Q. Dear Terry, “I recently asked my doctor how much vitamin D I should be taking each day. He said that according to my age (65 years old) I should take 600 IU per day. I know many of my friends take more vitamin D than that per day. What do you think is a good daily dose?” – Georgiana S., Plymouth, MN
A. Dear Georgiana, Vitamin D is incredibly important to virtually every cellular process within our body. When our skin is exposed to sunlight, there are certain cells that undergo changes and convert a special kind of cholesterol into usable vitamin D. There are many factors that can impact how efficient this process is: including age, latitude, cholesterol status, ethnicity, and many others.
While the recent increase of the RDA (recommended daily allowance) for vitamin D is promising, I think the level may still be too low for most people to receive many of the therapeutic benefits of vitamin D. This is especially important for the people living in areas of the world where receiving vitamin D from the sun may not be available year-round, such as Minnesota.
Personally, I think 2,000-5,000 IU (50 to 125 mcg) of vitamin D per day is a much better amount for the maintenance of good health. There are two forms of vitamin D: D3 (cholecalciferol) and D2 (ergocalciferol). Research has shown that vitamin D2 is much less effective at raising vitamin D levels. I prefer to use vitamin D3, as cholecalciferol, because it is in the human form.
Terry . . . Naturally
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