Sunshine provides a great source of Vitamin D
Sunshine provides a great source of Vitamin D

“You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone,” is a phrase that does not elude those who have experienced Vitamin D deficiencies.Mark Pegram is a Mechanical Engineer who was formerly plagued with several different health problems, especially a back problem of 27 years (1978 to 2005). These disc problems caused his height to shrink down to 5 feet, 11 inches. After 6 months of supplementation, Mark is off all pain medications and has prevented a third surgery. Today his height is 6 feet, 2 inches.Through Mark’s research, he learned that Dr. Niels Finsen was awarded the Nobel Prize for treating patients with arc light and sunshine (UVB) in 1903. From the Vitamin D Council (with Dr. John Cannell as its Director), Mark learned there are many chronic diseases that are correlated to Vitamin D deficiency.

There is a lot of excitement in all of the areas of chronic disease and cancer and their correlation to vitamin D deficiency.

The following is an excerpt from Mark Pegram’s Story:

It was several months later, fall of 2004 that I read an article about rickets for inner city children and the ‘sunlight’ came through. Spend more time in ac, the less exposure to sunshine. I begin to research vitamin D and sunshine. The internet was full of all kinds of articles on Vitamin D. I did not know what to believe. Willing to try anything because of the constant pain, I begin to take 2000 IU per day on November 4, 2004. This was an amount that the FDA said was a safe upper limit. However, I had read on one of the multiple sclerosis websites that they thought that 4000 IU per day was okay because people on the equator consistently got about 10,000 IU per day from sun exposure.

There was an immediate response in my system as the next day I did not get chilled from exposure to cold air. This was unusual for me. I continued to increase the amount that I took each day until at above 4000 IU per day, I did not see any more improvement in joint or muscle pain. At that level the entire joint and muscle pain that had plagued me for years was gone except for lumbar region pain. I had regained my original height of 6 feet from a height of 5 feet 11 inches; a general indication of improved spine health. I continued this level until the spring of 2005 when during my annual physical I convinced my doctor that I had been deficient in vitamin D. We found my serum 25(OH)D was at 54 ng/ml or normal after six months of supplementation. I have reduced my supplementation of vitamin D through the summer to 2000 IU per day and plan to increase back to 4000 IU per day during the winter.

As my spine got healthier it actually lead to more pain as all of the nerve roots tried to find new homes. This took about six months as my pain level reduced to the point in September 2005 to where I am off of all pain meds. It looks like I have successfully avoided more back surgeries. I now vary in height between 6’ and 6’-1”.

In February 2005 I discovered a website sponsored by the vitamin D Council with Dr. John Cannell as its Director. This website allowed me to look at the chronic diseases that were correlated to vitamin D deficiency and then link directly to the medical research abstracts. I was absolutely amazed. I will repeat my daughters’ statement, “a correlation does not mean causation.” I took enough of the abstracts to my doctor to convince him that there was a problem in the general population with vitamin D deficiency.

So where are we now? There is a lot of excitement in all of the areas of chronic disease and cancer and their correlation to vitamin D. Please take the time to help guide your doctor in the new research on vitamin D. As there is not much of a profit advantage in treating disease with sunshine, it will take a long time for this to become general knowledge. Please become proactive in helping the medical community to become educated and promote more research through contact with your local US Representative.

Vitamin D Research Pioneer
Niels Finsen won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1903 for his work with sunlight; a predecessor of Vitamin D research

How long have we been ignoring the facts? Dr. Niels Finsen was awarded the Nobel Prize for treating patients with arc light and sunshine (UVB) in 1903.

Author’s Note: I originally wrote this article in the fall of 2005. Since that time my health has continued to improve with no more medical procedures and no meds. My height has stabilized at about 6’-2”. I have also gotten off of a CPAP for sleep apnea. My PCP tells me I now have the health of a 25 year old and that is not bad for a 55 year old man. There has been much new research in the area of vitamin D3 and you should spend time at the Vitamin D Council website to see what is new. If you decide to supplement, please do so with your doctor’s care and direct him to the CME (continued medical education) at the Vitamin D Council website under publications.

Health is wonderful!

Mark Pegram
-January 29, 2007

To read Mark Pegram’s full story, click here.