The Latest News On Vitamin D: What Does It Mean For You? - Save Our Bones

You may have seen news items on the Institute of Medicine's (IOM) new Vitamin D recommendations, which were released on November 30th. So to keep you up to date, I'd like to share my thoughts on it with you.

First, let's look briefly at IOM's recommendations. They have increased all the doses and are recommending that everyone except those over 70 take 600 IUs of Vitamin D, and that those over age 70 take 800 IUs. The “Upper Intake Level” recommended by IOM is 4,000 IU, effectively doubling the previous levels for all ages with the exception of children under nine.

The study also reaffirms the role of adequate Vitamin D levels in preventing falls and fractures, as well as in muscle development.

So, is that the final word? Case closed? Not exactly.

Reports like this and the research that goes into them are helpful, but they often don't tell the whole story.

My Take on Vitamin D Requirements

While it might be nice to be able to rely on a report that tells you how much Vitamin D you need, it's not quite that simple. Because we get Vitamin D from the sun, and because we each live in different environments with varying degrees of access to sunlight, it's impossible to take a one size fits all approach to Vitamin D.

For example, I live in Florida and spend a good portion of each day out in the sun. Because of the sunny climate, I'm able to do that on a year-round basis (although as I write this, we're experiencing a very unusual cold spell, and I've just turned on my heater for the first time in years).

So my supplemental Vitamin D needs are quite different from those of someone who lives in Finland, where there are several months of the year during which the sun rarely makes an appearance.

So What Should I Do?

On this issue, as with many others, you ultimately need to use common sense and decide for yourself. But don't worry – I'll give you some helpful guidelines.

OK. We know that we need vitamin D, and we also know that it's ideal to get as much of it as possible from the sun. And what we can't get from the sun, we must get from supplements. Start by looking at the amount of sun exposure you get. If you live in a sunny climate and spend a lot of time outdoors, you may need only a baseline level. The bare minimum is 400 IU per day and you should increase the amount as you feel necessary depending on your sun exposure, which may vary according to the seasons.

But I've Had Skin Cancer!

While it's ideal to spend 20 to 30 minutes a day in the sun without sunscreen, of course you must take extra precautions if you've had melanomas or are dealing with another condition that requires you to limit sun exposure.

If you fall into this category, you may need to rely more heavily on supplemental Vitamin D3.

But for the general public, the minimal sun exposure required to get a dose of Vitamin D3 should not present much of a risk. Obviously, repeatedly burning the skin is a cause for concern, but a small yet healthy dose of sun is fine. Think about this… if the sun were as dangerous as we’re currently led to believe, wouldn’t we (as humans) be an extinct species by now?

Can I Use a Sun Lamp?

The UV rays of the sun react with our skin to produce Vitamin D3. Most sun lamps emit UV rays, and there are some that are sold specifically for Vitamin D supplementation. Just be very careful at first until you can gage how your skin reacts and avoid burns. Also, make sure you follow manufacturer’s directions.

And one more note of caution about sunlamps and tanning beds. Make sure the bulbs are made with electric resistance ballasts instead of the more commonly used magnetic ballasts. The latter emit potentially dangerous electromagnetic waves, because this type of radiation – especially from such proximity to the source, which is the light bulb in the equipment – can be harmful to your health.

All Vitamin D is NOT the Same

Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is the most absorbable form of Vitamin D because it’s the one we synthesize from the sun. The large dosage pills some doctors recommend are made of plant-derived D2, and the vitamin D added to milk is also D2.

Because Vitamin D3 is derived from animal sources, vegetarians often resort to taking the less-effective D2. But there are vegetarian D3 supplements, most of which use the lanolin from sheep's wool, which does not cause any harm to the animal, to produce the vitamin. If this is a concern for you, just make sure you check the supplement ingredients to determine the source of your D3.

My Doctor Prescribed 50,000 IU a Week

Many doctors are prescribing “megadose” amounts in this range. Because Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin, which means it accumulates in the body, I do not recommend what I consider excessive doses of Vitamin D. In addition, these supplements are made with Vitamin D2, which, as stated above, is a much less-absorbable form of the vitamin. And if you are following the guidelines in the Osteoporosis Reversal Program, you shouldn't need megadoses of any nutrient.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that, in my opinion, this latest report does not really change much. Vitamin D supplementation has always been very much a matter for individual adjustment, and it continues to be. But there are some basic guidelines you can follow:

