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Vitamin D... I'm finally clear!!

vitamin vitamins vitamin d fish oil

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#1 atalanta

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 02:22 AM

Well, I think I've found it... I think it's finally over! it's been about 2 months, and *no new breakouts*. Absolutely none. I'm... shocked! After all this time, I think I finally found the acne cause and solution, for me.

Two months ago, I started taking vitamin D supplements, about 1000IU per day. Nothing else changed: work has been no more or less stressful, my diet hasn't changed, nothing significant in personal life. I just noticed that my skin is always better after getting a little bit of sunshine, so decided to try taking vitamin D... and, voila! My skin has *never* looked better... It actually looks kind of pretty!

It's hard to believe it could be so simple, yet it kind of makes sense: I never had acne until moving from Arizona to Seattle, and, it always got worse in the winter. The only other time I had acne in my life was while still living in Arizona, I tried a brief stint of eating a very, very low-fat diet (yes, I was young and foolish), and wearing sunscreen religiously; perhaps since vitamin D is fat-soluble, and I was avoiding the sun, I was just unable to synthesize or absorb it. And, sure enough, once I abandoned the low-fat foolishness, the acne disappeared as well. Until I moved to Seattle, that is, when it returned with a vengeance.

The only heavy-duty medications I tried were retin-A for a year, and orthotricyclen for four months. Both were ineffective, unfortunately: the retin-A had absolutely no effect (after a frickin year!!) and on orthotricyclen I still had reliably regular monthly breakouts, plus some in between. I tried eliminating various foods from the diet: chocolate, dairy, peanuts, and citrus, all to no effect.

Also, I absolutely don't eat processed foods, and very little sugar; mostly whole foods, lots of veggies, low sugar, lots of fish oils, only grass-fed organic meat when I do eat meat, blah, blah, blah, etc etc, all the usual recommendations. I got extremely sick of claims that acne is punishment for dietary transgressions -- I *don't* eat crap, at all, yet still had acne.

Anyway! All this is to say that after 3 years of trial and error, I've been pretty much stumped! Until now... taking vitamin D. It's very weird. It's possible that this one simple thing, vitamin D deficiency, has been the problem the entire time. Wow.

It's been about 2 months, so I'm hoping this keeps up. If anything changes, I'll let you guys know, but... so far, so good!

If anyone is still trying the litany of various dietary/medical/vitamin tricks, well, don't forget to give this one a try. Not the cause for everybody, I'm sure, but if there are any others out there like me, maybe this will help!

Edited by atalanta, 02 December 2009 - 12:33 AM.


#2 xboxfreak

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 07:15 PM

I am surprised that little of Vitamin D has helped you. A normal person can absorb thousands and tens of thousands of IU's of Vitamin D from the sun in just 10-15 minutes.

I take about 7500 IU of Vitamin D3 a day during winter. Vitamin D3 is great for your body. You need more in the winter time since you don't get as much sun. Too bad it hasn't helped my acne much but it is still great for my body and I will continue to take it indefinitely.

#3 jksl

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 05:03 AM

7500 IU of Vitamin D3? That sounds like quite a lot..

I only take 1000 IU + whatever i get from the fish oils.

#4 xboxfreak

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Posted 03 February 2009 - 10:50 AM

That is not that much. You are hardly taking any at all. Like I said, you can get thousands of IU's from the sun in just 10-15 minutes. Since I don't get much sun at all (especially in the winter) I take more Vitamin D3 to make up for it. I guess if it is working for you then good. But I would bump it up. Even if you skin doesn't need more it will help your body in tons of other areas. Vitamin D3 is great for you!

#5 Yankulov

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Posted 07 February 2009 - 02:24 AM

atalanta, could you upload photos of your progress with vit. D?

#6 atalanta

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 02:02 AM

xboxfreak: According to some poking around online, there appears to be a difference between how your body processes the D synthesized by sunlight, and absorbed through digestion. I don't know if it's a different molecule or exactly how it works, but my understanding is that you can synthesize and tolerate orders of magnitude more D from sunlight exposure than through eating it.

