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In praise of Vitamin D


Hi everyone

A year or so ago I posted about my BCR-Abl levels and my view that it had something to do with Vitamin D.  In summary, I was stuck on 0.03% for a very long time (over a year) before taking a sabbatical of six months, during which I visited China and Vietnam, did a great deal of hiking and spent around 6 hours per day in the sun.

In this time, my BCR-Abl levels plummeted to 0.006% (November 2019) and even further to 0.005% (February 2020).

Then, of course, Covid and lockdown happened.  I was back at work and spent most of the time indoors since my job as a teacher involved doing my lessons online via platforms like Zoom.  Exercising was banned in South Africa and I never went outside, not even to walk the dogs.  I was not taking any Vitamin D supplements at the time.  The next test in June 2020 showed a doubling of my levels to 0.011% (now above MR4).  Then came the winter months in South Africa and I still didn't go outside much.  My test in October showed a further increase of 0.018% and I became worried that I was slowly losing response and becoming resistant to imatinib.  The doctor also increased the frequency of my tests to three-monthly instead of four-monthly.

I had taken the excellent advice of scuba (and others) seriously, and I recall him saying that it takes approximately two months to build up Vitamin D levels again through sunlight (though I could be wrong and can't find that post).  So I decided to take advantage of our excellent climate here in Johannesburg and spent 25 minutes per day outside in the noontime sun, every day in December 2020 and January 2021.  I also started taking Vitamin D supplements (1 000 UDI twice a day) as well as curcumin (2 000 mg a day).  I know that it is advisable to take more, but I was a little concerned about possible overdosing.  

My latest PCR test taken last week showed a reduction in BCR-Abl levels well below MR4 to 0.004%.  

I know that there is a large margin of variability in the PCR tests, especially at low levels, and I also know that, statistically, 0.004% is not much different from 0.018%.  I also know that this might just be coincidence.  However, since the timing checks out, I really wonder whether or not there is something in this.  I haven't had my levels tested, so I'm not sure how they stack up, but I am definitely feeling a lot better and have more mental energy since going on these supplements and taking my daily sun bath.  I will certainly be asking my doctor about this!

Best wishes from South Africa


It's near impossible to overdose on D to toxic levels while supplementing on 10,000 IU's per day or less. The body itself can make between 10,000 - 20,000 IU's on its own when exposed to noon time sun in southern latitudes. I was taking 7500 per day this past winter and  my D level FELL from my normal 70 to 50 ng/ml. I am now taking 10,000 IU's per day for 3 weeks to raise my levels back up to where I want them. However - don't guess - KNOW. Test your blood for vitamin D and supplement accordingly. Stay between 50 - 100 ng/ml. That is where D effectiveness is optimal.

Vitamin D activates our immune system (and mood too!), primarily T-cells which fight virus' (and cancer). In addition, Curcumin enhances genetic pathways which favor immune surveillance and down regulates genetic pathways responsible for cancer ( . Taking a nutritional approach to cancer fighting helps our TKI's do their job and may - may just be able to help those who stop their TKI be able to stay off therapy. That is my own personal goal when I end taking dasatinib (20 mg every other day) to test treatment free remission (TFR).

And finally - taking vitamin D in order to raise your blood level to between 50 -100 ng/ml as well as adding other nutritional support (vitamin K2, C, Mg ...) may very well fend off other disease which in reality, are more likely to afflict you than CML. CML is history for you. It will not kill you. You beat the disease. But heart disease, diabetes and the rest are lurking. Keep that in mind.

I take vitamin D, K2, Mg, C, Se, Quercetin, Curcumin in sufficient doses to be therapeutic not so much for CML, but for overall health. I feel better now than I did 20 years ago. And I have had zero flu, colds or any respiratory anything since raising my D level to above 50 ng/ml more than 12 years ago. I would get a cold once twice a year and flu every other year. No more. I don't need a clinical trial or Dr. Fauci to inform on whether the above works. It does.


Hi scuba

Thank you so very much for the detailed post and for the explanation. Practical and extremely helpful advice as always! I'm going to aim for that level of Vitamin D between 50 and 100 and will have myself tested this week.

The advice regarding the other possible diseases and conditions is also really wise. I'm going to ensure that I keep my levels where they need to be!

Greatly appreciated.



Martin - let us know your vitamin D level test results.