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Ask Tufts Experts November 2012 Issue

Q: How high should the blood level of vitamin D be? I take 3,500 IU of vitamin D3 daily to maintain a level of 45 ng/l.

Answer :  Bess Dawson-Hughes, MD, director of Tufts’ HNRCA Bone Metabolism Laboratory, answers: “Current recommendations are based on the effect of vitamin D on bone health. There is some difference of opinion about the optimal level of 25-hydroxy vitamin D (the circulating form of vitamin D that’s measured in blood tests) for bone. For individuals with or at risk for osteoporosis, most physicians recommend a level of at least 30 ng/ml. For the general population, some recommend 20 ng/ ml and others 30 ng/ml as the lower acceptable level. The benefit of going much above 30 ng/ ml has not been established, although ongoing research is addressing the question of whether higher levels confer added benefit.”

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