Dr. Davis has a post up the other day on "high-dose" vitamin D. Says the doc:
Judging by my experiences, now numbering well over 1000 patients over three years time, I'd regard this dose range not as "high dose," nor moderate dose, perhaps not even low dose. I'd regard it as barely adequate.
Though needs vary widely, the majority of men require 6000 units per day, women 5000 units per day. Only then do most men and women achieve what I'd define as desirable: 60-70 ng/ml 25-hydroxy vitamin D blood level.
I base this target level by extrapolating from several simple observations:
–In epidemiologic studies, a blood level of 52 ng/ml seems to be an eerily consistent value: >52 ng/ml and cancer of the colon, breast, and prostate become far less common; <52 ng/ml and cancers are far more likely. I don't know about you, but I'd like to have a little larger margin of safety than just achieving 52.1 ng/ml.
Regarding the epidemiology of cancer and vitamin D levels, take a close look at the last image on my post on cancer the other day.
However, I also posted a comment on the entry relating an anecdote (or coincidence) I recently had with the sunshine vitamin.
I just had a very interesting experience, but keep in mind: this is purely anecdotal.
I've been taking 6k IU per day for a few months and I'll soon get tested to see what my level is. However, week before last was the holiday party week and I was at parties like 5 days in a row, LOTS of drink (scotch, mostly), staying up late, getting up early, etc.
Predictably, I came down with a cold. On that first day, with that odd scratchy feeling in the back of my throat, I did 18k units of D. Next morning, no symptoms, to the point I though I might be mistaken about a cold coming on. Next morning, bang, the nose starts running, sneezes, but very mild — like 25% of a cold. 18K units again, and within hours, no more symptoms. Next morning, same thing with the runny nose, so I did another 18K units and within a few hours all symptoms were gone, it's now almost a week later and they have not returned.
I almost can't wait to catch another cold just to see if I can duplicate.
So, OK, I threw that out there, but I did so and still do think it's highly speculative. While I have a lot of confidence that good levels of D will prevent colds, flu and other maladies, I'm not so sure about its ability to stop, cure, or ameliorate a sickness that has already taken hold.
Even so, I was surprised that I'm apparently not alone in my experience. Here's three follow-on comments from others.
Very interesting indeed, Richard. I had a similar experience recently.
It was a few days before Thanksgiving, and I felt myself getting sick. Not with a cold, but with the flu. I got a 102 degree fever and felt awful. I remembered Dr. Cannell and Dr. Mercola talking about "stoss" therapy, so I calculated an "influenza dose" based on my body weight. I took around 150,000 IU once per day for three days. On the morning of the third day, I was completely better and was able to eat Thanksgiving dinner with my family. All in all, I had the flu for TWO DAYS. Amazing. I've never recovered from a severe illness that fast. In the past, I have always been very slow to recover. Incredible stuff.
My experiments last winter and this one with high doses of D at the first sign of a cold have been very similar, though I have been using 8-12,000iU of D3 (Carlson Solar Gems 4000iU x 3 each morning for my husband and I, x 1 for my son). The past week we were visiting family members some of whom had a cold that was catchy, and so far, we haven't caught the cold. Of course, they were skeptical of the Vit D boosting the immune system, etc.
your experience where Vitamin D appears to eradicate cold symptons is similar to my experience.
In past winters I always experienced major colds – typically three to five during the months of November through April. Usually they would last a couple of weeks each.
Late Spring 2008 I learned about the critical importance of vitamin D3. Now I supplement between 6,000 IU and 8,000 IU per day, and my 25(OH)D level floats in the 60 – 80 ng/ml range.
This year, sofar, I have had three experiences where I thought I caught a cold with typical symptoms. In each case the symptoms seemed to get worse during the first day, but completely resolved within 24 hours. No additional medication or supplementation of anyting, except the regular 6k – 8k IU D3.
With research indicating that vitamin D is critical to a strong immune system, my sense is that the cold virus still attacks, but has no change to survive when the immune system is strong, enabled by means of adequate Vitamin D.
By the way, my four year old son also has no persistent cold symptons this year, no ear infections. Such relief!
It is great to see that vitamin D does much more than enusring the cold virus cannot survive. The strong immune system it allows our bodies to build, appears to reduce all kinds of inflammation (CVD link) and cellular problems.