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Excessive Vitamin D Intake May Elevate A Fib Risk
Family Practice News ^ | 11/29/11 | MITCHEL L. ZOLER

Posted on 02/04/2012 12:51:48 PM PST by neverdem

ORLANDO – People with an excessive blood level of vitamin D from overdosing with supplements had a 2.5-fold increased incidence of atrial fibrillation(A Fib), based on a study of 132,000 residents of Utah and southeastern Idaho.

The finding "suggests the need for caution with vitamin D supplementation and the need for careful assessment of serum levels if high doses [of vitamin D] are used," Megan B. Smith said at the annual scientific sessions of the American Heart Association.

The finding also suggests that patients identified with new-onset atrial fibrillation should be evaluated for a possible extremely high vitamin D level, said Ms. Smith, although in the results she reported, the high blood level of vitamin D linked with a significantly elevated incidence of atrial fibrillation, greater than 100 ng/dL, was extremely unusual, occurring in just 291 of the 132,000 people (0.2%) included in the study.

Although the mechanism linking such an extremely elevated blood level of vitamin D to a markedly increased rate of new-onset atrial fibrillation remains unclear, a likely explanation is the hypercalcemia that vitamin D toxicity can cause. Hypercalcemia can, in turn, reduce cardiac conduction velocity and shorten cardiac refractory time, said Ms. Smith, a dietician at Utah State University in Logan.

"Utah [residents have] tremendous use of supplements. From what we’ve seen in the charts we have, excessive use of vitamin D supplements is the primary driver" of the high levels seen, said Dr. T. Jared Bunch, director of electrophysiology research at the Intermountain Medical Group in Murray, Utah, and lead investigator for the study. "The few patients [with very high vitamin D levels] who I have seen got vitamin D in their milk, from a multivitamin, and from vitamin D pills. They get it from multiple sources," but added that the low prevalence of levels above 100 ng/dL also showed that it is a difficult level for a person to reach.

"Utah has an enormous problem with vitamin D deficiency, so we had this large group of people" who were members of Intermountain Healthcare, and had their vitamin D level measured once as part of their routine care. A survey by Dr. Bunch and his associates showed that unless asked, people don’t usually tell their physician that they take a vitamin D supplement, and that physicians at Intermountain Health do not usually ask patients about their vitamin D intake.

The measurement numbers documented the extent of the vitamin D deficiency problem, with 38,000 of the 132,000 people measured (29%) having a blood level below 20 ng/dL. This group with vitamin D deficiency showed significantly elevated prevalence rates of diabetes, hypertension, coronary artery disease, heart failure, and depression, compared with people in the designated "normal" vitamin D range of 41-60 ng/dL. But notably the incidence of atrial fibrillation in the deficiency group was not significantly different than the rate in the reference group with a normal vitamin D level at baseline.

"There is something unique" about the excess, toxic level, for atrial fibrillation incidence, Dr. Bunch said in an interview.

To better examine the potential role of vitamin D in elevating atrial fibrillation risk, Dr. Bunch and his associates are now regularly measuring blood vitamin D levels in Intermountain Healthcare members and prospectively tracking their atrial fibrillation incidence.

The results reported by Ms. Smith came from a retrospective analysis of the one-time vitamin D measurement by an immunoassay, and atrial fibrillation incidence tallied over an average 584 days of follow-up based on ECG testing and ICD-9 codes in each person’s medical record. The most common vitamin D level measured was 21-40 ng/dL, in 73,547 people (56%). Another 17,234 people (13%) had a level of 41-60 ng/dL, which the researchers considered normal and which they used as the reference group.

During follow-up, the incidence of new-onset atrial fibrillation was about 1.5% in all subgroups based on their baseline vitamin D level, except for those with a level above 100 ng/dL, who had an incidence of about 4%. A multivariate analysis that controlled for baseline differences in demographics identified a significantly elevated atrial fibrillation rate only in people with a baseline vitamin D level greater than 100 ng/dL.

Ms. Smith and Dr. Bunch said that they had no disclosures.

See comment# 1.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Testing
KEYWORDS: afib; atrialfibrillation; health; vitamind
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Atrial Fibrillation aka A Fib

An arrhythmia is a problem with the speed or rhythm of the heartbeat. Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common type of arrhythmia. The cause is a disorder in the heart's electrical system....

AF can lead to an increased risk of stroke. In many patients, it can also cause chest pain, heart attack, or heart failure.

