My Vitamin D3 experiment: Dry form vs Oil form effects on blood levels
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By seaexplorer - 1/24/2011 8:09:25 PM
I recently finished an experiment to see which form of Vitamin D3 had the greater effect on lab tests.

First, I was diagnosed as having low Vit D levels so my family Dr told me to try 5,000 IU

I started with the Dry form, and after 3 months got remeasured and my levels rose nice BUT were still not optimal.

I then did a 3 month run with Oil form and got retested and my blood levels were at the high-end optimized which was great.

I asked my Dr if one form or other is preferred and he honestly told me he did not know.

I then repeated a Dry form run of 90 days and my levels dropped ... then, did a run again with Oil based and retested at very optimal levels.

I don't know if there are any studies done on this topic of Dry vs Oil form, but in my case the Oil form definitely worked better and this is the form I will continue taking.

Everyone is different, but I found my little experiment to be quite interesting, and just wanted to share and see if anyone else had similar (or different) results.
By COPpeDit - 1/24/2011 11:11:12 PM
Hi seaexplorer, are both the dry form and oil form you speak of lanolin based? I had all sorts of problems with (dry I think) lanolin based capsules (aches & pains - flu like symptoms - I presume I'm allergic) and had to switch to more expensive D3 extracted from fish oil.  
By SpainEurope - 1/25/2011 2:36:36 AM
Cardiologist Dr William Davis (who writes sometimes in LEF magazine) recommends vitamin D3 in oil form. It would be a suggestion that LEF reconsiders its vitamin D3 in dry form.
By DDye - 1/25/2011 4:19:49 AM
Life Extension does carry Liquid Emulsified Vitamin D.
By SpainEurope - 1/25/2011 5:25:06 AM
DDye (1/25/2011)
Life Extension does carry Liquid Emulsified Vitamin D.

Yes, you are right but I say in capsule form. I believe sometimes Dr Davis has said his favourite form in oil capsules since you could overdose with liquid form or drops because its much easier taking an exact dose in capsules-pills than in drops.

Anyway, I am happy in my family with Vitamin D3 in dry form.

Also, from LEF we all have Fat Essential Nutrients, vitamin D3 in a oil-capsule form Smile
By seaexplorer - 1/25/2011 6:27:29 AM
Hello all,

Without turning this into a "product review" (and possibly getting "censored"), the Dry Form of Vitamin D3 that I took was from LEF.  For the Oil form, I used two different brands that were labeled as "pharmaceutical grade" but were not a LEF product.

(I'll also be posting results of a couple other experiments I did that were quite interesting involving different forms of Niacin and a Fish Oil vs Krill Oil)
By MrGeorge - 1/25/2011 2:07:20 PM
Interesting. If you can post the actual numbers from tests it's always better.

Some may call 35ng/ml optimal for vitamin D and some may not.
By seaexplorer - 1/25/2011 6:19:20 PM
Hello all.  Here are the lab numbers:  initial diagnosis of low Vitamin D = (under 20 but don't remember exact);  after Dry Vitamin D = 37; after Oil Vitamin D = 52

Is there a level that is considered too high?
By MrGeorge - 1/26/2011 5:15:08 AM
seaexplorer (1/25/2011)
Hello all.  Here are the lab numbers:  initial diagnosis of low Vitamin D = (under 20 but don't remember exact);  after Dry Vitamin D = 37; after Oil Vitamin D = 52

Is there a level that is considered too high?

It's been said 200 ng/ml or 20,000 IU/day is the upper limit but .

If I recall correctly some have said there doesn't seem to be much benefit above 70- 90 ng/ml with what is known now.

There is a lot of variation. I saw a posting from a MD that said he has one patient that weighs 105 lbs and needs 14,000 IU a day to get the levels up around 60 ng/ml and had another patient that weighed over 300 lb that needed 1-2000 IU/day to keep the same levels. You have to test, you may take a good dose and be still be low.

