My wife is a registered nurse and she is always sharing new medical information with me. She got home from work last week and was telling me that she was talking to an anti aging doctor who was 60 years old and looked like she was in her 30s (and did not look like she had any plastic surgery) and that this doctor was sharing with her how diet and supplementation with vitamins and hormones can slow the aging process.
Well, according to this doctor from the Bay Area, CA, Vitamin D is one of the most important if not the most important vitamin in slowing down aging. Furthermore, this same doctor recommended that she should take 10,000 IU of vitamin D daily.
We were a little skeptical and decided to do some research because as far as we knew the recommended dose by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) is 600 IU/daily for adults. So here is what I found on how much vitamin d should a man take and why it is so important:
Why You Should Care about Vitamin D
Vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency is a global public-health problem affecting about 1 billion people worldwide.
According to many different researches we found, vitamin D helps to: decrease dental cavities in children, prevent and treat MS (multiple sclerosis), cancer and skeletal disease, reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, and decrease inflammation among many other things. Its also needed for the absorption of calcium.
Vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increased prevalence of cardiovascular disease. Other studies have shown an association between vitamin D deficiency and an increased risk of upper and lower respiratory tract infections. Vitamin D deficiency has also been associated with an 8%-14% increase in depression.
So a deficiency in Vitamin D can affect your physical performance, mood and bone health.
More Good News:
Another brand new preliminary study presented this month at the European Congress on Obesity showed an association between weight loss and vitamin D. A study done in Italy with 400 overweight and obese people with vitamin D deficiency was done. In the study those individuals were put on a low-calorie diet and then separated into three groups. One group took no vitamin D supplements, another group took 25,000 IU/month and the third group took 100,000 IU/month.
After six months the results were: the ones taking 25,000 units lost an average of 3.8kg, the ones taking 100,000 IU lost an average of 5.4kg and the ones who did not take any vitamin D lost about 1.2kg.
As mentioned above the study is still preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
How to Know if You Are Vitamin D Deficient:
The only way to find out is with the blood test 25-hydroxyvitamin D or 25(OH)D.
Some of the Reasons You Could be Deficient:
Lack of sun exposure, age, obesity and malabsorption such as in people with Chrones’ Disease.
Natural Vitamin D Source Examples:
Cod liver oil (which probably has one of the highest level of Vit D in food, about 400 to 1,000 IU/tsp), salmon, sardines, mackerel, tuna, shiitake mushrooms, egg yolk, fortified milk or yogurt,fortified orange juice and finally natural sunlight.
If you are deficient in Vit D already eating those foods will not be enough, unless you combine it with sunlight exposure, and yes you will need to take supplements and here is where the debate lies.
How Much to Take/The Dosage Debate
There are two sets of guidelines; one is written by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the other by the task force for the Endocrine Society. According to the IOM the recommended upper limit of Vitamin D, for those with a deficiency in the age of 19 or over, is 4,000 IU/day versus 10,000 IU/day recommended by the Endocrine Society.
A recent study published in March, 2015 in Nutrients, stated that the Institute of Medicine (IOM) had made a serious calculation error in its dietary reference intakes for calcium and vitamin D. The study came out recently and is just now getting around to the public. Here is what the final word was:
“Thus, we confirm the findings of these investigators with regard to the published RDA for vitamin and we call for the IOM and all public health authorities concerned with transmitting accurate nutritional information to the public to designate, as the RDA, a value of approximately 7000 IU per day from all sources.” (1)
What I Think You Should Do:
First off, even though Vit D seems to be the cure for all, not everyone has Vit D deficiency. So talk to your doctor and see if he thinks you need to take a test. You should never take any medicine or even vitamin without talking to your doctor so what I am going to do and think we all should do is take this information to a doctor and ask if I need a test and if it turns out I do and I am deficient I am going to show this study with the corrected dose to my doctor and make sure he is aware of this.
Advise from my nurse/wife: nurses and doctors don’t know everything so make sure to ask questions and always advocate for yourself!
1 Veugelers, P.J.; Ekwaru, J.P. A Statistical Error in the Estimation of the Recommended Dietary Allowance for Vitamin D. Nutrients 2014, 6, 4472–4475.
2 Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D; The National Academic Press: Washington, DC, USA, 2011.
3 Christopher Ochner, M.D., nutrition, weight loss and obesity expert, The Mount Sinai Hospital, New York City; Toni Marinucci, MS, RDN, registered dietitian nutritionist, Staten Island University Hospital, New York City; European Congress on Obesity, news release, May 7, 2015