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The Very Delightful Vitamin D

One of the most important nutrients/vitamins we have in our body? Vitamin D. In my practice, I always make a point to check Vitamin D levels in my patients, as Vitamin D plays a role in activating over 900 genes that play a role in fighting/preventing cancer, inflammation, and cognitive issues (like dementia and Alzheimer’s).

I am a big advocate of Vitamin D3 supplementation. However, before adjusting your supplementation, keep in mind that the amount of Vitamin D that you may need may be difficult to determine, unless you ask your physician to follow your blood test.

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  • william

    It is exciting to realize that our diet can go a long way in overcoming our familial genetic makeup, but I am unclear why this is so if we cannot overcome the genome of our hunter gatherer forbears in the same way.

    Does a high fat diet not predispose people to breast, prostate and colon cancers?
    As a vegan I have been using soy milk ( whole soybeans and filtered water – no isolated soy protein) in preference to almond milk since it is higher in protein and considerably lower in sodium. Is this a problem?

    • Guest

      Actually, in the extensive study (http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=189027 published in the Journal of The American Medical Association, higher fat consumption was associated with decreased risk of breast cancer with those consuming higher carbs having a 15% increased breast cancer risk. Similar but less profound results were found with reference to colon cancer, showing a slight decreased risk in those consuming the higher levels of fat. With respect to prostate cancer, being fat is clearly a risk (generally caused by a high carb diet) but no association is found with fat consumption – again as recently described in JAMA (http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleID=1696188

    • David Perlmutter

      Actually, in the extensive study (http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=189027 published in the Journal of The American Medical Association, higher fat consumption was associated with decreased risk of breast cancer with those consuming higher carbs having a 15% increased breast cancer risk. Similar but less profound results were found with reference to colon cancer, showing a slight decreased risk in those consuming the higher levels of fat. With respect to prostate cancer, being fat is clearly a risk (generally caused by a high carb diet) but no association is found with fat consumption – again as recently described in JAMA (http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleID=1696188

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  • Nancy Eastin

    From years of undiagnosed gluten sensitivity my intestinal villi are seriously damaged. This leads to inflammation, hi cholesterol, malabsorbtion syndrome, full blown osteoporosis and now gluten ataxia!. I take Vit D and all the good fats everyday, I don’t think I am able to absorb them because my Vit D level is still only 36. Gluten sensitivity must be taken seriously! The consequences are devastating. Thank you for the “Grain Brain.” At this point, any suggestions, Dr. Perlmutter?

  • Lynne Brewster

    Hi Dr Perlmutter,
    My husband had recently been diagnosed with early stage motor neurone disease. He is on a high fat, low carb diet and taking the supplements you recommend. He’s also
    taking un-denatured whey isolate. He is vegetarian and has been drinking a lot of calcium enriched soy milk – why is this bad?

  • GregP

    I have been diagnosed with low vitamin D levels which are in the 20’s without supplementation. In order to move my vit D levels I needed supplementation of 5000 mg. The Dr. warned me against such high levels of supplements. However, it only raised my vit D level to 46 over 6 months? How do you convince a Dr. to move beyond the normal range in blood tests and supplements?

    • Mary

      About 4 years ago I was taking 2000 IU of D3 daily and had my blood tested. It was a bit low. A few months later I was retested and it actually lowered just a bit. I was startled to say the least.
      Haven’t been retested since then.
      I do take 5,000 IU of D3 about 3-4 days a week now, though.

      Re your doctor. You might want to research The Vitamin D Council and what they say about a healthy level. I know it is higher than most labs show.

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  • Angelia Steele

    How much vitamin d is too much daily? I don’t want to get toxic..

  • Joy doogan

    I thought that high cholestral levels put you at risk of strokes etc, mines is at 7.5 is this too high?

    • Mary

      I have seen reports where elderly women were more at risk with cholesterol levels below 200 than those between 200-300.
      Cholesterol is an essential part of our bodies in spite of what big pharma would have us believe.
      Dr.
      Ricard Bernstein just did a Q&A where he reported that those taking
      statin drugs as prescribed for about 6.5 years have a 35% increased
      chance of developing diabetes than those not taking these side-effect
      laden drugs.

  • Paul

    Hi how do I trust which brand to purchase. I live in the UK and I know from reports that the vitamin industry is ripe with malpractice throughout the world. With many products having few active ingredients. 1000 iu appears the only strength i can find that isn’t prescription from Brands I recognise. Should I take 5 of those a day!

    • Paul

      Thank you Dr Perlmutter, and that is available in the UK or it’s shipped from the states?

      • David Perlmutter

        Currently, shipping to the UK is not possible Paul. I apologize, we are working on it though.

  • David

    If I get plenty of sun exposure, is there still a need to take Vitamin D3 supplements?

    • David Perlmutter

      I would advise testing your levels. Once known you can determine that.

  • Mixy

    Hi

    Why is 70-80 the optimal level of Vit D? I cannot find any scientific article that supports that.
    I have found many articles that support that low levels are bad (like <50) , but i cannot find any article that probes scientifically that 70-80 is the sweet spot.

    Is that range an experimental conclusion?

    Thanks! I loved the book and I taking vitD3 supplements to raise my 35 level,

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  • My wife’s D levels came back at 17.3 on a blood test. The doctor prescribed 50,000IU of D2 to be taken once a week for 8 weeks.

    I prefer D3 and we’ve been on the Garden of Life Code D3 5000IU with probiotics for a few weeks now. Should we up our dosage to 50k to 60k IU for 8 weeks using this supplement instead of taking the prescribed D2? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

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