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Living in Wisconsin, how many units of vitamin D should I be taking?

Q. Dear Terry, “Living in Wisconsin, how many units of vitamin D should I be taking?  My chiropractor told me as much as 10,000 IU a day.  That seems to be too much.  What are your thoughts on this?” — Susan L., Wausau, WI

A. Dear Susan, While your body is capable of making vitamin D (triggered by sunlight striking your skin), you need about 15 to 30 minutes of sunlight a day with most of your skin exposed to get this process in motion in order to create good amounts of vitamin D. But now that summer has come to an end, those of us in northern climates don’t spend as much time outdoors, so vitamin D deficiencies are common.

I strongly recommend supplementing with vitamin D because it plays such a crucial role in multiple health issues, whether it is helping to reduce the risk of heart disease and dementia, promoting calcium absorption, preventing diabetes, slowing the progress rate of cancer, and even promoting weight loss!

There are two forms of vitamin D used in supplements. Vitamin D2 is the form of vitamin D synthesized by plants. It is also known as ergocalciferol. Cholecalciferol, or vitamin D3, is the form that is produced by the human body. Both D2 and D3 can increase circulating vitamin D levels, although many people prefer to use the D3 form as it is closer to what is already found in the body. I usually recommend about 2,500-5,000 IU of vitamin D3 a day for most people.

In fact, the Vitamin D Council, directed by Dr. James Cannell in Omaha, Nebraska, has established a minimum of 5,000 IUs of Vitamin D3 daily for adults.  If experiencing an immune crisis such as a cold or flu, you can increase it to 10,000 IUs daily for a few days.

Healthy Regards!

Terry . . . Naturally

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