Vitamin D and The Marshall Protocol...

by Sean

Hi you have responded to me before and I really appreciate your help. I have 4 questions:

1, My vit d25 measurement was around 30ng/ml. If I am 195 pounds and I start taking 5000iu a day of d3 (no real sun live in cold Canada :)) how long will it take to get good levels? How long after starting regiment should I re-test?

2, Is 5000iu a day enough or should I take more

3, Why would my 1,25 vit d levels be above mid range (38.46pg/ml...upper limit is 45pg/ml) if the vit d25 is so low? Does that level not change until your d25 levels fall to extremely damaging levels?

4, Question 3 leads me to my last question. Do you know anything about the Marshall Protocol? If you do can you talk me out of my new fears, that there research has caused me about taking Vitamin D? Essentially they say that if you have low Vit D25 but high Vit 1,25 D levels this is a bad sign and sign of problems with Vitamin d conversion causing inflamation and various autoimmune illnesses. They say that vitamin d should not be taken in these cases. I do suffer from some chronic fatigue and depression which I have done a lot of work and research around so this question of whether, I have to little Vitamin D or whether the Vit D is adding to my problems, is really worrying me.

Thank you so much for your help and whether you can answer 1 or all of the questions is really appreciated.


PS: My Vit D25 was 26.8 nmol/l

and one more question since I am here...

Do you have any idea what percent of North Americans are deficient in D25 (as low as me:)) and are they usually deficient with there D 1,25 or is that usually normal?

Thanks so much and sorry for asking so many questions.


Comments for Vitamin D and The Marshall Protocol...

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ng/ml vs nmol/l
by: Kerri Knox, RN- The Immune Queen!

Hi Sean,

OK. So, I'm REALLY glad that you clarified your level because 26 nmol/L is 1/3 the level of 26 ng/ml. In nmol/L your level is actually 8 ng/ml!! That's REALLY REALLY LOW!! NO, 5000 IU's is NOT going to be enough to bring your levels up to normal. You can safely take 10,000 IU's per day for long periods of time safely. So, if you took 10,000 IU's every day until your next level in 3 months or so, that would actually be more likely to bring it up to a Normal Vitamin D Level.

Being 195 pounds, 5000 IU's will really only meet your daily Vitamin D Requirements and is probably too low for you for a Vitamin D Deficiency Treatment.

Argghh! The Marshall Protocol. The Marshall Protocol is really just a THEORY that Marshall has turned into a protocol. But no Vitamin D Researchers that I know of are taking his theory seriously- and there is a VAST body of research that contradicts what he is saying. So, while I'm not going to go into the ENTIRE point-by-point to refute Marshall and I have read his information several times (and I'm re reading it in order to respond to this), I'll comment on a few things.

1) Marshall states that disease rates have gone up with increasing fortification of foods with Vitamin D. TRUTH: Marshall is wrong about this. For instance, Finland only began fortification in 2003-2004, yet this Worldwide Study on Diabetes Incidence Rates shows that Finland had the highest diabetes incidence rate in the world before that time.

Likewise, Scotland has one of the highest rates of Multiple Sclerosis in the world and yet does not fortify either. So, Marshall is missing something there.

2) Marshall also states that several studies showing that mortality rates go down with supplementation of Vitamin D were "Statistically Insignificant". Well, a full 'metanalysis' of all the studies to date was done in 2008 that came to a different conclusion. That Metanalyis of Randomized Controlled Trials states, "Intake of ordinary doses of vitamin D supplements seems to be associated with decreases in total mortality rates."

(continued below...)

More Marshall Protocol stuff- Part 2
by: Kerri Knox, RN- The Immune Queen!

(Marshall Protocol continued...)

I tend to believe a metanalysis more than a single person's opinion because the entire purpose of the paper was to determine whether there was any meaningful reduction in mortality and metanalysis generally use strict methodology to determine their conclusions.

