Nutrition & Dieting/Vitamin D Deficiency

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Question
Hello,

I have been vegan for almost 8 years, and just recently I was diagnosed with vitamin D deficiency. My doctor prescribed me vitamin D2. I take 50,000IU once a week.

I have been taking this for three weeks and have not felt any of my symptoms begin to reverse. In fact, they seem to be getting worse- hair less, bumpy nailbeds, mood swings, etc... (My thyroid blood test results were fine. I can only link these issues to the D deficiency).

My questions are, is D2 an efficient source of vitamin D as opposed to D3? Also, do you know about how long vitamin D needs to be in your body before it can reverse the effects of a deficiency?

Answer
Suzie,
While vegan diets can be healthy, they are also restrictive. By cutting out a lot of food choices you end up lacking many important nutrients.
A vegan diet lacks good sources of B12, D, and calcium.
This can be fixed by supplementing these nutrients.

Now you say your doctor wrote for D2? I wouldn't question him/her as I'm not a medical professional, however everything I have studied shows D3 to be a much better option. In some studies D3 has been found to absorb better and be a much more efficient supplement. And as a plus for you D3 does come from some vegan sources so you can supplement with it and not challenge your vegan lifestyle.

And the 50,000 IU dose sounds really high. The highest dosages I've ever read about are around 4-5000 IU.
As I said it would be irresponsible for me to question your doctor but it seems to make more sense for you to take say 1600 IU per day. You can buy D3 over the counter in a 2000 IU dose at 100 servings for about $5.00
I've personally known doctors who suggest buying an OTC D3 over a prescribed form.
Do you take a daily multivitamin?

Some important things to remember with vitamin D are that it is fat soluble, meaning you must take it with a meal containing fat. Also it is best to take it with calcium.

Personally I feel it would be a better option to supplement 1600-2000 IU per day than the mega dose once a week. This may be something to discuss with your doctor or even a second opinion from another doctor.
Feel free to write back if you need more advice or have any questions.  

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Tim Santoro

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I can answer questions regarding the following. Confusion about basic nutrition, explain how to improve diet, when and how to eat better, eating for weight loss, eating for health, eating for fitness. I will answer questions about nutritional and workout supplements. I will not endorse any fad diets, however I can explain the draw backs to them and explain why they are the wrong way to go. I will not give advice relating to medications and/or their interactions with food and supplements.

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