I’ve had a number of comments from readers who have been measured with low blood levels of Vitamin D, and their question is usually how much Vitamin D should I take?
Here I am going to outline some guidelines for those interested in Vitamin D deficiency treatment.
Beforehand, I should mention that anyone with a medical condition should speak to their doctor before taking Vitamin D or any other supplement.
The recommended daily allowance for Vitamin D
The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for Vitamin D is 600IU (15 micrograms) per day for adults.
This number is considered way too low by many scientists, since the human body can produce more than 10.000 IU of the vitamin in 20-30 minutes of full-body sun exposure.
Based on that, it does make a lot of sense that the body would need a lot more Vitamin D than most health authorities recommend. In fact, consuming 10 times as much as the recommended amount is not uncommon.
How much Vitamin D should I take?
Regarding the question on how much Vitamin D should I take, the only way to know for sure how much you should take (or if supplementation is needed at all) is to have a blood test done.
The blood test should measure 25 Hydroxy Vitamin-D (25(OH)D), which is the storage form of the vitamin in the body.
- Less than 30ng/mL: Deficiency
- Between 30ng/mL and 50ng/mL: Healthy levels
- Between 50ng/mL and 80ng/mL: Optimal levels
These numbers are based on information provided by the Vitamin D Council, the worlds leading experts on this vitamin.
If you turn out to be deficient, then it is recommended to take several thousand IUs of Vitamin D per day, and then have another blood test done in several months. Your daily dosage can be calibrated based on following blood tests.
Of course, there is also the option of getting more Vitamin D through sun exposure, but for those who live where there is little sun year-round (like me), supplementation is the only way to correct a deficiency.
If you don’t get much sun and are unable to have a blood test done, then taking about 4000-5000 IU of Vitamin D per day is completely safe.
Vitamin D Deficiency Treatment
For those undergoing Vitamin D deficiency treatment, it is important to realize that there are many forms of Vitamin D. The main forms are D2 and D3. D2 (ergocalciferol) comes from plants, while D3 (cholecalciferol) comes from animals.
The animal form, D3, functions much better in humans and is a much better option than D2. It should come in oil filled gel caps, since Vitamin D is fat soluble.
Cod fish liver oil is also rich in Vitamin D3, a tablespoon contains about 1000 IU.
Regarding Vitamin D toxicity, that is something you really don’t need to worry about. Vitamin D deficiency treatment is safe, and toxicity has only been reported when people have taken more than 40.000IU per day for a long time.
So, to answer the question on how much Vitamin D should I take, then it really depends on the individual, but 4000-5000IU is a safe choice for adults who don’t get useful sun and are unable to have a blood test done.
Supplementing with Vitamin D (if needed) is probably the cheapest, easiest and one of the most effective things a person can do to improve general health and avoid disease.
The Vitamin D deficiency symptoms are something everyone will want to avoid, which include raised chances of heart disease and cancer (the big killers).
A study came out recently about the association between milk consumption in adolescent years, and risk of advanced prostate cancer later in life.