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Test in February with 1000 iu supplement and some from fish and mushrooms about 200 iu and no sun was 29 ng/ml tested again a week ago no supplemental D and about 200 iu dietary based on cronometer and 1/2 hour walks in the sun about 4 a week and a bit of walking from car to store kind of thing wearing shorts and short sleeve shirt got a reading of 31ng/ml

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Also keep in mind that researchers USE VITAMIN D ALL THE TIME TO CREATE ARTERIAL AND VALVE STENOSIS CALCIFICATION IN LAB ANIMALS. So I would think keeping it on the low side would be best

Edited by mikeccolella

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I think studies show around 60 ng to be optimal? I think toxicity and calcification of organs starts quite a bit above what I actually got. But still worrying to think how high my levels went... I'll be making sure I do blood tests more frequently from now on :p 

 

I'll be supplementing some K2 for a while I think

Edited by Matt

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Thanks guys for the info posted in this thread. I personally and admittedly most futilely hate to have my arms pricked by needles so the wealth of practical info posted here will be very useful to develop a strategy to optimize supplementation. In particular my estimate confirmed by the online calculator is that I may be in the region of 20ng/ml hence possibly benefitting from mild precautionary supplementation

Edited by mccoy

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2 more data-points not yet captured in this mostly great thread:

 

(1) Dale Bredesen's protocol for reversing cognitive decline targeted blood vitamin D levels of 50-100ng/ml. This is from a very small, not-controlled pilot study that nonetheless had big popular-press coverage due to its impressive results:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4221920/

Bredesen DE. Reversal of cognitive decline: A novel therapeutic program. Aging (Albany NY). 2014;6(9):707-717.

I've since seen an updated range with a lower top (50-80ng/ml via email).

That study has since been followed up by some few-year-later brain imaging studies of the same patients with some impressive brain-changes obsevrable. Sorry don't have that link handy. That's still small n and not controlled though.

 

 

(2) Just recently, the Buck Institute released a study showing that vitamin D is a true anti-aging supplement in worms and much of the relevant biology is conserved to mammals. Press release:

http://thebuck.org/buck-news/new-look-vitamin-d-challenges-current-view-its-benefits

The study, just published:

http://www.cell.com/cell-reports/abstract/S2211-1247(16)31362-6

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2016.09.086

Highlights:

  • Vitamin D metabolism is conserved between nematodes and mammals
  • Vitamin D prevents the age-dependent accumulation of SDS-insoluble proteins
  • Vitamin D enhances lifespan and protein homeostasis via IRE-1, XBP-1, and SKN-1

Not sure to what extent this study helps determine the blood levels in humans above which long-term health starts getting worse rather than better, but it's certainly interesting and suggestive of higher levels vs. lower. From the study:

 

We confirmed that vitamin D3 extended C. elegans lifespan (Messing et al., 2013). Feeding vitamin D3 throughout adulthood extended lifespan in a dose-dependent manner, and was not toxic even at the highest concentration (250 μM) tested (Figure 2A; Table S1).

 

There are of course even survival curves (the first one (a) below being the main result):

 

gr2.jpg

Figure 2

Vitamin D3 Requires skn-1, ire-1, and xbp-1 Stress Response Genes for Lifespan Extension

(A) Kaplan-Meier survival curves of N2 hermaphrodite worms exposed to increasing concentrations of D3 from day 1 of adulthood (p < 0.0001; log-rank test).

(B) D3 (25–250 μM) extended the lifespan of CF1038 [daf-16(mu86)] worms, which lack functional DAF-16 protein, when treated from day 1 of adulthood at 20°C (p < 0.0001, log-rank test).

 

 

-Karl

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Do you guys take D3 supplements derived from fish-oil ? I  bought a Solgar D3 bottle from the store but, in the process of taking it tonite, I had this gnawing suspicion and reading the label I realized it's made from fish oil. 

 

The power of the mind is strong. I didn't take it anymore, I don't eat meat nor fish. Now I'm going to look for some vegan or vegetarian sources in my country. Solgar's quality is high, but I'm probably going to choose lichen-based supplements.

Edited by mccoy

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Do you guys take D3 supplements derived from fish-oil ? I  bought a Solgar D3 bottle from the store but, in the process of taking it tonite, I had this gnawing suspicion and reading the label I realized it's made from fish oil. 

 

The power of the mind is strong. I didn't take it anymore, I don't eat meat nor fish. Now I'm going to look for some vegan or vegetarian sources in my country. Solgar's quality is high, but I'm probably going to choose lichen-based supplements.