BTW: Thanks for taking the time to post your numbers.
By TGarcia - 1/26/2011 6:28:20 AM
Vitamin D is fat-soluble - it needs fat to be metabolized in your body. I would think it would be helpful to supplement with Vitamin D after meals, especially if you are ingesting certain amounts of good fats. The time of the day you take your Vitamin D supplement, as well as what you've eaten, is probably a key factor to the amount that gets absorbed into the blood stream.

Dr Holick's Vitamin D Solution is one of the best books in my opinion on the subject. Because this is such a complex vitamin that has been with us throughout our evolutionary steps, it up-regulates a lot of functions in the body. An excerpt of the book can be found at the Life Extension Magazine's September 2010 issue - Vitamin D Solution Book Excerpt - the excerpt was an eye-opener to me.

Another great place to research is the Vitamin D Council's website. They go to great lengths at exposing studies and therapies for Vitamin D deficiency and its many-faceted illnesses.


By John2004 - 2/6/2011 12:42:09 PM
Thanks for posting your experiences with your vitamin D blood levels, I think the information is very interesting.  It would be nice to see a few well conducted studies on this issue.

While your results are interesting, they are not conclusive since the actual vitamin D levels present in both the products were not known before your experiment. It could be that one or both of the products had more or less vitamin D than was stated on the label, which could account for varying blood levels. Ideally, before an experiment like this, you would run at test on the two products to see that they have near the same amounts of vitamin D (close as possible). It would also be ideal to use the same raw materials (same batch of D3) for each of the two products.

Other things could cause blood levels to vary such as different amounts of sun exposure during the two time periods, medications, something you ate or drank that might effect Vitamin D blood levels and even stress levels during the two different time periods may effect the blood test results. If this was in the winter and you're above Atlanta, then perhaps the sun is not an issue, but remember, if you're doing this experiment over a 6 month period, then the amount of vitamin D generated by the sun is probably gradually changing over this time, unless you live on the equator. You may have started when not much D was being generated by the sun and finished when higher levels were being generated, or finished at the start of spring when the production of vitamin D from the sun just starts to kick in. Considering the high amounts of vitamin D generated by the sun, it might not take that much sun exposure on a fairly small percentage of your body to mess with your blood test results. I had read once that vitamin D blood levels don't truly level off until  after about three years of supplementation, but I do not know if that is true or not.       

Also, how steady are vitamin D blood levels even when only using one type of supplement & dose, do they go up and down by a certain amount in general ? Another thing to consider is what type of accuracy tolerance do vitamin D blood tests have and were the tests conducted at the same labs according to the same standards ?

The results of the  25-Hydroxyvitamin D  blood test can be given in nanograms per milliliter ( ng/mL ) or nonomoles per liter (nmol/L). The conversion factor is 2.496 so if you have a blood level of 32 ng/ml this converts to about 79.872 nmol/L.  I cannot help but think this is causing some confusion when people report differences in test results. Could they be overlooking that the results from different tests may be using different units ?  To add to the confusion, some doctors wrongly order the 1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D test, which generally uses different units and different level reference ranges.        

At the link directly below, Dr. Micheal Holick answers a question related to this subject.’s-responses-to-participant-questions-during-the-december-5-2008-live-webinar-presentation-“vitamin-d-chronic-disease-risk”/ 

From the link above: 
You mentioned Vit D could be taken w/ or w/o food, but I thought it needed fat for absorption. Please elaborate.Response: As I mentioned above, it doesn't matter whether you take vitamin D with or without food. Fat is not necessary for vitamin D to be absorbed.

At the vitamin D council link directly below, the very first question addresses this absorption issue. Basically, Dr. Cannell says that the dry tablets should absorb fine unless you have some other issue that would prevent absorption.

Presently, I don't' think anyone really knows for sure and it may well vary from one person to the next. 