And according to Marshall, the metanalysis SHOULD have shown an INCREASE in total mortality if his theory is correct, shouldn't it?

So, those are only a couple of points. But also, going back to YOU, if vitamin d avoidance and super low Vitamin D Levels resolve chronic health problems, then YOU should be feeling TERRIFIC, because your levels are virtually non-existent!

While I am a big believer in listening to the 'Lone Voice' out there, I've looked at the research and it doesn't seem to hold any water.

And I can personally attest to dozens of clients with low Vitamin D Levels feeling TERRIBLE and simply replacing their Vitamin D to normal levels resolved a HUGE amount of their problems.

So, looking again at some of Marshall's writings, I noticed that he has a chart of what diseases tend to be improved by his protocol. One of them is Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. Well, I just did a post on how I resolved MY Hashimoto's here:

Hashimoto's Thyroiditis and Gluten

The other diseases that he writes about:

Rheumatoid Arthritis
Chronic Fatigue
Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Also all have STRONG links to Gluten Sensitivity as well and people with these problems often benefit greatly from a Gluten Free Diet.

Kerri Knox RN Immune Health Queen

Kerri Knox, RN- The Immune System Queen
Functional Medicine Practitioner
Easy Immune

Vitmin D deficiency
by: David

I too have read that taking conventional Vitamin D will not help with autoimmune illness's. The Marshall Protocol which I know very little about basically states that you essentially blank out all natural and manufactured light over a period of approx 6 months, this forces the body to manufacturer its own Vitamin D which will re- kickstart your immune system.

I have a friend on Daily Strength doing this he is called Madchemist and is a fully qualified pharmacologist, so he is no fool. Also another interesting point about Scotland having the highest cases of MS in the World. Some friends have suggested that this is caused by the extremely high density of the Deer Population in Scotland and is in fact a by symptom of Lyme's Disease.

Multiple Sclerosis and Lyme's disease...
by: Kerri Knox, RN- The Immune Queen!

So, I would be interested in hearing more about any actual studies showing a relationship between higher deer populations and Multiple Sclerosis and/or Multiple Sclerosis in relation to Lyme's Disease because I've not seen any relationship between them.

Lyme is Lyme and MS is MS. The symptoms are similar, but distinct. So far as I know, Lyme has not been shown to be characterized by the spinal lesions that is characterized by MS.

But there are some interesting observational studies about Vitamin D and Multiple Sclerosis. There is an entire E book from the researcher Oliver Gilley called Scotland's Health Deficit.

And he relates when the Faeroe and Orkney Islands got 'epidemics' of Multiple Sclerosis with the outbreak of WWII- and the inability for fisherman on the islands to fish. The war also limited the only other source of Vitamin D on the islands- eggs.

So the islanders has 'epidemics' of Multiple Sclerosis at a time when WWII stopped the eating of fish and eggs. With a nearly doubling of the population on these islands due to soldiers being stationed there- and the severe rationing of meat products- I can only guess that at a time of INCREASING multiple sclerosis, the deer populations on the island (if they had any at all) would have been severely depleted, if not decimated.

However, they also discuss the Islander's predominant diet up until then as being fish, sea birds, and sea bird eggs. If there had been deer on the island, I'm sure that venison would have also been mentioned as a dietary staple as well.

So, this makes it hard to believe the Lyme Disease theory of Multiple Sclerosis based on these findings. The MS and Vitamin D link seems much more plausible under the scrutiny of this observational study. Also, it was noted that people in the urban centers were more likely to have Multiple Sclerosis. If the Lyme Disease theory were true, then MS would be more likely to be in people living in RURAL areas who have more exposure to deer ticks.

Kerri Knox RN Immune Health Queen

Kerri Knox, RN- The Immune System Queen
Functional Medicine Practitioner
Immune System
Side Effects

PS: If you appreciate the free help that I give on my site, please consider making your next supplement purchase through my Health Store in order to help keep this site in operation.

