Vitamin D is often called the “sunshine” vitamin and is essential for keeping bones strong and healthy. Now it appears that doses closer to 1,000 IU a day may be needed to ease bone loss in postmenopausal women according to a new study out of the UK. In fact, bone loss over a 12 month period dropped significantly in women who got a daily dose of vitamin D in the 1,000 IU range, but there were no such improvements at the 400 IU dose, or for those taking placebos each day.
The latest recommended daily amount for vitamin D is 600 IUs for those 1-70 years old, as well as women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. The daily recommendation goes to 800 IUs per day for those over 71 years old. A safe blood level of vitamin D is 20 nanograms per milliliter (abbreviated nmol/L), which is typically achieved through daily exposure to the sun. A blood level over 50 nanograms per milliliter may bring unpleasant side effects.
The most natural way to get vitamin D is to simply expose your bare skin to sunlight for about half the time it would take you to burn without sunscreen. If you can’t (or choose not to) do this, you can use supplements as this nutrient isn’t a natural part of many foods – it’s pretty much impossible to get the amount your body needs just from what you eat. Supplements are a smart choice and they come in many forms; soft gels, capsules, tablets and even liquid in strengths from 50-100 international units (IU for short).
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Bone Health, Increase Your Level Of Vitamin D Continued…
The research on vitamin D levels was led by a team from Scotland’s University
of Aberdeen, and appears to support the Institute of Medicine’s choice to up
the recommended daily allowance for vitamin D from 400 IUs to 600 IUs for those
from one to 70 years old. But, the new work appears to agree with a 2007 editorial
by some respected researchers in the area that contends the best level of vitamin
D in the blood was at least 75 (nanograms per milliliter) nmol/L. To get levels
from 50 to 80 nmol/L, the daily dose of vitamin D is in the 1,700 IUs per day
The UK researchers recruited just over 300 postmenopausal white women who were from 60 to 70 years old to participate in their double blind placebo controlled study. The subjects were randomly assigned to get daily vitamin D supplements at either a dose of 400 IU or 1,000 IU or be given a placebo for one year. Data from the 265 subjects who finished the study showed that over the year the concentrations of vitamin D in the blood increased by an average of 31.6 nmol/L for the 400 IU group, 42.6 nmol/L for the 1,000 IU group. The placebo group had vitamin D levels drop to 4.1 nmol/L.
What’s more the loss of bone mineral density at the hip was tiny for the 1,000 IU taking group but for the others at the lower dose or placebo the losses were larger. There were no big changes in bone metabolism observed as part of the research.
The work appears in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research.
To your good health,