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October 20, 2009


Steve Parker, M.D.

Thanks for the comprehensive summary!

A study just in the last month linked low levels of vitamin D with falls in the elderly. Trust me, you don't want to be falling frequently when you're 75.


Evelyn Tribole MS RD

Excellent synopsis and resources for vitamin D! Thank you.

--Evelyn Tribole, MS, RD


As the others said, great post and resource. I found some "gummy" vitamin Ds for the girls, but they are only 400 IU. My girls like to swallow little pills--we used to have fish oil for them in pill form-- do you think I should get them 1,000 IU Vit Ds that they have to swallow? I think they can handle it. My 2,000 IU Vit Ds are very little. Hrm.

Again, thank you!

Hank Roberts

> the sun. It's too high in the sky &
> the angle is too oblique.

Too _low_ in the sky, during the months with short daylight.

Thanks for this heads-up. I'd started supplementing but nowhere near this amount.

Can you comment on whether there really are two different forms of Vitamin D available in supplements? There are some confusing claims (which I can probably find if this isn't familiar)

The Healthy Librarian

To JK:

Just to be clear: Those higher recommended levels for kids are Holick's recommendations. The new ones from the Institute of Medicine won't be out until 2010--maybe in the Spring. Be sure to read the American Academy of Pediatrics' recommendations, too.

That said--the 1000 is a total of everything kids get from their diet--like from supplemented foods & a multiple vitamin, and consider if you live somewhere in the lower latitudes & the kids get out in the sunshine--plus the vitamin D supplement. That's terrific that you found gummy vitamin D's.

D from the sunshine is the best--it can be stored, and you can never get too much.
Not sure this very helpful.

The Healthy Librarian

Thanks for the correction, Hank. In the winter--in the Northern hemisphere the sun's rays hit the earth at an oblique angle & is less concentrated, even at mid-day.
Also, not as concentrated in the Spring & Summer in the morning, and later afternoon hours.

If you mean by the two different types of D--D2 & D3--the claim had been that D3 was more beneficial, more absorbable than D2--but, it's recently proved to be incorrect.

Recent research by Dr. Holick showed that D2, was in fact as good as D3. Here's the link:

But as with everything, I see that there continues to be controversy.

As for me--I still take D3. It's available, it's cheap, why not?

Chris G.

I hope some one will tell Dr. Michael Holick that his three classes of milk a day is not the optimal approach for long term health, given the ill effects of dairy.

Regardless, great post!

The Healthy Librarian

Hi Chris. I've had other off-blog replies that said the same thing! Don't know why a 60-something guy is still drinking milk--but, I'll overlook it because he's been a tireless leader/advocate in Vitamin D research back when people were ignoring its importance.


I recently started supplementing my Vitamin D (and encouraging my family to do so) but I still have a few questions about supplementation- namely, absorption. What do we know about absorption of D from supplements? As I understand, many other vitamins (esp. water soluble) are excreted from the body very quickly. And some vitamins need to be taken with fats, or need to be taken in conjunction with other vitamins. What do we know about the optimal conditions of the absorption of Vitamin D?

Christel B

I am so grateful to my new doctor for having discovered my Vitmain D deficiency. As a child growing up in Europe and Africa (I know, how could this happen in sunny Africa!), I used to suffer from tetany and severe muscle and joint pains. Doctors always said that my body did not absorb calcium althouhgt I ate plenty of dairy products. So they would put me on intense calcium and magnesium regimens every 6 months or so, and that would help for a while.
When I had my daughter 4 years ago,I suffered from preeclampsia and actually had a mini-stroke and full blown eclampsia a couple days after the delivery. It was horrible. But I am very grateful to have fully recovered and have a wonderful healthy 4 yr old. My blood pressure finally went back to normal 2 years after her birth. The excrutiating muscle and joint pains that I have experienced on and off my whole life had gotten much worse earlier this year. I was tested for lupus, fybromyalgia, osteoporosis etc... all came up normal. There were signs of major inflamation in my body because of extremly high and abnormal enzyme levels, but they couldn't figure out what caused it. So I was prescribeld medicne for the pain and inflamtion. Until one doctor decided to check my Vitamin D levels which were 13ng/ml. Severly deficient. Nobody had ever thought of that. Neither did I.
We stopped all other medications and I got on the 50,000iu once a week. I have never felt so good in my body. Within 3 weeks the pain and fatigue was gone. I have even started losing a little weight because I'm not as hungry anymore and I'm able to eat smaller portions and not crave sweets as much. After 3 months, I was tested again, my levels had gone up to 30ng/ml. I am on it for another 3 months again. My doctor wants my levels to be and stay at 50ng/ml.

When the spring and summer come around, I will seek to be outdoors more.
This has been a major breakthrough in my life. It seems like my Vitamin D deficiency was somewhat tied to all the major health issues I've had my whole life.

I wish Vitamin D levels were routinely tested as part of every American physicals and check ups. It is such a simple test that could truly change people's life for the better.

I could have been in chronic pain all my life, been on unnecessary medication and possibly suffered from more complications when all that was needed was the right dose of Vitamin D. Wow.

The Healthy Librarian


What a frightening story--but thank goodness for your recovery! Just heard Dr. Bruce Hollis speak about vitamin D yesterday, and your experience absolutely concurs with his research & findings.

Thanks so much for sharing your happy-ending story. Sounds like you found an excellent doctor. 50 ng/ml seem to be the level that the vitamin D experts recommend


I have kidney stones and the stone clinic I got to wants me taking a women's multi vitamin and 1000 vitamin d no more. I'm guessing with kidney stones I should follow this nutritionist guidelines for now?

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