Q: I wanted to respond to one of the email newsletters I received from you back in September. First of all, I love the newsletters, and I think you are doing great work – thank you!
In your newsletter, you advocated for the supplementation of Vit D – an excellent recommendation, since we are all pretty much deficient in this vitamin. However, you also recommended getting a blood test done to confirm whether levels of Vit D fall within normal limits. This concerns me, as I know for a fact that blood labs alone are not reliable…for example, blood work may show Vit D levels (or anything else for that matter) to be within normal limits, when in fact the source of the problem may be the absorption of available Vitamin D.
The best indicator of a deficiency, therefore, is not a blood test…but how the patient actually feels, and if they are showing signs and symptoms of a deficiency. This is the only reliable indicator, and this fact should be stressed. To say that a person should rely on blood tests is misleading.
Thank you for your time, and I look forward to future newsletters.
A: Hi Heather –
Thank you for your compliment.
I simply need to be more reliable in writing the newsletters – too much going on ;)
I appreciate you taking the time to write your comment.
Regarding vitamin D3 blood levels:
- If I said vitamin D3 needs to fall within ‘normal’ limits, that simply means it should not be over the upper limit for most individuals. There are some exceptions to this rule but those require physician supervision – closely. Some of these conditions are cancer, autoimmune, depression and seasonal affective disorder to mention a couple offhand.
- The lower normal limit of vitamin D3 is too low for people especially if they have an autoimmune condition, are depressed or are acutely ill or chronically ill.
- I like to see Vitamin D3 levels around 80 or so.
- If vitamin D3 levels are too high, this can cause high blood levels of calcium which are dangerous.
- I was just at a medical conference in San Diego with www.AAEMOnline.org and we discussed vitamin D3. Dosing vitamin D3 too high too frequently actually shuts down the vitamin D3 receptors and absorption does not occur! Thus, one must take vitamin D3 more consistently rather than in large bolus doses. In winter time months, I typically recommend 5,000 IU of Vitamin D3 per day for an adult OR 1,000 IU per 25 pounds of body weight overall.
- If a vitamin D3 blood tests shows a high level, then the vitamin D3 is being absorbed. Whether it is being utilized well is a different story. There is controversy around the vitamin D3 blood test; however, it is a generally decent indicator – I believe.
- If an individual needs to have higher doses of vitamin D3, then they need to be checked every month or every two months for hypercalcemia or high blood calcium levels. If blood calcium levels are high, then the individual is taking too much vitamin D3 and vitamin D3 should be stopped until the blood calcium levels return to normal.
I recommend taking 1 capsule daily with food of Vitamin D3 5,000 IU by Seeking Health.
Higher levels of vitamin D3 increase calcium absorption. Given this, magnesium deficiency becomes an issue. If magnesium becomes deficient, then vitamin D3 utilization becomes an issue. So we are full circle once again vitamin D3 deficient and magnesium deficient.
For those suffering from seasonal affective disorder, depression, anxiety, are taking high levels of vitamin D3 or are seeming not to be utilizing vitamin D3 well even though lab tests show normal values of D3, then the cofactors for Vitamin D3 need to be addressed. The most important cofactor for Vitamin D3 is magnesium (along with nearly 300 other reactions in the body).
Magnesium Plus is what I recommend for those taking high amounts of Vitamin D3 or are experiencing the symptoms mentioned above regarding depression, SAD, anxiety. Consider taking 1-2 capsules of Magnesium Plus a day to restore magnesium levels and reduce the symptoms of these conditions.
If you have further comments, please do share.
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