Survey results: vitamin D supplementation & vD RDA

“These are the preliminary results of the vitamin D supplementation survey. It is clear that the variable recommended daily allowance (RDA) information is confusing you. What can be done about it?”

“I am reassured to note that those of you who responded to the question on what we recommend on this blog ticked either 5,000U or 4,000U per day. The 5,000U comes from  the Vitamin D Council’s recommendation and the 4,000U from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Which one is correct? They are both fine; I still recommend the 5,000U per day for economic reasons; in the UK General Practitioners or GPs, generally will not prescribe these doses and 5,000U tablets are much cheaper than 4×1,000U or 2×2,000U tablets. In additon, the 5,000U per day dose is well within the safe daily dose of vD supplementation of EFSA, i.e. 11,000U per day.” 

EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA); Scientific Opinion on the Tolerable Upper Intake Level of vitamin D. EFSA Journal 2012;10(7):2813. [45 pp.] doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2012.2813.


Adults 18 years or older = 4,000 U/day or 100 micrograms/day
Children 11-17 years of age = 4,000 U/day or 100 micrograms/day
Children 1-10 years of age = 2,000 U/day or 50 micrograms/day
Infants less than 1year of age = 1,000 U/day or 25 micrograms/day
Maximum safe dose or NOAEL = 11,000 U/day or 275 micrograms/day

05 Jan 2013
EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA); Scientific Opinion on the Tolerable Upper Intake Level of vitamin D. EFSA Journal 2012;10(7):2813. [45 pp.] doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2012.2813.

8 thoughts on “Survey results: vitamin D supplementation & vD RDA”

  1. What's the likelihood of my neuro endorsing this dosage? My GP is happy to prescribe whatever dosage the consultant recommends. At the moment I self-medicate but I'd prefer repeat prescriptions because then my vitD levels would be monitored along with my other meds. How strong is my case?

    1. Dude, just buy vit D3 Healthy Origins brand off of Amazon. It's high quality produce manufactured in the States and sold at a very affordable price. I've been hooked on 10,000 IU per-day for the last nine months with no complications. I bought a year's supply for under £25. Rago.

    2. The issue is not the price – as I said, I already buy my own. I would just like my GP to be aware of the whole issue of my VitD levels. If she is prescribing vitD, she's more likely to want me tested periodically and see this as part of a holistic approach to MS.

    3. Unlikely; they tend not to rock the boat. You can always show them the EFSA publication. That is what I would do. My position is trivial; all I am is a neurologist who looks after MSers.

  2. I was diagnosed with beginning osteopenia and a blood test then revealed that my D levels were too low. So my GP prescribed Calcium-Vitamin D tablets. I am unsure about the amount of Vitamin D, though – you speak about U/day or micrograms/day – my bottle says that what I take is 800 I.E. per day – how much is this in your units? My neuro has not prescribed anything beyond fingolimod.

    1. I think the survey used to have the conversions between IU's (international units), micrograms and IE's. I think these different measurements are more confusing than the variable RDAs. I take 5000 IU's a day, but I don't know how this equates to the other measurements. I realise that you may need to take calcium for your osteopenia, but I would hope that your doctor and neuro are aware of the implications of vitD/calcium and the heart, particularly as you are on fingolimod

    2. There is no IE unit in vitamin d so it will be IU and 800IU a day really is not going to have an effect. The only data I have ever seen relating vitamin d supplementation to rise in 25(OH)D level (what is measured) is on the grassrootshealth web site(i do not know if links are allowed here). These appear to be the only people who actually thought it worth measuring this very important piece of information. There is a table at the top of the page which is for the average person (so if you are bigger it will take more/smaller less). You will also note that the relationship is not linear, so to get from 20ng/ml to 30ng/ml requires 1200IU a day but from 20ng/ml to 50ng/ml 4200IU a day.

  3. I found IE it is an abbreviation of the German Internationale Einheiten meaning International Unit so 1 IE = 1 IU = 0.025 micrograms.

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