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Vitamin D

By |2022-11-01T10:00:16-05:00October 12th, 2022|Articles, General|

Why It Should Be Dosed By Your Healthcare Provider Only (not by you)

by Mila McManus, MD

Vitamin D is essential for good health. It has anti-depressant effects, enhances immune function, has anti-cancer effects,

Vitamin D is essential for good health. This fat soluble vitamin has anti-depressant effects, increases calcium absorption in the GI tract, enhances immune function, has anti-cancer effects, and is anti-inflammatory.

There are very few rich dietary sources which are egg yolks, fatty fish, and fortified milk. The best and cheapest source is sunlight on arms, face, and legs several days a week for 5 to 15 minutes and without wearing sunscreen.

While deficiency is common, many people are taking far too much. Fat soluble vitamins, such as D, store up in the body, unlike most vitamins that are cleared from the body quickly if unneeded. As a result, Vitamin D should be monitored regularly by your medical provider to ensure the correct dose for you. The optimal dose may vary by age, season, health status, weight, and other variables. Vitamin D can also have some drug interactions and contraindications with certain diseases, another reason why working with your medical provider to maintain appropriate levels is important.

Symptoms[1] of excess Vitamin D include excess calcium in the blood (hypercalcemia) which can cause nausea, vomiting, weakness, and frequent urination.  This toxicity can progress to bone pain and kidney problems, such as the formation of calcium kidney stones.

It is also essential that there be synchronization of Vitamin D with other vitamins such as calcium and vitamin K to ensure proper balance and absorption. For example, vitamin D, K, and calcium are a triad that work together synergistically and need to be balanced properly for optimal bone health and osteoporosis prevention. Excess calcium can lead to arterial and cardiovascular issues.

A common mistake people make is taking extra calcium or vitamin D without accounting for the amounts already in other vitamin supplements such as multi-vitamins and vitamin packed protein drinks.

We emphasize that everyone is different when it comes to vitamin D supplementation. Lifestyle, diet, age, health status, and one’s supplementation regimen must all be considered in order to properly  manage vitamin D levels. This needs to be routinely checked once or twice a year for most people.  Those who spend time outdoors may not need much supplementation, while an elderly individual who rarely gets out and has poorer absorption from the gut would have different requirements.  Very dark skinned individuals are less able to get vitamin D from the sun. 

While a normal reference range for blood levels of vitamin D is between 30-100, we broadly aim for 70-80, however this may not be right for everyone and could cause ill effects for some individuals. It can be dosed in a variety of forms including oral pills and liquids, injections, and can be dosed daily versus weekly. Your medical provider can also be helpful with determining which protocol is right for you.

With Vitamin D, it is wisest not to guess or be your own doctor. Consult with your medical provider for the best approach for you.


[1] https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/vitamin-d-toxicity/faq-20058108#:~:text=The%20main%20consequence%20of%20vitamin,the%20formation%20of%20calcium%20stones.


Vitamin D – Cancer Fighting Powerhouse

By |2013-10-01T12:49:12-05:00September 27th, 2013|General|

Top 10 Facts About Vitamin D and Cancer:  

1.  Many studies have found solar ultraviolet-B (UVB) vitamin D associated with reduced risk of breast, colon, and rectal cancer.
2.  A randomized controlled trial with 1100 IU/day vitamin D3 plus 1450 mg/day calcium found a 77% reduction in all-cancer incidence.
3.  Geographical studies have found reduced risk in mortality rates for 15-20 types of cancer in regions of higher solar UVB doses.
4.  Observational studies found risk of breast, colon, and rectal cancer falls as vitamin D blood levels rise to over 40 ng/mL (100 nmol/L).
5.  Mechanisms have been proposed to explain how vitamin D acts to reduce the risk of cancer from starting, growing, and spreading.
6.  Those who develop non-melanoma skin cancer may have produced enough vitamin D to reduce their risk of internal cancers.
7.  Those with higher vitamin D blood levels at time of cancer diagnosis had nearly twice the survival rate of those with the lowest levels.
8.  African Americans have an increased risk of cancer in part due to lower vitamin D blood levels because of darker skin.
9.  Higher UVB exposure early in life has been associated with reduced risk of breast and prostate cancer.
10.  Those diagnosed with breast, colon, and prostate cancer in summer in Norway had higher survival rates than those diagnosed in winter.

Source:   http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/health-conditions/cancer/

Vitamin D: Nature’s Prozac

By |2014-04-14T16:04:07-05:00June 23rd, 2013|General|

Making sure you’re getting enough sunlight exposure to have healthy Vitamin D levels is a crucial factor in treating depression or keeping it at bay. One previous study found that people with the lowest levels of Vitamin D were 11 times more prone to being depressed than those who had normal levels. Vitamin D deficiency is actually more the norm than the exception, and has previously been implicated in both psychiatric and neurological disorders.

Vitamin D receptors have been identified throughout the human body, and that includes in your brain. Researchers have located metabolic pathways for Vitamin D in the hippocampus and cerebellum of the brain, areas that are involved in planning, processing of information, and the formation of new memories.

Sufficient Vitamin D is also imperative for proper functioning of your immune system to combat inflammation, and other research has discovered that depressed people tend to have higher levels of inflammation in their brains.

Vitamin D is paramount to optimal thyroid function, and depression is a well-known symptom of low thyroid function. Be sure to ask your doctor to check your “25-OH vitamin D” level (NOT “1,25-OH vitamin D” level). Although normal range is 30 to 100, studies have shown that people with levels in the 70-80 range have the lowest incidence of flus/colds, cancer, autoimmune diseases, and diabetes. Levels should be monitored periodically since vitamin D is one of the few vitamins that can reach toxic levels, and of course, you want to make sure you are never deficient in vitamin D. 


