Are Adult Vitamin D Recommendations Too Low?

The Vitamin D Society wants to make the public aware that current vitamin D intake recommendations for adults are low in comparison to levels prescribed for infants. After a recent review of the IOM vitamin D recommendations the Vitamin D Society discovered that the vitamin D dose per pound was substantially lower for adults.

Toronto, ON (PRWEB) February 28, 2013 -- The Vitamin D Society wants to make the public aware that current vitamin D intake recommendations for adults are low in comparison to doses suggested for infants. The Vitamin D Society analyzed daily vitamin D intake recommendations and found that the dosage, when expressed as IU per pound, were substantially lower for adults than those recommended for infants. The Institute of Medicine(IOM) set the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for vitamin D through an extensive review and report in 2010(1). Health organizations across North America have now standardized on the IOM recommendations for vitamin D intake. The IOM recommends that infants under 1 year of age receive 400 IU, ages 1 to 70 take 600 IU and people age 71 and older receive 800 IU of vitamin D daily. The response to vitamin D is dependent on body weight(2). People that weigh more will need more vitamin D dosage than people who weigh less(3).

“Dividing the IOM vitamin D recommendations by weight shows that a small 10 pound newborn infant gets 40 IU of vitamin D per pound (400 IU/10 lbs=40). In comparison, a large adult weighing 200 pounds would only get 3 IU of vitamin D per pound (600 IU/200 lbs=3). The IOM recommended vitamin D dietary allowance for adults is clearly lower by a factor of 10 than the dose for a newborn infant” reported Perry Holman, Executive Director of the Vitamin D Society.

Dr. Reinhold Vieth, a professor at the University of Toronto points out “Putting the same amount of vitamin D recommended for a 1 year old infant into an adult will result in lower concentrations and a lower effect. How can anybody ever imagine that a 200 pound man needs only a little more vitamin D dosage than a 10 pound baby?”

A group of over 42 prominent vitamin D doctors, researchers and scientists through their report - The  Scientists Call to D*action, recommend that people of all ages achieve optimal vitamin D blood serum levels of between 100-150 nmol/L (Can) or 40-60 ng/ml (USA) for best overall health and disease prevention(4). This recommended level matches recent research from Tanzania on natural vitamin D levels that the human body would have had through evolution in the horn of Africa(5).

A study published in the International Journal of Endocrinology reported that breastfed infants following the IOM recommended vitamin D dose of 400 IU/day, achieve a vitamin D blood serum level of 109 nmol/L or 43.6 ng/ml at 4 months(6). Research studies of adults taking the IOM recommended dose of 600 IU of vitamin D per day report that adults reach 70 nmol/L or 28 ng/ml, significantly below the levels infants achieve(7). “This provides further proof that that the current recommended vitamin D dose for adults is too low when compared to the infant dose” stated Holman.

To help avoid vitamin D deficiency, the Vitamin D Society urge everyone, from babies to adults, to have a 25(OH)D blood test, get your test score and make sure your levels are between 100-150 nmol/L (Can) or 40-60 ng/ml (USA). Dr. Robert Heaney recommends people achieve a daily intake of 35 IU of vitamin D per day per pound (75 IU per kg) to help ensure you reach optimal levels vitamin D blood levels of 100 nmol/L (Can) or 40

ng ml (USA).

About the Vitamin D Society:

The Vitamin D Society is a Canadian non-profit group organized to: increase awareness of the many health conditions strongly linked to vitamin D deficiency; encourage people to be proactive in protecting their health and have their vitamin D levels tested annually; and help fund valuable vitamin D research. The Vitamin D Society recommends people achieve and maintain optimal 25(OH)D blood levels between 100 – 150 nmol/L(Can) or 40-60 ng/ml (USA).

For further information, please contact:

Perry Holman

Vitamin D Society




1. IOM (Institute of Medicine). 2011. Dietary reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D. Washington,

DC: The National Academies Press.

2. Gallagher JC, Yalamanchili V, Smith LM. The effect of vitamin D supplementation on serum 25OHD

in thin and obese women. J. Steroid Biochem. Mol. Biol. (2012),

3. Vimaleswaran KS, Berry DJ, Lu C, Tikkanen E, Pilz S, et al. (2013) Causal Relationship between

Obesity and Vitamin D Status: Bi-Directional Mendelian Randomization Analysis of Multiple Cohorts. PLoS

Med 10(2): e1001383. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001383

4. GrassrootsHealth – Scientists’ Call to D*action -

5. Luxwolda MF, Kuipers RS, Kema IP, Janneke Dijck-Brouwer DA, Muskiet FA. Traditionally living

populations in East Africa have a mean serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration of 115 nmol/l. Br J Nutr.

2012 Jan 23:1-5

6. Wagner CL, Howard C, Hulsey TC, Lawrence RA, Taylor SN, Will H, Ebeling M, Hutson J, Hollis

BW. Circulating 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Levels in Fully Breastfed Infants on Oral Vitamin D Supplementation.

International Journal of Endocrinology Volume 2010, Article ID 235035, 5 pages doi:10.1155/2010/235035

7. Vieth R. Why the optimal requirement for Vitamin D3 is probably much higher than what is officially

recommended for adults. Journal of Steroid Biochemistry & Molecular Biology 89-90 (2004) 575-579.