I take the nature-made brand dry white vitamin D3 tablets, but I take them with two fish oil capsules. I also take 250 mg of magnesium at the same time, not to aid in vitamin D absorption but just because it's convenient to take the magnesium at the same time. The magnesium should help with absorption if anything. I read the heart-scan blog by Dr. William Davis and his reported problems with nature-made vitamin D. I contacted nature-made and after practically having to twist their arm off, they sent me a certificate of analysis showing the results for the lot numbers of D I was using. The D amounts for the 1000 IU tablets were very slightly over 1000 IU.  Nature-made said their dry tablets are made in accordance with USP standards and they are in the process of getting all of their vitamin D USP verified (presently just their 400 IU gel caps are USP verified). 

Here are some good vitamin D youtube videos to watch..

Dr. Robert P Heaney: What is vitamin D deficiency (I like watching this guy, he seems to put things in a straight forward common sense manner, and he's kind of funny sometimes) 

Edward Gorham, PhD 

Vitamin D: UV The Original Source - How to Use It
By Click - 2/7/2011 2:32:41 PM
Seems like a conscientiously done personal experiment and thanks for bringing this to the forum. (Costly though.) I do wonder if you had any other perceptions about the two forms of D3 you could add to your results and share.

The oil/dry issue was a huge one for me when I was taking PS (phosphatidylserine) which I judged by its effectiveness. The dry form really did nothing for me, but the oil based form was very effective for sleep and arresting middle of the night pounding heart episodes. I have since been unable to take PS because of a reaction (perhaps a soy reaction) or perhaps a buildup of it's active ingredient due to a possible change in lipid metabolism that if it occurred. This has also affected my use of fish oil, D3 (oil) and other oil based product such as vitamin e and cod liver oil.

Bottom line for me seems to be that oil based supplements are metabolized quite differently, and probably "hang around" a lot longer, staying active due to this difference.

I cannot take D anymore as it can make me feel quite bad and will trigger pretty serious tinnitus. If I'm careful, I can take small amounts of cod liver oil. As tinnitus is still quite a mysterious condition, this is difficult to understand,  but the hair like receptors in the cochlea may be affected by calcification (one theory for tinnitus) or other minerals. The first trigger I ever had for tinnitus was calcium supplements (Alkaselzer Gold), then a few other minerals seemed to join in, such as zinc supplementation and decades latter even magnesium supplements can trigger tinnitus if too massive. Food containing these elements in abundance never causes tinnitus.
By RobCr - 5/27/2011 11:24:15 PM
I notice this has already been said, but it bears emphasizing.
There are water soluble vitamins, and fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E  etc).
If you are taking fat soluble ones, then take them at the end of the meal that has the most fat content.
They CANNOT be absorbed into the blood stream, unless they are transported during the digestion of a fatty meal.
I suppose that the tablet form might work, if you follow the above rules, but I would be biting them, prior to swallowing them.
If you have a choice then get an oil based one, to be sure.

There were books written (in the US) by Adelle Davis.
I read them cover to cover in the 60's.
They (and she) were brilliant.
Her first book was " let's eat right to keep fit "
It should be required reading at school.
Even today most of what she said still applies.
She was the first to campaign against trans fats.
She advises that you must eat meals with complete proteins, or mix foods with incomplete proteins (Baked beans on wholemeal toast).
I could go on and on, but do yourselves a favor and read the book.

Rob (Down Under)
By calc - 6/3/2011 7:41:21 AM
One thing to consider is that it appears fat malabsorption affects the ability to absorb Vitamin D. At 10,000IU/day my level was 109ng, much too high, but at the same amount my wife's level was only 55ng, and she weighs less than me. Her cholesterol was also much lower than mine although we eat roughly the same food, which could also point to fat malabsorption. She has in the past been diagnosed with various autoimmune diseases (sle,ra,etc) only to have doctors later claim she didn't have them after even more extensive testing. I'm pretty sure they were right but that somehow the diseases went away, as I saw her with the lupus face rash. I'm going to have her tested for celiac as it is apparently seen often with the other autoimmune diseases she has been diagnosed with, and one of its most common symptoms is fat malabsorption.