 

I picked this one the last time I bought since it had good reviews and seemed like the best value:

 

61ahJR1vMrL.jpg

 

Even though it says "Not suitable for vegetarians" that seems kind of silly to me.  Its not made from dead sheep, its made from wool.  If sheering sheep is cruel and unusual I guess I might switch to a vegan form the next time I buy it...

 

Wish I had asked for D test when I recently got bloodwork done... next time I will.  I will probably only take 1 or 2 of these per week (none in Summer), which means a $9 bottle will last for years.

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Right now I found a 1000 IU supplement derived from lichens in an health food store, so that I could begin soon, but I'll have to study the choices available. Yes, I believe lanolin from wool is perfectly all right, unless there is some mental block similar to mine for fish derived products...

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Do you guys take D3 supplements derived from fish-oil ? I  bought a Solgar D3 bottle from the store but, in the process of taking it tonite, I had this gnawing suspicion and reading the label I realized it's made from fish oil. 

 

The power of the mind is strong. I didn't take it anymore, I don't eat meat nor fish. Now I'm going to look for some vegan or vegetarian sources in my country. Solgar's quality is high, but I'm probably going to choose lichen-based supplements.

 

 

I picked this one the last time I bought since it had good reviews and seemed like the best value:

 

61ahJR1vMrL.jpg

 

Even though it says "Not suitable for vegetarians" that seems kind of silly to me.  Its not made from dead sheep, its made from wool.  If sheering sheep is cruel and unusual I guess I might switch to a vegan form the next time I buy it...

 

Wish I had asked for D test when I recently got bloodwork done... next time I will.  I will probably only take 1 or 2 of these per week (none in Summer), which means a $9 bottle will last for years.

Heck why not take it? It makes no sense to throw it away.

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Even though it says "Not suitable for vegetarians" that seems kind of silly to me.  Its not made from dead sheep, its made from wool.  

If sheering sheep is cruel and unusual I guess I might switch to a vegan form the next time I buy it...

It is not vegetarian because it contains gelatin, usually it can be bovine, pork or a combination of both. Edited by tasbin

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I consulted this thread again after my wife had her labs done and the only deficient value turns out to be Vitamin D (notwithstanding a moderate supplementation - but no sun exposure in the last summer season). 

 

An issue which I became aware of while listening to Rhonda Patrick's podcasts is the genetic polymorphism entailing a far greater need of D3 in some subjects than the general population not carrying that specific polymorphism.

 

And maybe (this is a personal consideration, don't remember if it has been expressed by Rhonda), like in the case of other nutrients (for example ALAs), some people are good converters and other bad ones (this would fit into the statistical variability of minimum requirements for macro and micronutrients).

 

Bottom line, across the board strategies are good insofar as we don't belong to the extremes of the distribution.

 

To be sure we don't need very large (or very small) intakes, labs analyses are probably necessary. 

 

Sun exposure also seems to be not a very much straightforward issue to quantify, being a function of basic skin pigmentation, of body surface exposure, of amount of progressive tanning, on the amount of UVB radiation. The latter is on its turn a function of latitude, sunrays inclination (date and time of day), atmospheric opacity, cloud coverage, ground (or water) surface reflectivity and so on...

Edited by mccoy

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Thanks for the 'quick & dirty' rule, mike.

 

I've been trying to find something quantitative but there are so may variables. An objective rule seems to be the 50% eritema dose, which grants 10000 IU D3, but even that is approximate since we don't know about the 50% and in mediterranean caucasian complexions like mine you tan rather than developing eritema. Also, age lowers D3 dermal syntesis to 50% and even 25% and of course melanyn as a tan lowers it even more. But there is also an upper bound to the quantity produced, which prevents possible intoxication.

 

Anyway, always remaining in the realm of rule of thumbs, the quantity produced by a one-hour  whole body exposure around noon, with a short shadow, is whopping!

 

African complexions have down to 3% D3 production compared to fair complexions. I'm thinking about the deeply dark people coming here from Senegal, the Wolof breed is among the darkest in Africa and there has been no interracial breeding. They'd need a few hours of daily exposure to produce a viable quantity. In teh winter they really can develop deficiencies.

Edited by mccoy

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@mccoy:   With so many variables,  it seems  to me that multiple blood tests are  unavoidable if one wants to optimize vitamin D levels. 

