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Dear Vitamin D council: I am a 36 year old male who have just succeeded in raising my vitamin D3 levels from 27,6 to 52,8 ng/ml after taking 8000 IU daily in supplements for two months (I live on 60 degrees north, so I don't get any vitamin D from the sun between September and May). However, 52,8 ng/ml is slightly higher than where I want to be. I know this level is good from your recommendations, but I would prefer to hover around 46 ng/ml (since I have read research saying that this is the average level of traditional African peoples working outside, and since I am worried about going too high). With this background, I have two questions for you: 1) If I stop taking supplements now, how long can I presume that it will take before my vitamin D is lowered from my current level of 52,8 ng/ml to 46 ng/ml (given that I currently get no vitamin D from the sun and that I get a maximum of 150 IU daily from food sources)? 2) When I have waited the time you advise me to wait (question 1), how many IUs a day would you recommend me to take as supplements in order to maintain my level at around 46 ng/ml (still maintaining that I get no vitamin D from the sun and that I get a maximum of 150 IU daily from other food sources)? I would really appreciate your reply! Thanks a lot, PME

Asked by  Eng on December 13, 2016

  •  Eng on

    See title

    Answered by  Eng on
  •  IAW on

    The Africans have levels between 28 to 68 ng/ml. So if they differ how do you know that you do not need a level of 68ng/ml? Your right we don’t know. Those Africans also avoid direct sunlight, so how do we know their levels are correct?
    We do know the following:
    1. Our closest “simian relative” the chimpanzee, has levels between 40 -60 ng/ml (Reinhold Veith)
    2. Lifeguards in summer have 40 -60 ng/ml levels without supplements.
    3. It takes a Mother having a level of between 40 -60ng/ml herself to then have Vitamin D show up in breast milk for her baby. (Professor Bruce Hollis and Carol Wagner)
    4. Humans do not “store” Vitamin D until they reach a level of 40ng/ml. (Professor Robert Heaney)
    This is how we arrived at 50ng/ml give or take. We also have a lot of research and studies that show at levels below 40ng/ml and your chances of cancer and autoimmune disease rises dramatically. Levels of up to 150ng/ml are proven safe.
    To try and keep your level at an exact measurement is probably not going to work out.
    Levels decrease on average by half every two weeks if not replenished.
    From https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3798924/ “In patients with normal absorptive capacity, for every 40 IU/day (1 µg/day) of vitamin D3, serum 25(OH)D concentrations increase by approximately 0.3 to 0.4 ng/mL (0.7 to 1.0 nmol/L) [40]. Largest increments are seen in patients with the lowest starting 25(OH)D level, but subsequently declines as 25(OH)D concentration reaches 40 ng/mL (100 nmol/L) [41].”

    Answered by  IAW on
  •  Eng on

    Thanks a lot for your reply.

    Can I please ask you to clarify through an example what you mean when you say that “levels decrease on average by half every two weeks if not replenished”?

    For instance, if I start up with 27,6 ng/ml, and then after two months have 52,8 ng/ml, and then discontinue taking supplements (and do not get any other vitamin D) – where would I be, approximately, after two weeks?

    I realize that it is hard to maintain an exact level, but how much would you recommend me to take daily to keep my level roughly on the same spot once it has reached 40-60 ng/ml?

    I also have another question: I wasn’t really aware that I needed to stop taking supplements several days before the blood test – I thought a break of one day would be enough. So approximately 40 hours before the test, I took a dose of 8000 IU. And around one hour before, I (by “accident”) took 400 IU. Do you think there is any chance that this could have influenced my test result significantly, and in that case, how much?

    All the best,

    Answered by  Eng on
  •  IAW on

    So 52 divided by two is 26ng/ml. That should be your level after two weeks.
    Did you have any health issues before supplementing? (It could be a factor.)
    Since 8000iu got you to 52ng/ml, I would keep taking that. Now if you can get any “sunshine” in the summer, that level will increase if you do not take less supplements. Most people do not understand though what it takes to get the proper amount: time of day, amount of skin exposed and length of time exposed. So if you cannot get the proper amount per day, then you have to split the difference and try some supplements and some sunshine.
    Actually Dr.Cannell says to take your supplement then get tested. So really you did the right thing.
    I would try the alternating, wait a minimum of 8 weeks or more, than before any “sunshine” hits, retest if you want.

    Answered by  IAW on

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