• The Who, What, Where, When and Sometimes, Why.
  • Vitamin D

  • Cancer. Taking vitamin D doesn't seem to help prevent cancer. It's unclear if taking vitamin D benefits people already diagnosed with cancer. Some research shows it might help people with cancer live longer. But conflicting results exist. More research is needed to determine which, if any, people with cancer are most likely to benefit from vitamin D.
  • Heart disease. Early research suggests that people with low levels of vitamin D in their blood are more likely to develop heart disease, including heart failure, than people with higher vitamin D levels. However, taking vitamin D does not seem to extend the life of people with heart disease.
  • Fractures. Vitamin D doesn't seem to prevent fractures in older people when used alone or in low doses with calcium. Vitamin D also doesn't seem to prevent fractures in older people who still live in the community when used in higher doses with calcium. But it might help prevent fractures in older people living in a nursing home.
  • High blood pressure. Early research suggests that people with low blood levels of vitamin D have a higher risk of developing high blood pressure than people with normal blood levels of vitamin D. However, most research suggests that taking vitamin D does not reduce blood pressure in people with high blood pressure.
  • Bone loss in people with kidney transplants. Taking vitamin D in a form known as calcitriol by mouth along with calcium does not decrease bone loss in people with kidney transplants.
  • Insufficient Evidence to Rate Effectiveness for...

