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View Full Version : The Miracle of Vitamin D: Sound Science, or Hype?


Neill Smith
02-02-2010, 08:55 AM
The title is overly provocative, but it looks like there is a good study on its way.

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/01/the-miracle-of-vitamin-d-sound-science-or-hy

Garrett Smith
02-02-2010, 09:20 AM
Thanks for posting the link.

It's unbelievable to me that the folks quoted in the article are trying to say there is a shortage of research on fish oil and vitamin D (http://http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/research.shtml).

Effects of Vitamin D deficiency are well-established. Correcting that leads to better health. Quite simple.

The pharmaceutical industry must be losing $$ and sleep over so many people getting more vitamin D and correcting their deficiency diseases...

EDIT: Also, the witch-hunt for vitamin D toxicity will likely bear no fruit for the naysayers...
Risk assessment for vitamin D (http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/abstract/85/1/6)
We present a risk assessment based on relevant, well-designed human clinical trials of vitamin D. Collectively, the absence of toxicity in trials conducted in healthy adults that used vitamin D dose ≥250 g/d (10 000 IU vitamin D3) supports the confident selection of this value as the UL.

The lack of vitamin D toxicity with megadose of daily ergocalciferol (D2) therapy: a case report and literature review. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19488004)
The maximum daily dose of vitamin D currently recommended is 2000 IU. Ergocalciferol (D2) 50,000 IU orally weekly for 8-12 weeks is often used to treat vitamin D deficient patients (25(OH) vitamin D <20 ng/mL). The lack of vitamin D toxicity after massive doses of ergocalciferol has yet to be reported in the literature. We report a case of a 56-year-old woman who received supratherapeutic doses of ergocalciferol (150,000 IU orally daily) for 28 years without toxicity.

Be afraid of vitamin D, we don't know if it helps yet, and it could be super-dangerous!!![/sarcasm]

What a crock.

Jay Ashman
02-02-2010, 11:09 AM
Garrett, I have upped my Vit D intake to over 5000iu a day several months ago... my blood work comes back stellar.

My doc is considering taking me off my Diovan (genetic hypertension, I am pretty fit and eat well) and my cholesterol is always below 170.

Of course I take a ton of fishoil as well... but the both together seem to work wonders for my blood profile.

Garrett Smith
02-02-2010, 11:58 AM
That's great Jay.

I'm up to around 7k iu per day, just because I'm taking 25k twice a week now.

I'll soon be testing out the algae DHA-only on myself, before potentially switching to it.

Garrett Smith
02-02-2010, 01:21 PM
Research on DHA, EPA, O-3s, and PUFAs from 2001-2008 here:
http://www.neuroinformation.org/literature_references.htm

Just to really demonstrate the supposed LACK of research on the topic of fish oil...

Steven Low
02-02-2010, 05:00 PM
I've been on 10k IU vitamin D per month for about 4 months now or so.

Yep... pretty much.

Wayne Riddle
02-03-2010, 03:53 PM
Been on 10,000 I.U's of Vitamin a couple of months now, along with a little over 5 grams of combined EPA/DHA a day. Didn't miss a day of work while others around me had colds and the flu.

Jane Michel
02-06-2010, 08:26 PM
Any thoughts on Poliquin's approach of doing 30,000 to 100,000 IU 2x a week?

http://www.charlespoliquin.com/ArticlesMultimedia/Articles/Article.aspx?ID=230
Another approach, which I prefer, is to supplement twice per week with about 30,000 to 100,000 IU of D3. Based on the research and clinical evidence, this method seems to accelerate the increase in blood levels of 25(OH) D3 (the marker that should be tested for).

Steve Shafley
02-06-2010, 08:37 PM
I have jumped on the bandwagon this winter with the vitamin d. between 8-10K a day.

coupled with nasal irrigation, this has really impacted how often I've gotten hit with colds this season.

Wayne Riddle
02-07-2010, 03:27 AM
Any thoughts on Poliquin's approach of doing 30,000 to 100,000 IU 2x a week?

With vitamin D being fat soluble I'm not sure how taking 30,000 I.U's twice a week is much different then taking 10,000 I.U.'s a day. I'll have to let someone that has done more research then myself answer that one.

Steven Low
02-07-2010, 07:02 AM
It's not.

When I was researching one of the issues I was coming up with getting adequate doses to most populations was getting 100% compliance everyday.

