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Vitamin D

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We were both taking a multi that has 400 units and a vit D supplement with 1,000 units - so it's a total of 1,400 units per day. My results are not in yet so I don't know how low I am. We are definitely upping our sun exposure next year. The naturopath that my husband sees has suggested 2,000 units of D3 as a standard daily dose (this is after the mega doses he was on recently). Depending on what studies you believe, that just might be the equivalent of almost 4,000 units of D2. I think moving to a sunny state might be cheaper!

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I recently had my blood tested and was surprised to learn the following:


  • Calcium - low
  • B12 - low / normal
  • Iron - low / normal
  • Vitamin D - very low


The doctor didn't give me any printed results or anything. Just wrote the above on some note paper. Presumably these are changes from my previous blood test (about 8-12 months ago), unless of course they've redefined what is 'normal'. I've been vegan for 2 years now.


So, I bought some vitamin and mineral supplements and will look at getting out of my dark cave-like office and into the scorching Australian sun a little more. I should be eating more leafy greens too.

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Well, I got the results back and I am shocked. A "normal" reading is in the range of 30-90 but our naturopathic doctor (that's right, we see a conventional MD and a naturopath) believes that a healthy norm is 50 or above. My hubby was 16 but I beat him with a level of 12!!


Do I feel like my vit D level is low? No. Is my body telling me to get more sunshine? No. Do I have muscle pains, broken bones, etc? No. But I bet I'm at risk for a number of undesirable consequences. Since I do not have the option of sunning myself for more than a few select days here in Portland, my only option is to supplement. The treatment suggested was 50,000 units of D3, 2x per week, for 8 weeks and then retest. Maintenance is then in the 1,000 to 2,000 unit range daily. These dosages of D2 in a vegan supplement form get very expensive! (The 50,000 unit dosages are prescription only)


What really sucks about this is that when we moved here, our primary care physician warned us about dropping vit D levels since Portland has so many cloudy days. She has been open to veganism and my ability to find vegan analogues for vitamins and essential fatty acids. Well, my first test failed. A daily intake of 1,000 to 1,4000 units of vit D2 was not sufficient for us. I can't wait for our lab to start offering ALA/EPA/DHA levels.

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Good post. I hope it encourages others to break with their arrogance.


One of the best things happened to me years ago when I visited a hardcore gym while my college gym was closed. A fairly seasoned lifter pointed out to me that a particular exercise I was using was out of date. It had been proven to be orthopedically damaging over the long run. I started debating/arguing with him about what I read about the exercise.


He just said "its your health", like he really didn't care and went back to what he was doing.


That shocked me. It also made me realize that I had an unconscious assumption that other people are happy to and will spend THEIR TIME on ME to INFORM ME of things I don't know.


I see this disease all over the internet. People think other people will go out of their way to find and edify them if they are sadly mistaken.


It doesn't work that way. Often people who know stuff are busy doing other things and don't have the time to argue with people more ignorant than they are about what they know.


If someone doesn't answer you back in a debate, it may not mean that you "won", just that they gave up on you having more enriching things to do with their time then to punch through your arrogance which gives them no reward.

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I still not worried about vitamin D. I understand that if you live in a sunless environment then you need to get some fortification of D. I walk outside and to the bus pretty much daily, I feel no depression and have no side effect in 30 years of living the same way. No test yet but when times comes I will. Pale people get Vitamin D from the sun than do dark tone skin peeps.


The major consequence of vitamin D toxicity is hypercalcemia, which should be monitored periodically while under therapy. Changes in cardiac rhythms or lithiasis are common concerns. Urine calcium monitoring is not accurate. Serum calcium should be monitored monthly to check vitamin D toxicity, which normally occurs at 40,000 IU per day. Right now, 10,000 IU per day is being proposed as a safe upper limit.


Here is more facts about vitamin D


Dr. Michael Holick.


1. Vitamin D is produced by your skin in response to exposure to ultraviolet radiation from natural sunlight.


2. The healing rays of natural sunlight (that generate vitamin D in your skin) cannot penetrate glass. So you don't generate vitamin D when sitting in your car or home.


3. It is nearly impossible to get adequate amounts of vitamin D from your diet. Sunlight exposure is the only reliable way to generate vitamin D in your own body.


4. A person would have to drink ten tall glasses of vitamin D fortified milk each day just to get minimum levels of vitamin D into their diet.


# The further you live from the equator, the longer exposure you need to the sun in order to generate vitamin D. Canada, the UK and most U.S. states are far from the equator.


# People with dark skin pigmentation may need 20 - 30 times as much exposure to sunlight as fair-skinned people to generate the same amount of vitamin D. That's why prostate cancer is epidemic among black men -- it's a simple, but widespread, sunlight deficiency.


# Sufficient levels of vitamin D are crucial for calcium absorption in your intestines. Without sufficient vitamin D, your body cannot absorb calcium, rendering calcium supplements useless.


# Chronic vitamin D deficiency cannot be reversed overnight: it takes months of vitamin D supplementation and sunlight exposure to rebuild the body's bones and nervous system.


# Even weak sunscreens (SPF=8) block your body's ability to generate vitamin D by 95%. This is how sunscreen products actually cause disease -- by creating a critical vitamin deficiency in the body.