  • Alzheimer disease. Early research suggests that people with Alzheimer disease have lower blood levels of vitamin D than patients without Alzheimer disease. It's not clear if taking vitamin D benefits people with Alzheimer disease.
  • Asthma. People with asthma and low blood levels of vitamin D seem to need to use an inhaler more often and have a higher risk of asthma complications. However, the role of vitamin D supplements in treating asthma is unclear. Best evidence to date shows that taking vitamin D by mouth for up to one year can reduce the rate of severe asthma attacks by about 31% to 36% in adults and children with asthma. But it's still too soon to know which, if any, people with asthma are most likely to respond to treatment with vitamin D. There is also some evidence that taking vitamin D during pregnancy can reduce the risk of a child developing asthma or wheeze. But other research shows that high vitamin D levels during pregnancy may increase the risk of asthma in the child. It is too soon to know what vitamin D level or dose is best during pregnancy.
  • Athletic performance. Vitamin D does not seem to improve exercise performance in athletes. But studies have been small and short-term, so more research is needed to confirm.
  • Eczema (atopic dermatitis). Early research shows that taking vitamin D supplements during pregnancy does not reduce the risk of a child developing eczema during the first 3 years of life.
  • Irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation). Early research found a link between taking vitamin D and reduced incidence of irregular heartbeat in women after menopause.
  • Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Early research shows that taking vitamin D in addition to standard treatment might improve evening symptoms of ADHD, but vitamin D does not seem to affect morning symptoms, hyperactivity, and trouble paying attention in children with ADHD.
  • Autism. Vitamin D seems to improve symptoms such as irritability and hyperactivity in children with autism.
  • Overgrowth of bacteria in the vagina . Early research suggests that taking vitamin D does not prevent bacterial vaginosis in women at high risk for sexually transmitted disease when taken along with standard therapy.
  • Breast cancer. Evidence on the effects of vitamin D on breast cancer risk is not clear. Some evidence suggests that taking vitamin D supplements might reduce the risk of breast cancer in women who are not yet in menopause but not in women who are already in menopause. However, it is possible that higher doses of vitamin D might provide benefit, More research is needed to understand whether vitamin D is helpful for preventing breast cancer.
  • Long-term kidney disease (chronic kidney disease or CKD). Research suggests that vitamin D decreases parathyroid hormone levels in people with chronic kidney disease. However, taking vitamin D does not appear to lower the risk of death or heart problems in people with kidney disease. Also taking vitamin D might increase calcium and phosphate levels in people with kidney disease.
  • A lung disease that makes it harder to breathe (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD). People with COPD seem to have lower vitamin D levels  that people without COPD. Taking a vitamin D supplement does not seem to decrease symptoms of COPD.
  • Memory and thinking skills (cognitive function). Early research shows low vitamin D levels are linked to worse mental performance compared to high vitamin D levels. However, it's not clear if taking vitamin D can improve mental function.
  • Colon cancer, rectal cancer. While conflicting evidence exist, most research shows that taking vitamin D doesn't help prevent colorectal cancer. It's unclear if vitamin D benefits people already diagnosed with colorectal cancer. Some research shows that taking vitamin D doesn't improve survival or prevent relapse in people with colorectal cancer. But other research shows that taking high doses of vitamin D daily might make people with advanced colorectal cancer less likely to experience disease progression or death. More research is needed to confirm.
  • Critical illness (trauma). Early research shows that giving vitamin D to people who are hospitalized in an intensive care unit with a critical illness might improve survival. The benefit of vitamin D might be limited to those people with very low vitamin D levels. More research is needed.
  • Diseases, such as Alzheimer disease, that interfere with thinking (dementia). Early research suggests that people with dementia have lower blood levels of vitamin D than people without dementia. However, it's not known if taking vitamin D benefits people with dementia.
  • Depression. Early research shows that taking vitamin D does not improve the symptoms of depression for most people. However, people with low vitamin D levels or very severe symptoms of depression may benefit from taking vitamin D.
  • Diabetes. Some research shows that people with lower vitamin D levels may be more likely to develop type 2 diabetes compared to people with higher vitamin D levels. However, evidence is unclear if taking vitamin D supplements can treat or prevent type 2 diabetes. Early research suggests that giving vitamin D supplements to infants daily during the first year of life is linked to a lower risk of developing type 1 diabetes later in life.
