How much vitamin D do I need?
March 21, 2015 10:34 AM   Subscribe

Hi, According to this article, we should be getting 7,000 IU/day, because someone made a statistical mistake. a) should I follow this advice? b) how much vitamin D is that, exactly?
posted by mecran01 to Health & Fitness (7 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
Your doctor can order blood tests to test your Vitamin D levels, so start there during your annual wellness visit or if you're not feeling like yourself. It's how I found out I had a massive Vitamin D deficiency and got prescription Vitamin D to take weekly, which has made an enormous difference for me.
posted by discopolo at 10:39 AM on March 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


There are some in the medical community that are now saying supplementation of Vitamin D does nothing to help us and can harm us.
posted by cecic at 10:58 AM on March 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


There are some in the medical community that are now saying supplementation of Vitamin D does nothing to help us and can harm us.

... with respect to lowering blood pressure, perhaps. With respect to cancer prevention and general well-being, the science on Vitamin D is still quite promising. While it's true that it's only a real problem if you have a deficiency, many people, especially those who live at high latitudes and don't spend a good portion of their days outside, have deficiencies (around 40% of Americans according to this study, with much higher rates for certain groups). Scientists who work on vitamin D routinely say that the RDA is set way too low, that it's set at the bare minumum that prevents rickets. It looks like this is the argument that these researchers from Creighton are making.

When I asked my doctor to test for D deficiency, she told me she never bothers because everyone comes up deficient (!). I live in the PacNW where full sun can be scarce even in the spring. She prescribed me 50,000 IU Vitamin D capsules to take once a week.

I buy vitamin D in capsules that contain 2000 IU, so to reach 7000 units a day I'd probably take three of those daily. The capsules are small and I don't think they need to be spaced out or anything, although it's better to take it with some fat. 7000 IU is around what I saw recommended when I started reading cancer studies about vitamin D; general consensus, as echoed in the article you link, seemed to be that taking less than 10,000 IU is generally OK (10,000 IU is about as much as your body would generate from being in the sun) and that supplementation is especially important in the winter, when you're not spending time in the sun.
posted by dialetheia at 11:27 AM on March 21, 2015 [9 favorites]


The CBS program (linked to above re: Vitamin D being debated in the medical community)/the doctor they interview does not name the study they're talking about. In looking for more information and for the study they were referencing (which turns out to be Effect of Vitamin D Supplementation on Blood Pressure: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis Incorporating Individual Patient Data.), I found another article breaking down that CBS spot and giving more information about the studies that Dr. Agus made reference to without naming. I think the CBS spot was misleading at best.
posted by needs more cowbell at 12:46 PM on March 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


When I asked my doctor to test for D deficiency, she told me she never bothers because everyone comes up deficient (!). I live in the PacNW where full sun can be scarce even in the spring. She prescribed me 50,000 IU Vitamin D capsules to take once a week.

It's true that most people, especially in certain regions, are deficient, but it's still worth testing. I was supplementing significantly with less than this dosage and ended up with vitamin D levels that were too high.
posted by telegraph at 2:10 PM on March 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


My experience was very similar to discopolo's. I had a very low number. I was told I had to be retested every six months. I spoke to my doctor about it and she told me what a good number was.

I also continue to take Vitamin D. (Another person living in an area with little sun here.)
posted by Ms. Moonlight at 2:24 AM on March 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


I would definitely talk to your doctor before starting heavy supplementation. You should probably get a baseline level and then check it after a few months of supplementation to see how much it has come up. Good luck!
posted by brevator at 4:25 PM on March 22, 2015 [1 favorite]


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