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Vitamin D - raising and maintaining in adults and children

(12 Posts)
Elloello Tue 05-May-20 08:26:34

To anyone who understand vitamin d supplementation ( @bettertobehealthy I really hope you don't mind me tagging you in this but I would love your input). A year or so ago I had a general mot at the docs and was told I had low vitamin d. I don't know the number. I was prescribed 20000iu tablets taken twice weekly for I think a couple of months maybe it was the 7 week protocol, then told to take a high strength daily from then on. I didn't have a retest. I got 25mg high strength tablets but got lax and basically kept forgetting so no doubt its back down again. I've been reading some of your input on threads and it is fascinating, but still trying to get my head around it! If I need to bring my levels back up, then maintain that permanently, should I take a very very high dose long term, or the standard doses in tablets say 25mg or 10mg? Or will it drop down again?

Similarly, I want to ensure the children are getting enough (ages 5 to 13) and I got some 400iu drops which said one per day. Is this not enough longer term?

It's the question of raising it to a good level and keeping it there, how to do this long term. If I'm just taking/giving 400iu then it isn't going yo be raising it much is it? When we need to keep the stored vit d high? Sorry Sorry if I am not making much sense! Are there any good websites I could do some reading on (in layman's terms if possiblegrin)

OP’s posts: |
LWJ70 Tue 05-May-20 13:54:16

Indian study out today, 176 covid 19 patients (previously checked serum levels).

Same findings as the New Orleans, Indonesian and Philippines studies:

100% of critical patients less than 75 years old had Vitamin D insufficiency


ItsAllForYou Tue 05-May-20 14:00:17

@LWJ70 wow that is really interesting.

KittenVsBox Tue 05-May-20 14:22:14

Without a blood test, taking high, loading, vit D is not advisable. It us possible to have excess vit D, and thus causes calcium build up in your blood, which isnt good.

So, in the absence of medical advice, the best you can do us take a daily tablet within the advisable amounts for your age, and spending time outside with arms or legs uncovered each day.

LWJ70 Tue 05-May-20 15:40:53

It could save your life right now

LWJ70 Tue 05-May-20 15:42:33

UK - second highest death rate (per million) in the world

20 years of evidence.
Have a look at equatorial/southern hemisphere nations, they have very very very small death tolls:

3 further blood studies and papers from UK universities

All the info is being completely ignored

Bettertobehealthy Tue 05-May-20 22:02:14

Hello ello ,

No problem , glad to help if I can. !

Your initial diagnosis of vit D , by blood test , would likely have been a blood level of below 25 nmol/L , a common prescription remedy for that deficiency is currently , 300,000 International Units spread over 6 to 8 weeks. hence your previous prescription for 40,000 IU per week , over 7 weeks. Your follow on instruction to take high dose ( but not putting a number to it ) is quite common as well. Unfortunately high dose means different things to different organisations. 400 IU , is a very common dose , and quite a low dose. On average, that will raise your blood level of vitamin D by just 10 nmol/L , above your normal unsupplemented status.

Lets say your normal, unsupplemented level was 25 nmol/L , IF you had gone straight to 400 IU per day , for ever , then you would have expected your blood level of VitD , would slowly rise up to 35 nmol/L , however , since you took that loading dose , your blood level would have spiked up , to probably about 100 to 150 nmol/L , depending upon your response. AFTER , the spike up, your blood level would then begin to drop, until a new equilibrium was reached , depending upon your total Vitamin D input , from sun , food and supplement. ( now your maintenance dose) which you reported as being 1000 IU. So you could have expected your blood level to drop to roughly 25 nmol/L above your normal unsupplemented level of 25 nmol/L . So , roughly to 50 nmol/L in total.
IF you had continued , without missing maintenance doses , then that is roughly what you would expect you blood level to be say 4 to 6 months after your loading dose. say around 50 nmol/L , and henceforward, with that regular daily maintenance dose, of 25 mcg Sunlight in summer , sunbathing etc , would increase it a bit . Winter time , when there is no UVB in sunlight , would probably bring it down a bit.

An averagely responding adult, of 75 kg. can expect their blood level to rise by 25 nmol/L , for each 25 (mcg ) i.e.1000 IU of daily long term supplementation. So 2000 IU i.e. 50 microgram ( mcg) will , ON AVERAGE , raise the blood level by 50 nmol/L .

Lets say , your unsupplemented level was 25 nmol/L , ( a working assumption ) , then if you take 3000 IU daily , ( 75 mcg), then you would most likely raise your blood level to 100 nmol/L . That is a perfectly acceptable blood level. it is well within the normal range , commonly said to be 50 200 nmol/L by the NHS . Different Trusts tend to recommend slightly different levels, often 75 - 200 is quoted as normal. In fact that is better , because 50 , is in my opinion , far too low. It is enough to protect you from rickets , or osteomalacia , in most circumstances, but many endocrinologists would consider it to be too low to protect everyone from osteoporosis and other metabolic bone problems.

Vitamin D , is an exceptionally important micro nutrient. Not only does it influence calcium in the body , it has effects on hundreds of bodily processes. Including the immune system. Which is particularly important , nowadays. Ref ...the data that LWJ70 has shown, up above in this thread. Thanks LWJ70.

When looking at that data above, realize that 30 ng/ml is in American units , here in the UK , we talk in nmol/L , SO , in UK units 30 ng/ml is 75 nmol/L , in other words multply by 2.5 , to convert US to UK units.

ello, you wanted a good website with plenty of understandable info , on Vit D . Look here . Quite a number of reputable scientists and many thousands of people , combining their data from blood analysis , and expertise, to research into nutrients including Vitamin D. Have a look at their video section , under the resources banner , for many eyeopening , slightly technical, but understandable explanations of the actions of vitamin D.

