Last November 3, 2009 at the University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, noted doctors Cedric Garland and Tracey O'Connor ran a seminar on how vitamin D can be used to prevent breast cancer -- as well as infectious diseases, type 1 diabetes, hypertension, colon cancer, and falls in the elderly.
Presenters included some of the best known vitamin D researchers/practitioners, such as Robert P. Heaney, Reinhold Vieth, John White, and Susan Whiting.
It is estimated that 25 to 50 percent of any healthcare budget could be saved with adequate vitamin D serum levels
The conference looked at the current research and practice with vitamin D to enable everyone to take action today based on what's known to solve the deficiency epidemic, and to start the prevention of many diseases.
VITAMIN D DOSE RECOMMENDATIONS
Below 5 35 units per pound per day
Age 5 - 10 2500 units
Pregnant Women 5000-10000 units
General Information About Adult Vitamin D Requirements
Before I begin, I want to emphasize that under summer conditions it is frequently possible to generate about 20,000 units of vitamin D by exposing your skin to the sun. That fact makes these recommendations seem more in line with reality.
Currently, the U.S. RDA for vitamin D is 400 IUs (international units) for the majority of the population. (IU is frequently shortened to just “units.”) This dose was recommended to prevent rickets, which works well, but does nothing to give the far more important protection from cancer, heart disease, and infections.
To achieve the healthy blood levels in the graph below, most adults will need about EIGHT THOUSAND units of vitamin D every day. Interestingly, the majority of people I see in my travels that are taking vitamin D are taking 1,000 units, and they believe they are taking “high” doses. Don’t fool yourself, as an adult, you likely need about 8,000 IUs a day.
Some also worry that if they are in the sun that they will overdose on vitamin D.
However this is not typically the case, and here’s why: When you’re exposed to the sun, the UVB rays cause vitamin D to be produced in your skin while the UVA rays in the sunlight will tend to destroy excessive levels of vitamin D circulating in your body. It is somewhat of a natural failsafe mechanism that prevents overdosing.
HOWEVER, please understand that about 10 percent or more of the people reading this needs significantly more than 8,000 units. I have seen people requiring over 30,000 units of vitamin D a day to reach therapeutic levels of 25 hydroxy D in their blood.
Please remember that the ONLY way to know for sure is to get your blood level tested, which I’ll go over in just a moment.
Current RDA Guidelines for Vitamin D Are Outdated in Light of New Research
At the end of 2008, the American Academy of Pediatrics doubled its recommended dose of vitamin D for infants, children, and adolescents, raising it from 200 to 400 units per day.
Unfortunately, this is still a woefully inadequate recommendation for children.
Research reveals children may need ten times that amount in order to receive the health benefits that optimal vitamin D levels have to offer.
As of right now, the conventional RDAs are only:
400 IUs for infants, children and adolescents
200 IUs for adults up to age 50
400 IUs for adults aged 51 to 70
600 IUs for seniors over 70
Recommended Daily Intake for Optimal Health
Based on the most recent research, the current recommendation is 35 IUs of vitamin D per pound of body weight.
So for a child weighing 40 pounds, the recommended average dose would be 1,400 IUs daily, and for a 170-pound adult, the dose would be nearly 6,000 IUs.
However, it’s important to realize that vitamin D requirements are highly individual, as your vitamin D status is dependent on numerous factors, such as the color of your skin, your location, and how much sunshine you’re exposed to on a regular basis.
So, although these recommendations may put you closer to the ballpark of what most people likely need, it is simply impossible to make a blanket recommendation that will cover everyone’s needs.
So how do you ensure optimal vitamin D levels for yourself, your child, and aging parents?
Blood Testing Is the ONLY Reliable Way to Determine How Much Vitamin D You or Your Child Needs
Yes, the only way to determine the correct dose is to get your blood tested since there are so many variables that influence your vitamin D status.
I recommend using Lab Corp in the U.S.
Step 1: Make Sure You Use the Correct Test
Getting the correct test is the first step in this process, as there are TWO vitamin D tests currently being offered: 1,25(OH)D, and 25(OH)D.