This question keeps coming up for good reason. It is so convoluted how the medical profession has treated vitamin D over the last hundred years because all types were called the same thing. First was finding the marker for vitamin D that told the story about how it affects chronic disease or the storage form 25(OH)D, twenty-five hydroxyvitaminD, or calcidiol. Typically and historically the industry has tried to use the steroid form or 1,25(OH)2D or one, twenty-five dihydroxyvitaminD or cacitriol to treat and the body’s mechanisms do not handle this real will. Second there was the problem with toxicity because they were using too much of the steroid and with the issue of over irradiation when the pharmaceutical industry processes D2. Typically the type that your body makes naturally, D3, when processed from lamb’s wool and fat does not require radiation. Here is the blog where I talk about the serum level of the storage form and testing.
So as not to confuse you further, please consider only taking D3 or cholecalciferol as a supplement as this is what the body makes naturally. If your doctor prescribes D2, ask him if it would be okay to take an equivalent amount of D3. D2, unfortunately, is the only type that you can get prescription. However, you can buy equivalent amount of 50,000 IU of D3 in a capsule thanks to the efforts of the Vitamin D Council. Thank you Dr. John Cannell!!! Just search the web for 50,000 IU of D3 and you will find several sources.
Now everybody cannot take the same amount and expect the same results. I always thought this was just wrong for other pharmaceuticals. Two aspirin for example for a 250 lb person will give a different effect than for a 100 lb person.
Everybody processes vitamin D differently so the only way that you can tell if you are getting enough is to have a serum test done. On the serum test you will only be concerned with your 25(OH)D.
So where should this level be? Let’s look at three practicing doctors because this is the best method for understanding what they have discovered in their practices. This is really how the art of medicine is practice anyway through trial and error in practice.
Dr. Elizabeth Vaughan from Greensboro, NC has a practice in integrated medicine. She has been a practicing physician since 1979. She also writes articles for one of the local health magazines, Natural Triad. She is board certified and is a fourth generation physicians on both sides of the family. I will not bore you with all of her credentials but if you want to read them they are here:
In her article for Natural Triad, “Lumpy, Bumpy, Painful Breast”, she stated that a serum 25(OH)D of 40 ng/ml is a minimum and that 70 ng/ml is the best protection.
Dr. William Davis is a practicing cardiologist in Milwaukee and writes the Heart Scan Blog. If you have concerns about your heart this is a must read. Here is what he has to say about vitamin D in his blog ‘A Healthy Level of Vitamin D’. He agrees with Dr. Vaughn that 60 to 70 ng/ml is the right level of 25(OH)D.
Dr. John Cannell of the Vitamin D Council is a practicing psychiatrist and here is what he has to say after studying papers and in discussion with other doctors about cancer. In his January 2008 newsletter about the possibility of treating cancer he says that your serum 25(OH)D should be above 60 ng/ml.
So there you have it with three practicing physicians all saying to get the best benefit that you really should be above 60 ng/ml with 25(OH)D. The amount of D3 that will you need to take to reach this level will be different for everyone and the only way that you know you have achieved this level is to test. Start with about 1000 IU of D3 per 25 lbs of body weight per day and then have your serum tested after three months. Your supplementation will by necessity be different in the summer and winter. Before taking anything be sure to consult with your doctor about any preexisting conditions and treatment protocols that you have. Most likely he will say that there will be no effect. If he tells you that you will turn your organ to stones show him the NIH material Vitamin D Fact Sheet that says that a serum level of 25(OH)D (Table 1) of 200 ng/ml or less on a consistent basis is safe. So there is a safety factor of three and if you consider animal studies from the NIH info at less than or equal to 400 ng/ml as safe then you have a safety factor of 6+.
In love, life and the pursuit of wellness always go into the sun!!! – Pandemic Survivor