  1. Use the minimum baseline of 400 IU of D3 and build from there depending on your sun exposure and skin tone.
  2. If you can spend time in the sun year-round, then try to have some sun exposure every day. Twenty minutes a day in the summer, and at least 30 minutes in the spring, fall and winter (add at least 10 minutes if you are dark skinned) is sufficient. It's best if you can sunbathe your legs, arms, and the abdomen if possible.
  3. In cold climates with little sun, you can supplement in winter on a daily basis. Then you can reduce the dose during the summer, assuming you spend the minimum time in the sun.
  4. Should you need extra Vitamin D3 because your blood levels are demonstrably low, stick to D3 instead of the massive D2 doses typically prescribed by doctors. You can then start by taking larger daily doses, up to the Upper Intake Level of 4000 IU for two or three months, at which time you should repeat the blood test. The daily dose of D3 varies depending on the test results, so you can consult with your health practitioner about this.

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Comments on this article are closed.

  1. Judy Miller

    I started taking about 2,000 U. of Vitamin D between my multi and my bone formula.
    My muscles hurt so bad I couldn’t get in or out of bed or up or down from a chair.
    I quite taking them both almost a week ago, and for the first time in many months,
    I feel I am getting better. What’s going on? This is not a lot of Vit. D according to the new ideas. Does this mean I don’t need this much Vitamin D, or does it mean that my bones are growing stronger? I haven’t had my levels checked yet, but plan on doing so,. What if my levels are low and the supplement causes these problems? Then what? I live in the far north.

  2. Marcia

    What do you do if you are unable to take Vit.D3? It makes me very shaky.

  3. Diane Martinson

    The easiest way to tell how much you need is a blood test which most doctors are starting to do. Everyone I know had low levels the first time they were tested, some needed high doses to get it up. For me through regular testing found that in the summer 1000 daily with 15-30 minutes of unprotected sun a few times a week brings my levels up to 40-50, in the winter I need to go to 2000 which keeps me around 38 so I plan to add an extra 1000 on the weekends to see if that gets me up to at least 40. My husband needs at least 4000 and everyone else seems to need at least 2000.

  4. Bea Loesch

    I have chronic pain in my legs, shoulders and hands. After two years almost three years a dr finally tested me for Vitamin D deficiency. It was at 10 so I am very low on the vitamin even though I live in Texas where the sun no doubt is very hot. It has effected my thinking, my legs cramp so bad sometimes I can barely walk. I have to use a cane to move about and I take a lot of pain killers to get through the day. She has started me on 50,000 a week for the next 12 weeks I am on week 2. I have heard that it won’t make a big difference for a while. I have done an MRI but haven’t got the results from it back yet..hopefully this week where I can get started on rehab. The tripping around. I trip and have come so close to falling so many times. Luckily I have only fallen a couple of times and not broken anything.

  5. Christy

    Vitamin D has a major effect! my childs energy level was extremely low and she was always tired! I started her on this Vitamin D supplement and her energy level went up and she wasn’t complaining of tiredness anymore!

  6. Ruth

    For five years I had dreadful symptoms. Tiredness beyond belief. Aching bones. Hurting hands. Total exhaustion. I also am bipolar so take medication for this. Bloods done. Referrals to consults. Nothing.
    GP “eventually” decided to another routine blood test and included vit d. Wow. This was the beginning of feelin good. In the uk vit d3 should be between 75-110. Mine was 25! No wonder I was feeling unwell. However GP only prescribed a low does with calcium. (No problem wiv my calcium level). Three months past – no change. Still low at 45. Symptoms the same. I was referred to a rheumatologist. My rheumatologist however prescribed UI800 a day and UI25,000 twice a week for eight weeks. My level has risen to 110 in three months. And I feel so much better. Now take UI800 daily and await next blood test in three months.
    Recommend everyone has their vit D tested – it could account for some awful symptoms that can easily be put right.

  7. Linda Brown

    My doctor wants me to stop taking Vit. D supplements for a month so he can test my levels. I think going off it will take away the benefits I receive, and then I will have to wait until it builds up again to get the benefits. I cannot afford to feel bad while we wait to see the numbers go down to prove that really need the supplements.

    Is there a reason to wait a month? I have had very low numbers in the past and last test, without waiting a month was normal. Why go off and lose the benefits? If I don’t do what he says he will not write the RX for 50,000 2/wk anymore.

  8. JILNA

    I 30 year old lady . I stared my back pain and heel pain just after the delivery. I went to a doctor he advices to do the vitamin D test .It was too low 12.then I took vitamin D tablets for 4 months .my iron and ferritin is also less .now I checked vit D its just increase to 17 iam taking iron 200mg and vit D 5000iu per day.can I take both this tablets together or with whole milk.

