Vitamin D dosage and calcium levels?

Hi, my Vitamin D levels were recently tested and found to be low (29 nmol/L). Based on recommendations from others on this forum, and websites such as grassrootshealth and vitamin D council, I have just started supplementing at 5000 IU per day.

I have read that calcium levels in the blood need to be checked? Is this essential? When should this be done - after 2 to 3 months maybe?

Worried that GP will refuse as they told me to "just take a good multi vitamin", and will likely question why I'm taking such high doses (and maybe tell me to stop!)

This is same GP who prescribed 50 mcg of cyanocobalamin even though my B12 level was 230, so I don't think they know much about supplementing vitamins!

32 Replies

  • It is normally suggested that the calcium is tested before taking VitD. VitD improves the uptake of calcium from foods in the gut. TOO much calcium circulating in the blood is not good - so ensure you take VitK2 with the D3 to ensure the calcium is directed to the bones.

    Statins also blocks the production of K2 - not a good thing either :-(

    There are some sprays for under the tongue with both D3 and K2.

    If you take the precautions mentioned without the calcium being tested you should be fine. The range is very narrow for calcium. Maybe mention it to your GP next time - at least you could try and educate him/her :-)

  • Thanks Marz, biggest problem is getting GP to listen and test me for anything :(

  • What would be a recommended dose of K2 per day? 100 mcg?

  • My supplement has 75mcg per day of K2 listed as 100% RDA.

    Something to ponder re: Vit D...

  • Hi SBT - do we know who sponsored this research ? We need Dr Kendrick on the case. I think they concluded that over range levels are not good and that higher mortality was linked to low levels. It seems most people here have very low levels when diagnosed. All the time I am reading conflicting research - but cannot help feeling that Low VitD was one of my missing links. Also I am TH1 dominant and should not respond well to D3 - hey ho ?

  • I hope this covers it (from ):


    Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology (D.D.M., A.-M.H.), and Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences (P.S.), University of Copenhagen, 2650 Glostrup, Denmark; Department of Clinical Biochemistry (H.L.J.), Copenhagen University Hospital Bispebjerg, 2400 Copenhagen, Denmark; Danish Cancer Society Research Center (J.C., A.T., A.O., J.H.), 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark; and The Elective Laboratory of the Capital Region (B.L.) and the Research Centre of Ageing and Osteoporosis (P.S.), Department of Medicine M, Copenhagen University Hospital Glostrup, 2600 Glostrup, Denmark


    "Cardiovascular disease mortality relation is very likely due to starting vitamin D supplementation late in life."

    "In Denmark, like all Scandinavian countries, the use of cod liver oil is common. Cod liver oil will raise 25(OH)D levels but also increase vitamin A intake. Increased vitamin A intake has been associated with increased mortality."

    Also of interest:

  • Thank you - yes I read the various faculties involved under author information. Just wondered about the funding. Your last link was very well put together - but so long. Good to have lots of information in one place. However having started VitD supplementation late in life - I guess I am not long for this world :-)

  • Haha!

    The last link is from the Inflammation Therapy people, and they may be funded by whoever makes Olmesartan, which is the cornerstone of their treatment regime. I mentioned it to a consultant who was dismissive, saying Olmesartan is way down the preferred list, so they're touting for niche acceptance.


    Edited to add:

    My mention of Inflammation Therapy was from genuine interest. I have no knowledge as to how its proponents are funded.

    The information from the consultant appears to be incorrect.   Daiichi Sankyo state: "Healthcare professionals around the world are demonstrating increasing acceptance of olmesartan, and the molecule is now poised to become the No. 2 medication for treating hypertension in the top seven global markets."

  • ...thereby hangs a tail :-)

  • Huh ?  What tail/tale Marz ? ? ?


  • Please could you direct me to the signs of being over treated on VitD - I keep forgetting to ask you.....

  • Hi Marz,

    Am confused by your question - on "being over treated on VitD" . . . . .

    A very GOOD introduction to the KNOWN "vitD" or "VDR" ( - venereal disease regulator, . . . . . SORRY, I mean Vitamin D Receptor) dysfunction is the F. Parent article by Meg Mangin - which you have read . . . . . and to which there's another link is below in my reply to thyr01d's post on this thread.

