Vitamin D Quick Reference
Vitamin D Quick Reference
Page edition: 2018-11-12
Note: although this basenote is publicly-visible,
some links and responses may be UIC members-only.
• Overall context for this topic
• General information
• Program target
• Supplement considerations
• Supplement suggestions
• Testing considerations
Vitamin D is a core program supplement. Unless you are under 40, live near the equator,
spend most of your daytime outdoors, year-round, with extensive skin exposure
(i.e. live an ancestral lifestyle), your vitamin D
levels are very likely suboptimal.
The need for vitamin D has been part of the program, going back
at least a decade, and is extensively discussed in all the books and
Book: Undoctored: starting page 272 of print edition
Healthcare: Vitamin D (public)
I Really Need Vitamin D (members)
Program Vitamin D Target
Program target is based on a periodic blood test;
a 25-hydroxy vitamin D level of:
60 to 70 ng/mL (150-180 nmol/L)
see Testing considerations
below for more information.
Note that although consensus medicine is slowly catching up, the program’s lower
limit is well above common official guidelines.
This program target usually requires a vitamin D supplement, typically in the
range 6000 IU±4000 IU.
This is about 10× common RDAs.
Individual requirements vary with age, situation and season, so getting tested
is strongly encouraged. Return to ToC
Response to vitamin D is an inverted U-curve, with benefits dropping off above and
below target titer. This why testing is needed to determine what you need.
At extremely high values, there is risk of Hypervitaminosis D. Supplementation
above 10,000 IU is not something to guess at.
Tanning salons may be completely ineffective at stimulating
vitamin D. Return to ToC
The molecular form of vitamin D to supplement is D3 (cholecalciferol), and not
The supplement formulation to use is oil-based (and not dry, such as tablet).
Gel caps are fine, as are liquid drops. Thousands of IUs are still just micrograms
of actual D3, so the overall product must be carefully considered.
Don’t worry about any incidental D3 in any tablets you might be taking,
but also don’t expect it to be well absorbed.
Store your D3 supplement out of sunlight. Refrigeration is fine.
Take D3 supplements early in the morning, to mimic the circadian effect of sunlight.
Avoid taking D3 in the evening or at night, as it may disrupt sleep.
Depending on your situation, seasonal dose adjustment could be appropriate:
I Take Vitamin D Year Round?
The general rule of thumb for D3 supplementation is:
100 IU/ng/ml (40 IU/nmol/L)
So if your 25OH test came back at 40 ng/ml at the start of your program,
and using the middle of our target range
((60+70)÷2) as a goal,
you might increase your vitamin D supplementation by:
100×(65-40) = 2500 IU
for more information on dose adjustment. Return to ToC
For the cautious buyer, subscription site ConsumerLab.com
periodically tests Vitamin D supplements.
Check ingredients. Soybean, corn, safflower (or other grain or legume) oils
are distressingly common in D3-only products, and indicate
formulators who are either clueless,
or not terribly concerned about your health. In a stand-alone
D3 gelcap, coconut, EVOO or
MCT oil are fine.
Entirely avoid tablets and dry capsules (absorption issue).
Most vitamin D liquid (drop) product are fine, if they use otherwise acceptable
Because fish oil is also a core supplement in the program,
using a fish oil product that contains
D3 is an interesting option. This normally
means having two forms of that fish oil on hand, one with
D3, and the other without, due both to dose ratios, and
wanting to spread the fish oil across the
day. These two Sam’s Club Members Mark products
may work for you (and are available on Amazon):
Strength Fish Oil with D3 (540 mg DHA+EPA, 2000 IU D3 per capsule)
Strength Fish Oil 1400mg (900 mg DHA+EPA per capsule)
Similar products may be available from Nordic
Naturals. Return to ToC
(CPT Code 82306)
|60 to 70 ng/mL
|Do not get the 1,25-dihydroxy
vitamin D test (CPT Code 82652). It is often
necessary to be quite clear about which test, or you’re at
some risk of getting the 1,25 test.
If this test isn’t routinely covered by your carrier,
it’s often cheaper to obtain it on your own, nanny state
permitting, from a walk-in lab, perhaps via a Life
Extension order, or via a home ZRT
Self-directed price range: US$30.00-83.00
Test day considerations
Fasting status: It is not necessary to test D3 fasting.
Day’s D supplement: may be taken before or after draw
Time of day for test: anytime
After a supplement dose adjustment, wait at least 30 days before
re-test. Return to ToC