December 29

Vitamin D User Experiences

In this episode, we’re going to look at six cases of people with inflammatory arthritis who have increased their vitamin D intake significantly and find out what the results were.

A few episodes ago, we had Dr. Judson Somerville come onto our show and he discussed his book and the details within about how he has seen incredible health improvements by increasing the dosages of his patients, up to 30000 international units per day. Now, if this is the first time you’ve heard that number and you’ve not listened to that podcast, then the first step is to go back and listen to that podcast. And you will hear about his experience dealing with a lot of people who have implemented that dose, the topic of toxicity, and his experience with observing patients, again, at really high numbers of patients who are dosing at that level. And his justification for that level, particularly where the original guidelines came from around vitamin D, or actually it’s a hormone, the hormone which we call a vitamin, and where those guidelines came from and why he believes that the current guidelines are extremely low and conservative and why having a higher safe level of vitamin D intake is actually very advantageous to our health. So go back, listen to that podcast and decide for yourself whether or not you’d like to increase your safe sun exposure or whether or not you’d like to begin to increase your supplementation of vitamin D. So today I’ve got, let’s see, I’ll include myself as a case study of six people and just give some feedback. I’ve just selected six because a lot of the feedback that I’ve been getting is the same. And you’ll see a consistent thing once I go through that.

The first case study is me and I had my vitamin D taken about three weeks ago and my vitamin D levels, after taking 10000 international units per day for two weeks, actually went above the reference range for the Australian guidelines. In Australia, the range is nmol/L the reference is 50 to 140, mine went to 173. Now, I have experienced this before. I’ve experienced before when I take vitamin D, my body responds very quickly. And I think a big lesson here is that all of us are probably going to respond differently to vitamin D supplementation. So 10 weeks, sorry, two weeks, 10000 international units per day. And I took my levels to 173 nanomoles per litre in a range that should be 50 to 140 by Australian guidelines. So I recommend and aim for myself to be just below the upper threshold for vitamin D levels. I personally just want to stay within government guidelines, but I want it as high as I can within those guidelines. So I actually have stopped taking my vitamin D for the moment, it’s summer in Australia. I’m getting lots of sun outside, so I’m comfortable to allow that to drop back down until it gets to just below 140, which is where I’d like to keep it if I can influence it reasonably well. If it drops too low, I will resume probably 5000 international units a day for a while now I’ve got definitely and experience with sleep and that’s the consistent theme that we’ll see with the other case studies here. It definitely seems to improve sleep quality.

Dr. Somerville, explain that this was the reason initially that he started vitamin D supplementation and the research that he did was that it would improve sleep. He talks about it in a nice and comprehensive way. My take on what he explained in really simple terms was that vitamin D allows the body to enter a natural state of muscle calmness. So that when we’re sleeping, we don’t get those muscle twitches and muscle spasms that we would potentially get during the day. Our body is meant to calm down when we’re sleeping and almost sort of gently paralyze the body so that all the twitches don’t wake us up, and vitamin D is part of the mechanism behind that. And therefore, when we supplement vitamin D or just have higher vitamin D levels in our blood. Then we actually have more of a still sleep and therefore don’t get accidentally woken up by accident or movements and then attribute that to needing to go to the bathroom or whatever. So I experienced definitely an improved sleep as a result and here are some other case studies now other than myself, and we’ll see what other people say.

So, Carrie, from Rheumatoid Support, she has just simply said vitamin D is now up to 15000 international units per day. So that’s what she’s taking and she said it seems to help with energy levels. So that’s the simple feedback from Carrie.

James says, hi Clint, I’ve been taking 30000 international units of vitamin D since October 21st after watching Dr. Somerville and he put a before and after. Before, mild symptoms but increasing due to the time of year, I think he’s referring to RA symptoms. After 30 days, still mild symptoms, but not as bad as the previous year at this time. He also says, I can’t say anything conclusive, but I’ve never been this good at this time of the year before without medication, I’m currently 100 percent medication free. Last year, my hips and knees were so bad I had trouble walking. I’m convinced enough that I’ll continue to take the vitamin D at the 30000 international units per day since I can’t get real sunshine. OK, so that’s James, thanks for the feedback.

Jackie says, I’ve been taking 20000 international units of vitamin D daily for a month. I feel really good and I’m definitely sleeping deeper. I had a blood test and my calcium is still normal, so no worries. My vitamin D level was high at 207, the usual range is 50 to 200. I’m unsure if I should continue or just top up every other week. I live in the UK, so there is very little sunshine, as you can imagine. I usually take 20000 international units per week. So Jackie had the same experience that I had, she was doing 20000 international units a day and she’s going above the government guidelines. And so I pulled back after I reached and that was just my choice, and I’m not sure what Jackie will do there but that’s another case study there. In her case, she also had 20000 international units per day and that is above government guidelines and she’s thinking about just doing every other week and that’s what I would personally.

