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How Much Vitamin D Do You Really Need?


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Not quite sure where to put this one, "Science" got it.

 

With my kidneys failed, on dialysis, the Doctor continues to try and pump me full of drugs and chemicals I DO NOT WANT in me. I know I am a "net self doctor" and worse, see results of my own choices.

 

One such choice is to self medicate with high doses of quality Vitamin D-3. If so inclined, read article, follow links for some decent information on subject.

 

kL

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mainLogo.gif spacer.gif <h1 align="center"> How Much Vitamin D Do You Really Need?</h1>

by Joseph Mercola

by Joseph Mercola

Recently by Joseph Mercola: This ONE Action Keeps Brain Function at Its Peak...

On November 3 at the University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, noted doctors Cedric Garland and Tracey O'Connor are running a seminar on how vitamin D can be used to prevent breast cancer – as well as infectious diseases, type 1 diabetes, hypertension, colon cancer, and falls in the elderly.

Presenters will include some of the best-known vitamin D researchers/practitioners, such as Robert P. Heaney, Reinhold Vieth, John White and Susan Whiting.

 

It is estimated that 25 to 50 percent of any healthcare budget could be saved with adequate vitamin D serum levels.

 

The conference will look at the current research and practice with vitamin D to enable everyone to take action today based on what's known to solve the deficiency epidemic, and to start the prevention of many diseases.

 

Source: Grass Roots Health

 

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

 

As more and more scientific evidence emerges, confirming that currently recommended daily allowances (RDA) of vitamin D are grossly insufficient for young and old alike, many have asked me to clarify the recommended dosages, especially as it pertains to children.

 

General Information about Adult Vitamin D Requirements

 

Before I begin, I want to emphasize that under summer conditions it is frequently possible to generate about 20,000 units of vitamin D by exposing your skin to the sun. That fact makes these recommendations seem more in line with reality.

 

Currently, the U.S. RDA for vitamin D is 400 IU (international units) for the majority of the population. (IU is frequently shortened to just “units.”) This dose was recommended to prevent rickets, which works well, but does nothing to give the far more important protection from cancer, heart disease and infections.

 

To achieve the healthy blood levels in the graph below, most adults will need about FIVE THOUSAND units of vitamin D every day. Interestingly, the majority of people I see in my travels that are taking vitamin D are taking 1,000 units, and they believe they are taking “high” doses. Don’t fool yourself, as an adult, you likely need about 5,000 IU’s a day.

 

Some also worry that if they are in the sun that they will overdose on vitamin D.

 

However this is not typically the case, and here’s why: When you’re exposed to the sun, the UVB rays cause vitamin D to be produced in your skin while the UVA rays in the sunlight will tend to destroy excessive levels of vitamin D circulating in your body. It is somewhat of a natural failsafe mechanism that prevents overdosing.

 

HOWEVER, please understand that about 10 percent or more of the people reading this need significantly more than 5,000 units. I have seen people requiring over 30,000 units of vitamin D a day to reach therapeutic levels of 25 hydroxy D in their blood.

 

Please remember that the ONLY way to know for sure is to get your blood level tested, which I’ll go over in just a moment.

 

 

Current RDA Guidelines for Vitamin D are Outdated in Light of New Research

 

At the end of 2008, the American Academy of Pediatrics doubled its recommended dose of vitamin D for infants, children and adolescents, raising it from 200 to 400 units per day.

 

Unfortunately this is still a woefully inadequate recommendation for children.

 

Recent research reveals children may need ten times that amount in order to receive the health benefits that optimal vitamin D levels have to offer.

 

As of right now, the conventional RDAs are only:

 

400 IU for infants, children and adolescents 200 IU for adults up to age 50 400 IU for adults aged 51 to 70 600 IU for seniors over 70 Recommended Daily Intake for Optimal Health

 

Based on the most recent research, the current recommendation is 35 IU’s of vitamin D per pound of body weight.

 

So for a child weighing 40 pounds, the recommended average dose would be 1,400 IU’s daily, and for a 170-pound adult, the dose would be nearly 6,000 IU’s.

 

However, it’s important to realize that vitamin D requirements are highly individual, as your vitamin D status is dependent on numerous factors, such as the color of your skin, your location, and how much sunshine you’re exposed to on a regular basis.

 

So, although these recommendations may put you closer to the ballpark of what most people likely need, it is simply impossible to make a blanket recommendation that will cover everyone’s needs.

 

So how do you ensure optimal vitamin D levels for yourself, your child, and aging parents?

 

Blood Testing is the ONLY Reliable Way to Determine How Much Vitamin D You or Your Child Needs

 

Yes, the only way to determine the correct dose is to get your blood tested since there are so many variables that influence your vitamin D status.