  • Menstrual cramps (dysmenorrhea). High dose vitamin D might reduce pain in adolescents with menstrual cramps.
  • Fall prevention. The role of vitamin D for fall prevention is confusing and controversial. Clinical practice guidelines published in 2010 recommend that elderly people who have low levels of vitamin D or who are at an increased risk of falling take 800 IU of vitamin D per day to reduce the risk of falling. These recommendations are supported by both population research and some clinical studies. People who do not have enough vitamin D tend to fall more often than people who do. Some research shows that taking vitamin D reduces the risk of falling and the rates of falls in elderly people. It's not known if vitamin D works better when taken alone or with calcium. There is also some speculation that vitamin D only reduces falls in people who are vitamin D deficient. Despite these positive findings, some research shows that vitamin D doesn't prevent falls in elderly people. The best evidence to date shows that vitamin D does not reduce the risk of falling in elderly people. Current clinical practice guidelines do not recommend vitamin D for fall prevention in older adults who live at home and do not have osteoporosis or low vitamin D levels. There is some belief that the conflicting results regarding the effects of vitamin D on fall prevention result from the way in which clinical trial data is reported. Also, the size of the clinical trial may affect the results. It is possible that some patients may still benefit from vitamin D supplementation for reducing fall risk. But who exactly might benefit and what dose or duration of treatment is optimal, if any, remains unclear. For those who are at risk for vitamin D deficiency, a vitamin D supplement should still be considered.
  • Fibromyalgia. Early research suggests that taking vitamin D might decrease pain in people with fibromyalgia and low vitamin D levels in the blood. But taking vitamin D does not seem to help mood or quality of life .
  • Swelling (inflammation) of the liver caused by the hepatitis C virus (hepatitis C). Early research suggests that adding vitamin D to regular treatment for hepatitis C helps to eliminate the hepatitis C virus.
  • High levels of cholesterol or other fats (lipids) in the blood (hyperlipidemia). People with lower vitamin D levels seem to be more likely to have high cholesterol than people with higher vitamin D levels. Limited research shows that taking calcium plus vitamin D daily, in combination with a low-calorie diet, significantly raises "good"(HDL) cholesterol and lowers "bad"(LDL) cholesterol in overweight women. However, taking calcium plus vitamin D without dietary restrictions does not reduce LDL cholesterol levels. Other research suggests that vitamin D might actually increase LDL and have no beneficial effect on HDL, triglycerides, or total cholesterol.
  • Infant development. Early research shows that taking vitamin D while pregnant does not seem to increase infant  growth.
  • Long-term swelling (inflammation) in the digestive tract (inflammatory bowel disease or IBD). Vitamin D seems to reduce the chance of relapse in people with IBD
  • Infants born weighing less than 2500 grams (5 pounds, 8 ounces). The effect of taking vitamin D during pregnancy on the risk of low birth weight or small gestational age birth is inconsistent. Additional studies are needed to determine who might benefit, if any, and what dose or formulation of vitamin D is optimal to prevent low weight at birth.
  • A grouping of symptoms that increase the risk of
  • diabetes, heart disease, and stroke (metabolic syndrome). There is conflicting evidence about the link between vitamin D and metabolic syndrome. Some research found that higher vitamin D levels are linked to a lower risk of metabolic syndrome. While other research has found that women 45 years and older who consume high amounts of vitamin D or take vitamin D supplements do not have a lower risk of developing metabolic syndrome. Adults with metabolic syndrome taking vitamin D supplements also do not seem to experience an improvement in metabolic measures.
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS). Early research shows that taking vitamin D long-term can reduce the risk of developing MS in women by up to 40%. Taking at least 400 IU daily, the amount typically found in a multivitamin supplement, seems to work the best. However, vitamin D does not seem to reduce the risk of relapses in people that already have MS.
  • Muscle strength. Taking vitamin D by mouth does not appear to improve muscle strength in people with sufficient blood levels of vitamin D. However, taking vitamin D by mouth, alone or in combination with calcium, may improve hip and leg muscle strength in people who have low levels of vitamin D, especially the elderly. Single injections of vitamin D do not seem to have beneficial effects.
  • A group of cancers in which the body can't make enough healthy blood cells (myelodysplastic syndromes). Taking vitamin D in forms known as calcitriol or calcifediol by mouth seems to help people with myelodysplastic syndrome.
