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Optimal Vitamin D Amount

NVintageNVintage Member Posts: 673 Member Member Posts: 673 Member
I was really surprised to be Vitamin D deficient since I have very pale skin and live in a sunny state. Pale skinned people are supposedly able to get all our Vit. D from 20 minutes or so in the sun. I'm now taking 50,000 IU per week! I think up to 4,000 IU is said to be okay without Dr.'s approval.

I thought this was a little excessive, but here's an article suggesting it's safe.
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0960076018306228?via=ihub
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Replies

  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 20,405 Member Member, Premium Posts: 20,405 Member
    Is your sunny state near-ish to the equator, i.e., inside the 37th parallels?

    One option might be to consider repeat blood testing to check your serum levels after you've been supplementing for a while, if you're concerned about getting enough but not too much?
  • glassyoglassyo Member Posts: 5,357 Member Member Posts: 5,357 Member
    I'm outside a lot but, as my oral surgeon says, "Are you naked when you're outside in that sun?"
  • NVintageNVintage Member Posts: 673 Member Member Posts: 673 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    Is your sunny state near-ish to the equator, i.e., inside the 37th parallels?

    One option might be to consider repeat blood testing to check your serum levels after you've been supplementing for a while, if you're concerned about getting enough but not too much?

    Yes, I'm in GA. That's why I was so surprised! I thought I'd be the least likely to be deficient. I am usually pretty covered up, though, as I burn easily. Far from naked, haha ( @glassyo ) I don't know how long it takes to deplete vitamin D, but I haven't been going on as many walks the past few weeks(because of pulled muscles and stomach issues). Also, I completely misjudged how much I was getting from my diet. I thought eggs and tuna were higher in Vit. D. I hardly ever eat fortified foods, so I'll probably end up having to take a lower dose of it forevermore. That's a good idea about having it checked again soon, thanks!

  • MaltedTeaMaltedTea Member, Premium Posts: 5,657 Member Member, Premium Posts: 5,657 Member
    "Optimal Vitamin D Amount" for which treatment goal though? 🤔

    Optimal supplementation - even in this article - spans a wide range. This is very much a clinical convo (and, in my experience, not all physicians are keen on blood testing for vitamin D levels so you may need to do this privately if it's something of import to you).

  • cwolfman13cwolfman13 Member Posts: 39,310 Member Member Posts: 39,310 Member
    NVintage wrote: »
    I was really surprised to be Vitamin D deficient since I have very pale skin and live in a sunny state. Pale skinned people are supposedly able to get all our Vit. D from 20 minutes or so in the sun. I'm now taking 50,000 IU per week! I think up to 4,000 IU is said to be okay without Dr.'s approval.

    I thought this was a little excessive, but here's an article suggesting it's safe.
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0960076018306228?via=ihub

    I was D deficient as well, and I live in the desert. I'm outside a lot, but I always wear sunscreen, so that was part of the problem (you can fry pretty good here in a matter of minutes). I also have olive skin that tans well and I usually look like I've been on a beach vacation by late April/early May...by the end of summer I look like I've been living on the Islands my whole life despite the fact that I religiously wear sunscreen. On the plus side, I don't think I've ever had a sunburn.

    My Dr. started me with 5,000 IU per day...I don't remember for how long, but my maintenance dose now is 2,000 IU per day. Getting my D levels up was really a game changer in regards to my mood, fatigue, anxiety, etc.
    edited June 10
  • glassyoglassyo Member Posts: 5,357 Member Member Posts: 5,357 Member
    Ugh, sunburns can be so awful.

    I wasn't even deficient. My first vitamin d test came back in the normal range but I wasn't healing well from surgery so he suggested 5,000 ui a day and I've been taking it ever since. It definitely helped.
  • OnceAndFutureAthleteOnceAndFutureAthlete Member Posts: 132 Member Member Posts: 132 Member
    (raises hand) I was diagnosed asVit D deficient also. Too much time inside in front of screens (work). Dr. prescribed megadoses (pills) once a week for 8 weeks, then told me to just make sure I take a multivitamin with a healthy dose of D in it. Seems to be working.

    (It helps that OTC vitamins are now "FSA-eligible" so no loss vs. Rx.)
  • penguinmama87penguinmama87 Member, Premium Posts: 592 Member Member, Premium Posts: 592 Member
    I'll probably be taking D supplements for the rest of my life and I'm OK with that. I live further north and there's a history of skin cancer in my family, so I am pretty particular about sunscreen and covering up, too. Right now I take a calcium/D combo because I'm breastfeeding, but once I'm not I'll switch to a supplement without the calcium. I take 2,000 IU per day. Like @cmriverside I did notice a big difference - I'm usually highly skeptical about supplements of any kind but IMO there was no way it was some kind of placebo effect. It really was like night and day.
  • glassyoglassyo Member Posts: 5,357 Member Member Posts: 5,357 Member
    Even tho nobody asked, if you ever start losing your hair, 5000 mcgs of a biotin gummy really worked. I switched to a dissolvable tablet for a while but more hair started coming out again than stayed in so switched back. :)
    edited June 10
  • NVintageNVintage Member Posts: 673 Member Member Posts: 673 Member
    I was a little deficient, so the optimal amount I was referring to was the amount to get my Vitamin D up to a normal range...and then I guess the amount to maintain it. I've never actually asked for a vitamin D test, but I wonder why physicians would ever be against it!
    MaltedTea wrote: »
    "Optimal Vitamin D Amount" for which treatment goal though? 🤔

