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Information on the latest vitamin D news and research.

Find out more information on deficiency, supplementation, sun exposure, and how vitamin D relates to your health.

New analysis of data confirms the need for higher RDA of vitamin D

Recently published data indicated that the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) made a statistical error when arriving at the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for vitamin D in 2010. Dr. Cannell covered this paper in a blog.

The statisticians estimated that 8,895 IU daily of vitamin D is needed to get 97.5% of the population above 20 ng/ml, or the level considered sufficient by the FNB. However, the analysis possessed a major limitation: there was no available data on individuals receiving over 2,400 IU daily.

In a letter to the statisticians, Dr. Heaney and colleagues confirmed that higher supplementation is needed to reach healthy vitamin D levels in 97.5% of the population by using data from the GrassrootsHealth Study (GRH).

GRH has compiled data from 3,657 individuals with vitamin D intakes ranging from zero to above 10,000 IU daily. Heaney and colleagues found that 3,875 IU, 6,201 IU, and 9,122 IU daily of vitamin D corresponded to vitamin D levels of 20 ng/ml, 30 ng/ml, and 40 ng/ml, respectively.

The vitamin D dosages only accounted for supplements, and excluded vitamin D intake from the sun and food. The researchers estimated that the intake from the sun and food amount to be around 3000 IU daily.

They concluded,

“Since an RDA, by definition, relates to intake from all sources, it is clear that total intake required to achieve 20 ng/mL in 97.5% of the cohort must be close to 7000 IU per day, not substantially different from that calculated by Veugelers and Ekwaru.”


Heaney R., et al. Letter to Veugelers, P.J. and Ekwaru, J.P., A Statistical Error in the Estimation of the Recommended Dietary Allowance for Vitamin D. Nutrients 2014. Nutrients, 2015.

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3 Responses to New analysis of data confirms the need for higher RDA of vitamin D

  1. It’s funny how some medical professionals think 1,000 iu’s of D3 is sufficient per day. Even though the independent studies how otherwise. Every time the chance comes around THERE I am preaching the importance of D3

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  2. Rogerio Luz Coelho says:

    Remember that the NOAEL for vit D supplementation is 10.000 UI a day.

    You can put literally ANYBODY on this level for 6 months without even a second thought.

    After 6 months I do recomend the 25(OH)2 test, but usually in my experience (I am a Physician with more than 10 years Vitamin D work and research in Brazil) the levels will only get to 100 ng/L after a few years of 10.000 UI a day supplementation.

    I use personally 10.000 UI a day for more than 3 years and have yet to get my levels to 100 ng/L.

    Go vitamin D !!!

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  3. Rebecca Oshiro says:

    Dr. Coelho,

    I hear very interesting things about vitamin D in Brazil…..the physicians there seem to be on the cutting edge of using vitamin D for health, most notably the treatment of multiple sclerosis. Thank you for your informative comments.


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