Vitamin D3 Dosing

Finally an explanation for the Institute of Medicine recommendations.

Vitamin D3 (not Vit D2) has been in the news a great deal lately, ever since the Cochrane meta analysis of vitamin D studies showed clearly that low blood levels were closely tied to increases in a broad range of health issues as well as increased mortality.

This has made the Institute of Medicines ( IOM) recommendations for dosing at only 800 IU/ day puzzling and has left many physicians confused. Why the great disparity between these recommendations and the data from the huge Cochrane study?

As is often the case, the devil is in the details (or fine print ). It seems the IOM was only looking at effective dosing levels to maintain good bone health. Its puzzling why this was not made plain to all concerned. They could just as well have quietly only looked at Ricketts Disease and come out with a reaffirmation of 200 IU as the appropriate preventative dose. I have to question the intent of their analysis when they didnt look at the preponderance of evidence for the many vitamin D affected conditions and cancers.

Having said all this, there is still the question. How much do I take? The general consensus among researchers and healthcare professionals using nutrients in their practices seems to be that 50-75 ng/ml is the optimal blood level for most who arent struggling with cancer. Some physicians believe 100 ng/ml is important for cancer patients, but in my opinion, that should only be done under a knowledgeable physicians care.

The amount of vitamin D3 required to reach the above levels is hugely variable from person to person. Theres only one effective way to determine your vitamin D status; a blood test. You cannot rely on the sun. How much your body produces will depend on the angle of the sun in the sky, length of exposure, air pollution levels, atmospheric haze and whether you wash your skin with soap over the next twenty four hours. The specific UV frequencies which allow the skin to produce vitamin D are very easily blocked or absorbed during their passage through the atmosphere. You can easily get a burn, with almost no vitamin D creation. In addition it takes at least 24 hours for the process started at the surface of your skin, to progress to actual blood vitamin D levels.

Vitamin D3 must always be taken with at least a little fat or oil in order to be absorbed by the body.

I have my vitamin D levels checked summer and winter. With the amount of research now available, it just makes sense.

A note about vitamin D testing. Some time ago in the U.S. there were reports that due to the type of vitamin D test used, Quest Labs reports often read as much as 40% high. I f American and my physician used Quest , I would want confirmation that their testing procedures had changed before using that particular lab.

Yours in good health.

David Gilbert
EcoSys Wellness Center

The above is not intended as medical advice. As always, consult with your physician before making changes.