Greene County Medical Society                                                                         August 2016

Nutritional Deficiencies and Disease

Sergey Sorin, M.D. President, International Institute of Holistic Medicine
Managing Partner, Samvit Wellness

The United States population is at a record high of being overweight (over two thirds) and obesity at over one third.  Rates of childhood obesity are also at an all-time high. Many professionals as well as lay people are fully aware of the impact of processed, poor quality food that is prevalent today, not to mention GMO and the delirious effects of pesticides (Round-up), widely used in agriculture.

Many people, including health care professionals, are not necessarily aware that despite high caloric content of the food we eat, there are many common deficiencies of Vitamins and Minerals, probably because widespread toxicity of the environment has increased basic essentials.

Poor health habits— sedentary lifestyle, high stress levels and excessive use of alcohol, smoking and other substances appear to be major contributors to at least 85% of the major diseases affecting Americans. In fact, Dr John Knowles wrote that 99% of people are born healthy and become unhealthy because of human misbehavior!1

Some of the common nutritional deficiencies are:

Vitamin D3:

It takes at least 45 minutes of exposure on hands and face to make 1000 units of D 3 under best circumstances.  Over 50, the skin is less able to make D3.  Use of sunscreen blocks ultraviolet light, as does air pollution. Depending on the temperature of the skin on cool days, much more time may be needed for sun to do its benefit!

Poor kidney and liver function decreases D3.  Any intestinal disorder and oral antibiotics decreases D3.  Excess weight is a major contributor to the epidemic of D 3 deficiency.

SYMPTOMS OF D 3 DEFICIENCY include the following:

Weak immunity, aches and pains, especially of bones, low energy, loss of vision, mood fluctuations-including depression, anxiety, irritability, low energy, memory problems, most heart problems, cancer and premature death.


Children-Minimum of 1000 units per day

Adults-Minimum of 2000 units per day

IDEAL for adults-5000 units per day if under 140 pounds; 7000 to 10,000 units daily if over 140 pounds. Excess of D 3 is rare, but possible  problems can include high calcium in blood, which can damage the kidneys.2

Vitamin K 2:

There is growing scientific support for much larger amounts of K 2 for a wide variety of problems that can be seen with low Vitamin K.  The benefit of Vitamin K includes the following: reduction of triglycerides, help with obesity, osteoporosis, arteriosclerosis and improvement in kidney function, hypertension management, Alzheimer’s prevention, and immune functions with prevention of myelodysplasia, leukemia, liver cancer, rheumatoid arthritis. There is significant cell research suggesting that K 2 kills stomach, prostate and lung cancer cells. Doses of K 2 up to 45 mg have been used. The only contraindication to K 2 is warfarin or Coumadin. It may be many years before we know the optimal K 2 intake for everyone. At this point, it is well worthwhile considering 15 mg for everyone and for significant problems listed above take 45 mg daily.3

Vitamin C:

The government recommended intake of 60 mg daily is amazingly inadequate for optimal health. In the 70’s Emanuel Cheraskin showed that those who took 1000 mg daily were overall healthier. Many alternative physicians have used up to 100 grams of C intravenously, in a Myers cocktail, daily for two to four weeks to reduce bone pain in metastatic cancer and to treat virus infections or cancer itself.

When more than 100 mg of vitamin C is taken, it is essential to increase B 6

Shealy also demonstrated that vitamin C combined with MSM helps restore DHEA.

There is also good evidence that ordinarily A, C and E work synergistically to optimize their antioxidant effects.4

Folic Acid

Folic acid deficiencies are a major cause of embryo defects, as well as loss of memory. Interestingly, Kurt Oster in the 70’s reported that homogenization of milk markedly increased the need for folic acid—up to 80 mg daily.5


Deficiencies lead to pernicious anemia, combined system degeneration, memory loss and fatigue. Vegetarians and those on proton pump inhibitors are most prone to B 12 deficiency, which also is more likely after age 60. It is also essential to prevent homocysteine elevation, which is associated with marked increase in cancer, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease.6

B deficiencies

The RDA of B’s, set many decades ago, may be inadequate in today’s polluted world. This is particularly true for B 6, deficiencies of which are common in heart disease and carpal tunnel syndrome.


Approximately 80% of people are deficient in Magnesium, mainly because of universal deficiency in the soil, as well as inadequate intake of high magnesium foods. Magnesium deficiency affects 350 enzymes and is significantly implicated in : immune problems, coronary artery disease, hypertension, cancer, fatigue, memory problems, osteoporosis, atrial fibrillation and depression.

