Vitamin D Protocol
We've done the research.....Here is our Vitamin D Protocol
Welcome to the home of the Vitamin D Protocol. Where our primary goal is showing you how to beat Vitamin D
Deficiency with a simple daily protocol of vitamin D3, magnesium and vitamin K2 with basic over the counter vitamins
and supplements. It's no secret, as many as 90% of people living in our modern world are critically low in vitamin D and
suffering from many unexplainable aches, pains and illnesses due to Vitamin D Deficiency. Luckily this is an ailment
we can address ourselves, improving our health and quality of life by simply taking a safe and inexpensive daily dose of
give you a starting point, something that is usually tough to find when starting any holistic treatment. This is meant to be
an easy to read and understand vitamin D3 protocol, a suggested starting point and nothing more.
While we believe that virtually everybody living in western cultures are vitamin D deficient and can safely follow this
protocol, we strongly suggest getting tested so you know your own levels. Unfortunately the supplement industry has
many inferior products, in fact most are. And unfortunately the worst quality available tends to be your only choice at your local "box store" or corner drug store. So no surprise that one of the most common questions we get is "what should I buy and use?". Here are some of our best suggestions as to what are some of the most reliable products on the market. Here are the links to the approved products on Amazon.com.
The Vitamin D Protocol
You can begin your battle against a long list of diseases by having adequate amounts of vitamin D3. Most healthcare professionals who understand vitamin D3 target a vitamin D 25-hydroxy blood test result as high as 100ng/mL (250 nmol/L in the UK) and the greatest minds in our field suggest 50 ng/mL US [125 nmoL UK] as a target minimum and feel that real protection from disease does not begin until 75-80ng/mL or 187-200 nmoL. If you are considering taking vitamin D3 follow these simple steps we are about to lay out for you . Many of our readers and Facebook group members have had their health and quality of life improved tremendously. Join them here on Facebook.
To get started on this protocol take 5,000 to 10,000 IU's daily, yes daily, of an oil based vitamin D3 soft gel with a meal
that includes dietary fat, preferably your largest meal of the day. Never take the tablet form of D3 due to it's poor/erratic
absorption and poor quality due to the use of fillers. Most of our readers and Facebook group members take their
vitamin D3 at breakfast time. And of course still try to enjoy direct mid day sun exposure for a minimum of 20 to 30
minutes a day, if possible. We believe vitamin D3 supplements are a must since most diets [realistically none] do
not contain any where near an adequate amount of vitamin D3. If you are one of the rare individuals that cannot seem
to take gelcaps trya liquid form of D3 as a second choice.
When first starting this protocol we suggest starting with 5,000 IU's and then gradually moving up your dose to as much
as 10,000 IU's daily. Some people who are extremely deficient will experience some additional bone pain at first. If you
are one of these unfortunate people please work through this by gradually raising your daily dose, maybe even starting
at 800 - 1,000 IUs daily for a few days. If you have been tested, which we strongly suggest, and you have been
diagnosed as severely deficient you can take 10,000 I.U.s [and much more in most cases] safely to be used as a loading dose. If you do decide to try a dose higher than 10,000 make sure you drink a minimum of 85 ounces of fluids [preferably water] per day to guarantee the elimination of calcium through the urine.
Also, if you are considering a higher dose make sure you familiarize yourself with the work of Brazilian doctor and researcher Dr. Cicero Galli Coimbra. He has developed methods that allow very high doses of D3 to be taken safely. His patients are closely monitored so be very careful when trying to duplicate his treatments, we strongly suggest against that unless you have your personal physician on board to do the same form of monitoring. Once obtaining your desired level you can then patiently work on figuring out a lower maintenance dose to maintain that level.
