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|I want to start taking vitamin D, how much should I take?|
Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is important to maintain healthy bones. There are very few foods that contain vitamin D3. Normally, your body produces vitamin D3 after you've been exposed to the sun. For Canadians, relying on sun exposure is likely not enough to reach adequate levels, and taking supplements regularly is a good idea.
Osteoporosis Canada has made the following recommendations:
- For healthy adults (aged 19-50) at low risk of vitamin D3 deficiency, the recommended daily supplementation with vitamin D3 is 400 to 1,000 International Units (IU).
- For adults over the age of 50 at moderate risk of vitamin D3 deficiency, the recommended daily supplementation with vitamin D3 is 800 IU to 1,000 IU. To achieve optimal levels, you may be required to supplement with more than 1,000 IU daily. You can safely take up to 2,000 IU daily without monitoring.
- If you have osteoporosis, recurrent fractures, or a condition affecting vitamin D absorption your daily recommended dose is 800 IU to 2,000 IU.
- For people being treated with medications for osteoporosis, vitamin D levels should be measured 3 to 4 months after receiving an adequate supplemental dose. Once the dose is optimized based on levels, measurements do not have to be repeated.
You should let your doctor know if you are thinking about or are already taking vitamin D.
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