  • Obesity. Early research shows that people with lower vitamin D levels are more likely to be obese than those with higher levels. Women taking calcium plus vitamin D are more likely to lose weight and maintain their weight. But this benefit is mainly in women who did not consume enough calcium before they started taking supplements. Other research shows that taking vitamin D helps with weight loss only when blood levels are increased in postmenopausal overweight or obese women. When vitamin D is taken by people who are overweight and normal weight, it does not seem to help with weight loss or fat loss.
  • Osteoarthritis. Research about the effects of vitamin D on osteoarthritis is conflicting. It is possible that higher doses of vitamin D have reduce pain in osteoarthritis, while lower doses do not.
  • Ear infection (otitis media). The effect of vitamin D status on ear infections is unclear. Early research found that ear infections seem to be linked to lower levels of vitamin D in the blood. However, lower vitamin D levels are not linked to a higher risk of ear infections.
  • Death from any cause. Early research suggests that having low vitamin D levels is linked with an increased risk of death from any cause. Some research suggests that people who take vitamin D supplements daily have a lower risk of dying. However, other research suggests that vitamin D reduces the risk of death only when taking together with calcium.
  • Pain. Early research shows that taking vitamin D might reduce pain in people with long-term pain. More research is needed to confirm these results.
  • Parkinson disease. Higher levels of vitamin D have been linked to milder symptoms of Parkinson disease. But taking vitamin D supplements doesn't seem to improve Parkinson disease symptoms, although it might help prevent the disease from worsening. More studies are needed.
  • A serious gum infection (periodontitis). Early research shows that higher blood levels of vitamin D are linked with a reduced risk of gum disease in people 50 years of age or older. However, this does not seem to be true for adults younger than 50 years. It is not known if taking vitamin D supplements reduces the risk of gum disease.
  • A hormonal disorder that causes enlarged ovaries with cysts (polycystic ovary syndrome or PCOS). Early research shows that taking vitamin D might improve ovulation in women with PCOS. Vitamin D taken together with metformin might make menstrual cycles more regular, but not when vitamin D is taken by itself.
  • A pregnancy complication marked by high blood pressure and protein in the urine (pre-eclampsia). Taking vitamin D doesn't seem to prevent pre-eclampsia.
  • High blood pressure during pregnancy. Taking vitamin D doesn't seem to high blood pressure during pregnancy.
  • Premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Some early research suggests that consuming more vitamin D from the diet might help to prevent PMS or reduce symptoms. Taking vitamin D supplements does not seem to prevent PMS. However, taking vitamin D plus calcium might reduce PMS symptoms.
  • Preterm birth. Low levels of vitamin D in pregnant women have been linked with an increased risk of preterm birth. But it's unclear if taking vitamin D supplements can prevent preterm birth. Evidence from research is conflicting.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Early research suggests that older women who consume more vitamin D from foods or supplements have a lower risk of developing RA. However taking vitamin D does not seem to improve pain or RA flares.
  • Seasonal depression (seasonal affective disorder or SAD). Early research suggests that taking a large dose of vitamin D2 improves symptoms of seasonal depression.
  • Non-cancerous wart-like growths on the skin (seborrheic keratosis). Early research suggests that applying vitamin D3 to the skin might reduce tumor size in some people with seborrheic keratosis.
  • Sickle cell disease. Taking high dose vitamin D seems to reduce pain and improve quality of life in children with sickle cell disease.
  • Muscle pain caused by statin drugs (statin-induced myalgia). Some reports suggest that taking vitamin D supplements can decrease symptoms of muscle pain in people taking statin drugs. But higher quality research is needed to confirm these results.
  • Stroke. People with low levels of vitamin D in their blood appear to be more likely to develop stroke than people with higher vitamin D levels. Some research has also found that eating a diet high in vitamin D is linked with a lower risk of stroke. But taking vitamin D supplements does not seem to reduce the risk of stroke.
  • An autoimmune disease that causes widespread swelling (systemic lupus erythematosus or SLE). Taking vitamin D might decrease disease activity in people with SLE.
  • Tuberculosis. Taking vitamin D by mouth does not appear to help cure tuberculosis infections in most people with tuberculosis. However some research shows that taking vitamin D can increase the cure rate in people getting tuberculosis treatment for the first time.
  • Thinning of vaginal tissue (vaginal atrophy). Early research shows that taking vitamin D supplements for a least one year improves the surface of the vaginal wall. However, it does not seem to improve symptoms of vaginal atrophy.
  • Warts. Reports suggest that applying maxacalcitol, which comes from vitamin D3, to the skin, can reduce viral warts in people with weakened immune systems.
  • Swelling (inflammation) of the main airways in the lung (bronchitis).
  • Other conditions.
  • More evidence is needed to rate vitamin D for these uses.

