3

votes

Low vitamin D w/supplementation

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created June 13, 2011 at 10:46 PM

I just got my bloodwork back, and I'm at 35ng's for vitamin D.

From what I understand this is low (supposed to be 50-85ng's). I already take 10,000 i.u.'s of vitamin D a day.

Any thoughts on raising my vitamin D levels?

My thoughts on it: I can (a) pray for more sun (b) increase my dose to 14-16 i.u.'s and hope that changes my blood levels (c) switch to high-vitamin cod liver oil, and hope the natural nutrients fix the issue (d) switch to some other recommended brand (e) unknown?

Background:

I work a 2nd shift, so my exposure to sun is minimal throughout the week. I live in Seattle, and it rains a lot. I weigh 300lbs (working on losing the extra weight), which I understand can limit the amount of vitamin D I absorb. I currently take 5 of the Costco brand of Vitamin D, which is a fat soluble 2k i.u. pill, which I take with a bit of heavy cream (I'm following the archevore diet). I am also diagnosed with a low thyroid (I take synthroid and cytomel) and am dealing with some metabolic/adrenal issues with my obesity.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on June 15, 2011
at 04:37 AM

Interesting stuff - thanks for that Katherine. My friend couldn't find a version of the talk so it must be brand new. Please don't hold Agus to my second hand summary, of course. Indeed, is it clear what a vitamin d 'receptor' even is? I don't have an opinion on this, but I found the idea really interesting and, if it has merit, then folks around here ought to be highly interested. That's why I brought it up. Perhaps my info on it is insufficient.

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

(4764)

on June 15, 2011
at 03:30 AM

Clearly the last word hasn't been written on what constitutes normal or optimal D levels but it's not less than 32 ng/mL and almost certainly not more than 60 ng/mL. Please inquire about the reference from your friend, I'd love to read it. Haven't had any luck finding the study with pubmed

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

(4764)

on June 15, 2011
at 03:27 AM

As long as the body is functioning well enough to hydroxylate the D twice in the appropriate organs (liver, then kidneys), that's really all that's needed. He's not an expert on D physiology and is making some questionable assertions ("receptor sites not accepting d3 from supplements) and worse, he's making it on a narrow slice of limited observational, correlational data. I'll state again though that high high doses of D supplements are not a good idea, but rather just enough to bring levels up to 40-60 ng/m? 50-55 ng/ml? Just above 32 ng/mL?

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

(4764)

on June 15, 2011
at 03:22 AM

This is incorrect: "He interpreted this to indicate that their receptors weren't accepting the vit D in the supplements". Our bodies don't use d3 either from sun or supplements. The D hydroxylates once in the liver to become 25(OH)D which is the storage form, then again in the kidneys into 1,25(OH)D which is the active hormone form. Once it's converted into 25(OH)D, it's just...25(OH)D. At that point, the source is irrelevant. Regardless, the D3 doesn't have biological activity like the 1,25(OH)D form does.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on June 15, 2011
at 12:02 AM

Dexter, funny you should say that about VitD toxicity. She didn't know, and I did. And I knew numbers that she didn't know. In all fairness, it's fresh in my mind from recent research, but the fact that she's dispensing advice about it gives me the willies. At least she's looking to test, but I'll still go with Quilt's higher levels, rather than the usual "max" of 60.

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on June 14, 2011
at 05:40 PM

Yeah, again, I'm sorry that I don't know the details. However, I do expect that most studies of VD3 supplementation are short term, and the researcher - David Agus - was talking about long term consequences of overloading our receptors. I'd have to review the VD3 lit to know, but the concern is that a well established ST gains might have downstream effects that, LT, reverse those gains and end up doing more harm than good. You are right about the likely population that his example study sampled, but his general point might still hold. Interesting stuff, hopefully someone will shed light on it.

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

(4764)

on June 14, 2011
at 05:26 PM

Why were they supplementing to begin with? Chances are it's because they had bone density or other health issues. There is a tremendous amount of support for D supplementation - though I do agree it's important to be careful. All of these folks taking 10K for no good reason are doing themselves no favor.

F6ea948ab43dc51d72509c0989e670fe

(1639)

on June 14, 2011
at 02:55 AM

@Dexter, have already read and implemented it. Though I was already on a lowish~ carb paleo style diet already.

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on June 14, 2011
at 01:47 AM

I would also encourage you to read The Quilts blog on leptin being the master controller of the thyroid. Fix your leptin resistance and maybe your hypothyroid would abate. It is all about dropping the weight. Read this http://jackkruse.com/leptin-part-deux-the-liver/ but be sure to read the other entries to his blog.

