What are benefits of taking relatively high doses of vitamin D?

Leopold D. Galland, MD
Internal Medicine
Some placebo-controlled clinical trials have demonstrated benefits with high dose supplementation of vitamin D that have not been seen with lower doses used in other studies:
  • A Japanese study found that children taking 1200 IU/day had a decrease in influenza during the winter.
  • A New Zealand study found that 4000 IU/day reduced insulin resistance (a precursor of diabetes) in Asian women, and the effect only occurred if the blood level of vitamin D rose to 32 nanograms per milliliter.
  • A Norwegian study found that 20,000 to 40,000 IU/week given for one year reduced depression scores in overweight individuals.
  • A clinical trial done at Creighton University in Nebraska found a 75% reduction in the incidence of cancer among post-menopausal women given 1100 IU vitamin D per day for 4 years. The effect required blood levels greater than 32.

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