    VERY important points include: 

    A]  its NOT possible to ASSESS whether one has the known "VitD or "VDR dysfunction"*** ( - and therefore had better NOT take ANY prohormone "vit D" based on the result of the calcidiol, or 25(OH)D test ALONE.  Its JUST isn't possible !  and,

    B] in those people WHO do have it, the calcidiol levels ARE likely to be LOWER ( - even "deficient"-seeming) but are so BECAUSE of the inflammation causing disease process.  Taking "vit D" in this scenario is KNOWN to cause (at least) LONGER term harm.

    From previous threads Marz, it WAS my understanding you'd got this - the 28 page presentation ( - by Inflammation Research, with link above) goes thru' ALL of this is greater detail than the MUCH shorter Fearless Parent article.

    PLEASE NOTE: that on the basis of THIS known biochemistry the DECISION to take prohormone "vit D" based on the calcidiol test result ALONE is like playing a longer term Russian roulette !

    Hope that makes sense today !


    *** - having a VDR dysfunction MAY/could indeed make one LESS resilient to infectious diseases, including VD or STDs, . . . . . as it "screws up" our innate immune response ( - by, say the reduced production of AMPs or anti-microbial proteins) .  Pun probably NOT unintended ! ;~))


  • Guess I am lazy and just want a simple list of the symptoms of D toxicity.  OK so I will try and read it all again ....

  • You ain't lazzzzzzzy gal, . . . . . you're just having  a LITTLE issue getting your head around this particular concept.  ;~)

    However, its v. important that as many of US as possible DO ( - get some of our few billion neurons properly aligned to this) as supplementing advise on "vit D" based on the calcidiol test ALONE ( - for all people) is medically UNSOUND.  Medically UNsound !  Reasonably documented medical opinion has existed now for WELL over a decade that such a practice will be FORESEEABLY harmful to an identifiable sub-group of the population ( - most of which is already known to BE ill).

    Have a great Crete-cian day !


  • Epictetus, I know you feel very strongly  about vitamin D and how it is toxic, and none of us should be taking it, but I do find your attitude odd. I do accept that some people can't take vitamin D, but I would be surprised if this was very common. I think deficiency symptoms would be much more common.

    I took vitamin D to improve my level and I felt a lot better for doing so. Muscle and joint aches and pains reduced a lot.

    Last year I ran out of my vitamin D supplement and didn't replace it for a couple of months. The muscle and joint pain started to come back in a big way. It went again when I started taking vitamin D again.

    So, the vitamin D helps me to feel better.

    I have also been told by doctors that I only have subclinical hypothyroidism and I don't need treating. It's not my thyroid, it is the famous "something else". If I treat my thyroid I'll end up with osteoporosis and heart attacks. I treat my thyroid anyway and I feel much better for doing so.

    I was told my ferritin was in range so I didn't need iron supplements, I might poison myself. My serum iron was in my boots though. I supplemented and felt better for doing so.

    At the rate I'm going, doing all these things which are allegedly so bad for me, I should be dead already.

    I know there are people who will avoid certain treatments because they've been told it will shorten their lives, and some will take treatments that cause pain but they've been told it will extend their life (e.g. statins). They will put up with any amount of pain to live just that little bit longer. I'm not one of them.

    I want to live as comfortably as possible, in as little pain as possible, for the rest of my life. I've had enough pain to last 50 lifetimes. So, if I might die 5 years earlier than I would have done otherwise I'll accept that risk.

  • Hi HB,

    Good to have your thoughts.  However, its actually untrue that I "feel very strongly" about prohormone "vitD" or that I'm concerned about its "toxicity".  I'm not surprised though that as you hold these misconceptions, you find my "attitude odd".

    The common advice on "vit D" from our medical advisors ( - a sociological matter) does not stand too much scientific scrutiny and is foreseeably harmful to a known sub-group of the population.  This harm is not a general "toxicity" applicable to all ( - as PCBs, dioxins, lead and cyanide might be). 

    The known science says a portion of the population had BETTER not supplement with prohormone "vit D" EVEN if the calcidiol test returns with a result of "insufficient" or "deficient".  This group of people tends to be already ill but is not, in the main, being identified.  That's the (sociological) point of practice we'd all better become more aware of !  This is like a thalidomide scandal, but is doing much more INSIDIOUS harm ( - to a specific group, suffering from this "vit D dysfunction") which is not being even acknowledged at present. 

