T Nation

VItamin D: How Much Is Too Much?

In light of all the Vitamin D benefits outlined by CT and others, I’m thinking of supplementing with 5,000IU/day of Vitamin D.

That’s on top of the 1/2 gallon of milk and 1 sardine and other possible vitamin d sources i eat everyday. Plus in the summer I might spend a lot of time in the sun.

So is 5,000IU/day Vitamin D too much? Any studies?

Most experts suggest 2,000-4,000 IU/day.

Right now being winter I was taking 8k, but am down to 6k. I have my wife on 4k/day

Your best bet if you’re really worried about it is to get tested periodically

At Sunday breakfast someone asked me the same question. I looked back in my Dr. Whitaker Health & Healing files. He says there is no scientific record of there being any such thing as an overdose level of vitamin D.

Personally I take 2000 to 4000 a day.

[quote]jehovasfitness wrote:
Most experts suggest 2,000-4,000 IU/day.

Right now being winter I was taking 8k, but am down to 6k. I have my wife on 4k/day

Your best bet if you’re really worried about it is to get tested periodically[/quote]

this is the only way to really know , person a might be at the high end on 2oooiu per day while person be may require two or three times that amount to reach the same blood levels. personally my blood level stays at 72-80 which is pretty much optimal but i have to take 10000 iu per day to maintain that. I will say for a fact that doing so has made a huge difference in my overall sense of wellbeing and general health…but again you have to have the test (vit d 25 hydroxy) to know for sure.

No need to take ridiculous amounts. 2000-4000IU a day isn’t a bad recommendation.

The pills I buy are in 5k IU increments. So I take that.

[quote]Ghost22 wrote:
The pills I buy are in 5k IU increments. So I take that. [/quote]

Yea I was also looking at 5k IU pills. The company name is AOR.

Dr John Cannell head of the Vitamin D Council recommends 5,000 IU of vit- D3 (chlolecalciferol) per day for 2-3 months then obtain a 25 hydroxyvitamin-D test for levels between 50- 80ng/ml. http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/

I heard him on a 1/2 hour radio interview and he recommended to shoot for a blood level of 59ng/ml based on the fact that Vit-D is not stored until levels of 50ng/ml are obtained, (which could take a few months). If you are deficient you are using up whatever you take each day( and can absorb each day). It is much better to have adequate stores in the body. Absorption may also be an issue and you need good levels of calcium , mag , and zinc to make the most of your Vit-D.

i had my doc do the test and and it came back 25ng/ml and (this just after summer ended) I live in Vermont and am outside everyday year round. The best way is to get tested and then follow up test… a small percentage of people are hyper-absorbers of vit-d and have potential for hypercalcemia after long term supplementation.

Also he recommends to make sure you have Vit-D3 (cholecalciferol) not D2 or other forms for your supplements.

Wow good post. I will def go with D3. I made the “mistake” of asking my nurse this morning (my doctor’s assistant), and she told me to take up to 1,000IU. I don’t think my doctor knows much more about supplements.

Since I am on some medication right now, that’s what I will do. But i really doubt Vitamin D interferes with anything. Also, I’m pretty sure she gave me just a general guideline and no research to it. Ah well.

I might bring up the research when I see them again in 1 year or get a second opinion.

Vitamin D from sunlight is not a problem, because if your D levels are high enough your skin just stops making more.

It’s hard to tell what is a good dosage because nobody has done a study to see what the optimal levels are. “Optimal” might include anti-cancer and anti-depressant effects as well as a myriad of other things that are only evident over the long term.

[quote]hit the gym wrote:
Wow good post. I will def go with D3. I made the “mistake” of asking my nurse this morning (my doctor’s assistant), and she told me to take up to 1,000IU. I don’t think my doctor knows much more about supplements.

Since I am on some medication right now, that’s what I will do. But i really doubt Vitamin D interferes with anything. Also, I’m pretty sure she gave me just a general guideline and no research to it. Ah well.

I might bring up the research when I see them again in 1 year or get a second opinion.[/quote]

that’s just what i did…my doc originally told me to take 1,000 IU twice per day. The next week was when I heard the radio show and followed up w/ some googling and realized I probably wouldn’t develop achieve adequate storage on that level- especially going into winter. Doctor was sceptical that I wanted to more than double the accepted recommendation and the language he used seemed to say he wasn’t condoning me going off the reservation but accepted that I was doing it ( cover his ass) and pushed for me to be tested again in 4 months- which is exactly what i wanted to do anyway. I’ll be going again in January and see where 5,000 IU for 4 months has gotten me.

