Monday, June 28, 2010

Vitamin D - What Level is Right?

A listener on KGO radio in San Francisco recently emailed this question in after hearing Todd Whitthorne talk on the Joanie Greggains show.

"I'm really worried that I'm going to overdose on Vitamin D. The bottles still claim that 400 IU Vitamin D is 100 percent of the daily value, but the Cooper expert said that 2,000 IU vitamin D is in all their multivitamins. What's the right amount for me. If I take a multivitamin with 2,000 IU vitamin D AND calcium with vitamin D, am I getting way too much?"

Todd responded with this message:

The only way to truly know how much vitamin D you need to take is to have a blood test called 25-hydroxy-vitamin D. Anything below 20 ng/ml is defined as deficient; anything between 20-30 is insufficient. Approximately 80% of Americans are believed to have D levels below 30 ng/ml.

At Cooper we like to see our patients with a D level of at least 40 ng/ml….. higher is better. I personally want my level to be at least 60 ng/ml. How much you need to take is dependent on what your blood level is. Most experts, including our Cooper Complete scientific advisory team, believe that 2,000 IU/day of vitamin D-3 should be the starting point for everyone. This is why we have 2,000 IU of vitamin D in all of our adult multivitamin formulations.

Our research shows that most Americans (unless you are a lifeguard in San Diego), will need more than 2,000 units/day to get to goal (target). I take 7,000 IU of D per day and my last blood test showed by blood level to be 62 ng/ml. That said, keep in mind that everyone is different so based on diet, sun exposure, time of year, latitude, age, complexion, etc…, all those things will impact vitamin D level.

D controls the uptake of calcium which means we really need to make sure our D level is where it should be so that we can effectively address bone health issues/concerns.

Chewable Calcium - with or without food?

We recently received this question:

"I take Cooper Complete Chewable Calcium. My question is may I take them at any time of the day or night, and do I need to take them with food?"

Our Chewable Calcium is in the carbonate form, so it’s preferable to take the product with your meal. Calcium carbonate is not well absorbed by people with reduced levels of stomach acid, so taking this supplement with meals improves absorption because of the stomach acid generated to digest the food in the meal.