Unlike D3 magnesium can be obtained through food but we believe that it is critical for most people to supplement it as
part of the protocol due to the fact that high doses of vitamin D3 depletes the body of magnesium. And if you are one of
those people who are already critically low in magnesium it is important to supplement this important mineral to avoid
headaches, cramping, nausea, numbness and more that will result when you begin a high dose of D3. Other symptoms of
low magnesium are heart palpitations, twitching, insomnia, fatigue, anxiety, high blood sugar, high cholesterol and high
Let's eliminate the doubt of becoming magnesium deficient while taking advantage of the benefits of taking higher doses
of D3. Magnesium rich foods include dark leafy green vegetables, potato, beans [black, kidney, white, black eyed],
chickpeas, lentils, avocado, bananas, figs, strawberries, blackberries, nuts, seeds, brown rice and dark chocolate.
We recommend a daily supplement of magnesium glycinate due to the calming and relaxing effect of both glycine and
magnesium. This combination has been used successfully for chronic pain and muscle hyper toxicity. And magnesium
glycinate does not have the extreme laxative effects of other magnesium making it easier to take a higher daily dose
without these ill effects. Taking at least 200mg may boost your levels of this essential mineral. Some have even had great success with 400mg or more daily.
Magnesium can be taken at breakfast along with your D3 since it is best absorbed with food. Consider taking a dose at bedtime as magnesium glycinate has proven to help some people sleep better. Glycine is known as the calming amino acid. But it would be a good idea to take smaller amounts of magnesium spread out throughout the day. For example 100mg with each meal would be a good game plan. Even taking 200mg with breakfast and again at dinner would be better than taking 400mg in one large dose, especially if it's without food at bedtime. The absorption from four small doses is higher than from taking the one large dose.
There are many choices and it can be confusing. Magnesium citrate or malate are a couple of other good choices. If you decide to try different types of magnesium make sure you start with low doses and be careful with them to find out how they affect you. For example, for most people magnesium citrate should probably be taken in the morning as it will most likely keep you awake if taken at bedtime. Magnesium Malate is another good choice and has become popular in the treatment of Fibromyalgia. The malate form is a substrate in the cellular energy cycle and has proven to improve ATP production. Many fibromyalgia patients also claim that it reduces their muscle pain and tenderness in their joints.
We suggest that most people take magnesium daily and work diligently to find a daily dose that works for them since the common blood serum test for magnesium is virtually worthless since our blood carries very little magnesium in it to be detected. In the recent past alternative test were considered complicated and most health plans would not cover them due to cost and availability. But that is changing, just request the magnesium RBC blood test from your doctor. Please avoid the magnesium oxide that is commonly found on store shelves in the US. This is only intended to be used for relief from heartburn, sour stomach, as an antacid and as a short term laxative.
We suggest consuming about 90-100 mcg of vitamin K2 [MK-7 form] daily and some researchers are suggesting
as much as 180-200 mcg daily. A recent report from Osteoporosis International showed that the optimal dose of
Vitamin K2 as MK-7 to decrease inactive osteocalcin was 180 mcg/day. We believe this may become more critical
when taking much higher daily doses [more than 10,000 I.U.s daily] of vitamin D3. You should at least take K2
several times a week, but preferably once a day. A vitamin K rich diet includes lots of cabbage, kale, spinach, Swiss
Chard, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, soybean oil, wheat bran and sauerkraut. We
are now suggesting that you try to include both the MK-4 [this is the form made naturally by our bodies] and the
MK-7 made from natto [a fermented soybean] or fermented chickpeas if you can. Vitamin K research is in it's infancy
and we'll be keeping our eyes and ears wide open. One of the few products available that fits the bill is
this Complex K2 from Vitacost.
It is best to take your K2 with your dinner that includes dietary fat or at bedtime, 8 to 12 hours after you take your vitamin D3. This is why most people take their D3 with breakfast and K2 at dinner time. We suggest this since some research shows that D3 is more effective if not taken at the same time as K2. Fat soluble vitamins compete for fat for transport into the body, The Vitamin D wins and in doing so prevents the vitamin K from getting into the body. You must always take your vitamin K supplement with fat since it is fat soluble and won't be absorbed without it. When taking moderate to large doses of fat soluble vitamins there is reduced absorption of other fat soluble vitamins by estimated 10 to 50% due to competition. Absorption of vitamin K appears to be particularly reduced by other fat soluble vitamins, while vitamin A absorption is least affected and may actually be better absorbed when taken with vitamin E. Taking vitamins D, E, or K several hours before or after other fat soluble vitamins would seem to maximize their absorption.