Page last updated on 03 February 2012 Topic last reviewed 18 January 2012

N.B. Watch your units! Some studies reported 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations in nanomoles per liter, while others reported results in nanograms per milliliter.

P.S. I just saw this story in the hard copy version of the January 2012 issue of Family Practice News.

1 posted on 02/04/2012 12:51:53 PM PST by neverdem
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To: Pride in the USA

Important FYI ping!


2 posted on 02/04/2012 12:52:59 PM PST by lonevoice (Klepto Baracka Marxo, impeach we much.)
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To: neverdem

OK.. my first thought was... Vitamin D makes you lie?

lol


3 posted on 02/04/2012 12:54:27 PM PST by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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To: neverdem

I thought maybe Eric Holders intake of milk caused him to lie like a rug.


4 posted on 02/04/2012 12:54:46 PM PST by Dedbone
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To: Yehuda; Yaelle; goodwithagun; Squantos

I believe that at least two of you have made comments about vitamin D supplementation.


5 posted on 02/04/2012 12:58:29 PM PST by neverdem (Xin loi minh oi)
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To: neverdem

Pardon my ignorance - what is considered an ‘overdose’ of Vitamin D??

My SO is a chronic/recurrent A-FIB sufferer, and has been taking 5000IU of D3 for the past year - could this be of concern to her??


6 posted on 02/04/2012 12:59:04 PM PST by Uncle Ike (Rope is cheap, and there are lots of trees...)
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To: neverdem

But it is pretty difficult to get your blood level up to 100.

I supplement to get to 60 and it takes 14,000 iu to get it there. But since getting to 60 instead of 24, I stopped getting all colds and flus even while pregnant. No matter what I’m exposed to, I simply don’t catch it. Having enough D keeps cancer away too.


7 posted on 02/04/2012 12:59:39 PM PST by Yaelle
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To: GeronL
OK.. my first thought was... Vitamin D makes you lie?

What makes you write that?

8 posted on 02/04/2012 1:02:14 PM PST by neverdem (Xin loi minh oi)
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To: neverdem

I occasionally have exercised induced A fibs and I am an elite athlete type. It is pretty scary stuff because they often show up months or years apart. I wasn’t as worried until I read about the stroke risk. Scary stuff. I am back to the cardiologist. Anyone else deal with exercise induced or just general A fibs?


9 posted on 02/04/2012 1:04:30 PM PST by GOP Poet
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To: neverdem

In their “doctor” segment on FNC today, he said some people are really over-medicating themselves and that high levels of D-3 are associated with all sorts of major problems. You may be able to find reference to what he had to say at FNC web site. It was quite interesting.


10 posted on 02/04/2012 1:05:28 PM PST by Matchett-PI ("One party will generally represent the envied, the other the envious. Guess which ones." ~GagdadBob)
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To: neverdem

lol.

fib. Tell a fib lately??


11 posted on 02/04/2012 1:05:40 PM PST by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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To: neverdem

‘What makes you write that?

A fib ( a lie)

get it
I thought it was very funny

and I also would like to know the safe dosage


12 posted on 02/04/2012 1:06:42 PM PST by RWGinger (Simpl)
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To: Yaelle
Have to admit my wife and I just got over bad colds, although our supplementation is more like 2,500 -5,000 IU/day. But this was at least the first bad cold I'd had over a couple years of D3 supplementation.
13 posted on 02/04/2012 1:07:11 PM PST by steve86 (Acerbic by nature, not nurture (Could be worst in 40 years))
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To: Uncle Ike

After taking 10,000 IUs daily for 3-4 years, my blood test shows a Vit D level of 76, with 30-100ng being the normal range. (I get very little Vit D from the sun)


14 posted on 02/04/2012 1:07:35 PM PST by OwenKellogg (Gingrich / Robinson 2012!)
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To: neverdem

A fib is caused by magnesium deficiency. So are low levels of vit D. Some people are taking very high doses of D because they can’t get their levels up but their levels won’t go up until they start taking the right kind and right amount of mag.


15 posted on 02/04/2012 1:10:28 PM PST by spacejunkie2001
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To: Dedbone
I thought maybe Eric Holders intake of milk caused him to lie like a rug.

White or chocolate?

16 posted on 02/04/2012 1:11:13 PM PST by steve86 (Acerbic by nature, not nurture (Could be worst in 40 years))
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To: neverdem
More B.S. studies from Big Pharma that wants you dependent on their prescription drugs.

These people that produce these pseudo studies do not have a Soul.

