A hormone is supposed to save the world. Under the alias "vitamin D", it is touted as a miracle cure for all kinds of health scares. In the last century, the active ingredient had already saved the lives of millions of children and cured them specifically of rickets. In the meantime, the disease, which has largely disappeared, is making a comeback. Udo Pollmer explains the causes.
by Udo Pollmer / May 29th, 2020 / new version of October 2023
Every industry that thrives on murky business needs narratives, which fit the idea that for every complicated problem there is a solution: simple, logical - and, oops, wrong. Vitamin D is such a universal problem solver. Recently, it was supposed to...
...protect against coronaviruses.1 Infected people are said to have lower vitamin D levels. Naturally, this is especially true for immunosuppressed old people. Many of them are disabled and rarely get out of the house. Since "vitamin D" is formed by daylight, by UV, low levels come as little surprise. In this way, almost all diseases that are more common in old age can be interpreted as "D deficiency".
Now that the Corona wave has died down, many people are afraid of the side effects of the vaccination they received. That's where vitamin D comes in handy: With an extra dose, the vaccine damage would fly. is supposed to disappear in a hurry.2 Vitamin D allegedly helps against everything - with one exception: it does not protect against sun, wind and rain. On the contrary: "climate change" would make the already rampant D deficiency even worse. We all need more of it.
Cod liver oil comes as a savior
Now, "vitamin D" has long enjoyed an unblemished reputation as a medicine for rickets, the disfiguring bone disease that used to afflict and often kill many children. It owes its excellent effect to the fact that it is not a vitamin at all. It is a hormone, like estrogen or cortisone or cortisol, which the body produces itself.3 Many people fear the side effects of cortisone because it is a "hormone", while they expect miracles from "vitamin D" because it is a "vitamin".
The myth of "vitamin D" originated over a century ago. With the industrialisation of England, a serious skeletal disease spread among children: English disease, later called rickets. According to the narrative, the capitalist exploiters made the proletariat live in dark cellars. Without sufficient light, the children could not thrive.4 Salvation came in 1918 with the discovery in a London Zoo that deformed bones in lion cubs could be prevented with cod liver oil.5
When they finally succeeded in identifying the active substance in cod liver oil, the researchers named the substance "anti-rachitic vitamin" and later "vitamin D". After this could be produced in the laboratory by UV irradiation from ergosterol, incidentally a close relative of cholesterol, the children were given the hormone instead of the disgusting cod liver oil. The rickets had largely disappeared.
However, this leaves one question unanswered: Why was rickets only a sporadic phenomenon before industrialisation? In those days, the dwellings were not light-flooded villas either, but draughty, often windowless huts whose scarce space the families with many children had to share with the goat. Whether in the village or in the urban basement, children who don't know computers are always eager to get outside for some air.
The advantage of home baked bread
Historical science paints a different picture than the popular Marxist narratives. John Snow, a British physician (1813 to 1858), who worked rigorously scientifically, describes the emergence of the English disease somewhat differently in 1857: The disease affected all classes. Either many children in a region had rickets - regardless of class - or only very few.6
The cause of the English disease was nutrition. Snow had noticed that rickets was quite rare in the north of the kingdom, but all the more common in the south. Yet the north naturally has less sun than the south - how that? Snow noticed the crucial difference: in the north, coals were cheap, in the south, expensive. As a result, housewives in the North always baked their own bread. In the South, they bought it from the baker.6
Rickets turned out to be the result of thorough poisoning! The bakers' bread contained large amounts of so-called alum-aluminium phosphates. This stuff destroys the bones.7 Why did the bakers need this questionable ingredient? To make musty flour bakeable. Since alum also binds a lot of water and even promotes fermentation, thus making the bread heavier and bigger, almost adventurous quantities were stirred into the dough.8 If the flour was milled from fungus-ridden grain, the mycotoxins exacerbated rickets.9-11
This was exactly the case in the south of England. The mills supplied the bakers with the cheapest possible flours made from rotten imported wheat. The so-called alum was given to them by the apothecary. John Snow, who analysed the breads, did not find a single one in the south of England that was not spiked with it.6 In the north, on the other hand, the flour was unadulterated and fit for baking. No housewife would have voluntarily stirred in alum. So, her children stayed healthy. Since baker's bread was cheap in the South, it was consumed particularly abundantly by the poorer citizens. That is why rickets was somewhat more common among the children of the lower classes than among the wealthier. But only a little.
The baker again
Today, this bad practice with high doses of alum in bread no longer plays a role, the flours are bakeable and are not made from fungal grain. Nevertheless, aluminium phosphates - albeit from other sources - have remained a cause of serious bone diseases such as infantile rickets to this day, for example when taken for heartburn.12,13
Meanwhile, the bakers' bread is once again under discussion as a cause of rickets. This time, because they do not use the long, traditional dough proving. This means that the harmful proteins in the grain, such as gluten, are no longer broken down. These trigger intestinal inflammations, namely coeliac disease.14-17 In the bones of the patients, conspicuously high aluminium contents are found, a consequence of the damaged and now permeable intestinal wall.18,19 This is why children with coeliac disease often suffer from rickets.20-22 This also explains why coeliac disease patients sometimes give birth to rickets babies.23
It is all the more annoying that aluminium is still popular in bakeries today. In some cases, adventurously high residues have been detected in pretzels, a consequence of the use of aluminium trays for leaching the baked goods.24 The caustic soda dissolves the aluminium. In addition, various baking powders containing aluminium are still in use today. In the EU, aluminium phosphate (E 541) is permitted, but fortunately only for biscuits.
