Vitamin D Deficiency and Schizophrenia Risk

Vitamin D Deficiency Doubles Risk of Developing Schizophrenia

A new meta-analysis of observational studies focused on the possible relationship between vitamin D serum levels and the odds of developing schizophrenia has concluded that a strong association exists between vitamin D deficiency and schizophrenia.vitamin d deficiency and schizophrenia risk

The research was conducted and authored by Doctors Ghazaleh Valipour, Parvane Saneei, and Ahmad Esmaillzadeh of the Food Security Research Center and Department of Community Nutrition, School of Nutrition and Food
Science, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences in Isfahan, Iran, respectively. The analysis involved a comprehensive review of 19 previous studies involving in excess of 2,800 total participants. The original article outlining the research debuted recently in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

Sunbathing Vitamin D3

The researchers defined schizophrenia as a group set of neuropsychiatric disorders characterized by symptoms like hallucinations, delusions, confused thinking and disorganized speech.

vitamin d schizophrenia

Upon careful review of 19 previously conducted studies from around the world, the researchers concluded that individuals who suffer from vitamin D deficiency (vitamin D serum levels deemed lower than is considered healthy by accepted medical science) are more than twice as likely to develop schizophrenia than their vitamin D sufficient (healthy levels of vitamin D serum) counterparts. Specifically, the scientists found that inadequate levels of vitamin D increased the risk of developing schizophrenia by 2.16 times that associated with an individual whose vitamin D levels are within a healthy range.

Of those who had already been diagnosed with the mentally debilitating psychiatric condition, 65% were found to have insufficient levels of vitamin D.

The researchers stopped short of declaring that vitamin D supplementation may help to reduce the risk of developing the condition. Rather, they cautioned that more research would be necessary to observe the effects of supplementation on schizophrenia and its manifestation in previously healthy individuals. They also stopped short of declaring supplementation a means of treating existing schizophrenia, again alluding to the need for further study.

The abstract of the study can be viewed here:

Quality of Vitamins, Supplements Matters

Are You Taking the Right Supplements?

By: Peter Egan Jr

I had a discussion with an acquaintance recently who was questioning the legitimacy of vitamins and mineral supplements.

She described how she had been taking vitamins and nutritional supplements and had experienced no noticeable impact.

Vitamins are for real. However, like any other product, not all vitamins are manufactured to the same level of quality.

Comparative Guide to Nutritional SupplementsThere is a comparative guide that serves as a non-official clinical nutrition industry standard as a reference for the relative quality of several hundred of the world’s largest supplement manufacturers. The book is called Comparative Guide to Nutritional Supplements, and it reports on objective scientific research involving the bioavailability and/or absorption rate of each known product from several hundred of the most widely distributed manufacturers of vitamins and nutritional supplements.

A low-quality supplement is poorly absorbed (if at all), and is a complete and total waste of money. According to the CGtNS Fourth Edition, this accounts for the overwhelming majority of products found in places such as grocery stores, pharmacies and even specialty nutrition shops. In the 4th Edition, there were only a handful of manufacturers of the hundreds evaluated whose products scored a 3-star (out of a possible 5) for the majority of their products. Very few had more than 1-in-5 or so meet the 3/5 mark, while the few that scored remarkably better than the rest were nearly 4, 4/5 and 5-star rated across-the-board, with their lowest scoring products almost always better-rated than the overwhelming majority of companies’ best-scoring product.

If you’re serious about optimal nutrition for preservation of good health, disease prevention or whatever other reason, it’s a book you should at least have a look at if not buy (I don’t know the author and have no financial interest in the book’s sales). The reason I’m suggesting it is because I find it to be a remarkably good resource for a topic about which I am passionate and about which I believe that the consequences for poor decision-making are significant enough to merit learning as much as possible.

I didn’t buy it. My mother, a nurse practitioner and clinical nutrition expert, gave it to me as a gift. I have read it more than any other book – fiction or non-fiction – in the time since she passed it along to me.