17 posted on 02/04/2012 1:12:52 PM PST by Sprite518
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To: OwenKellogg
Vit D level of 76

My last test came back at 4. Back on the big dose again. The Sun just isn't doing it for me.

18 posted on 02/04/2012 1:13:25 PM PST by Glenn (iamtheresistance.org)
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To: Glenn

read #15


19 posted on 02/04/2012 1:14:56 PM PST by spacejunkie2001
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To: neverdem

It’s almost impossible for anyone to get close to taking too much vitamin D. Your body can make far, far more of it than you’d ever normally take in vitamin form. Further the body takes in vitamin D inefficiently as with many vitamins so you’re not going to absorb 100% of the vitamin D you’d be intaking anyway.

The author fails to not that the vast, vast moajority of problems people have associated with vitamin D is being DEFICIENT in vitamin D, not having too much.

This basically is a horsepucky article.


20 posted on 02/04/2012 1:15:29 PM PST by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: Yaelle

I take 10,000 IU daily and can’t remember the last time that I was sick. I started taking it when my PSA was at 5.6 and today it is 0.2.


21 posted on 02/04/2012 1:15:42 PM PST by lacey3900
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To: spacejunkie2001
A fib is caused by magnesium deficiency.

That's only one potential cause of many, obviously.

22 posted on 02/04/2012 1:16:59 PM PST by steve86 (Acerbic by nature, not nurture (Could be worst in 40 years))
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To: steve86

what else?


23 posted on 02/04/2012 1:18:42 PM PST by spacejunkie2001
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To: neverdem

Wisconsin residents: this is not what you think! (WI-IL joke)


24 posted on 02/04/2012 1:19:01 PM PST by bigbob
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To: Secret Agent Man

Actually I saw the author took one sentence to note most of the problems are not having enough. But the whole slant of the article is too much. This just falls along the same lines of other articles that are anti-supplement, people cant be trusted to take care of themselves with supplements crap.

Bottom line - supplements are far safer than OTC and prescription drugs, hands down. You can take a whole bottle of vitamin D and it won’t kill you. You can’t say the same for regular tylenol. Or just about any other drug. Supplements are far safer, and have far fewer and milder side effects, if any. Most you pee the excess out. Not so with drugs.


25 posted on 02/04/2012 1:19:49 PM PST by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
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To: austinmark; FreedomCalls; IslandJeff; JRochelle; MarMema; Txsleuth; Newtoidaho; texas booster; ...
FReepmail me if you want on or off the diabetes ping list.

You were pinged for two reasons. First, there can be too much of a good thing, i.e. vitamin D. Second, for the newer members of the diabetes list, there can be too little of a good thing, i.e. vitamin D. The blood test is called serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D. You may find variations on that, e.g. 25-hydroxyvitamin D, 25hydroxyvitamin D, 25-hydroxyvitaminD, 25hydroxyvitaminD, etc.

26 posted on 02/04/2012 1:21:34 PM PST by neverdem (Xin loi minh oi)
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To: RWGinger

I also would like to know the safe dosage

God knew what He was doing when He made food, and added vitamins in very, very small doses.


27 posted on 02/04/2012 1:24:02 PM PST by WestwardHo
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To: spacejunkie2001
Thanks. It's worth a shot.
28 posted on 02/04/2012 1:24:24 PM PST by Glenn (iamtheresistance.org)
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To: neverdem

Frankly, I don’t find this report at all persuasive. There are numerous benefits to taking vitamin D, and this article does not persuade me of the contrary.

The effect being investigated is said to be “extremely unusual, occurring in just 291 of the 132,000 people (0.2%) included in the study.” Zero point two percent. I would imagine that that is less than the margin of error.

Not only that, but they never explain what “excessive” means. I take about 4,000 i.u. daily in the winter, and I doubt that that is excessive, although it is above the recommended dosage—which was based on research from ten or twenty years ago, and very cautious as well. And I gather from some of the comments that excessive is probably, well, quite a lot more than that.

Sounds suspiciously like a Big Pharma scare story to me.


29 posted on 02/04/2012 1:25:07 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: neverdem

Don’t believe this. Or, if it’s true, the percentage of people affected is so low it doesn’t make a difference.

I have been taking 5000IU of D3 per day for years. The only side effect I’ve noticed is a complete lack of illness. My Dr. thinks I’m nuts. But, then, he has a stake in my having to visit him when I’m sick.


30 posted on 02/04/2012 1:26:26 PM PST by upchuck (Let's have the Revolution NOW before we get dumbed down to the point that we can't.)
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To: steve86
I thought maybe Eric Holders intake of milk caused him to lie like a rug.