Since it's a fat soluble vitamin the levels stay elevated in the bloodstream about 2-3 weeks after you would even stop taking it.

Thus you can take doses every week or two if you wanted... or every other day etc. as long as they average out to around up to or about 10k IU (or lower if you're concerned about toxicity). So taking 70k once a week is the same as taking 10k once a day.

Basically, it's easier for the laypopulation to take something once every week than to take something everyday. We don't have compliance problems so once everyday is fine for us. :)

Garrett Smith
02-07-2010, 07:04 AM
Poliquin is shooting for a higher blood value (100) than most other groups are, including the Vitamin D council.

The upper end of LabCorp's vitamin D test range is 100...I personally wouldn't push that much with patients because I would not want their PCP to freak out that they're over the top end of the range (even though toxicity supposedly doesn't start until a blood level of 200+).

Always remember that Poliquin likes to be over-the-top to get attention.

That said, I do ~25,000iu twice a week instead of every day.

Ken Rich
02-07-2010, 02:27 PM
I'm up to 7000IU per day. We have a 2 year old in the house who goes to daycare and I have not been sick all winter. Like Shaf, I'm also a fan of nasal irrigation.

Ken

Steven Low
02-09-2010, 10:31 AM
On another note,

Vitamin D does lower cholesterol

Anyone see any significant changes in blood panels once they started taking D or was there other confounding factors such as diet and exercise?

I'm trying to get some solid numbers to see how much of a change we are talking about since I've been asked a bunch of times about it lowering cholesterol.


LDL carries cholesterol to the skin where it gets transformed by the sun from 7-dehydrocholesterol into active forms. Reduction in need for vitamin D production from skin = lowered cholesterol. + also should decreased LDL, inflammation, etc.

Jay Ashman
02-09-2010, 11:13 AM
Steven my exercise and diet has remained constant over the past 2 years. My prior blood work cholesterol numbers were 170 combined and the latest test was at 155. This was after upping my dosage to 5000iu per day.

Wayne Riddle
02-09-2010, 03:20 PM
Anyone see any significant changes in blood panels once they started taking D or was there other confounding factors such as diet and exercise?

I'm due for a checkup within the next month or two, will report on my results.

Chris Forbis
01-15-2012, 01:37 PM
Old thread, I know, but I have an anecdote to add...

I had been on 10kIU/day of D3 for months now. I found when the weather turned cold that my lips would get UNBEARABLY chapped. So I am currently off D3 (though there is still 600 IU in the mineral supplement I take). Next supplement order that comes in will have some 5kIU D3 and we'll see if that makes things any different.

Steven Low
01-24-2012, 09:21 AM
Old thread, I know, but I have an anecdote to add...

I had been on 10kIU/day of D3 for months now. I found when the weather turned cold that my lips would get UNBEARABLY chapped. So I am currently off D3 (though there is still 600 IU in the mineral supplement I take). Next supplement order that comes in will have some 5kIU D3 and we'll see if that makes things any different.
You do know that you can take 1 10k pill every 2 days and it's the same as taking 1 5k pill everyday...

Chris Forbis
01-25-2012, 04:44 AM
Yeah, but 5k/day is easier to keep up with. And 5k is still enough to trigger the symptoms... even after several days of 0 D3 and then a single dose @ 5k.

Right now I am suspecting a Vitamin A toxicity issue. I have read that D3 and A are synergistic, so maybe the heavy D3 dose triggers the symptoms? I have had A toxicity issues in the past (high dose CLO). I eat MANY sweet potatoes, so I've cut those out. In a couple weeks I will try another D dose and see what happens.

Steven Low
01-25-2012, 08:13 AM
Yeah, that would be an issue with A.

That's what you gotta look for on CLO, but I've never heard anyone having those issues from eating tons of sweet potatoes.

