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I’m curious as to why studies always look to specific dosing amounts rather than blood levels. Since we know that current hunter/gatherer societies have natural 25(OH)D levels of between 46 ng/ml and 104 ng/ml, might it be correct look to 50 ng/ml to 80 ng/ml as being “what nature intended?”

Asked by  Anonymous on August 1, 2014

  •  Anonymous on

    See title

    Answered by  Anonymous on
  •  Jeff Nicklas on

    One of the major reasons that researchers look towards specific dosing is through the design of the study. High quality studies that can prove causation in the scientific community are randomized controlled trials. These are the gold standard of research because they take a drug or medicine (in this case vitamin D) and compare how this affects a population compared to a placebo. The randomized nature of the study allows for researchers to see clearly whether vitamin D has an effect on a certain health condition or outcome. It would be difficult to conduct a randomized controlled trial solely on blood levels.

    That being said, much of the research on vitamin D supplementation is lending itself to finding a clearer picture of what optimal vitamin D levels are, both in general and in specific health conditions. By testing vitamin D dosage, researchers are able to see (a) if that dose is adequate to raise levels to sufficiency (whether in general, or pertaining to a condition that might affect vitamin D metabolism) and (b) if the levels reached by that dose has a specific effect on a health condition.

    It is important when conducting these clinical trials that research acknowledge baseline and final vitamin D levels. In order for the study to show, accurately, whether vitamin D has an effect on a certain outcome it must start by recruiting a population who is deficient at baseline. Then, vitamin D must be given in adequate doses for a long enough period of time to ensure that levels are brought into the sufficient range. Only then will the study most likely be accurate, when bringing a deficient population’s levels up to sufficiency.

    Answered by  Jeff Nicklas on

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