The dangers of Vitamin D3 supplementation?


Hi Wray.

Came across this website page whose author challenges Dr. Cannell's findings about Vitamin D. He's rather crass in his opinions about Vitamin D. He even goes so far as to claim that it is found in rat poisoning and is poisonous to the body.

See here.

It's difficult to take this guy's opinion seriously because of his tone and verbiage, but he does support natural remedies. Your thoughts?

I'm using Vitamin D3 10,000 daily as I'm sure that my levels are low due to a 5-year stint of mennoraghia. Haven't been taking Vitamin D3 with co-factors, at the very least magnesium should be taken?

Comments for The dangers of Vitamin D3 supplementation?

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May 22, 2013
I'm not sure what to think about this guy either
by: davidgmills

Although he has a master's degree in chemistry, he does not cite any scholarly articles to support his position that taking Vitamin D3 is bad for you. He takes the position that people in Hawaii and India, where sunshine is plentiful, only have Vitamin D levels of 30 or so; therefore, that is all we really need at most.

The reason the Vitamin D council and others are advocating levels of 60-80 is due to the fact that apes in the wild have these levels (low and high sun elevation levels) and these wild apes are a better proxy for what our levels need to be. So if he wants to use nature as his guide, maybe he needs to look at apes, who really live naturally, rather than humans who don't.

May 23, 2013
The dangers of Vitamin D3 supplementation?
by: JL


Well I read Shane Ellison's article and all I can say is how pathetic it is!! What really got me was "The vitamin industry cannot be taken seriously" my question is, "Can the drug industry be taken seriously"? He then goes on to say "You need sunshine to be healthy, not vitamin D pills". Yes I agree however, our modern day life styles do not allow us to go into the sun every day. What about the countries who only get to see the sun a few weeks/months of the year? Did he think of that?!! What about the elderly and sickly who can't get out into the sun, what must they do, shrivel up and die?? Seeing that he mentions the Vitamin D Council, has he bothered to read this? Like I said, a pathetic article.

Keep taking your vitamin D and magnesium, it's the way to go. So many of our modern day diseases are because we are deficient.

May 24, 2013
The dangers of Vitamin D3 supplementation?
by: Wray

Hi there Well I am pleased you gave this link, what an idiot is all I can say! The fact that the Vitamin D Council "shove's falsified science down the throats of unsuspecting consumers" is laughable. All the 'science' they give is verifiable, you only have to look at the studies coming out now, 3600 published last year on vitamin D, all available on PubMed. I do agree we need sunshine, it does more than increase vitamin D levels. For instance it increases levels of nitric oxide in the skin. This tiny molecule protects the skin from UV rays, it enhances wound healing, and is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. Unfortunately there is no way we can increase levels beyond being in the sun, well none found to date. Humans are now spending up to 90% of their time indoors, or for various reasons cover up when in the sun. Plus millions live in latitudes far north or south of the equator where no vitamin D is made in winter, and very little in summer. The only solution is to take supplements. He states that "Since 1997, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has shown that blood levels equal to or slightly greater than 15ng/ml of a substance known as 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25-D) are indicative of a healthy vitamin D level." How behind he is as the FDA now give 30ng/ml as an adequate level, double his. Amazing how he can twist info too or leave out the bits he doesn't like, he quotes "The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology Metabolism published the vitamin D levels of 93 healthy young adults who were regularly exposed to sunlight in Hawaii. The median 25-D level was 31.6ng/ml." You might like to read the paper, see here. Because they have a very different conclusion "Mean serum 25(OH)D concentration was 31.6 ng/ml. Using a cutpoint of 30 ng/ml, 51% of this population had low vitamin D status. The highest 25(OH)D concentration was 62 ng/ml." And that highest level was from sunlight! This is a 2013 study also done in Hawaii, see here. Where they found "Percent deficiency (<20ng/mL) and insufficiency (20-31.9ng/mL) were determined by statistical analysis. Forty-six percent (n=37) of cord blood samples tested were deficient in vitamin D." So his 15ng/ml as being 'adequate' is dark age stuff. More from him "The Canadian Medical Association Journal revealed the average 25-D levels of a cross-section of healthy Calgary citizens. It was 23ng/ml." Canada has the second highest level of MS in the world, Scotland having the highest, simply because of lack of sun, or vitamin D. Continued below

