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Avatar universal

Vitamin D ?

OK, now I'm really confused. I've been taking Calcium with 800 ius vitamin D daily. I decided to up my intake of D in preparation for upcoming treatment. So I started adding another 1000 iu's. Of course, lazy me, I did this without checking my levels but I figured if everyone is so low I must be as well. Today I hear that we are taking too much vitamin D and it is not healthy. They also are thinking of lowering the bottom of the normal range from 30 to 20. What is everyone doing?

28 Responses
1225178 tn?1318984204
I heard that on the radio too. I don't know how we can know who to believe with all of these opposing views. I do know that too much of any vitamin can be dangerous... especially the ones that aren't water soluble. I believe D is one of them.

Maybe somebody will see this that has some real knowledge to share with us.

475300 tn?1312426726
I was taking 1400 IU of vit D and when I had my level checked it was a lousy 17.  I now take 5400 IU and that has me right at the very low end of normal, 35.  I get bloodwork in a few months so I will see where I am at then.
Avatar universal
Thanks ladies. I don't know who to believe either, Diane. I guess I better get my levels checked.
475300 tn?1312426726
There was a few doctors on world news tonight that had major concerns that the levels suggested were too low.  It gets to the point where you don't know who to believe but if it took 5000 IU daily to get my levels to low normal the 600IU that they are reccomending can't be enough for someone who is low.  Like I said I was taking 1400 IU daily and I wasn't even near low normal, I want mine to be in the middle or higher, but that is just me.

Avatar universal
979080 tn?1323437239
Avatar universal
Interesting  , My Hepa, suggested taking 2000 IU  when on tx.
233616 tn?1312790796
loaded question...too little is no good and so is too much.

GS GIRL< above,with the low D number may be low because your body is throwing it off to keep her calcium lower, she should have her PTH checked ASAP.

the truth is this vitamin is essential to health, so much so that the skin will make it for you, enough to stay healthy with only 10 minutes of sunlight exposure per day.

the truth also is that without enough you get sad, infections, more diebetes, and a whole host of other bad things with a deficiency.

However too much can also cause issue....some docs now think 50 rather than 40 is a good number...however this might not be wisdom, there are issues with trying to keep it too high just as too low.

Why.  Well for one thing, excess Vitamin A and D are stored in the liver...and too much of either can cause problems...severe overdoses of these fat soluble vitamins can even be fatal. Google Admiral Perry expedition, they died because they ate Polar bear liver, which has way more of these vitamins then humans can tolerate.

The main issue for A & D is they help maintain bone, and prevent a variety of diseases as part of their effects on metabolism. The D will help you hold onto calcium, and keep your teeth and bones strong.  The only reason this can backfire is if you have a kidney insufficiency, kidney stones, or an overactive parathyroid. In those cases taking D can actually cause kidney stones, strokes and more.
So the main thing is to make sure you need the vitamin by having a blood test done to check both the D level, and your calcium level.

GS girl, If one takes D, and it still stays low, it may be the body is throwing it off to protect itself.
Go to parathyroid.com and read up on the page on Vitamin D to understand how that works.

If you want to take D go ahead, but I would ask for a Dexa scan, then you will have a base line to go by, and repeat this every 2 years to see how your bones are doing. If you are staying the same, keep your dose the same, if you are losing bone, up your dose, if you are gaining, then lower your dose. Too much can lead to bone spurs, stenosis, bursitis and other issues. Ergo high doses have a component of danger that the proponents of the higher doses never point out.

I think the best thing is to get some sun, eat fish, things high in D, and then if you do supplement keep the dose fairlu low. 1-2000...higher than that and over time you could cause too much calcium to be stored, and like I said, the excess calcium gets stored in bad ways, like kidney stones, like plauques, like gall stones, like bone spurs and bursitis....so between high and low dose...somewhere in between lies sanity.

Also, it depends on your diet how much you need, A piece of Salmon has about 700 IU,,,,fruits and veggies are high in vitamins, fresh food vs. processed, junk food is low...
without knowing how you eat, it would be hard to say what your need is.
Generally a fresh well balanced diet requires far less supplementation as the healthy foods supply the vitamins themselves.
87972 tn?1322664839
My primary care doctor monitors for both B and D vitamins, and has me supplement with both. I currently take 5000 units D¬¬3; I’ll discuss this with him again in mid December, and will try to post his thoughts then.