 

I recommend using Lab Corp in the U.S. If you get it done by Quest, you’ll need to divide your result by 1.3 to get the “real” number.

 

For your convenience, by year’s end we hope to offer a blood test that those in the U.S. can do locally and does not require a doctor’s order.

 

Step 1: Make Sure You Use the Correct Test

 

Getting the correct test is the first step in this process, as there are TWO vitamin D tests currently being offered: 1,25(OH)D, and 25(OH)D.

 

The correct test your doctor needs to order is 25(OH)D, also called 25-hydroxyvitamin D, which is the better marker of overall D status. This is the marker that is most strongly associated with overall health.

 

Step 2: Determine Your OPTIMAL Level of Vitamin D

 

Here again it’s important to realize the difference between what conventional medicine considers to be “normal,” versus what is optimal.

 

The “normal” 25-hydroxyvitamin D lab range is between 20–56 ng/ml. As you can see in the chart below, this conventional range is really a sign of deficiency, and is too broad to be ideal.

 

In fact, your vitamin D level should never be below 32 ng/ml, and any levels below 20 ng/ml are considered serious deficiency states, increasing your risk of as many as 16 different cancers and autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis, just to name a few.

 

The OPTIMAL value that you’re looking for is 50–65 ng/ml.

 

This range applies for everyone; children, adolescents, adults and seniors.

 

These ranges are based on healthy people in tropical or subtropical parts of the world, where they are receiving healthy sun exposures. It seems more than reasonable to assume that these values are in fact reflective of an optimal human requirement.

 

It’s worthwhile to clarify here that ng/ml are U.S. units of measure. Much of the world uses nmol/l. If your test results are measured in nmol/l, simply multiply the above values by 2.5 to get the correct ranges.

 

Keeping your level in this range, and even erring toward the higher numbers in this range, is going to give you the most protective benefit. And the way you maintain your levels within this range is by getting tested regularly – say two to four times a year in the beginning, and adjusting your vitamin D intake accordingly.

 

Are Oral Vitamin D Supplements Your Best Choice?

 

The best way to optimize your vitamin D levels is through appropriate safe sunshine or safe tanning bed exposure. However, there are many times when it can be nearly impossible to get enough sun.

 

The darker your skin is, the farther away from the equator you are, and the further away you are from the summer months, the less likely it is that you will produce adequate vitamin D levels from sun exposure alone.

 

In these cases, supplementing with vitamin D is acceptable, but I strongly recommend you monitoring your blood levels regularly when taking oral vitamin D supplements to make sure you’re staying within the optimal range.

 

Only Supplement with the Right Kind of Vitamin D

 

There is one other thing you need to be aware of if you choose to use an oral vitamin D supplement and that is that there are basically two types – one is natural and one is synthetic.

 

The natural one is D3 (cholecalciferol), which is the same vitamin D your body makes when exposed to sunshine The synthetic one is vitamin D2, which is sometimes called ergocalciferol Once either form of the vitamin is in your body, it must be converted to a more active form. Vitamin D3 is converted 500 percent faster than vitamin D2, and is clearly a better alternative.

 

Vitamin D2 also has a shorter shelf life, and its metabolites bind with protein poorly, making it less effective. Studies have even concluded that vitamin D2 should no longer be regarded as a nutrient appropriate for supplementation or fortification of foods (although it continues to be used). So if you choose to use vitamin D supplements make sure it is in the form of vitamin D3.

 

Please be aware that nearly all the prescription-based supplements contain synthetic vitamin D2, so if you receive a prescription for vitamin D from your doctor, you’re most likely receiving the inferior vitamin D2.

 

 

Getting the Word Out about the Benefits of Optimizing Vitamin D Levels

 

When it comes to the benefits of optimizing your vitamin D levels, the evidence is simply overwhelming. Research shows you can drastically reduce your risk of cancer and countless other chronic diseases by getting safe sun exposure, using a safe tanning bed, or taking a high-quality supplement.

 

Yet, a great deal of people around the world have heard nothing of this great “discovery.” It’s even likely that your doctor is among them, which is why it’s so important to educate yourself.

 

As a result of flawed assumptions about sun exposure, and the subsequent recommendations, a vast majority of people are deficient in vitamin D. It’s thought that over 95 percent of U.S. senior citizens may be deficient, along with 85 percent of the American public.

 

Clearly, the word needs to get out but the mainstream media is slow to react. Plus, there’s no money to be made on selling vitamin D (it’s one of the most inexpensive supplements around) and sun exposure is free! So don’t count on any major corporations or drug companies to help get the message out (rather, count on them to try and suppress this lifesaving information).

 

The longer this information goes largely unnoticed, the more people who will die unnecessarily from potentially preventable cancers and other diseases.

 

Fortunately, GrassrootsHealth D*action is on a mission to get the word out and solve the vitamin D deficiency epidemic … in just one year’s time.

