BY DR. RICK MORRIS
About 10 years ago, studies began showing a correlation between patients with low Vitamin D blood levels and increased rates of Cancer, Depression, Osteoporosis, etc.
Of course, this motivated doctors to supplement their normal patients with 1,000-5,000 mg of Vitamin D/day and cautioned if blood levels less than 30 ng/ml it required supplementation (this level was previously considered as normal). In fact, doctors preferred the number to be over 50.
Today we know the reason the healthiest people had higher vitamin D levels, was due to them being outside more often than those who were sick. Since Vitamin D is produced by being in the sun, the higher blood levels of Vitamin D only proved that healthier people were outside more than those who were not.
In other words, the illnesses were not CAUSED by a lack of vitamin D, but merely ASSOCIATED with it. In fact, some of the patients that were taking over 5,000 mg of Vitamin D/day developed problems as a result of the supplementation.
In summary, if you're not in the sun much, you may want to take a 1000 mg. supplement of vitamin D/day, especially if you have osteoporosis or osteopenia (thin bones), since Vitamin D helps your body absorb and use calcium and therefore strengthens your bones.
But, supplementing with Vitamin D is probably not necessary for those of us living in Southern California as there is plenty of sun and many of our foods are already supplemented with Vitamin D.
If you have osteoporosis, you should have your hormones, Calcium, Vitamin D and Parathormone tested (evaluates your parathyroid gland which can cause osteoporosis). Most experts now recommend your Vitamin D blood levels shouldn’t be lower than 15 ng/ml. If it’s above that, taking Vitamin D may not be recommended.
If you have a question about osteoporosis, please talk to us.