We were impressed by the lead article on Vitamin D in the February 2008 issue of the University of California, Berkeley’s Wellness Letter (a “newsletter of nutrition, fitness, and self-care”). The Wellness Letter is usually quite conservative about recommending nutritional supplements, but in this case it finds the recent wave of research on Vitamin D promising enough to recommend that people “consider taking 800 to 1000 IU of supplemental D a day.” As the newsletter reports, studies have now gone much beyond the well-known benefit of this vitamin in working with calcium to keep bones strong; recent research has ranged over a much broader field, focusing on Vitamin D’s “potential to reduce risk of everything from some common cancers and multiple sclerosis to diabetes, hypertension, and age-related muscle weakness.”
Although not going so far as to suggest testing blood levels of D for the general population, the Wellness Letter does recommend talking to your doctor about testing, “especially if you are over 60 […] or have low bone density.”
A further recommendation: “When shopping for a supplement, read the fine print: look for D3 (also called cholecalciferol), which is more potent than D2 (ergocalciferol).”
For other commentary on recent Vitamin D research, see the “Vitamin D” category on this blog.
And you can also read the Vitamin D3 entry on the New York Buyers’ Club website.