White or chocolate?

Cue the little "That's racist" guy

31 posted on 02/04/2012 1:26:49 PM PST by Dedbone
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To: GeronL

You are not the only one! LOL

Tell I dug into the story.


32 posted on 02/04/2012 1:28:41 PM PST by ConfidentConservative (If my people shall humble themselves and pray,I will hear from Heaven and heal their land.)
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To: spacejunkie2001

Cause

AF is linked to several cardiac causes, but may occur in otherwise normal hearts. Known associations include:[citation needed]

Hypertension (High blood pressure)
Primary heart diseases including coronary artery disease, mitral stenosis (e.g. due to rheumatic heart disease or mitral valve prolapse), mitral regurgitation, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), pericarditis, congenital heart disease, previous heart surgery
Lung diseases (such as pneumonia, lung cancer, pulmonary embolism, sarcoidosis)
Excessive alcohol consumption (”binge drinking” or “holiday heart syndrome”). Even otherwise healthy middle-aged women who consumed more than 2 drinks daily were 60% more likely to develop AF.[10]
Hyperthyroidism
Carbon monoxide poisoning
Dual-chamber pacemakers in the presence of normal atrioventricular conduction.[11]
A family history of AF may increase the risk of AF. A study of more than 2,200 AF patients found that 30 per cent had parents with AF.[12] Various genetic mutations may be responsible.[13][14]
Friedreich’s ataxia

I would add rapid hypertensive medication titration to the above Wikipedia list.


33 posted on 02/04/2012 1:30:27 PM PST by steve86 (Acerbic by nature, not nurture (Could be worst in 40 years))
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To: steve86

I have a mild cold right now. I don’t remember the last cold I had but it’s been quite a while. I have taken 5000 IU Vit. D3 for 3 years.


34 posted on 02/04/2012 1:33:25 PM PST by unkus (Silence Is Consent)
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To: steve86

Yeah, you can get sick, but with your blood d at 60 you won’t unless it’s really infectious or you’re run down a little. My athlete son got hit with a stomach bug too.

I always wonder why docs never advise vit d. Not even for children who are constantly sick. It really helps.


35 posted on 02/04/2012 1:39:08 PM PST by Yaelle
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To: neverdem

bfl


36 posted on 02/04/2012 1:39:49 PM PST by bert (K.E. N.P. +12 ..... Crucifixion is coming)
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To: RWGinger

You have to go get a blood test first. Then add some supplementation if it’s low. Then after a couple months, go test again. Adjust your dose if you start getting a lot of sun too.


37 posted on 02/04/2012 1:40:49 PM PST by Yaelle
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To: lonevoice

Thanks for the ping. I have suspected that vitamin D may adversely effect the heart. I sure hope they do more research into this since so many docs recommend this supplement to their patients.


38 posted on 02/04/2012 1:41:59 PM PST by Pride in the USA
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To: steve86

Short of carbon monoxide poisoning, everything on that list is caused by mag deficiency. Magnesium makes approximately 350 other nutrients, enzymes, etc., work in your body. We are almost ALL deficient in mg as they no longer fertilize with it, we drink too much filtered water and we eat too much processed food.

There is a fantastic book out by Dr. Carolyn Dean called ‘The Magnesium Miracle’ that really gets deep into the benefits of mag.

I know the tendancy for some is to minimize it’s positive effects but I can tell you the list of every day ailments many of us suffer from are directly related to low mg.


39 posted on 02/04/2012 1:42:52 PM PST by spacejunkie2001
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To: Yaelle

My doctor is in a group that recommends Vit D and even sells it in 1500 unit gel caps over their counter at check out


40 posted on 02/04/2012 1:44:13 PM PST by bert (K.E. N.P. +12 ..... Crucifixion is coming)
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To: neverdem
Atrial Fibrillation can be a result of simply having a heart redesigned for heavy duty use of the Atrial chambers.

Some folks are born with the characteristic "square heart". Others can develop it through intense exercise ~ e.g. the sort of training needed for cross-country skiing or regular marathon runs.

If you have an extra sinus (spare current carrying nerve to the heart), it can begin firing when you don't want it to, and that will interfere with the motor sequence leading to fibrillation.

Reading through the Scandinavian (Swedish) research in the Skolt (a Sa'ami tribe of about 500 people living in Finland), this particular heart structure is clearly associated with success at cross country reindeer "herding", living outdoors all the time, winter and summer, and frequent heavy labor during periods of intense cold.

