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Dr. Oz Vitamin D Dose Advice Supported by Vitamin D Megadose Warnings

Tim Boyer's picture

A recent article published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute warns that health-minded consumers are taking too much Vitamin D.

Reports of consumers taking megadoses of Vitamin D may be attributable to a combination of supplement industry advertising practices that tout Vitamin D as a cancer preventive and TV health show advice that the majority of people unwittingly suffer from Vitamin D deficiency. In fact, in one episode of The Dr. Oz Show, a special guest urged viewers to take up to 10,000 IU of Vitamin D daily. To his credit, Dr. Oz states that he finds that dose surprisingly high and tells viewers that he sticks to his recommended 400-1000 IU of Vitamin D daily.

So what’s the harm in possibly taking too much Vitamin D or any other nutritional supplement? Is it not common knowledge that when our body has excess vitamins that our bodies eliminate the excess through our urine?

While it is true we do make what has been referred to as “expensive urine” through taking vitamin supplements that our body may not be in need of, part of the problem according to María Elena Martinez of the University of California-San Diego is that what is common knowledge is not always true.

"Undoubtedly, use is driven by a common belief that supplements can improve health and protect against disease, and that at worst, they are harmless," she and her co-authors write. "However, the assumption that any dietary supplement is safe under all circumstances and in all quantities is no longer empirically reasonable."

In a recent article titled "Dietary Supplements and Cancer Prevention: Balancing Potential Benefits Against Proven Harms," researchers hope to raise awareness about scientific evidence that too much of any vitamin can be harmful to a consumer and can increase rather than lower the risk of cancer.
Martinez and co-author Elizabeth Jacobs—a UA associate professor of epidemiology and a researcher at the Arizona Cancer Center—make the point that health-conscious people may be at the greatest risk of taking too many vitamin supplements because they are also more likely to eat healthier than the rest of the population and therefore not really need any extra supplements.

"A lot of literature has shown that often the people who take dietary supplements need them the least, so they already eat a good diet, they have a lot of nutrients in their diet, they exercise, they don't necessarily need extra nutrients," Jacobs said. "And those are the people who tend to take supplements—they are very health conscious, and that's where the danger is because you are already getting enough of these vitamins or minerals in your diet, and then you are adding more….if you are deficient in nutrients, taking a supplement is probably not going to cause any harm, but if you are already adequate in nutrients, then taking a supplement at a minimum has no benefit and in some cases has been shown to cause harm."

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The authors of the paper base their vitamin overuse warning on observational studies of several supplements, including anti-oxidants, folic acid, vitamin D and calcium. What they found was that with respect to anti-oxidant supplements, “The importance of oxidative stress for carcinogenesis does not establish that the administration of supplemental antioxidants will protect against the carcinogenesis that oxidative stress may induce.”

Furthermore, they add that, “Supplementation by exogenous antioxidants may well be a two-edged sword; these compounds could, in vivo, serve as pro-oxidants or interfere with any of a number of protective processes such as apoptosis induction [normal cell death].”

From several antioxidant trials, they found reported increased cancer risks with supplementation and caution against taking dietary supplements for cancer prevention, saying that many experts have concluded that nutritional supplements have little or no benefit in cancer prevention and that additional randomized control trials—spanning many years instead of just a few—are needed to verify the effect of nutritional supplementation in cancer risk.

A past National Cancer Institute study reported no cancer protection from Vitamin D and the possibility of an increased risk of pancreatic cancer in people with the very highest Vitamin D levels. Megadoses of and above 10,000 IUs a day are also known to cause kidney damage.

"You aren't supposed to get the recommended dietary allowance (of nutrients) every day. It rarely happens. You are supposed to just average over time. You just do the best you can. But in the U.S., our problem isn't really under-nutrition, it's over-nutrition,” says Jacobs.

Image Source: Courtesy of MorgueFile


”Dietary Supplements and Cancer Prevention: Balancing Potential Benefits Against Proven Harms”
Journal of the National Cancer Institute April 25, 2012; María Elena Martinez et al.