That said many have been successful at safely raising their vitamin D levels while taking their K2 at the same time as D3 or not taking K2 at all. But we like to think that if you are taking what you believe is a high dose of D3 that K2 eliminates any doubt of vitamin D toxicity. Caution! If you’re taking blood thinning medicines, such as Warfarin or Coumadin, don’t take vitamin K supplements that include K1. This is because it may affect how well your blood clots. Be very careful since many products labeled K2 can also include K1. If you are taking Coumadin you may want to look at new research that shows that you should be taking about 45 mcg of the MK-4 version of K2, but please discuss this with your cardiologist before going this alone. Soy is also not recommended for those who have been diagnosed or suspect that they have thyroid disorders. You might want to use a non-soy based K2 product.
K2 is preferentially used by other tissues to deposit calcium in appropriate locations, such as in the bones and teeth, and prevent it from depositing in locations where it does not belong. Such as the soft tissues, arterial walls, joints and organs. It a nutshell, K2 is keeping the calcium going where it needs to go. Some people complain of slight heart palpitations when adding K2 to their daily protocol. If you are one of those people make sure you shift to a K2 [here is the Superior Source brand on Amazon] that contains only the MK4 form of vitamin K2. This less common and more expensive version does not cause heart palpitations and is much more tolerable.
B2 - Riboflavin
At this time B2 [riboflavin] is not part of our suggested protocol. But as we follow Dr. Cicero Galli Coimbra and his
amazing work treating MS patients with high doses of vitamin D we have to take into consideration the importance
of B2 since he is including it in all of his patients' individual protocols. He believes that B2 is critical in that it's function
to distribute D3 safely throughout the body. B2 also stimulates liver enzymes, which increases the production of
the active form of vitamin D3. Vitamin B2 like MK4 [not MK7] helps recycle glutathione which is considered one the
most important antioxidants in the body. B2 also helps convert Vitamin B6 into an active form. B2 is similar to CoQ10
in that it promotes energy production, converts food into energy and is linked with the mitochondria in the brain. This
is another reason the best time to take B2 would be in the morning with your breakfast, with your lunch or early
afternoon, not before bed.
So here's our current recommendation. If you are taking doses higher than 10,000 IU's of D3 daily it becomes critical that you add B2 to your personal protocol. This will eliminate any doubt. Are you getting B2 in your diet? Foods that are rich in B2 include almonds, mushrooms, sesame seeds, spinach, asparagus, broccoli, turnip greens just to name a few. But we encourage you not to rely on food for your B2 if you are taking high doses 0f vitamin D. While all of Dr. Coimbra's patients have a protocol developed and tailored just for them it is common for him to prescribe 100 mg of B2 three times per day for a total of 300 mg.
Join the discussion on our Facebook group as our knowledgeable members and researchers debate and decide on the role of B2 in our protocol. We have an amazing group of vitamin D advocates that are willing to help and support you.
Your next step is to join our Facebook group......Just Click Here.
Unfortunately there is a lot of inferior products out there. We have done the research and here are the products recommended by our most knowledgeable and reliable contributors…...All links are directly linked to Amazon.com
Here is the highest quality recommended vitamin D3…..Just Click Here Visit Here for UK Link
Here is the highest quality recommended magnesium.....Just Click Here Visit Here for UK Link
Here is an economical recommended magnesium…..Just Click Here Visit Here for UK Link < Admin's Choice!
Here is the recommended MK-7 version of K2…..Just Click Here Visit Here for UK Links
Here is the recommended combined MK-4 MK-7 version of K2....Just Click Here Visit Here for UK Link
So let's look at what an example of a day on the protocol looks like
Breakfast Vitamin D3 [entire dose]
Lunchtime Magnesium Glycinate [25% of daily dose]
Dinner Vitamin K2 [entire dose]
Here are some of the most common questions we get about Vitamin D Deficiency
I read that daily dosing of D3 is critical, can you explain why it is so critical when my doctor has given me a prescription for weekly dosing?