    • Rina

      Sounds interesting, but I think that $67 for a book is definitely too expensive ( for me it is )
      Also why only digital books are available. It’s very hard for me to seat by the computer for long times and read the book.
      any suggestions ?

  9. Kelly

    I just went to my GP and she sent me for a blood test..I am 55 yrs old. I have had 2 bouts of kidney stones in the past. I recently (2) months approx have been taking Isotonix Vit D with K2 ..5000 per day plus their multi vit. along with OPC 3 and their b-complex. My tests came back where my calcium is at 10.8 and will need to retake the blood test. From what I have been reading thru the internet..Im thinking that its very likely that my calcium is increased due to the calcium in my multivitamin and the OPC and then have done more damage by increasing my vit d? I will be heading back in a couple of weeks to retake the blood now off of all supplements. Would appreciate your opinion on this a bit concerned and nervous. I am having a hard time waiting until I can go for the next blood test but know if I go to soon..there will be no difference in my levels.

    • g.m. peters

      don’t eve take calcium with vitamin d3 unless you have a calcium problem.

    • Jerry W. Segers

      With your calcium that high, you should get your PTH tested. If your PTH (ParaThyroid Hormone) is also high then you have a rogue parathyroid gland that must be surgically removed. There is no other solution. Most scans for rogue parathyroid glands are worthless except to see where the rouge gland is NOT located. The parathyroid glands are four rice sized glands normally attached to the back of the thyroid gland. They have one function – to sense the level of calcium in the blood and when it is low produce PTH. If you have high PTH AND high calcium one or more of the glands have failed and are releasing PTH when they should not. The solution is to remove the offending gland. You will be very glad you did. It gave me my life back. My brain began to function again. I was no longer tired, etc. I highly recommend the folks at Norman Parahthyroid Clinic at Tampa General Hospital in Tampa Florida, USA.

      I have no association with anyone at the clinic except as a Very satisfied customer. It was the best money I have ever spent. (They do take insurance).

      Note: I followed my doctors orders to wait till the Calcium went higher; so, we watched and waited for five years. The only thing that changed was my symptoms got worse. After the 12 minute operation, I was cured and within one week my symptoms were gone.

      Note 2: The reason I picked Dr. Norman is that he invented the device which will locate the bad parathyroid gland immediately instead of having the surgeon remove the thyroid gland and search for the bad gland behind it.

  10. Komberly kyker.

    What are visible symptoms of too much vitamin d?!? Someone please tell me!

    • Jerry W. Segers

      In general are no symptoms for too much Vitamin D. The only symptoms occur when you are so overdosed that you get the symptoms of Calcium overload. In the recorded cases where that happened, stopping the Vitamin D stopped the symptoms. The only real way to know your Vitamin D level is to get a lab test for 25 hydroxy vitamin D. The numbers should be between 30 and 100 ng/mL if the test is done by LabCor. Other companies use different tests and the number may be different.

  11. Thomsen

    I wonder if my children aged 10 and12 can safely use my vitd lamp from androv? we live in a climate with no sun light more than half of the year…thanks

  12. Louise

    I wish someone would address too HIGH calcium and Vitamin D levels with the blood tests. My doctor made me go off all supplements with Vitamin D and Calcium in them (all I was taking was a multivitamin). Since then, they have both come down: Calcium was 10.7, brought down to 10.3 (not supposed to be over 10.2). Vitamin D 1,25 Dihydroxy was 92.9, brought down to 79.9 (not supposed to be over 75), and D 25-hydroxy is in the low range and got lower when I went off the supplements (went from 32.9 to 30.3) and the normal range is 30-100. So I don’t go out in the sun, I don’t take supplements, and I hardly get any
    D from foods, so why in the world are these too high? I can’t find anything about Vitamin D and Calcium being too high, only deficiencies. I have no idea what to do. I am doing Vivian’s program, and was about to order the Calcium/Vitamin D supplements when I learned the results of my blood test.

    • Jerry W. Segers

      Read my comments above and the website

    • Marilyn

      If your calcium is high, then have your parathyroid glands checked.

  13. Herminia

    Dear Dr.Vivian:
    The video is fantastic!.All your mails, full of knowlege.I’m very greateful
    learning a lot.Got bless you and family for Christmas and heathy New Year.

  14. winifred dailey

    Here is what I keep asking all medical professional that I run into and no one has an answer “How much D3 can you absorb at a time?” I have read you can only absorb 400 IU of calcium in a 4 hour period, but know one seems to know about D3 I’m talking supplements here.
    Vivian any ideas?