Thanks, and Another Question...
by: Sean

First of all thank you so much for that amazing insight into the Marshall Protocol that really alleviates my fears :).

On the other topics I did mean 26.8 ng/ml not 26.8 nmol/l i just screwed up the second time :) I just wanted to clarify that it wasn't 30ng/ml but 26.8,sorry. so that being said if you could answer the other questions again with that in mind so much appreciated:

1, If I am 195 pounds and I am now at 26.8 ng/ml how much should I now take a day of d3 (still 10,000)?...still taking into account cold Canada. How long will it take to get good levels and what would be the level I want to target. How long after starting regiment should I re-test?

2, Is 26.8 still deficient or just low and what is the average for north America..if there is one...just so I know if I am grossly off? Would my level be causing depression?

3, Why would my 1,25 vit d levels be above mid range (38.46pg/ml...upper limit is 45pg/ml) if the vit d25 is so low? Does that level not change until your d25 levels fall to extremely damaging levels?

What ever answers you have to these questions again are great and thanks for the Gluten sensitivity point as I, like you, am gluten sensitive.

Which reminds me, last question i promise :)...would lactose free Whey protein potentially be a contributing factor for depression and fatigue as I use that for my morning shake?


Not Nearly as Low, but...
by: Kerri Knox, RN- The Immune Queen!

Hi Sean,

26 ng/ml is MUCH better than 26 nmol/L. But yes, you could still take 10,000 IU's per day and get a new level in about 2 to 3 months, then drop down to the dose for your daily Vitamin D Requirements when you get your levels up to the researcher recommended Normal Vitamin D Levels. It should take two to three months to do that, but it could take longer if you are gluten sensitive and you are not staying gluten free.

That's because people who are gluten sensitive generally don't digest fats well and Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin.

I doubt the protein powder would contribute to depression. But if you are gluten intolerant, you could be deficient in other vitamins too and/or low in Omega 3 Fatty Acids.

Are you getting enough exercise?

Are you getting enough sleep- and getting your sleep between the hours of 11pm to 6 am?

Those can make a difference too.

Kerri Knox RN Immune Health Queen

Kerri Knox, RN- The Immune System Queen
Functional Medicine Practitioner
Easy Immune

Lyme link to MS
by: david

Yes there is a lot of research still missing on the MS and Lyme link.

Some believe that Lyme which is a member of the syphillis bacterium is passed sexually between partners, hence the idea that everyone with MS in Urban areas would not necessarily apply as I am sure peoples sexual habits are varied across differing regions.

Most research points towards the fact that Lyme causes the white plaque lesions in the spinal cord or brain,which ultimately leads to full blown MS. I am also certain that the lack of Vitamin D is also another factor in the MD debate too of course.

I would be interested if you could explain what is the difference between Vitamin D manufactured in sunlight, through fortified oral tablet form and the form that the body makes in extreme light depletion cases.



David :-)

Sunlight,, supplements and your body...
by: Kerri Knox, RN- The Immune Queen!

Hi David,

So the Vitamin D that is produced from sunlight, Vitamin D3 Supplements and Animal Products are bio-identical. This means that our bodies treat them the same. They are actually "Pre-hormones" or "Pro-hormones" to the Vitamin D that our body makes (which really shouldn't be called Vitamin D in order to differentiate it from 'Vitamin D' that you take).

So, anytime I refer to the Vitamin D you get from somewhere outside of you, I'll call 'Vitamin D', the one that your body makes is actually called '1,25 OH D' or di-hydroxyvitamin d.

So, technically:

Vitamin D= 25, OH D = Hydroxyvitamin D

the active form of Vitamin d that you create is:

1,25 OH D or Di-hydroxyvitamin D

According to Dr. Hollis in The Use of Vitamin D in Clinical Practice "1,25(OH)D acts as a molecular switch, activating more than 200 target genes, thereby regulating gene expression."