Point being, and the reason I mention all of this, is that the absence of noticeable results described by the acquaintance could very well be the byproduct of poorly produced supplements or supplements which were improperly stored post-manufacture, decreasing the effectiveness and potency of the products themselves.

The question everyone should be asking mightn’t be “are supplements for real?” Rather, the better question may well be: “am I taking the right supplements?”

My advice is that if you care enough about the bottom line, get the book or ask someone who has it how your brand stacks up against the rest.

I’m not going to plug any particular brand of supplements in this post, but I welcome anyone curious enough to pursue an answer to either get the book or email me and ask me how your brand compares. I’ll be happy to answer in good faith. However I want to be perfectly clear that the reason I am offering is so that nobody mistakes the intention of this post to be the promotion of a book I didn’t write, buy or in any way benefit from its success. On a similar token, I don’t benefit from the promotion of any supplement brand except for my mother’s, which did not exist at the time the book was published.

However, I care about my own health, and I myself take a plethora of vitamins, minerals and supplements. I only buy from those manufacturers whose products are rated 4-stars on-average at the very minimum (according to the CPNS 4th Edition), and I have noticed a monumental difference in terms of my own personal health and productivity in the time since I began regularly taking high-quality vitamins and supplements.

For anyone seeking to purchase medical-grade supplements, just click the “supplements” tab at the top of the page (or the link in this sentence). Dr. Egan only offers the very top brands of supplements in terms of quality. Price is set by the manufacturer, and we are not permitted to sell below the minimum price dictated to us. Point being, you can’t go anywhere else and (at least legitimately) get these same supplements for any less than Dr. Egan charges for them. Some of the brands sold include Designs 4 Health, Metagenics, Douglas Laboratories, Bio-Tech and Neuroscience. Check out her Bonanza storefront as well as the dedicated, complete catalogs of every product made by Designs 4 Health and Metagenics.

We wish we could put all the supplements in one place, but there’s just so many it’s easiest for everyone if we break it down by brand and have a page for each of our two most popular brands as and a storefront carrying the third major brand and all other brands stocked inside the clinic.

EGAN Wellness Skin Care, Supplement Holiday Discounts

EGAN Wellness Holiday Discounts, Coupons Now Available!

EGAN Wellness and Anti-Aging Clinic, Skin Care and Med Spa would like to thank our patients and customers for entrusting us to participate in your care, be it wellness, overall health, hormone therapy, nutrition, skin care or cosmetic.

As a special gift to you, from now until December 16, all patients and customers who purchase skin care products and nutritional supplements in-store or by phone will receive a 15% discount (must mention this ad to receive discount). Act quickly, this promotion is valid for two days only!

Save 15% on all skin care products and supplements purchased in-store or by phone from December 16-18!

EGAN Wellness Holiday Disount/Coupon

Also, all purchases made through our storefront on Bonanza will be eligible for a 10% discount from now through the end of the year.

Please use coupon code EGAN 10 to activate this coupon.

Nearly all supplements available in-store can be purchased through the Bonanza storefront. The HGH Spray must is only available in-store or by phone. We apologize for this inconvenience.

All other supplements from Designs For Health and Metagenics can be purchased directly through our online storefront specifically catered to their full catalog of prices. Please visit the supplements page and click the logo of the supplement manufacturer whose catalog you’d like to shop and you’ll instantly have access to every product they make, including those not available in-store.

Supplements may now be purchased online. In addition to all of the supplement offered instore and by phone, customers can now access the full catalog of products by our pharmacy-grade supplement manufacturers. Please see our supplements page for complete details.



(985) 892-3031    

Pamela Egan: Nurse Practitioner, Diabetes Educator and Health Columnist

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We now have TA-65!

The Science of Telomerase Activation

Telomeres are the caps at the end of each strand of DNA that protect it, like the plastic tips at the end of shoelaces They affect how cells age and are essential for maintaining cell integrity. Telomeres shorten over time due to aging and lifestyle factors (poor nutrition, psychological stress, lack of exercise, etc.) leaving the DNA that makes up our genes vulnerable to damage.

