Anecdotally, I had this discussion with a cardiovascular interventionist specialist about seven or eight years ago when I was managing a team of cardio theatre orderlies in a private hospital. He made the comment, "mark my words, in about five to ten years time there will be a major scare about needing to absorb more vitamin D".
His opinion was that the increase in sunscreen usage and the push to avoid skin cancer by staying covered up was likely to blame. I find it interesting when articles such as this pop up, because it directly reflects his concerns from those years ago.
For reference, this was the late Dr Geoffrey Mews (who I only just realised has passed on while I was looking for a reference to post. That's made me a bit sad now)
Related to this topic, if you have IBS/IBD, some interesting research been coming out in the last couple of years indicating that low vitamin D may play a role in this issue as well. This  2015 study found 82% of people with IBS had low vitamin D levels relative to 31% in the control group. This  2016 one proved causation of vitamin D supplementation improving symptoms, by randomly splitting into two groups and treating only one. This  speculative writeup by the Vitamin D Council in 2014 discusses some possible mechanisms of action.
This seems like such low-hanging fruit that it was extremely surprising to me that this is at the cutting edge. Causes and cures for IBS are not clear and one third of patients find current treatments unsuccessful . But the above doesn't seem to be well known in online discussion because it's so new, and my gastroenterologist didn't bring it up at all either.
This article seems to be a low quality review of other research with a clickbatey title (full text here: https://www.jpmph.org/journal/view.php?doi=10.3961/jpmph.16....).
Pubmed is sort of like arxiv.org and the fact this has an nih.gov base url should not be taken as an endorsement of it by the NIH.
That said I do actually believe that more then the recommended amount of vitamin D can be beneficial and the recommendations are in need of reevaluation.
Could someone help me understand this?
>it was found that 8895 IU/d was needed for 97.5% of individuals to achieve values ≥50 nmol/L. Another study confirmed that 6201 IU/d was needed to achieve 75 nmol/L and 9122 IU/d was needed to reach 100 nmol/L. The largest meta-analysis ever conducted of studies published between 1966 and 2013 showed that 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels <75 nmol/L may be too low for safety and associated with higher all-cause mortality, demolishing the previously presumed U-shape curve of mortality associated with vitamin D levels.
What is IU/d? What is nmol/L? Could someone ELI5 the entire abstract for me? Well, maybe a little more than 5, I get that there was an error estimating recommended levels and we're not getting enough.
This supports my lived experience. Found to be incredibly low in vitamin D, and diagnosed with autoimmune thyroiditis. Doctor said to supplement with 2000 IU being the max per day.
After seeing no improvement whatsoever in vitamin D levels, and after talking with others with the same issue, I self medicated to 10000 IU / day.
Lo and behold my vitamin D levels went back up and my auto-antibodies went back down.
I have been taking 5000IU Vitamin D for the past 7 years, with a little more over the winter months. It's stupidly cheap, I get 360 5000IU capsules for $13, so it has cost me less than $100 over that period.
Anecdotally, it was a game changer for me personally. I got less sick during the winter, and my overall wellbeing improved greatly.
A word of advice, increase Vitamin K intake aswell. Vitamin D helps calcium absorption, but Vitamin K directs it to where it needs to go (skeleton).
Has anyone had experience ordering blood work (e.g. the vitamin d 25 hydroxy test) without visiting a doctor? I've seen very few references to the set of sites that pop up first online [0, 1, 2, 3] when I've gone looking for reviews in the past. Any suggestions? I'm in CA.
Throwing in my two cents. I used to suffer from seasonal mood swings, since taking a daily multivitamin this has been the best winter of my life.
tl;dr: we need wayyy more Vitamin D than previously recommended. ~13.3x more. Take supplements to reach 8000 IU/day for adults.
existing standards from the NIH: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessiona...
Interesting that this stems in part from misinterpretation of confidence intervals. The referenced paper, A Statistical Error in the Estimation of the Recommended Dietary Allowance for Vitamin D , seems like an excellent example to illustrate how (and how not) to interpret confidence intervals.
A couple years after I moved to Seattle I started noticing some odd aches and pains. After a coworker had similar issues, I went to the doctor, and they tested my Vitamin D levels. They were ridiculously low. They had me on a high initial dose, and than taking supplements ever since. I've heard the same story from tons of neighbors. Nowadays it's one of my first suggestions for new transplants. It's made a marked difference (along with a sunlamp).
If you intend to take vitamin d I read in various places you should also take magnesium and probably vitamin k as well. And less calcium. Everything is interconnected.