Vitamin D is required for the regulation of the minerals calcium and phosphorus found in the body. It also plays an important role in maintaining proper bone structure.

Sun exposure is an easy, reliable way for most people to get vitamin D. Exposure of the hands, face, arms, and legs to sunlight two to three times a week for about one-fourth of the time it would take to develop a mild sunburn will cause the skin to produce enough vitamin D. The necessary exposure time varies with age, skin type, season, time of day, etc.

It’s amazing how quickly adequate levels of vitamin D can be restored by sunlight. Just 6 days of casual sunlight exposure without sunscreen can make up for 49 days of no sunlight exposure. Body fat acts like a kind of storage battery for vitamin D. During periods of sunlight, vitamin D is stored in fatty fat and then released when sunlight is gone.

Nevertheless, vitamin D deficiency is more common than you might expect. People who don’t get enough sun, especially people living in Canada and the northern half of the US, are especially at risk. Vitamin D deficiency also occurs even in sunny climates, possibly because people are staying indoors more, covering up when outside, or using sunscreens consistently these days to reduce skin cancer risk.

Older people are also at risk for vitamin D deficiency. They are less likely to spend time in the sun, have fewer “receptors” in their skin that convert sunlight to vitamin D, may not get vitamin D in their diet, may have trouble absorbing vitamin D even if they do get it in their diet, and may have more trouble converting dietary vitamin D to a useful form due to aging kidneys. In fact, the risk for vitamin D deficiency in people over 65 years of age is very high. Surprisingly, as many as 40% of older people even in sunny climates such as South Florida don’t have enough vitamin D in their systems.

Vitamin D supplements may be necessary for older people, people living in northern latitudes, and for dark-skinned people who need extra time in the sun, but don’t get it.

When taken by mouth: Vitamin D is LIKELY SAFE when taken by mouth in recommended amounts. Most people do not commonly experience side effects with vitamin D, unless too much is taken. Some side effects of taking too much vitamin D include weakness, fatigue, sleepiness, headache, loss of appetite, dry mouth, metallic taste, nausea, vomiting, and others.

Taking vitamin D for long periods of time in doses higher than 4000 units daily is POSSIBLY UNSAFE and may cause excessively high levels of calcium in the blood. However, much higher doses are often needed for the short-term treatment of vitamin D deficiency. This type of treatment should be done under the supervision of a healthcare provider.

When given as a shot: Vitamin D is LIKELY SAFE when given as a shot into the muscle in recommended amounts. Most people do not commonly experience side effects with vitamin D, unless too much is taken. Some side effects of taking too much vitamin D include weakness, fatigue, sleepiness, headache, loss of appetite, dry mouth, metallic taste, nausea, vomiting, and others.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Vitamin D is LIKELY SAFE during pregnancy and breast-feeding when used in daily amounts below 4000 units. Do not use higher doses unless instructed by your healthcare provider. Vitamin D is POSSIBLY UNSAFE when used in higher amounts during pregnancy or while breast-feeding. Using higher doses might cause serious harm to the infant.

Children: Vitamin D is LIKELY SAFE in children when taken by mouth in recommended amounts. But it is POSSIBLY UNSAFE to take vitamin D in higher doses, long-term. Infants from 0-6 months should not take more than 1000 IU daily. Infants aged 6-12 months should not take more than 1500 IU daily. Children aged 1-3 years should not take more than 2500 IU daily. Children aged 4-8 years should not take more than 3000 IU daily. Children aged 9 years and older should not take more than 4000 IU daily.

Hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis): Taking vitamin D could make this condition worse, especially in people with kidney disease.

A type of fungal infection called histoplasmosis: Vitamin D may increase calcium levels in people with histoplasmosis. This could lead to kidney stones and other problems. Use vitamin D cautiously.

High levels of calcium in the blood: Taking vitamin D could make this condition worse.

Over-active parathyroid gland (hyperparathyroidism): Vitamin D may increase calcium levels in people with hyperparathyroidism. Use vitamin D cautiously.

Lymphoma: Vitamin D may increase calcium levels in people with lymphoma. This could lead to kidney stones and other problems. Use vitamin D cautiously.

Kidney disease: Vitamin D may increase calcium levels and increase the risk of "hardening of the arteries" in people with serious kidney disease. This must be balanced with the need to prevent renal osteodystrophy, a bone disease that occurs when the kidneys fail to maintain the proper levels of calcium and phosphorus in the blood. Calcium levels should be monitored carefully in people with kidney disease.

A disease that causes swelling (inflammation) in body organs, usually the lungs or lymph nodes (sarcoidosis): Vitamin D may increase calcium levels in people with sarcoidosis. This could lead to kidney stones and other problems. Use vitamin D cautiously.

Tuberculosis: Vitamin D might increase calcium levels in people with tuberculosis. This might result in complications such as kidney stones.

Aluminum

Interaction Rating = Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Talk to your health provider.

Aluminum is found in most antacids. Vitamin D can increase how much aluminum the body absorbs. This interaction might be a problem for people with kidney disease. Take vitamin D two hours before, or four hours after antacids.