 

The D*Action Project: How YOU Can Make a Difference

 

GrassrootsHealth has launched a worldwide public health campaign to solve the vitamin D deficiency epidemic in a year through a focus on testing and education with all individuals spreading the word.

 

And you are all invited to join in this campaign!

 

With Dr. Garland at the helm, The D*Action Project will be monitoring, for five years, the health outcomes of individuals who get their vitamin D levels to the levels of 40–60 ng/ml. I would highly recommend that you optimize your levels to the high end of this spectrum, as optimal vitamin D levels are 50–65 ng/ml, or 65–90 ng/ml if you are treating cancer.

 

Says Carole Baggerly, director of GrassrootsHealth:

 

"We will be tracking the incidence of many diseases, from cancer to diabetes and muscular function as well as pain levels to see what effect the higher vitamin D levels may have.

 

We expect to see a significant reduction in the incidence of breast cancer (and its recurrence), colon cancer, diabetes and myocardial infarction, compared with the general population. With the expansion of the project by individuals, we could substantially reduce this epidemic in a few years!”

 

So how can you get involved? Join the D*action Project!

 

Simply complete a health questionnaire and test your vitamin D levels two times per year during the 5-year program to help demonstrate the public health impact of this nutrient.

 

GrassrootsHealth is sponsoring the use of blood spot test kits (laboratory analysis done by ZRT Labs) for a $40 fee to each individual. The tests are to be done twice a year by each individual along with the submission of some basic health data. The fee includes:

 

A vitamin D blood spot test kit to be used at home (except in the state of New York) The results are sent directly to you You will be asked to take a quick health survey and also to take action to adjust your vitamin D levels to get into the desired ranges, ideally in consultation with a knowledgeable health care professional.

 

If you are a physician, medical institution or other health group, please also get involved by contacting Baggerly directly at: carole@grassrootshealth.org. Baggerly was also instrumental in getting Canada to investigate the use of vitamin D against the swine flu.

 

The information you provide in the health survey will then be used in a five-year study to evaluate the results of the program in disease prevention, and to help create a long-term plan for public health.

 

This project depends on a true “grassroots” health movement. Together we can stop the vitamin D deficiency epidemic in its tracks and improve the health of millions of people.

 

With only 100 of you joining today, and getting two friends to join in two weeks (and those two friends getting two more), by week 42 there could be 400,000,000 people who are vitamin D “replete” (more than the United States population)!

 

To find out more about vitamin D, please watch my one-hour, free vitamin D lecture.

 

Then, do your part to end vitamin D deficiency and improve your own health by joining the D*Action Project, and encouraging your friends and family to do the same!

 

 

October 13, 2009

Copyright © 2009 Dr. Joseph Mercola

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Find this article at:

http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig3/riggenbach3-1.html

Copyright 2009 LewRockwell.com

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Not quite sure where to put this one, "Science" got it.

 

With my kidneys failed, on dialysis, the Doctor continues to try and pump me full of drugs and chemicals I DO NOT WANT in me. I know I am a "net self doctor" and worse, see results of my own choices.

 

One such choice is to self medicate with high doses of quality Vitamin D-3. If so inclined, read article, follow links for some decent information on subject.

 

kL

******************

I hope you'll forgive me if I didn't read the article in detail, or if I don't fully understand your situation or urge to treat yourself, but let me offer a word of advice regarding the net and self medication:

 

The advice given rarely takes into account renal failure in the first place. Dialysis can straighten out a number of screwups, but there can be major differences in metabolism with renal failure and normal renal function. Also, individuals may have different requirements depending on lifestyle, diet, etc. Finally, most of the stuff on the net is crap (this article excluded, of course...).

 

Calcium metabolism and renal failure is a particularly delicate subject. Read about Penile Gangrene, Calcium and Renal failure. IOW, make the wrong decision, and you may lose your dick. No shit.

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"make the wrong decision, and you may lose your dick."

 

Well, since I'm the only one using it anyway, no real big loss there. Not saying it's not big, though, you understand... :HaHa:

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Shyone quoth:

 

Calcium metabolism and renal failure is a particularly delicate subject. Read about Penile Gangrene, Calcium and Renal failure. IOW, make the wrong decision, and you may lose your dick. No shit.

 

 

Been warned by Nephro Doc. Examined by and talked to the urologist here locally. I'm in good shape so far with any of the bad end concerns.

 

Notice on the drug warning labels, 1% of 10,000 patient, dogs, mother-in-laws, kids cats will have SOME side effect noticed while using this....?

 

I'm that guy. Super sensitive to most OTCs, and the big gun painkillers and antibiotics are really tough to use with me. Tend to get sicker sooner using them before the "better" hits.