About once every 6 months I remember to start taking my vit D supplements again. I've always taken more than the recommended dose because vitamin D is not extremely bioavailable in pill-form, and I notice amazing improvements in mood, mostly. Usually I am sad in the mornings. I have a cup of coffee, browse around on HN, and then convince myself to do work, and the sadness goes away with the distraction, and by the evening I feel pretty good for "doing so much work". When I take vitamin D, after about a week I begin to wake up and set to work immediately, leaving time in the evening for fucking around. I really should do that now, before finals.
Coincidentally, another submission from earlier today points to a study that says that (lack of) Vitamin D can impact sleep quality: item?id=15862222.
If the recommendations of this study become the guideline, it may validate the other studies suggesting that nearly everyone is deficient in magnesium, which is a co-factor in the Vitamin D / calcium cycle.
AFAIK (and correct me if I'm wrong), the vitamin D metabolism requires magnesium, calcium, vitamin K2, and vitamin A. K2 in particular needs special attention, as it's the hardest of the substrates to get.
Steve Gibson has talked about this issue in the past: https://www.grc.com/health/vitamin-d.htm
(And please, yes we get it you are a smart ass, don't link to the page that you are going to. The horse has been beaten to death.)
But who said increasing of serum levels of Vitamin D by pills intake will decrease mortality??
What about side effects of such massive UNCONDITIONAL top-down recommendations?
This older paper suggests vitamin D isn't as important - https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/articl.... I'm not sure which is correct, but good to have an opposing view.
Everyone supplementing and doing their own tests should be careful to note the difference between nmol and ng/ml.
100 nmol = 40 ng/ml
ng/ml is the most common measure in India and many other places.
This article recommends around 100 nmol/L. Most people are between 20-30, because they don't get enough Sun and do not take supplements. It gets really really bad when the number gets below 10 and it takes months to recover.
Another Vitamin whose deficiency cause irreversible damage is B12. Folks, get both of these checked.
what is this saying in plain english? That we all need to take vitamin D supplements?
Hmm. "Actions are urgently needed to protect the global population from vitamin D deficiency." I wish this sentence wasn't in the abstract, because it's the first thing the "science journalists" are going to latch on to. It's not like people's bones are snapping because everyone has rickets. Maybe not an urgent need, just something we should publish a revised RDA and diet guideline. We had a very different looking food pyramid when I was growing up, but changing it didn't drastically increase life expectancy. Everyone choking down extra vitamins isn't going to fix a non-existent problem.
This is fake news. I'll explain why I think so. Please counter me if I'm wrong.
>>This piece of news is a literal "copy-paste" of the abstract of the article "Big Vitamin D Mistake - BVDM"
BVDM is an article published by a Greek group. About the population from Finland.
BVDM has 2 premises and 2 conclusions.
>Premise 1: There is a correlation (not causation) reported recently in Finland of country-wide vit. D supplementation and lower Diabetes Mellitus type 1 incidence. >Premise 2: There was a study published in America (Meta Analysis of All Cause Mortality and Vitamin D - MAACVD) that investigated deaths that had the lab values of vitamin D available. The main finding of the study was: Vit. D levels of >30ng/mL is probably better than <9ng/mL, correlated with a lower risk of death (hazard ratio of 1.6 to 2.2).*
THESE ARE THE PREMISES AND NO MORE. Here are their magical conclusions:
>Conclusion 1: The right level of vitamin D is 100ng/mL. This is apparently extrapolated from a subgroup analysis in MAACVD. I find this extrapolation shocking because: 1- this finding wasn't considered significant enough to be published in the abstract by the original American group. 2- subgroup analyses shouldn't be extrapolated. >Conclusion 2: in order to make sure everyone gets this alleged "correct vit. D levels", here are the doses of supplementation that everyone should get.
>> As you can see, the conclusions are far outside the realm of possibilities offered by the premises. What the Greek authors did was nitpick a couple of minor points in some random published studies and synthesize them into a magical conclusion of how much more Vit D everyone should take (more than 3x the current recommended amount in some ages).
This is sensationalism. I'm sorry to see such poor material to be presented as science by "scientists" and "scientific journals".
>>Please correct me if I'm wrong.
*PS: I wasn't able to read the MAACVD full article, it wasn't free online. In these kinds of articles, the axis of the study is presented in the abstract, and the most significant findings are never left out. If someone has access to the full text, please share it with me and this forum.
I see a number of comments about taking Vitamin D for mood and SAD issues.
My goto site for supplements is http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/snake-o...
It essentially ranks supplements based on the amount of research there is to support the claim (so the same supplement can show up in multiple categories). You can see Vitamin D is backed by a lot of research for various ailments, but the category for which there is least evidence is mood related disorders.
On a side note, be very wary of the supplements you take (in the US). There is virtually no oversight in their manufacture, and various groups' investigations have shown that the claimed dosage can be way, way off. And the inactive ingredients may be false as well. Relying on well known companies did not seem to make a difference.