Apparently, the idea is that your body won't generate D past toxicity levels, and can clear the extra that it generates from sunlight. But, when consuming it, you can't get rid of the excess as easily, and it's much easier to overdose. Most recommendations I've heard say it's safe to eat up to 1 or 2 thousand IU; the RDA is very, very conservative, probably too much so, at 400IU, but I wouldn't feel comfortable going over 1 or 2k.

I don't have the original sources for the sunlight vs. supplement info, though, so it may be worth double-checking and doing some research to verify. But yeah... it's definitely an underrated vitamin! I don't think we know all there is to know about it (or any of the vits, for that matter), so can only think it's really important not to become deficient.

Yankulov: I haven't been keeping any photo records, sorry! Can try to describe, though: before, I had pretty consistently 2-3 medium-sized, inflamed lesions, mostly on the jaw, cheeks, and forehead. Now, it's.... well, there are none. The old red marks (the "not scars, but sure stick around forever, just like scars" marks) are still there, but slowly fading, and no new lesions are coming up to create new ones. My skin isn't exactly polished and glowing, but it looks and feels smoother and healthier than it has in years. It's even less dry, and I've always had very, very dry skin!

As for updates: well... so far, so good. It's been 2-1/2 months now, and still no breakouts. I'm still a little wary to think it could just be the D, but it's the only thing I've done differently! And, the results are (haha) written on my face, plain as day.

I guess I should say that I don't think this is necessarily a miracle cure for acne. More and more, I'm inclined to believe that the causes of acne across different people are more vast and varied than we think; this just happened to be mine. But I want to make sure everyone who hasn't tried D gives it a shot, to rule it out as your etiolog.

(Btw, a friend of mine grew up in Hawaii, getting lots of sun exposure, and had terrible acne... she moved up here to the pacific northwest, and is now soft and smooth and clear! More evidence that the causes are wiiiidely varied.)

#7 atalanta

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 02:17 AM

Okay, found an NIH factsheet on D:

http://ods.od.nih.go...ts/vitamind.asp

They mention toxicity waaay down under "Health risks from excessive vitamin D":

"Excessive sun exposure does not result in vitamin D toxicity because the sustained heat on the skin is thought to photodegrade previtamin D3 and vitamin D3 as it is formed [11,30]. High intakes of dietary vitamin D are very unlikely to result in toxicity unless large amounts of cod liver oil are consumed; toxicity is more likely to occur from high intakes of supplements."

It's a pretty brief and hesitant statement, though. Bears more research...

#8 mommyto6

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 01:16 AM

I had a simple blood test done and my level of Vitamin D was 12 and its supposed to be over 50. My FNP said it took around 6-7 years to get that low. I take 2000 iu a day and might have ot be bumped up to 4000 due to how low I was. It is supposed to help with acne also. So I am not surprised that it helped you. I had severe fatigue, chronic pain, and Vitamin D was the solution so far to everything.

#9 theOrganic

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 01:11 AM

QUOTE (mommyto6 @ Feb 17 2009, 03:16 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I had a simple blood test done and my level of Vitamin D was 12 and its supposed to be over 50. My FNP said it took around 6-7 years to get that low. I take 2000 iu a day and might have ot be bumped up to 4000 due to how low I was. It is supposed to help with acne also. So I am not surprised that it helped you. I had severe fatigue, chronic pain, and Vitamin D was the solution so far to everything.


thx.
Tina
Mommyto6: How long did it take for your symptoms to get better from the Vitamin D deficiency? I have been taking Vitamin D for the past 3 months for my deficiency and I only feel a little better.



#10 databased

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 01:11 PM

QUOTE
I am surprised that little of Vitamin D has helped you.

Vitamin D may be essential to elevating zinc serum levels. Low serum zinc levels are consistently correlated with chronic acne.

QUOTE
A normal person can absorb thousands and tens of thousands of IU's of Vitamin D from the sun in just 10-15 minutes.

You mean a normal white person. Black people are normal, too, and they can take many times as long to generate the same amount of Vitamin D as a light-skinned person. The re-emergence of rickets in America has largely been among black children. The government also only puts Vitamin D in one food in the food supply: milk. Black people both need more Vitamin D (to make up for not getting as much from the sun) and are more likely to be lactose-intolerant.

