Basic Vitamin D Clinical Guidelines

Reference: Accessed May 1, 2010

Associations have been shown between Vitamin D deficiency and medical conditions such as osteoporosis, heart disease, hypertension, autoimmune diseases, certain cancers, depression, chronic fatigue, and chronic pain.

An association does not mean that these conditions are caused by vitamin D deficiency, or that normalizing vitamin D can reverse them. At this point, all we know is that these illnesses are sometimes coupled with vitamin D deficiency.

For adults who lack sunlight exposure and who are Vitamin D deficient, research indicates a necessity to supplement with at least 5,000 units (IU) of vitamin D daily.

To get this amount from milk one would need to drink 50 glasses. With a multivitamin one would need to take more than 10 tablets a day!

The human skin produces approximately 10,000 IU vitamin D with just 20 minutes of sun exposure, which is 50 times more than the US government’s recommendation of 200 IU per day!

In a nutshell:


  • Recommend patient with chronic pain to get a 25-hydroxyvitamin D test, especially if they are non-white.
  • Less than 50ng/mL is considered low. Ideal blood levels are between 50?80 ng/mL (or 125?200 nM/L) year-round.
  • Regularly receive midday sun exposure for 15 minutes at least twice a week exposing as much of the skin as possible. Black or brown patients may need 5?10 times longer in the sun than white patients!
  • Take 5,000 IU per day for the 3 months of the winter.
    Posted on: May 07, 2010


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