Is 50 ng of vitamin D too high, just right, or not enough

Overview of the controversy

  • A few governments say 10 ng is OK
  • Some governements say 20 ng is OK
  • Some governments say 30 ng is OK
  • Most experts say 40 ng is good
  • Some experts say 50 ng is much better for disease prevention
  • A few people think that > 80 ng is needed to deal with possible vitamin D restrictions due to genes
  • Some experts say 50 ng is too much
  • Some concern that >40 ng may be too much if taking some fixed chemotherapy or not adjust cofactors
  • Some experts feel 50 ng is not enough to TREAT some diseases
  • Consensus: 0 ng is bad and 30 ng is good/ok

Notional Graph of Expert Opinions of levels with Vitamin D MONOTHERAPY
see wikipage: http://www.vitamindwiki.com/tiki-index.php?page_id=1293
Note: Monotherapy just increases vitamin D levels, and rarely adjusts the cofactor intake (Ca, Mg, Vitamin K2, Omega-3, etc)

At VitaminDWiki - need 20 - 49 ng

At VitaminDWiki - 50 - 60 ng

At VitaminDWiki - need > 60 ng

At VitaminDWiki - Optimal/Treatment

At VitaminDWiki - other


Some indications that >40 or >50 ng may sometimes cause some problems



Agreement: 50 ng is NOT TOXIC

U Shaped curve due to long follow-up time, not latitude - by Dr. Grant

The U-shaped relationship comes only from prospective studies with long follow-up times.
In my considered opinion, it is an artifact of the long follow-up time, not high latitude.

References (some of which are in VitaminDWiki)

  • Robien K, Cutler GJ, Lazovich D. Vitamin D intake and breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women: the Iowa Women's Health Study. Cancer Causes Control. 2007 Sep;18(7):775-82.
  • Lim U, Freedman DM, Hollis BW, Horst RL, Purdue MP, Chatterjee N, Weinstein SJ, Morton LM, Schatzkin A, Virtamo J, Linet MS, Hartge P, Albanes D. A prospective investigation of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and risk of lymphoid cancers. Int J Cancer. 2009 Feb 15;124(4):979-86.
  • Grant WB. Effect of interval between serum draw and follow-up period on relative risk of cancer incidence with respect to 25-hydroxyvitamin D level; implications for meta-analyses and setting vitamin D guidelines, Dermato- Endocrinology, 2011 July, Aug Sept.;3(3) epub (lag) http://www.landesbioscience.com/journals/dermatoendocrinology/article/15364/
  • Grant WB. Additional strong evidence that optimal serum 25(OH)D levels are at least 75 nmol/l. Int J Epi 2011 40: 1005-1007.

Do people with Dark Skin have a lower need for vitamin D? - Controversy

Chart of Vitamin D levels vs race - April 2013


See also PubMed

Note: need to also search for: 100 nmol, 125 nmol, 150 nmol, 200 nmol

See also web - vitamin D test "reference range" = 20-100 ng

Increasing # of papers with Optimal or Optimum "Vitamin D" in PubMed title

short URL = http://is.gd/Dlevels

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