I came across a new study that again shows how information about vitamin D can be misinterpreted. A group in Australia studied 7,000 women who were age 70 or older. Their hope was that they could help reduce the risk of fractures and falling in these women over time by supplementing their diets with extra vitamin D.
Over a course of several years, they gave an oral dose of 50,000 I.U. of vitamin D daily for a period of 10 days each year. There was also a placebo group, which didn’t receive the vitamin.
The result? When the study was over, they found there was a higher number of falls and fractures in the group that received vitamin D, than in the group that received the placebo.
Once again this was most likely a study prompted by epidemiological evidence that associated vitamin D with weakened bones. It highlights the dangers of moving too fast on epidemiological evidence, without understanding the concepts of the health model and how all the puzzle pieces fit together. Medicine keeps desperately trying to practice health according to a disease model – they want to give higher and higher levels of a drug in order to treat what they believe is a risk.
It’s important that doctors practice health from a health model rather than from a disease model. If your own doctor is not familiar with how to do that, our office can provide an educational plan. We also can work with your doctor to create a plan for your own health, if that’s what your doctor prefers.
For yourself – if you’re supplementing with vitamin D without checking your own blood chemistry, you shouldn’t be taking more than 2,000 I.U. if you’re over 60 years of age. If you’re younger than that? 400 I.U. is the standard recommendation for adolescents and adults up to age 60, and 200 I.U. for younger children. But ultimately what you most need to do is get a blood chemistry to know what your individual body is doing. The right chemistry can show you why vitamin D is low, if it is. Or anything else you’re wondering about.