 

Big Funny tho Doc? Even as a long time insulin using diabetic with all these allied problems, I heal quickly, without much if any scarring, and generally without aids of prescription cremes and covers.

Donate a liter of blood semi-annually to research hospital where they break it down and try to figure out how and why my body does this.

 

Anyway, appreciate reminder and warning. Lots to loose on the way to sliding outa this life.

 

kL

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Shyone quoth:

 

Calcium metabolism and renal failure is a particularly delicate subject. Read about Penile Gangrene, Calcium and Renal failure. IOW, make the wrong decision, and you may lose your dick. No shit.

 

 

Been warned by Nephro Doc. Examined by and talked to the urologist here locally. I'm in good shape so far with any of the bad end concerns.

 

Notice on the drug warning labels, 1% of 10,000 patient, dogs, mother-in-laws, kids cats will have SOME side effect noticed while using this....?

 

I'm that guy. Super sensitive to most OTCs, and the big gun painkillers and antibiotics are really tough to use with me. Tend to get sicker sooner using them before the "better" hits.

 

Big Funny tho Doc? Even as a long time insulin using diabetic with all these allied problems, I heal quickly, without much if any scarring, and generally without aids of prescription cremes and covers.

Donate a liter of blood semi-annually to research hospital where they break it down and try to figure out how and why my body does this.

 

Anyway, appreciate reminder and warning. Lots to loose on the way to sliding outa this life.

 

kL

I'll tell you this. Diabetes and renal failure scare the shit out of me. They really do. It's so delicate and so easy to screw up. I see patients that refuse to use their insulin except when they're "sick" and those who refuse dialysis until they're really suffering.

 

The vascular complications alone are nightmarish. I'm glad you heal well. And I thank you for your blood donations.

 

Seriously, though, instead of relying exclusively on your own research (even though by now quite extensive and thorough), consider getting a second opinion. Or a third.

 

I'll be honest that patients that have diseases are sometimes better informed than most doctors about those particular diseases, but sometimes the doctors may know something that just doesn't appear in the literature very often. And sometimes doctors make decisions that are painful for patients, but patients won't make for themselves - even though they realize it's the right thing to do.

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I read recently somewhere that too much Vitamin D can really fuck you up ?

 

From the article I read, it sounded like something not to fool around with.

 

 

What's your view on all this vitamin stuff, Shyone ? (If I may ask)

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My brother works in cancer research and swears that Vitamin D is the best thing since sliced bread. His family has anecdotal evidence that it's useful in preventing infections... One of his kids, who is lactose-intolerant, kept getting sick while everyone else stayed healthy. Bro put 2+2 together and realized that everyone but the sick kid had a good source of Vitamin D in their diets, and since then they've been taking at least 1000 i.u. a day.

 

I'm currently at 1000 i.u., but perhaps I should double that and see what happens.

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Folks,

 

I take 3x2000IU tabs nightly with my evening olde pharte pills and meds.

 

I have *a* choice with VitD and that is an IV formula that is very expensive and creates further complications with me. Those complications are hard to deal with when I want to cycle, motor and pedal. Happen to be one of those people that have the umteeth of 1 zillionth of 1% that get hit with untoward effects.

Hate it.

 

Because I am physically large, and tend to wear little while sunshines I tend to have a decent VitD number in summertime. Winter I need the additional oral tabs to help keep my system in the numbers Nephro doc and nutritionist say I need.

 

I'm seeing now with research on research that D-3 is damn near a miracle helper for so much that ails the human animal systems.

I'll continue to take big honking doses as long as my kidneys are so shot, and blood work shows I'm in need.

 

Have quite a few vitamins and "naturals" in my closet. B-12, Melatonin, ProBiotics, D-3 are the consistantly used helpers.

 

For the things bothering me, these seem to help and make decent improvements.

 

Our health is in our own hands. Doc is the mechanic.. We are the ones who decide on what gets done to what and when.

 

http://www.naturalnews.com

This spot has a ton of information on and through it. FWIMBW.

 

kL

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I read recently somewhere that too much Vitamin D can really fuck you up ?

 

From the article I read, it sounded like something not to fool around with.

 

 

What's your view on all this vitamin stuff, Shyone ? (If I may ask)

Trying to play around with Mother Nature can have disastrous results. Vitamen D in excess can lead to complications as bad or worse than rickets. Vitamin A is just plain poisonous (eating Polar Bear liver will kill you because of the high concentrations of Vitamin A).

 

Normal balanced diets, regular foods and you'll be find. Daily suppliments with multivitamins may be ok - the doses aren't extravagant or dangerous.

 

Note: Some vitamins can be taken in "megadoses" because the body processes them and dumps the part not being used. This is true of the water soluble vitamins. It's still a bad idea to take anything vastly exceeding the daily recommended amount.

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