Vitamin D Recommendations Changed

Vitamin D Recommendations Changed
5 (100%) 2 votes

The Institute of Medicine tripled their official vitamin D recommendation, based on target blood levels that indicate a large percentage of the U.S. population is deficient.

Discuss
Republish

How much vitamin D we should get is one of the most controversial areas in the field of nutrition. Up until recently, the Institute of Medicine, the official body that sets the recommended daily allowances, considered 200 international units a day an adequate intake for those in middle age, but just bumped it up to a recommended 600 a day. How did they come up with the original 200, why did they go up to 600, and why are there some experts out there saying we should take thousands a day?

It all started with this line, written more than a half century ago: “Apparently, a dosage of only 100 units of vitamin D daily was sufficient to prevent the flagrant signs and symptoms of rickets,” the bowlegged bone-softening disease caused by overt vitamin D deficiency.

From a review last year: “The fact that 100 IU of vitamin D prevented overt signs of rickets led to the false security that ingesting twice this amount was more than adequate to satisfy the body’s vitamin D requirement.” Hence the 200 recommendation, but no longer.

The Institute of Medicine decided to take a more scientific approach by basing their recommendations on a specific target blood level, which they calculated to be 20 nanograms per milliliter, which should prevent rickets in children, and a similar bone-softening condition (called osteomalacia) in adults. To get most people’s levels up to 20, though, the Institute of Medicine figured it would require about 600 IUs a day, and so the recommendation was officially bumped up.

At the Institute of Medicine’s new target of 20 in the blood, right now, 40% of Americans are vitamin D deficient. And if we use higher cut-offs, say 30, then that proportion climbs to more than three-quarters of our population.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

How much vitamin D we should get is one of the most controversial areas in the field of nutrition. Up until recently, the Institute of Medicine, the official body that sets the recommended daily allowances, considered 200 international units a day an adequate intake for those in middle age, but just bumped it up to a recommended 600 a day. How did they come up with the original 200, why did they go up to 600, and why are there some experts out there saying we should take thousands a day?

It all started with this line, written more than a half century ago: “Apparently, a dosage of only 100 units of vitamin D daily was sufficient to prevent the flagrant signs and symptoms of rickets,” the bowlegged bone-softening disease caused by overt vitamin D deficiency.

From a review last year: “The fact that 100 IU of vitamin D prevented overt signs of rickets led to the false security that ingesting twice this amount was more than adequate to satisfy the body’s vitamin D requirement.” Hence the 200 recommendation, but no longer.

The Institute of Medicine decided to take a more scientific approach by basing their recommendations on a specific target blood level, which they calculated to be 20 nanograms per milliliter, which should prevent rickets in children, and a similar bone-softening condition (called osteomalacia) in adults. To get most people’s levels up to 20, though, the Institute of Medicine figured it would require about 600 IUs a day, and so the recommendation was officially bumped up.

At the Institute of Medicine’s new target of 20 in the blood, right now, 40% of Americans are vitamin D deficient. And if we use higher cut-offs, say 30, then that proportion climbs to more than three-quarters of our population.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to Michelle Lynne Goodfellow / Flickr

Doctor's Note

Be sure to check out all my other videos on vitamin D.

For more context, check out my associated blog posts: Vitamin D: Shedding some light on the new recommendationsPlant-Based Diets for Rheumatoid Arthritis; and Vitamin D from Mushrooms, Sun, or Supplements?.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

43 responses to “Vitamin D Recommendations Changed

Commenting Etiquette

The intention of the comment section under each video and blog post is to allow all members to share their stories, questions, and feedback with others in a welcoming, engaging, and respectful environment. Off-topic comments are permitted, in hopes more experienced users may be able to point them to more relevant videos that may answer their questions. Vigorous debate of science is welcome so long as participants can disagree respectfully. Advertising products or services is not permitted.

To make NutritionFacts.org a place where people feel comfortable posting without feeling attacked, we have no tolerance for ad hominem attacks or comments that are racist, misogynist, homophobic, vulgar, or otherwise inappropriate. Please help us to foster a community of mutual respect. Enforcement of these rules is done to the best of our ability on a case-by-case basis.

  1. Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. Be sure to check out all the videos on vitamin D.




    0
      1. My doctor monitors my serum vitamin D levels and I adjust the dosage accordingly, rather than just guessing or taking what works for someone else.




        0
    1. I’ve been taking 5,000 IU/day for years and regularly testing my serum levels, which are in the optimal range according to the Vitamin D Council (http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/), but different people may require different amounts based on lifestyle and genetics. Best would be do do some genetic testing and test along the regimen change to optimize the intake. Of course, all this depends on external factors like the season of the year and others. Anyway, you can’t really overdose with 2,000-5,000 IU. Even if you by mistake take it twice a day, you’ll be more than fine, again, according to the Vitamin D council, which says toxicity would be between 10,000-30,000 IU/day for 3 months or 300,000 IU in 24 hrs.




      0
      1. I take 10,000 a day and my levels are good (43). A colleague of mine has been taking 20,000 a day for 3 years now and his levels stay at 62.




        0
  2. I noticed that you will cover more Vitamin D in future videos. I hope one of them will talk about the difference between D2 and D3 and the recommended daily dosages for each type if taken as supplements.

    Thanks.




    1
    1. Such a good question. Taken daily in doses under 2000IU, vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) and D3 (cholecalciferol) appear bioequivalent (meaning they both work just as well in your body). However if your physician suggests you take large intermittent doses (such as 50,000IU weekly, then D3 is probably superior).




