New guidelines: Do not screen the healthy for Vitamin D level

The Endocrine Society recently gave guidelines  that vitamin D lab work should only be obtained for those “at risk.”  Risk factors include

  • Obese,
  • African-Americans,
  • pregnant and breastfeeding women,
  • patients with malabsorption syndromes.

Not surprisingly, some causes of vitamin D deficiency include (the above), obesity, fat malabsorption syndromes, bariatric surgery, nephrotic syndrome.

This leads to the question of. . . How much Vitamin D should I take a day?  Well, it depends on your age. . .

Infants and children aged 0-1 require at least 400 IU a day to maximize bone health

Between ages 1 to 70, pregnant, or breastfeeding women require at least 600 IU/day

Adults 70 years and older require at least 800 IU/day

You’ll find VitaminD2 or D3 at the store and either can be taken for the treatment or prevention of Vitamin D deficiency.

Vitamin D is well documented to help with muscle strength and is therefore thought to help prevent falls in the elderly.  There is insufficient evidence to suggest vitamin D supplementation in excess of above recommended daily needs.  This is because there is insufficient evidence to show that Vitamin D prevents cardiovascular disease or death, or improves quality of life.

Look at the chart below for dietary Vitamin D or take a vitamin D supplement.  Hope this helps.

Table 3: Selected Food Sources of Vitamin D
Food IUs per serving* Percent DV**
Cod liver oil, 1 tablespoon 1,360 340
Salmon (sockeye), cooked, 3 ounces 447 112
Mackerel, cooked, 3 ounces 388 97
Tuna fish, canned in water, drained, 3 ounces 154 39
Orange juice fortified with vitamin D, 1 cup (check product labels, as amount of added vitamin D varies) 137 34
Milk, nonfat, reduced fat, and whole, vitamin D-fortified, 1 cup 115–124 29–31
Yogurt, fortified with 20% of the DV for vitamin D, 6 ounces (more heavily fortified yogurts provide more of the DV) 88 22
Margarine, fortified, 1 tablespoon 60 15
Liver, beef, cooked, 3.5 ounces 49 12
Sardines, canned in oil, drained, 2 sardines 46 12
Egg, 1 large (vitamin D is found in yolk) 41 10
Ready-to-eat cereal, fortified with 10% of the DV for vitamin D, 0.75–1 cup (more heavily fortified cereals might provide more of the DV) 40 10
Cheese, Swiss, 1 ounce 6 2

* IUs = International Units.

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About drlesliegreenberg

I have been practicing as a family physician for over 20 years--as both an educator of physicians and clinician. From infancy to the elderly, I perform obstetrics and general medicine. I love my career and am passionate about my field of knowledge and my patients. Follow me on Facebook at Leslie Md Greenberg Medical Disclaimer The content of this website is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as, nor should it be considered a substitute for, professional medical advice. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating any medical or health condition. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider.
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