4

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Vitamin D: friend or foe?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created May 21, 2010 at 12:33 AM

So for a few years I've been popping vitamin D caps, maybe 4-8000iu a day. I'm very fair-skinned and burn easily, otherwise I'd be happy to bask in the sun, which isn't always possible in New England especially from Oct-March. Then I find this article at one online grass-fed beef peddler I use:

http://blog.grasslandbeef.com/the-vitamin-d-scam?utm_campaign=The-Vitamin-D-Scam%3F&utm_source=newsletter

This is the first thing I've ever read condemning vitamin D supplementation. Talking their book, or real science?

F910318b9aa27b91bcf7881f39b9eabe

(1164)

on December 13, 2010
at 03:16 PM

Not really on topic, but an AWESOME source of information Vit D. http://www.vitamindwiki.com/tiki-index.php

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on September 12, 2010
at 04:45 AM

That first list isn't Peter's. It's at a different blog, in case you see this and can edit the title of the link.

B3c0950cd33bf7689ca0b98e5f2b6cdc

(588)

on May 29, 2010
at 03:48 PM

You are assuming I am in my desired range sir, which I am not.

5740abb0fa033403978dd988b0609dfd

(2633)

on May 24, 2010
at 06:48 PM

Um, you should *decrease* intake once you get your level into the desired range. Also, with summer approaching you will be getting more from the sun, further reducing your need for supplementation.

4a1512c822f4698855f126e16236668a

(116)

on May 23, 2010
at 08:24 PM

Whoever downvoted me, I ask why? I'm one of the very few people on this site that knows anything. The study I referenced is the best evidence around in support of vitamin D. The other 9 posts above can blabbler about nonsense and get upvoted while i mention the actual evidence and get downvoted. LOL! Why is rejection such a consistent reaction to superior knowledge

4a1512c822f4698855f126e16236668a

(116)

on May 23, 2010
at 08:20 PM

Why did you downvote? I'm one of the very few people on this site that knows anything. Why is rejection the consistent reaction to knowledge?

15d23403fb836f2b506f4f3ad2c03356

(1219)

on May 21, 2010
at 06:31 PM

Kenckar, see my comment below. 77% reduction in cancer in placebo controlled randomized intervention with 1200 women in Nebraska. The results are being tested again in a larger trial. In the meantime, there is a mountain of epidemiological evidence and a randomized trial to suggest that vit D prevents most cases of cancer. Isn't that sufficient, by a lot?

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on May 21, 2010
at 03:55 PM

"I've heard about them in a very small fraction of cases." Me too. I think it would be fairly rare. Fish oil seems to have a bad effect on more people, possibly because it can be contaminated/spoiled.

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on May 21, 2010
at 03:01 PM

Melissa, I'm curious about obvious negative reactions... I've heard about them in a very small fraction of cases. I found Don Matesz's take on it interesting (basically that if you are eating a good Paleo diet, your vitamin D supplementation dosage may need to be much lower than the mainstream, because we may burn through our reserves much slower). No doubt you are right about the dose curve, but it seems to me that "too much" is apt to be a pretty high dose anyway.

Fcaeaac15cf6568f2825b230731d5a7d

(529)

on May 21, 2010
at 03:16 AM

Although the author didn't do a bang up job, I'm glad to at least see some criticism out there about synthetic D. I never noticed any benefit when taking it, and often would get a bit congested. Tossed the suckers awhile back, and definitely felt better about that decision after all that "cod liver oil is poison" nonsense from the vitamin d council.

1340fe0b7e7b01683ea33042092e05d6

(1693)

on May 21, 2010
at 01:19 AM

When you click the URL at the bottom of the blog entry, it takes you here: http://overthecounternaturalcures.com/

Fdf101349c397fbe1ecb98b310fb3737

(358)

on May 21, 2010
at 01:13 AM

Hi Live For It I don't disagree with your overall take on the article, but don't see anything about an $8 cancer cure at the link. My takeaway from his article is that it may be more than just the Vit. D. I do agree though that he spewed a lot of hate without much documentation. From what I have seen, most of the Vitamin D work has been correlations, with real intervention studies now starting to happen more often. For me, Vitamin D is a pretty cheap vitamin that is unlikely to cause harm, and seems to go far in preventing colds. etc in the winter. Placebo? Who knows? Tony

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12 Answers

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5
5db563a5c94e73644be798fd16101cb8

on May 23, 2010
at 02:19 PM

There is evidence suggesting that synthetic and natural vitamin D are metabolized differently. That's why I always suggest that people get a good chunk of their D from seafood. Any synthetic D above and beyond that is best taken with natural D to improve absorption and utilization, because natural D has the co-factors that help those processes along.

So one option would be to take Wild Salmon Oil along with an emulsified synthetic D3, together.