You mean a normal white person located at the correct season and place on the planet to receive sufficient UVB. I live in Seattle. For nearly nine months out of the year, I can lay naked in the noonday sun and make zero Vitamin D.

You mean a normal white person located at the correct season and place and time of day on the planet to receive sufficient UVB. Even at the equator, time of day greatly influences how much UVB you'll get and therefore how much Vitamin D you can make.

The idea that most people in America get enough Vitamin D from incidental sun exposure is reasonably well disproven at this point, I believe.

QUOTE
but my understanding is that you can synthesize and tolerate orders of magnitude more D from sunlight exposure than through eating it.

If you can find a study that actually says that, I would sure be interested in the link. Yes, there are modest differences between getting 10,000IU from the sun and getting it from a pill. The idea that "orders of magnitude" more sun-generated Vitamin D can be tolerated is astounding to me, having read most of the available Vitamin D literature.

QUOTE
but I wouldn't feel comfortable going over 1 or 2k.

Probably you're not aware then that researchers estimate an adult male burns up around double that amount every day. The only way to know how much Vitamin D you need to take is to measure how much you have. The Vitamin D council can tell you how.

QUOTE
I have been taking Vitamin D for the past 3 months for my deficiency and I only feel a little better.

3 months is enough time for your serum levels to have settled at their new value. Did you get tested again to see what your current serum level is? Of course, how you feel may not be related to a Vitamin D deficiency in your particular case.

QUOTE
I'm inclined to believe that the causes of acne across different people are more vast and varied than we think;

Quite possibly, but I've been exploring the idea that a large number of things that help some people are all connected to zinc. It turns out that medical researchers have trouble getting zinc serum levels elevated in patients by just giving them a normal dose of zinc. Vitamin D clearly helps some people, and clearly does not help other people. Why is that? It is a recent discovery that Vitamin D can help make the difference between whether taking a zinc supplement elevates your blood serum levels, or has no effect on them at all. Some people get acne when they quite smoking; smoking elevates zinc levels. The list goes on and on. I am interested in whether it's possible to make a zinc regimen that addresses as many of the problems in elevating zinc levels as I can find, to see whether that can eliminate some of the variability in what works in treating acne.


#11 Packerfan785

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 07:59 PM

So I should be absolutely fine taking in 2000 IU a day of vitamin D? Do I need to take in less if I am going to be in the sun?

#12 databased

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 08:29 PM

The only way to know how much Vitamin D you need is to get tested. That said, if you're a normal American in Wisconsin not using a tanning bed, it's going to be extremely unlikely you can hurt yourself taking 2,000IU/day. Of course, it's also pretty unlikely you're going to end up with the amount of Vitamin D researchers (not doctors) are recommending as the minimum, but the only way to know is get tested, either by your doctor or by paying $65 for the mail-order test.

Yes, if you go to the beach and get a nice tan, it's reasonable to skip the pill form of Vitamin D for a few days. But really, that's more important in the hopes of trying to keep an even level of Vitamin D than from any fear that the 2,000IU on top of a sunny day would be enough to cause you any toxicity. Here's some stories from doctors in Wisconsin who find big percentages of their patients have real low levels.

#13 wapak

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 04:24 AM

Dudes, we got tons of sunlight available outside. Less chemically produced things you intake is better. Well, unless it is super impossible for you to get sunlight for 10-15mins a day then that is the only time to get supplements.

Anyway, here's a blog supporting this vitamin D post. But let me tell you in advance that acne is not to be solved by one thing alone. If it is caused by a varied factors then it is also to be solved by wide array of things. And the challenge here is to find the right things. wink.gif
Acne and Sun

#14 Packerfan785

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 07:44 PM

Yea, I have dark skin and live in Wisconsin. Now that you mention it, most people my age (mostly out of puberty) who have acne have darker skin. Should I be fine taking 2000 IU plus the 400 IU that is in my Calcium/Magnesium Pill?

#15 Packerfan785

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 11:42 AM

Just two days worth of 1400 has made a big difference. Going to keep observing for a while though.

