Prescription strength vitamin D - VeggieBoards - A Vegetarian Community
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#1 Old 05-23-2009, 07:27 AM
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I recently had a blood test that revealed very low levels of vitamin D. The doctor wants me to take a prescription strength (50000 IU/pill) vitamin D supplement daily. I think that there is a good chance that the vitamin D from the pharmacy will be animal derived. Because my vitamin D levels are so low, the doctor wants me to initially take the pharmacy's vitamin D instead of over the counter supplements, since the over the counter supplements do not come in high enough dosages. What should I do? I find it the idea of having to take an animal derived supplement upsetting, but I wonder if in this I have no other choice.
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#2 Old 05-23-2009, 09:10 AM
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If it were me, I'd take the Vitamin D. Personal choice. I have no idea how D is sourced, but if it is animal in origin, perhaps you can find an alternative given time. But first things first. Hope everything turns out alright for you.



And for goodness sakes, get out in the sun more j/k
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#3 Old 05-23-2009, 12:34 PM
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Sit in the sun for 15 minutes a day. That generates like 20,000 IUs of Vitamin D.
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#4 Old 05-23-2009, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hydrogen View Post

I recently had a blood test that revealed very low levels of vitamin D. The doctor wants me to take a prescription strength (50000 IU/pill) vitamin D supplement daily. I think that there is a good chance that the vitamin D from the pharmacy will be animal derived. Because my vitamin D levels are so low, the doctor wants me to initially take the pharmacy's vitamin D instead of over the counter supplements, since the over the counter supplements do not come in high enough dosages. What should I do? I find it the idea of having to take an animal derived supplement upsetting, but I wonder if in this I have no other choice.

Hmm, vitamin D is vitamin D. I've seen over the counter vitamin D come in capsules containing 4400 mg per capsule. You just have to take more capsules, which isn't that big a deal. You'll need more D2 than D3, of course, if you choose D2, which is vegan. D3 is ususally obtained from wool, though I have read that it can also be completely synthetic.



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Sit in the sun for 15 minutes a day. That generates like 20,000 IUs of Vitamin D.

Not necessarily. This kind of advice verges on myth. If you really want to know how much vitamin D you can get from sun exposure you need to take into account your latitude, your local UV index for any given day you wish to expose yourself, your own skin's levels of pigmentation, how much skin you actually expose to the sun, how long you expose it for, the time of year, the time of day, etc. Fifteen minutes of sun exposure in New York in November is a very different thing from fifteen minutes of sun exposure in Arizona in July, even when all other factors are equal.
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#5 Old 05-23-2009, 02:06 PM
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Some of us don't have enough direct sun to generate that much.



I live in Washington State and except right during the mid-summer, the sun isn't close enough/UV rays aren't strong enough nor is it warm enough to expose my full arms and legs which is what you need to absorb enough in that amount of time. The Northern part of the US, Canada and northern parts of Europe are pretty much the same. Basically if you live in the southern part of the country - from Los Angeles, and then draw a line straight through the country - Texas to Florida, etc. If you live above that line, the UV rays may not be strong enough for adequate Vitamin D production, especially in the colder months.

People with dark skin need more exposure too.



EDIT:Sorry, posted the same time as "SomeBody Else" above. But I think we're basically saying the same thing.
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#6 Old 05-23-2009, 02:47 PM
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Can't you just take extra of the otc Vitamin D?

The ones I pity are the ones who never stick out their neck for something they believe, never know the taste of moral struggle, and never have the thrill of victory. - Jonathan Kozol
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#7 Old 05-23-2009, 03:28 PM
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For a comparison of D2 and D3, have a look at here:

http://www.veganhealth.org/articles/bones#d2d3



(Check out the rest of the page as well, it has all sorts of useful info about vitamin D.)

I no longer post here after the disagreements and exodus related to the sale of VB back in 2012. (See my profile page.) 
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#8 Old 05-23-2009, 04:30 PM
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I am severly low in Vitamin D-3. I take three capsules of otc 2000 iu daily.
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#9 Old 05-26-2009, 10:35 AM
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Thank you for the replies. I guess I can try asking the doctor if I can take 25 pills of the vegan 2000 IU Vitamin D2 supplement (which works out to 3-4 pills per day). However, I remember reading things that seem to suggest that vitamin D2 doesn't work as well as vitamin D3 (but I don't remember exactly what I read, so I am unsure about that). I am worried though, that I might bother or offend the doctor if I ask too many questions or if I don't follow her suggestions.
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#10 Old 05-26-2009, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
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I am worried though, that I might bother or offend the doctor if I ask too many questions or if I don't follow her suggestions.



It's her job to answer your questions and make sure that you're satisfied with the treatment so that you'll comply. The fact that you're concerned about asking too much tells me that you're a patient who is probably NOT irritating to their doctor (I think those types of patients generally aren't all that worried about their effect).

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#11 Old 05-26-2009, 11:29 AM
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You also don't want to shock your system, the vitamins still need to be absorbed & you don't want to end up urinating out the excess.
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#12 Old 05-28-2009, 09:00 AM
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You also don't want to shock your system, the vitamins still need to be absorbed & you don't want to end up urinating out the excess.



I thought that since vitamin D is fat solulable, excess is stored in body fat and not urinated. I thought it was just the water solulable vitamins like C and the B complex such that excess was urinated.
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#13 Old 05-29-2009, 07:31 AM
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I find it the idea of having to take an animal derived supplement upsetting, but I wonder if in this I have no other choice.

If it were me I would take the prescription, regardless of how it is derived. Once the deficiency is corrected then I would most certainly look to alternate means of securing an adequate Vitamin D source as others have suggested. But you will likely need the prescription-strength dose to get you to that point. As in all things, you cannot help others until you get your own health in order. But that's just my opinion.
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#14 Old 05-29-2009, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
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I thought that since vitamin D is fat solulable, excess is stored in body fat and not urinated. I thought it was just the water solulable vitamins like C and the B complex such that excess was urinated.

You are correct. Its also stored in the liver, if I recall correctly. Many nutrients are.

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#15 Old 08-01-2012, 08:04 PM
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My doctor also found me to be Vitamin Deficient. I have researched this and found there are a lot of symptoms that are serious and supplementation might be necessary. My doctor wanted to prescribe a prescription strength vitamin d supplement and I asked if it was d2 or d3. D3 is made from animal products, sometimes pigskin. I am vegan so i declined but told the doctor that I have vitamin d2 that I was taking and it said it had 200% of the daily value. I was told that what humans need and the RDA say may conflict. Everyone is different. I was told to take a 50,000 u once a week! I am is that right? Yes, that is right. The doctor told me to get my pills and add then together to make that amount and to come back for another blood test in about 2 months to see if the levels are normal. I researched some more and found a study I think in UK or something like that advising against such large doses at once. So I decided to divide the 50,000 up over 7 days and to take daily about 8-9 pills depending. Deva makes lots of vegan products you can be sure that there are no animal products in them. But d2 is the vegan kind and d3 is the animal kind. I do not know what kind your prescription is. Another thing I read is that you need to balance your d with vitamin a ( you can use beta carotene because it is safer than straight A)

Good luck!

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#16 Old 08-02-2012, 03:50 AM
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BB can you get some sunlight at midday where you are? smiley.gif D2 can be difficult for the body to absorb.
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