Orthomolecular therapy

Vitamin D3

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Vitamin D3

Infection diseases
Cancer of the gland
Breast cancer
Skin cancer
Vitamine D receptors
Extractions of vitamin D
Auto immune diseases
Toxicity of vitamin D
Opposition by medicine



A lack of vitamin D3 with children and adults can especially affect the bones.

Lack of vitamin D3 can occur due to the next causes:

  1. Children who do not get into the sun enough, are born just before winter and dot not get extra vitamin D.
  2. Elder people have more problems producing vitamin D and often avoid the sun out of fear for skin cancer.
  3. People with a dark or brown skin who move to the countries up north and get less sun than they are used to.
  4. If the skin is covered most of the time like in Arabian countries because of cultural or religious reasons.
  5. If there are problems with fat absorption like with liver diseases, dissection of the intestines (malignancy, Crohn’s disease).
  6. Kidney’s diseases, genetically or other, which disturbs the transformation from calcidiol into calcitriol.
  7. Liver diseases caused by medication. An example is Phenytoine, an anticonvulsant medicine, but lots of medicine who cause liver disorders, are being used more and more.

A deficiency of vitamin D3 can be measured in blood samples. But as simple rest is: push with the fore finger on the sternum. If this hurts it is an indication that there is a deficiency. Bone- and muscle pain, which look like fibromyalgia, can be an indication for a vitamin D3 deficiency.
In the menopause we often notice osteoporosis with women. This can be intercepted with vitamin D3 400 IU. If sufficient amounts of vitamin D3 are taken in, it is not necessary to use a lot of Calcium (max. 800 mg a day)

Magnesium is very important with osteoporosis. There should be a balance between Calcium and Magnesium. Magnesium takes care of the absorption of Calcium in the bones. Otherwise Calcium goes into the muscles and into the muscles of the veins (results into muscle cramp in the night). With sufficient Magnesium the bone density will approve. Magnesium slows down PTH, so Calcium will not leave the bones too soon.

Vitamin K seems to be important to maintain Calcium into the bones. Otherwise it will go into the vessels (causes arterio sclerosis) and the brain. The albumen osteocalcine needs the vitamin K to maintain the Calcium in the bones. Vitamin K does not only maintain the Calcium to the right place, but also takes care of stopping secretion through the kidneys.

Consequences of shortage of vitamin D3

Rachitis = English disease
A shortage of vitamin D3 for a long time with new borns and children will result in mineralization of the bones. Results will be that by weakness of the bones, the legs will grow with a curve. After the war babies had injections with 600.000 IU to prevent rachitis. Because there was also vitamin D3 in the nutrition, the children lost their appetite. This is the reason to continue vitamin D by driblets instead of injections.

Osteomalacie = weakening of the bones
Despite the fact that the skeleton of adults does not grow anymore, there is a continuous exchange of minerals and albumen in the bones. This is done by the osteoclats who break down the bone, and osteoblasts who build it up again. By a shortage of minerals and weakening of the bones, this is going to hurt. With osteomalacie there is enough collagen where the minerals should be inside. However there is a shortage of the minerals. Osteomalacie is a rare disease. The difference with osteoporosis is that with osteoporosis, there is a decline of the total bone density and with osteomalacie there is a weakening of the bones.

Osteomalacie shows typical kind of pains which start creepy in the lower part of the spinal column (lumbal) and later on in the thighs, arms and ribs. The pain often appears symmetrical and with bone pains. The muscles are weak; it is difficult to walk up the stairs. Bone- and muscle pains which are inexplicable can be caused by a vitamin D deficiency.

Possible consequences of a deficiency of Vitamin D3

A. Osteoporosis
Insufficient vitamin D causes reduced absorption of calcium, elevation of parathyroid hormone and increase of osteoporosis, because the PTH obtains the Calcium from the bones. See further under "Test".