We as humans and our DNA evolved in equatorial regions where the sun shines every day throughout the year. So our DNA expects vitamin D3 in effective amounts every day. We must set aside any idea that after we have restored vitamin D to optimal levels we can ease up on the daily intake of D3. It's not going to work. The half life of Vitamin D3 Cholecalciferol is just 25 hours in that form and as Calcidiol it's half life is 3 weeks. So every 3 weeks you need to restore your levels and with a substance that only last approximately 24 hours. It's for this reason that if we want to maintain our natural immune function and anti inflammatory reserves we have to keep taking effective amounts of vitamin D3 daily. The rate vitamin D degrades is continuous and so our restoration of vitamin D levels also has to be continuous.
What are the symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency?
Symptoms vary from person to person and not all people will experience them. Some of the most common are fatigue, weakness, depression, tiredness, muscle, joint and bone pain, dental gum disease, brittle or soft bones, digestive problems, restless legs, muscle weakness, asthma and suppressed immune system. Feel like you are getting every cold or flu that comes around? Then yes, you probably have a suppressed immune system due to vitamin D deficiency. And there are plenty more.
I don't understand, how can lack of vitamin D cause so much pain in my joints, lower back and more?
We have become accustomed to having doctors inject cortisone into our knees to alleviate pain. But truth is, it is our bodies natural production of Cortisol that keeps our bodies pain and inflammation free. And our bodies cannot produce Cortisol without adequate amounts of Vitamin D. Nobody will argue that insufficient amounts of cortisol leads to pain and inflammation of the joints. Cortisol belongs to a special group of hormones known as glucocorticoids. One of it's jobs is to manage our vitamin D receptors. Cortisol is also known as a “stress hormone.” It is any surprise that you have felt high anxiety and have had trouble dealing with some of life's common stress.
My blood test results show that my magnesium level is fine. Now I hear that test is unreliable, almost worthless. Is this true?
It is true. Here's a great explanation from one of our favorite researchers and Facebook group member Thomas Golda.... "the problem with serum Magnesium blood tests is that a person can have severe Magnesium deficiency and have serum Magnesium level that is normal. 55% of Magnesium is in the bones, 26% in muscles, 18% in other tissues, and less than 1% in blood. Showing how a blood test does not mean much. There are other Magnesium tests that are more accurate, such as IMg2+ test, that measures the ionized electrically charged fraction of magnesium in the blood, rather than measuring total serum Magnesium, and this test is much more accurate, but this test is not widely available. Another more reliable test is called the "Exatest" test that measures total magnesium taken from a swab of cells from your inner cheek or under your tongue. The laboratory called "Intracellular Diagnostics" will send a kit to your doctor who will smear the cells onto a slide. The lab uses energy-dispersive analysis to measure the level of magnesium and other minerals within the cells. Aside from that, it is important to take magnesium."
I read that I should be taking D3 instead of the D2 my doctor prescribed, why is D2 not safe?
Vitamin D2 causes the amyloid protein in your brain to clump together making it difficult to remove this build up of amyloid. This leads to loss of cognitive function and sets up the conditions for Alzheimer's disease progression. Vitamin D3 helps clear amyloid from the brain which aids in improving cognitive function. Keeping levels at or above 50ng/ml [US] or 125nmol/l [UK] is an important factor in reversing cognitive decline. And if that isn't bad enough we have also known for years that Vitamin D2 speeds up the rate at which your body disposes of Vitamin D so the more D2 you take the more you require.
Vitamin D2 is also less effective than D3 so you need more D2 to get the same effect as D3. Dr. John Cannell of the Vitamin D Council tells us "There is also some evidence that D2 is more toxic in overdose, which is curious as it is only half as potent as the natural accuring D3." Recent research on professional athletes shows that supplementing with vitamin D2 does increase muscle soreness and recovery time after bouts of intense exercise.
