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Saturday, April 13, 2013

Updated: Is monthly administration of 50,000iu Ergocalciferol (Vitamin D) safe and effective?

I am starting to see an interesting trend in people seeking my assistance:  Diffuse muscle and joint pain and excessive fatigue that appears to be connected with pharmaceutical doses of vitamin D, exclusively delivered in the form of Ergocalciferol.   So, what's going on here?

First, a little background:
About 70% of fair skinned people and 90% of dark skinned people in the Developed World are vitamin D deficient.  This is the consequence of entire populations being terrorised of the sun which is our main source of this essential nutrient.  The backup used to be via our diets but this vitamin  is barely present any more - remove the natural fats (and replace them with processed ones) and with these healthy fats goes the fat soluble vitamins (A,D,E & K).

Low vitamin D is a leading factor in winter flu and infections, depression, fatigue, obesity, heart disease, several neurological diseases, autoimmune diseases, osteoporosis and hormonal imbalances. Vitamin D may prevent anywhere from 50% to nearly 80% of all cancers - at least 30 different kinds of cancer to date and the list is growing.

Natural vitamin D is dirt cheap and can not be patented.  It costs about $14 per month to supply an adult with a healthy intake of natural vitamin D.  It works out to be even cheaper for children.

Until very recently, there has been no interest at all by medical practitioners and drugs companies in encouraging vitamin D deficient people to prevent or remedy this deficiency.  Why? 

 Because there is no money at all to be made via encouraging sunbathing, or taking a cheap-as vitamin D supplement.

However: things are quickly changing.  The prescription-only vitamin D medications are now coming onto the market.  Doctors are now prescribing massive doses of vitamin D left, right and center. In New Zealand, it is Ergocalciferol. So, what's brought this about?

Medicine is Big Business

There's a lot of money to be made from now on by prescribing pharmaceutical doses of vitamin D by way of tablets or injection.  These are at doses that are so high no other health professional would ever be able to get away with.

Capturing the market by prescribing at potencies no other health professional can get away with

Normal doses of vitamin D are from 1-4,000 iu per day.  What doctors are taking upon themselves to prescribe ranges from 50,000 to 3000,000 iu, either monthly or once or twice a year.  These are truly astonishing doses of a single vitamin.  One group of Australian researchers have even experimented with giving elderly women 500,000 iu in a single dose!  Astonishing! (Incidentally, these unfortunate women ended up suffering 27% more fractures - not less).  I wonder how many died, btw.  Here is the link to a helpful website which includes information about the timing of administration and dosages:  Note the importance of nutritional co-factors when giving vitamin D.

Would you ever consider taking your entire month's worth of vitamin C in a single dose, let alone a year's worth?

Think about it for a moment:  Isn't there a kind of madness about giving a person a tsunami's worth of a single nutrient?  Is this healthy?  I think not.  But things are going to get a lot, lot worse.

The Gold Rush is on within the pharmaceutical industries to develop patented analogues of natural vitamin D.

Patented Vitamin D - The next Great Pharmaceutical Gold Rush

As the patented drugs industry versions of vitamin D come rolling off the production lines, over the few years, we will see the marketing machines winding up big time, similar to what we see for seasonal flu vaccines and cholesterol medicines.  Patented vitamin D is about to become a huge gold mine for drugs companies and doctors - After all, what other drug is there that 70-90% of the population desperately need?

So long as we are kept in the dark and the vitamin is kept out of our food

As an aside: If vitamin D is so critical for health (Of that I am in agreement), then why does it appear that it is only adults who are getting the prescribing attentions of doctors?  Is it because a patented form of vitamin D suitable for children has yet to be developed?

Human Nutrition:
The human body likes a steady dribble of ALL nutrients, in natural balance and from a wide variety of natural sources.  Vitamin D is no exception and needs many co-factors such as protein, cholesterol and magnesium to be properly absorbed and put to good use. The healthiest way to supply any nutrient is with small doses, often and with plenty of everything else.  This gives each cell the ability to pick and choose the nutrients it needs, at that moment, as they circulate.

Healthy Nutrition:  Small Amounts - Often!

Cellular nutrient needs change constantly from one moment to the next.  If a megadose of a nutrient, such as 50,000iu or more of vitamin D is forced into the circulation this will cause massive nutrient imbalances and enormous stress on the body's physiology as it struggles to deal with this unwanted influx.

What we are describing is getting  very close to over dosage of vitamin D.  Here is an official description of what too much vitamin D can do....

Over dosage

The effects of administered vitamin D can persist for two or more months after cessation of treatment.
Hypervitaminosis D is characterized by:
  1. Hypercalcemia with anorexia, nausea, weakness, weight loss, vague aches and stiffness, constipation, mental retardation, anemia, and mild acidosis.
  2. Impairment of kidney function with polyuria, nocturia, polydipsia, hypercalciuria, reversible azotemia, hypertension, nephrocalcinosis, generalized vascular calcification, or irreversible renal insufficiency which may result in death.
  3. Widespread calcification of the soft tissues, including the heart, blood vessels, renal tubules, and lungs. Bone demineralization (osteoporosis) in adults occurs concomitantly.
  4. Decline in the average rate of linear growth and increased mineralization of bones in infants and children (dwarfism).
This is not good, if you ask me, especially when over 80% of the people I do a Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis on already have evidence of excessive circulating calcium.  Repeated, huge doses of vitamin D risks pushing these people who are already in a rather fragile state over the brink and into poor health.

These horrific ailments, including death, that are associated with excessive vitamin D, are at the end of a long continuum from being healthy to being dead.  What we have, long before being dead, is heightened fatigue, aches and pains - excess calcium depositing in the soft tissues, including the arteries, kidneys, muscles and joints.  This seems very much like the complaints that people are coming in to see me following their visit to the doctor and the subsequent mega-shots of vitamin D.

My Advice:

  • If your doctor advises you to take supplementary vitamin D, insist on a prescription of natural vitamin D that has you ingesting 2-4,000 iu per day during winter and no more than 2,000 iu per day during summer - and none on the days that get sun on your bare body.  
  • Do not take mega doses of any nutrient, including vitamin D, unless there is a strong case with urgency and this is monitored by regular testing.
  • If your doctor is unable to give you a suitable prescription of low dose natural vitamin D, then get some natural vitamin D from me - its cheap and there's even some that is suitable for infants!

I have written many articles about vitamin D.  Please follow the labels below this article.  Enjoy the reading and please pass this article onto your friends and loved ones - thanks.

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wilsontom said...

Thanks for telling us the advantages and sources of Vitamin D.Please keep adding such helpful tips.

Gary Moller said...

If a person develops or has a flareup of muscle, back, joint pain or similar within a week or so of a megadose of Vit D, then this should be discontinued for a few months and then natural Vit D at about 1-2,000iu/day.

Anonymous said...

My doctor advised me to take 50,000IU of vit D for myalgia. After just one dose I had terrible side effects, including profound fatigue, being lightheaded,severe sleepiness and kidney pain. It was impossible to function the entire day and some of the effects are still continuing, five days after the high dose was ingested. I refuse to take another one. Is there any treatment for myalgia and pelvic floor pain ?

Gary Moller said...

Dear Anon
There are a number of possibilities with regards to your myalgia and pelvic floor pain. Without the right testing, any advice will be an educated hit and miss. If I was to have a shot, i would focus on boosting your levels of magnesium, zinc and pyridoxine. Your reaction to the huge doses of vitamin d indicates that you may have a deficiency in magnesium among other nutrients.

Please contact me by email if you wish to investigate this further.