes after a 9-year follow-up.  Fibre from grains showed the strongest protective effect, while only a weak effect was seen for fibre from beans and vegetables, and none from fruit fibre.  However, even the participants consuming the most fibre barely met the current dietary guidelines, which could account for the lack of effect seen for vegetable and fruit fibre – participants may just not have been eating enough of them for an effect to be observed. I personally would not discount the benefits of fibre from fruits and vegetables.

The Mediterranean diet continues to be linked to slower mental decline.  In a study of nearly 3,800 older Chicagoans, those who stuck most closely to a Mediterranean-style diet saw less cognitive decline with aging, and had brains that functioned as if they were several years younger.

A diet that is good for your heart is also best for your brain. This further supports the Mediterranean-style diet, as well as the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) eating plan.  The DASH plan has been shown to lower blood pressure, and so may also help prevent Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia.

Many supplements have been found to be helpful for slowing down and even reversing the symptoms of dementia.  A recent book, Awakening from Alzheimer’s: How 9 Maverick Doctors are Reversing Alzheimer’s, Dementia and Memory Loss, by Peggy Sarlin, details the recoveries of several individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia as a result of taking a variety of nutritional supplements and other natural substances with results that far surpass available medications.  Among the supplements discussed in this book are MCT (medium chain triglyceride) oil, fish oil, coenzyme Q10 (Co-Q10) and mangosteen, which is found in Zambroza (see below).

Take the Young at Any Age self-assessment quiz!10




Osteoarthritis of the joints

  • Are you overweight?
  • Do you suffer from joint pain, especially in your hips, knees and fingers?
  • Does one or more of your joints feel stiff, especially first thing in the morning or after periods of rest?
  • Does one or more of your joints seem to be enlarged or misshapen?
  • Have you ever suffered an injury to one or more of your joints?



Low energy levels

  • Do you frequently miss outings and events because you feel that you’re just too tired to enjoy them?
  • Do you spend much of your free time sitting down?
  • Do you seldom exercise?
  • Do you suffer from excessive stress?
  • Do you eat a poor-quality diet?



Aging skin, hair and nails

  • Do you frequently spend time outdoors without wearing sunscreen, a hat, and protective clothing?
  • Does your skin often feel dry or rough?
  • Do you smoke?
  • Are your nails brittle?
  • Is your hair thinner or less lustrous than it once was?



Insomnia and poor-quality sleep

  • Do you often have trouble falling asleep?
  • Do you often awaken in the night and find it difficult to get back to sleep?
  • Do you frequently doze off during boring meetings or dull television shows?
  • Do you frequently wake up much earlier than you’d like?
  • Do you often feel tired during the day?




  • Do you often walk into a room and forget what you came for?
  • Do you often search for missing eye glasses and car keys?
  • Do you occasionally have difficulty recalling the name of a movie, actor, or even a casual acquaintance?
  • Do you frequently look up a phone number and then forget it before you’ve had a chance to dial it?
  • Do you frequently write notes to remind yourself of things you need to remember?



While these questions aren’t intended to provide a diagnosis, the more you answer in the affirmative, the more likely you are to have the relevant condition.


Nature’s Sunshine offers a number of supplements that can help slow the aging process.  A few of them are listed here.  For a full list, please go to our web site at

GreenZone. Each capsule of GreenZone consists of green foods like sea algae and long-grown cereal grasses. Full of nutrient-rich goodness, green foods are the most healthful foods nature has to offer. Green foods not only help us sustain energy but boost the immune system, strengthen connective tissues and provide the body with the benefits of cleansing and detoxification. GreenZone contains the finest blend of whole foods, algae, and herbs balanced for the best utilization by our bodies. The 40-30-30 principle (% of carbohydrates, protein, and essential fat) has been incorporated into the formulation of this product. /store/#ecwid:mode=product&product=6402718

Zambroza is a blend of the most healthful fruits and nutritional supplements from all over the world. Zambroza is replete with xanthones, bioflavonoids and powerful antioxidants. Bioflavonoids give fruits and vegetables their bright colors. In the body, bioflavonoids enhance vitamin C absorption and help maintain collagen and capillary walls. They also aid in the body’s immune–defense system.  Zambroza contains mangosteen. /store/#ecwid:category=1823650&mode=product&product=7802979

Super Omega 3 Omega-3 fatty acids are one of four basic fats that the body derives from foods. (The other three are cholesterol, saturated fat, and monounsaturated fat). Some of the other fats, especially too much saturated fat, can be harmful to the body, but Omega-3s are good for the body and especially good for the heart and brain.
NSP Advantage Super Omega-3 softgels contain more than 1,000 mg fish oil per capsule, with a ratio of 33:16 EPA to DHA. It also contains lemon to significantly reduce the aftertaste from fish oil and to reduce gas. /store/#!/~/product/id=23616372
Vitamin supplements are increasingly important as we age.  Please check our web site for multi-vitamins, B vitamins, vitamin C, D and E.