For those who doubt, here is what the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition said about D2....“Here, we present the case that vitamin D2 should no longer be considered equivalent to vitamin D3 and that vitamin D2, or ergocalciferol, should NOT be regarded as a nutrient suitable for supplementation or fortification.” Here is the link to the entire release from the AJCN, save it and share it with your "health care professional".
How can I determine an ideal level of vitamin D?
Besides the standard Vitamin D3 25-hydroxy blood test you can also rely on the PTH blood test, or Parathyroid Hormone test. A proper level of vitamin is different for each one of us. Brazilian researcher Dr. Gali Coimbra has become popular worldwide for his methods of safely treating MS patients with high doses of vitamin D. Dr. Coimbra finds that perfect level by monitoring the PTH level. You won't find much online about exactly how Coimbra treats his patients so we put together this page explaining some of the general guidelines used in the Coimbra Protocol...Just Visit Here.
But one of his patients, Ana Claudia Domene Ortiz, has written a new book, "My Eight Year Treatment with the Coimbra Protocol for Autoimmune Diseases"[available here on Amazon] and she explains it in some detail. She says "Parathyroid hormone, or parathormone, is a hormone released by the parathyroid glands. Vitamin D suppresses the PTH. Consequently, as vitamin D levels go up, PTH levels go down. If PTH were completely suppressed this would mean that vitamin D would be working at it's maximum biological potential. Since we cannot completely suppress the PTH, for it also has it's purposes in our body, we keep the PTH levels at or near it's lowest normal limit". So it might be a good idea to share this info with your GP in hopes of getting them to go along with monitoring your PTH as well as vitamin D to find your own ideal level.
What is the difference in the Vitamin D3 Hydroxy blood test and the OH 25 blood test?
The vitamin D3 25-hydroxy test is the most common and shows us the level of the most potent form of the vitamin D3 metabolite. This form stimulates calcium absorption in the intestine and its production is tightly regulated through concentrations of serum calcium, phosphorus, and parathyroid hormone. The 25 OH test more accurately reflects the body's vitamin D stores. While Vitamin D is rapidly metabolized in the liver to form vitamin D, additional hydroxylation of 25-OH vitamin D takes place in the kidney under the control of parathyroid hormone, to yield 1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D. Simply put, one is the D3 that we common refer to for calcium distribution [and more] and the other reflects our ability to store D3.
How much magnesium should you take each day with vitamin D3?
Depends on how much magnesium is in your diet already. 200 mg or lower spread throughout your day is a good place to start. Then gradually raise your dose until you feel you are taking to much. You don't have to be too fussy as when you start getting near to the point of bowel tolerance your stools will become softer and more easy to pass. If you continue to increase your intake at that point you'll find you need to stay close to the restroom all day. We continue to recommend magnesium glycinate, it has the highest absorption rate combined with being easily tolerated by most people.
Why should I be concerned about low magnesium levels?
If magnesium levels are low, they can cause a low calcium level that is resistant to vitamin D and parathyroid
hormone regulation. It may be necessary to supplement both magnesium and calcium to regain normal function.
Start with magnesium first as you most likely are getting plenty of calcium in your diet.
I read claims that vitamin D deficiency is responsible for so many different illnesses. How is this possible?
We have vitamin D receptors in virtually every part of our bodies. The worlds leading researcher on vitamin D treatments,
Dr. Coimbra, says "Vitamin D deficiency leads to loss of control of 229 functions (genes) as well as in cells of the immune system, reducing the system’s potency to fight infections and allowing immune aggression against the organism. Individuals prone to develop autoimmune illnesses are already partially resistant to Vitamin D". He goes on to say "Once they get ill, higher doses of Cholecalciferol are needed in order to make the illness inactive, not only to compensate this partial resistance, but also to erase" the false information that part of the body must be seen as a micro-organism intruder by the immunological system memory".
I am on Medicare and they no longer approve blood test for vitamin D, what can I do?
