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Sunday, March 08, 2009 LORA, Community Member, asks

Q: How much Vit.D and How much Vit. D3 should be taken daily?

how much vit/ d and how much d3 should be taken?  Does age matter?

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Answers (3)
Pam Flores, Health Guide
3/ 8/09 4:09pm

Hi Lora: D3 (cholecalciferol) is the form you get from the sun. Your skin makes D3 when it's exposed to the sun for 15 minutes without sunscreen.  If you are trying to get D3 from the sun, you would have to expose your skin several times a week and live in a sunny climate.  As we age getting enough D3 from the sun is very difficult so supplemental D3 is used for those who have difficulty synthesizing D3 from the sun.  Fish liver oils, and eggs also provide vitamin D.


D2 (ergocalciferol) is the form used in fortified foods, like milk, juice, cereal and supplements.


D3 is recommended by some over D2, at 1,000 International Units a day, for those over the age of 50.  When taking vitamin D, you would choose either D2 or D3 and then the required amount, you wouldn't take both D2 and D3, just one or the other.


If you haven't had your vitamin D levels checked, you may want to ask your Dr to run a test to see how much you have stored in your body.  The test is a simple blood test and most insurances cover it.  The name of the test is simply vitamin D test or the medical term is 25-hydroxyvitamin D test.


With these test results your Dr would be able to tell you how much you should take.  If you are extremely deficient in D you *may* have to go on a higher dose than recommended above.


Good luck


Diane, Community Member
12/ 7/12 2:52am

Vitamin D3 is not what we receive from the sun.  Vitamin D3 has gone through the liver and kidneys to be transformed into D3 that is in the useable form for our bodies.  You cannot suggest how much a person can take until they have

had necessry blood work to check their levels.  It does absolutely nothing until you have received your levels.  According to the concensus of many big hospitals and clinics the range should be maintained between 40-60.  Depending on your Vit. D. level will determine the amount of Vit. D you need to take to raise your level to normal.  It may take up to six months to raise your level and then determine how much Vit. D it takes to maintain.   Most doctors are unaware of much of the research going on with Vit. D. and then how to treat it.  As a nurse and a Lymphoma pt. in the recent past, I proved with 18 months of lab work my cancer was caused by a Vitamin D. deficiency that destroyed my immune system.  None of the doctors in the large teaching hospital could determine the cause.  I was able to prove to them what caused the cancer and

having labs drawn every 2 months for 18 months documented proof of the effect Vit. D had on my immune system.  I maintain a Vit. D level of 67.  I am

in remission and most important went from missing a lot of work to working 4 days a week for the next year following my last chemo tx.  This is a 63 yr. old female working midnights as a nurse.


VICKY, Community Member
11/12/09 10:30am

Hello !!Laughing

I  was diagnosed to HAVE ACUTE OSTEOPOROSIS  & taking calcium pills & fosamax weekly.

I was told to take VIT. D3 W/ CALCIUM TABLETS.

My question is when do u take vit. d3  - AT NITE  OR  DAYTIME ?


Pam Flores, Health Guide
11/12/09 2:51pm

Hi Vicky welcome, you can take the vitamin D with your calcium or anytime.  Just be sure to space it out (calcium/d3) from the Fosamax.  You can't take any supplements for at least one hour "after" your Fosamax dose.  Also you need to have an empty stomach when you take the Fosamax so just take your supplements one hour or more after the Fosamax.  You can only absorb 500 mgs of calcium per serving so divide what you take up into several doses.


Good luck; you can double check this in the Fosamax patient insert and with your pharmacist.

Diane, Community Member
12/ 7/12 2:41am

First its important to know the difference between Vit. D.  Vitamin D received by the sun through the skin, goes to the liver and changes to Vit. D2.  Sent to the kidneys and becomes D3 which is the useable form our bodies need.

Age does not matter with Vitamin D deficiency.  It can occur in newborns that

are nursing and their mothers are Vit. D deficient.

The only way to know how much Vit. D should be taken is to draw labs.

Remember that Vit. D. levels should be between 40-60 according to new research.

Many clinics in large hospitals are changing the parameters on vit. D.  It may take up to 6months to regulate your Vit. D level.  It is not uncommon to see 50,000 -

100,000 IU used in order to bring the Vit. D level up to acceptable limits.  Then you must determine how much Vit. D it takes to keep your level between 40-60.

Many doctors are treating pts. for 6-8 weeks and then telling them they don't need to take Vit. D any longer.  How does that make sense.  When your Vit. D deficient there is a reason and that doesn't go away just because you raised your levels.    Research the many illnesses and diseases caused by Vit. D deficiency.  It can destroy the immune system and allow many cancers to creep right in.  In my case it was Non Hodgkins Lymphoma.  Autoimmune disorders are

linked with Vit. D. deficiency.   There are now some diabetic clinics treating their pts. with large levels of Vit. D with much success. 

Pam Flores, Health Guide
12/ 7/12 6:13pm

Hi Diane Welcome, thanks for stopping by!  I totally agree with you and appreciate your input.  I wrote this in 2009 before the Institute of Medicine (IOM) came out with their rec's on calcium and vitamin D.


We should always use our test scores as a barometer for the amounts of supplements we need to take.  We also need to know if we are among those who don't absorb minerals properly, due to a malabsorption problem.


Here's an interview with Dr. William Davis on the impact of the IOM's recommendations on Ca and D.


I'm glad you are well informed and taking a pro-active stance on your health!


In 2009 there were rec's on D of 1,000 IUs of D, but that has changed.  I don't agree with the IOM, but that's my opinion.  I have never paid too much attention to supplement recommendations due to my malabsorption syndrome.  I need a particular amount of D to reach the optimal level for me, which is 65 ng/mL.  I realize not everyone will reach this level, but I have other concerns that warrant this 25 (OH) D level for me.  Luckily, I don't know any docs that would tell their patients to stop taking D once they reach an adequate level.  If you look at it like adding oil to your car, you fill it up, (optimal level/dose) and then continue to top off as your oil goes back down.  The same goes for vitamin D.  Reach the optimal level and then take a maintenance dose to keep you there, which is probably going to be a smaller dose than what you took to get to that optimal score.  If you ever would like to write a SharePost on this topic or any other,  our members would love it.


Thanks again and I think you'll enjoy the article above.Smile

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By LORA, Community Member— Last Modified: 01/22/14, First Published: 03/08/09