    Optimal supplementation - even in this article - spans a wide range. This is very much a clinical convo (and, in my experience, not all physicians are keen on blood testing for vitamin D levels so you may need to do this privately if it's something of import to you).
    (raises hand) I was diagnosed asVit D deficient also. Too much time inside in front of screens (work). Dr. prescribed megadoses (pills) once a week for 8 weeks, then told me to just make sure I take a multivitamin with a healthy dose of D in it. Seems to be working.

    (It helps that OTC vitamins are now "FSA-eligible" so no loss vs. Rx.)

    Did you do anything differently while taking it? less calcium or staying out of the sun? My calcium levels were fine, but I'm a little worried about that amount of D causing calcium to be too high.( My mom had problems with hypercalcemia.)That article suggests that it won't at that amount, though.
  • cwolfman13cwolfman13 Member Posts: 39,310 Member Member Posts: 39,310 Member
    NVintage wrote: »
    I was a little deficient, so the optimal amount I was referring to was the amount to get my Vitamin D up to a normal range...and then I guess the amount to maintain it. I've never actually asked for a vitamin D test, but I wonder why physicians would ever be against it!
    MaltedTea wrote: »
    "Optimal Vitamin D Amount" for which treatment goal though? 🤔

    Optimal supplementation - even in this article - spans a wide range. This is very much a clinical convo (and, in my experience, not all physicians are keen on blood testing for vitamin D levels so you may need to do this privately if it's something of import to you).
    (raises hand) I was diagnosed asVit D deficient also. Too much time inside in front of screens (work). Dr. prescribed megadoses (pills) once a week for 8 weeks, then told me to just make sure I take a multivitamin with a healthy dose of D in it. Seems to be working.

    (It helps that OTC vitamins are now "FSA-eligible" so no loss vs. Rx.)

    Did you do anything differently while taking it? less calcium or staying out of the sun? My calcium levels were fine, but I'm a little worried about that amount of D causing calcium to be too high.( My mom had problems with hypercalcemia.)That article suggests that it won't at that amount, though.

    I've never experienced a Dr. being against it really, but it's not something in my experience that is typically done when you get your bloodwork done for an annual physical. My Dr. tested mine because I went in with some other thing and that thing is often attributable to low vitamin D.

    That said, there may be some kind of insurance billing issue for a Dr. to send you for a Vitamin D test without some kind of justification for the test. Like I know my insurance company will not cover a full panel blood test more than once annually unless there is some kind of medical justification to do so...so if I want to get my cholesterol checked sometime between my annual physical and my next annual physical, that's going to come out of my pocket unless my Dr. has a reason.
  • kshama2001kshama2001 Member Posts: 24,108 Member Member Posts: 24,108 Member
    NVintage wrote: »
    I was really surprised to be Vitamin D deficient since I have very pale skin and live in a sunny state. Pale skinned people are supposedly able to get all our Vit. D from 20 minutes or so in the sun. I'm now taking 50,000 IU per week! I think up to 4,000 IU is said to be okay without Dr.'s approval.

    I thought this was a little excessive, but here's an article suggesting it's safe.
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0960076018306228?via=ihub

    Did your doctor recommend the high dose and have a plan for lessening it? I wouldn't stay on high doses without repeat bloodwork.

    I was diagnosed as Vitamin D deficient in 2011 and have been supplementing with 2,000 IU ever since. My labs from earlier this year showed me as a little high so I cut back to taking it every other day, and will reduce to 1,000 when I run out of the 2 K.

    I have to be careful with sun exposure - I am very fair skinned and have had a few skin cancers removed already. Both of my parents had lots removed. I am outdoors a lot, but do my gardening very early, very late, or on very cloudy days.
  • NVintageNVintage Member Posts: 673 Member Member Posts: 673 Member
    They didn't! I think I'm supposed to stay on it for 3 months, but I'm planning on taking it every 8 or 9 days instead of every 7 days. That will still be taking it once a week, right? And I am going to ask them if I can have it tested again soon because it is so sunny here, and I'm worried about getting too much. I've been outside more since I'm feeling better and can walk for longer. I'm fair skinned, too, and read that might make it to where I get 1,000 iu equivalent from being in the sun just 4 minutes without sunscreen.( I don't know if that's true!)
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    NVintage wrote: »
    I was really surprised to be Vitamin D deficient since I have very pale skin and live in a sunny state. Pale skinned people are supposedly able to get all our Vit. D from 20 minutes or so in the sun. I'm now taking 50,000 IU per week! I think up to 4,000 IU is said to be okay without Dr.'s approval.