 

What the optimal vitamin D level is in fact  is a different question, of course.  After an extensive review of the often conflicting arguments and evidence, I decided to aim for 40-50 ng/ml  [25(OH)D blood test]--YMMV--  which required my taking some supplemental Vitamin D + K2  (long Russian winters; personal dislike of sun bathing.)  

 

(Btw, doubts have even been expressed about the accuracy and lab to lab consistency of vitamin d blood tests.)

 

What's your view on the optimal Vit D range/ testing?

Edited by Sibiriak

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....After an extensive review of the often conflicting arguments and evidence, I decided to aim for 40-50 ng/ml  [25(OH)D blood test]--YMMV--  which required my taking some supplemental Vitamin D + K2  (long Russian winters; personal dislike of sun bathing.)  

 

Which is almost  exactly the optimum range suggested by Rhonda Patrick, who has led extensive research on D3 (actually, she led extensive research on nearly everything!!). She suggests 40-60 ng/ml as a target range.

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(Btw, doubts have even been expressed about the accuracy and lab to lab consistency of vitamin d blood tests.)

 

What's your view on the optimal Vit D ...testing?

 

I'm aware that there is (at least, there has been in recent years) some concern on lab methods and inter-labs proficiency tests have been carried out to verify the reliability of such analyses.

 

I did a quick search and this is one of the most useful references I found

 

http://grassrootshealth.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/accuracy_in_testing.pdf

 

Even if the docuent is dated 2008, it is clear that the 'older' studies used the DIA Sorin method which gives results 20-30% lower than the most recent LC MC/MS test.

 

This means that, when making reference to the optimum range, we should know the analytical method used. Also, a 30 ng/ml with DIA-Sorin coudl be a 40 ng/ml with LC. The values we get from today's labs are probably overestimated with respect to the values indicated in the not so recent literature. 

 

More recent articles underline less error between the 2 methods, and some more reliable methods have been developed.

 

In a nutshell: I would preliminarily rely upon Rhonda Patrick optimum range: 40-60 ng/ml as a reference benchmark, which seems to have been adjusted to the more recent LC methods.

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Mccoy,   thanks!   Your  research skills are appreciated!

 

I first tested at 31 ng/ml (I expected lower given how little sun I'd been getting) and brought it up to  50 ng/ml via supplementation.  I plan to get another test soon.

 

Btw, do you  recall what Rhonda recommends in regards to K2 supplementation ?  

Edited by Sibiriak

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This article also refers to a 40-60 ng/ml optimal range and argues against the validity of a U-shaped [ or J-shaped] serum 25(OH)D level-disease response relation, a notion often brought up in arguments for a lower optimal range.

 

Critique of the U-shaped serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D level-disease response relation

 

Edited by Sibiriak

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Strong evidence that the optimal level for 25(OH)D is ≈75-100 nmol/L [30-40 ng/mL]:

 

Vitamin D and mortality: Individual participant data meta-analysis of standardized 25-hydroxyvitamin D in 26916 individuals from a European consortium

Vitamin D deficiency may be a risk factor for mortality but previous meta-analyses lacked standardization of laboratory methods for 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) concentrations and used aggregate data instead of individual participant data (IPD). We therefore performed an IPD meta-analysis on the association between standardized serum 25(OH)D and mortality.

 

Methods

In a European consortium of eight prospective studies, including seven general population cohorts, we used the Vitamin D Standardization Program (VDSP) protocols to standardize 25(OH)D data. ...

 

Findings

We analysed 26916 study participants ... with a median 25(OH)D concentration of 53.8 nmol/L [21.55 ng/mL]. During a median follow-up time of 10.5 years, 6802 persons died. Compared to participants with 25(OH)D concentrations of 75 to 99.99 nmol/L [30-40 ng/mL], the adjusted hazard ratios (with 95% confidence interval) for mortality in the 25(OH)D groups with 40 to 49.99, 30 to 39.99, and <30 nmol/L were 1.15 (1.00–1.29), 1.33 (1.16–1.51), and 1.67 (1.44–1.89), respectively. We observed similar results for cardiovascular mortality, but there was no significant linear association between 25(OH)D and cancer mortality. There was also no significantly increased mortality risk at high 25(OH)D levels up to 125 nmol/L.

