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About 1.5 years ago or so I read up on how the glycemic index diet or glycemic load diet was the way to go. Two tribes, Ache and Kitavan, were studied and had no signs of acne...none...despite the thousands of subjects stuided. The authors proposed that the diet did not spike blood glucose as high...even though a good portion of their diet consisted of tubers (basically things like potatoes and yams, things that DO spike blood glucose). Additionally the diets of these two tribes were roughly 70% carbohydrates. Yet their disease rates of diabetes, cancer, depression, and other western diseases were absent.

So I thought this was a possible link, and I proceeded on a low glycemic diet. I was on it for like, maybe 6 or 7 months. Virtually no improvement of my acne (though my acne is mostly in the form of oily skin and large pores).

So then I tried a very low carb diet, like <40g of carbs a day. Again, my acne did not really improve too much at all.

Then I tried eating things without drinking, and this actually did help a bit...it wasn't a placebo effect either. ..but it never got rid of it. And I ate things like cookies and cakes too.

Obviously frustrated, I researched and researched. I googled everything, from "vitamin a" and acne to selenium, to lipoic acid, everything. I stumbled upon the Vitamin D Council in early 2007, but never made too much of it. After all I thought vitamin D was only useful for bone diseases, so why would I care for it if I wanted to banish my acne?

Fast forward a year later and just for kicks I typed in [vitamin d acne] on google and found virtually nothing related between the two. But I refined my search to ["vitamin d" acne], and found an article:

http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/picrender...mp;blobtype=pdf

This article was dated in 1937 for crying out loud...but acne still existed back then, well before the use of things like hydrogenated oils and fried foods became common place. In summary the doctor treated his patients with pre-vitamin D: viosterol.

Now viosterol isn't produced by our bodies, it's actually the plant form of previtamin D. It's synthesized from ergosterol (the plant form of cholesterol) and then converted to vitamin D2(ergocalciferol). He estimated that he used 5000 to 14,000 IU of viosterol a day for his patients. His patients noticed improvement in one month and some were healed in 2 months with most being free of acne in three months...though there were some treatable relapses he mentions. Some of the doctors noted that there could be synergy with vitamin A (one doctor used 55,000 IU of vitamin A...but did not specify whether this was beta carotene or retinol).

But think about that for a moment. Viosterol is a precursor to vitamin D2, a much less potent form of vitamin D (for humans anyways). Vitamin D3 is almost 2x as potent as vitamin D2 (according to the VDC: vitamin d council) at raising calcidiol levels. You can check my blog to see my progress with vitamin D3.

So going back to the kitavan and ache tribes I was interested in where they were situated: Papua New Guinea and Paraguay, respectively. Then I looked at the world map and noticed the two countries were not situated too far from the equator. In fact, Papua New Guinea is right on the equator and Paraguay is about 15-25 south latitude from the equator...both countries get UVB all year round and the tribes obviously spend a lot of time outdoors. Is it diet or is it the sun? I don't know, but I'm not going to wait around.

To me, it makes sense. The bulk of us spend like 90% of our time indoors and wear sun screen and drive in cars. Plus UVB rays are not always around when the sun is out. We can't produce any vitamin D in our skin for roughly 6 months of the year during fall and winter (mainly for those who live above and below 30 degrees latitude).

Now I'm not saying vitamin D is going to cure everyone's acne...or even make a dent in it. But from what I've researched (believe me, I've spent hundreds of hours of research on vitamin d alone) I'd be shocked if it didn't help people with current acne.

What dose should one use? How long does it take to see results? What type of vitamin D to use?

Typically dosage should at least be a few thousand, minimum of 3000 IU (taken with fat). It's important to eat saturated fat, since mono and polyunsaturated fat decrease binding of vitamin D to vitamin d receptors. You should only use vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) and nothing else...not even calcidiol or calcitriol (the risk of side effects is much higher...even though your body eventually converts D3 to calcitriol). Of all the research that I've done and all the ailments (multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis, depression, etc.) it seems to take about 3 months...but note that the dosage used wasn't too high, 800 to <2000 IU. Your body, assuming you're light skinned, can make ~20,000 IU of vitamin D in a matter of minutes (about 20-35 min) in noontime sun with minimal clothing during summer. This happens well before you turn pink. So if it takes you 40 minutes to turn pink, then 20 minutes is all you need to achieve maximum vitamin d production for the day. No one has ever died or had any known complications from this much vitamin D from the sun. Does upping the dose make things faster or more permanent? That's for you to decide because I could not find a single study to compare high dose to low dose and speed of treatment...though higher doses are more effective.

