Some advanced vitamin D questions here. Really these should go to a paleo expert doctor, or a D3 expert, but those are hard to come by (Dr. Eades would probably be best...). Suggesting an expert to talk to (and an actual way to get in touch with them) would be great if you know but can't answer the questions.
Now just looking to get in touch with someone who knows the intricacies of vit d in the body.
asked byChase (480)
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on June 21, 2011
at 02:46 PM
Plus, a lot of online material says how hard it is to become toxic in D3.
You may have proven them wrong.
Has anyone experienced anything similar?
No, I would never take that much supplemental vitamin D. Taking vitamin D supplements does not stop your skin making vitamin D from the sun so your total intake of vitamin D could have even been greater than the level in your supplements.
My D3 just came back at 156 ng/ml (this is after six months of this), and I've now stopped completely as this is over the reference range at the lab and some sources online say toxicity starts as you get above 150, but most sources say above 200 ng/ml. Has anyone else come close to this or felt toxicity, or tried stopping vit D all together?
I don't care what online sources say. Individual physiology varies, just becuase the limited research done so far shows toxicity to be rare does not mean it is safe for you to take such a high dose for so long. Some individuals are always more vunerable than others.
I think it would be impossible to reach such a high level of vitamin D from sun exposure.
I noticed that I now freckle incredibly easily in the sun. Does anyone know why?
I do not know. Perhaps your body is trying to stop you hurting yourself.
Hair loss, I've lost or thinned a ton on my scalp...
You can only hope this might improve when your body returns to normal.
It is generally the raised levels of calcium (Hypercalcaemia) that result from hypervitaminosis D that is harmful. There is no way of knowing at what level of vitamin D your calcium level will rise. Symptoms of hypercalcaemia can include fatigue, lethargy, confusion and abnormal heart rhythms.
I am not a doctor, my advice would be:
1) Seriously go and see your regular doctor and explain everything to them. They can test things like calcium levels and give you specific advice and you will actually know what has happened to you.
2) Stop taking all vitmain D supplements (as you imply you have).
3) Stay completely out of the sun. Use a high factor sunscreen and cover up with clothing. I'd say for at least 3 months.
4) Also stop taking massive doses of magnesium or any other supplement.
5) You are a young, athletic, healthy guy. Please don't poison yourself.
on June 21, 2011
at 12:31 AM
I would suggest you go to this site: http://www.grassrootshealth.net/ It will answer just about any question you might have about Vitamin D3. Sounds like you overdid it. I take 6000IU per day and that suffices to keep my levels between 56 - 80. I also get tested every 6 months. This site is also very helpful: http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/about-vitamin-d/what-is-vitamin-d/vitamin-d-toxicity/ and discusses specific toxicity issues and what to do if your levels are too high.
on June 21, 2011
at 02:01 AM
No expert here, but sounds like you guys need to be careful. Like so many things paleo, it looks like the contemporary wisdom about Vit D dosages is in need of revision. That said, please keep in mind that the chemical composition of these substances does matter. With regard to vitamins, there are two types -- water-soluble and fat-soluble.
"Vitamins are essential nutrients your body needs in small amounts for various roles in the human body. Vitamins are divided into two groups: water-soluble (B-complex and C) and fat-soluble (A, D, E and K). Unlike water-soluble vitamins that need regular replacement in the body, fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the liver and fatty tissues, and are eliminated much more slowly than water-soluble vitamins.
Because fat-soluble vitamins are stored for long periods, they generally pose a greater risk for toxicity than water-soluble vitamins when consumed in excess. Eating a normal, well-balanced diet will not lead to toxicity in otherwise healthy individuals. However, taking vitamin supplements that contain mega doses of vitamins A, D, E and K may lead to toxicity. Remember, the body only needs small amounts of any vitamin."
The above is easily experienced anytime you take B-12 complex; that bright yellow you see when you pee is excess vit B being excreted. Excess here means unused, and since B is water-soluble, it just goes straight through your system and gets expelled via urination. Fat soluble vitamins, on the other hand, get stored in fat, so if you're continuing to take a high dosage, eventually you're going to at least bump up against toxicity. Again, I'm not an expert. I have no idea of what is considered to be a small vs a large dose. But be careful with any and all supplements!
(With regard to baldness -- hate to say it, but male pattern baldness often begins at around your age. The genes are from your mother's side of the family -- if your grandfather on your mom's side is bald, chances are good that it's in your future.)
on September 07, 2013
at 12:44 AM
I noticed a lot of health improvements (less soreness of joints and muscles, better energy, better moods) when I went from no vit D supplement to 600-800IU per day. This was in the winter when my outdoor sun exposure was nil.
I recently upped my dosage to 5000IU, after hearing a lot of success stories with this dosage here and in other places, and because I had to buy more supplements. Now it is summer and I get outside probably 3-4 times per week and get incidental or slightly more sun exposure.
Many of the symptoms that were cured by the smaller dosage returned -- lower energy, muscle soreness, erratic sleep. I am not totally sure that it was the increased vitamin D dosage as other things changed too, I had been on the Paleo diet for about 6 weeks, and had been eating very low carb and trying to lose weight. But my intuition is that the higher dose of vitamin D was too much.
