Articles & Educational Information From Our Clients

Subject: Food Allergy Info
Brenda Chaves --12-20-07

food allergies

Volunteers Educating for Food Allergies
Information from Getting Through the Holidays Forum December 1, 2007

Manufacturers and web sites of safe foods for children and adults with food allergies


Bob’s Redmill
Cherrybrook Kitchen
Edward & Sons Trading Company
Ener-G Egg Replacer
Enjoy Life
Fleishman’s (milk free variety)
IM Healthy Soy Nut Butter
Namaste Foods
Nano VM Vitamins
Pamela’s Products
Road’s End Organics
Sun Butter (from sunflower seeds) Sun Gold Foods, Inc.

Web sites:

Gluten free sites:

“Eating Out With Food Allergies”
Our next food allergy support group meeting will be about finding “safe” places to try and eat out with food allergies.. We are asking everyone to bring information (web sites, etc) on national and local restaurants who provide allergen information to customers. Our keynote speaker will be Becky Burnett, RD, LDN, Clinical Dietician with East Tennessee Children’s Hospital. Please join us for this important discussion on dining out with food allergies.

January 26, 2008 1:00- 3:00pm
West Branch Library
6800 Kingston Pk

Knoxville Tn

Please RSVP to

Do you know your blood levels of Vitamin D?

Patricia C. Holst, MS, BCET
Board Certified Educational Therapist
Educational Solutions
687 Emory Valley Road, Suite C
Oak Ridge, TN 37830

November 7, 2007(Updated Feb. 1, 2008 -- I’m feeling so much better!)
Dear friends:
Here’s how a $50 blood test gave me back my life. I’m not selling anything. I just want all my friends to know that a devastating Vitamin D deficiency can develop (even if you are taking supplements and getting sunshine). Feel free to pass this on. Know that this is my opinion and does not substitute for appropriate medical advice.
I hope this information may save someone else from the deterioration and discomfort I experienced over the past few years. I had so much pain, fatigue and weakness that I dreaded waking up every morning. I was taking 800 to 1600 IU’s of Vitamin D3 per day as recommended by my physician.

Rarely do doctors do the $50 blood test for Vitamin D. It was just by chance that I had the test done out of concern for osteoporosis. Little did I know the results would lead to a diagnosis of Vitamin D deficiency and that the treatment would solve a host of problems that doctors have been telling me were part of the normal aches and pains of aging. Ten days of my doctor’s recommended treatment with Vitamin D3 at 3000 IU’s a day brought incredible relief!

If this story is of interest to you, read on. If not, stop here.

Here are the symptoms I developed over the past two years:
Very itchy “dry skin eczema” bumps covering silver dollar area on my arm
Back pain on sitting and standing
Persistent viral infection with fever for six weeks
Painful burning eyelid eczema every winter

AND really serious problems arose in the last 3 months before diagnosis:
Extreme fatigue
Difficulty sleeping and constant desire to nod off during daytime
Disturbing short term memory loss
High Blood pressure
Falls and weakness (especially in legs)
Overall muscle stiffness, rigidity, aching and pain
Plantar Fasciitis and foot pain, especially in morning
Poor balance (felt like I was walking/balancing on stilts because of stiffness)
Difficulty with stairs (had to press on thighs with hands to get up stairs)
Difficulty getting up from sitting, difficulty standing up straight (weak back muscles)
Depression and irritability
Too weak and fatigued to do exercise routine
Extreme pain in legs and hips on standing
Micro sleeps during daytime (especially scary when driving)
Reduced lung function

Here’s a list of symptoms and conditions involving Vitamin D deficiency:

Bone pain
Muscle pain
High blood pressure
Poor sugar regulation
Cancer (vitamin d regulates cell proliferation)
Hearing loss
Reduced lung function

The normal Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) which is what is included in a multi vitamin is 400 to 800 IU. I had been taking two to three times that on doctor’s earlier advice. However, my blood levels were still too low at 23 ng/ml. The current lab values on the report recommended 32 ng/ml minimum. (Be sure you are comparing ng/ml not SI units of nmol/L which are different. You can find a conversion table at

My endocrinologist tells me that the current endocrinology recommendations for optimum blood levels for Vitamin D have now been raised to 70-80 ng/ml while other sources say 50 ng/ml (up from previous 30 ng/m).
I was instructed to take 3000 IU a day of Vitamin D3 and re-measure bloods levels in three months as it may take a while to restore normal levels. Vitamin D3 supplements are dirt cheap.

In just ten days, my intense bone pain was gone, blood pressure normalized, and in two weeks my energy was back. Two months later 90% of my back pain is gone (the residual 10% is lifelong scoliosis). My eczema, heel, bone and muscle pain is gone, balance and flexibility have returned, energy and alertness back, sleeping well, and memory good. I take stairs with a bound, am back to full exercise routine and have a bounce in my step.