Typically 10,000 IU or less is safe for consumption each day (from the sun, supplements, food, or UVB lamps). The RDA of 400IU a day is far too low.

For those who don't have access to noon time sun (10AM to 3PM), oily wild fish is a pretty good source. One 3oz serving of wild salmon provides almost 1000 IU of vitamin D. Cod liver oil is a great source too. But vitamin D from the sun is free and presents no signs of toxicity (because the UVB rays will break down any excess).

I've been on vitamin D therapy for 2 weeks now, at 24,000 IU/day. Not one pimple has formed. Of course I don't plan on staying on this forever. I plan on cutting down to 6,000 IU/day for maintenence. I use Carlson's Vitamin D 2000 IU 360 softgels (they are incredibly tiny, it's very easy to swallow 6 at a time which is what I do) and they cost just $11 a bottle. But I'll see what happens after 2 more weeks, then 2 months, then 3 months (just check my blog).

Remember, D3 or cholecalciferol is what you need and NOTHING ELSE.

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Very interesting... how bad was your acne before and what type? Is your skin oily or dry/flaky or both?

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so if we try to stay out in the sun how long should we stay out, I know we shouldn't use sunblock so how long should we stay out for this to work 30 minutes to an hour?

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dr. mercola is an advocate of sunshine for vitamin D. he's on youtube and has his own website. lots of other good info from him too.

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Very interesting... how bad was your acne before and what type? Is your skin oily or dry/flaky or both?

My acne was never really that bad, but it was very oily and I have large pores. But I did get cystic types that left mild scarring. My skin isn't really flaky, but sometimes my forehead would become so dry that it would flake off like I had severe sunburn.

so if we try to stay out in the sun how long should we stay out, I know we shouldn't use sunblock so how long should we stay out for this to work 30 minutes to an hour?

Basically you want to be as uncovered as much as you can...like a bathing suit. But if you are light skinned 30 minutes is usually more than enough.

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Wow...24,000 IU/day? For real? I'm currently taking 1000 IU/day. In the past I tried taking more, but I always felt dizzy. I'm not 100% sure it was due to the Vitamin D3 though, but I want to up my dosage. Would 2000 IU/day be even remotely effective? I don't know if I can handle more, I'm afraid I'd faint. It happens when I lay out in the sun too, like if I bake for more than 1/2 an hour I instantly feel light headed about 10 minutes later. Does this mean something? And I love tanning in the summer...if I could I'd lay out for 2 hours no problem!

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Wow...24,000 IU/day? For real? I'm currently taking 1000 IU/day. In the past I tried taking more, but I always felt dizzy. I'm not 100% sure it was due to the Vitamin D3 though, but I want to up my dosage. Would 2000 IU/day be even remotely effective? I don't know if I can handle more, I'm afraid I'd faint. It happens when I lay out in the sun too, like if I bake for more than 1/2 an hour I instantly feel light headed about 10 minutes later. Does this mean something? And I love tanning in the summer...if I could I'd lay out for 2 hours no problem!

It might be something else that you are experiencing. I've taken 37,000 IU on a few occassions too. But I take 160,000 IU of vitamin A and that would counteract any effect of vitamin D toxicity. Besides, I would have to take 40,000 IU for several months of vitamin D3 before toxicity begins to set in.

As far as 2000 IU being effective, it's unlikely. You have to make sure you have adequete calcium, phosphorus and magnesium though.

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Some interesting research that furher supports Vitamin D3 in skin problems.

1. "In keratinocytes and other cell types, 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) regulates growth and differentiation.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?D...Pubmed_RVDocSum

2."Epidermal growth factor and 1alpha,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 suppress lipogenesis in hamster sebaceous gland cells in vitro."