# It is impossible to generate too much vitamin D in your body from sunlight exposure: your body will self-regulate and only generate what it needs.


# If it hurts to press firmly on your sternum, you may be suffering from chronic vitamin D deficiency right now.


# Vitamin D is "activated" in your body by your kidneys and liver before it can be used.


# Having kidney disease or liver damage can greatly impair your body's ability to activate circulating vitamin D.


# The sunscreen industry doesn't want you to know that your body actually needs sunlight exposure because that realization would mean lower sales of sunscreen products.


# Even though vitamin D is one of the most powerful healing chemicals in your body, your body makes it absolutely free. No prescription required or pills.


So get to the Sun.

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Several vegan people on this forum have reported in this thread that they got their vitamin D levels measured and that those levels were low( regardless of how healthy they felt) as Jack Norris RD reported that they might be based on his research. That test will tell you what the situation is. Your post only says what some other guy thinks it should be.


Personally, I'm going to order some Vitamin D-2 supplements and arrange for a blood test.


I would rather deal with reality instead of ideals where my health is concerned.

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interesting article on D



I agree do what you think is best for you


I still think people push pills to much today and I just don't agree with that. I will seek my Vitamin D from the sun as nature intended. If they say my levels are low then I will go out longer in the sun.

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I still think people push pills to much today and I just don't agree with that. I will seek my Vitamin D from the sun as nature intended. If they say my levels are low then I will go out longer in the sun.


Lots of luck with that.


The quality of sunlight in the winter is not the same as it is in other times of the year. Going out in the sun before summer hits, even if you can tolerate the exposure, may not do the job.

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It is not about luck it is about making sense of stuff. I really think that we are going nuts with supplementation in this country. Saying the Sun does not do the job is like saying what nature designed for us as all being on this planet is not effective...


I respect your opinion and research. I am glad you bring things to light. I really appreciate it, I say that sincerely.


I just have a different opinion. When it comes down to it I respect nature over synthetic.

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If we lived in a natural world then I might believe that all things natural are good and desirable. However, I live in a manmade home with electricity, furniture, forced heat, clothing, computers, cultivated foods, etc. in an area that nature never intended a naked human to inhabit 365 days a year. Nature, it would seem, doesn't believe I should live as I do. I'm very happy that human ingenuity has come up with so many synthetic (ie, manmade) things to improve my quality of life.

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I agree that we are making the world less natural. Well I respect everyone's choice. However you decide to find your way then power to you. I think we spend to much time here trying to disprove another and I guess we should just try to just help each other out. Talk and inform more about the differences of Vitamin D... if supplements are available then where are they getting the D vitamin from. Why don't we just get it from the source instead of the pill? I think it seems that ones opinion is not important but what is important is disproving them. I respect everyone's choice and I don't want make anyone feel that their opinion is not important.


Beforewisdom knows that I am just expressing my opinion. He does a lot to bring important topics to the front. I really respect that.


DV I think you bring great insight and feedback on many subjects and your Biology background helps do that.



There are a lot of reason one can get a deficiency. For example Osteoporosis is usually link to calcium loss but know one seem to talk about Vitamin D, no on talks about Magnesium or exercise... and so on.


Vitamin D may be low because of many other reasons. Maybe you have conversion problems internally.


I think these topics kinda start innocent but they try to push one to believe there is only one way and that is gospel.


If everyone who ate fish got adequate vitamin D and those who lived in Florida have sun then why does every store sell Vitamin D supplements ... mmmmm because it is big business. And many of these studies are influenced by big business.

Everyone must have a terrible vitamin problem...Scurvy is everywhere where is the vitamin C? how about B12 you can find that in almost every pharmacy... there must be a lot of vegans out there... ? My point is we all can find our way. What is great is that people are aware of what they should get on a regular basis... how they get it is up to them.


Not one factor is always the answer.

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Just thought I would throw in some more wisdom: Vitamin D precursor (calcidiol) is produced from the sebaceous glands. The oily substance is then absorbed by the skin - but what if you take a shower 3 times a day - due to cardio in the morning, get done with work, and then again after lifting? Does washing the oily substance off your body also get rid of the Vitamin D precursor? Could that be another source of our low Vitamin D deficiency? Nature did not intend us to wash our bodies with soap either, but we do. Then the sun hits the Vitamin D precursor and excites it to the next precursor, and then this has to travel to the liver (and kidneys and other tissues) to be made into another form of Vitamin D (calcitriol), which still has to go to the targeted cells. Did you know that Vitamin D is a sterol nuclear receptor? I have been learning how it binds to DNA and activates genes that deal with calcium levels (reabsorption by the kidneys, and mineralization of bone).


This website talks about if you have enough Vitamin D, then the leftovers can be utillized for cancer prevention.


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  • 1 month later...

Minor necro, but what does everyone here take for their vitamin D supplement? I was using NOW Calcium + D but I find it's rather lacking in the vit D department (100IU per pill), while each pill has 250% my DV of magnesium. So to get 1000IU I am looking at 10 pills a day and 2500% my DV of magnesium!


Anybody have anything that's cheap and more balanced?

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