    • Jerry W. Segers

      While I do not have an exact answer, here is a table that indicates the response to various doses:

      I can also tell you that I was able to raise my levels from 13 to 50 by taking 50,000 IU per day. Even then it took 3 months.

  15. Sharon

    I have been taking 5000 Vit. D a day. My blood calcium is too high and
    they wanted to remove my parathyroid gland. This level is also very high.
    A naturopath found that my hypothalamus was causing the problem. After
    taking a hypothalamus supplement the levels went down but are still too high. Do you have any ideas on how to lower these levels?

    • Jerry W. Segers

      See my comments above and the web page.

  16. irene

    Sorry, but ieft out one symptom a medicinal taste in your mouth or a metallic taste is also one of the side effects from too much D,

  17. irene

    Sorry,I posted a comment on vitamin D on your most recent email site.
    D can be dangerous. I trusted my mother’s endocrinologist and what a mistake. After three weeks of fifty thousand i.u.’s she was a mess
    everything to hard stools to diarrhea. The primary reduced the rate to
    5,000 but within five days the same symptoms appeared. I took her off the
    vitamin D until things calm down. My mother’s vitamin D dropped from 46.9
    to 35 and we think it was due to a change in how she took D. WE were both taking liquid vitamin D and K by Douglas Labs. We do not know what the problem was but we will not buy it again. We got this from a nutritionist

    People should not trust their doctor so much and think twice before taking
    High doses of D.

    • Jerry W Segers

      There is some evidence that this behavior is due to low magnesium status. Ask for an RBC Magnesium test. If it is low then no amount of vitamin D will help and many symptoms will appear specifically change in bowel movements. Alternatively try taking a magnesium supplement with your vitamin D. You may find this solve the problem.

  18. Chris

    This does not have to be a guessing game, get the blood tesT!! I am getting very frustrated with people suggesting what should be taken, you should know better than this…..get the test, and then get sun or supplement accordingly….this gets old! How can you write a page on vitamin D, and not mention a blood test for the level….4000iu may work for some, and some it may not….that simple.

    • Jerry W. Segers

      Amen. There is no substitute for a blood test. They can be had for $50 or less on the Internet.

  19. Maria Wan

    Thanks Vivian for your many tips. helps to keep me focused. I have a room in the house that gets lots of sunshine through the glass windows and wonder if I get any vitamin D sitting in the sun in that room?

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Sorry Maria, the glass filters most of the Vitamin D-producing UV rays.

  20. MaryElizabeth Tebo

    Very interesting!

  21. Beth Logan

    Hi Vivian,
    I appreciate your excellent work compiled in your book. Vitamin D research has changed in the last 12 years. I reccomend written by Dr. Cannell. In New England one most likely needs to take 5,000 Vit D3 units a day- or at the least 2,000 units. You can find research papers, correct diagnostic test, correct levels for blood labs, list of top MDs such as Hollick (BosU), Creighton. Good luck, Beth Logan

  22. rayusa45

    Please go buy a new VITAMIN D Book for good info,
    note Europe uses a different scale on the Vit D test so let’s understand some confusion.

    I would say in N. US we need like 4000 IU per day VIT D3 most of the year.
    Food will provide almost no D.


    • Anonymous

      This article contains outdated and useless information. I totally reversed a musculoskeletal disorder of 6 years duration within just a few months by taking 10,000 units of D3 per day, in addition to whatever sun I could get. I still take 10,000 units/day and feel terrific–no adverse effects whatsoever. If I had followed recommendations such as this article offers, along with that of the IOM and the sunblock industry, I would probably be in a wheel chair now!

  23. Rosemary

    One more thing that isn’t publicized. Synthetic vitamin A found in vitamin pills keeps us from absorbing vitamin D. Vitamin A coming from food doesn’t seem to do the same thing. For that reason alone, I won’t take a multi vitamin.

    Taking vitamin D3 at the correct amount for me has saved my hip. It use to be very painful and today it isn’t… all because I upped my intake of D to 2000-3000 I.U.s daily.

    I feel very lucky that I happened upon vitamin D recommendation a few years back, it saved me.

  24. ken osborn

    While 2000 IU/Day D3 seems like a lot, the way to check is to have your blood tested for 25 hydroxy-vitamin D. The “normal range” is 20 – 100 ng/mL. The low end at 20 is based on what is necessary to avoid vitamin D deficiency but may not be enough for optimal health. Some may find that 2000 IU/Day may be enough 20 achieve > 30 ng/mL while others may need to take more to achieve an optimum level. When I was a swimmer many years ago I was probably getting 50,000 IU/Day or more from the sun (no sun screen used). I cannot recommend that level of sun exposure knowing what we do today about skin cancer, but I think the upper limit for D3 intake may be significantly above what the IOM has set.

