HealthBoards (
-   Vitamins & Supplements (
-   -   Vitamin D3 and supplementation? (

lisa118 06-22-2014 05:31 PM

Vitamin D3 and supplementation?
I have been reading a lot about Vitamin D3 this past week. Article after article, I still can't seem to understand a few things. To begin, in order for Vitamin D3 to work efficiently in the body, it needs to have the proper ratio of Vitamin A. Proper balance of the vitamins is essential for either to work. So, what is this ratios? Is it not known? Secondly, if Vitamin D3 is homeostatically produced, why are some people deficient? Third and most importantly, since Vitamin D3 is regulated homeostatically, the body will turn down it's internal production of Vitamin D3 if there is a supplement present. From my understanding, the body reacts with the natural rays of the sun in it's own way. When a supplement is present, then there will be a different reaction for the body to absorb it. This will then make the absorption from the sun no longer in use since the body is basically focusing on the supplement absorption instead. Now, there's the whole issue of supplemental Vitamin D3 along with the chemical process used to obtain it. So fermented cod liver seems great because it contains both Vitamin A and D3. Though, finding a 100% pure and not very processed cod liver oil is hard. Plus are the ratios good? Will the ratios of the oil flux with the ratios a person may get from sunlight and Vitamin A from diet? So, how can one work among all this and get the desired amount of Vitamin D3, of course, naturally? Sunlight is obviously the answer, but how can that answer to people who have little to no access to it (for example, older people)?

68GTX 11-02-2014 04:07 PM

Re: Vitamin D3 and supplementation?
Those are all good questions. And not everyone agrees. Many Vit D studies conflict with each other. Vit D3, A, and K interact with each other. Getting too much or too little of one vs. another can cause long term problems. The Vit A has to be balanced with the amount of Vit D you are getting. Some negative outcomes of an imbalance would be calcification your soft internal tissues or breaking down the calcium in your bones. While a lot of Vit D3 can be cancer preventive, it could also lead to the above problems if one's Vit A is too low. A balance is key to good health.

Vit D3 is a player in numerous reactions throughout the body, most still not well understood. Best thing is to eat a healthy diet of fruits, veggies, and omega 3's. From what I've read coffee, dairy, soda, sugar, and other foods actually rob the nutrients to make sufficient calcium and vit D3. If your LDL is working to mop up the piles of sugar you just ate it won't have as much time to be used in manufacturing Vit D3. For myself, I switched to a healthy diet and get plenty of sunshine at peak hours from April-August. But, from mid-September to late March it's not possible to get adequate Vit D from the sun in most of the US due to the low azimuth. You have to live in SoCal, Phoenix, southern Florida for example to have access all year round.

During winter months I've tried high quality D3 supplements at 4,000-6,000 IU per day with questionable results. A single D3 pill is not an ideal replacement for all the interactions that your body has with UV sunshine. For the past few years I've visited a tanning bed (95% UVA, 5% UVB) 2X to 3X per week (Oct-Mar) for 8-12 min per visit. I've maintained my D3 levels at 50-65 ng/ml all year round. I understand the small increase in risk for those under age 35 of developing skin cancer (rather than 2 people out of 1,000 developing skin cancer from tanning beds, 3 will get it). D3 is protective of many other cancers, including skin cancer. And the odds of getting those other cancers is 30X-100X greater than skin cancer. Worse yet, those other cancers are far less treatable than skin cancer. The only 2 choices are to get UVB radiation exposure year round or take a quality D3 supplement in the range of 4,000-6,000 IU per day (some might even push that up to 8,000 or down to 2,000). And with sunshine your body will stop making additional Vit D3 if you get too much exposure. A full body 15-30 min dose in the summer peak hours will probably net an average person 5,000-20,000 IU depending on location, weather pattern, skin color, etc. Dr. Michael Holick (The Vitamin D Solution or UV Advantage) recommends about half the exposure needed to produce a tan.

I attended a seminar in East Lyme, CT by nutritionist Guy Daniels. He offers a book that details his research of trying to find what the proper levels of vitamins and supplements we should be taking. There was nothing magic in there, just common sense. I did learn a few things. Recommended Vit A levels were around what you'd expect from a quality multi-vitamin. Supplementing at >10,000 IU/day could be a problem long term. I currently take 5,000 IU/day. Vit K2 you can get from eating plenty of the right veggies (leafy greens, etc.). A decent multi-vitamin (or not), healthy diet with variety, cut out the junk-soda-sugar-processed flour-milk-cheese, get some sunshine to net 4,000-6,000 IU vit D3 per day (or a supplement), and you should be ok.

Most people are deficient in D3 because they don't get enough (or any) sun, and those other building blocks are lacking as well. In reading for a few hours the past 2 days there are literally dozens of reasons for Vit D absorption variations from person to person. You name it, and it probably causes a variation (age, weight, location-latitude-altitude-cloud cover-ozone layer-smog, level of nutrients and other vitamins, heredity, liver or kidney problems, problems absorbing fat, meds that affect fat absorption, inflammatory bowel/gut diseases, etc.). No two people are alike. Only testing can tell how you are doing.

Even if you do get adequate sun, the dermatologists tell you to sunscreen up and avoid the peak hours of 11 am - 2 pm, exactly the time where the sun is the highest and vit D3 production would be optimized. The US Naval Observatory has a table where you can check the sun's azimuth for your area. Less than 50 deg pretty much means no UVB rays to help make D3 (ozone layer removes most of it and low angles....but 80-100% of the UVA rays always get through). The worst thing you could do is to get sunshine outside the peak hours when your body is just getting UVA. This UV-cholesterol-Vit D mechanism was put into our bodies for a reason. And that reason wasn't to pop pills or drink a gallon of milk a day to try and get some vit D3.

bibhu100 11-16-2014 09:59 AM

Re: Vitamin D3 and supplementation?
I recently had my blood test done and my VItamin D level was 19.6. My doctor has prescribed 50,000 IU Vit D2 once a week for three months. Is this too much for 19.6?

68GTX 11-18-2014 01:01 PM

Re: Vitamin D3 and supplementation?
[QUOTE=bibhu100;5328599]I recently had my blood test done and my VItamin D level was 19.6. My doctor has prescribed 50,000 IU Vit D2 once a week for three months. Is this too much for 19.6?[/QUOTE]

The 50K doses are often seen to get people rapidly up to normal levels. 50K per week works out to be 7K per day on average. It would seem to me that getting 5K to 10K each day would accomplish about the same thing. It will be interesting to see how much your levels improve over 3 months. If you're healthy otherwise I would think you would come up to the 30K to 45K range. 8-12 min in 5% UVb tanning bed (or peak summer sun) 2X to 3X per week would probably accomplish the same thing. I would question why you're getting the much more inefficient D2 instead of the D3.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:34 PM.