But I suppose it could happen... O_O

Bill Ennis
04-24-2012, 11:26 AM
Hi;
I haven't been here in a while and I know this thread is a little old.
Could anyone comment on the reported increase risk of pancreatic and esophageal cancer in patients with high(> 40ng/ml) levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D?
This was mentioned in a "Perspective" piece in the New England Journal of Medicine(April 14, 2011, pg. 1387) and referenced a study by Helzlsouer entitled, " Overview of the Cohort Consortium Vitamin D Pooling Project of Rarer Cancers" , Am J of Epidemiology 2010; 172:4-9.
I haven't tracked the paper down yet. Just wondering if anyone was familiar with it.
Thanks.
Bill

Darryl Shaw
04-25-2012, 05:59 AM
Hi;
I haven't been here in a while and I know this thread is a little old.
Could anyone comment on the reported increase risk of pancreatic and esophageal cancer in patients with high(> 40ng/ml) levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D?
This was mentioned in a "Perspective" piece in the New England Journal of Medicine(April 14, 2011, pg. 1387) and referenced a study by Helzlsouer entitled, " Overview of the Cohort Consortium Vitamin D Pooling Project of Rarer Cancers" , Am J of Epidemiology 2010; 172:4-9.
I haven't tracked the paper down yet. Just wondering if anyone was familiar with it.
Thanks.
Bill

I don't have time to look into this at the moment but a quick search of the 2011 IOM report Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D (http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=13050) found a number of references to pancreatic cancer but none for esophageal cancer. I've only had time to skim though a couple of pages so there may be more to it than this, but it appears as though an increased risk of pancreatic cancer with higher serum 25(OH)D levels was found in just two studies which, again, I don't have time to read.

Hope this helps.

Overview of the Cohort Consortium Vitamin D Pooling Project of Rarer Cancers. (http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/172/1/4.long)

http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?booksearch=1&record_id=13050&term=pancreatic&chapter=725-1012

http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=13050&page=808

A Prospective Nested Case-Control Study of Vitamin D Status and Pancreatic Cancer Risk in Male Smokers. (http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/66/20/10213.full)

Office of Dietary Supplements Fact Sheet: Vitamin D. (http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/vitamind-HealthProfessional/)

Circulating 25-Hydroxyvitamin D and Risk of Esophageal and Gastric Cancer. (http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2010/06/18/aje.kwq121.full)

Edit: I've had time to read those studies now and it appears as though there may be an increased risk of pancreatic cancer with very high levels of serum 25(OH)D so if you're concerned you may want to avoid supplements and get your vit. D the old fashioned way - sunlight. As for esophageal cancer, there appears to be an increased risk with higher 25(OH)D levels in Asians, which may in part be due to the prevalence of H. pylori infections in Asia, high salt intake, and a high intake of pickled and fermented foods. There was no increased risk seen in caucasians though so, on balance, I don't think this is something you need to worry about.

I'd be interested to hear Steven Low's thoughts on this though as he's probably more up to date with the research on vit. D than I am.

Darryl Shaw
10-03-2012, 05:35 AM
Effect of Vitamin D3 Supplementation on Upper Respiratory Tract Infections in Healthy Adults: The VIDARIS Randomized Controlled Trial.

ABSTRACT

Context: Observational studies have reported an inverse association between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-OHD) levels and incidence of upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs). However, results of clinical trials of vitamin D supplementation have been inconclusive.

Objective: To determine the effect of vitamin D supplementation on incidence and severity of URTIs in healthy adults.

Design, Setting, and Participants: Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial conducted among 322 healthy adults between February 2010 and November 2011 in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Intervention: Participants were randomly assigned to receive an initial dose of 200 000 IU oral vitamin D3, then 200 000 IU 1 month later, then 100 000 IU monthly (n = 161), or placebo administered in an identical dosing regimen (n = 161), for a total of 18 months.

Main Outcome Measures: The primary end point was number of URTI episodes. Secondary end points were duration of URTI episodes, severity of URTI episodes, and number of days of missed work due to URTI episodes.

Results: The mean baseline 25-OHD level of participants was 29 (SD, 9) ng/mL. Vitamin D supplementation resulted in an increase in serum 25-OHD levels that was maintained at greater than 48 ng/mL throughout the study. There were 593 URTI episodes in the vitamin D group and 611 in the placebo group, with no statistically significant differences in the number of URTIs per participant (mean, 3.7 per person in the vitamin D group and 3.8 per person in the placebo group; risk ratio, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.85-1.11), number of days of missed work as a result of URTIs (mean, 0.76 days in each group; risk ratio, 1.03; 95% CI, 0.81-1.30), duration of symptoms per episode (mean, 12 days in each group; risk ratio, 0.96; 95% CI, 0.73-1.25), or severity of URTI episodes. These findings remained unchanged when the analysis was repeated by season and by baseline 25-OHD levels.

Conclusion: In this trial, monthly administration of 100 000 IU of vitamin D did not reduce the incidence or severity of URTIs in healthy adults.

http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1367547