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How Much Vitamin D Is Healthy to Take?

How Much Vitamin D Is Healthy to Take?

Our experts weigh in on getting the right amount of this essential vitamin.

It takes just the right amount of vitamin D to ward off health problems—from cardiovascular disease and immune system problems to weak bones and cognition lapses.

Too little of the sunshine vitamin and you’re deficient. But you can also have too much vitamin D—and that can put you off balance.

Researchers from Rutgers University have published a study in which they found women age 50 to 70 who took up to 2,000 IUs daily of vitamin D3 had improved learning and memory, but those who took a higher dosage (4,000 IUs) didn’t see greater cognitive improvements and had slower physical reaction times, putting them at risk for falls and injuries. Annually, falls are reported by one-third of all people over the age of 65—more often women than men—and they lead to prolonged hospital stays and even fatalities. The conclusion: If you take vitamin D supplements, ask your doc for a blood test. You want to get your level above 35 mg/dL. Supplements can help ease deficiencies, but it is important to avoid taking too much.

Medically reviewed in April 2020.

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