How can I increase my Vitamin D blood serum level?

I'm interested in hearing from anyone who has successfully increased your Vitamin D blood serum level. How did you do it, and how long did it take?

I've been supplementing with 5000 IU Vitamin D daily (fairly consistently) for nine months. I just had my Vit. D blood level tested (first time), and scored a 34.7. I know this is too low for someone with Osteoporosis.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!


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Do you know your level from 9 months ago?

According to Ted Hutchinson, one of our most knowledgeable members, it takes about 3 weeks to "fill up your tank." If you have been taking 5000 iu daily for 9 months, maybe you need more D than the average person. Ted recommends 1000 iu for every 25 pounds of body weight. If you weight more than 125 lbs, you need more than 5000 iu. Some people require more than that to get their levels up (and some require less), it depends on how your own body handles it.

You'll find more info in this discussion: o-our-low-fat-diets-cause-vitamin-d-deficiency/

and in this video:

Here is the website of the Vitamin D Council:

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The other rule of thumb is that your blood level of Vitamin D goes up by about 10 ng/ml for every additional 1000 IU of Vitamin D3 you take. Those with gallbladder surgery and other digestive conditions that reduce fat absorption may need to supplement more or use fat digestive aids.

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I agree with Lilypads that you may need more than 5000 IU. Also, since Vitamin D is fat soluble, make sure you always take your supplement with a bit of fat.

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hi, ive been dealing with the same issue, i wasnt taking enough and then when i upped it by one to two more thousand i also started supplementing with magnesium, my vit d went from 18 (nov 2011) to 32(feb 2012) (a span of three months) that was almost 6 months ago, in sept ill do another vit d check, im hoping to be 50-70, i want to get to 70 min,.
i do know for me i think the increase in vit d supplementation plus the magnesium which basically allows your body to utilize vitd or activate it, really seems to have helped me.

at least in my case its been a long time to finally get a raise in mt vit d.

i also supplement with vit b's and zinc

since my last bld check in feb ive been taking fairly regularly 4000iu/day, im upping now to 5000 sometimes 6000, but not less than 4000iu. i weigh about 120,(im trying to gain weight /build muscle tone) i was even thinner, so maybe because i dont have enough fat/cholesterol that it is hard for me, also my body is very stressed over these past years from recurrent respiratory infections, other infections, basically on antibiotics every 2-4 months over the past 8 years.

which is also another indicator of deficiency.

its almost 3 months since my last bronchitis/antibiotics.......well see,

im giving it a big push for the next month so i cant wait to see my bld test results in sept.

i put a post up about magnesium and 'important information thats out there' there are a lot of good links worth anyones while to watch, and read.

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Tango, Interesting about the gallbladder- I am just recently learning all this! I had mine out 14 years ago(at age 36) and was never told it would affect my Vit D level, but maybe noone knew that until recently. I have had low Vit D and osteoporosis for years, undiagnosed... so along with early menopause and no HRT, my bones were doomed! :) Thank goodness for!

Tammye, I was found to have low Vit D in March. My level was 20. I was surprised because I spend a lot of time outdoors and live in a sunny area. I have been taking 5000-6000 iu daily along with my calcium, magnesium, etc... and my level is now 48. It took 3 months. I have just upped my daily amount to 7000 iu and will recheck in Sept or Oct. I am trying for a level of 60. I take half in the morn and half in the afternoon, with food containing fat.

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@ it takes about 3 weeks to "fill up your tank.
I'm afraid there is a bit of a misunderstanding there.
It's easy to do, my fingers often don't type what my brain is thinking hence the many typos and the same happens when I read my posts, my brain reads what I meant to write rather than what I actually wrote so it's no good me proof reading my own stuff.

Here's what Dr Davis ACTUALLY WROTE
You take 10,000 units D3 in gelcap form. 25-hydroxy vitamin D levels, checked every 6 months, have remained consistently between 60 and 70 ng/ml. Three years into your vitamin D experience and 25-hydroxy vitamin D level rises to 98 ng/ml–an apparent need for less vitamin D.

So you will see while you can, if you use SUFFICIENT vitamin D (10,000iu) to get 25(OH)D to above 50ng/ml, it then may take up to an additional 3 yrs before the body breaches that plateau and levels can be safely reduced.

We don't know the weight of Tammye and it's possible adipose tissue (fat) is sequestering the vitamin d, or possibly it's not being fully absorbed. It may be sensible to increase intake to 1000iu per 25lbs weight or perhaps have 6months on 10,000iu/daily to see if that helps.
I find that 50ng/ml is much better for my pain levels and immune function. (125nmol/l)

Do check out the Vitamin D cofactors particularly MAGNESIUM.
Magnesium is a very important antinociceptive agent as is Vitamin D3. They work better TOGETHER.

