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Author Topic: Vitamin toxicity  (Read 1845 times)

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Offline Luke

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Vitamin toxicity
« on: June 30, 2009, 06:51:20 AM »
Worth a look if you are considering unsupervised supplementing over and beyond that daily multivitamin:

http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/819426-overview

You will notice that some of the known and documented side-effects, even for vitamins which are generally considered to be quite harmless, can - although admittedly quite rare in some cases - be very serious and even fatal.

We stress about the slightest reaction to our HIV meds; yet we have a tendency to overlook the fact that many of the side-effects of excessive vitamin and mineral supplementation can actually be far worse.
 
That isn't to say that you shouldn't take them, but think about what you are doing - and better still, talk to your doctor about it before you do it - and where possible try to get them from natural sources, which are generally far safer.

I speak from the experience of having personally had a toxic vitamin D overdose from something as simple as adding half the RDA of calcium to my diet (so one single daily calcium tablet under medical supervision). The particular brand I chose included small amounts of vitamins D & K to assist absorption; but in just six months, that small increase in vitamin D intake, from an unnatural source, built up to cause crippling nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea that was ten times worse than any side-effect I have ever experienced from my HIV meds.

Edited - because it helps if you include the correct link  :-[
« Last Edit: June 30, 2009, 10:24:02 AM by Luke »

Offline risred1

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Re: Vitamin toxicity
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2009, 08:56:02 AM »
Luke, just curios...

How much Vitamin D were you taking that caused your reaction?

Even in this article you sited, 50,000 i.u. was considered an Overdose.

I supplement around 1,200 i.u. a day and I'm sure picking up additional D from other sources.

There seems to be a debate as to how much Vitamin D we should be looking to supplement, if we are not getting much sun, which certainly happens here in the northern states in the Winter. It isn't unusual to see deficiency over the cold months here.

Something to also consider,

Does a person with HIV fit into the "normal" average adult model that most guidelines are written for? Essentially we are dealing with a chronic condition, so what are our needs?
risred1 - hiv +
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10/07 CD4 484 - 31% - VL 45k
05/08 CD4 414 - 26% - VL 70k
01/09 CD4 365 - 23% - VL 65k
05/09 CD4 291 - 23% - VL 115k - Started Meds - Reyataz/Truvada
06/09 CD4 394 - ?% - VL 1200 - Boosted Reyataz with Norvir and Truvada
07/09 CD4 441 - ?% - VL 118 - Boosted Reyataz with Norvir and Truvada
09/09 CD4 375 - ?% - VL Undetectable - Boosted Reyataz with Norvir and Truvada
12/09 CD4 595 - ?% - VL Undetectable - VIT D 34 - Reyataz/Truvada/Norvir

Offline Luke

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Re: Vitamin toxicity
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2009, 09:05:25 AM »
How much Vitamin D were you taking that caused your reaction?

Just 2.5 mcg (100 IU), which is half the RDA here in the UK - and there is the twist, you are quite correct to highlight the difference between 'normal' and HIV-positive. The natural, but quite incorrect, assumption is that we are automatically deficient just because we are HIV-positive. Most of us aren't and very often our condition, or our meds, makes us process these things differently.

CORRECTION: That is 2.5 mcg in addition to the 5 mcg I was getting from my multivitamin and whatever I was getting from the environment.

For the lack of any other explanation, we theorise that there is also a remote possibility that my fish oil supplements were incorrectly packaged cod liver oil. If that is so, then 2000 mg of cod liver oil - instead of 2000 mg of fish oil - would have added another 10 mcg to my intake. It is still less than you consume and a million miles short of what is generally considered to be an unsafe intake leading to chronic toxicity.

Coming back to your comment about what amount is toxic: vitamin D toxicity is one of the most common vitamin toxicities, yet it isn't humanly impossible to consume the quantity of vitamin D generally considered to lead to chronic toxicity - that alone should tell us that there is something seriously wrong in our perception of what is safe.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2009, 12:29:45 PM by Luke »

Offline Ann

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Re: Vitamin toxicity
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2009, 12:28:06 PM »
You guys might be interested in the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI) Reports and a few other links over at the USDA website:

DRI Tables (quick reference)

DRI Reports

Vitamins and Minerals

Phytonutrients

Macronutrients

You'll find info on toxicities in these reports - where there is a toxicity there to begin with. ;)

Happy reading, you health-nuts! :D

Ann
(who supplements with Guinness, whiskey and nicotine on a regular basis)

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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

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Offline madbrain

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Re: Vitamin toxicity
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2009, 06:38:06 PM »
I supplement around 1,200 i.u. a day and I'm sure picking up additional D from other sources.

I supplement with 5,000 IU of vitamin D a day - a value I determined was needed through trial and error, after several vitamin D blood tests which showed a severe deficiency (12 ng/ml), and when supplementing with less (800-1200 IU a day) didn't help that deficiency at all (13mg/ml at 6 months). The normal range is 30-100 ng/ml. Even at 5000 IU a day, in the winter, my last vitamin D level was only about 50 ng/ml. The highest level I have ever had has been around 75ng/ml in the summer.

Quote
There seems to be a debate as to how much Vitamin D we should be looking to supplement, if we are not getting much sun, which certainly happens here in the northern states in the Winter. It isn't unusual to see deficiency over the cold months here.

Something to also consider,

Does a person with HIV fit into the "normal" average adult model that most guidelines are written for? Essentially we are dealing with a chronic condition, so what are our needs?

Yes, there are many factors that affect vitamin D deficiency. Medication intake is a very important one. I take several medications that are known to deplete my vitamin D - tegretol and prilosec (the later of which is now available OTC). Many HIV medications are also known to deplete vitamin D. Ask your doctor about it.

I don't know if HIV itself affects vitamin D deficiency. But it has been known to affect absorption of some vitamins before so I wouldn't be surprised.

I also don't get much sun even though I live in northern California. I'm an indoor type. I don't drink milk, though I do eat yogurt and cheese. But I probably have less dietary vitamin D than average. Anyone who is lactose intolerant probably should get their vitamin D level checked.

Offline antibody

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Re: Vitamin toxicity
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2009, 08:19:25 PM »
I do worry about too much vitamin intake. My hiv meds are boosted reyataz and truvada so i know all about norvir and how it can slow the process of eliminating drugs. I take a multi-vitamin and i drink about 3 Boost plus or Carnation Instant breakfasts a day and those are all fortified with vitamins. I've had no problems so far but I do worry about the Norvir aspect.
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