OK, Andrea says, hi Clint, thank you. Interestingly, I have increased my vitamin D and have had insomnia for three months prior, getting up at least four to six times to go to the loo. If you don’t know, in the US, the loo means the toilet. Of course, we have a lot of names for the loo of the (Inaudible), or toilet, or bathroom. For the last two nights, I’ve slept only waking up once. So may this continue and I will keep you informed. Thanks for all of your information you send us and support us with RA. No worries. Andrea, thank you very much for that.

And one more case study and this one’s from Erin. Now, originally, it was an Erin inside rheumatoid support who drew my attention to Dr. Somerville. In this case, it’s a different Erin, she said I’ve also read Dr. Somerville’s book. So it’s just a coincidence that the Erin’s are on the same track. However, I did read it over a month ago and have been using the 10000 international units, vitamin D for about two months. She’s also on Actemra methotrexate and five mg of prednisone. She says, I think the Actemra is what took my C reactive protein from 133 down to 0.4, which is an enormous reduction. However, I started vitamin D at the same time, so I’m expecting that behind the scenes it is doing a good job. Personally, the vitamin D has helped with my sleeping from about two weeks onwards. I’m having the deepest sleep that I cannot remember and over time have gone from using the loo five to six times down to two to three times. I also snore way less and I put on three kilograms, so I went up to 50 but I’ve leveled out again at 48.

Paddison Program For Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid Arthritis Support

OK, so there we have it, we have my personal experience and the experience of five others, each of which are using different dosages. And I think the overall theme here is that sleep is definitely improved, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence and I don’t think it’s a placebo sort of effect. I say that because I experienced it myself and so it’s easy to believe when you’ve experienced it. And so, I can’t say that my sleep has dropped off since I stopped doing the vitamin D dosages a few weeks back because of my increased levels. But then, you know, I’m getting lots of sun too, so I think if you have sleep issues, look at Dr. Somerville’s book. I don’t want to advise on supplementation of anything really, other than making sure you have a vitamin B 12 in your diet if you’re on a purely plant-based diet and that’s the only thing that I recommend must be done as a supplement in terms of supplement category. But look at Dr. Somerville’s book, go back and listen to the podcast where he covers a tremendous amount of content, he certainly answered all the questions I had. And if you’re really, really concerned, also look at his other recommendations around. He talks about supplementing vitamin K too. He talks about boron, selenium, and a few other things. So if you really, really want to get into the real details of this, then go and grab his book and listen to the podcast.

So I hope that’s helpful and again, provide more feedback on this topic if you have personal experience. And I will aim to continue to share feedback from our Inflammatory Arthritis community to you and to everyone so that we are all making progress with our health and all being as healthy as possible to have the minimum possible amount of symptoms. Have a fantastic day.

More User Feedback, From Rheumatoid Support

Clint Paddison

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  1. My doctor recommend 1000U for day. we are talking about thousands over the limits. 30,000international units?? > I always go outside for a walk on the summer, Spring and fall. during the winter in Canada I walk at night. Seldom during the day. Do I need to increase my vitamins D? When I was young I used to be outside in the hot weather and tan a lot. Do I need to increase my level of vitamins ?. I will start Rinvoq very soon and I am concern about your post. Is safe?

  2. This was so very interesting. My sleep could definitely use a boost! It is winter now here in Michigan–lots of gloomy cloudy days. I'd like to read Dr. Somerville's book. What is the title?

  3. do you take the big dose of vitamin D3 all at once or spread it out throughout the day? Also do u take capsules / pills or liquid?

  4. Your 173 nmol vitamin D level was most likely artificially high due to having recently supplemented with Vitamin D

    Just as one should not eat for 12 hours before getting many blood tests,
    one should not take a vitamin D supplement for 3 days before getting a vitamin D test.

    There are 10,000+ web pages on vitamin D at http://www.vitamindwiki.com

    1. I did not know this Henry – thank you very much for sharing this valuable insight!
      I will get D levels checked again soon and I’ll make sure there is a 3 day gap since a Vitamin D dose

  5. Hello Clint,

    Thank you for the update about vitamin D, I was looking forward to hear about the experiences of others after listening to Dr Somerville podcast.
    I also increased my vitamin D intake, since end of October, I live in Canada so we don’t have real sunlight after September, and I have the same results, better sleep and more energy.
    Thank you for all your work, your book, your researches and podcasts have changed my life 🙂

    Bernadett

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