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180DegreeHealth #8: Don’t Supplement with Vitamin D Until You’ve Heard This!

Supplementing with Vitamin D may be dangerous. Yeah I said it.

Like many phases in nutritional science, there is a frenzy right now over a particular nutrient, and it’s got millions of people all over the world downing this substance willy nilly. The stuff is even added to milk for crying out loud. It’s good old vitamin D.

But of course as more research is done, the truth emerges, and Vitamin D, an extremely powerful hormone-like vitamin, is found to have effects. Those effects can be desirable or undesirable depending on how much and who’s taking it.

Today, Dr. Garrett Smith and I chat about flawed thinking when it comes to supplementing with vitamin D and trying to force your blood levels higher. Turns out supplementing with vitamin D can even lower your metabolic rate. And Dr. Smith reveals what is suppressing vitamin D levels in the blood of so many individuals, and how to potentially raise vitamin D blood levels without taking vitamin D or spending more time in the sun! This one is guaranteed to get the wheels in your brain turning…

  1. I have done a lot of reading on magnesium supplements and all my research has led to using the Ancient Minerals topical magnesium products as opposed to oral supplementation because of purity and absorption. I have found Dr. Mark Sircus’s work to be very helpful and the book Death By Calcium certainly shed light on the dangers of too much calcium in the cells. What kind/brand of magnesium would you recommend? Also, I have symptoms of severe adrenal fatigue with elevated cortisol especially in the late afternoon and evening which plummets and makes me wake up in the night. I have used the salt/sugar mix in the night under my tongue for a long time it does help, but I cannot seem to get to the root cause of the issue. When I use topical magnesium or take a magnesium supplement before bed I have very restless, interrupted sleep when most people use it to calm them. Why would magnesium have this affect? I am 6 weeks post partum and my midwife did note calcification in my placenta upon delivery. I have never taken a calcium supplement. Interestingly my vitamin D levels were tested in Nov. and it was 25.9. I have also read a lot about morning sickness during pregnancy being in part caused by low magnesium levels which I have had with all 5 pregnancies. The bigger picture is coming together, but I need to find a way to supplement with magnesium that my body agrees with! Is ionic magnesium a better choice..there are so many types and forms of magnesium out there to choose from!

    • I am the same, I tried the Ancient minerals magnesium gel, I used it at lunch time. I had the most incredible energy. That night I was completely wired and spent most of the night awake as if on some time of stimulant. I have read a little about it, and apparently there are those who have paradoxical reactions to magnesium. I too would be interested to know how I can increase those levels as my sleep is bad. I am also in late perimenopause.

    • Thanks Dr G for some fascinating insights on Vit D.

      Cleanlivingcoach and Slinky – I have long suspected the same regarding using topical Mg and sleep, it just didn’t make sense. I am also coming out of adrenal fatigue and have had fairly constant waking in the night issues since a major operation almost 2 years ago. I am also perimenopausal… Would love some insight on this topic Dr G!

      • I’ve been taking 10g of glycine daily and can’t stay awake!

  2. I should also mention that I take Green Pastures Fremented CLO/HVBO daily, we have our own organically fed, free range chickens and eggs, org. raw dairy from grass fed jersey cows, grass fed beef, wild caught salmon, lots of veggies, good fats, some fruit, lots of fermented foods and a very clean, balanced diet. I should not be lacking in nutrients for the most part though I could eat more greens during the winter months. I also take a digestive enzyme to make sure I’m breaking all of this good food down properly.

  3. Supplementation is always fraught with complications. I have been warning against Vitamn D supplementation for years. I have attended conferences where supra levels of Vitamin D are being recommended. Glad that people are starting to questions the validity of D supplementation and that perhaps we are not understanding what the body is trying to tell us. Trevor Marshall’s protocol is based on avoidance of Vitamin D in autoimmunity conditions and perhaps we should be testing the active hormone and the 25-hydroxy D together before making assumptions that we may be low in Vitamin D as there seems to be an inverse relationship between them. It is the hormone 1,25 Vitamin D that has shown inverse relationship to vascular calcification. Dialysis patients develop vascular calcification when treated with oral vitamin D3 but not when treated with 1,25-vitamin D. We need to be taking the active form and not the 25-hydroxy D(storage form). This is starting to sound like the T4/T3 thyroid supplementation problem. Why aren’t we testing the active form of D?

    Are you seeing calcium levels come down with the K2 supplementation on hair analysis and can you see other patterns emerging with K2 supplementation? It would be interesting to know. I see high calcium in people with heart disease who are basically on starvation diets along with diuretics that messes up their electrolytes, not eating any dairy or high calcium foods. It has amazed me that these people can have such high bone density scores on such diets. I keep thinking where is all this calcium coming from – obviously out of the soft tissues and into the bones. No arterial calcification. So it is interesting the relationship of low potassium to calcium ratio along with low magnesium. I have also noted strange kidney function results with Vitamin D supplementation that I am not liking. These people may have great dexa results but their other health parameters are of concern. Great to know that HMA can be used as a tool for thyroid.

  4. Dr. G, Good stuff! Very interesting info! I had been curious about this topic after seeing so many studies fail to show benefits from vitamin D supplementation.

    I love what you guys said in this interview about how a program can have initial benefits and then it becoming pathological. Specifically when it comes to calories, and the problems of viewing calories as a magical substance that is the panacea for everything. I am getting a lot of people coming to me saying essentially “I tried that and initially I got great results, but then it started making me fat, and now I have a new set of health problems.”

    Anyway, great stuff, guys!

    – Ari

  5. Are there not different types of vitamin D. Are those differeces not significant for a more precise conclusion about the benefits of vitmin D. In other words which vitamin D are you talking about- D2? D3? Yes, some have encouraged large doses but they have been careful to ditiguish which D type to increase.

  6. 25-Hydroxy: 48 ng/mL [30-100]

  7. Yet doctor’s don’t test active D levels (Calcitriol aka 1,25) and only storage D (aka 25-OH).

    My storage D is “low” and my active D is over range. Lab result examples below. I never asked for the active (1,25) blood lab until last Summer, but I had to ask. Frustrated since there doesn’t seem to be any concern or action on resolving the high active D.
    VITAMIN D 1,25-DIHYDROXY 33 [15-60]

    VITAMIN D, 25-OH, TOTAL [30 – 100 ng/mL] 42



    Summer 2014:
    – 25-Hydroxy: 48 ng/mL [30-100]
    – Calcitriol: (1,25 di-OH Vit D) 124.4 pg/mL 10.0-75.0

    December 2014:
    – 25-Hydroxy: 28.2 ng/mL 30.0-100.0
    – Calcitriol: (1,25 di-OH Vit D) 123.9 pg/mL 10.0-75.0