    Where you will agree with me (I hope & suspect) is that each case of supplementation (of "vitD", iron or whatever) had BETTER be assessed on its OWN merits, with the REASONABLE use of the science available.  Re. "vit D" the science is available, but is not being used to separate those who would benefit from it and those who are likely to be harmed: the INCORRECT default position is to recommend supplementation to ALL based on the result of the calcidiol test, which is KNOWN to provide an INCOMPLETE picture.

    You may have no wish to understand the details of the above further - they have however been written up very carefully and it is hardly acceptable that our medical advisors are UNAWARE of the implications of this known biochemistry.

    I hope that will help you be reassess what you believe I have been saying.  In particular, any recommendation to supplement with "vitD" based on the calcidiol test ALONE is NOT scientifically credible for all of the population.  This, however, is SADLY the common practice still in the UK at 3 April 2016.  Why ?




  • Where is the information that Inflammation Therapy is "funded by" manufacturers of olmesartan ?  Would love to read that !  Do you have a link ?

    And if we're considering vested financial interests, it would be most pertinent to know how many research departments, including in our universities are funded by those benefiting from "vit D" sales, irrespective of the HARM careless supplementation of this might do, and is INCREASINGLY reported as doing !

    As it is, this prohormone is ONLY available as an OTC "supplement" because of a historical MISTAKE in its classification - were it to be correctly RECLASSIFIED today, it would become a prescription item, rather like another prohormone we know well on here: thyroxin or T4.

    Those who believe ONLY measuring T4 levels is ADEQUATE in getting sufficient picture of thyroid hormone levels ( - and T3 does NOT matter at all) CAN be forgiven for thinking similarly that it is ONLY calcidiol levels that matter to ADEQUATELY assess "deficient" levels in ALL of the population (in ALL circumstances) - as MISGUIDED as that IS from the KNOWN science ! ! ! 

    For consistency, if with thyroid hormones T3 is important ( - at least in some specific cases) then by the same, SCIENTIFIC analogous reasoning, so are CALCITRIOL or 1,25(OH)2D levels . . . . which sadly, to OUR detriment are practically NEVER measured in the UK.  To OUR detriment - says the KNOWN science. 

    Could it be the "vested interests" viewpoint is an unnecessary DISTRACTION given the KNOWN biochemistry in this case ? ? ?

    Note also (from p.25  of the link to which you refer):

    "Amer, M.D., an assistant professor

    in the division of general internal medicine at

    the Johns Hopkins University School of

    Medicine, says “People taking vitamin D

    supplements need to be sure the supplements

    are necessary. Those pills could have

    unforeseen consequences to health even if

    they are not technically toxic.” "

    " . . . . COULD HAVE UNFORESEEN CONSEQUENCES . . . . " Amer, Asst. Prof !

    "BEWARE all who would consider "vit D" supplementation on advice based on the standard "vit D" or calcidiol test ALONE" is what the known SCIENCE clearly says (to me, as well to others FAR more qualified to understand this science) - and to you ? ? ?  Pity the majority of the UK medical profession remains WHOLLY unware of this basic biochemistry ( - a situation MUCH worse than GPs being unwilling or "unable" to measure T3 levels, but VERY analogous to it ! ! !).

    Best wishes - we'd better all TAKE CHARGE of our own health ( - sadly too many "professionals" are failing us, the evidence suggests quite convincingly, on THIS if NOT other issues !)


    Interests: No known financial or other interests in sharing the above views, which I believe are 100% scientifically verifiable and validable. 100% (One hundred percent !). 

    What on the other hand is the SCIENTIFIC evidence FOR supplementing advice with "vitD" based on the result of the standard calcidiol test ALONE ?  Any that hold-ups to reasonable scrutiny ? ? ?  Would LOVE to see it ! ! !  Would LOVE to see it VERY SOON ! ! !

    2nd April 2016


  • I'm really quite interested in Inflammation Therapy, but see little chance of getting a prescription for Olmesartan, even at a normal dose. Self-treating, even if possible, is beyond my means, with Olmesartan at about a fiver per pill (but 63p to the NHS).

    Treat my glib comment about funding as sour grapes, if you wish.