I believe there is a small fraction of the population that has issues with the vitamin D receptor (VDR) like Marshall says. Because their VDR is not working well, they preferentially convert 25D to 1,25D, which leads to low levels of 25D and high levels of 1,25D. However, I don't agree with Marshall that this is true for all people, or even all people with autoimmune disease.

There's a simple way to test for this. Test your 25D and 1,25D levels. Then supplement with 6-10,000 IU of D for 3-4 weeks. Then test your levels again. If 25D remains the same or decreases and 1,25D goes up significantly, then you may be unable to metabolize D.

Otherwise, I think there's plenty of evidence suggesting a serum level of 40-60 ng/ml of 25D is protective against many diseases. Most of that evidence is epidemiological, but the mechanisms are plausible and well-established.

6
1340fe0b7e7b01683ea33042092e05d6

on May 21, 2010
at 12:54 AM

I will admit that I become instantly skeptical of any author's whose website wants to sell you a "$8 miracle cancer cure". I think 90% of your street cred as they call it, goes out the window.

His article on Vitamin D is muddled and takes various positions on a multitude of ideas. Poorly written in my honest opinion.

His article has no citations, references, or quotes, mostly his view on the history of Vitamin D.

I'll follow the current science that is peer reviewed that is found in PubMED, and not some dude on the internet who wants to sell me a cancer cure.

1340fe0b7e7b01683ea33042092e05d6

(1693)

on May 21, 2010
at 01:19 AM

When you click the URL at the bottom of the blog entry, it takes you here: http://overthecounternaturalcures.com/

15d23403fb836f2b506f4f3ad2c03356

(1219)

on May 21, 2010
at 06:31 PM

Kenckar, see my comment below. 77% reduction in cancer in placebo controlled randomized intervention with 1200 women in Nebraska. The results are being tested again in a larger trial. In the meantime, there is a mountain of epidemiological evidence and a randomized trial to suggest that vit D prevents most cases of cancer. Isn't that sufficient, by a lot?

Fdf101349c397fbe1ecb98b310fb3737

(358)

on May 21, 2010
at 01:13 AM

Hi Live For It I don't disagree with your overall take on the article, but don't see anything about an $8 cancer cure at the link. My takeaway from his article is that it may be more than just the Vit. D. I do agree though that he spewed a lot of hate without much documentation. From what I have seen, most of the Vitamin D work has been correlations, with real intervention studies now starting to happen more often. For me, Vitamin D is a pretty cheap vitamin that is unlikely to cause harm, and seems to go far in preventing colds. etc in the winter. Placebo? Who knows? Tony

5
99ac392257e444e014be6d4da6a900e4

(1036)

on May 21, 2010
at 01:45 AM

I have a hard time calling something a scam when most advocates recommend sunlight as the preferred source. Sunlight is free so I'm not sure how Big Pharma cashes in on that. Second, Big Pharma wouldn't waste its time and efforts on something that cost $20 for a year's supply.

I haven't had anything close to an illness since I started supplementing vitamin d even though most around me have gotten the flu or a cold at least once.

4
86a7abe4a54c4dc15ea44bacef00c5a8

on May 21, 2010
at 03:05 AM

As Dexter mentioned, there are a number of benefits to Vitamin D, such as a stronger immune system, faster healing for joint or bone injuries, less overall joint pain, improved mood and depression, etc. The aspect of the above mentioned article, which is worth paying attention to is the difference between the synthetic Vitamin D2 and natural Vitamin D3.

Yes, Big Pharma is promoting Vitamin D2 as a cure all, but it is misleading since the body does not assimilate D2 the way it does D3. The natural form of Vitamin D3, usually found in gelcaps, is absorbed by the body at least 10x better than D2. It is only by engineering a synthetic form that Big Pharma is able to market Vit D. As a result of the Vitamin D buzz, a number of well-meaning doctors (my mother's included) are prescribing Vitamin D2 to their patients. Rather outraged by the Dr's lack of knowledge, I told my mother to save her money and get the real deal, Vitamin D3.

Recently, I read an article which discussed the link between celiac disease and Vitamin D deficiency. Celiacs and other gluten sensitive people do not absorb Vitamin D correctly. This might be of particular interest to those who are recent Paleo converts and suffering from low Vitamin D levels. Dr. Davis discusses some aspects of this on www.theheartscanblog.com.

Regarding my own experience, I am a believer in the benefits of optimal Vitamin D levels. One year ago my Vit D level was 32. My alternative MD recommended 10,000 IU of Vitamin D3 per day. In addition to this, I started following a gluten free diet. Over the last year, my Vitamin D level has climbed to an optimal 68. My joint pain and mood has greatly improved and I have only had one cold in the last year...a record for me. At my Dr's suggestion, I have dropped to 5000 IU of Vitamin D3 per day as a maintenance dose.

3
4a1512c822f4698855f126e16236668a

(116)

on May 21, 2010
at 12:59 PM

You people are crazy. Google "Lappe Vitamin D cancer" - you will find a randomized placebo controlled trial showing that 1100IU of vit D + calcium prevented 77% of cancers. Do you need to know more?

