Deficient in A, but not tolerating it well

Tiger Lily 813

Senior Member
Messages
148
Likes
54
Hello, I wanted to get some anecdotal opinions on supplementing Vitamin A and D.

My data for reference:
Vitamin A Serum - Low - 11.6 on a range of 30-75 ug/dL
Vitamin D - 38 on a range of 32-100 ng/ml

So my doctor suggested 10,000 IU's of A and 5000 IU's of D with Vitamin K1 & K2 (550).
The thing is, though I apparently really need it, vitamin A always causes bone/joint pain and makes me too tired.
And I have had some bone/teeth issues too (osteoporosis ish) so I am very worried about supplementing A in general. I'm worried the little A that I have taken may have made that worse... but I don't know, could be something else.
The reason I am deficient in A may have to do with the fact I'm a cystic fibrosis carrier. Not sure. I'd appreciate hearing about any related experiences with Vitamin A. At this point, I was thinking of getting a food-sourced version of it...

Thanks!.
 

pamojja

Senior Member
Messages
1,611
Likes
2,074
Location
Austria
If you want to go the food way, a 100g cod liver can contains about 60.000 IUs. I myself titrated preformed vitamin A very slowly over 10 years, and recently found that above 20.000 IU/d infrequent psoriasis outbreaks ceased completely. While loosing my taste for cod liver. No bad effects. Also supplemented about 8.000 IU of vitamin D3 and 17mg of the Ks. Along with magnesium and boron these nutrient will work in concert and dampen potential toxicities of each other.

My serum retinol has in average been mid-range, 25(OH)D3 at about 70 ng/ml, and vitamin K1 through the roof. Only supplemental accident happened through higher vitamin D3 levels and thereby much higher utilization of Magnesium - thereby a subclinical Mg-deficiency got pushed into very severe. Which I wasn't able to overcome with oral supplementation anymore (went up to 2.4g of elemental oral Mg). Only with additional 10 Mg-sulfate IVs during last year I was able to overcome very painful muscle-cramps from the Mg-deficiency.

On the bonus side - along with life-style changes and really comprehensive supplementation - I overcame a 60% walking-disability from a 80% calcified blockage at my abdominal aorta bifurcation. However, the main vitamin helping with that has been 23 g of ascorbic acid per day for the last 10 years. Ever heard of Scurvy of the bone?

That being said, I always would start with a new supplement with the lowest possible dose, and increase gradually over weeks, months and years. So that potential side-effects are caught earlier and not that severe. Which could also could come from used fillers and binders. In which case I would try different brands.
 

Pyrrhus

Senior Member
Messages
193
Likes
547
Location
U.S., Earth
You asked for anecdotal opinions, so here’s mine:

I used to take 10,000 IU of pure vitamin A, only once per week.
This was the closest I could get to the Recommended Daily Allowance.
(I really wish they made lower-dose formulations.)

I noticed that the day after I took it, I experienced more inflammatory symptoms, with lethargy/sluggishness.
I can only speculate that the large 10,000 IU dose triggered a short-term burst of immune cells.

I am not deficient, as far as I know. I was just taking it as a short-term nutrient boost.
 

sb4

Senior Member
Messages
1,156
Likes
1,847
Location
United Kingdom
Whilst I do not believe that vitamin A is poisonous and I think it is esential, I have been reading a giant thread on another forum that looks at the work of Grant Genereux who seems to think it is poisonous and he thinks he cured his autoimmune condition by cutting it out.

I personally wildly speculate that in some people, for whatever reason, vitamin A can have negative effects on them and particularly some forms are worse than others.

Anyway this thread reminded me of this so I thought I would post about it. Here is the thread in question.
 

LINE

Senior Member
Messages
153
Likes
265
Location
USA
Whilst I do not believe that vitamin A is poisonous and I think it is esential, I have been reading a giant thread on another forum that looks at the work of Grant Genereux who seems to think it is poisonous and he thinks he cured his autoimmune condition by cutting it out.

I personally wildly speculate that in some people, for whatever reason, vitamin A can have negative effects on them and particularly some forms are worse than others.

Anyway this thread reminded me of this so I thought I would post about it. Here is the thread in question.
Sounds similar to the Marshall Protocol but they believe Vitamin D is the culprit. What is sounds like is the certain immune cells are being triggered by these particular vitamins. It is my belief that everyone is different and observation is the key, then making the necessary adjustments. I have not had problems with any of these.
 