Atorvastatin (Lipitor)

Interaction Rating = Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Talk to your health provider.

Vitamin D might decrease the amount of atorvastatin (Lipitor) that enters the body. This might decrease how well atorvastatin (Lipitor) works.

Calcipotriene (Dovonex)

Interaction Rating = Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Talk to your health provider.

Calcipotriene is a drug that is similar to vitamin D. Taking vitamin D along with calcipotriene (Dovonex) might increase the effects and side effects of calcipotriene (Dovonex). Avoid taking vitamin D supplements if you are taking calcipotriene (Dovonex).

Cimetidine (Tagamet)

Interaction Rating = Minor Be watchful with this combination.

Talk to your health provider.

The body changes vitamin D into a form that it can use. Cimetidine (Tagamet) might decrease how well the body changes vitamin D. This might decrease how well vitamin D works. However, this interaction probably isn't important for most people.

Digoxin (Lanoxin)

Interaction Rating = Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Talk to your health provider.

Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium. Calcium can affect the heart. Digoxin (Lanoxin) is used to help your heart beat stronger. Taking vitamin D along with digoxin (Lanoxin) might increase the effects of digoxin (Lanoxin) and lead to an irregular heartbeat. If you are taking digoxin (Lanoxin), talk to your doctor before taking vitamin D supplements.

Diltiazem (Cardizem, others)

Interaction Rating = Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Talk to your health provider.

Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium. Calcium can affect your heart. Diltiazem (Cardizem, others) can also affect your heart. Taking large amounts of vitamin D along with diltiazem (Cardizem, others) might decrease the effectiveness of diltiazem.

Heparin

Interaction Rating = Minor Be watchful with this combination.

Talk to your health provider.

Heparin slows blood clotting and can increase the risk of breaking a bone when used for a long period of time. People taking these medications should eat a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D.

Low molecular weight heparins (LMWHs)

Interaction Rating = Minor Be watchful with this combination.

Talk to your health provider.

Some medications called low molecular weight heparins can increase the risk of breaking a bone when used for a long periods of time. People taking these medications should eat a diet rich in calcium and vitamin D.

These drugs include enoxaparin (Lovenox ) or dalteparin (Fragmin ).

Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) substrates)

Interaction Rating = Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Talk to your health provider.

Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver. Vitamin D may increase how quickly the liver breaks down some medications. Taking vitamin D along with some medications may decrease the effectiveness of some medications. Before taking vitamin D, talk to your health care provider if you are taking any medications that are changed by the liver.

Some of these medications changed by the liver include lovastatin (Mevacor), clarithromycin (Biaxin), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), diltiazem (Cardizem), estrogens, triazolam (Halcion), and others.

Verapamil (Calan, others)

Interaction Rating = Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Talk to your health provider.

Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium. Calcium can affect the heart. Verapamil (Calan, others) can also affect the heart. Do not take large amounts of vitamin D if you are taking verapamil (Calan, others).

Water pills (Thiazide diuretics)

Interaction Rating = Moderate Be cautious with this combination.

Talk to your health provider.

Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium. Some "water pills" increase the amount of calcium in the body. Taking large amounts of vitamin D along with some "water pills" might cause to be too much calcium in the body. This could cause serious side effects including kidney problems.

Some of these "water pills" include chlorothiazide (Diuril), hydrochlorothiazide (HydroDIURIL, Esidrix), indapamide (Lozol), metolazone (Zaroxolyn), and chlorthalidone (Hygroton).

Magnesium

Taking vitamin D can raise the level of magnesium in people who have low magnesium and low vitamin D levels. In people with normal magnesium levels, this doesn't seem to happen.

Food

Taking vitamin D along with food increases absorption of vitamin D. But this is not a big concern. Vitamin D can be taken with or without food.

