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Bio-bullets

A new vitamin hiding in plain light

One secret of balanced nutrition may be a malodorous acid which human cells cannot make for themselves.

professor caricatureProf. Mumblebard claims: "Osteoporosis and skin cancer are both caused by effects of sunlight on the human skin, with osteoporosis resulting from too little exposure to ultraviolet rays and skin cancer resulting from too much exposure to the same rays.  In the case of osteoporosis, a more direct{njaccess 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8} cause is deficiency in calcium and vitamin D. The way to prevent osteoporosis and skin cancer is moderate exposure to sunlight with boosted consumption of calcium-rich dairy products, particularly those fortified with vitamin D. This makes sense because nutritional sufficiency can be achieved without a risk of skin cancer by firstly sunning the skin just enough to produce vitamin D and secondly supplementing the diet with dietary calcium and vitamin D."{!njaccess}… See the hidden half of Prof. Mumblebard’s claim by subscribing here{/njaccess}

logoRobin and the Honey Badger respond: "It’s paradoxical that human populations appear to suffer from insufficient exposure to sunlight, causing osteoporosis, at the same time as excessive exposure to sunlight, causing skin cancer. One or both causes must be mistaken. If it were true that ultraviolet rays are causal, we would expect that any population with osteoporosis would be free of skin cancer, and any population with skin cancer would be{njaccess 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8} free of osteoporosis. Sunlight, although harmful in excess, is more likely mechanism than cause; and dairy products are likely to be valuable for their vitamin content rather than their calcium. The illogicality in the current consensus reflects a confusion of cause and effect in both osteoporosis and skin cancer, corrected as follows. Vitamin D is made from cholesterol in a process depending on the availability of butyric acid, an unrecognised vitamin found in few foods other than milk. This chemical relative of saturated fatty acids – which cannot be made in human cells – is present in butterfat but not other fats or oils, and is alternatively synthesised from resistant starch by bacteria in the healthy human colon. If insufficient butyric acid is absorbed from the gut, a likely result is deficiency of vitamin D, leading to osteoporosis. At the same time, diets poor in butterfat and fibre tend to oversupply glucose and polyunsaturated fats, both of which are likely to be carcinogenic. In summary, we suggest firstly that skin cancer is caused partly by deficiency of a previously unrecognised vitamin, and secondly that osteoporosis is a parallel disorder in which proliferation of cells – although not cancerous – demineralises the bones."{!njaccess}… Reveal the hidden half of this response by Robin and the Honey Badger by subscribing here{/njaccess}

 

Please join us here at the Bio-edge with your own comments. In the discussion below we encourage links to any evidence supporting either Prof. Mumblebard or Robin and the Honey Badger. Illustrations are welcome but please cite all sources or we may be forced under copyright to delete your comment.

 

Last modified on 16 July 2015

Comments   

0 #1 Gronbek 2014-06-02 08:49
You say it’s self-contradict ory that the same population can have skin cancer from too much sun and osteoporosis from too little sun. But the argument is all about timing. The excessive sun exposure that causes melanoma is acute, and often in childhood, whereas the insufficient sun exposure that causes osteoporosis is chronic, and often in middle age. Is there really a paradox here or have you just thrown up a ‘straw man’ to be argumentative? Think of wine. A little can be good but too much alcohol is bad. Isn’t sunlight the same?
+1 #2 Taklamakan 2014-06-02 14:04
@Gronbek: I disagree with your analogy, Gronbek. Hardly fair to compare sunlight with alcohol because humans cannot suffer from alcohol deficiency, can we? I tend to agree with Robin and the Honey Badger that it’s having one’s cake and eating it to hypothesise that the same persons, living in the same place, change their habits radically from baskers to solifuges, and from burnt to bleached, as they get older. More likely, people continue to get more or less enough sun, and something else prevents hormone D from being synthesised/doi ng its job. By the way, the idea that vitamin D is more like a hormone than a vitamin is almost mainstream these days, although the idea that butyric acid merits status as a vitamin is original, never seen it suggested before.
0 #3 Freerad 2014-06-13 10:42
Osteoporosis may be partly a ‘vitamin D deficiency disease’, but it’s also potentially a deficiency disease of magnesium and various trace elements. Please see www.osteopenia3.com/.../. The interesting thing about BORON in particular is that it’s involved in bone health as well as the production of steroid hormones in general. Unlike e.g. magnesium and zinc, boron isn’t known to be involved in many diverse aspects of body function; it seems to have just a few types of function. So the fact that vitamin D is important for bone health, while its active form is a steroid hormone, seems to suggest that boron might be worth further scrutiny even if you’re right in your rather vague hunch about butyric acid? By the way, compliments on your website.
0 #4 Labman 2014-06-17 10:03
If so-called vitamin D is a drug and can be used to poison rats, I wonder how safe it is as a health supplement. I see in Recommended Daily Allowances (10th edition), 1989, National Academy Press, Washington DC, that vitamin D can be toxic to people if taken in amounts only five times the RDA. The RDA was only 10 mcg at that time. On the other hand, kids were sometimes given a massive single dose of 10,000 mcg. Anyone know how did kids coped with those kinds of experimental doses?
0 #5 B. Harold 2014-06-23 10:01
I’m not convinced. This just seems too speculative. Who has ever established a requirement for butyric acid? Calling it a saturated fatty acid is a bit misleading when it’s regarded as a volatile fatty acid.Surely it’s known that butyric acid is metabolised, there are plenty of diagrams available on the internet.
0 #6 Labman 2014-06-23 10:04
You know that pukey smell you got when a tent was packed up before it’s fully dry and then left in a hot car trunk for weeks? That’s also butyric acid. Actually, what happened was that a substance called cellulose acetate butyrate (CAB), commonly added to the polyurethane coatings used on tents, breaks down over time and releases butyric acid as one of its many by-products. So old tents finish up smelling like barf.
0 #7 B. Harold 2014-06-23 11:04
I also find your claim a bit dubious that lactobacillus doesn’t use up the lactose in milk products. Actually, I have references to the contrary.
0 #8 Freerad 2014-09-22 10:23
It’s been known for years that injecting bacteria into tumours can sometimes be used to treat cancer. That’s interesting in view of your concept of cancer as quasi-microbial . The following links mention Clostridium novyi in particular, leading me to wonder if perhaps butyric acid is involved?
gizmodo.com.au/.../...
and
reuters.com/.../...
0 #9 Freerad 2014-10-28 08:37
Hey, hydrogen sulphide, another stinky substance also found in flatulence, is also good for you: dailymail.co.uk/.../...
Understandably the media spin is ‘smelling farts is healthy’. But wait, the body may already be absorbing some of this hydrogen sulphide from the colon into the bloodstream, in a sort of automatic self-fumigation ensuring that all the body’s cells get a medicinal dose of this potentially toxic gas. Then could we argue that the smell of rotten eggs is also a bit like a vitamin? Our cells do make it for themselves (maybe to kill cancers etc.) but in practise they rely on the ‘dietary source’ made by gut bacteria? So hydrogen sulphide is a bit like butyric acid, a ‘vitamin pretending to be a fart’?

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