Confused by all the back and forth in the media about vitamin D?
Don’t be. There’s actually a pretty easy and straightforward approach that most older adults can take.
In this post, I’ll explain what I recommend to most of my older patients, and why.
I’ll also address the following frequently asked questions:
- Which type of Vitamin D should I take?
- Do I need to have my vitamin D blood level checked?
- What should one’s vitamin D level be?
- Will vitamin D really prevent falls or fractures?
- Will vitamin D prevent dementia, cancer, and/or premature death?
- I am outside a lot. Do I need a vitamin D supplement?
- I heard that a higher level of vitamin D is better for you. How much is too much?
Now when I first wrote this article in 2015, vitamin D supplementation for older adults was recommended by experts — to help reduce the risk of falls and fractures, among other things — although most geriatrics experts did not think the high doses (e.g. 2000 IU daily or more) that many people take are indicated.
(For years now, many people have had unrealistic expectations of what vitamin D can do for them. Sometimes this is because they think it will improve their health. In other cases, it seems to be because their doctors never got around to reducing a higher dose which should’ve only been used for a limited time period. Either way, it’s concerning because taking high doses of vitamin D has been linked to health problems.)
Today, experts in geriatrics are reassessing what to recommend for vitamin D supplementation.
This reassessment is in large part driven by the publication of a large randomized trial of vitamin D supplementation in older adults, the VITAL study.[Read more…]