Friday, May 18, 2012

Vitamin D Benefits Still Inconclusive

On Tuesday March 20, 2012 I wrote a blog (link above) about Vitamin D. Vitamin D, like other vitamins, is an essential part of human functioning. Over the past couple of years its value has been so overblown that many supplement marketers have advocated mega-dosing with it. Many of my first-time patients present with multiple forms of Vitamin D which they have added over the years, which they don't seem to need.

In 2010, the Institute of Medicine explicitly warned against mega-dosing with Vitamin D, but the message apparently never got out to the general public probably because the marketers are very successful in out-shouting reliable medical sources most of the time.

So here's my attempt to get the latest news out. The Endocrine Society, the world's oldest, largest, and most active organization devoted to research on hormones and the clinical practice of endocrinology, put together a task force to look at Vitamin D and basically concluded that "large randomized trials are needed to determine whether vitamin D can prevent or treat cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other non-skeletal disorders."

The task force examined more than 300 studies of vitamin D's role in tissues other than bone and published their report as an official "scientific statement" in the June issue of Endocrine Reviews.

The task force's most important conclusion was that although many of the studies offered tantalizing hints that the substance helps maintain health in a variety of ways, there remains "little hard proof."

So there you have it. You don't need to supplement with Vitamin D in the absence of a known deficiency, but if you insist, take into consideration the amounts of Vitamin D you get from sunlight (15-20 minutes a day typically reported to produce the recommended daily allowance), wild salmon (2-3 times recommended amounts), Almond milk, regular milk and other dairy products, etc. and adjust accordingly to avoid mega-dosing.

Please share this with your friends so that everyone has the facts and aren't ruled by the fiction.

An educated patient is my favorite type.


  1. "Institute of Medicine explicitly warned against mega-dosing with Vitamin D" That's why we need to consult a doctor and have a vitamin d level test first before taking vitamin d supplements. Or the best way to get vitamin d is through sun exposure.

  2. Vitamin D is a unique fat-soluble vitamin that is essential to the body's absorption of calcium.

    Vitamin D

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