Though I don’t have lab tests to confirm, I sense that I am hearing things I haven’t been able to hear in a while and feel like my lung function has improved. Needless to say, my mood is much better!

A 2003 article from Mayo clinic states that, “People with persistent, non-specific musculoskeletal pain should be screened regularly for vitamin D deficiency… Research conducted at the University of Minnesota found that 93 percent of all subjects with non-specific musculoskeletal pain were vitamin D deficient.” (See Mayo reference below.)

Bruce Hollis in a 2005 Journal of Nutrition article says, “Given the results of these recent scientific studies that evaluated high-dose vitamin D supplementation, it appears that the current DRI for adults are woefully inadequate, misleading, and potentially harmful, placing individuals at undue risk for a number of chronic diseases. The current adult dietary recommendations of 200–600 IU/d are extraordinarily low compared with endogenous production during sun exposure. Reexamination of the requirements for vitamin D is clearly merited and may likely reveal the need for vitamin D intakes exceeding 2000 IU/d for adults (my emphasis).”

What about sunshine? Evidently, as we age we have less ability to make Vitamin D through our skin. Also, people now work more inside, avoid the sun because of cancer fears, are covering up or using sunscreen, and live in areas with air pollution that blocks UV rays. Even in Hawaii, a study showed 50% of those receiving an average of 11 hours of sun a week were deficient in Vitamin D.
A high acid diet and obesity contributes to poor utilization of Vitamin D (this is thoroughly discussed in the 2008 book The Vitamin D Cure by James Dowd).

What about milk? You only get 100 IUs per 8 ounces. Can you drink ten glasses of milk a day?

What about multivitamin supplements? You get 400 IUs in your daily multiple vitamin. The Canadian government and the Life Extension Foundation are now both recommending 1000 IUs minimum a day for all adults.

What about just increasing your supplement without a blood test? Some caution is advised since Vitamin D is fat soluble (stored in fat) and can accumulate to toxic levels. Some resources say a person would have to take 10,000 IU a day for a long time to reach toxic levels. Also, some people may have different absorption rates.
Dowd’s book mentioned earlier tells you how to calculate your need if you don’t want to get the blood test.

What brand should you take? Vitamin D3 is really inexpensive, so there is no reason to look for a cheap brand which may be poor quality or have poor absorption. I prefer a pharmaceutical grade (I get mine from the Life Extension Foundation). Twin Lab, Jarrow, and Solaray are other brands I have found reliable.

Several people have reported stomach distress with the solid tablet forms sold at discount stores (this could be a result of fillers). I take either the oil form or capsule with powder form. Also, a few people seem to have trouble going up by 1000 IUs and have to work up by 400 IU units. (For me, I felt so bad I probably wouldn’t have noticed.)

Another issue Dowd says is that, when vitamin D level is normalized, calcium absorption is optimized. Thus people don’t need to be taking 1200 mg a day. In fact, excess calcium can result in low back pain

What about a blood test? Best way to know is to get a $50 Vitamin D blood test. You can order your own blood test (and speak with a doctor about the results) from the Life Extension Foundation products ( and have blood drawn at a local facility if your doctor won’t order it. Just be sure your doctor is making judgments off the revised endocrinology standards.

Want to know more? Some resources are below. Here’s to your good health.

Patricia C. Holst, MS, BCET

Dowd, James. Vitamin D Cure, Wiley Publishers, for publication in Jan 2008.
From Inside Flap: “It may sound too good to be true, but it's actually solid medicine based on real science: groundbreaking new research has traced the source of a wide array of disorders that afflict up to 200 million Americans to a single common factor-—vitamin D deficiency. Increasing the amount of vitamin D in your body can cure or help treat a remarkable number of ailments—from obesity to arthritis, from high blood pressure to back pain, from diabetes to muscle cramps.”

Hollis, Bruce W., Circulating 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Levels Indicative of Vitamin D Sufficiency: Implications for Establishing a New Effective Dietary Intake Recommendation for Vitamin D. 2005 The American Society for Nutritional Sciences J. Nutr. 135:317-322, February 2005, available on the internet at:

Life Extension Foundation web site: free access to health protocols, latest medical research, and source to purchase pharmaceutical grade supplements, lab tests (see recent articles on Vitamin D):
Do a search for articles on “Vitamin D” or go to:“Vitamin D’s Crucial Role…”

Linus Pauling Institute (good info on powers of Vit D but some recommendations may be out of date):

Mayo Clinic- “People with undetermined muscle/bone pain tend to be severely vitamin D deficient”:

Science News: Two very good summary articles: "Vitamin Boost" and "Vitamin D: What's Enough?" at

Vitamin D Council:

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