The only reliable test for magnesium deficiency is intracellular done at Intracellular Diagnostics, Medford, OR. Blood levels are normal except in severe starving and alcoholism, as magnesium will be pulled from the bone to keep blood levels normal.  Magnesium is far better absorbed through the skin than through the mouth, and the transdermal magnesium has the advantage of helping to restore DHEA, which is not seen with oral or IV magnesium.7,8


Taurine deficiency is common in depression, epilepsy, hypercholesterolemia, diabetes, hypertension, congestive heart failure, macular degeneration, and most chronic diseases.

Taurine is found ONLY in animal protein.  It works synergistically with magnesium to maintain the negative charge on nerve cells to normalize the electrical charge on cells.9

Omega 3 fatty acids

Omega 3 fatty acids are essential for immune function, immune health, and cardiovascular health. Unfortunately the American diet is loaded with omega 6 and omega 9 fatty acids, which are not necessary for health.10

Tocotrienols (Vitamin E)

Although it is well known that Tocopherols are needed for cardiovascular health, immunity and fertility, the much more powerful branch of the E family, tocotrienols, is minimally present. It is particularly more potent in preventing cancer.11

Vitamin A

The original finding of vitamin A in cod liver oil has popularized that source of vitamin A. However, daily intakes of more than 10,000 units are toxic and lead to pseudocerebri. There are several other carotenoids including beta carotene, lycopene, and Astaxanthin, by far the strongest of the A family.12


Soil contents of boron vary throughout the world and the higher the soil content of boron, the lower the rate of arthritis! Boron is anti-osteoporotic, hypolipemic, anti-coagulant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer. It is critical to parathyroid function and Boron and magnesium deficiency may be a major contributor to hyperthyroidism, osteoporosis and arthritis!

For men, the biggest interest in Boron may be that it raises testosterone! In the first clear clinical study, 10 mg of Boron daily for only 7 days significantly raised free levels of testosterone, lowered estradiol, and decreased 3 inflammatory markers, including HS-CRP, TNF-alpha, etc!13

Even more remarkable is the article by Rex Newnham, Ph.D., D.O., from Australia.14  He found that 70% of patients with significant arthritis improved significantly with Boron.

Among other metabolic successes, Boron helps balance magnesium and calcium levels, may be of significant help in hyperthyroidism, and helps restore adequate hormonal levels in post-menopausal women.

I have collected over 100 pages of important reprints of articles emphasizing the benefits of Boron. I now can say that I consider 3 mg of Boron ESSENTIAL for all people. Men over 50 may well want to take 9 mg daily for a week or so and then stay on 3 mg daily forever. Those with hyperthyroidism or rheumatoid or osteoarthritis or osteoporosis may want to take 9 mg daily for a few weeks and then stay on 3 mg forever. It appears that 10 mg daily is safe for most adults BUT do not exceed 3 mg daily in pregnancy, as excessive levels may harm the fetus!


Iodine deficiency is rampant in the U.S.  Daily intake of only 150 micrograms is a major contributor to hypothyroidism, which is made difficult to diagnose because of fluoridation of water, toothpaste, etc. The body substitutes fluoride for iodine in T 3 and the clinical lab tests cannot distinguish Tri-iodinated from tri-fluoridated tyrosine!!  While the TSH and thyroxine levels may not reflect accurately true thyroid function, if a person has symptoms of low thyroid including temperature of less than 98.6 F, they are likely sub-clinically hypothyroid.15


 Choline is crucial for making acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter essential for memory! It is found in lecithin (prominent in eggs), liver, and muscle meats. Deficiencies are common in depression, elevated cholesterol, dementia, schizophrenia, cerebellar ataxia and Huntington’s chorea. Vegans are more likely to be deficient.16


Chromium is essential for sugar metabolism and is found mainly in those with metabolic syndrome and diabetes, both increasing problems in our overweight society!17


Vanadium is also essential for sugar metabolism and may contribute to diabetes. Interestingly it is sometimes deficient in hypertension and elevated cholesterol.18


Calcium deficiency is present primarily in those who are deficient in vitamin D 3! D 3 enhances calcium absorption and prevents its loss. Calcium blood level are maintained to some extent by leaching it from the bones to keep blood levels stable.19


Because of the extensive literature in relation to each of these items, I have generally listed only one reference per nutrient.