    I thought this was a little excessive, but here's an article suggesting it's safe.
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0960076018306228?via=ihub

    Did your doctor recommend the high dose and have a plan for lessening it? I wouldn't stay on high doses without repeat bloodwork.

    I was diagnosed as Vitamin D deficient in 2011 and have been supplementing with 2,000 IU ever since. My labs from earlier this year showed me as a little high so I cut back to taking it every other day, and will reduce to 1,000 when I run out of the 2 K.

    I have to be careful with sun exposure - I am very fair skinned and have had a few skin cancers removed already. Both of my parents had lots removed. I am outdoors a lot, but do my gardening very early, very late, or on very cloudy days.

    edited June 15
  • nossmfnossmf Member Posts: 1,322 Member Member Posts: 1,322 Member
    My wife just the other day asked me to get some Vitamin D pills for her, presumably after talking with her aunts while on vacation. All new to me, never thought about taking any supplemental D since I drink a ton of D-enriched milk and spend time outside doing yard work, but my wife is a homebody who only drinks milk because I ask her to at dinner, so maybe for her she'll get benefit of a supplement.
  • yirarayirara Member Posts: 6,634 Member Member Posts: 6,634 Member
    Do search online for a vitamin D calculator. It's possible to calculate how much vitamin D you need to raise your level from a tested to a normal level. Chose 3 month supplementation, and then the calculator will tell you how much D you need per day to get there. Just check you chose the right unit from the blood test.
  • DeeDee2211DeeDee2211 Member Posts: 1,126 Member Member Posts: 1,126 Member
    I take 50,000 IUs twice a week and have been taking it for at least 9 years. After reading this post, I went back and checked what my level was when I was tested in March of this year...my level is now 52.2. It says normal levels are 30.0 - 100.0. My lowest level was 19.0. It has made a huge difference in the way I feel. I was told the older you get the less Vitamin D your body will absorb on its own. Once you add sunscreen in (which I do), you absorb even less. I’m guessing you’re taking the prescription Vitamin D 2, 1.25 MG (50,000 units)? Follow what the dr said, I’m sure they will keep a check on your levels. It will make you feel so much better! Wishing you the best.
  • nooshi713nooshi713 Member Posts: 4,482 Member Member Posts: 4,482 Member
    Many people need more than the recommended daily amount and if your levels are very low, you may be placed on a jumbo dose.

    I live in sunny Southern California, am outside a lot and am still deficient despite having taken a multivitamin plus a separate vitamin D supplement for years. But, I am also religious about sunscreen because I burn so easily. I am on a 5000units per day dose and am now borderline low/normal after a year.
  • xbloshxblosh Member Posts: 122 Member Member Posts: 122 Member
    NVintage wrote: »
    I was really surprised to be Vitamin D deficient since I have very pale skin and live in a sunny state. Pale skinned people are supposedly able to get all our Vit. D from 20 minutes or so in the sun. I'm now taking 50,000 IU per week! I think up to 4,000 IU is said to be okay without Dr.'s approval.

    I thought this was a little excessive, but here's an article suggesting it's safe.
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0960076018306228?via=ihub

    I personally take D Vitamin 400IU for daily. That should be good
  • NVintageNVintage Member Posts: 673 Member Member Posts: 673 Member
    Thanks! I found this Vitamin D calculator and how to adjust for sun exposure. I wonder how accurate it is... I am taking the D3 not D2. I'm surprised it takes that long to get levels up. Maybe 50,000 per week isn't as much as I thought?!
    https://vitamind3-cholecalciferol.com/vitamin-d-dosage/
    yirara wrote: »
    Do search online for a vitamin D calculator. It's possible to calculate how much vitamin D you need to raise your level from a tested to a normal level. Chose 3 month supplementation, and then the calculator will tell you how much D you need per day to get there. Just check you chose the right unit from the blood test.
    DeeDee2211 wrote: »
    I take 50,000 IUs twice a week and have been taking it for at least 9 years. After reading this post, I went back and checked what my level was when I was tested in March of this year...my level is now 52.2. It says normal levels are 30.0 - 100.0. My lowest level was 19.0. It has made a huge difference in the way I feel. I was told the older you get the less Vitamin D your body will absorb on its own. Once you add sunscreen in (which I do), you absorb even less. I’m guessing you’re taking the prescription Vitamin D 2, 1.25 MG (50,000 units)? Follow what the dr said, I’m sure they will keep a check on your levels. It will make you feel so much better! Wishing you the best.
    nooshi713 wrote: »
    Many people need more than the recommended daily amount and if your levels are very low, you may be placed on a jumbo dose.

    I live in sunny Southern California, am outside a lot and am still deficient despite having taken a multivitamin plus a separate vitamin D supplement for years. But, I am also religious about sunscreen because I burn so easily. I am on a 5000units per day dose and am now borderline low/normal after a year.

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