There are now more than 10,0000 published studies on telomeres. Telomeres act as a clock within our cells, representing their age and how well they function. As they shorten, they signal changes in gene expression, changing the cells phenotype to that of an older cell. When enough telomeres become critically short the cell may become senescent or die. Senescent cells can crowd out healthy ones and damage neighboring cells and tissues.

There is scientific evidence that telomeres can be lengthened. An enzyme called telomerase can slow, stop or even reverse the telomere shortening that happens as you age.

TA-65 is an all natural, plant-based compound that can activate the telomerase enzyme to help slow down and possibly reverse age and lifestyle-related telomere shortening.
To learn more about Telomere Biology….

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Vitamin D3 Helps Treat Plaque Psoriasis

Vitamin D3 Supplements Effective in Treating Psoriasis

It has long been known among medical scientists that topical vitamin D therapy is a very effective treatment option for mild-to-moderate plaque psoriasis. A quick search of reference materials and clinical trials reveals studies dating back as far as 1989¹ affirming the causal relationship between the application of topical vitamin D3 and a reduction of symptoms of plaque psoriasis in the patients studied.

PsoriasisA 1991 study² showed “significant improvement” in 68 of 83 patients exhibited of their psoriatic lesions with the topical application of vitamin D3.” 24 of 35 patients treated with oral vitamin D3 showed improvements, according to the same study.


Sunbathing = Vitamin D > Psoriasis

According to one scientific definition, psoriasis is “a common inflammatory and hyperproleferative skin disease characterized by infiltrated plaques of the skin and may involve nails, scalp and intertreginous areas.”

Plaque PsoriasisIn the editorial opinion of the Vitamin D3 Blog, sufficient evidence exists to justify the use of both topical and oral vitamin D3 supplements for the treatment of mild-to-moderate plaque psoriasis. These are available in multiple forms, but it is the opinion of this blog that with regard to D3 supplements, it is worth spending a couple of extra dollars to ensure top quality as vitamin D is one of the nutrients for which the effectiveness can vary relative to the quality of the manufacturing process and supplement ingredients.

Dosage should be determined by a physician, nurse practitioner or licensed nutritionist or other qualified healthcare or medical professional based upon the individual’s levels relative to his or her needs. Vitamin D tests are relatively inexpensive and easy to obtain at most medical labs that service the public. Ask your doctor if unsure of where to obtain a vitamin D test, as many physicians now perform the tests in-office and send the test material to a lab for analysis.

Related Articles:

Vitamin D and Psoriasis (and other conditions):


1.) Psoriasis and vitamin D3. A review of our experience. Morimoto S, Yoshikawa K. – Department of Geriatric Medicine, Osaka University Medical School, Japan.

2.) Vitamin D therapy in psoriasis. | Araugo OE, Flowers FP, Brown K. | Department of Pharmacy Practice, College of Pharmacy, University of Florida, Gainesville.

3.) 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Vitamin D3 and ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease)

Vitamin D3 Supplements May Help Slow ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease)

According to one of several studies unveiled at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, mixed in between a pair of studies further confirming how Vitamin D helps delay the process of neurological decline associated with Alzheimer’s Disease was a potentially groundbreaking bit of research, the cognitive treasure of Chafic Karam, a fellow at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Vitamin D3 and ALSKaram and associates authored a study entitled “Can Vitamin D Delay the Progression of ALS?” The study was conducted throughout the 2011 calendar year.

The study involved 37 patients, all of whom suffer from ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). All 37 were examined for a nine month period leading up to the point at which the testing of the hypothesis began. Twenty of the ALS patients were administered 2,000 IU of Vitamin D3 per day, while the other 17 were administered no vitamin D.

The patients were reexamined every three months. During the nine months leading up to the administration of what I can only presume were relatively well-made, top-shelf vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) supplements, both groups showed similar progression in the ALS Functional Rating Scale (ALSFRS-R). However, upon the administration of the vitamin D supplements that began to change.ALS

At the three, six and nine month reexamination intervals, the group being administered the supplements showed slower rate of decline than the test group, which was being given no supplementation.

This suggests a possible relationship between down-the-road ALS treatment regimens and a possible role for vitamin D supplementation therein.