And this gene expression is an AMAZINGLY important function of Vitamin D. As I explain on my Vitamin D Facts page, Vitamin D Receptors (VDR's) are present in nearly every human cell- thus explaining the wide variety of diseases that can be affected by it's lack.

Marshall feels that 25(OH)D replaces 1,25(OH)D in the VDR's and that this is what causes excess of 1,25(OH)D in the blood. This displacement of 1,25(OH)D in the genes is what causes disease.

It's an interesting theory- one that no Vitamin D Researcher has come to believe. Marshall also compares other animals to humans saying that other animals feel no need to sunbathe or take supplements. Yet dogs (and sheep- which is how Vitamin D3 supplements from lanolin are made) produce vitamin d from sunlight on their fur, and the animals lick it off to get their Vitamin D. Presto, nature-made Vitamin D Supplements.

And I'm sure that you've seen cats and dogs intentionally lie in the sun. Other animals, like sheep, live in the sun constantly, so 'sunbathing' would be silly when their wool is getting sun exposure all day every day.

Here are some resources discussing the concept of other animals getting vitamin d from sunlight and then their 'grooming' will cause them to ingest the Vitamin D they produce.

Primates: Primate Nutrient Requirements- primates get rickets when kept in captivity without sunlight.

Sheep: - "Most of the vitamin D
that is used for vitamin supplements and for milk fortification is derived from a form of
fur—the lipid obtained from the defatting of lamb and sheep wool. This fat extract is exposed
to UV, and the vitamin D is purified for nutritional use."

Nutrition and the War- "If you cut off a bird's preen gland, they will get rickets"

Marshall also states that since Steroid DRUGS are immunosuppressive, then the naturally produced steroid HORMONE called Vitamin D must be immunosuppressive too.

But, if anything, the research points to Vitamin D as being immuno- supportive. And indeed, the production of Vitamin D induces the production of an antibiotic called Cathelicidin, which is theorized to be the reason that people with adequate vitamin D levels seem to have lower rates of upper and lower respiratory infections.

Kerri Knox RN Immune Health Queen

Kerri Knox, RN- The Immune System Queen
Functional Medicine Practitioner
Immune System
Side Effects

PS: If you appreciate the free help that I give on my site, please consider making your next supplement purchase through my Health Store in order to help keep this site in operation.

Reply to Sean...
by: Kerri Knox, RN- The Immune Queen!

Oh, Also Sean,

Really, please stop worrying that your 1,25(OH)D is 'above the midline' of normal. All lab tests are based on a bell curve of numbers from normal healthy adults. 'Above Midline Normal' means that you are exactly where you are supposed to be. If everyone had 'Below Midline' levels, then the levels would continually be adjusted lower and lower.

There is always SOMEONE over a midline average and SOMEONE lower than a midline average. It's insignificant.

Kerri Knox RN Immune Health Queen

Kerri Knox, RN- The Immune System Queen
Functional Medicine Practitioner
Immune System
Side Effects

PS: If you appreciate the free help that I give on my site, please consider making your next supplement purchase through my Health Store in order to help keep this site in operation.

Thanks, great answer's Kerri
by: Sean

Hi Kerri,

Very helpful answers. I will stay at 10,000 for 2 months and then get tested. I do exercise about 45 minutes everyday, I have been taking a large dose of high EPA Fish Oil everyday for many years...the sleep ours need to be a little earlier, as night is when I feel the best so i don't want to go to bed and end up doing this or that till 1am or so...very bad habit and extremely hard to break...

I am really touched at the effort you put into this website.



Read my blog post on Cortisol Levels and Sleep!

The Marshall Protocol is No Plan
by: Ray

Just seeing the words "Marshall Protocol" should make any intelligent person queezy. It has done more harm to sufferers of Lyme disease than could ever be imagined.

Do what you can to raise your D levels using a sound vitamin D protocol.

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