Q. I have read recently that low levels of vitamin D could make people more likely to get cancer. But I have also read that too much vitamin D is dangerous. Can you tell me what is an appropriate amount of this vitamin daily?
A. Although there is no clear evidence that low levels of vitamin D cause cancer, a number of studies have found that people with cancer are more likely to have low levels of this vitamin.
A recent study showed such a linkage: women with more aggressive breast tumors had lower levels of vitamin D in their bloodstreams. Other research found that men with low levels and those with high levels of vitamin D were both more likely to die of cancer (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, October, 2010). In this study, the best blood levels lay between 18 and 40 nanograms per milliliter.
The appropriate level of vitamin D supplementation depends on an individual’s blood level. It might range between 800 and 4,000 IU per day. For more information about interpreting the blood test and how much you should take, we are sending you our Guide to Vitamin D Deficiency

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  1. rdm
    Reply

    My vitamin d level was 11.6 my doctor also prescribed vitamin d2 1.25 mg once a week. my bp has been low like 111/61 and 110/68 is this a good bp reading or is it too low ? will the vitamin d2 make it go lower ? other than that I have not noticed any other symptoms with the vitamin d2.

  2. Elai
    Reply

    I have COPD 2nd hand smoke. My Dr. put me on advair. I got pains in my legs and numb toe. He told me to take vitamin D 50k a wk. Now I have high BP/high cholesterol. I quit the advair, should I quit the vit.D ? I’m sick all time with my lungs. This week in the newspaper it said it is bad for you.
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: YOU NEED TO TALK WITH YOUR DOCTOR ABOUT THE VITAMIN D. DID S/HE TEST YOUR BLOOD BEFORE WRITING THE PRESCRIPTION? STUDIES SHOW AN ASSOCIATION BETWEEN LOW VITAMIN D LEVELS AND HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE. LEG PAIN IS NOT A COMMON SIDE EFFECT OF ADVAIR, SO BE SURE TO DISCUSS THAT WITH HIM/HER AS WELL.

  3. SS
    Reply

    I have recently been prescribed 50,000 units of Vitamin D, weekly. I tried to raise my Vitamin D level (under medical supervision) by taking 4,000 units daily for several weeks, and then 2,000 daily for several weeks. I had my blood checked again, and this did not raise my level. It is 7.something, I believe.
    My question is: what could be the ramifications of such a high dose of the vitamin? Could there be a negative side effect? Does vitamin D lodge in the body, or is it passed through? I have heard that low vitamin D can cause cognitive problems. Is this true? I have recently experienced a violent death to a dear one. Can this sadness and stress cause low levels of the vitamin?
    SS
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: WE ARE NOT AWARE THAT STRESS OR SADNESS CAN AFFECT VITAMIN D LEVELS. VITAMIN D IS FAT SOLUBLE, SO IT DOES ACCUMULATE IN THE BODY, BUT SOMEONE WITH A VERY LOW LEVEL OF VITAMIN D IS GENERALLY NOT AT RISK OF GETTING TOO MUCH WITH A LIMITED TIME OF 50,000 IU/WEEK AND REGULAR MONITORING.

  4. MYWW
    Reply

    I was recently tested for Vitamin D deficiency by a neurologist. I had been referred to him for possible idiopathic neuropathy in my feet. My levels cam back at 7.4 (one of lowest he had seen. He gave me a prescription for Vitamin D2 1.25 MG (50,000 Units) to be taken once per week. I am now reading that Vitamin D3 may be a better choice since it is more like natural Vitamin D and more easily absorbed by our bodies. Any comments on which I should be taking?
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: DR. MICHAEL HOLICK, ONE OF THE COUNTRY’S LEADING EXPERTS ON VITAMIN D, TOLD US THAT VITAMIN D2 WILL RAISE VITAMIN D LEVELS JUST AS D3 DOES.

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