B. Increase of the resistance against infection diseases
A sufficient amount of vitamin D3 protects for the flue and many other infection diseases. John Cannel from the vitamin D council, recommends a vitamin D level of 125 nmol/ltr., certainly when an avian flu epidemic threatens to show up.

C. Cancer
The characteristics of cancer cells are that they are none-specialized and fast growing cells. They contain a lot of VDR (=vitamin D receptors). This goes for breast- longue-, colon-, bone- and skin cancers (melanoma). It seems that administering calcitrol or vitamin D3 restrains the proliferation of cancer cells.

  1. Cancer of the gland
    Epidemiological investigations have shown a connection between cancer of the gland, age and exposure of the sun. Colored people in the U.S.A. and Europe suffer more than the natives. But in Africa, Central- and South America the number is lower. (10)
  2. Cancer of colon and rectum
    Colon cancer seems to occur more in area’s with lots of cases of Rachitis and not much sunlight. The people have a lower concentration of vitamin D3 in their blood. Administering of vitamin D had success with men but not with women. There was an evident connection with serum concentrations of calcidol and precancerous colon polyps, the forerunners of colon cancer. (12)
  3. Breast cancer
    There is an evident connection of the number of cases of breast cancer, with the amount of sunlight and taking vitamin D3 (D13). They have not found a connection yet with the amount of calcitrol or calcidol. It appears that vitamin D3 can drop the number of breast cancer with 77% (16 + 17). If before the menopause the level of vitamin D is measured130 nmol/ltr in the blood, the chance of getting breastcancer is 50% lower than with a level of 33 nmol/ltr. A bloodlevel of 130 nmol/ltr can be achieved by taking 4000 IE/day every day.  According to investigations at the University of California more than 50% of all cases of colon- and breast cancer can be prevented if one should take enough vitamin D3. In the Netherlands there should be less than 7000 deathes and a decrease of 50 % of colon cancer if one should take 1000 IE vitamin on a daily base.
  4. Skin cancer
    In the Netherlands there are 22.000 cases a year of skin cancer and every 10 year this number duplicates itself. The kinds of skincancer are:
    - 80% basal cell carcinoma
    - 20% squamous cell carcinoma
    -  …% melanoma

    UV-A gives rinkles, gives the skin a tan and may lead to melanoma forming.
    UV-B makes the skin turn red, makes the skin thicker and helps it to protect for sunburn ; is responsible for the less serious kind of skin cancer, stimulates the production of vitamin D in the skin. The sun helps to prevent many serious kind of chronic diseases. 

    The change of surviving cancer is related to the amount UV-B from the sun and the vitamin D level. In Norway they have measured that the 18-months-survival-chance had increased for 30% with breast- bowel, prostate cancer and Hodgkin’s disease. In Boston it seems that patients who had surgery for lung cancer in the summer and had a higher level of vitamin D, had a 5-years-survival-chance of 72%.

Vitamin D is a fat-resolving vitamin just like vitamin A, E and K. vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is the most important we absorb. We are able to produce vitamin D3 from cholesterol through 7-dehydrocholesterol. The last production takes place in the skin by exposure to the ultra violet light of the sun (UVB radiation). Partly we receive it from nutrition.
Vitamin D3 is bound to a protein and transported to the liver. On the 25th place of the molecule, a carbon compound gets by and it makes calcidiol (25-OH-D3=25-hydroxyvitamin D3). The amount of calcidol in the blood is depending of the amount of sunlight and nutrition. Calcidiol has to be transferred into calcitriol (=1,25 (OH)2D3). This transformation is catalyzed by an enzyme from the kidneys.

The parathyroid gland makes the parathyroid hormone (PTH) which arranges the Calcium house hold in the blood. This happens not directly. PTH stimulates the enzyme 1-hydroxylase in the kidneys, which results in an increase of the active calcitriol. This will make the calcium level in the blood rise by:
- Increased absorbens from calcium from the bowel
- Calcium from the bones will be mobilized
- Increased re-absorption from calcium from the kidneys
PTH will also help by the increased re-absorption from calcium from the kidneys.
PTH level is lowest with a high vitamin 25(OH)D concentration. If large amounts of calcium are taken in, the PTH will fall.