I recall an interview with a pharmacist at a hospital that had decided they test the supplements they had in stock - given that they were giving them to patients. They were rather shocked.
If anyone has a good resource where a group tests different manufacturers' supplements and has some kind of reliability rating, I'd love to know. I pretty much stopped taking supplements when I saw how unreliable the claimed dosages were.
Anecdotal I know, but I've heard of a couple of different areas where a a medical professional recommends Vitamin D supplements to their patient.
Someone I know has been told to take vitamin D to help manage relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis
Another person has been recommended vitamin D to help with conception.
Seems to pop up all over the place.
The USDA partnered with industry to develop a process for increasing Vitamin D levels in mushrooms by simply exposing them to ultraviolet light.
Monterey Mushrooms has a video showing how this step was added to the packaging process:
Interesting admission. There's been recognition of subclinical vitamin D deficiencies for years in the professional athlete community, a segment of the population at higher risk of bone and tissue disorders:
There is no reason not to get tested given how easy it is to order online: https://www.accesalabs.com/Vitamin-D-Test
I've tried out a handful of supplements for Vitamin D but haven't landed on a good one. Has anyone tested, tried specific supplements, and then retested and documented results?
This makes it sound impossible for some people to get enough vitamin D from sun and food without supplements. If you're fair skinned and living in northern climates, you'll be deficient even with a healthy diet given that you can't be out in the sun that long without burning. Is the human body that defective?
Living in scandinavia I've taken vitamin D every winter. But lately started taking it all year.
I've been sloppy and it seems to coincide with periods of poor energy and a bad mood.
I'm not sure if the energy and mood precede the drop in vitamin use or vice versa. But either way I think it's good to supplement if you live up north.
If you're looking for a better way to get vitamin D from supplements, try drops instead of pills. Each drop contains ~1000 IU, so you could get around 40,000 IU with just a dropper-full... For most of us, a week's worth of 40,000 IU/day could really be a boost.
"Taking 50,000 international units (IU) a day of vitamin D for several months has been shown to cause toxicity. This level is many times higher than the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for most adults of 600 IU of vitamin D a day.Feb 5, 2015" (https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-h...)
One point of caution:
Anyone who takes Vitamin D supplement, make sure you take 25-Hydroxy (Calcifediol) and not the active form - 1,25 dihydroxy (Calcitriol).
Active form has severe side effects and is not supposed to be used for supplementation unless in you have kidney problem which prevent metabolizing 25-Hydroxy.
Several years ago I read an article on Facebook about vitamin D, and because I was in pain and tried many things like this, I read more about it, and started using 2000 IU daily. In about two weeks I felt a lot better. Later that year I was on holiday in the mediterrenean and noticed how much better I felt after a morning in the sun. This made me decide to take even more, so I increased use to 6000 IU/d, and I felt even better.
Several weeks ago I had my blood tested, and I came out under 100nmol, which shocked me. I changed pills immediately, and am going to test again. I want levels to be around 120, so I'm going to test once again. I'm going to call my docter right now in fact.
I always wondered about this. Since I was very young, let's say after age 14 or so I rarely travelled for summer vacation and was living in Europe and had almost no vitamin D from sunlight (working as software engineer and being a nerd so all my hobbies were indoors).
I have always felt like I missed having a good time at a beach while sun was shining (I remember it from family vacations when I was very young). Since then I have spent couple of months in a country near equator and gotten lots of (hours per day) sunlight. I feel healthier and happier now.
I also used to have deficiency of vitamin B when I was very young. I remember I had to eat lots of fish oil to replenish my B complex (recommended by my doctor).
I read another post somewhere that said all you need is 12 minutes of direct sunlight to maximize your Vitamin D intake. It's because your body can only absorb so much vitamin D at one time, from the Sun.
As for food products, there aren't that many natural sources of vitamin D. Milk is fortified with vitamin D but doesn't come with it naturally.
Given how few sources of vitamin D there are: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=110 I don't see how our species could have evolved to depend on vitamin D (other than being outdoors).
One of the many great videos on the subject D is for Debacle - The Crucial Story of Vitamin D and Human Health, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3pK0dccQ38
I found the podcast Science Vs very helpful in understanding this topic - https://gimletmedia.com/episode/vitamins-supplements-worth/
I was recommended Vitamin D by the wife of a Chiropractor. I do 2000IU somewhat daily to every other day in the winter & 5000IU if I feel a cold coming on with some extra zinc. This has made a significant improvement in my ability to fend off colds. That said, I do try to exercise a few times a week & eat as reasonably healthy as one can do in the far north midwest of America.