#16 tkennebe

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 01:52 PM

Hi, I'm very new to this forum and found you by google search. I am 40 and have fought acne for more than half my life. Every topical, antibiotic, accutane x 2, contraceptives, etc. Some work for a period of time, others nothing. I'm in family practice and have more success with patients' acne than my own. I also had malignant melanoma (skin cancer) at 27. So I've been sunscreened and covered head to toe for years. I'm very fair complected and live in WI with long winters.

I recently asked for a vitamin D level. I have been taking 2000 to 4000 IU daily for several months - very safe (it may have cancer prevention effects as well). Normal level is 30 and above. I was 3, severely low. Treatment is prescription dosing of 50,000 IU x 10 doses. In 4 doses, I felt awesome already. Skin is cleared over a month! Anedotal, I know. But Vitamin D is safer than the hormones, accutane, everything else I've done. I would not recommend more than 4000IU without a blood level.

From sunlight, you need 15 minutes of sun to the face without sunscreen. It is felt that darker pigmented skin (particularly Asian decent) - melanin the skin pigment blocks sunlight (natural sunscreen) and northern residents (when will spring come?) have more difficulty.

Anyway, I was surprised to search acne and vitamin d and find so much information. This may be more helpful for adult acne where hormones are less issue.

Respectfully,
Another Packer Fan,
TMK

#17 AltaPGT

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Posted 02 March 2009 - 05:59 PM

tkennebe- thanks for sharing. Just for clarification on your doses:

Is it 50,000IU in one daily dose?
Then is it 10 consecutive doses over the course of 10 days, or are they spaced out differently?

Is your skin completely clear now, and are u taking any other supplements, or just Vitamin D?

Thank you!

#18 tkennebe

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Posted 04 March 2009 - 06:02 PM

QUOTE (AltaPGT @ Mar 2 2009, 06:59 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
tkennebe- thanks for sharing. Just for clarification on your doses:

Is it 50,000IU in one daily dose?
Then is it 10 consecutive doses over the course of 10 days, or are they spaced out differently?

Is your skin completely clear now, and are u taking any other supplements, or just Vitamin D?

Thank you!

50,000 IU is prescription dosed vitamin D where as over the counter is generally either 1000 or 2000 IU in a tablet. The 10 doses are done either 1 geltab once per week or 1 geltab Monday, Wed, Friday (3x a week in whatever fashion). But this is prescribed. Mostly my point is that 2000 or 4000 is very safe and that we will likely see the 400IU RDA disappear.

I elected to do the M/W/F because I was so low. My skin started to be noticeably improving by week 2. And it takes at least that long for any acne "in process" to rear its head. No new stuff and the hyperpigmented inflammatory marks are fading.

To answer your question, I do take a multivitamin, Calcium 500, Fish Oil 2 grams (4 tabs) daily and 4000IU Vitamin D now that the prescription is complete. I will have another law draw in a couple weeks to see if I'm maintaining Vitamin D levels.

In addition, I'd tell you that I've tested 6 patients this week. 4 had levels less than 10, 2 were less than 20. (Goal is 30 and preferrably 50). I don't claim for this to be a cure all. Obviously there are people in sunny Florida with acne.

Your skin is your largest organ. I have always felt that this is an systemic issue to address inside to outside. Good luck.
TMK




#19 alternativista

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 11:27 AM

QUOTE (mommyto6 @ Feb 17 2009, 01:16 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I had a simple blood test done and my level of Vitamin D was 12 and its supposed to be over 50. My FNP said it took around 6-7 years to get that low. I take 2000 iu a day and might have ot be bumped up to 4000 due to how low I was. It is supposed to help with acne also. So I am not surprised that it helped you. I had severe fatigue, chronic pain, and Vitamin D was the solution so far to everything.


My multi has 2,000 which I had been taking for about 6 months and when I was tested my levels were only 36 ng/ml. And I have pale skin in a southern climate. The lab and doctor considered that adequate. But Vitamin D researchers these days don't.


#20 pink_melodies

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 12:37 PM

Well, I noticed applying 400 IU to my face from the capsule 2x daily helped, so good for you! Well, us!




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