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Vitamin D – Cancer Fighting Powerhouse

By |2013-10-01T12:49:12-05:00September 27th, 2013|General|

Top 10 Facts About Vitamin D and Cancer:  

1.  Many studies have found solar ultraviolet-B (UVB) vitamin D associated with reduced risk of breast, colon, and rectal cancer.
2.  A randomized controlled trial with 1100 IU/day vitamin D3 plus 1450 mg/day calcium found a 77% reduction in all-cancer incidence.
3.  Geographical studies have found reduced risk in mortality rates for 15-20 types of cancer in regions of higher solar UVB doses.
4.  Observational studies found risk of breast, colon, and rectal cancer falls as vitamin D blood levels rise to over 40 ng/mL (100 nmol/L).
5.  Mechanisms have been proposed to explain how vitamin D acts to reduce the risk of cancer from starting, growing, and spreading.
6.  Those who develop non-melanoma skin cancer may have produced enough vitamin D to reduce their risk of internal cancers.
7.  Those with higher vitamin D blood levels at time of cancer diagnosis had nearly twice the survival rate of those with the lowest levels.
8.  African Americans have an increased risk of cancer in part due to lower vitamin D blood levels because of darker skin.
9.  Higher UVB exposure early in life has been associated with reduced risk of breast and prostate cancer.
10.  Those diagnosed with breast, colon, and prostate cancer in summer in Norway had higher survival rates than those diagnosed in winter.


Vitamin D: Nature’s Prozac

By |2014-04-14T16:04:07-05:00June 23rd, 2013|General|

Making sure you’re getting enough sunlight exposure to have healthy Vitamin D levels is a crucial factor in treating depression or keeping it at bay. One previous study found that people with the lowest levels of Vitamin D were 11 times more prone to being depressed than those who had normal levels. Vitamin D deficiency is actually more the norm than the exception, and has previously been implicated in both psychiatric and neurological disorders.

Vitamin D receptors have been identified throughout the human body, and that includes in your brain. Researchers have located metabolic pathways for Vitamin D in the hippocampus and cerebellum of the brain, areas that are involved in planning, processing of information, and the formation of new memories.

Sufficient Vitamin D is also imperative for proper functioning of your immune system to combat inflammation, and other research has discovered that depressed people tend to have higher levels of inflammation in their brains.

Vitamin D is paramount to optimal thyroid function, and depression is a well-known symptom of low thyroid function. Be sure to ask your doctor to check your “25-OH vitamin D” level (NOT “1,25-OH vitamin D” level). Although normal range is 30 to 100, studies have shown that people with levels in the 70-80 range have the lowest incidence of flus/colds, cancer, autoimmune diseases, and diabetes. Levels should be monitored periodically since vitamin D is one of the few vitamins that can reach toxic levels, and of course, you want to make sure you are never deficient in vitamin D. 


The Sun and Vitamin D

By |2013-06-23T09:09:35-05:00June 23rd, 2013|General|

by Mila McManus MD

Now that school is finally out and we will all be spending more time outdoors, I believe the time has come to debunk the sunscreen myth.

Sunlight elevates our mood and exposure to it is crucial for optimal health for a number of reasons, with Vitamin D production being the most important.  Vitamin D is one of the most effective anti-cancer vitamins and can be produced in the skin through exposure to U.V. light. It is essential for a strong immune system that helps protect us from, and ward off, cancer(s). It is also very important for maintaining strong and healthy bones.

Toxicity of Sunscreens

Sunscreen ingredients, such as Zinc Oxide and Oxybenzone are linked to cancer. Absorbing chemicals through the skin can be more dangerous than ingesting them orally. The reason for this is that when chemicals or medications are applied directly on the skin, they are not broken down by the strong acids of the stomach before reaching the bloodstream, and they bypass being metabolized by the liver on initial entry.  Moreover, the aluminum content in these carcinogenic ingredients commonly used in most sunscreens will stay in the body forever, accumulating as a heavy metal toxin.

The survival of the sunscreen industry is reliant upon keeping us ignorant and afraid of the sun.  None of us would ever consider eating sunscreen, yet we follow the advice of the medical “establishment” that reports continually that many of us will suffer from skin cancer without it. “Experts” recommend applying generous amounts of the products every few hours. It has been shown that strict sun protection exacerbates Vitamin D deficiency. Sunscreen creates an actual physical barrier and blocks your skin’s ability to produce Vitamin D by more than 95%.

