Dr Holick’s newest book, THE VITAMIN D SOLUTION, is available to buy on Amazon now. Click here for more details and to purchase this excellent book at a discounted rate.
“The Vitamin D Solution sets a new standard in health and wellness that I believe will change the face of medicine as we know it.” – Dr. Andrew Weil
For more discussion of specific issues related to Vitamin D, and to download some of Dr. Holick’s original journal articles, click here to go to Dr. Holick’s other website, VitaminDHealth.org.
Rated 5 Stars on Amazon
Great informative book by top expert: 5/5
Dr Holick has been working in the field of vitamin D for over three decades, and the expertise really comes through in this informative book. I bought the title for an article I was writing on vitamin D, and barely needed to refer to any other expert opinion, as the studies etc. were so comprehensive. It will also doubtless become a regular reference on my nutrition degree course.
Great, well structured and very easy to understand, with plenty of technical details thrown in.
Thorough & Practical: 5/5
Of the 8 books on vitamin D I’ve now read, this is now my favourite pick. It’s practical and he has a way with words: “vitamin D deficiency is our most common health challenge globally”, “vitamin D is in a class by itself; its far-reaching effects on the body are aligned with how hormones act to influence metabolic pathways, cellular functions, and the expression of myriad genes”, “in some respected medical circles, sunlight is being described as a ‘wonder drug’”. At 300 pages I also found it thorough and I specially liked the straightforward explanation that sunshine, when it’s strong enough, is always better than supplementing with Vitamin D.
Dr. Holick is a professor of medicine, physiology and biophysics at Boston University Medical Center in the USA who has studied vitamin D for over 30 years and has received awards relating to health research and nutrition. He explains that he lost his teaching position as a Dermatologist in 2004 because he refused to agree with his boss and with the Dermatology profession generally that even the tiniest amount of UV/sunshine is bad for us. Unlike most of the other books, which recommend only vitamin D3, he says that either vitamin D2 or D3 is fine.
Of the other books, “The Vitamin D Revolution” by Soram Khalsa was previously the one I preferred while “Vitamin D Prescription” by Eric Madrid is also good but harder to find and more expensive. “Vitamin D” by Rona and “Power of Vitamin D” by Zaidi, both published in 2010, are both brief but quite good. “The Vitamin D Cure” by James Dowd is not basic, comprehensive or practical. Then there is “Vitamin D” by Michael Merrill which was too brief and simply inadequate. At the other extreme is the comprehensive but somewhat technical “Sunshine and Vitamin D” by Frank Murray – mainly brief compilations of hundreds of studies but no practical guidelines, so not really suitable for the layman who wants to experiment with high-dose vitamin D.
There are more and more books – and a great deal of media fanfare – on the recently discovered almost miraculous properties of vitamin D. It’s also worth noting that over a decade ago several books were already lauding the much-overlooked benefits of sunshine, the best way to get vitamin D, although the further away from the equator, the less effective. Anyone living above the 35th parallel (England runs from the 50th upwards) is highly likely to have a sunshine/vit D deficiency that can also lead to many common symptoms. (Those who react badly to Vitamin D and/or sunshine may have a rare disease called sarcoidosis.)
According to most of the books on vitamin D, the vast majority of us are deficient in vitamin D whereas adequate levels can alleviate chronic pain, stroke, osteoporosis, heart disease, cancer, autoimmune diseases, depression, arthritis, diabetes, gum disease, psoriasis, fibromyalgia, autism and much more. Perhaps it’s just my cynicism from decades of reading endless books singing the praises of so-called miracles such as DMSO, MMS, DHEA, vitamin C, magnesium, iodine, omega 3 EFAs, breathwork, oxygen therapy, hydrogen peroxide, water, thyroid hormone, adrenal hormone, liver cleanses, detoxes, fasts, exercise, neutralising electromagnetic stress, juicing, mangosteen, noni juice, superfoods, organic foods, wholefoods, celiac diets, dairy-free diets, veggie diets, protein diets, carb diets, food combining, acid-alkaline balancing diets, Glycaemic Index diets, high fibre diets, raw food diets, candida/fungus elimination, parasite cleansing – oh dear, the list of my gullibility seems endless.
Yes, I’ve tried all of these; yes, thoroughly and sometimes repeating them in various combinations and on each occasion with enthusiasm and bright-eyed hope but I saw no measurable benefits. “Trick and Treat” by Groves explains in detail just why so many of my efforts were doomed. Nowadays, when I read about health wonders, I wonder how many claims of success are made up or at least tweaked – and I wonder what proportion of actual patients were successful in any way, much less miraculously so, as is always claimed by books touting miraculous benefits.
I was startled to learn in this book that about a third of the population has kidney disease (which never gets diagnosed until too late and allegedly little can be done for it apart from horrible treatments like dialysis) and that about the same number are obese (hello… anyone making a connection here?) and that their bodies may not be able to produce enough activated vitamin D even when taking high-dose supplements: as compared to the non-obese, vitamin D levels rose only 50% as much in the blood levels of the obese when using a tanning bed or getting a dose of 50,000iu of vitamin D. The obese get a lot of blame for what is not actually their fault: studies now show that calcium also plays a key role in reducing obesity (elsewhere I have seen studies showing large weight loss in about 30% of obese women who take both calcium and vitamin D).
Holick recommends activated vitamin D (calcitriol) for those whose bodies have difficulty converting vitamin D into the active form, such as older people or those who have a wheat/gluten intolerance (much more common than realised). However, none of the books are clear enough that many with poor health simply cannot produce enough activated vitamin D in their bodies even when taking high-dose vitamin D.
Based on my personal experience of taking 10,000iu daily of vitamin D3 for 6 months (but Rona’s book mentions Norm Shealy, a physician who has taken 50,000iu per day for 18 months), I’m not convinced that vitamin D supplementation of the non-prescription kind is a panacea, as so many of the books are claiming – and I am not convinced that all these authors got the unanimously fantastic results they allege. While I believe that vitamin D supplementation at 5,000ius daily is beneficial, too many such books have a way of sounding a little overzealous, attributing every malady to whatever deficiency they’re tackling and proposing it as the magic solution across the board.
Great informative book by top expert: 5/5
I received 3 books from Amazon as a recent birthday gift. The first was the latest novel by Andy McNab, who, if you haven’t read him, is an extremely gifted and compelling thriller writer. The second was an interesting read about online poker, and how in years gone by, a technique known as bonus whoring was used by many online players to secure guaranteed payouts.
And then there was the latest book by Michael Holick, the Vitamin D Solution, which completed quite an eclectic selection of reading material. I must say that the Holick book was excellent. Extremely informative, and yet still managing to make what is in my opinion a fairly dry topic seem lively and interesting. Doubtless this stems from Holick’s passion for his subject, which shines through in his written work.
Thoroughly Recommended: 5/5