The purpose of this posting is to emphasize how critical it is to your health and longevity for you and your loved ones to supplement with a full range of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants each day, and included in that, it is highly recommended that you supplement with 1,000 IU of vitamin D per day or more.
Now, that's well above the US RDA of 400 IU/day; the amount the government recommends, but quite frankly, the government recommendations are considerably out-of-date! At least, if you want to go by the powerful and undeniable medical research!
The bottom line: if you ignore this information your health could be in jeopardy.
At the bare minimum, recent research has shown a strong association between low blood levels of vitamin D (which most people have, often even among those who supplement with the government recommendation of 400 IU/day) and increased cardiovascular disease risk factors, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and high triglycerides. Arch of Intern Med. 2007, Jun 11;167(11):1159
What is fascinating, and is critical for you to know is that there are well over 89 medical studies showing that high vitamin D blood levels (which can only be obtained by supplementing with more than 400 IU/day ...in the order of 800 to 1,000 IU/day) reduce nearly all cancers, including cancers of the colon, rectum, breast, and prostate (some as much as 50%). Lancet 1989, Nov 18:2(8673):1176; Am J Clin Nutr 1991 Jul; 54(1 Suppl)193S; J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol 2007 Mar;103(3-5):708; J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol 2005 Oct;97(1-2)P179; Cancer Res 2005 JKun 15;65(12):5470; Am J Public Health 2006 Feb;96(2):252; Ann R Coll Surg Engl 1995 Mar;77(2):85.
In fact, the studies are so numerous and convincing that it is now medically undeniable that the greater one's vitamin D levels (by supplementing with at least 1,000 IU/day or more) the less the risk of acquiring cancer of the breast, prostate, colon, esophagus, pancreas, ovary, rectum, bladder, kidney, lung, and uterus, as well as non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and multiple myeloma! Anticancer Res 2006 Jul;26(4A):2573; Cancer Res 2006 Jul 15:66(14);7361; Carcinogenesis 2006 Mar;27(3):551; Arch intern Med 2007 May 28;167(10)1050; Cancer Causes and Control 2000 Oct;11(9):847; Lancet 2001 Aug 25;358(9282):641; Cancer 2003 Mar 1:97(5):1217; J Urol 2001 Jan:165(1)253 (and about 85 other medical studies that I do not intend to list in this email).
One study that I will cite in this posting is a recent ground-breaking double blind placebo-controlled study that was published this year in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. In this study involving 1,180 postmenopausal women, studying the effects of administering 1,000 IU of vitamin D (with calcium) or a placebo, the researchers found that after ONLY 4 years of taking 1,000 IU of vitamin D the risk of contracting ANY CANCER was reduced by 60% compared to the placebo group. This was astounding news, …., but it was about to get even better. Am J Clin Nutr 2007 Jun;85(6):1586
When the researchers excluded the cancers that were diagnosed during the first year of this study, ….which made sense because that excluded cancers that were present before the study began (since cancers take a while to grow and be diagnosed since they are slow growing), …so, a more thorough and detailed statistical examination of the data revealed that 1,000 IU of vitamin D (plus calcium) reduced the risk of ALL CANCERS by a whopping 77% compared to the placebo group!
What does this mean? If we as a society were to take 1,000 IU of vitamin D each day (with calcium, let alone take supplement with other full spectrum pharmaceutical grade antioxidants, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids), as many as three-quarters (or more) of all cancers could be prevented in just four years! The impact of this double blind, placebo-controlled study is so profound that it is clear that EVERYONE should be taking 1,000 IU of vitamin D (or more) every day! (And, that the government recommendations of 400 IU/day are now irrelevant, just as the RDA of vitamin C, that of 60 mg, is irrelevant, unless your goal is simply to prevent scurvy.)