In addition, there are other sources of aluminium, such as uncoated aluminium bowls for keeping food warm or the consumption of black tea.25,26 In combination with fluorides, aluminium is readily absorbed.27,28 In addition, rickets is one of the symptoms of fluoridosis, a fluoride poisoning.29
The milk did it
In Germany, the prevention of rickets in infants was introduced in the 1950s. At that time, it was not because of bread. The reason was another food: cow's milk, which, according to another logical-sounding narrative, is recommended as a remedy against rickets because, besides "vitamin D", it contains plenty of calcium "for bone formation". But it was already known a century ago that, on the contrary, "the overfeeding of whole milk favours the development of the English disease".30 Or: "In no other way can the very most serious rachitic phenomena be produced than by feeding infants early on whole milk, especially raw whole milk ...".31 The paediatricians spoke of "milk nutritional damage" or "rachitogenic effects of cow's milk".
This is due to the many minerals that the calf needs for its rapid bone growth. A litre of women's milk contains 300 milligrams of calcium, a litre of cow's milk 1.2 grams, i.e. four times as much. The surplus of phosphate is even greater.32 This is definitely too much for the human infant. The term "rich in minerals" is only a real sign of quality for flower fertiliser.
In post-war Germany, there were many rickets-ridden children, which led to a wealth of experience among doctors. The most reliable means of preventing rickets, according to paediatricians at the time, was breastfeeding plus sunlight. "Vitamin D" prophylaxis was introduced to allow the feeding of infants and young children with cow's milk. At that time, the rule was: "No bottle-fed baby without rickets prophylaxis".30 For this purpose, not only the pure hormone was given, but also fish cod liver oil as well as fresh egg yolk and cooked liver. (In today's formula milk based on cow's milk, the mineral content has been adjusted).
The milk would have been it
Both overfeeding the infant with cow's milk and abstaining from milk are harmful. Because milk is "deliberately" frowned upon in the macrobiotic diet, there are plenty of cases of rickets on record. In a Dutch study, every second macrobiotic infant suffered from it.33 The authors suspect that the high intake of dietary fibre, in addition to the avoidance of milk, is the cause.33,34 Whole grains in particular can cause mineral deficiencies due to their phytin content.5,35 When cases of infantile rickets occurred in Ireland during World War II, the consumption of whole grains was blamed.36
Another reason for "macrobiotic rickets" is probably to be found in a popular milk substitute: soy formula proved to be a new cause of deformed bones in premature babies.37 This was possibly also a consequence of high aluminium contents, which remain in the finished powder as residues from production.38 The effect is reinforced by the indifference of many manufacturers to the special legal requirements for plant-based liquids for infants. For example, the contents of the hormone "vitamin D" within one brand varied from pack to pack by a factor of 10.39,40
Similarly, vegan babies suffer from this, thanks to the inexplicable notion that mammalian milk can be replaced with almonds, sesame seeds or oats because opaque, opaque liquids can be made from them.41-43 One wonders when the first mother filled with vegan logic will dilute wall paint for her child, provided it does not contain animal ingredients? This also makes a visually appealing, slightly viscous "painter's milk".
Milk - for the third time
The nonsense is topped by sun lotions with which overzealous parents smear their children for fear of skin cancer. The result was a renewed flare-up of English disease. The high sun protection factors completely block UV radiation, so that the formation of the hormone "D" in the skin is prevented.44-46 This also applies to skin creams that are applied over large areas. In the meantime, even night creams contain UV blockers, without this being recognisable to the layman. Those who do not thoroughly wash off the noble creams should not be surprised if low D-hormone levels bob along in their blood.47
Rickets can therefore have a wide variety of causes. In infants and toddlers, nutritional errors such as vegan "milks" are in the foreground, in children sun milk abuse, in adolescents dietary fads. In adults, the clinical picture changes, but not the causes. The softening of the bones is then called osteomalacia.13,48-50 In countries where women only appear in public with a veil, osteomalacia is more common as a result of UV deficiency.51 In western cultures, sun creams, "healthy eating" and zoeliac disease dominate as causes. In Asian countries, poisoning with fluorides from drinking water and black tea - often in combination with aluminium - are in the foreground. 52
Goodbye, beautiful world of "vitamins”
Last but not least, "vitamin D" poisoning should also be mentioned, caused by overdosing when fortifying food, by improper production of vitamin pills, as well as by prescription and intake errors.53-58 Such poisoning is easily mistaken for a deficiency by the inexperienced doctor because of the often similar symptoms. With loss of appetite, constipation, nausea, abdominal pain, weakness and apathy, it usually corresponds to the signs that are often interpreted as a general vitamin deficiency. In addition, the bones hurt in case of an overdose.59 If the supposed deficiency is treated with hormone administration, the prognosis is poor.
Speaking of cemeteries: Vitamin D is a proven rodenticide, i.e. a rat poison.60-62 Now it has been shown that unwanted animals can also be killed with low doses. The common brushtail possum, an invasive marsupial in New Zealand, reliably dies when baits contain "vitamin D" in low doses, but in combination with aspirin.63 Aspirin can be purchased everywhere as an over-the-counter drug and is taken by many people for blood thinning, against headaches, but also for mood enhancement. It would be interesting to know at what dose of aspirin the simultaneous intake of "vitamin D" leads to death. Unfortunately, there are no publications on this. The brushtail possum dies quite unspectacularly from heart failure.
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Copyright: EU.L.E. e.V.
Originally published in October 2023: => Pollmers Mahlzeit: Naive Narrative - Vitamin D & Rachitis
English editor: Josef Hueber, Eichstätt