  25. Ali

    HI Vivien


  26. Nu Ly

    After I took the full blood test last month, my doctor said to me:’Your Vietamine D and calcium are enough.”I don’t take any Vitamine D
    tablet, but I take 2 times milk-powder a day,
    morning & night.

    Thank you, in here, wishing you a Merry Christmas and all the best for 2011.

  27. june isaacs

    articles always very interesting,I look forward to receiving them

  28. Nancy Flexman

    For excellent, science based information on Vitamin D, go to

  29. gloria

    Hi Vivian,
    I enjoy reading all the comments. Very interesting! Does Vitamin K2 really help to clear clogged arteries or is Rosemary just referring to Calcium?
    I wish you a very Merry Christmas; a Happy and Healthy New Year!

    • Rosemary

      Yes, that’s the recent thought. K2 can keep calcium from clogging arteries. Some calcium just doesn’t get absorbed. It can either go out, or hang around where we don’t want it to go. I’ve read that K2, if taken at 150 mcg, can help to unclog arteries. I read that at K2 advice has been around for a few years at least, and from other sources.

      • Helen Herring

        I have done some research on K2 and it apparently scours the muscles and arteries for calcium and redeposits it back into the bones. This helps your bone health and also your heart because of getting rid of the artery buildup. Also it stays in the body longer than K1. It is produced by the gut bacteria which thrives on fermented foods eg yoghurt, sour cream, fermented cheeses, fermented soy sauce etc. This as well as diet could be the answer to so called “osteoporosis”.

  30. LESLIE

    Hi! Vivian,
    I’ve Also Had Skin Cancer. And My Significant Other Is Prone To Skin Cancer Also.
    We Both Stayed In The Sun A Lot While Growing Up. But Now In Our Middle Ages We Don’t Stay Out In The Sun Very Much. His Doctor Prescribed Vitamin D To Him About A Year Ago. He Had Two Skin Cancers On His Shoulder Taken Off About 18 Months Ago. And He’s Got Another One, On Top Of His Head That He’s Going To Get Taken Off Within The Next Week Or Two.
    I Take A Multi-Vitamin That Has D Vitamins In It, But I Don’t Take It In Any Other Form Except The Little Bit I Get From Going Out In The Sun. That’s About It!

  31. Barb

    Vivian……so what do you take for an organic calcium formula? I am 70 yrs old and in good health. Presently I was taking a calcium with stronium capsule. I recently heard negative info on that. So I stopped them and am on nothing for calcium except for foods that I eat. Barb

  32. June Griffiths

    Well am I a happy bunny today.I have just had the results of my Dexa scan. AMAZING.

    L 4 -3.6

    FEMR -1.o

    HIP -1.8

    I refused to take the medication that I was first prescribed, a yearly infusion or tablets. I researched the internet and cameup with ALGAE CAL> I stopped these six months ago and followed SAVE OUR BONES PROGRAM. What a result. Thank you so much.

    • Bee

      I am amazed at your DEXA results and very envious! You must be very relieved.
      Do you mind if I ask how old you are? (Approximately will do.) Only I think the age of the person is very relevant and it’s very difficult to get any idea as to how a successful I might be in improving my bone density when I have no idea whether or not I’m comparing ‘like with like’. Obviously a younger person is going to increase density much more easily than someone, say, in their 60s.
      Also, before you found out that you had osteoporosis, were you physically active and did you eat a healthy diet? Did you smoke or drink alcohol? Or, since finding out, have you changed your lifestyle?
      I’ve been put on bisphosphonates and have been told by the doctor that because I already did all the right things, I cannot reverse my bone loss without them!
      Many thanks for your help.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Excellent DEXA results, June! Congratulations… You have effectively gotten rid of osteoporosis.

      What a great way to start the New Year!

      You know what? Science AND Truth is an awesome combination.

      Keep up the great work,


  33. Jean

    Thank You so much Vivian for all your good help and advice, have a lovely Christmas and New Year Lots of Love always Jean

  34. Lil

    I was told by my Dr. to take 2500mg. a day since my D was only 29. I’m 77 yrs. old.What is the difference between mg. and Iu

    • lucille mazzoli

      Recommended 4000 limit is OK by me. What is the danger if more is taken?