This is just not true, this is merely a lack of understanding on the part of your doctor or health care professional. One of
our forum/group members does medical billing for a living and says this misunderstanding is very common and it is due
to your doctor not using the correct diagnosis code on the lab form. She goes on to state "They will not pay if your doctor
codes it as a routine exam. If it is established that you have a vitamin D deficiency after the initial test, they will then pay
for a follow up test up to four times per year, but only with diagnosis code E55.9, which states there is a deficiency. This
is the only code I know of that will guarantee payment once every 3 months." Of course if you cannot get your doctor's
help with this there is always the option of doing the testing yourself. The vitamin D Council offers testing through the mail
using a simple finger prick method of shipping a few drops of blood to their independent labs.
I received a message from someone on a PTH [parathyroid] group on Facebook who warned me about taking vitamin D3 as it would raise my calcium levels to dangerous levels, is this true?
For the most part, no, Hypercalcemia is "potentially/possibly" harmful in patients with vitamin D levels of 150 ng/mL or more. Beware if you are taking 40,000 IUs per day for 3 months or longer. Also be careful if you take more than 300,000 IUs of D3 on any given day. Does this apply to you in any way? If you are one of the very small percentage of people that should have concerns about your Parathyroid please see the Vitamin D Council's explanation of the importance of the relationship between vitamin D, your blood serum calcium levels and your condition....Just Click Here.
But what if taking a high dose of D3 pushes your calcium blood serum level up? High calcium drives down D levels as a protective mechanism but it is questionable if vitamin D drives UP serum calcium. People who have PHPT often feel horrible when given high doses of vitamin D by their doctor instead of addressing their actual condition and their need to consider surgery. Yet another "diagnostic tool" to consider. For more great information on the subject visit http://www.parathyroid.com/
I can't seem to raise my D level no matter how much D3 I take. Could I have absorption problems?
Yes, certain diseases affect the body's ability to absorb adequate amounts of vitamin D through the intestinal tract immediately downstream from the stomach. Examples of these include celiac disease, Crohn's disease, chronic pancreatitis and cystic fibrosis. Also, your liver and kidney produces enzymes that change the vitamin D we get from the sun or food to the biologically active form of vitamin D. Stomach juices, pancreatic secretions, bile from the liver, the integrity of the wall of the intestine — they all have some influence on how much of the vitamin is absorbed.
People with chronic kidney and liver disease are at increased risk of low vitamin D because they lack these enzymes. Also consider the health of your liver and kidneys. Some types of liver disease can reduce absorption of vitamin D because the ailing liver isn't producing normal amounts of bile. With other types, steps essential to vitamin D metabolism can't occur — or occur incompletely. Levels of the bioactive form of vitamin D tend to track with the health of the kidneys, so in someone with kidney disease, bioactive vitamin D levels decrease as the disease gets worse, and in end-stage kidney disease, the level is undetectable.
It is our experience that most people who are told they have absorption problems are really just not taking enough D3. If through repeated testing you determine that you have absorption problems you are a good candidate to add B2 to your daily protocol. Also, luckily you have options since there is D3 available in lotion form that can be applied directly to the skin.
I have been in a lot of pain and when I started taking vitamin D3 it got worse. Is the vitamin D causing this?
We hear this often and it may be the absolute most common question we get. An increase in pain symptoms after starting Vitamin D Therapy are common side effects when first starting vitamin D supplementation. These vitamin D side effects can be very worrisome, uncomfortable and difficult to work through. Many people want to stop vitamin D therapy due to this pain, but that is not a good idea. In fact, the people who need vitamin D the MOST are most often the ones who experience this pain.
The pain is due to the vitamin d forcing calcium back into demineralized bones. Water is drawn into the bones along with the calcium. This swells the bones very slightly and pushes against the inflexible periosteum. The periosteum has a significant number of pain receptors and this can be experienced as bone pain. For those that already have pain from vitamin D deficiency, the pain can become worse. For those that do not have bone pain already, they can experience bone pain upon first beginning this protocol. This bone pain is temporary and should resolve in a few weeks.
