Vitamin D insufficiencies are estimated to affect over one billion people worldwide. The Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III) data showed a significant increase in vitamin D insufficiency in the USA over the last 30 years, with over 77% of Americans considered vitamin D insufficient.
The alarming rates of insufficiency and the vast metabolic properties of vitamin D have led researchers to examine the influence of vitamin D on disease prevention.
The consequences of low 25(OH)D status include increased risk of various chronic diseases, ranging from hypertension to diabetes to cancer.
The safest and most economical way to ensure adequate vitamin D status is to use oral dosing of native vitamin D. (Both daily and intermittent regimens work well.) Serum 25(OH)D can be expected to rise by about 1 ng/mL (2.5 nmol/L) for every 100 IU of additional vitamin D each day. Recent data indicate that cholecalciferol (vitamin D(3)) is substantially more potent than ergocalciferol (vitamin D(2)) and that the safe upper intake level for vitamin D(3) is 10,000 IU/d.
What is the Ideal level of Vitamin D?
The Vitamin D Council recommends that adults take 5,000 IU/day of vitamin D supplement in order to reach and stay at .50 ng/ml
The Endocrine Society recommends taking a vitamin D supplement of around 2,000 IU/day to reach and stay above a level of 30 ng/ml. This is what the Endocrine Society recommends as the ideal level to aim for.
The Food and Nutrition Board recommends 600 IU/day of vitamin D supplement because they believe 20 ng/ml is the ideal level to aim for.
- Holick MF, Binkley NC, Bischoff-Ferrari HA, Gordon CM, Hanley DA, Heaney RP, Murad MH, Weaver CM; Endocrine Society. Evaluation, treatment, and prevention of vitamin D deficiency: an Endocrine Society clinical practice guideline. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Jul;96(7):1911-30.
- Institute of Medicine, Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2010.
- Vieth, R. “The Pharmacology of Vitamin D.” In Vitamin D, Third Edition, by Feldman D, Pike JW and Adams JS. Elsevier Academic Press, 2011.