The Sun and Vitamin D

By |2013-06-23T09:09:35-05:00June 23rd, 2013|General|

by Mila McManus MD

Now that school is finally out and we will all be spending more time outdoors, I believe the time has come to debunk the sunscreen myth.

Sunlight elevates our mood and exposure to it is crucial for optimal health for a number of reasons, with Vitamin D production being the most important.  Vitamin D is one of the most effective anti-cancer vitamins and can be produced in the skin through exposure to U.V. light. It is essential for a strong immune system that helps protect us from, and ward off, cancer(s). It is also very important for maintaining strong and healthy bones.

Toxicity of Sunscreens

Sunscreen ingredients, such as Zinc Oxide and Oxybenzone are linked to cancer. Absorbing chemicals through the skin can be more dangerous than ingesting them orally. The reason for this is that when chemicals or medications are applied directly on the skin, they are not broken down by the strong acids of the stomach before reaching the bloodstream, and they bypass being metabolized by the liver on initial entry.  Moreover, the aluminum content in these carcinogenic ingredients commonly used in most sunscreens will stay in the body forever, accumulating as a heavy metal toxin.

The survival of the sunscreen industry is reliant upon keeping us ignorant and afraid of the sun.  None of us would ever consider eating sunscreen, yet we follow the advice of the medical “establishment” that reports continually that many of us will suffer from skin cancer without it. “Experts” recommend applying generous amounts of the products every few hours. It has been shown that strict sun protection exacerbates Vitamin D deficiency. Sunscreen creates an actual physical barrier and blocks your skin’s ability to produce Vitamin D by more than 95%.

So, now that we have determined that sunscreen is full of known carcinogens and provides a physical barrier against the production of the amazing cancer fighter Vitamin D, what is the best solution to having optimal Vitamin D levels?

Sun Safety Solutions

The best solution is healthy tanning. This does not mean that we should all go out and get as much sun as we want. Caution must be exercised and the key is avoiding a burn.  This means that we should limit exposure initially until we accumulate some brown pigment, called melanin, which gives the skin brown color and protects it naturally from burning. As the skin becomes well tanned, a person can increase their exposure with little risk of cancer. If burning does occur, apply coconut oil or aloe vera overnight and miss a day or two of sun exposure to allow the skin to recover. In the middle of summer, when the sun is very strong, avoid the midday hours or wear lightweight, light colored clothing that covers the skin and a wide brimmed hat.

Have a Happy and Healthy Summer!

Vitamin D Important During Pregnancy

By |2012-10-03T11:21:39-05:00October 3rd, 2012|Articles|

Research presented at the Annual Meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies indicates that vitamin D is crucial during pregnancy. The American Pregnancy Association reports that of the estimated 6 million pregnancies per year in the United States, 875,000 women experience one or more pregnancy-related complications. In addition, they state that 467,201 babies are born prematurely, 307,030 babies are born with low birth weight and 154,051 infants are born with birth defects each year.

In this new study, researchers assessed the relationship between high-dose vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy and the risk of developing pregnancy-related complications. The subjects included pregnant women between 12 and 16 weeks gestation. The women were supplemented with vitamin D at a dose of 400 IU, 2,000 IU or 4,000 IU per day until delivery. The subjects were evaluated monthly for treatment safety and were given blood tests to measure vitamin D supplementation effectiveness. The women were also followed to determine the rate of pregnancy complications including preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, infections, preterm labor and preterm birth.

The results showed that serum levels of vitamin D (25(OH)D) were significantly different between the 3 treatment groups. As serum vitamin D levels increased, the risk of infection and preterm labor and birth decreased. The group receiving 4,000 IU of vitamin D daily had the lowest rate of infection and preterm labor and birth. In fact, compared to the group receiving 400 IU vitamin D per day, the group receiving 4,000 IU per day had a 50 percent reduction in risk of these complications.
The researchers concluded, “Vitamin D sufficiency was strongly associated with decreased risk for preterm labor and birth and infection during pregnancy and comorbities of pregnancy, with the greatest effect with 4,000 IU vitamin D/day regimen. Therefore, to attain a minimal 25(OH)D level of 40 ng/mL, we recommend 4,000 IU/day for all pregnant women.”
Reference: Wagner CL, Johnson D, Hulsey TC, Ebeling M, Shary J, Smith PG, Bivens B, Hollis BW. Vitamin D Supplementation during Pregnancy Part 2 NICHD/CTSA Randomized Clinical Trial (RCT): Outcomes. In: Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies; 2010 May1-4, Vancouver BC. Abstract 1665.
Article obtained from Complementary Prescriptions

Question: There’s so much information out there about Vitamin D. What are some important things to know about this Vitamin?

By |2012-10-11T10:22:39-05:00October 2nd, 2012|Ask Dr McManus|

Question: There's so much information out there about Vitamin D. What are some important things to know about this Vitamin?

Answer: “Vitamin D is paramount to optimal thyroid function, and depression is a well-known symptom of low thyroid function. Be sure to ask your doctor to check your “25-OH vitamin D” level (NOT “1,25-OH vitamin D” level). Although normal range is 30 to 100, studies have shown that people with levels in the 70-80 range have the lowest incidence of flus/colds, cancer, autoimmune diseases, and diabetes. Levels should be monitored periodically since vitamin D is one of the few vitamins that can reach toxic levels, and of course, you want to make sure you’re not deficient in Vitamin D.”