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25(OH) Vitamin D level and Vitamin D Supplementation
Old 07-23-2010, 03:18 PM   #1
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25(OH) Vitamin D level and Vitamin D Supplementation

http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/supplements/sunshine-superman/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaig n=Feed%3A+drmikenutritionblog+%28The+Blog+of+Micha el+R.+Eades%2C+M.D.%29&utm_content=My+Yahoo

Below is an excerpt from a review by Michael Eades MD (Protein Power) of a new book, The Vitamin D Solution, by Michael Holick, MD, PhD, who is the discoverer of 25(OH) vitamin D, the active form of vitamin D in the body and is a prolific researcher on this topic..

"Dr. Holick begins his book with a fascinating comparison of a ten-year-old girl growing up somewhere along the equator to a ten-year-old girl growing up in the United States or Europe. The former will probably never learn how to use a computer, never go to a mall, never learn to drive a car and will probably end up spending most of her life outside tilling the soil as did her parents and grandparents. She will probably experience periods in her life of poverty and poor nutrition. By contrast, her US or European counterpart will always have plenty to eat, will learn to shop, order pizza, operate a computer, Game Boy, Wii, and God only knows what other kinds of electronics. She will have her doting parents slather sunscreen on her to protect her skin from birth until she’s old enough to do it herself. She will come of age in a different world, filled with the latest in medical technology.
And she will pay for it with her health.
Her equatorial counterpart will be only half as likely to get cancer in her lifetime. She will have an 80 percent reduction in risk of developing type I diabetes before the age of 30. And she will live longer. If she can avoid trauma or an untreated severe medical condition, the girl growing up in the more primitive but sunny circumstances will have an overall 7 percent greater longevity than her US/European counterpart. She will have stronger bones, lower blood pressure, fewer cavities in her teeth, a greatly reduced risk for heart disease, type II diabetes, obesity, arthritis and most of the other diseases that will plague her more Westernized sisters.

Why the difference? According to Dr. Holick, the equatorial girl has vastly more exposure to natural sunlight over her lifetime than does the other."


(Ha again) A few years ago I thought I was possibly suffering from SAD, as I didn’t feel quite myself during winter. I decided to try vitamin D supplementation in preference to the SAD light, mainly because it was cheaper and takes less time. I also sun bath on any day when it is sunny at mid-day, which this summer unfortunately is not real often. My blues did clear up. Then a few days ago I had my level of 25(OH) D checked, and it came in at 53, in a normal range at this lab of 30-100. So in spite of fairly robust supplementation I am not quite in the middle of the range. Next winter I may up it, and I am continuing through the summer as there is just not that much sunshine around here in any case.

Ha
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Old 07-23-2010, 03:38 PM   #2
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How much Vit D are you taking, Ha?
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Old 07-23-2010, 03:42 PM   #3
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Having trouble seeing the link between vitamin D supplements and the described differences in symptom rates. Obesity and diabetes certainly are likely caused by greatly decreased exercise and poor nutrition, but there is almost nothing that has been shown in the blog that illustrates how vitamin D supplements will make any significant difference.
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Old 07-23-2010, 04:50 PM   #4
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Having trouble seeing the link between vitamin D supplements and the described differences in symptom rates. Obesity and diabetes certainly are likely caused by greatly decreased exercise and poor nutrition, but there is almost nothing that has been shown in the blog that illustrates how vitamin D supplements will make any significant difference.
Well, I am not the man to defend something out of someone's book. When I post something it is not to debate it, but to bring it to memebers attention, as I would like similar things brought to my attention. No ha-endorsement is implied.

Dr. Holick is a world expert in vitamin D and sunshine, but he is also a person who is not afraid of controversy, so discard as you see fit. It happens that type 1 diabetes has from nothing to almost nothing to do with diet, exercise or obesity. It is also true that for many years a clear positive correlation of MS rates with latitude has been known, but I suppose it might also be argued that poverty prevents MS. Here in the US the same latitude correlations are found for several diseases and cancers. Women in Texas and Florida and Arizona and New Mexico who have been there for much of their lives have quite a bit less breast cancer than women living in the North, as well as less MS. I think colon cancer reflects a similar gradient, though perhaps not as dramatic

Although it is a bit hard for me to imagine that nutrition in some abjectly poor African country could be that much better than nutrition in America, but as they say, YMMV.

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How much Vit D are you taking, Ha?
Brewer. From Last fall until about March 15 I took 30,000 units per week, in M-F doses of 6000 un.

From Feb to about May I took 4000/day, every day. From about June 15 I have been taking 2000/day, but it is so cloudy and I am getting so little sun time that I plan to go back up to 4000/day. I don't know to what extent the lab test is back-loaded, so I really don't know if my test level reflects the last 2 weeks, the last 4 weeks or even longer. I'll try to get another test in December.