87972 tn?1322664839
Hmm… I was trying to subscript the ‘3’ in D3; formatting didn’t take, I see :o).
1477908 tn?1349571310
I saw my PCP a month ago and asked her to run a test for my Vit. D level. It was at 20.3 - low by today's values-and this was after taking 800 IU's per day and spending plenty of time outdoors during the summer months. She recommended  that I up my dosage to 2000 IU's per day. I am seeing my liver Dr. next week and ask her about the level and dosage as well.
Avatar universal
IOM Report: Most North Americans Receive Enough Calcium, Vitamin D

November 30, 2010 — Most North Americans receive enough calcium and vitamin D, according to a report containing updated dietary reference intakes that was released today by the Institute of Medicine.

Catharine Ross, PhD, from Pennsylvania State University, in Philadelphia, chaired a committee of 14 experts appointed by the Institute of Medicine to assess current data of health outcomes associated with calcium and vitamin D intake.

In the report issued today, the committee reviewed studies on the metabolism and physiology of calcium and vitamin D and their influence on health. Dietary reference intakes were determined using the estimated average requirement (EAR; the level at which 50% of the population's needs are met), recommended dietary allowance (level at which 95% of the population's needs are met), tolerable upper intake level, and adequate intake level.

The suggested daily calcium EAR is 500 mg for children aged 1 to 3 years and 800 mg for those aged 4 to 8 years. Adolescents should consume at least 1100 mg calcium daily to support bone growth (the recommended dietary allowance for this age group is 1300 mg calcium/day). The EAR for women aged 19 to 50 years and men up to 71 years of age is 800 mg daily; for women older than 50 years and men older than 71 years, the EAR is 1000 mg, and the recommended dietary allowance is 1200 mg.

The only group that did not meet EARs for calcium intake was girls aged 9 to 18 years. In contrast, most postmenopausal women met or exceeded recommendations with calcium supplementation; the report expresses concern that older women taking calcium supplements may be at increased risk for kidney stones. All groups met the EAR for vitamin D of 400 IU daily when considering dietary intake together with cutaneous synthesis from sun exposure, but not from food intake alone. As the committee highlights, this poses a challenging concern given the risk of skin cancer from sun exposure.

The committee determined that risk for harm increases when consuming more than 2000 mg calcium or more than 4000 IU vitamin D daily.

Several studies have reported widespread vitamin D deficiency in North American populations, which the committee attributes to inconsistent serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D cut-points that are often too high. The committee suggests that serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels of 50 nmol/L (20 ng/mL) are sufficient for all persons.

The group concluded that there is insufficient evidence to link vitamin D intake with cancer, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, immune response, neuropsychological functioning, physical performance, falls, preeclampsia, or reproductive outcomes. However, this "does not mean that future research will not reveal a compelling relationship between vitamin D and another health outcome," the committee writes.

"We could not find solid evidence that consuming more of either nutrient would protect the public from chronic disease ranging from cancer to diabetes to improved immune function," said Dr. Ross during a press conference about the new report. "On the other hand, regarding bone health the amount of evidence that has been accumulating is really quite impressive."

According to Dr. Ross, the take-home message to physicians is that now there has been a systematic, evidence-based review, and there is new evidence on which they should base their recommendations to patients.

"We are still very enthusiastic about [vitamin D] that regulates hundreds or even thousands of genes in the body," said panelist Glenville Jones, PhD, from the Queen's University, in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, during the press conference. "What's missing is...a lack of translation of that information into public health recommendations.

"We have been quite amazed that the positive effects of vitamin D haven't been nearly as clear-cut as the advocates have suggested," he added.

Dr. Ross pointed out that the recommendations are for total intake, both through diet and supplements. "We think that many individuals will be able to obtain these recommended dietary allowances from diet, but we are not really specifying the source. A supplement may be appropriate for some age groups," she added.

"The major implications of this report are that after an extensive review of the data, the panel concluded that the strongest evidence was for the fact that vitamin D is helpful for bone health and reduction of fractures," said Sundeep Khosla, MD, president of the American Society on Bone and Mineral Research, in a telephone interview with Medscape Medical News.

According to Dr. Khosla, the main thing clinicians can tell their patients is that there are now some very clear guidelines about calcium and vitamin D intake that are based on solid evidence. "Vitamin D is hard to get from the diet, and the committee did not really advocate sun exposure because of risk of skin cancer, but it can be obtained through a multivitamin."

Dr. Khosla added that it is important to note that "the calcium level of 1000 to 1200 mg/day is to be obtained through diet plus supplement, and that each serving of a dairy product counts for 200 to 300 mg/day. If a patient is getting 4 servings of dairy product, they are probably getting enough calcium."

Future research should focus on understanding the role of vitamin D in nonbone outcomes, he said.

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