As you have mentioned , I have posted quite a bit about Vit D , here on mumsnet. Here is a long read , with lots of explanation about Vit D. It may prove useful.

For your daughters , a 5 year old , can utilize 1000 IU per day , a 13 year old 2000 IU per day . The Vit D requirement , depends upon weight. They might prefer an oral spray, easier than a pill..!

It is very difficult , to overdose on Vitamin D , it is a compound which enables your body to regulate the absorption of calcium , it does not cause high calcium in the blood , unless extremely high doses are taken. There are a few rare conditions where vit D should only be taken under medical supervision. Such as , hyperparathyroidism, sarcoidosis, granulomatosis, carcinoma, Williams syndrome, where hypercalcaemia might be evident.

If you have any worries about overdose, a blood calcium check will set your mind at rest . Adults , should not have a calcium level above 2.5 mmol/L , children could be slightly higher.

In my opinion , it is quite a good idea to test your Vit D level, , and adjust your supplementation , such that you are in the range 100 to 150 nmol/L . Your doctor may oblige with a test , however , if not , then
A finger prick Vit D blood test can be sent to this NHS lab , and an email with results are usually sent back within a week. . They do charge £29 , if not doctor ordered.

Best of luck, I hope that was useful ...phew.

Do get back to me if you need any more info.


Khione Tue 05-May-20 22:14:47

As I understand it. In the UK, GPs often prescribe D2 rather than D3. A poster on the other thread said what the GP prescribes is better. I thought D3 was better and that it is easier to get good levels from D3 as bought than from D2 as prescribed.

Also, I have seen there is an advantage to taking K2 (not potassium) in order to get better absorption.

Khione Tue 05-May-20 22:21:01

Also, someone has said that we shouldn't take it without testing because of potential overdose.

The only research I can find shows that overdose has only ever been found with really excessive doses in excess of 40,000iu per day for long periods of time. As it is almost certain that the majority of us are starting from way below optimum it would be a long time before there would be any risk on this front.

LWJ70 Wed 06-May-20 06:26:04

5th Vit D3 study from Belgium.

Males showed markedly higher percentage of vitamin D deficiency ..Vit D deficiency is a possible risk factor for severe infection in males. Vit D3 supplementation might be an inexpensive, accessible and safe mitigation for covid

Link :

Elloello Wed 06-May-20 16:50:39

@Bettertobehealthy amazing response thank you! And that makes sense to me now too! I think I may supplement with 3000iu in that case as I'm not one for sitting in the sun and your assumption can't be far wrong with the 25nnmol. How long does it seem to take to bring levels up? 2/3 months generally? I'm really hoping it helps me feel better all round. Mentally too.

OP’s posts: |
Bettertobehealthy Thu 07-May-20 10:10:38

Hi ello ,
Yes, It will be 2 to 3 months before your blood level will reach a new equilibrium, with a constant daily supplement. Of 3000 IU . Probably ,you will be in the region of 110 nmol/L , it does however depend upon your response. With summer coming, sunlight, between the hours of 11am and 3 pm , will have UVB sunlight, producing some Vit D as well. We all have different responses. Whenever your blood level is over 100 nmol/L you will be storing some VitD3 , which is a good thing. Useful in the case of infection, trauma etc. As you know , if you have read some of my other posts, vit D affects over 2000 genes. Try and get a VitD test, after 3 months. You will then be able to adjust your supplement to your exact requirements. We all have differing response to supplements. If you have any digestion problems , such as crohns, coeliacs, gall bladder, IBS, then an oral spray may be absorbed more easily. It is quite important , that you do not stop and start supplements. Your body responds best to stable levels of vitamin D , ( see my other posts).

@Khione D2 should not be used. That is very old information. Years ago, when the standard need for vitamin D was thought to be just 200 IU per day , doctors could only obtain high doses of D by using D2. We now know that D3 is better in many ways.(from research) D2 does cure rickets. Doctors should not routinely use D2, although I believe some still do,

The fear of overdose, is somewhat overblown. When you consider, that just sunbathing for an hour can make up to 20,000 IU . Hypercalcaemia is the only known effect of vit D overdose, ( from that cause ) If you suffer hypercalcaemia from some other rare disease process... then you should not take vit D , except under supervision. under these circumstances, then calcium levels, and vit D tests are obviously advisable. In an ideal world, testing more would be more prevalent but doses up to 10,000 per day are ok, for the vast majority of adults.. Up to 4000 IU per day is likely to be the most, that most people need. Only when Vit D blood levels exceed 500 nmol/L , or daily doses exceeding 30,000 IU, have toxic effects ever been seen from Vitamin D overdose.( In the medical literature). That is very, very rare. Exceedingly rare.! Fear of overdosing probably prevents many people improving their health, whereby an adequate vit D level is not obtained. The human " normal", is about 120 - 140 nmol/L blood level. It was that level, for millions of years, throughout our evolution in sunny Africa, where we made VitD , in our skin every day of the year. Now in the UK, we keep out of the sun, mostly , also, at our UK latitude of 50 + degrees, the UVB is not present except between 11am and 3pm in the summer. In winter, we cannot make vitamin D in our skin. A six month period. ! Humans , even nowadays , that live outside , in strong sun, eg lifeguards, etc, do raise their levels to over 100 nmol/L . Africans, living that ancient lifestyle do have those levels as well. We all should have the levels that we evolved to have. Otherwise low vit D diseases will appear. Which They DO...!

Best of luck, hope that was useful


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