advertisement



Q & A Library


Print this page | Sign up for free e-bulletins
 | Bookmark This Page

Q
More Vitamin D?

The more I read about all the benefits of vitamin D, the more I wonder if there’s any harm in taking more than the 1,000 IU per day that you recommend. Is there?

A
Answer (Published 1/26/2010)

Your question is timely because I'm raising my recommendation of 1,000 IU of vitamin D per day to 2,000 IU per day. Since 2005, when I raised it from 400 to 1,000 IU, clinical evidence has been accumulating to suggest that a higher dose is more appropriate to help maintain optimum health.

Related Weil Products
Dr. Weil's Vitamin Advisor for Supplements & Herbs - If you are interested in supplementing your diet, and want to take the mystery out of choosing vitamins, try Dr. Weil's Vitamin Advisor. Visit today for your free, personalized Dr. Weil's Vitamin Advisor Recommendation.

We have known for many years that we need vitamin D - it is actually a hormone - to facilitate calcium absorption and promote bone mineralization. But newer research has shown that we also need it for protection against a number of serious diseases. In recent years, scientists have discovered that it may help to prevent cancer, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disorders, psoriasis and diabetes. Unfortunately, vitamin D deficiency is widespread. It is now estimated that hundreds of thousands of cancer cases worldwide might be prevented each year if we all were getting enough.

We can get vitamin D through foods such as fortified milk and cereals as well as eggs, salmon, tuna and mackerel, but the amounts are not significant. Sun exposure is the best way to get it; ultraviolet rays trigger vitamin D synthesis in the skin. Factors that decrease the body's ability to make vitamin D include dark skin, heredity, obesity and certain medications, including some anti-seizure drugs (check with your pharmacist). Most significantly, sunscreen blocks vitamin D synthesis in the skin, and in northern latitudes (above that of Atlanta, Georgia) the sun is at too low an angle for half the year to provide sufficient UV radiation. Most people need to take vitamin D, especially seniors, as the ability to synthesize vitamin D in the skin declines with age.

Don't be concerned that 2,000 IU will give you too much. With exposure to sunlight in the summer, the body can generate between 10,000 IU and 20,000 IU of vitamin D per hour with no ill effects. In addition, no adverse effects have been seen with supplemental vitamin D intakes up to 10,000 IU daily.

I've increased the vitamin D dose in my multivitamin to reflect this new recommendation. Always take your vitamin D with a fat-containing meal to ensure absorption.

Andrew Weil, M.D.

Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved Creative Commons Copyright Notice
A portion of the original material created by Weil Lifestyle, LLC on DrWeil.com (specifically, all question and answer-type articles in the Dr. Weil Q&A Library) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

The Weil Vitamin Advisor
Get your FREE personalized vitamin recommendation & supplement plan today!

Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging
Your Online Guide to the Anti-Inflammatory Diet. Start eating for your health - begin your free trial now.

Dr. Weil's Spontaneous Happiness
Achieve emotional well-being
in just eight weeks!
Start your 10-day free trial now!

Vitamin Library
Supplement your knowledge with Dr. Weil's essential vitamin facts. Learn why they are necessary and more.

Dr. Weil's Optimum Health Plan
Your 8-week plan to wellness.
Begin your journey today!
 

Dr. Weil's Head-to-Toe
Wellness Guide

Your guide to natural health.
Use the Wellness Guide today!

Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet Food Pyramid
Our interactive tool can help improve overall health through diet.

Condition Care Guide
Learn about health conditions from acne to vertigo, and Dr. Weil's view of the best treatment options for each.

Healthy Recipes
Discover a treasure trove of healthy, healing foods and creative, delicious ways to prepare them.

Q&A Library
Over 2,000 questions from you
and their corresponding answers
from Dr. Weil.

 
Copyright © 2014 Weil Lifestyle, LLC
Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

Ad Choice
Advertising Notice

This Site and third parties who place advertisements on this Site may collect and use information about your visits to this Site and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like to obtain more information about these advertising practices and to make choices about online behavioral advertising, please click here