For Vitamin D 1IU is 0.025mcg. 8000IU = 200mcg My box of vitamin shows a Vitamin D3 content on 5mcg/pill (noted as 100% of recommended daily intake). Time to change pill I guess...
Anybody have tips on balancing all the cofactors? You need other things to absorb & use the vitamin D. Some kind of multivitamin that focused only on D and its cofactors might be handy, without going whole-hog to the "everything" multivitamin popular today.
The Vitamin D council page answers nearly every question I've seen in these posts: https://www.vitamindcouncil.org/
Vitamin D and Alzheimer’s https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4153851/
I think that vitamin D defficiency may have contributed to start of my Multiple Sclerosis! I used to sit mostly inside all summer programming. So be careful.
Is it standard for medical papers to write values with four significant figures when they appear to have less than one significant figure worth of precision? This is an actual question.
Is this specific to North America? As someone who lives along the equator, I think it's impossible to get too little sun exposure in these parts.
D3 is the more active form that's more readily absorbed. I've found the Metagenics brand to be the best.
Anyone who thinks they are D deficient should just go to the doctor and get your blood tested.
> 8895 IU/d
This is double what I'm taking. The US RDA is 1/10th of this amount.
How do you get your levels checked in the UK if you have private insurance?
One con of being in a Tropical country is that you don't have to worry about your Vitamin D intake. The sun roasts you every year in the pre Monsoon heat.
so does that mean we need more or less vitamin D?
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Well it is pretty obvious that there is an epidemic of low testosterone in modern society and it looks like this is one of the many causes. The soyboy epidemic is real.
People have placed too much trust in "science". Science is just humans. No matter how you word it, the scientific process is just a tool. People say "science" is responsible for various discoveries, but in reality, smart people building on the work of other smart people are responsible for those discoveries. Science was merely a process used, often discarded as people chose to believe certain assumptions were false despite the supposed "evidence" to the contrary.
Just as with the articles on sitting all day, where people proclaimed their joy at the idea that doing a few stretches will solve their problems, here we have people proclaiming that the best solution to this problem is "supplements". Little pills of synthesized nutrients, with no actual evidence related to their effectiveness.
It is a technocratic dysfunction. People walking down a path to their own destruction based on "progress". A progress to where? To being low in testosterone, depressed, anxious, and lonely.
When it turns out that you need about 20 minutes of sun exposure per day, and your employer doesn't allow you to have that, what then? When it turns out that you can't actually just sit all day and yet your job is a programmer, what then? When you are 40 and it turns out you couldn't "make your life better", what then? It is over.
People have to jump on a scale to tell them their weight. They no longer trust themselves in any way. They need to measure their food, their weight, the number of steps they take. They need a scientist to tell them how to live. Another human with a flawed study. What happened to intuition, instincts, and emotions? Oh emotions are useless, says the person who basis every decision on a list of pros and cons that leads them to making the worst decisions of all. I can't trust myself anymore with anything.
We as a human race our slaves to a wealthy class of people and have been since the agricultural revolution where slaves became a thing. The roman empire was characterized by 20% of the population being actual slaves. Now we all sit inside our cubicle all day, for 8 hours a day, as slaves. All we do is get to the next day, and the next day, in a constant state of limbo and nothingness. These are not our true lives. Safety, cleanliness, and sterility.
I remember watching the videos of the shootings in Las Vegas and hearing one of the girls say "this is more exciting then the concert". The media quickly dismissed it as "some people were drunk". It is a bit of an awkward truth that being drunk doesn't make you a different person, it simply removes your socially programmed inhibitions. People are seeking out danger in a sterile world.
What will the next study reveal? That enslaving hundreds of thousands of animals chemically alters the meat to make it dangerous for humans? That 7 billion people may be, oh, I don't know, a little too many people on earth? What a shock all of this would be.
Where too then technocrats? Where are you progressing too now? Thanks in advance for the downvotes soyboys.
Low levels of vitamin D can also increase your risk of getting dementia later on in life.
This risk can be reduced by supplementing with vitamin D, improving diet and getting outdoors more. Interesting article below:
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This is one of the reasons I hate dermatologist's panic against sun exposure. Vitamin D deficiency kills way more people than skin cancer.
not to mention apparent connection to autism. Best example - Somali immigrant populations concentrated in Sweden and Minnesota have unnaturally high child autism rates and extremely low vitamin D levels (very dark skin, weak Sun, a lot of clothes covering almost the whole body most of the year due to the cold climate). Another Swedish study found, though much smaller effect, uptick in autism rates among children whose 3rd trimester, when the brain develops the fastest, fell onto the winter.
Sufficient vitamin D is gained primarily from Sun exposure..
typically between 10am and 2pm, I have read that at certain latitudes and times of year the required window is considerably less but cannot find a reference.