A good balanced calcium concentration in the blood is important for the bones and the nerve system.

Vitamin D receptors
Calcitriol goes into the cell to the core and connects with a vitamin D receptor (=VDR) to form a calcitriol/VDR complex. Next this combination connects with another receptor, the retinoine-acid X receptor (=RXR). Together they affect parts of DNA, the vitamin D reactive element (VDRE). All this effects the genes. This way the vitamin D affects the calcium metabolism in the bowel, osteoblasts in the bones and the kidneys.

The parathyroid hormone affects the calcium/phosphor metabolism of the bones and the form of calatrid from calcidiol in the kidneys.
The liver makes the calcidiol that is being transformed into cacitriol. Calcitriol has effect on the bones and the small intestine and takes care of the amount of calcium in the blood.

Administering calcitriol seems to have a positive effect to the T-cells and T-lymphocytes with psoriasis cells and auto-immune diseases. In both cases (none-used) vitamin D receptors (VDR) is present. The fact that there is VDR in T-cells, shows that vitamin D is used in the effect of- or development of T-cells. In the blood sample a serious deficiency of vitamin D is shown. Admission of calcitriol often has a positive effect with several auto-immune diseases, mediated by T-cells (3).


Extractions of vitamin D in the blood serums:

Deficiency 0 – 12,5 nmol/ltr
Below standard 12,5 – 50 nmol/ltr
Hypovitaminosis 50-100 nmol/ltr
Standard 100-250 nmol/ltr
Toxic more than 250 nmol/ltr or 500 nmol/ltr
(The last one is possible if 20.000 IE/day is taken in for several months). Too much vitamin D will be regulated by the body. Too much vitamin D by the sun will be regulated by the skin. Taking too much calcitriol can give problems.
Vitamin D is fat-solvable. Administering in drops, capsules or by injections works good. My experience with tablets is that they do not administer very well. Sunlight is all right but not between 12.00 hr a.m. and 4.00 hr p.m. The skin cannot adjust to that amount of sunlight. That does not mean that you are not allowed to walk in the sun at that time. Dark brown and swollen skin has to be protected because it can transform into maligneous tumors.

Treatment with vitamin D
First it is important to measure the amount of vitamin D in the blood. Depending on the outcome the treatment has to be set up.

A daily doses of 40 IE (=mcg) increases the serum level for vitamin D with 1 nml/ltr (7).

The Dutch health organization advices about 30 nmol/ltr. I think that it is not enough. Investigation has shown that the best blood level is above 100 nmol/ltr, which is 4000 IE vitamin D. Thirty minutes in the sun on the beach causes a production the making of 20.000 IE vitamin D. if it is too much, the skin will solve that problem either.

An adult can take 2000 IE without any consequences. Next the nutrition will add the vitamin D.
100 gr salmon                               450 IE
100 gr haringue                             800 IE
100 gr sardines from a can         260 IE
One dinner spoon cod-live roil contains about 14.000 IE vitamin D but at the same time you receive 14.000 IE vitamin A. During pregnancy you better take a teaspoon (=5cc). During pregnancy you also need vitamin A. If the level is too low, handicapped children can be born. This will also happens if the level is too high but this has to be much too high and is often not of a natural origin.