4a1512c822f4698855f126e16236668a

(116)

on May 23, 2010
at 08:20 PM

Why did you downvote? I'm one of the very few people on this site that knows anything. Why is rejection the consistent reaction to knowledge?

4a1512c822f4698855f126e16236668a

(116)

on May 23, 2010
at 08:24 PM

Whoever downvoted me, I ask why? I'm one of the very few people on this site that knows anything. The study I referenced is the best evidence around in support of vitamin D. The other 9 posts above can blabbler about nonsense and get upvoted while i mention the actual evidence and get downvoted. LOL! Why is rejection such a consistent reaction to superior knowledge

3
06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on May 21, 2010
at 02:01 AM

I think I will take the research on Vit D that shows excellent benefits for people who supplement with Vit D or get their Vit D from sunlight.

Off the top of my head, here is a list of benefits:

Better Mood. Better Immune system which wards off the Swine Flu and other sicknesses. Excellent dental health. Wards off many cancers including colon cancer among the population in the NE that have very low levels of Vit D. Prevents osteoporosis...especially in shut-in elderly. High levels of serum Vit D prior to surgery assists in quick recovery.

Here is a listing of articles regarding Vit D that Peter at Hyperlipid compiled.

http://paleohacks.com/questions/2633/a-review-of-pubmed-over-5-years-concerning-vitamin-d

And here is a another listing of current Vit D research. http://www.yourhealthbase.com/D_vitamin_update_2010.htm#Alzheimer???s/Dementia

There are the detractors of Vit D....especially the Marshall Protocol originator.

You decide which you want to follow.

D31a2a2d43191b15ca4a1c7ec7d03038

(4134)

on September 12, 2010
at 04:45 AM

That first list isn't Peter's. It's at a different blog, in case you see this and can edit the title of the link.

1
2a948c73718167614cbb5130a2f77293

on November 14, 2013
at 04:12 PM

I was going to ask this question and saw this. More research has come out since this question and answer was posted but Chris's answer is still solid.

Getting vitamin D from sunlight (UV light in particular, tanning beds could work but they have other possible health effects) has co-factors and produces versions of vitamin D that can't be supplemented effectively.

Personally I now only supplement with it during the winter months or while I'm not getting enough in my diet and use the money I would have spent on supplements to get regular blood tests.

1
B3c0950cd33bf7689ca0b98e5f2b6cdc

(588)

on May 24, 2010
at 02:40 PM

When the mainstream media jumps on any bandwagon it is always headed for the nearest cliff ... look for FDA regulation of over-the-counter Vitamin D3 in the future (Nordic Naturals has just learned that their fish oil will be classified as a "drug.")

That being said, my levels were at 31 ng 7 months ago. After averaging 10,000 iu a day for 7 months they stand at a respectable 55 ng. I am now on 15,000 iu per day for the next 6 months.

5740abb0fa033403978dd988b0609dfd

(2633)

on May 24, 2010
at 06:48 PM

Um, you should *decrease* intake once you get your level into the desired range. Also, with summer approaching you will be getting more from the sun, further reducing your need for supplementation.

B3c0950cd33bf7689ca0b98e5f2b6cdc

(588)

on May 29, 2010
at 03:48 PM

You are assuming I am in my desired range sir, which I am not.

1
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on May 21, 2010
at 02:49 AM

I suspect that like fish oil in that it's overhyped to the point where people take it despite obvious negative reactions and that there is a bell curve in terms of benefits. Too little is bad, but so is too much.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on May 21, 2010
at 03:55 PM

"I've heard about them in a very small fraction of cases." Me too. I think it would be fairly rare. Fish oil seems to have a bad effect on more people, possibly because it can be contaminated/spoiled.

77732bf6bf2b8a360f523ef87c3b7523

(6157)

on May 21, 2010
at 03:01 PM

Melissa, I'm curious about obvious negative reactions... I've heard about them in a very small fraction of cases. I found Don Matesz's take on it interesting (basically that if you are eating a good Paleo diet, your vitamin D supplementation dosage may need to be much lower than the mainstream, because we may burn through our reserves much slower). No doubt you are right about the dose curve, but it seems to me that "too much" is apt to be a pretty high dose anyway.

1
431274eafd914ee34d9c57262c1f617a

on May 21, 2010
at 01:01 AM

I am a huge fan of D and have recommended it to many. I have been jumped on for my views on a couple of forums. Not everyone believes in the advantages of D....and some think it's downright dangerous!

0
C04f8c896a131b9b63d9265db5ad4fa1

on May 23, 2010
at 06:01 PM

Why exposure to sunlight is important to help prevent MS http://bit.ly/96UZm6

0
4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

on May 21, 2010
at 01:40 AM

I saw a personal improvement in mood and energy after beginning to take D, coupled with the studies, I'll be ignoring Capt. Miracle Cure

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