With the seemingly endless list of diseases and conditions which can be prevented or the symptoms of which lessened with regular sun exposure and/or vitamin D supplementation, it wouldn’t come as a major surprise if ALS is just the latest debilitating condition the name of which can be added to the aforementioned list. Or so we hope…

Source:  Karam C, Scelsa SN. Can Vitamin D Delay the Progression of ALS? Med Hypothesis. 2011;76(5):643-645

Schizophrenia Linked to Vitamin D Insufficiency

Schizophrenia Linked to Vitamin D Insufficiency

By: Pamela Egan

A new study out of Iran has determined that individuals suffering from inadequate serum levels of vitamin D have more than double the chances of becoming schizophrenic than do people who obtain healthy amounts of the letter vitamin/hormone.

Low Vitamin D Serum Levels Doubles Chances of Becoming Schizophrenic

Vitamin D-3 Drops (Supplement)Unlike a traditional study, the research published July 22 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism constitutes what is known as a “meta analysis”. In a meta analysis, unlike a traditional experiment, study or clinical trial, instead of conducting original research using volunteers (test subjects), a control group and different variables to determine how the different variables react (or don’t react) to the volunteers under various circumstances; the researchers instead review previously conducted research. The objective is to review numerous studies which are similar in nature in an attempt to discern any patterns or other data that may surface in the presence of macro-data that may not be as obvious within the context of a single study.

In this particular instance, the researchers reviewed 19 different studies encompassing a combined total of over 2,800 people studied. The purpose of the research was to determine if any discernible link could be established between vitamin D deficiency and schizophrenia.

The scientists were surprised to discover that not only does vitamin D deficiency predispose an individual to developing schizophrenia, a grouping of psychiatric disorders characterized by among other things hallucinations, difficulty speaking, delusions and disoriented thoughts, but did so by a substantial margin. As it turns out, those who suffer from insufficient levels of vitamin D (which is actually a hormone – not a vitamin), a condition known as “vitamin D deficiency” or “vitamin D deficiency syndrome”, are more than two times as likely to become schizophrenic than are people who maintain normal/healthy levels of the hormone/nutrient. The exact figure is 2.16 times more likely for those whose levels are inadequate relative to those whose are.

While co-author Dr. Ahmad Esmaillzadeh expressed hope that his team’s findings “might help psychiatrists in the healing process of patients with schizophrenia,” he cautioned against jumping to any conclusions with regard to the role (if any) vitamin D supplements will play in the prevention and treatment of this mentally trying condition.

“Controlled clinical trials are needed to confirm the effects of vitamin D supplementation,” Esmaillzadeh added.


Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Schizophrenia – Video

Empathy in Medicine

Empathy Arguably Single-Most Important Trait for Healthcare, Medical Professionals

One of the most common complaints from patients about the healthcare professionals they look to for help, guidance and sometimes emergency care when sick, injured or otherwise in a state of less-than-ideal health is that too many doctors and medical professionals in general have grown desensitized to the humanity of the patients they treat.

While this may or may not be accurate in any given individual circumstance, the impression – for better or worse – stems from the seemingly robotic approach many people within the healthcare and medical professions be they doctors, nurses, home health aides or even salesmen at the local medical supply store, there appears to the patient to be a desensitized attitude among these professionals regarding issues that to them are extremely important – sometimes even life-or-death.

In order for a medical professional to excel at the highest levels of patient care, that individual need not only make the correct diagnosis, treatment plan, product, etc. By understanding the problems faced by the very people we care for medical professionals can see the issue as though through the eyes of the patient, which can be quite an eye-opening experience for a tenured healthcare pro who has become somewhat numb to the health problems faced by the people for whom we care.

Empathy is arguably among the most important characteristics which in many ways defines great healthcare and medical professionals, separating them from their peers.

The following is a video assembled by the Cleveland Clinic intended to drive home this very point. The video has been described as inspirational and has drawn very positive reviews from those within its intended audience who have had the opportunity to view it.

Empathy: The Human Connection to Patient Care