  35. Carol

    I was Vit D deficient about 15months ago. Sick often. GP picked up thru a blood test as she also picked up the fact I was Coeliac after many years of suffering – I used to weigh in at 47kgs- now 64kgs. My immune system has been affected but gradually picking up. GP prescribed 100,000 Vit D3 IU monthly in form of an oil based dose for past 15 months and my Vit D reading is now 124 (was 55) Supposed to be between 58 – 160. Have had a few fractures although just under the limit for normal calcium reading. I am feeling so much better and although it has been a stressful year and rather cold for South Australia I have had no colds or constant mouth ulcers and my bones don’t even ache half as much. I think that this is amazing – perhaps it’s the Vit D improvement????

    • lucille mazzoli

      No one seems to know what the danger of over dosing Vit D. I take 4000 units per day in all my food and drink. I take a multiple that has now increased its Vit D to 1000 units per tablet. I will have to adjust my other intakes to keep this at 4000. Please advise what harm overdosing does.

      • Audrey

        I was taking 3000iu a day. 79years old. Ended up in ER 3 times with heart rate of 200.Shortness of breath. Had(heart) all tests and heart is good. Also had muscle cramps in legs,toes,feet. Drs. couldn’t explain. Treated me for anxiety. I researched the overdose of Vitamin D3 and it could be fatal. So went off the high dose and am sticking with 800IU which are in my daily vitamin’s. Since I have cut out the high dose I have been feeling better every day. Takes a few days to get out of system.

    • Mrs Moira Maidment

      Please can you say something about nail health and the best treatment to get rid of ridges and flaking.
      What is the deficiency here ?
      With many thanks. Moira Maidment

      • Rosemary

        I take B9 (biotin) for nail ridges and for hair loss. If I see too much hair falling, I get it in quickly and keep taking it till I don’t notice it any longer on my shoulders. It seems to work. You have to find your own dosage. Start at 600 mcg’s and work up if needed to see desired results.

  36. catherine smith

    Vivian, Thank you, very much, for all your information and all the other comments. It is all, very helpful.

  37. Judy Walker

    Now I read that you also need to have magnesium included in order for the calcium and Vit. D to be absorbed. Today I also read something in the paper about Vit. K2. You also need enough Vit. K2 (MenaQ7). How does one ever know if your body is absorbing the vitamins and minerals you eat. I get confused.

  38. Clive Hose

    Hello Vivian.
    Can you give me any information on ALGAECAL Supplement.
    Thanks for your News Letter.

  39. Ann-Maree

    3 things
    1. the ability of our skin to synthesise vitamin D from sunlight decreases as we age (yet another ‘benefit’ of aging!)
    2. in south-eastern Aust, we are nearly all vitamin D deficient. I have seen 4 normal vitamin D path results in 4 years – unless the patient is taking vit D supplementation
    3. i understand that in Aust D2 supplements have been taken off the market, and a good thing too, as vit D3 is the one that makes the difference

    Thanks Vivian for the reminder of how important vitamin D is.

  40. Karen Turrall

    When I was first tested for my Vit. D level I was at 72. I have severe Osteoprosis and both my Dr. and I agreed that was not good enough. I started our taking 2000 IU a day and a year later reached 86. The next year I took 5000IU a day and it finally started to move–reached 106. This past year I took 10,000 IU a day and reached 165 which I am happy with. This is the amount I will continue to take to keep the levels up there. I am 66 years old and at this age the amount i would absorb from the sun would be negligible. I live in an area where we have the 4 seasons and I am outdoors a great deal. I have no concerns about hitting a toxic level of Vit D. I believe you would have to be around the 250 level. My husband reached 175 taking 10,000IU. He has continued taking 10,000 units this past year and was just tested again and he has actually dropped a bit–156. I test my levels on a yearly basis. I think it is so important to know your levels and then you can decide what is right for you. Everybody is different. I have read that you should be around the 175 level to get all the full benefits of Vit.D—great immune system , Cancer prevention etc.

    Thank you again Vivian for sharing all your knowlege with us.

    Best regards,


  41. Helen Edel

    I recently received a newsletter stating that people over 60 should take 5,000 IU of D3 every day. I purchased some 1,000 and 2,000 IU softgels.
    Can I take these daily? With Winter here now I won’t be going outdoors as often.

    • Flora

      Sorry I sent that long letter about Vit D3 and my history and now see that you have already answered it. I can see it is all individual and you just need to keep checking every 3 month to see if you are on the right tract.thanks, your are really with it. FLORA

  42. Judy K

    I had a lot of leg cramps during those years when I was Vit D deficient. I also had breast cancer (which could have possibly been prevented if my vit D level had not been “25”).
    Now, 3 years later, I take 3,000 – 4,000 D3 and still have trouble keeping my level in the 70-90 range. I think anyone who has had serious life-threatening disease needs to keep their D3 levels in the higher range.

