This is a new type of blog post. From now on, each month we’ll publish a blog highlighting a member, putting them in the spotlight. We’ll discuss their background a little bit and why they’re interested in vitamin D.
Our first member we’ll feature in this series is Ken Merriman, MD, a longtime member and Vitamin D Council supporter. Dr Merriman is an orthopedic surgeon living in a semi-rural area Southeast of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Dr Merriman has been practicing in Hastings, Michigan since he completed his orthopedic residency in 1979. Additionally, Dr Merriman has volunteered overseas for various NGOs. He’s worked in Pakistan, Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea (north of Ethiopia) and plans to make another overseas trip in the near future.
Dr Merriman became interested in vitamin D because of his work with numerous patients with fractures, some simple and some complex. Over the years, he’s noticed various factors that seem to influence recovery time, including whether the patient smokes, general nutrition, how well they comply to doctors’ orders, and of course, their vitamin D level. “Certainly very few of them have what I would consider to be an optimal vitamin D level, which is around 50 ng/ml,” Dr Merriman explains.
When asked if he has any intriguing patient stories, Dr Merriman explained a case of a man with Parkinson’s disease who was also vitamin D deficient. Dr Merriman was able to increase the patient’s level into the high 40 ng/ml range. So far, they’ve noticed general and ambulatory improvement, although of course, there’s no way to tell if this is due solely to the vitamin D supplementation. However, there is research that is consistent with Dr Merriman’s observation, including a randomized controlled trial that the Council has previously blogged on.
“I tend to see a lot of people with low vitamin D levels who are not doing all that badly and when we raised them they do not really notice any difference, but I do see a fair number of patients that tend to feel significantly better after taking vitamin D,” Dr Merriman explains.
Dr Merriman has been a member of the Council for just over a year now. He most enjoys the community aspect of the blog, where he can interact with other blog members and discuss their opinions of each blog. “We are trying to get patients interested in the subject and we always recommend the Vitamin D Council’s website for information for our patients.”
We want to thank Dr Merriman for participating in the Council’s first monthly member spotlight.