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?D...Pubmed_RVDocSum

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I started taking 1,000 I.U. of Vitamin D, and then recently I've started taking 2,000 I.U. I think I might double that dosage. And I'm taking it with saturated fat from now on.

My acne is tame now even without Vitamin D, but I know that Vitamin D is great for a host of other reasons, specifically osteoperosis which my family has a history of. A British study also found that 2,000 I.U. of Vitamin D cut diabetes risk 60% in children, and we all know how diabetes and acne are related.

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vitamin d is technically a steroid hormone not a vitamin. they never bothered to reclassify it like they did with "vitamin F" which is now called omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids.

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I'm surprised this hasn't gotten more replies. I mean vitamin D3, which isn't really a vitamin, is FREE. I mean what the heck? Don't you think someone would want to try that? It takes very little time and even if you do have to pay for it, it's dirt cheap (relatively). Your local grocery store will have 1000IU tablets for $2-$4 for 100 tabs...though of course it's much cheaper to buy online.

But you have to take more than just 1,000 IU. There are companies that produce 5,000 - 10,000 - or even 50,000 IU capsules/tablets. Just make sure you have adequete vitamin A (retinol, not beta carotene). I take 26,000 IU of vitamin D along with 160,000 IU of vitamin A (as well as 10mg of vitamin K2). This should eliminate any toxicity whatsoever (you should be taken adequete minerals too)...but even these doses alone (without the other fat soluable vitamins) they would hardly be toxic, even consumed over a period of months.

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One of cholesterol's many functions in the body is to act as a precursor to vitamin D.

Vitamin D can also be obtained from foods. Interestingly, foods that provide this vitamin -- all of which are animal foods -- tend to be high in cholesterol.

Since cholesterol is a precursor to vitamin D, inhibiting the synthesis of cholesterol will also inhibit the synthesis of vitamin D. Since sunlight is required to turn cholesterol into vitamin D, avoiding the sun will likewise undermine our ability to synthesize vitamin D. And since vitamin D-rich foods are also rich in cholesterol, low-cholesterol diets are inherently deficient in vitamin D.

http://www.cholesterol-and-health.com/Vitamin-D.html

Just one of the many problems with low-fat/vegetarian style diets...

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in my research vitamin D has been shown to have more to do with increasing sebum production than reducing it. although like all steroids it also plays a role in reducing inflammation of the skin . . .

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in my research vitamin D has been shown to have more to do with increasing sebum production than reducing it. although like all steroids it also plays a role in reducing inflammation of the skin . . .

Increase sebum? Which research is that?

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sorry offtopic, it was just like seeing my dad during his golden years^^.. that was very.. odd XD anyway, leaving to cry a bit over my misshapen look ._.

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sorry offtopic, it was just like seeing my dad during his golden years^^.. that was very.. odd XD anyway, leaving to cry a bit over my misshapen look ._.

Who's the daddy? :dance:

Back to topic, I've ordered some Vitamin D3 which has 2,400 IU per capsule.

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i spend most of my time indoors and due to this observation, i would have to deduct that upping my vitamin d intake is in proper order.

great post and excellent observations, im amazed that this variable wasnt even captured in the study!!!!!! yea im sure those people are out in the sun all year. the exact opposite of us.

i wonder what the rates of depression are??? as im am happy as hell when its sunny out.

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How do you figure out how much Vitamin D you need? Im only taking 1,200 U right now, and that might be too low since I dont get lots of sunlight while im dealing with fading redmarks.

I might get a Vitamin test done, since im not taking Vitamin A either at the moment. Getting some new fish oil soon though. But it's not like I feel bad at the moment though =P

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UK is too expensive.

I use Healthy Origins, Vitamin D3, 2,400 IU, 360 Softgels; it's the best value i've seen. I've just bought two bottles which worked out to be around £16 incl delivery, and because the value is under £18, you don't get charged by UK customs.

Can't go wrong for the price and the potency. I've ordered these vitamin d3 from iHerb before and it took about 3 days to arrive.

http://www.iherb.com/ProductDetails.aspx?c...d=7763&at=0

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