06d21b99c58283ce575e36c4ecd4a458

(9948)

on June 14, 2011
at 01:43 AM

Rose, ask your doc what are the symptoms of Vit D toxicity. She will probably hem and haw around with no real answer. Because there are none. It is very rare and if it does occur, someone has been overdosing to the extreme. Like 50000IU daily for months. http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/news-archive/2010/self-inflicted-vitamin-d-toxicity/ Dr K wants his patients to be at 70 to 100ng/ml serum. That can be achieved with 10000 for a couple of months then back off to 5000IU as your body stores the initial dose. If she is not on board with Vit D supps, it may be time to find a new low carb doc.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on June 14, 2011
at 01:13 AM

Good question. I also supplement D, 10K IU, and my doctor today told me she was positive I'm supplementing myself into toxicity, so we're testing my levels. I'm sure she's wrong, lol. I'm an Oregonian, so I sympathize with your sunlight situation (and also have a job that makes me a mole person).

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

(4764)

on June 13, 2011
at 11:55 PM

I really like the liquid vitamin D supplements. Carlson D drops, Nature's Answer D3, Bluebonnet D3...

F6ea948ab43dc51d72509c0989e670fe

(1639)

on June 13, 2011
at 11:40 PM

Found the link. I'll go get some carlson's and see how that goes, and retest in a couple months. Yes, already taking vitamin A.

F6ea948ab43dc51d72509c0989e670fe

(1639)

on June 13, 2011
at 11:38 PM

I don't know what the level was. I just started taking it after reading a bunch of stuff on Mark's daily apple, and then increasing it after reading Robb Wolf's book. I've been at 10k for about 6 months. I'm assuming NOW foods or something else if Costco is bad? Yeah, I was going to buy some liver. Finally found a recipe I think I might like.

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4 Answers

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6
Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

on June 13, 2011
at 11:34 PM

First, 35 ng/mL isn't terribly low. By the estimation of juuust about every D expert, it's acceptable or just below acceptable. Personally, I tend to see 50-55 ng/mL as just about right. levels above that are very very difficult to achieve from sun - ie pale lifeguards at biologically unusual latitudes spending all day in the sun.

The weight is likely a significant factor - you may need at least 12,000 IU for at least 3 months before you see it move much.

In addition: 1)not the costco brand - William Davis has had a lot of trouble improving levels for his clients that take that particular one (and the brand that it really is before costco rebrands it)

2)the weight is a huge factor. I'd guess you'll need at least 12k IU for 3 months to improve the levels.

3)inflammation affects the conversions and utilization of D and it's analogues. as you loose weight, reduce inflammation etc, you will need less

4)I'm not a fan of high vitamin CLO. I just haven't seen any evidence that such a ratio of A to D is biologically appropriate or that daily doses of A at that level are what is appropriate for humans. After all, liver is our main source of A. No matter how much meat and organ meat we consume, there is only one liver per animal and a lot of non-liver, non-vitamin A meat in said animal.

Questions: What was the level before you started supplementing? How long have you been taking 10,000 IU?

Do make sure you're getting some A or having liver once every week or two.

The thyroid and adrenal issues will resolve as you replete micronutrients over the longer term. Don't fall into the trap of eating just muscle meat and high fat dairy. We absolutely require the nutrients found in organ meats - and not just liver, but thymus (sweetbreads) and the rest as well.

Avoid n6 fats (nuts, veg oils) like the plague that they are. Focus on seafood and grassfed ruminants reducing intake of poultry and pork (both high in n6).

F6ea948ab43dc51d72509c0989e670fe

(1639)

on June 13, 2011
at 11:40 PM

Found the link. I'll go get some carlson's and see how that goes, and retest in a couple months. Yes, already taking vitamin A.

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

(4764)

on June 13, 2011
at 11:55 PM

I really like the liquid vitamin D supplements. Carlson D drops, Nature's Answer D3, Bluebonnet D3...

F6ea948ab43dc51d72509c0989e670fe

(1639)

on June 13, 2011
at 11:38 PM

I don't know what the level was. I just started taking it after reading a bunch of stuff on Mark's daily apple, and then increasing it after reading Robb Wolf's book. I've been at 10k for about 6 months. I'm assuming NOW foods or something else if Costco is bad? Yeah, I was going to buy some liver. Finally found a recipe I think I might like.