Messages
148
Likes
54
Thank you @pamojja for this detailed, helpful info. My doctor never brought up boron, so I'm very ignorant... will read up on it. I also found the article very interesting. I know that I have problems with oxidative stress, but it can be confusing because I've read that high dose C, if too high, can potentially backfire and oxidize. I don't know specifics or what dosage. What form of ascorbic acid do you take?
Congrats on your recovery, and thank you for supporting my own :)
 

pamojja

Senior Member
Messages
1,611
Likes
2,074
Location
Austria
I know that I have problems with oxidative stress, but it can be confusing because I've read that high dose C, if too high, can potentially backfire and oxidize. I don't know specifics or what dosage. What form of ascorbic acid do you take?
Vitamin C at gram doses should always be taken as pure ascorbic acid powder to avoid any binders and fillers in caps/pills, which at that amount couldn't be possibly be beneficial. Some tolerate very little ascorbic acid, some a lot before diarrhea sets in. For example I can take up to 50 g taken throughout the day before that happens to me. Others have a much lower limit, even as low as 5-10 g/d. Therefore always start with low doses and increase gradually. Beside individual tolerance, taken throughout the day 6 g is a good preventive, and up to 18 g is usually considered a good therapeutic dose.

Since equal weighted mammals who are still able to endogenously synthesis ascorbic acid from glucose produce up to about 70 gram in the case of illness, and since the 50 gram I'm able to take orally is still far less, of which even less is able to become absorbed, I wouldn't worry about the concern that it could become an oxidant itself (which to my knowledge only happens when taken directly as IVs for it's beneficial effect on cancer cells).

Ascobic acid is best taken disolved in water best before meals or before bed. Due to its acidity some do have problems this way. In which case some sodium- or potassium bicarbonate powder can be added. Which will turn it increasingly neutral and into sodium or potassium ascorbate. Which would also be available as ready-made powders. But in my experience pure ascorbic acid powder is more effective, which I feel for example when I take it against my rhinitis symptoms. And where it works like any prescribtion anti-histamine for me.

Being the highest amount of any supplements I take, I'm glad pure ascorbic acid powder is also the least expensive. Get 100 g bottles for € 1.95 in local supermarkets.
 
Last edited:
Messages
2,103
Likes
4,192
Location
Canada
Only supplemental accident happened through higher vitamin D3 levels and thereby much higher utilization of Magnesium - thereby a subclinical Mg-deficiency got pushed into very severe.
I had something like this occur from a relatively small amount of vitamin d supplementation. I loaded epsom salts in huge quantities to overcome it. The problem is that it caused a see-sawing between calcium and magnesium that I have never been able to fully balance and that gets worse if I add in any vitamin d. I have to use calcium to balance out the magnesium that is flushing out, then magnesium to balance out the calcium, in smaller and smaller amounts but whenever I intake any vitamin d from supplements or food the whole process starts over and I have to keep going through it. It's been 5 years now.

My vitamin d OH level is relatively low now but I am still getting the calcium and magnesium see-sawing with overabsorption of calcium making it even more complicated. I am looking into trying a vitamin a supplement but the one I picked up is made with retinol palmitate and fish liver oil. Since I am afraid of making my problems worse by adding in any form of vitamin d I am hesitant to take anything with cod liver oil. On the other hand, if adding in vitamin a together with the d is what's needed to solve the underlying issue perhaps they would be safe together.

a 100g cod liver can contains about 60.000 IUs
Do you know if vitamin a supplements made from cod liver oil necessarily contain vitamin d as well? There is no IU amount listed on the bottle but that may be because they just don't know how much is it? I may just wait and get one without fish liver oil, but they all seem to be made from that or beta carotene which I have heard is not safe over time.

Edit: This article cites cod liver oil as containing about 80iu/mL of vitamin d compounds.

https://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/cod-liver-oil/vitamin-d-in-cod-liver-oil/

I emptied the contents of one of the vitamin a capsules into a teaspoon and it was barely a drop in the bottom, a fraction of a mL. So I determined the amount of vitamin d I get from the capsule will probably be insignificant compared to the amount of vitamin a. Anyway I've taken one now so... we'll see what happens. :nervous:

Thanks for any input you may have.
 
Last edited:

pamojja

Senior Member
Messages
1,611
Likes
2,074
Location
Austria
Do you know if vitamin a supplements made from cod liver oil necessarily contain vitamin d as well? There is no IU amount listed on the bottle but that may be because they just don't know how much is it?
Don't know because only consumed cod liver, never any cod liver supplements, which are further processed and any ingredient may have been taken out.

The problem is that it caused a see-sawing between calcium and magnesium that I have never been able to fully balance and that gets worse if I add in any vitamin d.
Was different with me. I had a very severe calcium deficiency before and while supplementing vitamin D3 for the first 2 years. Serum calcium consistently below normal. Only since 25(OH)D3 levels came up that deficiency was solved. Now already for longer than 8 years.

Since I started MagnesiumSulfate IVs now more than 1 year ago, I'm now also on the way to finally recover from the Mg-deficiency. After 6 IVs had no muscle cramps anymore. However, retesting whole blood Mg levels after 10 IVs showed I probably still need as many IVs just to return to low normal, if it repletes in a gradual way: Before it been as low as around 30 mg/dl, improved to 32 mg/dl. Normal would be 34 to 36 mg/dl.