 

d5d35e66-cbea-4463-a75c-cb26d8109717.png

 

PMID 28207791

 

Note that this addresses several complaints (reasonable and not) of megadose D advocates such as William B. Grant and Cedric Garland, including the use of unrepresentative high-risk and/or institutionalized populations in China and elsewhere, the lack of standardization of vitamin D levels, and underpowering. Note, additionally, that this is an individual patient-level data meta-analysis, which is a much stronger design than the more common (and much easier) straight-up mushing together of "high" vs. "low" quantiles from each study, irrespective of the absolute values represented in those quantiles.

 

Effect of Monthly High-Dose Vitamin D Supplementation on Cardiovascular Disease in the Vitamin D Assessment Study : A Randomized Clinical Trial.

Scragg R1, Stewart AW1, Waayer D1, Lawes CM1, Toop L2, Sluyter J1, Murphy J1, Khaw KT3, Camargo CA Jr4.

 

... The Vitamin D Assessment Study is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial that recruited participants mostly from family practices in Auckland, New Zealand, ... Participants were community-resident adults aged 50 to 84 years.  ...

 

Oral vitamin D3 in an initial dose of 200 000 IU, followed a month later by monthly doses of 100 000 IU, or placebo for a median of 3.3 years (range, 2.5-4.2 years). ... A monthly 100 000-IU vitamin D dose was chosen because of pharmacokinetic evidence indicating that this maintains serum 25(OH)D levels above 35 ng/mL for a month after ingestion. ...

 

Of the 5108 participants included in the analysis, the mean (SD) age was 65.9 (8.3) years, 2969 (58.1%) were male, and 4253 (83.3%) were of European or other ethnicity, with the remainder being Polynesian or South Asian. Mean (SD) baseline deseasonalized 25(OH)D concentration was 26.5 (9.0) ng/mL, with 1270 participants (24.9%) being vitamin D deficient. In a random sample of 438 participants, the mean follow-up 25(OH)D level was [54.1 (SD 16.0) ng/mL = 134.78 nmol/L in vitamin D group vs. 26.4 (SD 11.6) = 65.89 nmol/L in placebo]. The primary outcome of CVD occurred in 303 participants (11.8%) in the vitamin D group and 293 participants (11.5%) in the placebo group, yielding an adjusted hazard ratio of 1.02 (95% CI, 0.87-1.20). Similar results were seen for participants with baseline vitamin D deficiency and for secondary outcomes [myocardial infarction, angina, heart failure, hypertension, arrhythmias, arteriosclerosis, stroke, and venous thrombosis].

 

Conclusions and Relevance:

Monthly high-dose vitamin D supplementation does not prevent CVD. This result does not support the use of monthly vitamin D supplementation for this purpose. The effects of daily or weekly dosing require further study.

 

PMID: 28384800 DOI: 10.1001/jamacardio.2017.0175

Here the intervention group was only a small amount over outright deficiency, and the intervention group was quite high, but there was no effect at all on any cardiovascular outcome; there wasn't even an effect when looking at subjects who started the trial in outright deficiency. They have a point that daily dosing might be better than once-monthly bolus, but that's a pretty slim thread.

 

These results support prior work by Autier et al (PMID 24622671) showing pretty convincingly that the apparent benefits of high 25(OH)D levels are due to reverse causation: inflammation and a variety of undiagnosed early-stage disease processes lower one's vitamin D levels, so having high vitamin D becomes associated with good health, when it's ill-health driving low D rather than high D driving good health.

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@ Michael, that's a pretty good and very recent study. One basic  aspect we can draw from the hazard ratio curve you posted is that it is definitely better to err on the higher D3 concentration side than on the lower one. Also, there are relatively few data above concentration of 100 nmol/l, so confidence interval are pretty wide and we don't really know which is the 'exact' trend. It may even be that the HR curve becomes asymptotic at HR=1 for high concentrations of D3.

 

Another unsolved issue is that when we have our D3 lab values we don't know the error. I checked my wife results, the error is not specified. In some instances, like the Australian study , posted by Sibiriak, the scatter of data around the precise value looks really disastrous.

 

@ Sibiriak, your 31 ng/ml might have been due to the oily fish you eat. and the real value might have been higher.

 

If memory serves me right, Rhonda Patrick takes MK-4 I don't remember in which dosages. I take 200 micrograms MK-7 per day. I have no lab analyses for D3, right now I'm just sunbathing in swim trunks as much as I can

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All of the "blue zones" are in a fairly narrow band of latitude.  The most northern is Sardinia, Italy and even there one can get good sun exposure much of the year, suggesting high vitamin D levels could be an essential factor in longevity.

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