  1. Knowles JH. The responsibility of the individual.  Doing better and feeling worse: health in the United States.  Daedalus 1977;106(1):57-80.
  1. Alzaman NS, Dawson-Hughes B, Nelson J, D’Alessio D, Pittas AG. Vitamin D status of black and white Americans and changes in vitamin D metabolites after varied doses of vitamin D supplementation.  Am J Clin Nutr  2016;May 18.pii:ajcn129478.  [Epub ahead of print]
  1. O’Keefe JH, Bergman N, Carrera-Bastos P, Fontes-Villalba M, DiNicolantonio JJ, Cordain L. Nutritional strategies for skeletal and cardiovascular health: hard bones, soft arteries, rather than vice versa.  Open Heart  2016;3(1):e000325. doi: 10.1136/openhrt-2015-000325.  eCollection 2016 Review.
  1. Koekkoek WA, van Zanten AR. Antioxidant vitamins and

trace elements in critical illness.  Neutr Clin Pract  2016 Jun 16. pii: 0884533616653832. [Epub ahead of print]

  1. Hua X, Zhang J, Guo Y, Shen M, Gaudet L, Janoudi G, Walker M, Wen SW. Effect of folic acid supplementation during pregnancy on gestational hypertension/preeclampsia: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Hypertens Pregnancy. 2016 Jun 17:1-14. [Epub ahead of print]
  1. Orton DJ, Naugler C, Sadrzadeh DM.  Fasting time and vitamin B12 levels in a community-based population.  Clin Chim Acta 2016 Jul 1;458:129-32.
  1. Hoffman R. Thiamine deficiency in the Western diet and dementia risk.  Br J Nutr  2016;116(1):188-9.
  1. Dean, Carolyn. The Magnesium Miracle (Revised and Updated Edition)  Paperback – December 26, 2014
  1. Torres N, Buevara-Cruz M, Velazquez-Villegas LA, Tovar AR. Nutrition and atherosclerosis.  Arch Med Res  2015;46(5):408-26.

10.Cutuli D.  Functional and structural benefits induced by omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids during aging.  Curr Neuropharmacol  2016 June 13.  [Epub ahead of print]

11.Zhao L, Fang X, Marshall MR, Chung S.  Regulation of

obesity and metabolic complications by gamma and delta

tocotrienols.  Molecules 2016;21(3).pii:E344.doi: 10.3390.

12.Abdelzaher LA, Imaizumi T, Suzuki T1, Tomita K1,                      Takashina M1, Hattori Y2 Astaxanthin alleviates oxidative stress insults-related derangements in human vascular endothelial cells exposed to glucose fluctuations.  Life Sci  2016;150:24-31.

13.Naghii MR, Mofid M, Asgari AR, Hedayati M, Daneshpour MS.

Comparative effects of daily and weekly boron supplementation

on plasma steroid hormones and proinflammatory cytokines.  J

         Trace Elem Med Biol  2011;25:54-58.

14.Newnham R.  Arthritis: the mainstay of the “Health Industry”.  The disease that “Health” authorities don’t want cured.

15.Shealy CN, Borgmeyer V and Jones C.  Correction of low body temperature with iodine supplementation.  Frontier Perspectives  2002;11(1):6-8.

16.Ueland PM.  Choline and betaine in health and disease.  J Inherit Metab Dis  2011;34(1):3-15.

17.Guimaraes MM, Carvalho AC, Silva MS.  Effect of chromium supplementation on the glucose homeostasis and anthropometry of type 2 diabetic patients: double blind, randomized clinical trial: chromium, glucose homeostasis and anthropometry.  J Trace Elem Med Biol  2016;36:65-72.

18.Rehder D.  Perspectives for vanadium in health issues.  Future Med Chem 2016;8(3):3225-38.

19.Schlereth F, Badenhoop K.  Vitamin D: more than just a bone hormone.  Internist (Berl)  2016 June 15 [Epub ahead of print] German.


Sergey Sorin, MD, DABFM began his career in medicine, studying the fields of Family Medicine, Urgent Care, Occupational Medicine and Emergency Medicine. He earned his degree from SUNY Health Sciences Center at Brooklyn School of Medicine. After a life-altering diagnosis of colon cancer in 2007, Dr. Sorin began to apply his knowledge of the mind, body and spirit and has since published two books on the topic. Dr. Sorin has been the recipient of the Kalberman Award for Excellence in Chemistry and has an advanced certificate in Health Care Management from SUNY Health Science Center at Stony Brook University. He has served as Medical Director at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Bath, NY as well as filled managerial roles while at Delphi Healthcare. Dr. Sorin founded a Physician Weight Loss and Wellness Center and served as a Medical Director for a Surgical Weight Loss Practice. His travels have included a medical mission to Honduras, traveling assignments in the Virgin Islands as well as assisting people in Kotzebue, Alaska and nearby native villages.

Allyn Evans