Vitamin D Needs

sunshineEveryone that I have tested (with just one exception) the past few years, has had vitamin D levels that were below optimal. 

Vitamin D levels:           

 Too High: >100  ng/ml
Optimal:   50 – 80  ng/ml
Deficient:  < 25   ng/ml

 This article highlights the added risk of having low Vitamin D (thus needing greater supplementation) that is brought on by obesity or having darker skin that blocks the production of Vitamin D.  Remember that Vitamin D is made in the skin when sunlight hits it.  Here in the NW (Oregon, Washington), we have severely limited skin exposure to sun, thus my recommendation that everyone, from pregnancy to newborns, and throughout your entire life, take Vitamin D.  The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has recommendations that range from 800 to 1200 mg a day for various age groups.  I recommend as follows:
Pregnancy:                    5000 IU / day
Newborns/Infants:          1000 IU / day
40 – 60 lbs:                     2000 IU/day
60 – 100 lbs:                  3000 IU/ day
Teens and Adults:           4-5000 IU/day

These recommendations are above the typical doses, but over the years I have only once found these recommendations to get someone’s Vitamin D levels above 80.  If you take Vitamin D at these or higher levels, and you are consistent at taking you supplement daily, then I recommend that after a year or longer you have your level checked.


Prevalence of Vitamin D Deficiency Among Overweight and Obese US Children

  1. Christy B. Turer, MD, MHS
  2. Hua Lin, PhD 
  3. Glenn Flores, MD


OBJECTIVE: Adequate vitamin D is essential for skeletal health in developing children. Although excess body weight is associated with risk of vitamin D deficiency, the national prevalence of and risk factors associated with vitamin D deficiency in overweight and obese children are unknown.

METHODS: The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency (defined as 25-hydroxyvitamin-D <20 ng/mL) was determined in a sample of 6- to 18-year-old children who were enrolled in a cross-sectional study (the 2003–2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) in which body weight and height were measured directly. Children were classified as healthy-weight, overweight, obese, or severely obese by using recommended age- and gender-specificBMI-percentile cut points. Associations between BMI-percentile classification and vitamin D deficiency were examined after adjustment for relevant confounders. Sample weights were used to generate nationally representative estimates.

RESULTS: The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in healthy-weight, overweight, obese, and severely obese children was 21% (20%–22%), 29% (27%–31%), 34% (32%–36%), and 49% (45%–53%), respectively. The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in severely obese white, Latino, and African-American children was 27% (3%–51%), 52% (36%–68%), and 87% (81%–93%), respectively. Compared with healthy-weight children, overweight, obese, and severely obese children had significantly greater adjusted odds of vitamin D deficiency. Modifiable factors associated with vitamin D deficiency in overweight/obese children were identified.

CONCLUSIONS: Vitamin D deficiency is highly prevalent in overweight and obese children. The particularly high prevalence in severely obese and minority children suggests that targeted screening and treatment guidance is needed.


Dr. Paul


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