We suggest temporarily reducing your daily dose to even as low as 1,000 IUs of D3 daily. After a couple of weeks try to increase your dose slowly, you should notice the pain subsiding gradually. Giving up is not an option, if you are one of the unlucky people that is so critically low that you experience this kind of pain you need to find a way to push through this.
Why is it that my doctor does not take my vitamin D deficiency seriously and only recommends low doses?
Doctors get in really big trouble if they recommend something that turns out to be dangerous. If they recommend you avoid doing something, and that leads to an eventual problem, legally they are not responsible for that injury. So in the context of vitamin D, they can follow the recommendations set by the Institute of Medicine as the standard of care, and in doing so greatly increase your odds of dying from a horrible disease. Or they can promote vitamin D and subject themselves to professional risk. It's no surprise that many doctors take the path of least resistance and go with the standard of care, highly flawed though it may be.
To make it even more mind boggling, doctors are businessmen and make money, lots of money, from sick and dying patients. If you were a doctor, would you rather have patients with optimized vitamin D who rarely get sick, or many patients who will spend upwards of $100,000 to treat a long list of deadly disease? The world doesn't make it easy for doctors to do the right thing, so it is incumbent upon all of us to educate ourselves, take personal responsibility, and tap into the collective wisdom of groups like this. There is definitely room for a doctor's advise and treatment, but when it comes to vibrant health from vitamin D and other supplements, you are on your own.
I understand that vitamin D deficiency is mostly caused by lack of exposure to the sun. What are some other causes?
Another reason is the increased use of antibiotics and the presence of antibiotic residues in and on the foods we consume. These can affect the number and diversity of our gut bacteria which influence not only the level of inflammation in our bodies but also change the absorption or retention of vitamins and minerals. Increasing your Lactobacillus reuteri levels has been shown to increase vitamin D levels up to 25%.
The increased prevalence of cholesterol lowering medications and the constant nagging about the claimed importance of low cholesterol inevitably [because statins block the Mevalonate pathway up stream of the production of 7 Dehydrocholesterol, precursor molecule for cholecalciferol vit d3] means there is less potential for making vitamin D in our skin. People with lower total cholesterol levels produce less vitamin D3 given the same UVB exposures. It might be noted that one of the traits shared by centenarians [100 year olds] is cholesterol levels near the high limits. Virtually none of them have low cholesterol.
I feel like I am starting to have some stomach problems since starting the protocol. Could this be caused by the vitamin D3?
One of the reasons why it's important to raise your vitamin D status to a minimum of 50ng/ml [US] or 125nmoL [UK] is that Vitamin D upregulates the production of Antimicrobial Peptides. These are the body's natural way of dealing with pathogenic bacteria. While your vitamin D level is low the pathogens have free reign to do as they like. As soon as you start taking vitamin d your body has a better chance of killing off the pathogens and this may cause temporary problems including discomfort. But once your vitamin D deficiency is corrected and the pathogens cleared out your commensal (beneficial) bacteria should be able to dominate and this should lead to an end to stomach problems and an improvement in both mental and physical well being.
My daughter [who lives outside the U.S.] just had her vitamin D level checked and her results are 117 pg/mL. I am in U.S. and I am confused. What is pg/mL?
That is the test for the active hormonal form of vitamin D3 The test usually used to measure stored vitamin D3 is called the 25(OH)D test. The storage form of vitamin D3 has a half life of several weeks whereas the form your test measured lasts only a matter of hours. If you tested later the same day you'd get a different result. Either buy a postal 25(OH)D test from the Vitamin D Council, Grassroots Health or from one of the discount test providers and that will give you a better idea of how much vitamin D3 you have stored rather than the amount currently being used. Because hormones are very powerful you don't need much of them so the 1.25 test is for the active hormonal form is measured in picogram/milliliter whereas the storage form is measured in nanogram/milliliter, or ng/mL. These are a thousand times higher than for the hormonal form. Because the hormonal form is trying to measure a much smaller amount it's far more inaccurate and less reliable. Especially if you had the same test 4 times on the same day you could well have 4 different levels.