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Old 07-23-2010, 05:20 PM   #5
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Ha,

My Dr recently put me on 50K per week. It requires a prescription. My D levels were low plus I have a family history of breast cancer and osteoporosis. I've also been experiencing some depression lately which I attributed mostly to the recent loss of my beloved pet. Dr thinks my case of the blues has been exasperated by my thyroid (meds have been adjusted) and perhaps even the D deficiency.
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Old 07-23-2010, 05:29 PM   #6
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Ha,

My Dr recently put me on 50K per week. It requires a prescription. My D levels were low plus I have a family history of breast cancer and osteoporosis. I've also been experiencing some depression lately which I attributed mostly to the recent loss of my beloved pet. Dr thinks my case of the blues has been exasperated by my thyroid (meds have been adjusted) and perhaps even the D deficiency.
Purron, please post when you have been on it a while to give us a report. Also, when you get your levels checked I would really like to know how high they get. Apparently, people vary quite a lot when dosage is compared to blood levels of 25(OH) D.

BTW, I just got back from some very pleasant sunbathing in the park. I forgot my towel so I had to lie in the itchy grass, but it still felt quite nice.

Ha
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Old 07-23-2010, 08:44 PM   #7
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I am currently on 6,000K daily. Doctor started me on it about a year ago. Family history of breast cancer and osteoporosis - and I am also hypothyroid and have a Vitamin B12 deficiency.

(Both son and daughter were also put on high doses, as their numbers were low too. DD is a Type 1 diabetic and DS is hypothyroid. We're a walking billboard for familial autoimmune disorders.)

I don't remember my exact numbers, but it came up at my physical and I think they were in the 20s. I started on a lower dose, my numbers went up to something in the normal range, but as soon as winter came, they dropped down to the 30s. So I was increased to 6000K and that is what I take now.

Does it help? I haven't noticed much of a difference in anything - but it doesnt hurt to take it and it keeps my numbers in the now recommended range. I do sometimes wonder if it is just a new vitamin fad - but I trust my doctor's opinion.

On the other hand, I have always had a tough time getting through Feb (New Englander here) - and didn't this year. But we also took a 2 week cruise to the Southern Caribbean in February. I am thinking that may have helped a lot.
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Old 07-23-2010, 08:53 PM   #8
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Having trouble seeing the link between vitamin D supplements and the described differences in symptom rates. Obesity and diabetes certainly are likely caused by greatly decreased exercise and poor nutrition, but there is almost nothing that has been shown in the blog that illustrates how vitamin D supplements will make any significant difference.
I would like to point out that there are two types of diabetes - Type 1 and Type 2. You are referencing Type 2. Type 1 is an autoimmune disorder and is not caused by decreased exercise and poor nutrition.

Interesting fact - Scandanavian countries have the highest incidence of Type 1 diabetes. I don't believe any "root cause" for this has been established to date, but I am sure "less sunlight" is being considered.
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Old 07-23-2010, 09:04 PM   #9
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Yes, and those of us of Scandinavian descent who's immigrant parents shunned oily fish because that was all they had to eat (Norwegians) have a higher rate of osteoporosis. My DIL is giving her children organic cod liver oil for that reason (they are so fair skinned they look like they are bleached). I have started taking Vit D, to the best of my knowledge no MD has run a test on my D level. The only side effect I know of from excess D in pill form is constipation.
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Old 07-23-2010, 11:01 PM   #10
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I take 400iu of Vitamin D daily. About six months ago, I became concerned that wasn't enough (too much reading on my part) so I asked my doctor to test for my D level (I don't remember what the specific name of the test is). He told me that my numbers were "right on" (He gave me the numbers but I failed to write them down). He said that I should not be concerned because I get so much "Sun Time." (I should quickly add that I try to avoid direct sunlight and get less than half an hour a day of sun to skin exposure. He did encourage me to continue taking Vitamin D in tablet form at the 400iu rate.

Now, having said that, it is my understanding that Vitamin D in pill form remains dormant in the body without sunlight to make the conversion to an active form. (If not converted, it is flushed from the body in the natural flow of things.) Again, this is my understanding and not medical (or any other kind of) advice.


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Old 07-24-2010, 11:05 AM   #11
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I would like to point out that there are two types of diabetes - Type 1 and Type 2. You are referencing Type 2. Type 1 is an autoimmune disorder and is not caused by decreased exercise and poor nutrition.
Hi KM!

Don't be too quick to dismiss the role of nutrition.

