Nicky, I began taking Vit. D3 five years ago after surgery for colon cancer. My 1st reading was 17. I started with a low dose and got to 19. Raised my dosage to 2,000 IU a day and got to 39. To reach and stay right near a reading of 100, I take 6,000 IU's daily. I live in Georgia.
Older adults cannot use the sunlight because of changes in their skin. Also, people with absorption issues, like losing 18" of colon to cancer, need more Vit. D3.
There are some awesome videos on Youtube about the importance of Vit. D3 for everyone. My cancer DID recur, but it took 3 years and was a very tiny spot on my liver. That's been 2 years now so over 5 years from my original dx.
Wishing you well!
In addition to what you mention tootopheavy740... the average adult human skin can generate about 20 000 IU of Vitamin D after about 25 to 30 mins in the summer sun (between 10am and 3pm).
By this, I think a 'good starting point' for Vitamin D supplementation would be roughly 10 000 IU or 20 000 IU on a daily basis.
Magnesium certainly seems to be an important co-factor in all this.
As such, almonds are the best source of Magnesium, and various dairy products such as yogurts and cottage cheese are good sources.
I am not a doctor but have a problem with gluten and dairy. One problem is a low vitamin d blood level. The doctor ordered vitamin d of 10,000 units per day with no real change but when I went to a gluten conference they suggested taking Carlson's vitamin D drops. They come in a liquid form and each drop is either 400, 1,000, or 2,000 units. I used the amount my doctor originally told me (10,000) and raised my level by 20 points after only about 3 months. I live in the Northwest part of the country and the sun is not potent enough to provide the amount of vitamin d most people need. A person's need varies depending on stress, location, family origins, and many other factors. The recommended doses are very basic and enough to prevent certain diseases. There are no studies on what is an optimum dose on any vitamin. There are only studies on toxic doses of the vitamins that are not water soluable.
Vitamin D deficiency is commonly due to not enough sunlight. However, the causes of vitamin D deficiency are numerous and you may have more than one condition contributing to this deficiency. Vitamin D deficiency is estimated to affect at least a billion people worldwide.
When vitamin D levels are not rising well or at all (vitamin D resistance) low magnesium levels are the first suspect. High doses of vitamin D can worsen an existing magnesium deficiency. The "side effects" of vitamin D supplementation are usually symptoms of magnesium deficiency. The info below is from my online research.
Causes of vitamin D deficiency include:
* Lack of sunlight
* Everyone who lives more than 35 degrees latitude north or south of the equator is at risk of vitamin D deficiency in the winter months
* Dark or black skin needs up to 10 times the amount of sun than light skin to absorb vitamin D in their skin
* Wearing sunscreen - prevents absorption of UVB rays that create vitamin D
* Lack of vitamin D co-factors - magnesium (most important co factor), zinc, vitamin K2, boron, and a tiny amount of vitamin A
* Magnesium and calcium compete for absorption so excessive consumption of calcium can cause a magnesium deficiency
* Low cholesterol - cholesterol is the precursor to vitamin D. Vitamin D3 is made in the skin when 7-dehydrocholesterol absorbs UVB ultraviolet light at wavelengths between 270 - 300 nm
* Kidney and liver disease - vitamin D is processed (metabolized) by the liver and kidneys into an active form of vitamin D
* Parathyroid conditions (parathyroid - glands in front of the thyroid). PTH (parathyroid hormone) regulates calcium in the blood. As the calcium level increases, the level of vitamin D decreases
* Malabsorption: including coeliac disease, Crohn's disease, food allergies, dysbiosis (yeast or bacterial)
* Hypothyroidism - possible explanations: poor absorption of vitamin D from the intestine or the body may not activate vitamin D properly
* Older adults - the skin converts less vitamin D from sunlight
* High cortisol levels (caused by stress, medications like steroids or medical conditions such as Cushing's Disease). When the body is in an active stress response, most of the cholesterol is used to make cortisol and not enough is left over for vitamin D production
* Medications including statins (cholesterol lowering drugs), acid lowering medications, anti-inflammatories, laxatives, prednisone, corticosteroids, anti-convulsants, replacement hormones, anticoagulants, blood thinners.
* Conditions that impair fat absorption such as Cystic Fibrosis, IBS, IBD, gall bladder, liver disease
* Inflammation of any type reduces the utilization of vitamin D
* Very large or obese body, as a larger body requires more vitamin D
* Gastric bypass surgery
* Very low fat diet - in order to absorb vitamin D the body needs to have fat (vitamin D is fat soluble)
* Lacking vitamin D in the diet or a strict vegetarian diet - natural food sources of vitamin D are animal based
* Pesticides: most are fat soluble and steroid hormone disruptors (vitamin D is a steroid hormone)
* Hereditary disorders
- Renal 1 alpha-hydroxylase deficiency (also called type I hereditary vitamin D-dependent rickets)
- Type II Hereditary Vitamin D-Dependent Rickets
- Type III hereditary vitamin D-dependent rickets
Vitamin B12 deficiency is almost always due to malabsorption issues. A common problem is not enough stomach acid (many conditions lower stomach acid from aging to hypothyroidism to taking acid blockers like nexium).
Excerpt from B12 awareness:
"What are the Causes of B12 Deficiency?
Decreased stomach acid
Autoimmune pernicious anemia
Gastrectomy, intestinal resection
Gastric bypass surgery
Celiac disease (gluten enteropathy)
Bacterial overgrowth (small bowel)
Advanced liver disease
Transcobalamin II deficiency
Inborn errors of B12 metabolism