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Vitamin D: amounts needed?
Old 12-29-2009, 09:43 AM   #1
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Vitamin D: amounts needed?

I've looked at a number of websites and am just confused now. Some say you need 600 i.u. a day, other say less, another said 35 i.u. for every pound you have. Dr. Oz on tv says he takes 5 - 1,000 i.u. a day in Winter, 3 in Fall and none in Spring and Summer when he is outside gardening and walking.
Since I had been having shooting pains again this year (as last year) in my legs and hip joints just lately this December, I spoke to some pool buddies who went to the Dr. for the very same thing, and they said lack of Vitamin D; since there is no sun visible many Winter days in this part of Illinois, I thought "yup, that must be it." So, I started popping the 5 - 1,000 i.u. a day = 5,000 i.u. of Vitamin D, and all the leg cramps and pain left.
However, my friend who has a Ph.D. in chemistry said to find out if this is too much and might be harmful. Great idea if the literature would all have the same answer.
Has anyone done more study on this than I have and have the answer as to how much Vitamin D one needs in Winter? Does Dr. Oz's suggestion seem about right or too much Vitamin D?
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Old 12-29-2009, 09:52 AM   #2
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Vitamin D (D3 is the more effective form, by the way) is a very interesting subject. I take 6,000 IU in the winter. You can get tested for your blood level. Here is more info. (neat blog, too)

The Heart Scan Blog: vitamin D
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Old 12-29-2009, 09:57 AM   #3
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I had the Vitamin D blood test last summer and was quite low. Dr put me on 6000 per day for a couple of months and then the test was within normal but still on the low side. I am now taking 4000 per day until next test.

BTW...seems D3 is preferable as mentioned above. Costco has a D3 2000 that seems fine.

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Old 12-29-2009, 10:02 AM   #4
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There are a couple of sites that I start with to research these questions because I like the way they are presented; and, they are not trying to sell anything (books, supplements, etc.):
National Institutes of Health (NIH) at Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Vitamin D for Vitamin D info.
Oregon State University's Linus Pauling Institute at Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University for Vitamin D info.

Personally, I aim for at least 400 IU plus at least 20 minutes in the sun several times per week.
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Old 12-29-2009, 10:07 AM   #5
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20 minutes in the sun!!! It's 10 below zero, here
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Old 12-29-2009, 10:17 AM   #6
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I'm beginning to understand why geezers head to Florida now. Would love to get 20 minutes in the sun IF I didn't have to bundle up with coat, gloves, hat, muffler. It's darn cold here (4 degrees last night).

Both studies posted by Coolchange seem to state 600 i.u. is adequate for a female over 65, but I'm telling you the shooting pains left with 5,000 i.u. I'll try scaling that back and see what happens out of curiousity.
Something is out of whack with all these studies 'cause doesn't seem right you can suggest 600 i.u then all the way up to 5,000 i.u.
How I wish I had more medical knowledge...sigh.
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Old 12-29-2009, 10:26 AM   #7
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I do admit that getting my 20 minutes of sun per day is tough this time of year. I'm in Missouri; and, we usually get into the upper 40's or low 50's during the day at least one or two days per week. Not this week though; so, I won't be getting my sun either.

I am planning to head to the Caribbean in a few weeks to stock up though.
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Old 12-29-2009, 10:44 AM   #8
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Here is a thread where I inquired about vitamin D. Rich has some good links on the state of the research. Currently, I take calcium with D added but not a megadose.
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Old 12-29-2009, 10:54 AM   #9
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Thanks, Martha. I had put "Vitamin D" in the search column. Must not have looked down the pages enough. But read them, and looks like between 800-2,000 i.u. is okay for someone female and 65 to do safely. However, on some studies you are to take 35 i.u. per lb., which means at 140 you would be taking something like 4,800+ close to the 5,000 i.u. Dr. Oz takes.
I wish these studies would be more consistent. This is frustrating.
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Old 12-29-2009, 11:02 AM   #10
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I spend most of the year in Calgary, Alberta.