Why is it that so many people discourage me from taking multi-vitamins to combat vitamin D deficiency?
It is very important to buy vitamin D, magnesium glycinate and K2 individually since executing this protocol requires adjusting the amount of each one you take. One pill for all is just to "inflexible", you have no control of your doses. Most multi vitamins also include calcium which unless you tested to be extremely deficient in calcium [virtually none of us do] we discourage you from taking calcium.
The vast majority of multi-vitamins contain 400 I.U.'s of vitamin D3. Historically that was the amount needed to prevent rickets in children. Sadly the supplements industry has not kept up with research that shows 10 to 20 times that amount is needed to provide some measure of protection against cancer, diabetes, MS, heart disease, and a very long list of autoimmune diseases. You can't outsource this important job to a multivitamin.
Also, vitamin D3 and K2 are fat soluble vitamins and since they compete for absorption we try to take them 4 to 12 hours apart. Our suggested protocol has us taking D3 in the morning with breakfast and K2 with our dinner for just that reason. If you are also taking other fat soluble vitamins like vitamin E it is a good idea to take that with your lunch.
Is it true that keeping our vitamin D levels up even fights off infections?
Yes. According to Professor Carsten Geisler from the Department of International Health, Immunology and Microbiology, Copenhagen, Denmark, explains that “when a T cell is exposed to a foreign pathogen, it extends a signaling device or ‘antenna’ known as a vitamin D receptor, with which it searches for vitamin D. This means that the T cell must have vitamin D or activation of the cell will cease. If the T cells cannot find enough vitamin D in the blood, they won’t even begin to mobilize.”
T cells that are successfully activated transform into one of two types of immune cell. They either become killer cells that will attack and destroy all cells carrying traces of a foreign pathogen or they become helper cells that assist the immune system in acquiring “memory”. The helper cells send messages to the immune system, passing on knowledge about the pathogen so that the immune system can recognize and remember it at their next encounter. T cells form part of the adaptive immune system, which means that they function by teaching the immune system to recognize and adapt to constantly changing threats.
My child was diagnosed with vitamin D deficiency, how do I know what their dose of D3 should be?
One of the most reliable researchers in the vitamin D world is Dr. Michael F. Holick and he recommends a minimum of
1,000 I.U.'s daily for children. The Vitamin D Council recommends 25 IUs per pound of body weight daily. A gathering at
the University of Toronto of some of the best known vitamin D researchers and practitioners came up with this chart and
Below 5 25-35 IU's per pound per day
Age 5 - 10 Min: 2500 IU's
Adults 4,000 - 8,000 IU's
Pregnant Woman 5,000 - 10,000 IU's
They also included this.....
WARNING: There is no way to know if the above recommendations are correct. The ONLY way to know is to test your
blood. You might need four to five times the amount recommended above. Ideally, your blood level of 25(OH)D should be
We included multiple sources of dosing recommendations for both adults and children, of course they are not all the same.
But this will give you confidence that you are making an educated decision on what you decide on.
If you’re taking certain other medicines: digoxin for an irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation) or thiazide diuretics such as hydrochlorothiazide [Lisinopril] or bendroflumethiazide [Aprinox] commonly used to treat high blood pressure you should be cautious of taking high doses of vitamin D. You should also have your digoxin level monitored more closely if you’re taking vitamin D.
If you have one of these medical conditions: primary hyperparathyroidism, Hodgkin’s or non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a granulomatous disease, kidney stones, some types of kidney disease, liver disease or hormonal disease, you should get advice from a specialist.
Don’t take vitamin D if you have high blood calcium levels, unless under the care of your physician. You may need more than the usual dose of vitamin D if you’re taking certain medicines which interfere with vitamin D. These include: carbamazepine, phenytoin, primidone, barbiturates and some medicines used for the treatment of HIV infection.
In closing, think about it.... "Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has" Margaret Meade