The Dr. Oz Show



seems to me the gist of this article implies these 2 ladies know little or nothing about supplements or nutrition.and of course the nat. cancer inst isnt going to say anything good about supplements not when thers billions to be made on their (OFFICIAL) treatments of chemo,radiation,andsurgery! theres thousands of reasearch papers from all over the world showing that the cancer protection from vit d3 usually best when your levels are at the higher end of testing range 80 to 100.5k aday will get you around a 50 on testing. I personally use 15k aday and my range is about 90.Now if i were to go out in the sun in the summer in my bathing suit for 30 min to an hour my body would make on its own about 10 to 15k units of vit d. so if you didnt need that much your body wouldnt make that much , that simple! nature must deem it pretty important to our well being and for these two reasearchers to say that your not suppose to get the RDA every day is just plain ignorant.there are 90 essential nutrients you need everyday.16 vit ,60 minerals,2 to 3 fatty acids. lacking in any one of them for periods of time leads to system, breakdowns and disease. IN todays day and age you cant get all your nutrients from food. if its not in the soil when the food is grown its not in the plant when you eat it.For me ill take my supplements everydayand ill probably wont need your expensive pharmacueticals!
EXCEPT... do you really know what you're getting in or with the "Vitamin" D3? AND why are we still referring to it as a vitamin? A vitamin is something that our own bodies do not make. D3 is made by the body therefore it is a hormone or at least a hormone precursor. AND pill form, at best, is still not a sulfate form and therefore not nearly as effective as the D3 made by the body in response to exposure of UVB. I agree that there are actually very few that can truly be referred to as average, the vast majority being either higher or lower, but we are human and therefore we need "generalities" to go by otherwise we would be flooded by information from all, around us and decisions would become next to impossible. For myself, I trust a trusted tanning salon. More so since this past weekend my children did me the great favour of allowing me to sleep for a wonderful 5 hours! Unfortunately I was on the cottage dock under the blazing sun for all those hours.
It is a pity that otherwise fairly smart people continue to debate the "correct" daily dose. For the general population there is no such thing. An individual requires whatever amount is necessary to maintain their personal desired level of 25(OH)D. That dose varies greatly from individual to individual by a factor of four or more. Unfortunately there is now significant resistance from many doctors to patient requests for a vitamin D test. The cost of the test should not be more than $100.00 tops. If the excuse is that the insurance company won't pay for the test then offer to pay cash. Getting your vitamin D level up to an optimum range (at least 40 ng/mL) is the best investment you can make. Correcting the wide spread vitamin D deficiency will mean a significant revenue loss to the health care industry. Not a bad trade off.
The benefits of vitamin D in reducing the risk of 15-20 types of cancer are well documented in ecological (geographical) studies. Higher survival rates have been reported for those with hither 25(OH)D concentrations for at least seven types of cancer. Two randomized controlled trials reported significantly reduced cancer rates for vitamin D and calcium supplementation. A recent study reported that men with low grade prostate cancer had a 55 percent rate of regression (fewer tumors) on rebiopsies a year later after taking 4000 IU/d vitamin D3. Case-control studies find strong inverse correlations between 25(OH)D and cancer incidence. Cohort studies, on the othErhand, have mixed results due to using a singe 25(OH)D level from time of enrollment followed by Years of observation. For best protection against cancer and many other chronic and infectious diseases, keep 25(OH)D above 40 ng/ml. This could take 1000-5000 IU/day.
For the average person, half hour of direct sunlight (or lamp) causes the body to produce 20-25,000 IUs of Vitamin (although it is a pre-hormone and NOT a vitamin) D3. So, Big Pharm conglomerates want to keep us as unhealthy customers so they, after having their arms twisted, tell us to get 1000 IU's per day. Dr. Oz, not having done his own research, grudgingly acknowledges 10,000 IU's. But lo and behold, G-d AND/OR Mother Nature (your choice) puts us naked under the sun in order for us to get no less than 20-25,000 IUs. For myself I choose G-d and partake of about 20 minutes of sunlight or UV lamplight daily.
Check out this vitamin with the amounts Dr. oz recommends: MyPerfectVitamin (DOT) com
Im taking 6000-8000 iu a day and my blood level was measured at 72 ng/dl. My doctor said thats a great level and said to continue as long as it does not exceed 100.
I am allergic to uv light, so sunlight is not an option for me.