    The consultant I mentioned has been of precious little benefit to me, thus far. I wondered why a Pfizer potion was prescribed, rather than the generic? Couldn't possibly be a back-hander...?

  • Hmmmm, "sour grapes" - and SO lets denigrate a whole area of known, readily verifiable & testable biochemical science . . . . . . and a devised protocol surrounding it, which has truthfully (it seems) been reported to have helped countless chronically ill people who found NO other way to recover . . . . . is that helpful on a public forum like this, where people who are new to this area will be swayed by the tone and content of such a post ? ;'~(

    I don't know what you're saying about "a Pfizer potion" - as far as I know, olmesartan is patented by a Japanese company and as these patents are expiring in various countries, cheaper generics are becoming available ( - albeit much too slowing to the liking of many).  None as yet are inexpensively available in the UK - which should be of much concern to anyone who would (potentially at least) benefit from this tested protocol.

    If the consultant you have seen will not consider this body of information to ASSESS whether it MIGHT be of benefit to you, you have the RIGHT to have this investigated on the basis of the available FACTS - that could include in this case,  raising questions about him not reasonably keeping up with his CPD with the result that you LOSE out on a potential treatment of interest to you ( - as you say is the case).  Of course, this takes a level head and a calm persistence SBT, which can be hard to find when one is already unwell.  However, not to explore a potentially helpful treatment is likely to prove FAR more costly to an individual in the longer term.  (If you've decided not to pursue it any further, that is a matter for you, of course).  However, your overly sceptical comment is likely to deter others from coming to a fair judgement for themselves, which would be very unfortunate and potentially damaging to those so swayed.

    I hope you might amend your original comment, in light of my previous and this reply to it - we are better off progressing on the basis of PROVABLE fact !

    Is it the case that you don't have a link or other source of funding for Inflammation Research's considerable work, which from what I can see is being put in the public domain free of charge ?

    Thanks for your early and clarifying reply.

    2 April 2016


  • I am truly happy for you if your health has benefited from Inflammation Therapy.

    My comment about the Pfizer potion was an example of a consultant possibly receiving financial and/or other rewards by not prescribing a generic.  I am no longer taking the potion.  I do not apologise for calling it a potion -- I could, alternatively, call it a poison.  It caused me problems for several months.  Perhaps Olmesartan was dismissed (as an antihypertensive) on that occasion because its manufacturer does not offer sweeteners?

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but Inflammation Therapy is not part of the NICE guidelines, so isn't your point about my consultant's CPD moot?

    Have you any suggestions as to how I could explore the possibility of my suitability for Inflammation Therapy, bearing in mind I'm based in the UK?  I ceased supplementing D3 over a month ago.

  • We are getting away from the known basic science and biochemistry in talking about vested financial interests etc . . . . into the even more complex world of pyscho-social issues.

    I'm still unclear of what you're saying your consultant offered you - and whether it was actually a "vit D" solution.  And if you believe it was inappropriate and caused you (foreseeable) harm.  It's fine if you do not wish to disclose any further but, it does sound like your issue is with him, . . . . and not with those running Inflammation Research.

    NICE guidelines are (just) "guidelines" - I do not see HOW it is mandatory for any clinician to be BOUND by them, without exception.  However, perhaps on this issue, NICE may be seen as an acronym for N.I.for Clinical Error, if it advocates "vit D" supplementation "guidance" on calcidiol levels ALONE in ALL CASES.  Your question re. your clinician's advice to you sounds like a medico-legal one, which is best put to a competent professional in that field [ - do let us know if you find one ! ;~) ].

    Plenty of resources exist online to seriously further explore the known "vit D dysfunction" - seems like you may have started this already. 

    Just BEWARE  - and do not be too easily put off by superficial, carping criticisms of this approach, esp. by people who have failed to examine it IMpartially.  Sadly it seems there are vested interests here too, deterring sensible scientific scrutiny. 

    With enough curious minds in the UK raising questions (assertively and sensibly) about this body of established knowledge, the poor situation we have here is ONLY bound to improve over time.  What will YOU do about it ?

    Other online forums also exist specifically dedicated to the known "vit D dysfunction" and the only devised protocol ( - I'm aware of) to resolve it; you will no doubt find plenty of people & resources there to answer your reasonable queries.  By all means, feel free to provide feed back and views of your considered (impartial) findings.  There is work to do . . . . . when possible !