I’m taking 10K IU in the winter and 5K in the summer. It’s usually a bad idea to ask doctors about supplements… They don’t know much, or at least most of them don’t. I told mine once that I take 5K IU and she said it might be bad for my liver. :stuck_out_tongue:

[quote]zenomaly wrote:
I’m taking 10K IU in the winter and 5K in the summer. It’s usually a bad idea to ask doctors about supplements… They don’t know much, or at least most of them don’t. I told mine once that I take 5K IU and she said it might be bad for my liver. :P[/quote]

What is your reasoning for taking 5k in the summer?

[quote]Chi-Towns-Finest wrote:

[quote]zenomaly wrote:
I’m taking 10K IU in the winter and 5K in the summer. It’s usually a bad idea to ask doctors about supplements… They don’t know much, or at least most of them don’t. I told mine once that I take 5K IU and she said it might be bad for my liver. :P[/quote]

What is your reasoning for taking 5k in the summer?[/quote]

I get more sun than in the winter… but still not enough.

I take 2,000 and every 3-4 weeks I take a 10,000-15,000 dose

[quote]owa wrote:
I take 2,000 and every 3-4 weeks I take a 10,000-15,000 dose[/quote]

Is it good to load up every few weeks/months? What’s your reasoning behind it? Sounds like a good idea.

If I could get tested every few weeks/months I’d definitely be tempted to take higher doses like morepain or zenomaly. But without knowing what your vitamin D levels are, you kinda have to guess the right dose. Although it’s hard to overdose experts say.

[quote]swivel wrote:

[quote]hit the gym wrote:
Wow good post. I will def go with D3. I made the “mistake” of asking my nurse this morning (my doctor’s assistant), and she told me to take up to 1,000IU. I don’t think my doctor knows much more about supplements.

Since I am on some medication right now, that’s what I will do. But i really doubt Vitamin D interferes with anything. Also, I’m pretty sure she gave me just a general guideline and no research to it. Ah well.

I might bring up the research when I see them again in 1 year or get a second opinion.[/quote]

that’s just what i did…my doc originally told me to take 1,000 IU twice per day. The next week was when I heard the radio show and followed up w/ some googling and realized I probably wouldn’t develop achieve adequate storage on that level- especially going into winter. Doctor was sceptical that I wanted to more than double the accepted recommendation and the language he used seemed to say he wasn’t condoning me going off the reservation but accepted that I was doing it ( cover his ass) and pushed for me to be tested again in 4 months- which is exactly what i wanted to do anyway. I’ll be going again in January and see where 5,000 IU for 4 months has gotten me.[/quote]

let us know what your levels are… i know it varies by individual but it might give me a general idea if your levels are low again.

Toxicity limits are quite high and requite repeated usage. 20,000 UI/day for several months will cause toxicity, and this can only be achieved from supplementation, as your body will stop generating the cholesterol needed to make D through sunlight once you’ve gotten enough.

[quote]hit the gym wrote:

[quote]owa wrote:
I take 2,000 and every 3-4 weeks I take a 10,000-15,000 dose[/quote]

Is it good to load up every few weeks/months? What’s your reasoning behind it? Sounds like a good idea.

If I could get tested every few weeks/months I’d definitely be tempted to take higher doses like morepain or zenomaly. But without knowing what your vitamin D levels are, you kinda have to guess the right dose. Although it’s hard to overdose experts say.[/quote]

I got the idea from a Harvard Study I read about battling Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD - Essentially shitty feelings that come up usually in Winter). See, I read the TNation article and I started taking 2,000 the next day. I had been doing that regularly. I tend to go through a lot of mood swings or ‘down’ times during the Winter. So I was doing some research on ways to avoid it, and in this study they had people take a big 20,000 IU Dose of Vitamin D and it more or less completely eliminated the symptoms of SAD for quite some time.

So I took that idea and thought that I could combine that with my current scheme and if it didn’t have an effect then no-harm, but if it did, it would be positive.

I can’t give you a solid scientific explaination for it, but this scheme has perked me up quite a bit. It seems that I’m usually feeling some Seasonal Downs just around the time I’m about to take a big dose. After the big dose, I get pretty positive and I can roll with it. If I made more money (I’m a broke University Student with a part-time job), I’d probably take 5,000 everyday, and 20,000 on a single day every four weeks or so… But I can’t haha.

I recently had my Vit D levels tested and came back low (I don’t recall the level). I started taking one Vit D3 gelcap a day and after a few days planned to increase to 3 or 4 a day. Hours after taking the Vit D3, I get headaches. I stopped the Vit D3 and they go away. I waited a few weeks and tried the same thing. And again, headaches soon after.

I’ve checked the internet as to why someone might be getting headaches on a LOW dose of Vit D. There’s hardly anything out there. I’m on HRT and thyroid meds (both T4 & T3) but have been for a long time. I can guarantee these are not the problem. I’ve even checked to see about possible drug interactions with the Vit D and nothing jumps out at me. I’d love to know why i’m having this problem…