Q. I’ve just learned that many people over 50 are vitamin D deficient. My doctor called with my test results: I have about 7 percent of the recommended amount of vitamin D in my body.
I’ve got all the symptoms but attributed them to arthritis and age. For years I’ve taken a multivitamin and two calcium + 400 units of vitamin D daily, so my low levels came as a surprise. My doctor said he’s begun testing all women over 50 for D deficiency. He prescribed 50,000 units of vitamin D to be taken once weekly. Is this much vitamin D dangerous?
A. If you were taking that much vitamin D daily, you might well get into the toxic range. Your doctor will be monitoring to make sure your vitamin D levels stabilize with treatment.
Research evidence is mounting that 400 international units of vitamin D daily, the currently recommended intake, is inadequate for many people. Vitamin D is essential not only for preventing rickets and building strong bones, but also for a healthy immune system that can fight off infections and cancer.