How Much Vitamin D Should You Take? It Takes More Vitamin D to Restore Levels if You Are Darker Skinned.
How much vitamin D should you take? The current recommendations from the CDC and AAP are grossly inadequate, especially if you are person of color and thus you naturally make less vitamin D. I have been testing vitamin D levels in my practice for the past 2 decades and everyone (ok 99% of us) are deficient and most severely so. For myself and most adults I know that follow their vitamin D levels, it takes at least 5,000 IU daily to reach an optimal level of 50-80 ng/ml. Don’t be fooled by the 30-100 ng/ml normal range. A normal range is established by what is normally found in the population. Since everyone is deficient, a level of 30 should be considered low. Many of the cancer prevention benefits show up at levels above 50 ng/ml, which should be the low end of your goal.
In the study, “Dose and time responses of vitamin D bio markers to monthly vitamin D3 supplementation in overweight/obese African Americans with sub optimal vitamin d status: a placebo controlled randomized clinical trial,” (which you can read here… ) patients were randomly assigned to receive a supervised monthly oral vitamin D3 averaging 600 IU/day, 2000 IU/day, 4000 IU/day, or placebo. Other studies have shown you can safely give the entire daily dose of vitamin D as one large monthly dose, even to lactating moms or children. They found “monthly dosing, 2000 IU appears to be sufficient in achieving a 25(OH)D level of 30 ng/mL in this population. However, importantly, 4000 IU, rather than 2000 IU, seems to suppress iPTH.” Note that they only achieved levels above 30 ng/ml. Adults of all types (obese or thin, African American or otherwise) should take at least 4,000 IU daily vitamin D3.
I have had good results, giving Vitamin D3 as follows:
Newborns to 40lbs (20Kg) 1000 IU daily
40 – 80 lbs (20 – 40 Kg) 2000 IU daily
80 – 120 lbs (40 – 60 Kg) 3000 IU daily
Over 120 lbs (over 60 Kg) 4-5,000 IU daily
Note that this recommendation is far higher than the CDC, AAP, or standard recommendations. This does seem to be what is required to get your levels to an optimal, health promoting, cancer preventing level of 50-80 ng/ml. Please consult with your physician or at least check your levels after a couple months at this level of supplementation to see if for some reason this recommendation it either too high or inadequate for you.
Many of us get very little sun exposure, the only natural way to make vitamin D. Don’t be fooled into thinking drinking vitamin D supplemented milk will get your level up. It won’t. You would need to drink a couple of gallons a day. Because most of us have such low stores of vitamin D, you can continue to supplement throughout the summer. Most people use sunscreen anyway, and that blocks most of the vitamin D production.