The following doses have been studied in scientific research:

BY MOUTH:

  • For preventing osteoporosis and fractures: 400-1000 IU per day has been used for older adults. Some experts recommended higher doses of 1000-2000 IU daily.
  • For preventing falls: 800-1000 IU/day has been used in combination with calcium 1000-1200 mg/day.
  • For preventing multiple sclerosis (MS): long-term consumption of at least 400 IU per day, mainly in the form of a multivitamin supplement, has been used.
  • For preventing all cancer types: calcium 1400-1500 mg/day plus vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) 1100 IU/day in postmenopausal women has been used.
  • For muscle pain caused by medications called "statins": vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) or vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) 50,000 units once a week or 400 IU daily.
  • For preventing the flu: vitamin D (cholecalciferol) 1200 IU daily.

Most vitamin supplements contain only 400 IU (10 mcg) vitamin D.

The Institute of Medicine publishes recommended daily allowance (RDA), which is an estimate of the amount of vitamin D that meets the needs of most people in the population. The current RDA was set in 2010. The RDA varies based on age as follows: 1-70 years of age, 600 IU daily; 71 years and older, 800 IU daily; pregnant and lactating women, 600 IU daily. For infants ages 0-12 months, an adequate intake (AI) level of 400 IU is recommended.

Some organizations are recommending higher amounts. In 2008, the American Academy of Pediatrics increased the recommended minimum daily intake of vitamin D to 400 IU daily for all infants and children, including adolescents. Parents should not use vitamin D liquids dosed as 400 IU/drop. Giving one dropperful or mL by mistake can deliver 10,000 IU/day. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will force companies to provide no more than 400 IU per dropperful in the future.

The National Osteoporosis Foundation recommends vitamin D 400 IU to 800 IU daily for adults under age 50, and 800 IU to 1000 IU daily for older adults.

The North American Menopause Society recommends 700 IU to 800 IU daily for women at risk of deficiency due to low sun (e.g., homebound, northern latitude) exposure.

Guidelines from the Osteoporosis Society of Canada recommend vitamin D 400 IU per day for people up to age 50, and 800 IU per day for people over 50. Osteoporosis Canada now recommends 400-1000 IU daily for adults under the age of 50 years and 800-2000 IU daily for adults over the age of 50 years.

The Canadian Cancer Society recommends 1000 IU/day during the fall and winter for adults in Canada. For those with a higher risk of having low vitamin D levels, this dose should be taken year round. This includes people who have dark skin, usually wear clothing that covers most of their skin, and people who are older or who don't go outside often.

Many experts now recommend using vitamin D supplements containing cholecalciferol in order to meet these intake levels. This seems to be more potent than another form of vitamin D called ergocalciferol.

Alfacalcidol: 1-alpha-hydroxycholecalciferol, 1-alpha-hydroxycholécalciférol, 1 alpha (OH)D3. Calcifediol: 25-HCC, 25-hydroxycholecalciferol, 25-hydroxycholécalciferol , 25-hydroxyvitamin D3, 25-hydroxyvitamine D3, 25-OHCC, 25-OHD3, Calcifédiol.
Calcipotriene : Calcipotriène, Calcipotriol.
Calcitriol: 1,25-DHCC, 1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol, 1,25-dihydroxycholécalciférol, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamine D3, 1,25-diOHC, 1,25(0H)2D3.
Cholecalciferol: 7-déhydrocholestérol Activé, Activated 7-dehydrocholesterol, Cholécalciférol, Colecalciferol, Colécalciférol, Vitamin D3.
Dihydrotachysterol: DHT, Dihydrotachystérol, dihydrotachysterol 2, dichysterol, Vitamine D3. Ergocalciferol: Activated Ergosterol, Calciferol, Ergocalciférol, Ergocalciferolum, Ergostérol Activé, Ergostérol Irradié, Irradiated Ergosterol, Viosterol, Viostérol, Vitamin D2, Vitamine D2.
Paricalcitol: 19-nor-1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D2, 19-nor-1,25-dihydroxyvitamine D2, Paracalcin. Fat-Soluble Vitamin, Vitamina D, Vitamine D, Vitamine Liposoluble, Vitamine Soluble dans les Graisses.

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