      0
      1. DR MG, I read somewhere that if someone is exposed to summer sun at noon time (11:00AM to 2:00PM) for 1/2 hour, he/she can easily get 10,000 IU all at once. Is it true? I do that all the time during the summer. So does that mean I am overdosed with Vitamin D?




        0
    1. THANKS MICHAEL ONCE FINISHED I WILL SEND YOU A SAMPLY OF PRIME + /COCONUT /LEMON, LIME / BLACKBERRY
      AND POMGRANATE WITH VITAMIN D AND CALCIUM CARBONATE IN 355 ML I HOPE PEOPLE LIKE IT




      0
    2. thanks Michael prime + is all most finished 4 flavors
      pomegranate
      coconut
      blackberry
      lemon, lime
      all have vitamin and calcium carbonate
      I will send you a sample mark




      0
    3. thanks Michael I will be introducing this product soon
      prime + 4 flavors
      pomegranate
      coconut
      lemon, lime
      and blackberry
      all contain vitamin d & calcium carbonate
      cheers




      0
    4. Carbonated beverages are strongly linked to osteoporosis –fragility of bones. Two hundred I.U. of vitamin D is way too low. Most physicians recommend 2,000 I.U. in two doses after a full meal, like breakfast and dinner. Fat in your diet help with the absorption of vitamin D, something I did not know decades ago. Fat can be a handful of seeds or nuts.




      0
    5. Carbonated beverages are not safe as studies now testify.
      I consume 1,000 IU in two servings twice a day with purified water and eat seeds or nuts for added fat to help the vitamin D adsorb into my blood stream.




      0
  3. Hi, I have breast cancer and bone metaseses . I was taking 2,000 a day but my vit d was high-94 ng. my dr said to lower it. I hear there are differing opinions on what is too high. What do you think? Right now I am doing it every other night but will probably buy 1,000 mg next time.




    0
    1. The Life Extension Foundation recommends your Vit. D level to be between 50-100ng. They also recommend you take your supplement in the middle of your meal that contains the highest amount of fat. They recommend to have your levels checked from time to time.




      0
  4. Before I was diagnosed with osteoporosis, I began supplementing with Multi-Minerals and vitamins, including vitamin D. At that time, the levels were only 400 I.U. per day. This was prior to 2006, and I swam 1.5 miles a day outside, as well as walked my dog 2 miles a day. I was getting vitamin D from the sun.

    After she passed away with bone cancer, I stopped walking. It was mentally painful to walk alone without her. A combination of not walking, and not getting much vitamin D, is perhaps part of the reason I was diagnosed with osteoporosis in 2006 after fracturing my hip. Now my PT was at an indoor walking pool, rather than in the sun.

    When I started fracturing my spine in 2012, I was unable to heal and had my vitamin D level checked. The physician told me it was so low that I should take 2,000 per day in two doses immediately. Amazingly, my bones began to heal. As we are on computers for longer hours and working inside, we do not obtain the minimal amount of sunshine on bare skin that we once did years earlier. This no doubt affected the vitamin D levels of numerous people worldwide. But, the medical community was slow to increase their recommendations.

    Now I eat my nuts just before taking my vitamin calcium and vitamin D supplements with meals, and my bones heal much faster than before. Of course, my diet is better too, thanks to the feedback from Dr. Greger, and other physicians here, and the knowledgeable people in this “chat room.” I thank you all!




    0
  5. After having an abnormally low vitamin D blood level, I took weekly OTC 50K units D3 for 3 months and brought my level up to 60. Can I keep taking the 50K weekly or biweekly instead of taking 2000 units daily?




    0
  6. Many experts are saying the target blood serum range should be 50 – 60. They say that is the range for immune system boosting and cancer protection. It is interesting to me that the RDAs are thought of as minimum amounts for serious disease prevention like Rickets. Why not aim for the Optimum Daily Allowance! The RDA of Vitamin C is a measly 60mg per day!!!! It is dangerous to lead people to believe that 60mg / day is all they need to be optimally healthy. Dr Greger how about a video discussing the difference between RDAs and optimal amounts – I’d love to hear your opinion! Thanks for the video.




    0
  7. John McDougall just published an article through the Forks Over Knives site saying Vitamin D supplements are harmful, Has something changed?




    0
    1. There will be many more vitamin D videos from Dr. Greger to come, so stay tuned…

      Here is Dr. Greger’s take on vitamin D. Perhaps there is more to vitamin D beyond bone health? Dr. Greger mentions if vitamin D supplements are necessary in this video and whether we should obtain vitamin D from sunshine, mushrooms or supplements here. You can also see his video on cancerous tanning beds.




      0
  8. Doc, I supplemented myself with 2000IU per day 2 months back, my T level rise up the roof, muscles go solid like I am on some kind of steroid but it worsen my male pattern baldness, it speedup a lot , so I stopped it for a while, I really liked D, but I want to have some hair too.




    0
  9. Hello.

    I would like to know if I should be taking Magnesium with my Vit D3. I take 2000 IU of D3. I came across a theory that D3 should be taken with Mag, otherwise D3 taken alone reduces Calcium in our body. What do you think?

    P.S.

    2000 IU of D3 works for me. I have my blood serum tested annually and when I don’t take D3 supplement my level drops to teens.

    Thank you,

    Shelly.




    0

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This