0
F51c358d347bc60a5069cf56c430afff

on November 09, 2012
at 03:43 PM

If relatively high doses are not moving your Vitamin D levels significantly, then this simply means that you need to also take magnesium citrate for better absorption because the two work synergistically and go hand in hand. Furthermore, many people are just as deficient in magnesium as they are in Vitamin D : )

0
F3583667d653163c121640a015ffa93a

(784)

on October 26, 2011
at 03:03 PM

I think you and I are in the same boat. A lot of fat. Vit. D is stored in fat. My take on it is when you consume your Vit D supplement it goes to the fat cells for storage, leaving low blood levels. When you get your fat cells topped off, then you see your blood level rise. At least, that's my guess on how it works, I'm sure no expert, but my experience tracks with yours. I started with 5000 iu a day about 8 months before I was first tested and was found at 32 ng/ml. After that I went up to 15,000 iu for a year and was at 45 ng/ml. I'm now taking 20,000 iu. and will get checked soon. But it's certainly been no quick rise for me at a decent dose every day. My advice is just stick to it and it will rise to a good level at some point, but it may take awhile unless you want to play fast and loose and go with huge doses. I'm a little chicken on doing that, so I'm doing it at lower levels, plus, I'm hopeful that I get off this plateau I'm on and will start losing again, which should release some of the stored Vit D.

Anyway, good luck with it. :)

0
77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on June 14, 2011
at 04:00 AM

I suggest some caution with such heavy vitamin D supplementation (or heavy supplementation of any kind). My friend who is a biochemistry PhD student recently told me that she saw a talk at a conference about how supplements can harm receptors by overloading them with high doses, which make them less receptive to the vitamin/mineral in question. His data was based on vit D supplements, and he showed how elderly patients who supplemented with 5,000 daily IU of vit D had weaker bones according to post mortem analysis than controls with no supplementation. He interpreted this to indicate that their receptors weren't accepting the vit D in the supplements. Now, we are talking about a population of elderly patients who are close to death, and I'm afraid I don't have a link to this talk, but the overall idea makes sense, and is worth taking into account. (I'm going to post this as a question to see if anybody knows anything about it.)

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

(4764)

on June 15, 2011
at 03:30 AM

Clearly the last word hasn't been written on what constitutes normal or optimal D levels but it's not less than 32 ng/mL and almost certainly not more than 60 ng/mL. Please inquire about the reference from your friend, I'd love to read it. Haven't had any luck finding the study with pubmed

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on June 14, 2011
at 05:40 PM

Yeah, again, I'm sorry that I don't know the details. However, I do expect that most studies of VD3 supplementation are short term, and the researcher - David Agus - was talking about long term consequences of overloading our receptors. I'd have to review the VD3 lit to know, but the concern is that a well established ST gains might have downstream effects that, LT, reverse those gains and end up doing more harm than good. You are right about the likely population that his example study sampled, but his general point might still hold. Interesting stuff, hopefully someone will shed light on it.

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

(4764)

on June 14, 2011
at 05:26 PM

Why were they supplementing to begin with? Chances are it's because they had bone density or other health issues. There is a tremendous amount of support for D supplementation - though I do agree it's important to be careful. All of these folks taking 10K for no good reason are doing themselves no favor.

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

(4764)

on June 15, 2011
at 03:22 AM

This is incorrect: "He interpreted this to indicate that their receptors weren't accepting the vit D in the supplements". Our bodies don't use d3 either from sun or supplements. The D hydroxylates once in the liver to become 25(OH)D which is the storage form, then again in the kidneys into 1,25(OH)D which is the active hormone form. Once it's converted into 25(OH)D, it's just...25(OH)D. At that point, the source is irrelevant. Regardless, the D3 doesn't have biological activity like the 1,25(OH)D form does.

Eecc48184707bc26bce631485b5b7e34

(4764)

on June 15, 2011
at 03:27 AM

As long as the body is functioning well enough to hydroxylate the D twice in the appropriate organs (liver, then kidneys), that's really all that's needed. He's not an expert on D physiology and is making some questionable assertions ("receptor sites not accepting d3 from supplements) and worse, he's making it on a narrow slice of limited observational, correlational data. I'll state again though that high high doses of D supplements are not a good idea, but rather just enough to bring levels up to 40-60 ng/m? 50-55 ng/ml? Just above 32 ng/mL?

77ecc37f89dbe8f783179323916bd8e6

(5002)

on June 15, 2011
at 04:37 AM

Interesting stuff - thanks for that Katherine. My friend couldn't find a version of the talk so it must be brand new. Please don't hold Agus to my second hand summary, of course. Indeed, is it clear what a vitamin d 'receptor' even is? I don't have an opinion on this, but I found the idea really interesting and, if it has merit, then folks around here ought to be highly interested. That's why I brought it up. Perhaps my info on it is insufficient.

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