So, now that we have determined that sunscreen is full of known carcinogens and provides a physical barrier against the production of the amazing cancer fighter Vitamin D, what is the best solution to having optimal Vitamin D levels?

Sun Safety Solutions

The best solution is healthy tanning. This does not mean that we should all go out and get as much sun as we want. Caution must be exercised and the key is avoiding a burn.  This means that we should limit exposure initially until we accumulate some brown pigment, called melanin, which gives the skin brown color and protects it naturally from burning. As the skin becomes well tanned, a person can increase their exposure with little risk of cancer. If burning does occur, apply coconut oil or aloe vera overnight and miss a day or two of sun exposure to allow the skin to recover. In the middle of summer, when the sun is very strong, avoid the midday hours or wear lightweight, light colored clothing that covers the skin and a wide brimmed hat.

Have a Happy and Healthy Summer!

Vitamin D Important During Pregnancy

By |2012-10-03T11:21:39-05:00October 3rd, 2012|Articles|

Research presented at the Annual Meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies indicates that vitamin D is crucial during pregnancy. The American Pregnancy Association reports that of the estimated 6 million pregnancies per year in the United States, 875,000 women experience one or more pregnancy-related complications. In addition, they state that 467,201 babies are born prematurely, 307,030 babies are born with low birth weight and 154,051 infants are born with birth defects each year.

In this new study, researchers assessed the relationship between high-dose vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy and the risk of developing pregnancy-related complications. The subjects included pregnant women between 12 and 16 weeks gestation. The women were supplemented with vitamin D at a dose of 400 IU, 2,000 IU or 4,000 IU per day until delivery. The subjects were evaluated monthly for treatment safety and were given blood tests to measure vitamin D supplementation effectiveness. The women were also followed to determine the rate of pregnancy complications including preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, infections, preterm labor and preterm birth.

The results showed that serum levels of vitamin D (25(OH)D) were significantly different between the 3 treatment groups. As serum vitamin D levels increased, the risk of infection and preterm labor and birth decreased. The group receiving 4,000 IU of vitamin D daily had the lowest rate of infection and preterm labor and birth. In fact, compared to the group receiving 400 IU vitamin D per day, the group receiving 4,000 IU per day had a 50 percent reduction in risk of these complications.
The researchers concluded, “Vitamin D sufficiency was strongly associated with decreased risk for preterm labor and birth and infection during pregnancy and comorbities of pregnancy, with the greatest effect with 4,000 IU vitamin D/day regimen. Therefore, to attain a minimal 25(OH)D level of 40 ng/mL, we recommend 4,000 IU/day for all pregnant women.”
Reference: Wagner CL, Johnson D, Hulsey TC, Ebeling M, Shary J, Smith PG, Bivens B, Hollis BW. Vitamin D Supplementation during Pregnancy Part 2 NICHD/CTSA Randomized Clinical Trial (RCT): Outcomes. In: Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies; 2010 May1-4, Vancouver BC. Abstract 1665.
Article obtained from Complementary Prescriptions

Question: There’s so much information out there about Vitamin D. What are some important things to know about this Vitamin?

By |2012-10-11T10:22:39-05:00October 2nd, 2012|Ask Dr McManus|

Question: There's so much information out there about Vitamin D. What are some important things to know about this Vitamin?
Answer: “Vitamin D is paramount to optimal thyroid function, and depression is a well-known symptom of low thyroid function. Be sure to ask your doctor to check your “25-OH vitamin D” level (NOT “1,25-OH vitamin D” level). Although normal range is 30 to 100, studies have shown that people with levels in the 70-80 range have the lowest incidence of flus/colds, cancer, autoimmune diseases, and diabetes. Levels should be monitored periodically since vitamin D is one of the few vitamins that can reach toxic levels, and of course, you want to make sure you’re not deficient in Vitamin D.”

Vitamin A

By |2017-08-26T08:46:36-05:00August 26th, 2017|General|

Vitamin A, also known as retinol, is a powerful antioxidant the body uses to help form Vitamin A sourcesand maintain good vision and eye health, a strong immune system as well as soft tissues, mucus membranes, and skin. It is not found in plant food; however, the body can use beta-carotene found in many fruits, vegetables and some fish sources to convert to vitamin A (retinol).  Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin. It is important to avoid taking Vitamin A without the guidance of a medical provider since excess can result in toxicity.  Issues with skin, mucous membranes, and immune function can be an indicator that Vitamin A is deficient.  Vitamin A promotes epidermal differentiation, modulates dermal growth factors, inhibits sebaceous gland activity, suppresses androgen formation, and promotes cell turnover in the skin.  Our medical providers can provide special tapering dosing protocols to meet your specific needs as well as monitor to avoid toxicity. Vitamin A can be a very helpful supplement for addressing skin issues.  Our office carries two forms manufactured by the ProThera Inc. supplement line.



