Vitamin D: What is all the fuss about?

For once the fuss is correct, ie, adequate vitamin D is essential for healthy living.  Deficiency of this vitamin is associated with increased risk of bone fractures, even in teenagers, cancer of the bowel, breast, and prostate, and death from any cause, just to name a few conditions.  There is a wonderful resource where you can keep up with the latest studies about vitamin D, and that is the Vitamin D Council.  The Council’s latest article discusses dosing which is one of the most common questions I hear from my patients.  For those of us who are deficient, 5000 iu’s per day works better than 2000 iu’s.  Then there is the question of whether or not to take a large dose once per week.  Many doctors are prescribing 50,000 iu’s once per week.  If this does not disagree with you (eg cause stomach upset), I have found this to be a temporary way quickly to increase one’s level, namely to take 50,000 iu’s once or twice per week.  Remember, it only works if you remember to take the dose.  After doing this for a few weeks (8 to 12) daily dosing is recommended.

The other frequent statement I hear about vitamin D levels is this: “Oh, I am outside a lot, so I am sure my vitamin D level is fine.” Wrong!  We have not figured out why so many people are dangerously deficient, even the ones who are outside a lot.  Yet, they are.

So err on the side of being safe.  Ask for a 25-hydroxy vitamin D3 level from your doctor.  The “normal range” is 30 to 100 ng/ml.  The ideal for your good health is 60 to 80 ng/ml.  You don’t want your level to be as low as 30.  Neither do you want your level to be over 100 as far as we know for now.

Here is a link to the latest e-article from the Vitamin D Council. http://us2.campaign-archive1.com/?u=f545cba30e1f9697fddbe8acb&id=e61454fd40&e=3e1e2f0179 with articles and how to get on the mailing list.

 

About Cathie Lippman, M.D.

I invite you to visit my website: www.cathielippmanmd.com
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