Kurt G. Harris MD

PāNu means paleonutrition. The "paleo" here signifies "old" and not necessarily paleolithic. The PāNu approach to nutrition is grounded on clinical medicine and basic sciences disciplined by knowledge of evolutionary biology and paleoanthropology. The best evidence from multiple disciplines supports eating a pastoral (animal-based) diet rather than a grain-based agricultural one, while avoiding what I call the neolithic agents of disease - wheat, excess fructose and excess linoleic acid.

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PāNu Forum > vitamin d scam?

guys, i just read this and it says vitamin D supplementation is really bad.


wheras this post says vitamin D supplementation is fine.

what is the right thing here?

September 17, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkevin

Kurt has modified his recommendation over the past year - now he likes to emphasize that natural sunlight exposure is preferable to supplementation.

Of course he's up in Wisconsin so there's probably a bit of supplementation going on there.

Anyways there is still plenty to sort out in Vitamin D world.

Much like people who prefer naturally sourced thyroid hormones over synthetic T4 pills, the argument that is made in the first message is that the spectrum of vitamin D-type chemicals is lacking in the natural spectrum of chemicals that work together to achieve homeostasis.

A second argument made is that D3, by virtue of being only a single component of the natural "Vitamin D", bypasses the natural regulatory mechanisms and therefore is dangerous.

There may be some common sense to this argument. Ultimately, the natural production of vitamin D, which Kurt now emphasizes, is the safest route from an evolutionary viewpoint.

Kurt's basic argument is that the "20 minutes" in the sun produces as much D3 as you get in a moderate pill dosage. Kurt says that longer exposure produces more, where this guy basically says that's not true, your body heavily regulates after 20 minutes.

Is this true?

And is it true that the body produces many more forms with sunlight than only D3?

Do your own research, apply your mind, make your own conclusions.

And let me know what you figure out :)

September 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCC

And, of course, all the claims about the numerous health benefits of D3 smack of commercial promotion.

Look at the actual studies and again draw your own conclusions. And let us know :) Most are very short term studies, again a point made in the anti-D supplementation article.

The association of D3 with lower heart disease levels deserves more consideration. Whether or not D3 supplements work the same way as sunlight, who knows.

September 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCC

I think that regular consumption of eggs and liver during winter months will be enough to sustain necessary levels of vit D.

September 18, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterys


yes.... IF you can find eggs or liver from animals that were allowed to roam outside in the sunlight.

And of course, if they were outside..... there's a MUCH higher chance that they picked up parasotes. So go ahead and eat your free-range liver.... just don't forget to swim in angst about it.

Enjoy your meal, folks!

September 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAlan

ha, i take you are afraid of parasites. so what kind of meat do you eat? from the supermarket?

September 18, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterys

>>> ha, i take you are afraid of parasites. so what kind of meat do you eat? from the supermarket?

yep, been eating raw ground meat and raw butcher's fat trimmings for about 4 months now. Sometimes i hold the fat trimmings long enough to the point where they pick up a kinda sorta greyish-greenish tinge (not a definite "spot") on part of the surface.... been eating it anyway. No bad taste, never any sickness.

I'm still not satisfied with this. Lex Rooker eats raw pet food from his grass-fed supplier. I haven't jumped over those boundaries yet. I still need to progress.

Just a guesstimate, but my feeling is that swine are more in danger of picking up pathogens and parasites than cows are.

September 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAlan

"I think that regular consumption of eggs and liver during winter months will be enough to sustain necessary levels of vit D."

Ah, there's actually been a bit of hysteria about liver, especially cod liver oil, from some of most pro-vitamin-D fanatics. This is because it's actually also rather high in A. This is probably no bad thing - primitives certainly seek out A, eating, for example, eyes as well as liver - but Dr. Cannell of the Vitamin D Council has written that he's sure it is, a blogger called Mercola has picked that up, and a thousand cranks have read him and repeated it as gospel all over the internet.

The "Cod Liver Oil Debate":


The writer there says, sensibly enough,

"If there is an ideal ratio, it will vary from person to person and from season to season. People with darker skin may need extra vitamin D from fatty fish or vitamin D supplements year round, and others may need extra vitamin D only in the winter."

It seems that bot everyone's the same. As well as latitude and skin colour there's age. I understand that not everyone is as efficient at converting 7-dehydrocholesterol to cholecalciferol via sunlight, and that the ability drops off with age.

September 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMike

I think Dr. Harris' recommendation is an excellent starting point. I believe the 'issue' at this point is 'What is the ideal level of Vitamin D for good health?" The Vitamin D Council thinks your level should be between 50 and 80 ng/mL year round but I've seen this criticized as too high. When you're a hammer (even a non-profit hammer)every problem is a nail.

At the very least, you want to get your level checked then decide how to proceed from there. If sun exposure alone gets your level where you want it to be, then dont supplement.

In my own case, I've been supplementing with 60,000 IU a week since the fall of 2008 with no apparent problems other than I've havent had a cold since just before I started taking D3. My blood level is now 60 ng/mL - it was 20 something when I started supplementing. I live near Washington DC and get moderate amounts of sun in the spring/summer and probably not much sun at all in the winter. I'll stay with my present level of supplementation until next spring, then I'll probably reduce my supplementation and shoot for a level in the 50s.

September 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPaul451

Paul451: which vitamin supplement do you buy?

i bought the dr. carlsons 2000 iu based on this blog recommendation. is that a good one?

September 20, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkevin

CC can you point me to the post where Kurt has changed his reco to natural sunlight.

September 20, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkevin


Carlson's brand D3 is fine.

Dr. Harris' reccomendation for vitamin D is Item number 6 in "Get Started".

September 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPaul451

Heany and Hollick dissent from the recent IOM Vitamin D recommendations:


February 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPaul451


The 20 minute recommendation is an average for people at my latitude and average level of skin whiteness
I recommend exposure just short of the minimal erythemal dose - which will change as you tan.

Beyond the MED, you are indeed probably not making as much D, as this is regulated. So you are just getting burned without additional hormonal benefit.

I recommend supplementing to 30 ng/dl if you do it all. I prefer sunlight to supplementation though.

February 1, 2011 | Registered CommenterKurt G. Harris MD