Every cell in your body uses vitamin D. And massive amounts of research show this critical nutrient helps prevent just about every chronic disease known to man. For these reasons, I’ve always recommended you supplement daily with 5,000 IU of vitamin D3.
But one of the great things about science is that it gets better over time if we pay attention. So we know more today about the importance of vitamin D than we did over the four years since I started writing my Daily Dispatches.
This culmination of evidence over the past few years has recently convinced me to adjust my original dosage recommendations for optimal daily intake. And while my original recommendation of 5,000 IU of vitamin D3 is still higher than most, and still provides benefit…the total evidence now fully supports supplementing with a higher daily dose of 10,000 IU.
Following are just a few reasons behind my new, higher recommendation…
Government’s vitamin D calculations off by factor of 10!
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends adult men and women up to age 70 take in just 600 IU daily of vitamin D.
But as you know, Recommended Daily Allowances (RDSs) are set up for you to avoid outright deficiencies. Not achieve optimal health. And mounds of research show you need up to 10,000 IU of vitamin D to ward of chronic diseases–let alone achieve optimal good health.
In fact, researchers at University of California San Diego and Creighton University in Nebraska recently discovered the IOM’s RDA for vitamin D is off by a factor of 10.
This gross discrepancy isn’t just a rounding error. It means the decimal point must move one place over. And it represents a huge, astronomical mistake. In fact, astronomers and other scientists call this degree of deviance “an order of magnitude.” They use orders of magnitude to calculate large, “astronomical” numbers like molecules in water, cells in the body, or stars in the universe!
A previous investigation at the University of Alberta’s School of Public Health used different data, but came to the very same conclusion. Men and women need 10 times more vitamin D than what the IOM recommends to reduce their risk of diseases related to vitamin D deficiency.
If you use the correct calculations, it means the IOM’s RDA for vitamin D should increase to 6,000 IU per day. But remember–the RDA is the amount you need daily just to avoid a deficiency. Plus, when you consider a decent diet should yield 1,000 to 2,000 IU daily, you can see how my prior recommendation to supplement with 5,000 IU made sense. But it was still too cautious.
Obesity epidemic tied to low vitamin D epidemic
According to an important, new study, obese and overweight men and women are literally starving for vitamin D.
For the study, researchers divided 400 obese and overweight adults into three groups. The first group took no supplements. The second group took 25,000 IU of vitamin D per month. And the third group took 100,000 IU of vitamin D per month.
(Men and women in this study received one “large” dose of vitamin D each month to ensure compliance. In studies like this, it’s easier to give participants one monthly dose than it is to monitor daily doses. But you should take vitamin D on a daily basis.)
After six months, only the 100,000 IU-per-month group overcame their vitamin D deficiency. They also lost an average of 12 lbs. And they lost 6 cm from their waist circumference.
Men and women who took 25,000 IU of vitamin D per month remained technically deficient in this critical nutrient. But they still lost an average of 8 lbs and 4 cm from their waists.
This study showed us two important things. First, you need a lot of vitamin D to overcome a true deficiency. Second, people can easily tolerate large doses of vitamin D. Finally, I believe the study clearly links the obesity epidemic in this country to the low vitamin D epidemic. And we need much higher amounts of vitamin D to turn around this trend.
The epidemic is worse than we thought
Experts now recognize the vitamin D deficiency is a pandemic. Even in some of the sunniest places in the world, it’s a major problem. In fact, according to new research, up to 90 percent of all pregnant women in Greece, Spain, Turkey, and Italy are deficient in vitamin D.
On the flip side, more and more research shows men, women, and children benefit tremendously by getting more vitamin D. And it’s virtually impossible to overdose.
Of course, public health “experts” remain overly cautious about giving “high” doses of vitamin D because it’s a fat-soluble vitamin, which means your body can store it in tissues. They claim this action, theoretically, could lead to higher, dangerous levels in the body.
But here’s another way to look at it…
The body stores vitamin D by design. In other words, it stores this critical nutrient to make sure you always have enough. For example, over the winter when the skin can’t make vitamin D naturally, your body uses up its stores. With a little knowledge of human biology and history, it all begins to make sense.
Lastly, I feel it’s my job to help you achieve optimal health, not just help you avoid an outright deficiency.
With this in mind, I now recommend everyone take 10,000 IU daily of vitamin D3 in liquid or capsule form to achieve optimal health.
“Most Pregnant Women in Mediterranean Are Vitamin D Deficient,” Medscape (www.medscape.com) 5/21/2015