It could also enable you to breath easier than other, more Tropical humans, in very cold air simply because greater use of the atrial chambers allows you to pump more blood through the lungs ~ and that allows you to breath in less cold air ~ to maintain the same oxygenpressure ~ and removal of CO2.

Not a big thing of course but in that climate getting by with fewer breaths probably has a survival advantage.

There are a cluster of genetically driven conditions associated with this including not having enzymes to metabolise alcohol (a tough one, eh), anomalous heme production (leading to an anemia called pernicious anemia), and so forth. That is, if you have one such condition, the odds are good that you have at least one, or all, of the others.

Now does that mean you have a Sa'ami ancestor? In general, probably, but they've been mixing into the general population in Europe for over 1,000 years! Watch those guys swimming in Antarctic waters ~ they probably have square hearts ~ and could develop troublesome arrhythmias in the future ~ or maybe not. My grandfather had the problem, my father had it, I don't! I have associates who know of this problem back over many generations, with many deaths, and yet others don't have any deaths at all.

This report/study probably needs to have the Sa'ami background filtered out. Otherwise readers may draw some quite erroneous conclusions.

41 posted on 02/04/2012 1:47:55 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: spacejunkie2001

I eat raw fish ~ and if it’s still wiggling around it’s really great for pulling in the vitamins and minerals you need.


42 posted on 02/04/2012 1:49:17 PM PST by muawiyah
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To: spacejunkie2001
...everything on that list is caused by mag deficiency.

Right, my daughter's congenital heart condition was caused by Mg deficiency as was a friend's lung cancer

Absurd, impossible-to-disprove statement from the great quack tradition.

Many of us do take Mg supplements. Magnesium is just one factor, like Vitamin D.

43 posted on 02/04/2012 1:53:36 PM PST by steve86 (Acerbic by nature, not nurture (Could be worst in 40 years))
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To: GOP Poet

Mine came on after, ironically, I began BP meds.

Doctors probably hate the internet but my cursory research says that one particular drug produces arrhythmia in 31% of patients.


44 posted on 02/04/2012 1:59:51 PM PST by relictele (Green energy is neither)
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To: Uncle Ike
Pardon my ignorance - what is considered an ‘overdose’ of Vitamin D??

My SO is a chronic/recurrent A-FIB sufferer, and has been taking 5000IU of D3 for the past year - could this be of concern to her??

If it was me, then I would get the serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D test to make sure it was below the upper limit of normal. This links a quick tutorial about A Fib by a cardiologist. I'd want to rule out reversible causes of it. After that, it's time to see a cardiologist.

45 posted on 02/04/2012 2:00:06 PM PST by neverdem (Xin loi minh oi)
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To: neverdem

Thanks for the response, neverdem -

I guess I wasn’t very clear in my description of the situation - the onset of her A-Fib was more than two years ago, and she just started taking the D3 supplements approximately a year ago - so I guess my question was whether the 5000IU daily dosage would be considered high enough to exacerbate an existing condition...


46 posted on 02/04/2012 2:06:17 PM PST by Uncle Ike (Rope is cheap, and there are lots of trees...)
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To: GOP Poet

Occasionally I have noticed this same thing but continued exercise usually clears it up. I’ve had a-fib since 1994 but it is controlled with Betapace. A very nasty situation for anyone who has it and it is like having a chest full of monkeys.


47 posted on 02/04/2012 2:14:41 PM PST by RichardW
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To: neverdem

My opinion would be that the a fib people are taking calcium with the d3 supplementation. Most Americans probably have too much calcium in their diets before any supplementation of calcium. It may be possible to upload too calcium with the assistance of d3.


48 posted on 02/04/2012 2:31:11 PM PST by kruss3 (Kruss3@gmail.com)
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To: neverdem

My opinion would be that the a fib people are taking calcium with the d3 supplementation. Most Americans probably have too much calcium in their diets before any supplementation of calcium. It may be possible to upload too calcium with the assistance of d3.


49 posted on 02/04/2012 2:31:32 PM PST by kruss3 (Kruss3@gmail.com)
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To: Yaelle

Actually, it wasn’t hard for me to get my level up to 143, which is way, way too high.

My daughter left a bowl of what I thought were gummy bears in her room. I just started munching on them, taking a handful every day when I went into her bedroom. Turned out they were Vitamin D supplements candies she had bought at Walmart.


50 posted on 02/04/2012 2:51:43 PM PST by ottbmare (off-the-track Thoroughbred mare)
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