Latest stupid vitamin D study

While there is no shortage of phony baloney “natural” remedies out there, there is also a tendency for mainstream allopathic medicine to dismiss—out of hand—any claims made for non-prescription remedies. And, since the drug companies own most of the medical journals, such put-downs appear in the “scholarly” literature from time to time.

In keeping with a long-held tradition of stacking the deck on studies involving non-pharmaceutical agents, this latest effort published in JAMA does not disappoint.  One or both of the following scams are ALWAYS in play…

  • Using a cohort that is too sick to benefit from the therapy
  • Using an inappropriate dose or dosage schedule

In this case, the dosage and the schedule were both issues.  I mean doesn’t everyone take their Vitamin D once per month?  Yes, you read that correctly.

Participants were randomly assigned to receive an initial dose of 200 000 IU oral vitamin D3, then 200 000 IU one month later, then 100,000 IU monthly (n = 161), or placebo administered in an identical dosing regimen (n = 161), for a total of 18 months.

The researchers chose a monthly dosage pattern to assure compliance, and that’s interesting, isn’t it?  So much crummy “science” is based on self-assessment, and these guys are at least admitting that such methods could introduce error.

The authors pose the question “Would the results of our study have been different if we had given participants vitamin D, 3300 IU/d, as opposed to 100,000 IU monthly?”  Only they don’t answer it.  Besides, even if the dosage pattern didn’t matter, 3300 IU per day is not exactly a high dose.

Most people take at least 5000 IU/day, and lots more if they feel sick.

You can bet, though, that the dosage details will not be mentioned in most press accounts of this study.  Keep taking your Vitamin D!

Yes, it’s always about the dollars, even if an actual pharmaceutical drug IS involved.


8 responses to “Latest stupid vitamin D study

  1. I was tested for Vitamin D. I thought the doctor was crazy. I thought I had gout, because my feet and legs hurt so much. The vitamin D test came back as zero, no discernible amounts of vitamin D in my body. I looked at the price of vitamin D supplements. I went out and bought a reptile light, that operates at the light frequencies (UVB) that create vitamin D in the oil/fat in the skin. I put a few cups of olive oil in a shallow pan a few inches from that light, and occasionally stirred it, leaving it reacting there all day. i put about a quarter teaspoon of the oil on my feet in the morning. My vitamin D levels are rising. My feet and legs are healing. I don’t tell my doctor how I am actually dosing my vitamin D.

    The first commercial addition of vitamin D to milk used something like my reptile light to directly irradiate the milk and create the vitamin D. It appears that many foods, even lettuce, will react to the UVB light to create vitamin D. It seems that fats and oils just create a lot more vitamin D than foods without fats and oil.

    Ultimately, as a person suffering from some problem with vitamin D, the dosage is irrelevant (or even how often it is administered), as long as the vitamin D levels are within some normal range. Now, the question of what a normal range is, is of course dependent on what your definition of “is” is.

  2. Reader’s Digest anti-vitamin article: “If you take any of these vitamins/supplements you have a 16% higher risk of dying!”

    Oh, does that mean we will have a 116% risk of dying or only an 84% chance of living forever?

  3. 5000iu vitamin D3 drops in olive oil cosst only £10 ~ $15 for a years supply. The Cholecalciferol in Vitamin D gel capsules comes from irradiating LANOLIN (byproduct of wool industry). Its much cheaper than buying a UVB light. There is no cholesterol to convert in olive oil..Irradiating your skin with UVB reptile light produces vitamin D3 cholecalciferol by the action of UVB on 7 dehyrocholesterol molecule in/near skin surface. A similar action happens when Mushrooms are exposed to UV light. Ergosterol in mushroom converted to vitamin D2. ergocalciferol. Vitamin D2 is less potent than D3 so 2 ~ 3 times more required. Vegans can now obtain Vitamin D3 made by irradiating LICHEN to form Cholecalciferol. Caribou grazed on lichen provided Inuit with high Vit d content meat through the winter to supplement vitamin d rich game/fish/whale meats fermented in seal oil.

    pubmed/22264449 “Traditionally living populations in East Africa have a mean serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration of 115 nmol/l” ~ 46ng/ml. Levels naturally rise during pregnancy and with age in those with regular access to near full body daily sun exposure.
    Human milk is vitamin D replete at 50~60ng/ml.

    1000iu/daily for each 25lbs weight usually required to achieve 50ng/ml 125nmol/l. Huge difference (100ng/ml 250nmol/l) between low/high responders to vit d supplementation, so postal 25(OH)D test after 3~5 months will show if daily intake needs to be raised/lowered by 1000iu/daily for each 25nmol/l 10ng/ml below/above the 50ng/ml target.

    • With all due respect, Edward, please look at
      On the page numbered 37 of this document, in the middle of the page, there is a statement: ” . . . to expose a variety of foods, such as wheat, letuce, olive, linseed oils, and rat chow and other substances, such as human and rat plasma, to ultraviolet radiation. Both groups found that the ultraviolet irradiation imparted antirachitic activity to the substances.”
      Much of this research was done about a century ago, and I did a lot of sifting through of these old studies to come to my conclusions about using a reptile light and olive oil. The supplement that I used gave me an unpleasant reaction. At that time I found that most supplements are simply irradiated coconut oil, and all commercial coconut oil is contaminated with sulfites, to which I have an acute sensitivity. Because of the dosage I required, due to my extremely low levels, I was getting a correspondingly high level of sulfites. I never found a supplement that was made from a pure irradiated lanolin. I occasionally irradiate mushrooms under the same light, before cooking them, to get a little vitamin D2.

      • But note the original research did not measure Vitamin D in irradiated olive oil nor in the research litters showing growth-promoting properties of UVB exposed olive oil.
        It’s possible the growth promotion resulting from UVB exposed olive oil came mainly from increased vitamin K availability following UVB to Microorganisms present in olive oil.

        Although “Nutritional Data” state there is no cholesterol in olive oil,
        it seems they are wrong.
        “Steroidal compounds in commercial parenteral lipid emulsions”
        report an 80% olive + 20% soybean-lipid emulsion had the lowest level of cholesterol & lowest levels of phytosterols.
        So it’s possible exposing olive oil to UVB MAY produce a little vitamin D.
        Exposing skin to regular short non-burning UVB is the best way to increase 25(OH)D.

  4. climate skeptics should learn to become vitamin/ supplement skeptics a little better. Vitamin D has a very limited and specific use and all this ridiculous conjecture about the benefit of higher blood levels shows skepticism in one area doesn’t translate to other subjects

    • @ mmach1–

      Suggest you update your knowledge here a little bit. Run a PubMed search, and you will see a large number of articles touting results of Vit D supplementation in many different areas.

      Moreover, your analogy fails: Climate “science” is strictly driven by grant money. There is very little if any money in doing Pro-Vit D research. Indeed, the opposite is true, as implied by my posting.

  5. Debating dosing is interesting, but not evidence based. The only thing that counts is the serum level.

    The dose-to-serum response is highly variable. You cannot assume that population-level study findings translate to the unique individual.

    A UVB lamp would be the ‘natural’ way to make D since the body tightly controls D production, but even then age, obesity, skin color, co-factors, prescription drugs, etc. would affect the dose-to-serum response.

    Dr. Heaney suggests a 75iu/kg/day dose planning formula, but also notes a 6 fold variability in serum response. Further, it might take 3-4 months of dosing to result in stable levels (see Holick re substrate starvation).

    D receptors exist in cells throughout the body and since D is a hormone, it affects many functions.

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