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One thing I would add is if you have any kind of kidney problems be careful with taking magnesium in supplement form. One food containing lots of magnesium are pumpkin seeds. There is about 120mg in two tablespoons which I have sprinkled on yoghourt and raspberries for breakfast (for those of you that like crunchy and smooth together as I do) plus I take three more 100mg tablets of chelated magnesium, two with meals and one before bed. Nutrients in food form do not need normally to be regulated. I was upping my magnesium in supplement form earlier this year and then had problems with urinating so be careful.

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Many thanks to everyone who has responded. I'm 5'2" and weigh 138 lbs, as far as calculating what my Vit. D intake should be. I had not been diagnosed with Osteo at the time of annual bloodwork in July '11. I requested the Vit. D blood test with July '12 bloodwork, thus the recent 34.7 score. So I don't know what my starting Vit. D score was when I started taking Vit. D 5000 IU nine months ago. I chose the 5000 IU dosage based on gut feeling.

My NP wanted me to take Reclast injection, but after online research, I cancelled appt. and started supplement program. I've been on a low dose antidepressant for many years, and now know it probably contributed to Osteo. I've also been on a low dose statin for many years, and now wonder if it has contributed to Vit. D deficiency (based on recent research).

Based on everyone's feedback, I think I'm going to up my Vit. D to 10,000 IU for six months?? I'm already scheduled for bloodwork in six months, and will request another Vit. D test. I do take 200 mg. chelated Magnesium with my Vit. D. I also get 800 IU Vit. D and 175 mg. Magnesium with my Calcium (360 mg.) supplement (which I take twice daily, so double that).

Feel free to provide additional feedback, based on the info I provided above.


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absolutely brilliant, quite technical but glean what you can...worth while

dr d reinhold vieth- treatment and toxicity benefits of supplementing with vitd

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My mother, a 92 year old woman went from something lke a 12 level to a 24 level to 52 blood level of Vitamin D
all in about 4-5 months by taking 2000 units per day of vitamin D. It was not a special brand of
vitamin either.

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Tammye, are you getting all the other minerals needed for strong bones? Manganese, boron, selenium, iodine, zinc, and the vitamins--K2, C, and B?

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A year ago my D level was 35.2. It was checked last week and after 4 months of 4000 iu of D3, it's now 46.7. I plan on increasing the level to a minimum of 50. Not sure how high I can safely go but will increase my intake to 6000 iu.

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Hi everyone, My husband had a level of 7 in Vit D last year and was very ill. This is very low and causes all sorts of problems. A naturopath did lots of tests and put him on 10000 units a day and plenty of sunshine - hottest part of the day and skin exposed for 30 mins. He was tested 8 months later and his level had gone up to 80. The reservoir I was told is 2 million so you can work it out. He is a vegan so doesn't get much from food. Sunshine is the best way to get Vit D and we are all scared to go out in the sun now because of skin cancer scares. As someone points out in this post, magnesium very important too. We all seem to be Vit D and magnesium deficient lately - but at least now we are aware and can deal with it. He was told level should be 80-100.

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My doctor had me take 50,000IU several times a week for 3 to 6 months to get the levels back up again. Then, once they were up to normal, I decreased the dose to 10,000IU daily. I have maintained an acceptable level for a year now.

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hi luxgal, i was just re-reading this thread, since there is new activity,...
it seems i didnt catch what you wrote first time around,
what kind of 'pee problems' did you have supplementing with magnesium?

had you had your mag serum level checked and was it high?

as far as i know high serum -extra cellular (as opposed to intracellular which they dont usually check) mag levels can indicate bun/creatinine excretion problems /kidney function decline??
addisons?? or simply a iatrogenic lab finding.

how are you now?

by the way , to everyone this is a really good, informative and helpful thread. thanks!

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I've been taking 800iu D3 gel caps. I get them on prescription from my doctor. My D levels were considered too low at 36 - I am now at 83.9 after approximately 8 months. Guidelines here are that between 70 and 150 are required for bone health.
I'd love to know why some can attain high levels on "moderate" amounts of D3 after only several months and others struggle even on quite high doses to attain a higher level.

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lolie, are you talking about ng/ml or nmol? If it's ng/mL, anything over 100 can cause problems, and it's probably better to stay under 80, according to neurologist Stasha Gominak. You can see her great video here:

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lilypads, it's nmol. Do you know if over 80 is ok in nmol?

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ng/ml convert to nmol/l multiply by 2.5

nmol/l to ng/ml divide by 2.5

ie: 60 ngml would be 2.496 x 60 = 150 nmol/l

so your 83.9 nmol/l = 33.5 ng/ml (83.9/2.5)

hope that helps

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Thanks, Faylou, So that means it's still quite low. Optimal levels are 60-80 ng/mL according to Dr. Gominak.

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