Treatment of the diseases

  1. Osteoporosis. With blood tests it has to be measured how much vitamin D has to be taken in and whether there is a shortage of vitamin K. calcium and magnesium. Minerals like Borium are difficult to measure, but always useful tot take in.
  2. Cancer. With prostate cancer it is necessary to measure PSA and Sink. Sink is important to resist prostate cancer. Everyone in the Netherlands should use Selenium tot prevent cancer as the food contains too little.If the vitamin D concentration in the blood is enough, there is a reduction of 75% of invasive tumors of bowel- and breast cancer and a reduction of 25% of breast cancer.
  3. Auto immune diseases With auto immune diseases there exists a shortage of vitamin D. For the next diseases vitamin D is very important:
    1. Diabetes mellitus, insulin dependent: The beta cells of the pancreas exist to support the immune system.Vitamin D prevents from diabetes mellitus type 1 with children (decrease from 80% with 2000 IE/day).
    2. Diabetes type 2: 15% has no overweight. People with a shortage of vitamin D have more change to insulin resistance and often symptoms of a metabolic syndrome. (insulin resistance is often compared with overweight, high blood pressure, fatigue and a disrupted lipid metabolism.)
    3. Pregnancy diabetis: if the concentration of the vitamin D in the blood is higher, the insulin sensitivity increases; 72 % had a vitamin D deficiency with a lower amount than 25 mmol/ltr. If diabetis is jointly with a vitamin D deficiency, more change of osteoporosis and fractures will occur.
    4. Prevention of diabetis: the pregnant woman protects her baby for diabetis type 1 by using nutrition with high vitamin D level. Baby’s who got 2000 IE vitamin D on a daily base, had 80% less change to develop diabetis type 1. During breastfeeding period the mother has to take in 6000 IE a day, according to pediatrician Bruce Hollis. The newly born baby needs at least 400 IE in his first year and after that 1000 IE (NB after the war the baby’s were given 600.000 IE to prevent English disease. Some baby’s had temporarily less appetite if they received extra vitamin D in their nutrition at the same time.
    5. Multiple sclerosis: the shaping of myelin of the nerve cells need vitamin D, also to prevent degeneration. With sufficient vitamin D one has stronger teeth and therefore less change to receive fillings. Especially mercure and probably also gold destruct the nerve systems. In the area’s where there is lots of sun, like the countries near the equator and in the high mountains, there is less MS.
    6. Rheumatoid arthritis: vitamin D is important to the collagen of the joints.(3+14) There is a clear connection between a shortage of vitamin D and joint diseases like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
    7. Gingivitis: inflammation of the gum occurs less with a sufficient vitamin D status and therefore also less change to arthritis.
    8. Eczema: my experience is that several patients with eczema and severe itches, have a serious shortage of vitamin D. After injections (600.000 IE i.m.) with vitamin D the eczema and the itch disappeared within two weeks. If the mother has a deficiency of vitamin D before and during pregnancy, there is a good chance that the baby soon developpes eczema. Admission of vitamin D drops possibly with vitamin A, has to be taken in. The itch may also disappear.
    9. Asthma: children with mothers from the group who take in the highest level of vitamin D, had 52% less change of developing asthmatic complaints in the first 5 years. The change of developing chronically asthmatic complaints in that period is even 7% less.
    10. Chilblained hands and feet: these were healed and could have been avoided with one injection vitamin D at the start of the winter season. Vitamin D as injection is removed from the regular therapy and replaced by tablets which do not help.
    11. Depression and old age: with older people with depression, the vitamin D level is often too low. Their mood considerably increases if they have 4000 IE vitamin D administered. With depressions also sun therapy is administered regularly. With people older than 65 a vitamin D deficiency causes a bad physical condition. Administering increases the physical achievements and it also improves the memory.
    12. Low back pain: by administering vitamin D, back pain can disappear within three months. By investigation of a group with low back pain, with 90 % de complaints disappear.