  • Yep - that's what I take !

  • Thanks, Marz and SmallBlueThing for your interesting comments. Food for thought! I've only been self-treating with 5000 mcg methylcobalamine and 5000 IU vitamin D and an iron complex for just over a week now (after GP pronounced my results "normal") but already noticed a difference - sleeping really well, memory and coordination (typing) noticeably better, no longer breathless or have cold hands etc.

  • Typing accuracy is one of the things I noticed getting worse, with repeated word endings cropping up.

    My calcium level (low) was included in a set of hospital tests, and I've pressed for it to be followed up: it may be due to Conn's syndrome rather than a parathyroid problem. I wasn't offered any advice when it was tested six months ago, so supplemented D3 and B12, which quickly resolved my pins & needles. Since then, I've experienced a feeling of glass splinters and some cramping in my hands, which are to do with the low calcium.

  • Hi Seamail57,

    You may want to reconsider your conclusions and decision re. prohormone "vit D" supplementation in light of the comments I've posted on this thread today.

    Supplementing advise ( - as I understand you've received) based on the result of the calcidiol test ALONE is scientifically unsound, for reasons that are clearly documented now ( - and for over a decade too) . . . . and it has been reported to make matters worse in a sub-group of people, which could have been foreseeably prevented in many/most cases.  I CANNOT see any flaw in this science (and empirical findings) which seem sound and verifiable to me. 

    If you are beginning to feel better ( - as I note you report above) that could well be DUE to the known (and documented) "temporary palliative effect" of "vit D" . . . . . which to the uninitiated is likely to provide a misguiding assurance, or a false sense of security.  Sadly, this does not last - its not permanent - and the longer term outlook is known to be a deterioration (for which a biochemical explanation has also been posited).

    Its best (I feel) if you consider whether there are important and overlooked markers of inflammation, which MAY be indications of the known and reported "vitD" or "VDR dysfunction".  Supplementing on the basis of the standard "vitD" or calcidiol test ALONE is not sound ( - and for very well explained reasons).

    Hope this "heads up" is of help to you - really do !


  • Isn't 5,000 iu awfully high for a non-soluble vitamin that can produce toxicity? I'm sure my GP recommended 1,000 iu for a few months then 500 until my D level was up to a good level.

  • Not according to others on this site who replied earlier.....

    This website also has a useful guide to levels of Vitamin D needed to restore optimal levels. Levels should be retested via blood test after 3 - 4 months I believe.

  • Mmm seamail57, I noticed what others had advised, which is why I flagged up my concern. I don't have the energy today to look at the website and was simply raising this so that if anyone wanted to they could do their own research and if they wish go cautiously.

  • International Units are specific to the substance measured.

    There is no meaning to suggest that a particular number of IUs is high or low just on the basis of that number.

    5000 IU of vitamin D is a significant dose but many people take that much (whether once a day, or once a week, or some other regime) over a long time without any issues. Others might find it too much.

  • I was referring to Vitamin D in my reply Helvella, sorry if that wasn't clear. I still think 5,000 iu of vitamin D per day is an alarmingly high does.

  • You may like to consider the comments I've posted on this thread today.  Your concern is PERFECTLY justified . . . . . . and there is even more to it than that:  sound medical advice to ALL based on the standard "vit D" or calcidiol test ALONE is scientifically IMPOSSIBLE and leads to FORESEEABLE harm in a known sub-group of the (usually already unwell) population (from the already established biochemistry).  Sad then that nonetheless, this FLAWED approach is PRACTICALLY the only one used in the UK still (some 4 months into 2016 !) concerning a prohormone "vit D" ( - which historically was MISCATORGARISED as "a vitamin" and, has yet to be RECLASSIFIED as a prohormone). 

    See for example: - a reasonably straight forward, basic introduction to the known "vitD" or "VDR dysfunction" issue.  Those "vit D" authorities who recommend supplementation on the result of the calcidiol test ALONE are either ignoring this KNOWN biochemistry ( - or, more strangely perhaps, claiming to be unaware of it, . . . . or something similar ?!).

    Glad you queried this !


  • Sorry, forgot to post the link to grassrootshealth. There is a table on their site showing dosages.

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