Co-Q10 (coenzyme Q10) is a vitamin-like nutrient that fuels the body’s cells with special benefits to the circulatory system. Much like a car engine burns fuel to produce energy, the body’s cells burn nutrients to produce body energy. Co-Q10 is the catalyzing agent the body needs to convert raw nutrients into useable fuel. /store/#ecwid:mode=product&product=6402632

MCT (Medium Chain Triglyceride) oil (and unrefined coconut oil), which contains medium chain triglycerides, help to boost lean muscle mass.  Perhaps even more importantly, they can help maintain and restore mental clarity.9  We sell MCT oil only, from our office, not online.

HSN-W is designed to supplement nutrients for the protective tissues of the body, particularly the hair, skin and nails. This combination is high in nutrients necessary for structural system maintenance: silicon, sodium, chromium, iron, magnesium, potassium, selenium, vitamin A and zinc. /store/#!/~/product/category=1546924&id=6402695

Everflex Cream is a fast-acting topical pain reliever that goes on light, is non-greasy and easily absorbed, and doesn’t stain clothing. It has potential for anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects. The penetrating action of EverFlex Analgesic Cream provides temporary relief of aches and pains of muscles and joints associated with backache, lumbago, strains, bruises, sprains and arthritic or rheumatic pain, pain of tendons and ligaments. It is also useful for tired, aching muscles. Its active ingredient is menthol.  /store/#!/~/product/category=1546924&id=6402697

RE-X is a sedative and tranquilizing formula high in calcium, manganese, selenium, zinc and niacin. /store/#!/~/product/category=1546919&id=6402650

Gotu Kola has been used in India and China for thousands of years. Its traditional uses are to support mental acuity, rejuvenate the brain, sharpen thinking, and enhance memory. Gotu kola has been cited in Indian sources for its ability to enhance intelligence and improve memory. /store/#!/~/product/id=6402755

For additional information, please email; or call Ramilas Healing Arts Clinic at 613.829.0427 for an appointment. Please continue letting friends and family know about this newsletter. Also on our website, please see back issues of this newsletter, additional information about products, order products, and see information about our Clinic.

  1. Middle age begins at 55 years, survey suggests. BBC News, September 17, 2012.
  2. 7 surprising findings about exercise and your health. Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter 2012;30(2):4-5.
  3. Sit or get fit? Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter 2011;29(2):4-5.
  4. More proof staying physically active keeps your aging brain sharp. Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter 2011;29(9):1-2.
  5. It’s never too late to eat right. Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter 2012;30(3):6-7.
  6. Fiber from grains linked to living longer. Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter 2011;29(3):1-2.
  7. Mediterranean-style diet linked to slower mental decline. Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter 2011;29(2):8.
  8. Whole-diet changes may reduce Alzheimer’s risk. Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter 2011;29(7):1-2.
  9. Sarlin P. Awakening from Alzheimer’s: How 9 Maverick Doctors are Reversing Alzheimer’s, Dementia and Memory Loss. Lexington VA: Online Publishing & Marketing, LLC, 2012.
  10. Young at any age: take charge of your health and reclaim your vitality. Soundconcepts, 2007.
The suggestions and recommendations in this newsletter are not intended to be prescriptive or diagnostic. The information is accurate and up to date to our knowledge, but we are not responsible for any errors in our sources of information.

These newsletters will help you make better choices for better health. The choices that you make today can either have a positive or negative impact on your overall health. Begin by choosing better. It is a step toward longevity.


Ramila Padiachy
Ramila's Healing Arts Clinic

Cardiovascular Health - February 2013 - Volume 4 Issue 9

Once again, it’s February – heart month. I hope you had a happy Valentine ’s Day. Last year I introduced you to the heart-health effects of arginine. This year, I want to explore this topic in more detail. You may be aware that cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke) is the leading cause of death in both men and women in Canada and the US. The good news is that it’s largely preventable and even reversible. Arginine is a key ingredient in the prevention and reversal of cardiovascular disease, and many other conditions.
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The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever - January 2013 - Volume 4 Issue 8

Happy New Year! I hope you had a great holiday season. While New Year’s resolutions are still fresh in your mind, I’m going to review a book that presents a wealth of information on nutrition, The China Study – The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health by T. Colin Campbell, PhD and Thomas M. Campbell II, MD. I think you’ll be surprised at some of the conclusions resulting from Dr. Campbell’s research, as well as the extent to which our diet influences our health. In addition, he has inside knowledge of the political situation as it affects nutrition in the U.S. which is a real eye-opener. I highly recommend that you read this book; it’s hard to do it justice in a short space.
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