Your Optimal Vitamin D Level May Be Higher Than What You Think! (Your GP Might Not Know This!)

Your Optimal Vitamin D Level May Be Higher Than What You Think! (Your GP Might Not Know This!)

Attaining optimal levels of vitamin D has been shown to optimise immune function and neuromuscular function; optimise intestinal calcium absorption; improve breast milk vitamin D concentration for infant health; and reduce chronic musculoskeletal pain.

The suggested general target for optimal beneficial effects of vitamin D is greater than 100nmol/L on serum blood test. This is twice the level that most doctors consider people to be vitamin D deficient (50nmol/L).

The total daily requirement of vitamin D (from sunlight and diet) is around 4000IU to maintain levels above 100nmol/L. Evidence suggests that exposure to the sun to obtain these levels may increase skin cancer risk, and therefore dietary supplementation is largely considered a safer option.

At a minimum, most people should consider a supplement of 1000IU daily. The tolerable upper limit of daily vitamin D is debated, but may be as high as 10,000IU daily. The safest way to optimise your vitamin D level is to consider seeing your GP for a blood test and to supplement accordingly to attain levels of at least 100nmol/L.

Table 3. Levels of 25(OH)D producing health benefit

Beneficial effects of vitamin D

Minimum serum 25(OH)D required

Prevent rickets/osteomalacia3

37.5 nmol/L

Dramatically suppress parathyroid hormone levels3

50–75 nmol/L

Optimise intestinal calcium absorption3

87 nmol/L

Optimise neuromuscular function3,5

60–87 nmol/L

Produce sufficient breast milk concentrations for infant health33

110 nmol/L (in one study)

Treatment of chronic musculoskeletal pain11

Treat identified deficiency

Suggested general target15

>100 nmol/L year round


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