athlete's edge faster, quicker, stronger with vitamin D

Picture of the John Cannell's Vitamin D book

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$15.95 US
320 p. paperback

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John Cannell, MD

Will vitamin D improve my athletic performance? Read this book and find out how vitamin D works in organs used in athletics, what kind of evidence exists in the scientific literature, and which countries knew what and when.

~ by John Cannell, MD


  • We know books change lives, this one for the better. Vitamin D is one of the best kept secrets of┬ásome Olympic coaches. Bill Sardi

  • IT’S ABOUT THE NEXT GENERATION

    August 14, 2011: by Bill Sardi

    About Dr. John Cannell’s New Book: The Athlete’s Edge FASTER QUICKER STRONGER WITH VITAMIN D

    Dr. John Cannell’s new book is about a revolution that should have started decades ago after vitamin D was first identified by Edward Mellanby in 1922. Modern medicine kept vitamin D in a dark closet and instead rolled out man-made drug after man-made drug. There was a day when there was only quinine, wine, opium, digitalis from foxglove and a few other assorted elixirs. That was prior to aspirin which was commercialized in the 1930s, and then penicillin, discovered in 1928 and commercialized in the 1940s.

    Hospitals were treating lung tuberculosis with sunshine, called heliotherapy — a somewhat crude way of obtaining natural vitamin D3. But as Dr. Cannell reveals in his new book, German athletic trainers began using sun lamps in the 1960s to tone up muscles of competitive athletes decades ago and kept it a closely-held secret.

    At the time the American public was enamored with penicillin, panned as the “magic bullet,” the first “wonder drug.” That generation never got over the idea that American medicine was the best in the world. Americans prize their medicines which were sought after by many who lived in foreign lands.

    Then the pharmaceutical companies eventually figured out how to make these man-made patentable drugs into “disease eradicators” and the public was persuaded they would need a different drug for every disease. Then insurance pools were formed, which made it possible for drug companies to charge exorbitant prices for their products. There is no insurance coverage for vitamin pills. To the generation that is now in their 70s, 80s and 90s, no vitamin pill is going to equal the prized medicines that have made the US healthcare system the most envied in the world.

    But Dr. Cannell points out that rickets was a key to understanding the potential of vitamin D. Children with soft bones from a lack of vitamin D also had weak immune systems and chronic infections, and their muscle tone was impaired. Their hearts didn’t beat strongly. Their mood was downcast. But medicine missed these lessons. Maybe each disease didn’t need a different drug. Maybe vitamin D remedied a lot of diseases. But vitamin D was forgotten, till now

    The first vitamin D pill was fish liver oil where it was provided with natural vitamin A and fish oil. Synthetic vitamin D (vitamin D2, ergocalciferol) began to be used in animal nutrition in the 1950s and was also used to fortify cow’s milk till recently when the natural D3 (cholecalciferol) form of vitamin D was employed.

    The reason you need to read Dr. Cannell’s book is that vitamin D is like every other white little pill. You need to learn and internalize its lessons in your head. Just exactly what are you doing when you take vitamin D?

    Well, the list is too long to recite here, but you are favorably activating hundreds of genes, rallying the arrival of any army of neutrophils, a type of white blood cell that is the first responder to infection, toning your muscles, boosting heart pumping strength, activating your para-thyroid glands, and boosting your mood, to name a few.

    One of the more recent surprises involving vitamin D was when investigators noticed fewer hip fractures among older individuals who took vitamin D supplements. But surprisingly, the fewer hip fractures weren’t because of stronger bones facilitated by vitamin D’s ability to increase the availability of calcium, but rather by its ability to tone muscle and improve the balance of senior adults. And since the heart is largely a muscle, vitamin D is a natural antidote to heart failure too.

    My sense of it all is that the younger generation is going to carry the banner for the vitamin D revolution. They will read the book. Young athletes are going to begin learning lessons how vitamin D can improve their athletic performance and then adopt it into the health regimens for the remainder of life. Even weekend athletes, ranging from golfers to bikers and softball league players, are going to want the edge that vitamin D will give them during competition.

    Dr. Cannell warns health-minded Americans there is little time that remains before pharmaceutical companies begin to parade their man-made vitamin D look-alike drugs. Insurance companies will likely pay for these drugs and this may persuade many to use them over natural vitamin D. Surely this will raise the cost of healthcare, not lower it. If enough Americans embrace vitamin D and learn its health lessons in their own lives, it will be difficult to mount an effort to limit vitamin D in favor of the vitamin D-drugs. The FDA has proposed a guideline that would essentially make every dietary supplement like vitamin D a drug. If that goes into effect, self care and affordable medicine will go right out the door.

    Many ethical doctors have begun testing their patients for vitamin D levels and sales of vitamin D pills have risen from $40 million to $450 million. But that is only $1.43 per capita per year! If a third of Americans took vitamin D pills @ $5 for a month’s supply, it would be a multi-billion dollar nutriceutical.

    Read the book, internalize its lessons and share them with others. That is the prescription for today.

    — Bill Sardi, Knowledge of Health, Inc.

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