Nutrition for Skin, by Chris Kresser

Multivitamins Support Weight Management

By |2012-10-03T11:15:43-05:00October 3rd, 2012|Articles|

The relationship between dietary multivitamin and multi-mineral intake and the risk of becoming overweight or obese was evaluated in a new study. In the United States, approximately 68 percent of adults are overweight or obese, and over 33 percent qualify as obese. Overweight and obesity are categorized based on body mass index (BMI), which is a calculation based on height and weight. Overweight is defined as a BMI between 25 and 29.9 and obesity is defined as having a BMI of 30 or greater.
In this new clinical trial, researchers analyzed the effect of supplementing multivitamins in a group of obese women. The subjects in this study included 96 obese Chinese women between 18 and 55 years of age. The women received a multivitamin and multi- mineral supplement daily or a tablet of 162 mg of calcium daily or a placebo for 26 weeks. The women were evaluated for body weight, BMI, waist circumference, fat mass and fat-free mass.
The researchers also evaluated blood pressure; resting energy expenditure, which is the amount of calories required by the body for a 24-hour period during a non-active period; and respiratory quotient(RQ), which is used to calculate basal metabolic rate. Additionally, blood tests, which measured fasting blood glucose, insulin levels, total cholesterol, high density lipoprotein, cholesterol (HDL “good” cholesterol), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL “bad” cholesterol) and triglycerides, were performed at the beginning of the study and after 26 weeks.
The results showed that the group receiving the multivitamin had significantly lower body weight, BMI, fat mass, total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol compared to the placebo group. Additionally, the multivitamin group had higher resting energy expenditure and HDL cholesterol values. There was also a trend in the multivitamin and multimineral group showing reduced waist circumference and respiratory quotient. The group receiving calcium supplementation alone showed higher HDL cholesterol and lower LDL cholesterol compared to the placebo group.
The researchers concluded, “The results suggest that, in obese individuals, multivitamin and mineral supplementation could reduce body weight and fatness and improve serum lipid profiles, possibly through increased energy expenditure and fat oxidation. Supplementation of calcium alone (162 mg per day) only improved lipid profiles.”
Article obtained from complementary prescriptions newsletter


By |2020-02-03T14:58:22-06:00October 3rd, 2012|Articles|

VITAMIN C is a water soluble vitamin that should be taken daily along with other essential vitamins. Vitamin C plays a significant role in a variety of metabolic functions. It is best known for strengthening the immune system and aiding in the synthesis of collagen, which supports a healthy cardiovascular system.
Vitamin C is useful in protecting against infectious diseases like the common cold or flu, and any other infectious disease. Taking a daily dose of at least 1000mg is suggested for prevention. But what happens if you get an infection? You should definitely increase your vitamin C. Below is our recommendation for how to take vitamin C when you have contracted a cold, the flu, or other infection:

• Take, at minimum, 2000mg, 4 times a day. (if you develop loose stools, decrease intake by 1000- 2000mg)
• Take zinc 50mg daily.
• Colloidal Silver- 1 teaspoon twice daily.

Vitamin C has many benefits beyond supporting the immune system. As mentioned earlier, there has been extensive research on the benefits of vitamin C in preventing and even aiding in the treatment of cardiovascular disease. Vitamin C protects against cardiovascular disease in the following ways: It alters triglyceride metabolism, helps to strengthen arterial walls, prevents oxidation of low-density lipoproteins and may reduce blood pressure.
Immune support and cardiovascular support are not the only two benefits of taking Vitamin C. There are many other reasons to take Vitamin C: aids in wound healing, provides antitumor activity, provides relief from skeletal pain in various disorders, protects against periodontal disease, and is especially effective in helping regenerate vitamin E after it has been attacked by oxygen radicals, improves iron absorption from the small intestine, is an effective antioxidant, is a cofactor (helper) in the metabolism of folic acid, some amino acids, and hormones, and protects against cancers of the oral cavity, esophagus, stomach, colon, and lung, based on epidemiological evidence.
You should consult your physician about the proper dosage depending on your current condition and other medicines you may be taking.