Even children can benefit from greater levels of vitamin D. New Engl J Med 2007 Jul 19:357(3):266; Am J Clin Nutr 2007 Jul;86(1):150
Furthermore, vitamin D has been shown to suppress inflammation by reducing cytokines (inflammatory modulating molecules). Thus, taking at least 1,000 of vitamin D or more per day helps protect against inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, chronic muscle pain (fibromyalgia), congestive heart failure, diabetes, stroke, and multiple sclerosis. South Med J 2005 Oct;98(10):1024; ClinTer 2005 May;156(3):115; Mayo Clinic Proc 2003 Dec;78(12):1463; Diabetes Care 2005 Dec;28(12):2926; Am J Clin Nutr 2006 Apr;83(4):754
Okay, …..What About The Safety of “that Much” Vitamin D? How much is Too Much? Or, what about those who have been told, "My Doctor Told Me NOT to take more than the RDA level of 400 IU/day of vitamin D."
Frankly, most doctors are not aware of this ground breaking research over the past decade, let alone the double blind, placebo-controlled study published this year that put all this to rest, or what levels of vitamin D are safe. I’m not knocking doctors, because I am one, but since we have not been “geared” towards “nutritional medicine,” most doctors are not aware about the numerous studies suggesting that 100 of thousands of lives that could be spared just in the U.S. alone if every American took just 1,000 IU of vitamin D per day. (And, we haven't even touched on how many lives could possibly be spared if a full spectrum of the other vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants were added to this regimen ...which would might push that number up even higher. My next news email will be about the benefits of turmeric extract, which is an amazing antioxidant/anti-inflammatory substance.)
So, let's alleviate the safety concern about taking higher levels of vitamin D. Is it possible to get take too much vitamin D? The answer is YES! But, how much is too much?
Vitamin D status can be assessed by a blood test. Be careful about the lab’s reference ranges, because sometimes they will compare you to the "normal population," which is DEFICIENT ... you don't want to be “normal” (or deficient in vitamin D). Optimal levels of vitamin D3 (25-hdroxyvitamin D) should be in the range of 30 - 50 ng/ml (or 75 - 125 nmol/L).
A study was performed to see how much oral vitamin D was required to increase one's vitamin D levels. Taking 1,000 IU of vitamin D orally only increases your blood level of vitamin D by 11.5 ng/ml (understand ….that is, it increases it by that much, it does not establish vitamin D at that level). The bottom line is this: A daily oral intake between 1,000 to 4,000 IU of vitamin D (depending upon your baseline vitamin D blood levels) is ideal.
Vitamin D toxicity does not occur until blood levels reach 150 ng/ml or more; which would generally take an oral dose of 50,000 IU per day! Therefore, doses up to 10,000 IU of vitamin D per day would appear to be safe, and certainly half that much (5,000 IU per day) would absolutely be safe! N Eng J Med 2007 Jul 19;357(3)266
To drive this concept home: In order to achieve an optimal serum blood level of vitamin D of approximately 60 ng/ml, a 154 pound (70 kg) person with a baseline vitamin D level of 20 ng/ml would have to take 5,000 of vitamin D to increase their blood level to the desired levels of 60 ng/ml. So, no one should be concerned with the safety of taking 1,000 IU to 1,200 IU of vitamin D! Instead, they should be concerned if they are not supplementing with that much vitamin D every day.
The authors of a review study in the July 19, 2007 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine calculate the rates of various diseases affected by vitamin D status and have come up with the following numbers: N Eng J Med 2007 Jul 19;357(3)266
78% Reduction in Type I diabetes in children taking 2,000 IU/day of vitamin D in their FIRST YEAR of life.
200% Increase in Type I diabetes in Vitamin D-deficient children
33% reduction in Type II diabetes in those taking 800 IU/day plus calcium
72% reduction in number of falls in elderly people taking high-dose vitamin D (that's well over 1,000 IU/day)
30-50% more cancers in vitamin D-deficient people (which can happen if you are taking 400 IU/day or less)
So, my friends, according to the medical research it is now clear that you should take high quality, broad spectrum supplements, and be adding up the amount of vitamin D in your antioxidants, fish oil capsules, and calcium-magnesium tablets, and be shooting for 1,000 IU of vitamin D or more per day.