May 24, 2013
The dangers of Vitamin D3 supplementation? Part 2
by: Wray

Hi there It appears that doctors and researchers there are becoming increasingly worried about this, see this 2009 paper here, this 2010 paper here, this 2011 paper here and this 2012 paper here. And his "Another study on healthy Bangladeshi women found that approximately 80% of the women had a 25-D level under 16ng/ml." Amazing how he keeps throwing in the word 'healthy' as if that mitigates it. I don't have that paper he quotes from, I note he doesn't give links, but I do have one done in India, see here. Where they state "Sixty-seven percent of women had vitamin D deficiency [serum 25(OH)D concentration <50 nmol/L" To get to ng/ml divide by 2.5, so 50nmol/L is 20ng/ml. Their conclusion "Intrauterine exposure to low 25(OH)D concentrations is associated with less muscle mass and higher insulin resistance in children." Where he found the following I have no idea, it's shocking in fact as it's so untrue, “According to Dr. John Cannell, founder and Executive Director of the Vitamin D Council and his colleague Dr. Michael Hollick, these levels are too low. "We have long advocated maintaining a 25-D level of greater than 60ng/ml. But even those suggested levels might be too low, we may need to revise our suggestion to say that a target level of 80ng/ml or perhaps 100ng/ml should be adopted, insisted “D spin docs.” As one of Holick's latest papers, dated Jan 2013 says "The goal is to achieve a blood level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D of 40-60 ng/mL", see here. Those words are defamatory, particularly the 'long advocated' as Holick said in a 2009 paper...."The goal should be to maintain both children and adults at a level >30 ng/mL to take full advantage of all the health benefits that vitamin D provides.", see here. He's only just changed his view, obviously in light of new research. He's also the most conservative of all the vitamin D specialists. Finally when looking at natural levels, i.e. those achieved by sun alone, a study done in 2012 found "The mean serum 25(OH)D concentrations of Maasai and Hadzabe were 119 (range 58- 167) and 109 (range 71-171) nmol/l, respectively." Which is from 23.2ng/ml to 68.4ng/ml, the mean being 47.6ng/ml. Continued below

May 24, 2013
The dangers of Vitamin D3 supplementation? Part 3
by: Wray

Hi there If reading the full paper which I didn't buy, but evidently Cannell did, they found "One of the highest levels was a 65 year old whose level was around 70 ng/ml. The highest level overall was in a pregnant woman (105 ng/ml), 5 points higher than the usual upper limit, a limit most practicing physicians think is toxic", see here. Cannell himself in page after page on his site, recommends a level of 50ng/ml, although I believe he tries to keep his own at 60ng/ml. As far as I'm aware Holick has no affiliation to any vitamin company. Cannell recommends two brands on his site, part of the proceeds go to his Vitamin D Council. I'm all in favour of this as he does such good work making vitamin D understandable to people. The co-factors he also recommends taking, particularly magnesium. The others are vitamin K2, boron and zinc. If any pain is present then it could well be a lack of magnesium causing it. A lack of magnesium causes substance P to rise, see here and here. Substance P is a nociceptive, neuropeptide involved in causing pain and nausea. Increasing vitamin D will make a magnesium deficiency apparent as pain will occur. I'm not sure if your mennorhagia has healed, but we do have more info on our Menstruation page. You've now probably got indigestion from all the above! Take care Wray

May 29, 2013
I'm not sure what to think about this guy either
by: Wray

Hi David I found a lack of links to the articles he sites a very poor show, as he can and did mislead people by his continual 'healthy' statement. I couldn't agree more about studying natural vitamin D levels as an indication of what our levels should be. The 2012 study on the Masai I gave was just that. Take care Wray

Feb 16, 2014
I believed Dr. Cannell and I paid the price
by: Anonymous

I took 5,000 IU - 8,000 IU of vitamin D3 for several weeks and I got severe hypercalcemia. They claimed people could take up to 10,000 IU safely and so forth. I never did recover. I now take 1,000 IU which keeps me at about 27 ng/mL, but I still have hypercalcemia - it's been over 2 years since vitamin D3 toxicity. I guess I'm now dying slowly from calcification. Vitamin D is dangerous over 1800 IU in my opinion and no one should go over 36 ng/mL in my opinion. Don't trust any doctor that recommends 40-60 ng/mL. 20-30 ng/mL of vitamin D3 seems to be the safest range.

Feb 17, 2014
The dangers of Vitamin D3 supplementation
by: Alyce

Hi Anonymous

Did you take the co-factors which are essential when taking vitamin D? It's mention throughout this website.

I take 10 000 to 15 000iu's daily and have never felt better, my vitamin D level is around 120ng/mL.

Oct 10, 2016
D3 dangers
by: Jess

I had a similar experience as Anonymus. Took 8000 IU a day with cofactors for 3 or 4 years, never went over 60ng but my blood calcium shot up to 10.6 My ND wanted to send me to an endocrinologist but I thought it was the D3 and stopped it. Luckily for me my calcium level went back down to normal range. My ND still tries to get me to up my D3 supplements, but I never take more than 5000 IU a day and that is rare, mostly only take 1,000IU/day

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