Friday, March 19, 2010

Cholecalciferol to the rescue

The more common name for the above chemical is D3 as in Vitamin D (D3 aka cholecalciferol is the active form of Vitamin D).

Why is it "to the rescue," you ask? There's been a bunch of studies over the past decade that have found that if people take more vitamin D, they have 25 percent less cancer and heart disease. As a result, doctors, mine for example, have been prescribing megadoses of vitamin D in their patients with low serum levels of cholecalciferol. Sometimes as much as 50,000 units per dose. The FDA, by contrast, is 400 units per day.

What happens if you don't get enough? Well, a recent study found that people with the lowest levels of vitamin D in their blood are 26 percent more likely to die from any cause (heart disease and cancer being the headliners but even routine infections are more likely if you're deficient in vitamin D) than folks with respectable serum levels.

A lot of these benefits are due to the upregulation of the P53 gene, which helps check your DNA for mistakes in transcription and kills cells that have errors. Vitamin D also improves your ability to produce and use insulin so it probably helps protect against type 2 diabetes. The vitamin may help prevent autoimmune diseases too, including multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.

As a result, a lot of doctors recommend people get 1,000 - 2,000 units of vit D a day (remember that D3 is the active form) but the official government recommendation hasn't shifted from 400 units yet. It probably will eventually.

I just happened to be thinking of this 'cause I'm almost out and need to go buy some more D3.

6 comments:

Thumper said...

My endocrinologist put me on 50,000iu every week for 3 months, and then 1000iu a day after that...years of chronic pain eased to a dull roar, and I'm getting my life back.

I don't need convincing...I'm staying on it.

utenzi said...

My doctor did the same thing. 50k units per week for 12 weeks (with one refill on the prescription). I've had 8 weeks of them so far and don't feel any different but I wasn't having any active problems either. I'm glad to hear that it helped you out so much. But "a dull roar" still sounds pretty bad.

Michael Manning said...

It is vital, absolutely. Well done, Utenzi! This should help other readers!! :)

tiff said...

So only available by prescription? Grrrr.

utenzi said...

Only available in those huge quantities (50,000 units) by prescription. Normal dosage of D3 is available anywhere they sell vitamins.

kenju said...

I've been taking the prescription dosage for about 6 weeks - and this is the second time I've had to take it. More and more people are being diagnosed with low levels of it, too.