  43. Judy K

    Almond milk, rice milk, soy milk all have D2 in them. Organic cows milk has D3, as do all other kinds of cows milk (yes, I remember that most of are not drinking cows milk anymore).

  44. esther

    Hi Vivien,

    I agree that we need vitamin D3, but probably, we who live in the North need about 3,000-5,000 daily. When I lowered my dose, my vitamin D level dropped quite quickly. The Vitamin D Council (Dr. Cannell) believes that most adults need a lot more than the daily recommendations of 600-800.
    Thanks for all your info.


  45. Dr Gary Booth

    Skin cancer never killed anyone, but lack of Vit. D3 kills millions. Skin Cancer, (basal cell carcinoma) is easily treated by dermatologist, or the you could use my method that I developed more than a decade ago: Mix aloe vera gel with Sodium Ascorbate Crystals, (a form of Vitamin C). Apply to the skin, cover with a bandage to keep in from drying. In a few days the cancer will be eradicated.
    Never use sun block. It is carcinogenic, can lead to Vitamin D deficiency. Never take Cholesterol drugs. Vitamin D is made from cholesterol radiated by the sun in our skin.

    • Eluned

      I wish i’d seen your cure sooner.I’m having mine removed in a couple of weeks.If I get any more I will certainly try your method.About the sun causing cancer?mine is on a part of the body that has never been exposed to the sun.

    • sherie pollack

      I must correct you; skin cancer can spread to organs – I personally know a gentleman who died from melanoma (spreading to organs) First he lost his nose and it went from there. My mother lost a portion of her face. I am light skinned and have been warned by dermatologists to avoid sun, use sun blocks etc… now w/ostep issues I still avoid the sun and take d3 supplements. It’s important to stay true to what we personally need to do.

      • Eluned

        basal cell carcinoma is harmless and can be treated you must be confusing it with malignant melanoma which can be deadly if it is’nt caught early.

    • Ann Gates

      Dear Vivienne
      Thank you very much for this advice. A skin doctor told me to use a sun block daily! Certainly people say my skin is very good but I was alarmed by your report that advises it can cause cancer. How can I protect my skin if I give this up.

      Very many thanks

      Ann Gates

  46. Laurel Gilbert

    Sorry if someone has already noted this: just ask your doctor for blood test which measures the usable form of vitamin D in your bloodstream. It is covered by insurance including medicare which I am on, and never been billed. It took well over 2000 IU per day just to get me into the mid range of normal. I live just a few hundred feet from Lake Superior, so you know i’M up north.

  47. Raymonde Pechin

    There is a lots of information in this article, i like it and will make sure to take at least 400 per day.Thank you.Rae

  48. Susanna

    Are you aware of the DNA testing that is available to determine the viability of D receptors? My mother — after parallel and spontaneous fractures of BOTH femurs (she was on Fosamax for many years…) — had DNA testing done. It showed that both of her D receptors were defective and one of her calcitonin was defective (i.e. the calcitonin receptors were partially defective). Instead of “shooting in the dark” to determine her D3 needs, we know specifically what needs to be adjusted and are giving 5,000 iu per day and testing levels every few months. They are creeping up slowly. The D receptor damage may be related to her sister’s ricketts, experienced as a teenager. She had even more problems in later life, and made the mistake of taking Fosamax, which I’m convinced made her condition worse (more on that another time…)

  49. Cheryl

    The importance of Vitamin D (especially D3) is discussed at Levels “recommended” are not adequate.
    Dr. Mercola has mentioned Vivian favorably quite a few time’s. :o)
    Also looking at the food chart in regards to the mention of margarine. Do NOT ever eat margarine.

  50. Irma


    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Irma,

      According to the American Academy of Dermatology, wearing sunscreen will decrease the skin’s production of vitamin D. They recommend supplemental D3 if sunscreen is applied on skin. You can basically not count on much D production while wearing sunscreen, although of course the Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of your sunscreen will have some influence on this.

  51. Wanda Keller

    How much Vitamin D do children need in the cold weather and winter? My grandkids are 8 and 12. I haven’t seen any article that discusses the amount of Vitamin D that children need when they aren’t able to get sun exposure.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Hi Wanda,

      Here are the IOM recommendations for children:

      • Everyone ages 1 to 70 should take 600 IU daily.

      • The safe upper limit for infants up to 6 months is 1000 IU daily.