Now I am taking a 5000IU supplement every 2-3 days, and am thinking about getting 1000UI tablets and taking those every day. I have not gotten my blood work done, but that is needed.
Sorry I know that this is not very scientific, just anecdotal I guess. I did notice a huge difference between no supplement and a supplement in the winter, and think I was probably vitamin D deficient.
on August 23, 2011
at 03:41 AM
"1.5 grams per day of magnesium" is way, way too much for me. I get weird palpitations, mad crazy nightmares and emotional up and down from more than 500mg magnesium.
on May 04, 2016
at 06:10 AM
I think we can learn some things from dog and cat feeding/research over the past 100+ years.
Cats and dogs are typically recommended to obtain around 4000 mg calcium and 3000 mg phosphorus per 2500 kcal. Yet (at least until very recently) only around 200-300 IU vitamin D, and also just 300 mg or so magnesium. This is possibly even more vitamin D than they would normally obtain in nature. They can however obtain enormous quantities of vitamin A in nature, indicating a sky high vitamin A to D ratio, just as a sky high calcium to magnesium ratio, is normal for them.
It is important to note that while cats can produce vitamin D from sunshine, dogs can not, yet vitamin D requirement is similar.
Such amounts are also similar to what is found in the milk of some species, for example 2500 kcal unfortified cow milk could provide 4-5 grams of calcium and parhaps 200 IU vitamin D too.
More importantly it has been suggested that this low vitamin D intake in cats and dogs necessitates a proper calcium to phosphorus ratio of around 1.2, and "with a poorer ratio or with low dietary levels of calcium and phosphorus, animals require more vitamin D."
Cow milk would have a similar 1-1.3:1 calcium:phosphorus ratio too, but human milk vastly more calcium than phosphorus and I think this is a reason why it can be so much lower in calcium than cow milk (vitamin D is likely around similar per calorie as cow milk).
So based on this, I would suggest the reason why vitamin D supplementation has been shown beneficial in human studies (at least short term), is that we obtain too little calcium and that we usually have a low calcium to phosphorus ratio.
I suspect our problem is not only lack of sunshine; from what I´ve understood, even white healthy Australian sunbathing mothers will not have high vitamin D levels in their milk, yet high dose supplemented vitamin D seems to give much higher vitamin D in the breastmilk. So if the theory is that these mothers would obtain for example 20,000 IU vitamin D from sunshine, yet their milk is not high in vitamin D, while if they supplement 2000 IU vitamin D, the milk becomes high in D, then something is not quite correct about our theories about sunshine being equal to supplemental D3.
So likely a grain based diet will require additional vitamin D supplements no matter the level of sunshine due to the high level of phosphorus and low amount of calcium. And this is really important to consider in a paleo diet context. Someone not eating grains may have a different vitamin D requirement. Fructose (fruits, honey, sucrose) also seems to have a phosphate lowering effect ("using up phosphate"), thus perhaps improving the serum calcium to phosphate ratio.
It has also been suggested more recently that dogs too should be given a lot of vitamin D, even though they don´t produce it and normally obtain little in nature. But the reason is that they are now frequently given human type diets rich in grains and legumes, and less meats, while in the past they were typically given only meat and bone diets.
It does seem more desirable to me to supplement some calcium and some vitamin D instead of shunning away from calcium and instead ingest enormous quantities of vitamin D, or take large quantities of calcium and little vitamin D. 600 IU vitamin D + 1000 mg calcium - the current recommendations - seems reasonable enough in a paleo diet context, although more vitamin D may perhaps be desirable on whole grain based diets. I think it makes sense to obtain an amount of vitamin D that is possible in a real life context. If we require vasly more dietary vitamin D than what is found in normal realistic foods in nature, and in human milk from sunbathing white mothers, then perhaps something is not quite right about our theories.
It makes little sense to me to take synthetical calcium supplements alone on empty stomach, at bedtime. This would be a problem with just about any supplement. And if we should have learnt anything from several decades of vitamin and mineral supplements, is that they are frequently toxic. Taking smaller dosages of some natural type calcium with each meal, especially along with phosphorus rich foods, seems much more appropriate.
I think the studies linking calcium supplements with mortality is questionable because they do not properly consider cause and effect. Someone with need of calcium supplements would typically have a situation where calcium has been drawn out of their bones and have already ended up in arteries and such. And the reason could be an acidic type diet high in phosphate, low in fruits and vegetables. These people would obviously have higher risk of mortality in the first place.
This is seen in people with end stage kidney disease developing massive vascular calcification even if dietary calcium is very low. So what happens could be that the elevated phosphorus which the sick kidneys are unable to get rid of, demands to be neutralized and this happens with calcium from the bones, and this cause calcification.
on August 23, 2011
at 03:17 AM
I think you either have a problem with your Vitamin D binding protein or you have a SNP issue with your VDR.
I wrote about it tonight. You can test for these with your doc. And your listed symptoms fit. I bet you also have some undiagnosed thyroid issues that are walking with it.