I don't know what has already been proven to what extent, but here's more research:
Vitamin D Research | Autoimmune Illness

I don't especially trust Mercola, but he once stated:
“Almost universally, autoimmune diseases have an underlying vitamin D deficiency"
Maybe he's right, maybe not, I don't know. But I take my vitamin D (25K UI/week and probably should take a bit more)
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Old 07-24-2010, 11:55 AM   #12
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My post was equating poor nutrition to poor eating habits, as plex seemed to be suggesting that "obesity and diabetes" was caused by lack of exercise and poor nutrition. I would say he/she may be correct in terms of obesity - but that you cannot lump all "diabetes" in with "obesity". Having raised a diabetic child (who was an athlete and never overweight), I learned that many people do not realize their is a difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Many people also incorrectly assume that everyone with diabetes (regardless of type) must be obese, never exercise, and eat poorly. The should probably talk to Trombone Al....

Type 1 diabetes is significantly different that Type 2. Type 1s are more often diagnosed as children and rarely obese when diagnosed. Their body produced antibodies at some point that attacked/killed their pancreas. They can't produce insulin anymore - which is why they have to take insulin shots. Their cells process the insulin fine, once they get it.

Type 2s can produce insulin - but their cells no longer process it efficiently. This could be due to poor eating (too many carbs) or simply due to genetics. Some can control it with better exercise (which burns off the extra carbs), diet (take in less carbs), a pill (I think this helps the cells process the insuling more efficiently) or insulin. Depends on the person and situation.

It is very possible that one day they will determine that low levels of Vitamin D3 are a contributing factor to Type 1 diabetes. Given the higher indicent rates where there is less sun, it makes a certain amount of sense. So I think we agree - I am not dismissing the role of nutrition in anything.
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Old 07-24-2010, 02:04 PM   #13
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So I think we agree - I am not dismissing the role of nutrition in anything.
Okay. :-)
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Old 07-24-2010, 02:54 PM   #14
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My doctor put me on a prescription strength vitamin D back in January of this year. I took it for two weeks. I don't remember now but I think it must have been like the 50,000 that Purron took. I now take 4000 a day. I am very fair skinned and I avoid the sun as much as possible during the hot Texas summers.

I do think that my mood has changed and I am much happier. Life is good, but I was just thinking back and I don't think I am having the down day every so often that I have had for years.

I asked several of my friends and they are all on 2000 to 5000 a day at doctors recommendations.
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Old 07-24-2010, 03:47 PM   #15
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My doctor put me on a prescription strength vitamin D back in January of this year. I took it for two weeks. I don't remember now but I think it must have been like the 50,000 that Purron took. I now take 4000 a day. I am very fair skinned and I avoid the sun as much as possible during the hot Texas summers.

I do think that my mood has changed and I am much happier. Life is good, but I was just thinking back and I don't think I am having the down day every so often that I have had for years.

I asked several of my friends and they are all on 2000 to 5000 a day at doctors recommendations.
I find that actual sun is a better creator of the feeling of well being for me than pills are. The problem is getting enough regular midday sun up here. I have logs going back 7 years, and this year is the worst yet. Plenty of sunny days in early spring, but way too cold to expose more skin than arms and perhaps legs in shorts. Then as it got warmer, it ws either cloudy unitl late afternoon, or rainly /cloudy all day long. By the fall equinox the sun is already too low to supply much UVB, even at noon.

Ha
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Old 07-24-2010, 05:09 PM   #16
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I find that actual sun is a better creator of the feeling of well being for me than pills are.
Ha
Yeah, me too Ha. Plently of sun here in VA today. Problem is it's 101 degrees plus high humidity. I'm looking forward to fall
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Old 07-24-2010, 06:43 PM   #17
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I find that actual sun is a better creator of the feeling of well being for me than pills are. The problem is getting enough regular midday sun up here. I have logs going back 7 years, and this year is the worst yet. Plenty of sunny days in early spring, but way too cold to expose more skin than arms and perhaps legs in shorts. Then as it got warmer, it ws either cloudy unitl late afternoon, or rainly /cloudy all day long. By the fall equinox the sun is already too low to supply much UVB, even at noon.
Interesting. In Colorado, you can get just as sunburnt on a cloudy day as on a bright sun-shiny one. In fact, more so because you don't realize -- or suspect -- what's happening until it's too late
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Old 07-26-2010, 09:42 AM   #18
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Ha, you might have seen this on the blog I linked to before...

PaNu - P?Nu Blog - VitaminD
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Old 07-26-2010, 12:34 PM   #19
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Really complete article, thanks. I think I now I understand the difference between cholecalciferol and calcitriol which I didn't before. Also D2 vs D3.

Ha
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Old 07-26-2010, 12:56 PM   #20
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+1. Like the rebar, concrete analogy plus the K2 facilitator bit.
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