      • The safe upper limit for infants 6 to 12 months is 1500 IU daily.

      • The safe upper limit for children 1 to 3 years old is 2500 IU daily.

      • The safe upper limit for children 4 to 8 years old is 3000 IU daily.

      • The safe upper limit for everyone older than 8 is 4000 IU daily.

  52. Lea

    I would just like to say how much you are help-
    ing me understand my Bones, and what to do to
    strengthen them, if it wasn,t for you we would
    not know any difference about what the Pharma-
    cutical companies are giving to our doctors
    for us. Thank you so much.
    And I would like to wish you a very Happy Christmas and a Happy & Holy New Year. Keep
    up the good work. Lea

  53. Elizabeth

    I’ve been taking calcium and vitamin D3 tablets for 3 months, prescribed by the doctor, because I am taking steroids, with no problems. Then I was chewing my Calcichew and broke a crown on one of my teeth! The dentist said that these tablets are very hard, which is correct. This is going to be expensive to replace. Since then I break up my tablet and mix it with food. Just to advise other people taking their Calcichew, if you have a lot of crowns and bridges, be careful, don’t want to ruin your expensive dental work.

  54. Rosemary

    The only real way to know if you have a deficiency in D is to get a blood test called Vitamin D 25-hydroxy. I get it done yearly when I do my cholesterol testing.

    Though I take 2000 I. U.’s daily of D3, I cannot get my level up to where it be a benefit to me to ward off diseases. 60 is the level I’m trying for.

    I’ve learned early on about the importance of getting calcium absorbed which can’t be overstated. D helps to get that done, and K2 helps to keep calcium from sticking in our arteries and clogging them up. Even calcium from food needs some absorption help other vitamins and minerals.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      So true! Thanks for sharing, Rosemary.

      I would add, though, that 60 is quite a high level; anything in the 40’s is good.

      • Jo

        60ng/ml is high , 40ng/mlis good”

        How do we know what’s safe optimal vit d ng/ml range?
        Is guarantee that NO calcium will go into arteries when supplementing d3 as long as supplementing k2mk7 with d3 daily?

        Is this just a guess? Or based on danger from d levels 50ng/ml and above maybe based on face d3 isfat soluble, stores in liver, can cause liver failure , Jane’s dowd author vitamin d cure booksays if your vit d toxic will take 10weeks(approximately 70days) just for d levels todrop in half, then there’s d3 supplement increases calcium into blood by 20 times!

        What about
        Thomas levy cardiologist optimal vit d3 50ng/ml-80ng/ml
        Thomas levy “vitamin d too low kill you,vitamin d too high kill you”

        Amy Meyers vit d 60ng/ml-90ng/ml
        Amy Meyers never supplement d3 without k2mk7

        Sherry Rogers m.d. vit d 60ng/ml-80ng/ml
        Sherry Rogers “low vitamin d is staring death in face”

        Life extension vit d 50ng/ml-80ng/ml

        How much d3 iu do you take daily? With k2mk7?
        You keep your level 40ng/ml

        Suzanne simmers says takes her own vitamin d3 supplement everyday and article life extension she agrees 50ng/ml-80ng/ml
        Is this range dangerous??

        YouTube actress Karen Allen zapper lyme
        YouTube lazymanvegan kill parasites zapper
        YouTube rawsynergy basic zapper Alicia
        YouTube extreme health radio don croft zapper

        Do you use Hulda Clark zapper?

        Do you use qlink srt3 pendant or safe space ii pendant protect from cell phone EMF radiation that causes rouleaux??

        When your very vit d deficient say 30ng/ml or less is there are direct association with disappearing half-moons on all fingers which means dangerous cardiovascular disease constricted arteries!??

  55. Jean Tarrant

    Hello Vivian,
    Have just written a lovely long message but computer is telling me I have duplicated it,I assumming it is because it is full of praise,
    so all I will say now is THANK YOU OVER AND OVER AGAIN.


  56. Jean Tarrant

    Hi Vivian, as always you are a mind of imformation and a saviour to countless woman.
    I use what is benificial to me and cannot bear to think what state I would be in now if I had not followed your advise Four lots of medication that didn’t work anyway and I think I have a problem absorbing my vit and mineral means that your advise and imformation has been even more importment to me.
    Again thank you.


    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      You’re very welcome, Jean!

  57. Mary

    There is evidently some evidence that Vitamin D (D3) can cause severe muscle cramping. I had this happen after taking 1000 IU for several days. Stopped taking it – there is D3 in my calcium tab. and I do get outside every day.

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