Protect, Prevent, Prevail

By |2020-05-01T06:13:41-05:00May 1st, 2020|Articles, Ask Dr McManus, General|

By Mila McManus, MD

One of the most interesting questions that medical personnel are asking during this viral event is “Why do some people get the infection and never have symptoms while others get critically ill or die from it?”  One clear pattern continues to surface: those with compromised immune health and multiple health issues have been at greatest risk for poor outcomes.

Now, more than ever before, we see the value of taking care of our health so that we are able to mount a protective response to external threats such as viruses, parasites, bacteria, and toxicants.  Reflected in the reports regarding fatalities from the Coronavirus is the clear message that those who were, and continue to be at greatest risk, are those who suffer from chronic disease, such as obesity, diabetes, auto-immune disorders, cardio-vascular disease, and otherwise compromised immune systems. Overall health matters more than ever in these uncertain times. While we cannot control what’s in the environment, we have at least some control over our body’s ability to cope with environmental assaults.

Protect: First line minimum considerations for good health include a number of foundational lifestyle choices.  Because our food, even at its best, does not offer all of the nutrition we need, supplementing with a multi vitamin and a probiotic is first line for everyone. A healthy diet is important, and first and foremost, eliminating sugar is critical, as sugar suppresses immune function.  Stress also suppresses immune function. Deep breathing exercises, meditation, and removing unnecessary stressors are important for good immune and overall health. Quality and quantity of sleep is also foundational since it’s when we sleep that the body performs major maintenance, healing, detoxification, and resetting. And finally, washing hands frequently, and keeping them off your face, remains tried and true.

Prevent and Prevail: The minimum, however, may not be quite enough.  Especially if you are already compromised, have more exposures (healthcare workers, teachers, frequent travelers)  and/or simply want to be more vigilant (and we recommend that!), there is more you can do.  Combinations of the following are also excellent protections to build immunity and prevent infection.

  • Choose to regularly visit a wellness physician (aka functional medicine specialist) to prevent illness and address issues at the root cause. (We appreciate your referrals to The Woodlands Institute for Health & Wellness!)
  • Improve nutrition, sticking to whole, real food that stabilizes blood sugar.
  • Take care of your mental health, manage stress and deal with emotional baggage.
  • ONDAMED Energy Therapy and InfraRed Saunas are excellent immune defense therapies.
  • Essential OilsOnGuard, Tea Tree (Melaleuca), and Eucalyptus are just three good air and hand sanitizers, can be diffused, used on dryer balls and in cleaning solutions.
  • Additional Supplements
    • Immune Strengthening: Wholemune, Viracid, Transfer Factor Multi-Immune
    • Vitamin C – oral and Mega Dose IV therapy
    • Zinc – 25mg daily (twice daily for 2 weeks with acute exposure or if ill)
    • Vitamin D – at least 2000iu daily. If potential viral exposure, then 25,000iu daily for 3 days.
    • Silver Biotic – oral liquid and topical gel. Excellent hand sanitizer and a natural anti-microbial.
    • L-lysine – 1000mg twice a day
    • Quercetin Bromelain Forte -Combination of quercetin, bromelain and vitamin C. Immune boosting and antiviral properties, as well as antihistamine properties. 
    • Protease – work up to 1 capsule 3 X a day between meals (2 hours away from food). This can cause upset stomach or diarrhea, so start with 1 capsule and increase daily as tolerated.  If you take any blood thinners, consult with your doctor, or pick other options listed here.

If you or someone you know needs help getting well and staying well, visit The Woodlands Institute for Health & Wellness so that next time a virus floats through town (and it will), you will be ready to protect, prevent and prevail!

Immune Boosters

By |2020-03-16T08:54:00-05:00March 16th, 2020|General|

If you fear Coronavirus (or flu), have been exposed, if you are sick,  have been in a big crowd, or if you’re going to be….here are some suggestions, and also a recipe for DIY hand sanitizer:
On Guard essential oil
Vitamin C -oral AND Mega Dose IV available
Zinc 25mg daily
Vitamin D at least 2000iu daily.  If/when potentially exposed to a virus, take 25,000iu daily for 3 to 5 days.
Nebulizer treatments! (with Vitamin C, Colloidal silver, etc)
Also, see below for DIY Hand Sanitizer
Stay Well,
Mila McManus MD


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