Toxicity of vitamin D
This is called hypervitaminosis D. Poisoning of vitamin D by exposure to the sun has not yet been deserved. It could be caused if one is daily exposed to 10.000 – 50.000 IU (250 to 1250 mgr a day) and that has to be taken in for years. After the war babies were given injections with 600.000 IU and vitamin D in their nutrition. This caused a temporarily decline of the appetite. The symptoms of a hypervitaminosis D are mainly caused by an increased calcium level in the blood. Blood- and urine levels of calcium are increased. If the situations remain that way, osteoporosis will occur and the organs will calcify, like heart, vessels, liver and kidneys. Especially if calcitriol is taken in, the complaints will occur because the forming of calcitriol passes by the control mechanism of the body.
The symptoms of hypervitaminosis D are:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Excessive thirst
  • Excessive loss of urine
  • Itch
  • Weakness of the muscles
  • Pain in the joints (arthritis)
  • Eventually disorientation, coma and death.

This is the reason that the next rules should be kept if vitamin D is taken daily:
Babies         0-12 month’s old      max. 25 microgram (1000 IE/day)
Children      1-18 years old            max. 50 microgram (2000 IE/day)
Adults           19 year and older      max. 50 microgram (2000 IE/day)

Opposition by medicine

  1. Cholesterol reducing remedies impede the development of vitamin D.
  2. Anti-mould remedies impede the development of calcitriol.
  3. Anti-convulsants: phenytoin and Phenobarbital decrease the calcidiol level in the blood by impeding the development in the liver.


  1. Brody T. Nutritional Biochemistry. 2nd ed. San Diego. Academic Press 1999.
  2. Holick Mf. Vitamin D. Nutrition in Health and Disease, 9th ed Baltimore: Williams+Wilkins; 1999: 239-345.
  3. Deluca HF, Cantorna MT. Vitamine-D: its role and uses in immunology. FASEB J 2001;15(14):2579-2585.
  4. Journal of the American Medical Association 2005;294(18):2336-41. En in Fit met voeding nummer 2-2006, 14e jaargang.
  5. Journal of the American Geriatics Society 2005;53(11):1875-80.
  6. Prevalence of severe hypovitaminosis D in patients with persistent, nonspecific muscculoskeletal pain. Mayo Clin Proc 2003; 78(12):1463-70 Plotnikoff GA, Quigley JM.
  7. Vieth R. Critique of the considerations for establishing the upper tolerable upper intake level for vitamine D: criticil need for revision upwards. J Nutr 2006; 136:1117-1122.
  8. American Journal Qn Nutr. 69 74 79 (1999). D.Freskanich, P.Weber, W.C. Willet, H.Racket, S.L.Booth, G.A. Colditz.
  9. Am.Dietet.Assoc. 96 149 154 (1996). Booth S.L, J.A.Pennington, J.A.Sadowski.
  10. Vitamin D and prostate cancer. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med 1999;221(2):89-98 Blutt SE, Weigel NL.
  11. Calcium and vitamin D:thier potential roles in colon and breast cancer prevention. Ann NY Acad Sci 1999;889:107-119. Garland CF and FC, Gorham ED.
  12. Vitamin D, Calcium and vitamin D receptor polymorphism in colorectal adenomas. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2001;10(12):1267-1274. Peters U, McGlynn KA, Chatterjee N, et. Al.
  13. Vitamin D and breast cancer risk. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 1999;8(5):399-406.
  14. Cantorna MT. Vitamin D and autoimmunity: is vitamin D status an environmental factor affecting autoimmune disease prevalence? Proc. Soc Exp Biol Med 2000;223(3):230-233.
  15. Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine. Vitamin D. Dietary Reference Intakes: Calcium,Phosphorus, Magnesium, Vitamin D and Fluoride.Washington,D.C: National Academy Press; 1997:250-287.
  16. Lappe J.M. Travers- Gustafson D. Davies KM, Recker RR, Henney RP. Am. J Clin Nutr. 2007 Jun; 85 (6): 1586-91.
  17. Orthofyto jaargang 13; dec.2007-jan. 2008.pag.4/5. Walter O.M. Faché.
  18. "Call to Action" of 14 international vitamine D experts: 30 april 2008. 
    See also the book of Dr Schuitemaker about vitamine D.

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