Last year my doc gave me a megadose and prescribed daily doses of D3. I read up on it and have been taking 6000 units/day ever since (together with Costco multivitamins with another 1000 units). I seem to recall that up to 30,000 is probably safe to the average person.

It is said to boost the immune system, particularly with regard to influenza. A colleague and I caught a 'cold' on the same day. I only got the sniffles but he was hit very hard. He is a younger man, strong and an athlete, while I am a sedentary old man. An apocryphal account, but I believe it does have a positive effect.
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Old 12-29-2009, 12:02 PM   #11
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Last fall and winter I took 2000 units most days and did not have a cold or flu for the first time in years. I then stopped in mid spring and almost immediately got a cold. This winter I have upped it to 3000 and so far so good as far a sickness is concerned. I am not stopping till May this time.
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Old 12-29-2009, 12:32 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orchidflower View Post
Since I had been having shooting pains again this year (as last year) in my legs and hip joints just lately this December, I spoke to some pool buddies who went to the Dr. for the very same thing, and they said lack of Vitamin D; since there is no sun visible many Winter days in this part of Illinois, I thought "yup, that must be it."
I know this isn't quite what you're asking, but I just thought I'd mention something. I was having similar pains a few years ago, and started doing about 15 minutes of weight-bearing exercises every day. I also started taking calcium supplements with Vitamin D. The pains are pretty much gone now. Hard to pinpoint exactly what helped, but I have assumed at least some benefit from the exercises.
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Old 12-29-2009, 04:20 PM   #13
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Orchid, here's a summary of most of the key research so far:

CBC News - Health - Vitamin D: Boning up on the sunshine vitamin

The recommended dose will obviously depend on where you live. There are specific recommendations for children.

I live north of you and I take 1000 units a day. One of my colleagues ho is an expert in this area takes 2000 units a day.
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Old 12-29-2009, 05:14 PM   #14
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Went to WalMart and got the D3 5,000 i.u. Guess I'll just take those on the really bad days where I have pain? Don't want to have a heart attack. Now I'll have to get some in the 1,000 i.u. range for everyday, too.

***I wonder if I take these 5,000 i.u. ones for just 3 months of the worst part of winter/and pain if it was have a lasting negative effect? Anyone know?

(Thanks for all the information, folks. I never even was aware there was a D3 or what it was until this afternoon. Iz gett'n edu-ma-cated!)
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An ode to Vitamin D
Old 12-29-2009, 07:49 PM   #15
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An ode to Vitamin D

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Old 12-29-2009, 08:01 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orchidflower View Post
I'm beginning to understand why geezers head to Florida now..

And this geezer is packing a lunch and a good book and spending a sunny day at the beach to get my Vitamin D .
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Old 12-29-2009, 08:34 PM   #17
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Well, we have nice 12 degree above zero weather here now...so there! Oh, wait...maybe that's not so good? Oops.
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Old 12-30-2009, 02:37 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by waltwill8 View Post
20 minutes in the sun!!! It's 10 below zero, here
What is the skin to sun to time contact time?
Could we do more skin to sun contact and drop the amount of required time needed in the sun?
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Old 12-30-2009, 03:23 AM   #19
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From october thru april i'm never in the sun for more than a couple minutes per day. May thru spetember i'm still usually in the sun less than 5 minutes per day. I may be outside for an hour or two a hand full of times per summer but that's it. I never take a supplement either and haven't noticed any consequences.
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Old 12-30-2009, 07:45 PM   #20
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From october thru april i'm never in the sun for more than a couple minutes per day. May thru spetember i'm still usually in the sun less than 5 minutes per day. I may be outside for an hour or two a hand full of times per summer but that's it. I never take a supplement either and haven't noticed any consequences.
Have you had your blood level tested? It would be interesting to know if you have a normal level of Vitamin D in your blood with such a low level of sun exposure.
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